Monday, January 28, 2008

Day Ten through Fourteen - Daily Green Smoothies


As you can see I haven't been here much this last five days. My sweet Grandma passed on last night and the week leading up to this has been an emotional one. We knew that she was leaving us, we just didn't know when. I finally got to see her last night and was with her when she left us. I can't go into detail right now, but I know she could hear what we said to her and I know that there's something else out there. She had a conversation with God and decided that 11pm last night was her curtain call. She's now reunited with my Grandpa and they are playing piano and singing together again.

I've stayed on my smoothies through all of this and I really think they have given me the strength to get through it all. I have still had less hair loss, no more weight loss, that's evened out and I have fluctuated between 138 to 140 all week. Hungry less, that is for sure but is that the smoothies or the stress? I am sure I have dealt with the events of the last week better than I would have, had I been eating a standard Canadian diet.

My father was in the hospital yesterday with a suspected heart attack. He suffered one about 7 years ago and smartened up for a couple of years...but with time so went his efforts. Bootcamp kept him active for a the last couple years, but even that he lost interest in this last ten months. We began Sun Run training together just a week ago. Turns out it wasn't a heart attack but a gentle nudge (more like push) in the right direction. He goes to see a heart specialist soon.

My brother in law is experiencing a fever of 102 to 104 degrees F. There seems to be no real reason and it's been a week. What is causing this I wonder? He isn't into Doctors or meds, so is trying to do things naturally but finally saw a Doctor today but still no explanation was found. Yikes.

What I wonder is if I could convince my father to go raw for 30 days, if he could get off his meds. If my brother in law went raw for a week, I bet he'd see marked improvements and if he was raw for 30 days, he'd feel so great he'd never look back! He's already vegan, so half the work is already done. I have been modelling this type of eating for a year now and still they see how much it's done for me but are unwilling to do something for themselves. I know that they have to find their way here themselves, and I am just a beacon in the distance for them. Hopefully with these health issues they will begin to take notice and start to add more raw foods into their diets. One can only hope.

The knot I have had in my stomach for three weeks - not sure if I have mentioned it here, I thought it was just something that I had acquired over time - finally let go this morning. I was doing my breathing exercises and massaged it and it just left. I was so relieved. It's been there since before Christmas and I didn't know why. Stress works on us in many different ways. Being raw can help to alleviate a lot of the body's stresses, but it can't do it all. Lifestyle and the stresses we are exposed to are such a huge factor in how our body will function and feel.

Feeling peaceful tonight, enjoyed a great bunch of smoothies. The check out lady thinks I am nuts buying so many bananas! Little does she know that is just my two or three day supply and that I get the next bunch somewhere else. I am trying to put in more greens and less bananas as time goes on and I don't need it to be as sweet.

Got Greens?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Day Nine - Daily Green Smoothies

Sunshine in my tummy makes me full....with all these green smoothies going down so well, I am rarely hungry for anything else!

Weight stable at 138lbs. I am 5 foot 7, not sure if I mentioned that before.
Skin - great, noticing it seems almost like I have a slight tan. That's possibly because of the sunshine we've had this week or the sunshine in my tummy!
Feeling - full of energy, not tired at all. Getting up without a problem, even after being up with a sick kid all night.

Speaking of sick kids. Mine seem to be well when they eat the terrible diet of "Christmas time" but are sick when I have them eat raw until noon and then vegan meals after that. Rarely do they have sugar. In fact sugar intake usually causes a runny nose for them and they have started to make this connection. The same goes for any dairy they ingest, be it at a party or when we eat out - we are more lenient at those times and hope the kids make good choices. My daughter even said she likes "rice cheese" better than regular cheese now. Now all I have to do is get her to like the seed cheeses and we've got it made! I am sure that their little bodies are trying to rid themselves of all the yuck they have collected in their young lives but still it is a little disappointing when you think you are doing things right and this is the outcome...

I am always trying to test my immunity to colds etc. I will drink from their water bottles, and eat off their spoon when they are sick to see if I get anything. So far, since being 90-100% raw I have not had a cold or flu. I believe that even if I did get a cold or flu that it would be much less of an issue and be over sooner. I would also think it was detox, and not a cold/flu, especially if no one else in the house experienced the same thing.

Didn't eat much today as I was so full with smoothie there was no need for anything else.

I had one smoothie at 11am

2 bananas
6 leaves of kale
half a pineapple
2 cups of water

Drinking my sunshine, oh ya.

Walked in Kits with a friend of ours who just had a baby. What a sweetie that little one is. The sun was out and although it was cold, it was invigorating to walk outside! The kids thought it was a little cold, but did well.

At home I had raw ice cream. Take frozen bananas and berries and put them through the Champion Juicer. This is one of my kids' favourites. I fed it to them around 4pm and I also had about a cup and a half of it too.

Smoothie number two was at 6pm.

2 bananas
1/3 tub of mixed spring greens tub
1/2 pineapple
2 cups of water.

This made a whopping seven cups of smoothie. My kids weren't interested, they had their dinner and I drank about five cups and gave the other two to my parents when I visited them.

Great day in general. I did feel some frustration with my youngest, who is not at all pleasant when he's sick. My daughter was a gem tonight, but very emotional. It's going to be an interesting night with both of them sick so I am going to get into bed early and read some more of "The China Study". If you haven't checked this book out yet, you must!

Ok. Be well. Goodnight.

If you're up and want to read something about someone doing a raw vegan diet for 30 days, check out Steve Pavlina's blog.

I have enjoyed some of his recipes and reading his daily blurb about his experience going raw.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Day Seven and Eight - Daily Green Smoothies

Time got away on me last night and I didn't get a chance to update my day seven. So I'll do the two of them together.

Weight stayed the same the two days...138lbs.
Skin is fine but woke up this morning with a painful split in my lip. I am not used to getting this type of thing. Dry weather? Or stuff getting out of the system? Not sure.
Emotions and feelings: Great, full of energy until late last night. I did eat some non raw food! Sometimes I just pop it in my mouth without realizing it. A danger if you family is not fully raw with you. So I had some falafel and crackers. Small amount but it did make a difference in my energy level in the evening. I fell alseep earlier than normal.

My two green smoothies on Day Seven were:

2 bananas
5 cups of baby spinach
1 cup of strawberries
2 cups of water

Blend and drink. I made one in the morning and loved it so much made another one for dinner. It was simple and delicious!

Woke up before the alarm at 6:30am and was wakeful, not tired. Great! Did my breathing exercises for the first time in a week and then did my A.M. Yoga session which is about 20 min. My daughter even joined me for part of it. The breathing I do is to help detox the body. David Wolfe talks about it in his book "The Sunfood Diet Success System". You breathe deeply and exhale toxins through your breath. It is counting six seconds as you breathe in, six as you hold the air in, six seconds breathing out and then six seconds without any air in your lungs. It can make you dizzy to begin with if you aren't used to breathing deeply, but I had no trouble when I started this breathing exercise about six months ago. My yoga is A.M. Yoga by Rodney Yee. I really enjoy this yoga program. It's easy, done in your house and Rodney Yee is really relaxing to listen to. If I do it every day for a week, I notice dramatic improvements in my flexibility. Now it is just about consistency and doing it at least three to five times a week!

Today we spent another day up at the mountains. My daughter had her second ski lesson. I had my first green smoothie around 9am.

2 bananas
5 cups of spinach
1 cup strawberries
2 cups of water

Again, loved it so much yesterday that I finished off the spinach today.

Had a Smart Monkey bar up on the mountain with three dates too.

Wasn't hungry when I got home and was offered some free time by Nana and Papa (they took the kids for an hour) so I went for my training run for the Sun Run. Today was Run 1 min. Walk 3 min. and do that nine times. It was a beautiful, full of sunshine day. The run/walk was energizing. It took about 40 min. to complete.

I am so lucky and blessed to have both my parents and my in laws close. My parents live just a block away and my in laws live across town. They do so much for us and the kids. We get exercise time, date nights, day care, etc. They really help us out so much and if not for them we wouldn't have time to ourselves. Our kids are extremely close to their grandparents on both sides and are the only grandkids, so they get spoiled terribly. In a good way of course.

While preparing dinner for the family I made up one of my favourite fruit treats...papaya banana pudding. After blending it up and tasting a little I wondered if I put in a wack of greens if it would taste any different. I chose to put in seven leaves of kale as kale isn't too strong tasting and really it only tasted a little green, but it was more like pudding than a smoothie. I did add about a cup of water but even then it was a thick consistency.

It was made like this:

1 large papaya - peeled and deseeded
2 bananas
7 medium sized leaves of kale

Blend the papaya until it's mushy, add banana and blend until smooth, add kale and blend until smooth again.

Simple and delicious again! I had some figs with that as well, just chewed them up though, eating the old-fashioned way. :)

I was full of energy all day, it's been great. I had a snack around 7:30pm - avocado mush. That's the avocado mushed up with some celtic sea salt and juice of half a lemon with some grape tomatoes mixed in. Simple and delicious again! No cravings for sugar today, no cravings for cooked food today, even though we were in the cafe up on the mountain. Managed to get through that no problem.

Eat raw, live well.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Day Six - Daily Green Smoothies

Began my day with the my daughter waking me early and asking to get up to eat. It was 6am. I put her off until 7am when we finally got up and got going for the day.

Weight 138lbs - so up .5 pound from the last time I weighed in, two days ago
Skin - clear, no problems anywhere that I could see.
Feelings - woke up tired but not groggy and my eye was not as bad as yesterday, less goop, less red but still troubled. I was feeling positive and ready to have a great day.

This morning was my first time out for the Sun Run Training Clinic at Hyde Creek. I signed up with my dad to help get him more active and to get me outside on a more regular basis. We meet Sundays as a whole group and there are many trainers. They have all sorts of sub groups. There's the walking group, the walking group with strollers, the run/walk group (which I am a part) and the running group. I thought it was great that strollers could come along.

There was a good mix of people there and we got warmed up and then ran/walked. Today it was walk three, run one and we did that ten times. I knew it would seem simple, but I really want to get back into running slowly as I have injured myself in the past and want to be sure that doesn't happen this time.

The weather could not have been better for mid January! It was cold, but sunny and refreshing. It felt so good to be breathing in that fresh, cool, forest air. The run/walk went by so quickly and I am looking forward to my next session. We are expected to run twice during the week and once with the group on Sundays. They do have an extra session on Thursdays if we so choose. That means that Tuesdays I will be training on my own. I will have to find someone to run/walk with during that time...not sure I would like to run in the dark on my own.

All I had to eat before I went to the run was 2 dates. I usually have some coconut water before Bootcamp, if I have time as it's a great energy boost. I didn't want to drink that much before the run today so I only had the dates. I had a great amount of energy and wasn't hungry until 10:45am. I had a spoonful of honey and then didn't actually eat my smoothie until 12:30pm.

1 fresh banana
1 frozen banana
1/3 tub of spring greens
1 cup blueberries
2 cups of water

I will have to make the time to actually create some of the great smoothie recipes I found on line. I need to use different greens to get a balanced number of nutrients.

Not sure if it's my imagination or wishful thinking but I mentioned in an earlier blog that I wanted to try and get my hair back to it's natural colour and I had read that it was possible to do so by drinking a smoothie a day for an extended period of time. Something maybe I didn't mention is that I have had a large hair loss since my juice fast in September. Every time I showered or brushed my hair or even ran my fingers through it I would get a huge number of strands of hair coming out of my head. It freaked me out. My doctor said it's associated with rapid weight loss and sometimes low iron. Well my iron was low but I am sure I have built it back up and will continue to do so with the green smoothies. What is great is that I have noticed that my hair loss has reduced significantly this week, especially noticeable today when I ran my fingers through and not one strand came out! I hope I have found the answer to having a great head of thick hair again.

I added honey to my evening smoothie so it was this:

2 frozen bananas (must go shopping for fresh!)
1 cup frozen blueberries
2 tbsp honey
1/3 tub greens
2 cups water
2 tbsp flax seed oil

Went to bed at 9:30pm as I fell asleep beside my son while putting him to bed. So nothing got done around the house but I woke up feeling great.

Eat well!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Day Five - Daily Green Smoothies

I was woken up today around 8:30am. Another speedy start to the day. Had to get ready to take the kids to their music play class. Due to the rush I completely forgot to weigh in. Skin is clear but my scalp seems to have a couple of spots that are aggravated. Energy level was even keeled.

My right eye has been red and goopy a few mornings now, off and on. Not sure what that's all about. It is not itchy at all, just a little bloodshot and somewhat crusty. Maybe it's some detox happening? I used to get crusty eyes every day of my life until I was 17. When I was 18 months old my tear duct was operated on as I had such trouble with it being blocked and was on antibiotics often for the infections that happened due to this blockage. Then from that operation on I would have to wipe my eyes with a warm cloth every morning to get the gunk out. That happened until my last year in high school. I clearly remember walking with my eyes stuck shut, feeling my way down to the bathroom getting the cloth (still with my eyes closed) and soaking it in really hot water. Then apply it to my eyes until I could open them. It ended instantly, just after my 17th birthday. No explanation as to why but my doctor had always said I would outgrow it before I was 18. Weird how he knew that.

I love music class as the kids get to be creative, musically and in movement as well. Both kids have attended classes since they were infants and it's just such a part of our lives. if you would like to check them out.

Snow was coming down on the way out and on the way back. None was sticking in the lower altitudes, but the hills around our area are quite white now. The sun decided to make its presence known around mid afternoon. It was nice to see it again. I really do miss the sun and feel lucky that I can drink my sunshine when the sun isn't around to bless me with it's light!

My first green smoothie of the day was at 12:30pm

3 bananas
1 cup blueberries
2 tbsp. flax oil
1/3 tub of spring greens
2 tbsp honey
2 cups of water

This was the best blueberry one I have made yet. It was so tasty. Probably the honey that I added to was almost too sweet for me, if that's at all possible! It was more like a deep purple smoothie. I could not believe how vibrantly purple it became as it whizzed around in the Vitamix. I'll try to post a photo of it when I download the pix from the camera.

My energy levels have been good today. I have accomplished a lot around the house and played with the kids. I really find a huge improvement in my patience and all round attitude about things right now. There's a positive vibe inside that I am feeling and enjoy it immensely. Things are flowing nicely. I have so much more patience with my kids. I know I have mentined this before, but even they are commenting on how I don't raise my voice anymore. It's true, I am patient, and talk to them calmly and it has made a world of difference in our home. They are happier, we have less crying and they are far more willing to help out around the house because they see me working so hard to keep things neat and tidy. When there is a mess I don't tell them to clean up but ask them to help put 5 things away and they do it!

More and more people are asking questions about how I eat and I am really enjoying helping a few people with ideas and suggestions and support about how they can incorporate more raw foods into their diet. It is important though, when you do decide to make a change in how you live and eat that you talk to you doctor about your choices. Some may have alternative practitioners that they feel more comfortable talking to and that's great. Just remember to listen to you body and do what feels right for you, no matter what you read, hear and see. You know your body best and you are the one who knows how to make it feel it's best.

Just jump in and try a green smoothie today! Any addition of greens and fruits to you diet can help you feel better. A friend of mine who has been trying to eat more raw foods told me today that only after a week of eating more raw how much better she feels. It's amazing how quickly this great feeling courses through the body when it's getting fed exactly what it needs.

Dinner was avocado mash. I mash up an avocado and put in grape tomatoes and some lemon juice and a dash of celtic sea salt. It's great. I also had a piece of raw pecan pie. I am not hungry and it's approaching 8pm so I am not sure I'll get in a second smoothie today. I am not that hungry eating this way, especially with the smoothies I feel my hunger is truly abated. My sweet cravings came about today, and I tried to take care of that with the honey in the smoothie earlier today and then I also had the raw pecan pie. Better choices than what I would have chosen to eat a year ago but still a lot of heavy food for one day.

Energy levels are still good. Going out with the main squeeze tonight. Kids get some quality Nana time.

Go Green.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Day Four - Daily Green Smoothies

Another bang of a start to the day, at least I got some sleep last night as I went to bed around midnight and didn't wake up until 7:20am. Quite a late sleep in for me, but felt good when I woke up. Had a meeting at 8am so rushed around to get to work on time.

Started the day like this:

Weight 137.5, so I am down another .5 of a pound. That's a total loss of 2.5 lbs in 4 days.
Skin: clear today, except that the skin on my hands is extremely dry. Skin conditions can be due to detox, but I am not sure about this one. Is it because I am spending so much time washing greens, and blenders and my hands are in the water more. I will have to see how it goes. The weather has also been very dry this last three days.
Feeling: woke up with lots of energy today, no headaches or other adverse conditions that I have noticed.

Ate an apple around 10am

Smoothie number one I ate at 12:15pm. It was so tasty! Adding flax oil makes the smoothie so much more smooth, I really like it that way.

3 bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/3 tub of greens
2 cups of water
2 tbsp flax oil

Blended and enjoyed while reading over my mail for the day.

At work I had some young coconut meat at 3pm. What I do is bring in a food each week for the students to try. They know how I choose to eat and most can't get over that I can do without french fries and traditional chocolate bars on a daily basis. The students were excited about trying the coconut milk and meat. We all tried the milk during class (some were more receptive to it than others). Most tried it but there was a lot of fanfare around the whole thing.

After class some of the kids stayed to try the coconut meat. They thought it didn't taste too badly. Some actually enjoyed it quite a bit but figured their parents would not buy it for them. I wonder why they would think this. What parent would say no to buying a new food that's good for them?! I would love it if my kids came home saying that they would like to try a new healthy food. Maybe parents themselves are not open to trying new foods, we tend to get comfortable in what we know and rarely venture outside of that box. Hopefully though I will have enough of an impact on some of these kids that they start to think about what they are putting in their mouth instead of eating it out of habit.

It was a book club night. I had my second smoothie around 5:30pm.

2 bananas
1/3 tub of baby greens
2 tbsp flax oil
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 cups of water

I have certainly found a few favourites. In my second week I am going to try and branch out use some different recipes that I find in books, and on the internet. It is good to rotate what you eat so that you get all the nutrients your body needs.

I made raw pecan pie from the RAWvolution book by Matt Amsden.


2 cups raw almonds processed to a meal
1/3 cup raw agave nectar added and then processed into a "dough"

Filling: I have doubled the recipe from his book as I found I liked having more filling.

2/3 cup young coconut water
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecans

Blend in Vitamix until it's a smooth consistency then pour into crust and garnish with a few raw pecans. I usually refrigerate it so that the filling is more gelled.

Some of the ladies at book club tried it and I think a couple liked it.

I did feel a little bloated after eating a huge salad and then that dessert. That's a lot of food for my small stomach. I do find I need less to eat when eating so well. My body isn't searching for it's nutrients, it's actually getting them instead.

Went to bed around 1am.

Eat well.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Day Three - Daily Green Smoothies

Started the day like this:

Weight: 138 lbs. no change in weight from yesterday.
Skin: pimples gone, clear again
Feeling: very tired, almost nauseous, but able to get up at 7am.

What a rough night I had. I went to bed finally at 1:30am feeling fine, and then was woken up by my son at 3:30am. My husband is great and usually gets up with the kids but after about six times he was losing patience with our little guy. I went in and tried to console him as he was very upset and crying uncontrollably. He was having trouble getting back to sleep. Seems his naps are not every day and on early to bed nights, he has trouble sleeping through sometimes. After some time in the rocking chair to get him to settle down, I laid down beside him for only a few moments and he had drifted off to sleep. That was around 5am. So I guess I slept from 5 until 7 and then got up feeling as I did.

I was not hungry so didn't eat but drank lots of water this morning and enjoyed a delicious red delicious apple for a snack around 11am. At 12:30pm I had my first smoothie of the day. I had to race home at lunch time to use the Vitamix! Good thing I am only minutes from work.

2 bananas
1/2 medium pineapple
1/4 cup goji berries
1/3 tub of organic spring mix
2 cups of water

This made six cups of liquid and no one to share it with so I drank three cups and then raced back to work and drank the rest there. I was extremely full until about 4pm when I had a Smart Monkey bar. Drank lots of water today as well. Visits to the toilet are frequent, but not unreasonable! I was completely re energized for the afternoon. I wasn't tired at all and felt so much better than in the morning.

Back at home I had another smoothie at 6pm.

2 bananas
1/2 a medium pinapple
2 tbsp. flax seed oil
1/3 tub of organic spring mix
2 cups of water

This made six cups of green smoothie and I loved it. By adding the flax seed oil and omitting the goji berries it was so smooth and sweet. The kids loved it. Each had about 3/4 cup of the drink, leaving me with 4 1/2 cups to drink. Also ate ten grape tomatoes. Succulent!

Went to a meeting regarding kindergarten registration for my daughter and then up to my Bootcamp workout with Nadia - Back to Basics. It's great. I especially love the yoga/pilates fusion class that we do Thursday nights. I feel so much more flexible after that workout and it's not an easy one, that's for sure. She works us hard. I had so much energy all night. I did have a faint headache for most of the early evening and into the workout but since the workout I have had no headache.

I have been experiencing pain in my shoulders again. I had this when I did the juice fast in September. Not sure if it's a sign that there's some healing going on or what. I used to dislocate my shoulders, both almost annually for about six years so maybe there's some tissue healing going on there.

At home I made up a batch of cookies.

1/4 cup almonds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp honey
4 dates
2 tbsp raw cacao
3 tbsp shredded coconut

Whiz up the seeds and almonds into a meal, add the dates, whiz again, add honey and whiz again until it's the consistency of cookie dough. Add cacao and whiz. Then I roll them into balls and coat with the coconut. Plain and simple and oh so quick.

Usually I'd eat the whole recipe...that's a very dense food, but tonight I ate about four balls, not the size of tennis balls either...more like half a ping pong ball each. I saved the rest to give a co- worker tomorrow who is considering adding much more raw into his and his family's diet. I think he's going to love these! We had a great talk about raw and living foods today after work and I want to encourage him in any way that I can to start walking this path to health! Talking about living foods gives me a high that I can't explain. I am so passionate about eating like this and it's so amazing to talk to others that are receptive to the idea. I am feeling less lonely in this lifestyle every day as more and more people approach me and start asking questions.

So, even though I had a rough start to the day it ended up that my energy rebounded and it's almost half past 11 and I am just starting to feel the need to go to bed. Looking forward to reading and putting my head down to rest.

Eat raw, Live well everyone.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Day Two - Daily Green Smoothies

Day Two.

Weight: 138 lbs. One and a half pounds down from yesterday.
Skin: two small pimples on chin
Feeling: tired, groggy to start the day, energetic and then again groggy after time on the mountain.

Today started off a little rough but turned out to be an amazing day.

So I woke up feeling rather tired this morning, which surprised me. I went to bed at 1am last night as I was reading "The China Study" and found it absolutely intense and I'm only in the beginning chapter! I can't wait to read more tonight. So although I was tired, I got up and began my day. Got me ready, kids ready and out the door.

The Quest for a ripe organic banana began at about 9:15am this morning. I dropped my oldest off at pre school and went shopping to pick up some more greens. Funny thing, start making smoothies and the greens that usually sit in the fridge for long periods disappear in a matter of a couple of days! I also wanted to get more bananas. Well we started off at Planet Organic, our local organic, whole foods grocery store. Got good deals on greens, but bananas the colour of Kermit the Frog were all that were available. So on to bananas again, but got a few as they were at least closer to being ripe than the others had been. Figured we'd try more groceries there, but not one organic banana in sight. My son was a little distraught that we didn't get the other bananas, the conventionally grown ones. How do you explain to a very upset almost-three-year-old that we don't choose to eat those ones without making the situation worse?!

So on we went, still to find a ripe banana! It was now closing in on 10:15am. So we drove to Costco to get a box of organic spring mix, as we also had not found any of those without some rotting red leafed lettuce in it. Yes, Costco had great boxes of salad so got two of those, but of course no organic bananas there, so finally we had to try Save-On Foods. We walked in and my son burst out..."Mommy, yellow bananas!!" That was around 10:40am when we had finally paid for them. Yikes, five stores and almost an hour and a half later we had some usable, ripe, organic bananas.

We had to rush home to get things packed up and ready for our first trip to the mountain. My parents bought my daughter ski gear and skiing lessons for Christmas this year. We are working on trying to give experiences rather than plastic toys and such. So this was their gift to her. She was so excited and I could hardly peel her off the ceiling this morning when I told her we were going up to Cypress Bowl Ski Mountain this afternoon. I blended up my smoothie for the morning around 10:30am. I wasn't hungry yet, but would not be near a blender until around 5pm so figured I had better get something into me.

2 bananas
1 lb. of fresh strawberries (yes, organic, and in the winter...didn't check where they were from, probably Mexico)
1/3 of a tub of organic spring mix
2 cups of water

It wasn't as sweet as I am trying to make do with only two bananas per smoothie. I made up 5 cups and my son drank one of them. My daughter wasn't at home to drink any.

I have not been skiing in almost six years. Ever since I was pregnant with my oldest I have not skiied, therefore not been to the mountain. It was really snowy on the ground and foggy on the hill. The air was so cool and refreshing, the scenery was extremely pleasing to the eye and everyone seemed to be happy and busy about their skiing day.

I was not concerned about how my daughter's first lesson would go, she is a very independent, confident young lady who will take on any challenge head on. She's quite athletic as well, already at such a young age. She figured she would be teaching the ski instructors a thing or two today. lol.

We had some "power food", which was a snack of raw nuts and seeds with some dehydrated fruit, like apples and apricots. My kids eat this stuff up. They saw all the others with french fries and asked to get them, but ate heartily of the snack I prepared for them. It's difficult in social situations like that to have the kids understand the importance of eating well for the body and not just eating due to convenience or just because everyone else does. I feel badly for them in some ways, but in others I know in the end they will thank me for being so concerned about their food and their health.

The lesson went extremely well, more snacks and back home. While on the mountain I ate 7 dried apricots, 1/4 cup of raisins, and about 5 pecan halves. Later on I had a Smart Monkey bar. Ani Phyo's latest creation and now available at places like Planet Organic and Choices. I almost fell asleep in the car, again that surprised me that I would be so tired after not having exerted myself at all. I really felt like I had been the one skiing the whole time. I had that "apres ski" feeling without ingesting anything sordid!

That tired feeling didn't leave me until I got home and started moving around getting things tidy and ready for tomorrow. My husband made dinner due to our late arrival home and I made a smoothie for myself.

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 huge bunch of kale
1/2 cup of bean sprouts (non organic)
2 bananas
2 cups of water

The kids were eating their dinner and saw me drinking this and my son asked if he could have cup for himself. I was thrilled. He's probably ingested more greens in the last two days than in the last two months. Again, my daughter decided against having any. She's good though. She'd rather chew on a leaf of kale, so I tend not to worry about her greens intake as much. She'll come around eventually with the smoothies, as I have already seen some progress there.

I was stuffed, and as I had sipped up 5 cups of green smoothie! My son had one cup. I notice that his stools are extremely loose today and he went three times instead of his usual one, so things are moving there which is great. My daughter is also going more often. She was once a day as well and went twice today. Me, loose still and three times today.

We also had some raw ice cream tonight. I made three cups of banana, blueberry (which is a favourite around here) and we each ate a cup of it. Around 8pm I had seven dried figs. I am still stuffed, but not uncomfortable and it's almost midnight.l am wakeful, calm, and preparing for a work day tomorrow. I also want to get to my pilates/yoga class tomorrow night. I love that workout and it's great to get out and moving. I am also looking forward to starting the Sun Run training program at a local rec centre here on Sunday. Running is something I have enjoyed in the past and feel that my body is so much lighter now that I will have greater success at it as well.

In Happiness. Goodnight.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Day One - Daily Green Smoothies

I was so excited to get started with daily green smoothies that I was up without the alarm this morning. Seems just thinking about green smoothies has given me more energy! Usually I don't eat much early in the day. I drink mostly water in the mornings and then eat just fruit after 11am until I get into heavier and denser foods in the afternoon. That wasn't the case though, today.

In Victoria Boutenko's study, the participants drank one quart of green smoothie a day. My goal is to drink two quarts of green smoothie a day. Really I'll be blending two of my meals each day, as they can be very filling!

Here's how I started the day:

Weight 139.5 lbs.
Smooth skin

Due to a dentist appointment I ate earlier than normal. My first green smoothie of the day. It was about 9:45am when I drank it. Delicious. Here's what I put in: (All are raw and organic unless otherwise stated)

3 bananas
1 cup of frozen strawberries
1 bunch of black leafed kale
1/3 of a box of organic baby greens
2 cups of water

Blended it into a deliciously green smoothie. So while I am drinking this my kids start to take interest in what I am eating. They were snacking on mango and bananas at the time. Well, I couldn't keep them away from it. They LOVED the green smoothie! I teased them saying "Don't drink all my smoothie!!" They then sipped even more up the straw. Then they were both trying to get more. Good thing I made five cups, as they drank one and I got to have the other four, keeping with my "Quart" quota.

I went to the washroom a lot this morning. Lots of liquid in...but also some colon cleansing as well. I won't go into detail though!

Usually I am quite nervous at the dentist office, I don't like the chemicals that are used and sometimes get a headache from the smell in the office. I did notice the smell right away, but didn't get the headache. I also usually refuse x-rays and flouride as I am not a big fan of either. If I continue to eat right, and eat lots of greens then I feel I don't need these things. Anyhow, got a cleaning and wasn't nervous at all. The kids did amazing as well.

I didn't get hungry until after 2pm so that's when I had my second smoothie.

2 bananas
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/3 tub of baby greens
2 cups of water

Again, the kids were begging for me to let them drink to their hearts content. They left their lunch behind after about a half cup each of this smoothie. They loved it. I'm so thrilled that they are excited about drinking these. My daughter never tried one before today and my son only like it if there was pineapple. Today both have gone outside their zone and loved it.

We had such a smooth day today. Life was great, positivity all round. The kids played well, they ate raw veggies before dinner. My daughter ate plain celery, which I have never seen before. My husband didn't drink any green smoothie today, but he went to the store looking for snack food - Nacho chips, and pop - and came home with nothing. He had them in his hand and then chose to put them back and came home, ate raw almonds and some fruit. Not the greatest combination he tells me - something I talk about a lot with my own meals. Look at all the positive changes already and we're on day one of these smoothies...

It's 11:15 pm. I am alert, wakeful and full of energy. I noticed a couple of things today. I went to the washroom more than my usual number of times. I had what looked like a burn on top of my hand (same thing and place I got during my juice fast in Sept.) for about 4 hours. It is no longer there. I had a mild headache in the mid afternoon, but it wasn't hardly noticeable and went after I ate dinner. For diner I had one avocado mashed with a handful of grape tomatoes, half a cucumber chopped up, with some celtic sea salt and lemon. I didn't go to the cupboard for a "honey lollipop" (scoop of honey on a spoon). I had some figs and raw ice cream as a snack in the evening. Much better choices than usual for me. Looking forward to day two tomorrow. I'm off to start reading "The China Study".

Green Smoothie Rawvelations

Hello again! It was sunny today! For the first time in ages. I can handle the cold if it's sunny. Wow, woke up with so much energy and positive vibrations.

What an amazing three days I have had. It began with having some neighbours over for a friendly talk about raw and living foods. In order to be able to speak at a local organic store I need to be a published author (Do blogs count? I'll have to check on that one), one that's written books on the subject that they are to speak about. For me it's all about what I have read and experienced in my year (so far) journey into raw foods. So instead I am bringing people to me and opening my home to those who want to know more.

It was a small group, all ladies but what a great afternoon we had. I was nervous at first because I had never actually tried to prepare living foods for anyone and talk about it at the same time. At first I fumbled around with trying to put my mind into the two spaces at the same time but eventually found a rhythm that worked.

We started with a simple salad with Brendan Brazier's "Basic Salad Dressing" and they thought it was really tasty. I literally live on the stuff, most salads I eat have that dressing on it. Really simple. For a large salad you would use:

4 tbsp. Vega Antioxidant Oil Blend
2 tbsp. Raw Agave Syrup
1 tbsp. aple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
Celtic sea salt and pepper to taste.

Not sure on the 100% raw aspect of the dijon mustard...must make a point to check.

Then we did a green smoothie. I will talk more about these in my next post, which I will write tonight also. Green smoothies are amazing for you! They are my new favourite food.

2 bananas
1 bunch of kale
one cup strawberries (frozen)
1.5 cups of water
1 tbsp. agave

I don't usually use agave, but gave them some without the agave and then with. I would usually use another banana to add more sweetness. You can start by adding some agave and then slowly wean off of it as you get used to the taste.

After that it was time for a chocolate mousse shake. Now this is a delicacy, for sure. There are many variations that I do but this is the one I did for them on Sunday.

Sesame nut milk
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1.5 cups water (give or take depending on how thick you would like it)
Blend this and then strain out the hulls/meat of sesame seed. Put "milk" back into blender.

Add the following and blend:

2 bananas
2 tbsp. agave syrup
2 tbsp. raw cacao powder

Lastly I showed them how to make a raw cookie dough with variations. Handful of favourite nuts. I like to use almonds, macadamia nuts and cashews. Be sure you know your sources for nuts and seeds as most are heated in the shelling process. I currently get most of mine from they are in Naramata, British Columbia and are really quick getting your order to you!

Process the nuts into a "meal" and then add about 7 dates and process. Then I add honey, about a tablespoon or two and you process until it looks like cookie dough. Then you can add things like raisins, or coconut or roll it in coconut or process a little raw chocolate into the mix. The variations are what makes it fun. You start with the base and play with it a little to find something new.

When they left that afternoon they were all pumped about raw foods and want to eat more of them in their daily lives. That's what it's all about. Just include more raw foods into your daily life. So many of us are just slogging along eating so much cooked food that we're clogging up our system...start unclogging it! Their energy really made me more energetic and I had a hard time falling asleep later that night with so many ideas floating around in my head. And, sleeping isn't something I've had any trouble with since going raw. In fact my sleep is the deepest, most sound sleep I have ever had. I am finding I am needing more now than when I first went raw...perhaps it's because the last three weeks of December weren't 100%?

I've been 100% for January so far and it's really working for me and I'm feeling that raw high that I have been missing over the holiday. In face I have had so much energy that I've been able to stay up later at night to get some reading done.

In fact I was sending some information to one of my guests that Sunday night only to find that Matt Amsden had written to me. His RAWvolution raw recipe book has been so inspirational to me. I included his book in my blog regarding some raw resources I have used. He took time out of his busy day and wrote to me, saying he was flattered I had mentioned his book. Talk about humble and down to earth. Even how he comes across in the book he seems like such a great guy. If I remember correctly, he's also Canadian born. Yay Canada! Thanks Matt for making my day!

This also made it real to me that this isn't just some diary that I am writing here under lock and key. It's a living document that I put out there and people read it. It's a resource guide for family and friends who want to include more raw in their diets. It's out print, for everyone to see.

Then on Sunday night I also began reading Victoria Boutenko's book "Greens for Life". I really enjoyed her books

Raw Family: A true story of awakening

12 Steps to Raw Foods: How to End Your Dependency on Cooked Food

"Greens for Life" is a book that I ordered a couple of months ago. Sounded interesting but I didn't make the time to read it until this week. Funny how I have been thinking that my raw diet needed some fine tuning. I was eating and craving too many sweet foods and wasn't eating enough greens. I had started juicing again (more on that in a future blog when I explain the second half of 2007) since the beginning of 2008 and if I made a smoothie, it always had some greens in it. Neither of these were daily habits though.

Victoria Boutenko so eloquently describes the benefits of greens in our diets, be it the standard diet, a vegetarian diet, vegan, or raw vegan. She wants to see people incorporate more greens in their diets. An easy, tasty way to do this is by drinking a green smoothie. In her book she talks about the "Roseburg Study" where she had participants drink 1 quart of green smoothie a day. They were not asked to change one thing about their diets, although many did and felt it was a result of the daily green smoothie that they were ingesting. It changed them, their thinking, their habits, and their patterns. Most saw improvements in many aspects of their health and their lives. Could such a simple drink do this?

I want to see if I can reduce my sweet cravings, improve my eyesight, totally alkalize my body, see a reduction in gray hairs, and feel super energetic, waking up with lots of energy before the alarm clock. All of these things were mentioned as results some of her participants experienced in that one month of drinking green smoothies. SO....

For the next 30 days I am going to make green smoothies a daily habit. I will use the blog and youtube to record my progress.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Raw food resource books

I've done a lot of reading in the past year and thought I'd put in a list of books that I have read and found useful in my raw journey.
Fit for Life 3: The New Path to Vibrant Health

Fit for Life 3: The New Path to Vibrant Health

by Harvey Diamond This is the first book I read that really opened my eyes to the natural healing power of our own bodies. It also advocates eating lots of raw and living foods and giving the body's digestive system a break every so often so that the body may heal any issues.

The Raw Life: Becoming Natural in an Unnatural World

The Raw Life: Becoming Natural in an Unnatural World

By Paul Nisson

I liked his down to earth talk about raw and living foods. He tells about it all. This was the first place I found any negative information about raw foods. Teeth and hair issues. Usually they can be minor and overcome when following a well rounded raw diet.

Sun Food Diet Success System

Sun Food Diet Success System

by David Wolfe.

This is my raw foods "bible". I read it in three days. It isn't just about the food, it's about the lifestyle. A must read for anyone heading in this direction. Very motivational!
He also wrote:

Nature's First Law: The Raw-Food Diet

Stephen Arlin

This is really hard core raw food thinking. I liked it. Got it out of the library three times before I was ready to read it through. The first thing that caught my eye was that every chapter ends with the sentence: "Cooked food is poison". It's a hard thought to swallow, being that we have grown up eating the stuff. Why would our parents want to poison us? Well, they didn't know any better. It is a really good read. Take it for what you may. I like these guys.

Raw Food Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow
Raw Food Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow by Matthew Kenney, Sarma Melngailis, and Jen Karetnick

Beautiful book, it really had some amazing recipes. They are all a little too gourmet for me but I get the book out of the library every so often to try one of them. The photos are amazing and these two are beautiful people too!

RAWvolution: Gourmet Living Cuisine
RAWvolution: Gourmet Living Cuisine by Matt Amsden

Love this book, would love to meet the author. His book is really well written and it is the book I use the most in the kitchen. I LOVE every recipe I try from this book! The Raw Coconut Fudge is a family and friends favourite around here!

Raw: The Uncook Book: New Vegetarian Food for Life
Raw: The Uncook Book: New Vegetarian Food for Life by Juliano and Erika Lenkert

Very informative. Good recipes.

Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids right
Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids right by Joel Fuhrman MD

This book is a must read for every parent out there. Spread the word! Excellent book, also one I have in my personal library! I really liked how it was put together as well as the recipes in the back.

Juicing For Life
Juicing For Life by Cherie Calbom

Wish I had this book when I did my juice fast, I would have had more fun trying out different combinations instead of the steady ones I had every day. Great ideas for juice combinations as well as suggestions regarding which types of juices are good for what types of conditions you may be experiencing.

The Complete Book of Raw Food: Healthy, Delicious Vegetarian Cuisine Made With Living Foods Includes Over 350 Recipes From the World's Top Raw Food Chefs
The Complete Book of Raw Food: Healthy, Delicious Vegetarian Cuisine Made With Living Foods Includes Over 350 Recipes From the World's Top Raw Food Chefs by Lori Baird and Julie Rodwell

Got this book off of a Craigslist ad. There are so many stories of healing in this book, it was inspirational in my going raw as well. The recipes are from raw foodists worldwide. Great variety!

Ani's Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes
Ani's Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes by Ani Phyo

Another beautiful person and beautiful book. I really enjoy trying out different recipes from this book. It is another staple in my home kitchen library.

The Raw 50: 10 Amazing Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Drinks for Your Raw Food Lifestyle
The Raw 50: 10 Amazing Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Drinks for Your Raw Food Lifestyle by Carol Alt and David Roth

Fun book. Lots of recipes to try. Realistic, some include raw animal products which I do not use, but most are vegan.

12 Steps to Raw Foods: How to End Your Dependency on Cooked Food
12 Steps to Raw Foods: How to End Your Dependency on Cooked Food by Gabriel Cousens and Victoria Boutenko

This book talks about how cooked food is an addiction. There are ways to overcome this addiction and that's what they talk about here. I really like the Boutenko family and their work. Currently I am reading another one of her books called Green for Life.

Green for Life
Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko

Haven't read enough to comment yet. Will add more when I've read it!

Eating in the Raw: A Beginner's Guide to Getting Slimmer, Feeling Healthier, and Looking Younger the Raw-Food Way
Eating in the Raw: A Beginner's Guide to Getting Slimmer, Feeling Healthier, and Looking Younger the Raw-Food Way by Carol Alt

A great recipe book. I absolutely love preparing live foods. Never did like cooking and these kinds of books inspire me to eat raw and prepare raw foods for friends and family. Again, some do use raw animal products, but many are vegan.

Raw Juices Can Save Your Life
Raw Juices Can Save Your Life by Sandra Cabot

Great book on juicing. Lots of ideas about what types of juices to use to help you heal from anything that may ail you.

Dr. Gillian McKeith's Living Food for Health
Dr. Gillian McKeith's Living Food for Health by Gillian Mckeith

Really enjoyed her show on T.V. called You Are What You Eat. She also has a book by the same name. She is no nonsense and gets people to eat more living foods in three months than they did in their lifetime pre Gillian! She's rough around the edges but has a good heart and a lot of great information for those who read her books.

You Are What You Eat
You Are What You Eat by Gillian Mckeith

You Are What You Eat Cookbook
You Are What You Eat Cookbook by Gillian Mckeith

Dr Gillian Mckeiths Ultimate Health Plan
Dr Gillian Mckeiths Ultimate Health Plan by Gillian Mckeith

You Are What You Eat
You Are What You Eat by Gillian Mckeith

Didn't realize I had read so many of her books. I do enjoy a lot of her recipes and made many of them during my transition from junk food to whole foods in late 2006.

Raw Food Life Force Energy: Enter a Totally New Stratosphere of Weight Loss, Beauty, and Health
Raw Food Life Force Energy: Enter a Totally New Stratosphere of Weight Loss, Beauty, and Health by Natalia Rose

The Raw Food Detox Diet: The Five-Step Plan for Vibrant Health and Maximum Weight Loss
The Raw Food Detox Diet: The Five-Step Plan for Vibrant Health and Maximum Weight Loss by Natalia Rose

I have these two books in my library as well. There is a lot of information about food combining and raw and living foods in these books. I really liked reading them and my family enjoys many of the recipes from these books.

Raw Food Made Easy: For 1 or 2 People

Raw Food Made Easy: For 1 or 2 People

Jennifer Cornbleet

This has some great recipes for smaller portions.

Raw Truth: Art of Preparing Living Foods

Raw Truth: Art of Preparing Living Foods

Jeremy Safron

Informative with some more great recipes.

Eat Smart, Eat Raw: Creative Vegetarian Recipes for a Healthier Life

Eat Smart, Eat Raw: Creative Vegetarian Recipes for a Healthier Life

Kate Wood

Naked Chocolate: The Astonishing Truth About The World's Greatest Food

Naked Chocolate: The Astonishing Truth About The World's Greatest Food

David Wolfe

I am currently reading this book as well. More info to follow.

There's some reading to get you started. I have many others and will post them in future blogs. Do check your local library before purchasing the book. Some second hand stores will carry some of these as well. I waited months for some of these books to come available at the library! They are popular reads. Once you've read the truth about raw foods, you'll be tempted to try them. Once you've tried them you'll wish you'd known sooner. But you know now and it's what you do with that information that is so important. Once you have felt the energy, vitality and positive energy of raw and living foods pulsing through your body, you'll never want to go back to your old eating habits.

Begin your journey in to raw and living foods today!

Eat Raw, Live Well.

xo Melinda

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The 100% raw Adventure of a Lifetime!

That's me at the Taste of Health Conference in Vancouver.
Me and Matt Monarch of Raw, Angela Stokes of and me. More about that experience later...

It's the 9th of January, 2008. I've had a great day playing with the kids, cleaning up around the house and getting ready for a day of work tomorrow. I work only two days a week outside of the home (goodness knows I work my butt off around here too, but the pay isn't as good) teaching grade 6 & 7...but that's another blog entirely!

We've had really cold weather here this winter. It snowed again today, but turned to rain fairly quickly. I love winter, though many complain about it. I love the cool crisp days, the soggy, wet ones and especially the snowy ones. Growing up on the Wet Coast (Vancouver) we didn't have many big snows, but each one we did have is still etched in my mind as something special. Making snow angels, snowmen, sledding, skiing and getting stuck on snowy roads, especially the ones leading to Simon Fraser University are all great memories.

I also remember all the food that I relate to winter. Oatmeal, hot apple cider, hot cocoa, turkey dinners, mashed potatoes. My memories are really built around the foods eaten at certain times of the year. Maybe that's why on my raw adventure I have found my first winter a challenging one. But let's start at the beginning.

I weaned my son and started 100% raw all in the same day. Talk about an emotional roller coaster! I had read a lot about raw foods, and established a personal "raw food book" library of sorts in our living room. I had no idea what and how I was going to eat, just that it would no longer be cooked. There were all sorts of recipes I was looking forward to trying. My husband did most of the cooking in our house (in my pre-raw days) so I really had only myself to prepare food for. Of course my plan was to get my family to eat raw as often as possible as well.

Again, I wish I had blogged or kept a journal of that first month especially. In the first days I noticed many things. I had to go to the bathroom often due to the increase in fibre and liquid in my diet. I had terribly bad body odor, bad breath and yikes, just stunk in general! How terrible for my poor family. I knew that it was all a part of detoxing the toxic waste materials out of my body, so took it all in stride. My eyes were gunky (sorry can't think of another word to aptly describe it) and my body was a mixture of tired and energized throughout that whole first week.

Once I got over the first week (lost 7 pounds also) things seemed to flow for me. Eating raw got easier and easier for me as time went by. On a typical day I would eat the following:

Fruit smoothie for breakfast.
two bananas
cup of strawberries
cup of blueberries
1.5 cups of water and blend it in our Vitamix.

I would switch up the fruits depending on what looked appealing on shopping day; mangoes, papayas, apples, pineapples, blackberries, raspberries, etc.

I would then eat a fruit snack sometime before lunch. I also found that I was hungry more often in the first week, but as the weeks progressed my hunger also came less often. Maybe I was finally fulfilling the nutritional needs my body had so craved in the past!

Lunch was usually a salad or more fruit, or a combination of both. I was eating more than ever and still losing weight and feeling great. I was so full after I ate each meal but never felt that tired or over stuffed feeling that I used to get.

I did experience a few negative things, but attributed them to "healing crises" and got through them with the belief that what I was doing was good for me. I experienced diarrhea (why does that word not look right?!) for six weeks straight. My body was finally able to get rid of all the nasties inside my colon and took full advantage of this fact. After those initial six weeks it was like someone flicked a switch and my intestines settled and I never experienced irritable bowel again. I forgot what a regular visit to the bathroom was supposed to be like!

I also experienced some skin problems in the first couple of weeks. Once it was a sore on the top of my right hand. That lasted only about six hours though. I also had acne for a couple of weeks but then it healed and my skin never looked better. It was an amazing transformation from what I had experienced in the initial four months of 2007.

In the first month I lost 20 pounds and got lots of comments from friends and family about how I glowed and looked great. People at work could still not believe that I was doing this and had kept it up for a full month. I continued 100% raw through June and July as well. I had one healing crisis when I could not get out of bed for about 12 hours. I had chills, terrible shakes, no fever but felt like I could throw up any moment. It was the worst experience I had during my raw journey. I had not felt this bad in a very long time.

Once you feel so great, feeling badly is that much more dramatic! Again I believed in what I was doing, fasted on water for the duration of this terrible episode and it was over just as fast as it began. No one else in my family experienced anything like this so I do believe it wasn't a flu bug or anything, just my body recovering and healing something.

During my bootcamp workouts, people were always commenting on how skinny I was getting, on how fast I had become in the runs and how much energy I always had. They saw this transformation for themselves, but when I talked to them about what I was doing, they all believed that they could never do that. If you had told me what I'd be doing a year before I would have never believed you. Eating this way will come to you naturally when you are ready. I always said I wished I had discovered this way of eating earlier. I actually had been exposed a few times earlier in my 30's but never entertained the idea that I could eat that way before now.

I really enjoyed the success I was having, but noticed that I was still craving sweets like crazy and also started to crave cooked food like crazy. This would be about mid August 2007. It was a very challenging time. My husband is a great cook and since I became a raw food eater he has become more vegetarian in his cooking. He makes these great smelling foods and I had a hard time resisting them in late August. So in the last two weeks of August I ate some cooked food. At first it was terrible. I suffered the next day with loose stools and headache or felt as though I would vomit sometimes. I did this a few times and it wasn't so bad as time went on. Why would I do that though? I tried to remember how I felt so I wouldn't venture into cooked foods again but still it didn't stop me every time.

One night in late August I was at a party and my friends asked me to try her lasagna. She was pretty adamant that I try it and I should have resisted the peer pressure, but in the end I did try it and it tasted amazing. I ate more and then binged on a bunch of cooked food that night. I woke up feeling absolutely terrible and as though I could not eat at I didn't. I actually gained about 7 pounds in those two weeks and decided that cooked food was clogging up my body. I needed to make a drastic change.

I didn't feel like eating so I said I would start eating when I felt hungry again. Well, it didn't happen that day. I drank water all day on Sept. 1st. I also drank water all the next day and still didn't feel hungry. I thought that something may have been terribly wrong, but believed in the process. The human body will not eat if it needs to heal. I drank water only for five days. I did feel a little hunger on day three and day four but it was not a strong feeling to eat. I did a lot of reading about water and juice fasting in this time. I needed very little sleep as I was not having to process anything at night. I felt light and amazing really, and day four was like a euphoric high.

Then everything came crashing down on day five of water fasting. I took the kids on a skytrain adventure for the day and things were o.k. but I noticed that I had a very short temper, and things seemed to be stressing me out fairly easily. Very different to the day before. Then I experienced some chest pains while we were at the opposite end of our journey. We got through our day and things were o.k. but by the time I got home I felt I may need to go to the doctor to see about the chest pains. But I didn't want to do that so I decided to juice up some greens and see how that made me feel.
It made me feel somewhat better, and I rested in bed all that evening and through the night. I juiced more in the morning, but still felt on edge even though the chest pains were gone. I was stressing out. Maybe it was because it was my first day back at work after the summer vacation. Maybe it was the food related argument I had with a relative. Maybe it was a combination of many things but I just didn't feel good that day. I came home to juice at noon, and juiced all evening. The fog began to clear.

I juiced all the next day and although I had some detox symptoms like bad breath and a coating on my tongue and body odor, I was starting to feel amazing again, like day four on water. I felt so full of life and positivity. I felt so good after a week of juicing that I decided I would continue until I felt that I no longer wanted to juice. After two weeks I made my second visit to the colon hydrotherapist. She made me feel great. Said I looked and seemed well for someone who had not eaten solids for two weeks. The whole process was amazing. I could not believe that solids were still coming out of my system this far into a juice fast (feast really, I was putting more nutrition into my body this way than I ever could by eating the food) In fact I had solids come out on day 4 (of water only) and then day 11 (seven days into juicing) and more later on as well, I just don't remember when. The colon hydrotherapy was perfect, as many detox symptoms come from too many toxins dumping into your colon and the colon not being able to exit them fast enough so cleansing this way is perfect for those wanting to speed up and keep the cleansing at its peak level.

I ended up juicing for another two weeks after the colon cleanse. I was on a total high, it was amazing. Euphoria is about the only way to explain it. I was so motivated to get things done, had the energy to do the things I wanted to do, I was commonly called the "Energizer Bunny" during this period of time. I didn't understand why everyone around me was so bored, tired, lazy and sick all the time. Of course I's what was fueling my body. I was allowing my body time to heal and regenerate. In that month I lost 25 pounds in 31 days. That's a lot of weight to lose.

Then I started to lose my hair. I did a lot of research on this one as well and it seems that when you lose a huge amount of weight in a short amount of time you will begin a hair loss cycle as well. I am sure it is to do with the amount of toxins being released, as well as the out with the old, in with the new type of idea. I have since been told by my doctor at my annual physical check up that this is totally normal and that it's a two year cycle, so by fall 2009 I should be back to where my hair was before I began the juice fast. I hope so, as I am finding it difficult to style and wear it much shorter now than I ever have. It isn't totally noticeable to anyone but me and those that know me well. Still it will be nice to have thick hair again.

I had now, by Oct. 2nd 2007 lost a total of 60 pounds since I began my raw journey in January of that year. I did realize though that some of it would come back on when I began eating solids again. At the end of my juice fast I wasn't sure how to go about breaking it so I watched a lot of Angela Stokes' videos on youtube. I was glad that I did, there were a lot of good ideas about juicing and such on them.

I attended the Taste of Health conference in Vancouver at the end of September while nearing the end of my juicing adventure. Can you believe that just a few short days before I was to end my juicing month, that Angela herself was to be speaking at this event. It had not been advertised, as they (her and Matt Monarch) were a late add on but what sweet serendipity. The universe conspires with me when I eat well and this was just another one of those examples where I refuse to believe in coincidence! I needed something and there it was landing at my feet. I saw them speak and got to talk to her afterwards and even swapped a few emails regarding breaking the fast. She is great and so down to real. Got some photos with them as well! They wouldn't post here so they are at the top of the post!

I also got to see Aaron from Gorilla Foods. Check them out 422 Richards Street in Vancouver and soon there will be a sit down restaurant close by there as well. It's the only full on raw food restaurant in the Lower Mainland that I know of. Main Squeeze in Maple Ridge offers some raw food options as does Sweet Cherubim on Commercial Drive. I believe that there is still a small raw cafe at the back of the organic veg grocer on Commercial as well, I can't remember the name right now. Oh, and Sejuiced is also great for raw juices, freshly made!!

Anyhow, Aaron is great and makes amazing food. I try to get out there at least once a month to treat myself to some of his spectacular creations! Do try to get there yourself if you can. He has a website as well.

He did a great presentation on the Sunday making some great food that I could not try at the time due to the juicing regime but boy did it look good! Guacamole, wraps from the dehydrator, lots of great stuff.

I was so psyched. I'll write more about my breaking the juice fast and what came after that in another posting. I could talk forever about this stuff!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Let's Begin...

How to start...simply. New year, new ambitions, fresh starts, fresh beginnings. It's how I start every year. One year ago I began my adventure in eating a more living foods diet. I only wish I'd started my blog then to record everything I've experienced. Instead I am beginning now, which is perfect timing as I'm ready to blog now, and wasn't ready back then.

Over the last year I have lost 50 pounds eating this way, healed myself of a number of ailments and discovered the life I always knew I was supposed to live. The weight was put on over the course of about ten years, but mostly in the last five while being pregnant, and mothering my two children. Instead of focusing on me I focused on them. I was so careful how I introduced foods to them and what I allowed them to eat, helping them to make healthy choices, all the while making unhealthy choices for myself.

Weight, possible blood pressure issues, stomach ailments, a kidney stone, a lump in my breast (eventually found to be benign, but only after 7 weeks of worry and testing), lower back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety, pms, unfocused thinking, were all a part of my life a year ago. Some had been around a long time, while others were newer concerns. Who wants to live like that? Certainly not me. I knew that I had to do something drastic to change the course of my life and where it was heading.

When the doctor gave me meds for a stomach problem and said that it may be a lifetime of taking them, I asked if there were any natural way to deal with the issue. He flatly stated no. Now I like the guy and all, but I was not about to start down the slippery slope of medicating myself daily. So began my search to prove him wrong...I was going to become my own doctor of sorts and it was then that I began to read about health.

The first book I came upon quite by accident, in the fall of 2006. A book by Harvey Diamond called "Fit For Life 3". It hit home as it was all about eating mostly raw foods, fasting for short periods, and drinking fresh juices to avoid breast cancer. Due to my earlier scare, and the fact that my mother had breast cancer eight years before, I really connected with what was being said in the book, and it seemed to make sense. The body is designed to help itself if only we let it.

In his book he talks a lot about other like-minded individuals, and a lot of them are raw food enthusiasts. I had heard about raw foods from my sister and also knew that Woody Harrelson followed a living foods diet. I had seen his movie "Go Further" on the television sometime about a year earlier...but thought - "Who could live only on uncooked foods, how boring and difficult". He did make it look interesting however and it intrigued me but didn't motivate me to try at that time.

Everything comes to you when you need it. Raw food has been trying to make its way into my life for a while. I never liked to cook, but really enjoy preparing raw food meals, treats, juices, smoothies, and other culinary delights. I spend more time in the kitchen now than I ever have and actually enjoy being there for a change! So I made up my mind in December of 2006 that I would go for it and go all raw in January of 2007. I then proceeded to eat the worst food available for the next three weeks, through the holidays. I ate everything I felt I would miss...cookies, brownies, naniamo bars, french fries, scrambled eggs, jelly bellies, toast, cereal, anything full of refined carbs. It was terrible. I felt awful; was moody, emotional, angry, tired, and unsatisfied. Guilt plagued me. I knew better but was still putting this crap into my body. By the end of this feasting I had gained another 7 pounds.

New Year's Day 2007. I decided to go 100% raw. Wow, how empowering to make that decision and stick with it...for four days. I felt light when I woke up in the mornings, I felt headaches as detox began to happen, I felt good and bad but knew it was all for a great purpose. Then I got scared. I was still nursing my son and noticed a tremendous change in his stools. They were foamy and yellow. I knew that my detox was affecting him as he wasn't sleeping right, and the foamy poop. It scared me enough to deviate from my original plan. After four days and a visit to the naturopath - who told me that I could not eat like this with my stomach problem as it would cause more problems than good?! I ate raw until noon and then cooked after that.

The headaches went away, but I did get terrible acne on my face, and some skin issues elsewhere but from all I'd read this was perfectly normal. I also didn't smell very good for a few weeks, breath, body odor and otherwise. But basically nothing really changed except the fact that I ate fruit until noon every day. I varied it by having smoothies, or fruit salad, or just munched on a few bananas. I ate when I was hungry. At first that was very often but as my body adjusted I was eating less and less while feeling satiated.

Although I was eating raw until noon, I was not eating a healthy, balanced diet otherwise. I went back to eating my unhealthy foods, and tried my best to eat well, but my intentions did not match my actions. This along with my body trying to detox to get rid of the nasties put me in the perfect position to get sick, which I did. I got bronchitis. I never had a cold, it began right in my chest, left side (I felt it the night before I began coughing). I used to get bronchitis every year as a child and also as a young adult in university. I had not had a bought with it in many years and was surprised when it came about. I had read though that when detox occurs it can rid you of seasonal illnesses and I feel that this is what happened here. That is only my belief, not a proven fact.

I was viral for most of the time but twice (after eating really badly for a few days) became bacterial. Fever and chills racked my body but still I was not willing to change my eating except fruit until noon, which I did faithfully. I did notice though that my energy levels through all of this were especially high in the mornings, no matter what amount of sleep I had the night before. My coughing was not as bad in the mornings, and the light bulb finally went on. I was feeling better in the mornings because of how I was eating! Of course I was!

In April of 2007 I decided to try eating raw until 3pm. Which I did and again noticed that my coughing was subsiding - finally after two months of it! My energy levels remained high and when everyone at work was complaining about how tired they were at the end of the day, I would be wondering why they all felt that way and why I didn't. It was an amazing epiphany. Finally the puzzle was put together and I knew what I had to do. It was now time to begin 100% raw.

I read a lot on which was my favourite resource on line to begin with. They are my sentimental favourite as so much of what I read there motivated me to go 100% raw. They also have a Raw Daily Inspiration that you can sign up for, I highly recommend you do. It is a family of 7. Their five children are gorgeous and the family is 100% raw. Their stories are very inspirational.

So it was that I had my birthday at the end of April and out came the "cake". A mound of raw veggies piled high and on top the candle. I had also made a raw blueberry pie for us to enjoy. It was a great night. I ate well, and didn't binge like I had the last time.

May 1, 2007 marked the start date of my 100% raw adventure of a lifetime. More to come on that in my next post. I think I am going to like blogging, it is cathartic in a way. Until next time, eat raw and live well.