Saturday, May 31, 2008

Day 5
(updated through out the day)

Starting Weight: 159

Current Weight: 157.5

Today's Exercise: 1 hour Wii Fit

Today I ate:
-My weight in frozen grapes
-dried fruit
-salad: lettuce, broccoli, carrots, onion, red bell pepper, sun flower seeds (not raw), w/ raw dressing (honey, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sea salt)
-1 piece dark chocolate (not raw)
-1 caramel
-1/2 piece of birthday cake
-3 cheetos
-4 pieces of pepperoni
-gRAWnola, honey, almond milk

OK, the good news is that since I am trying to do this 30 day raw shindig, I am eating much better than I would otherwise. The bad news is, that I didn't do very well over the week-end. We went to a birthday party with hotdogs, hamburgers, chips, soft drinks, potato salad, cole slaw, cookies, and birthday cake. I came out relatively unscathed with 1/2 piece of cake and 3 cheetos. But then, tonight, the hubby orders pizza!!! I only ate 4 pieces of pepperoni (not slices of pizza, just the pepperoni), and found myself highly grossed out. That has never happened I am considering that progress. :)
On the bright side, my worst day now looks like my best day a few months ago.
Definite progress.
Onward and upward!

Friday, May 30, 2008


I needed some humor this morning, so I decided to try on all my jeans. I am currently wearing a 12, but they are getting pretty loose (yay!!). I don't have any pants in a 10, but I do have 2 pairs of jeans in a size 8, which I can't wait to wear again. So, just for kicks, I tried them on. The good news: I was able to get them buttoned and zipped. The bad news: my muffin top was no longer singular. Not A muffin top. More like a baker's dozen muffin top(s). Hmmm. So, I can see that in just a few pounds, I am going to need a pair of size 10's. I want to buy two pairs of pants. One of them being jeans. Here is the criteria. Dark wash. Not high rise, but not low either. A slight flare in the leg. Not very expensive. Do you have any suggestions?

I am thinking I will buy them when I hit my pre-Landing weight (152 pounds), or, when I hit the 140's. Maybe in the next couple of weeks?

Let me know. What are your favorite jeans?
(Updated throughout the day)

I am going to spend part of the morning preparing some raw foods to have on hand for whenever a hunger pang strikes. I need to cut up and freeze my mangos, wash and freeze grapes, cut up some carrots and bell pepper, etc. So far, I have really only wanted simple raw foods...fruits and veggies in their natural form (or frozen), other than the occasional afternoon "ice cream". When I want something a little different, I may make some sun dried tomato hummus, which is yummy, or maybe this taco salad. For now though, there are so many variations of salad and raw salad dressings, that I am happy with that. Plus the many flavors of green smoothies. When I am hit with a craving or want something sweet, I have satisfied myself with frozen grapes, raisins, "ice cream", or hot tea with honey.

I really need to get back to exercise. I want to pick up running, which I have dropped for the last few weeks. I have done 30 minutes on the Wii Fit, which surprisingly, can get you breaking a sweat pretty fast, if you want to, a couple of times this week.

Potential pitfalls today: dinner for the family (either tacos, or crab legs and corn on the cob) and carnival food (we told the kids we might take them to the little carnival in town). Funnel cakes are my nemesis!

Starting Weight: 159

Current Weight: 157.5

Today's Exercise: 30 minutes on the wii fit

Today I ate:
-10 ounces smoothie (strawberry, banana, water, spinach, honey, flax seeds)
-1 waffle fry
-strawberries, gRAWnola, honey
-steamed veggies and rice
-bag of cotton candy
-4 bites of funnel cake
-4 pieces of caramel
-frozen grapes

Well, I guess I can change "potential pitfall" to "actualized pitfall"...yea...the carnival was definitely trouble. I did OK at dinner, considering that there was not a raw item on the menu. I had the steamed veggie plate with rice. Water to drink. As for the cotton candy and funnel cake...well, there just aren't any excuses. **sigh**

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 3
I am so excited to see a 1.5 pound loss on the scale!! It makes me soooo much more motivated to be really mindful about my eating today. Yesterday went great, except for the one teensy piece of french toast and I am hoping to be 100% today. Charlotte and I are going to make that yummy salad again from yesterday, so I am really excited about that. The hardest part for me today will definitely be dinner. I am making tacos for the family. I am going to make a walnut "meat" for myself, and have it on salad. Hopefully, it will be satisfying enough to ignore the tacos! More later...

Starting Weight: 159

Current Weight: 157.5

Today's Exercise: ---

Today I ate:
-16 oz. Smoothie (raspberry, banana, spinach, honey, ice, water, ground flax seeds)
-same salad as yesterday. Wasn't as good today, but it was nice to eat with friends!
-Raspberry "ice cream"*
-3 fries**
-2 chicken nuggets**
-2 bites of key lime bars**
-lots of frozen grapes
-hot tea with honey

Observations: OK, so I didn't make tacos tonight. The hubs and I ended up having a date night and we went to a movie and dinner with some dear friends, the Barnes. So, I bought the kids Wendy's, which they haven't had in some time. I was RAVENOUS, and in a period of, oh, 30 seconds, I had wolfed down 3 fries, 2 nuggets, and 2 bites of key lime bars before I came to my senses. I threw out the rest of the bars, I was the only one who liked them anyway, and I am not supposed to be eating them!! So, that is my 30 seconds of shame for the day. BUT, I do think I (mostly) redeemed myself because...
we went to the movie, and the hubby asked if I wanted popcorn w/ butter and sprite. NO!!!! So, I munched on frozen grapes through out the movie. And, because I didn't want the junk, Matt didn't get it either. I handed him a handful of frozen grapes and he looked at me skeptically...then said "hey, these are really good!" and ate half the bag. That, my friends, is some serious progress. Then, the four of us went to Longhorn. It was late, almost 9 pm, so I didn't want to eat too much. I ordered a side garden salad, without croutons, cheese, or tomato, dressing on the side. I asked them to add extra cucumber and bell pepper. I always dip the end of my fork in dressing, and hardly use any, so I allowed myself the honey mustard, which is my favorite. I also ordered a hot tea with honey.
As we were eating, I looked at everyone's food...steak, sauteed mushrooms, salmon salad, hamburger, fries, bread and butter...and at my small salad and realized that none of what they were eating was tempting to me. Nothing on the table was more appealing than my little plate of salad. And it was so nice to not feel controlled by food!! I enjoyed my salad, then sipped my hot tea as everyone finished their meal. I enjoyed the fellowship and the conversation and the tea.
And, a big difference I notice between cooked and raw food, is even if I eat a healthy meal of cooked food, I usually leave the table feeling too full and kind of you want a nap. I never feel like that with raw food. The salad was satisfying and took away the hunger but I didn't have that kind of icky bloated feeling.
I am kind of liking this raw food thing...I am not doing perfectly, but I am feeling great about the progress I am making. I don't know that the scale will reflect well for me tomorrow, since I did eat that fried junk and I didn't exercise, but I do feel really good physically and mentally.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

DAY 2 (this not-great picture was taken with my phone of the lovely bowl Charlotte gave me, with the last few bites of yummy salad)
Starting Weight: 159

Current Weight: 159

Today's Exercise: 30 minutes on the Wii Fit

Today I ate:
-1/3 slice of country wheat bread (from the bakery) french toast*
-salad of lettuce, carrots, greek olives, leeks, and a delicious raw dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and honey**
-Lots of frozen grapes!!
-16 oz. smoothie (raspberry, strawberry, banana, spinach, honey) Yum!
-GRAWnola (sprouted, deydrated grains), with almond milk***

*I know, I know!!! Obviously, NOT RAW!! What is wrong with me? OK, I know what is wrong with me...I am a BIG TIME mindless snacker. I was on the phone, cooking breakfast, took a bite...and another...and another. Man, it was good though.

**Charlotte made me the most delicious, wonderful salad. We were at the Raptor's Center and having a picnic. And, Charlotte, being the sweet friend that she is, made me this wonderful salad and served it in the most beautiful wooden bowl, which she GAVE ME!! She is a great friend. **Love you!!!** That salad was delicious. And it is so much easier to eat raw, when others are eating what you are eating...and when they are supportive. So THANK YOU, Charlotte!! You are too good to me!

Today has been a much easier day of eating for me. For one, I stayed busy and occupied all day (Charlotte and the kids came over and we moved furniture...our favorite past time, when we are together! Ha!). And, I wasn't in the kitchen all day making yummy food for everyone else. I can see that is going to be a big obstacle, unless I figure out raw foods to make for myself that are just as yummy and enticing as the cooked food I am making for everyone else.

***This gRAWnola with raisins, honey, and almond mylk was delicious! It was so satisfying, and a nice change from fruits and veggies. The gRAWnola is sprouted grains (wheat, barley, lentils, etc.) dehydrated. The almond mylk is not homemade, so I am sure it has been pasteurized, and thus not really raw, but it was great in a pinch and is so delicious! I hope to make my own soon.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Today is day one of my personal 30 day raw food challenge. I am looking forward to seeing how my body changes over the next 30 days. Hopefully, at the end of my 30 days, I will have an "after" picture to post that looks significantly different than my "before" pictures! :)

One of the things that really drew me to raw foods, was the lack of guilt. No feeling bad over that milkshake, those chips. If you are eating a raw foods diet, all the foods you eat are healthy and fresh. Just eat it, be thankful for it, and move on!! Even the delicious raw ice creams are nothing more than pureed frozen fruit. But, as much as I enjoy a way of eating that is simple and freeing, sometimes (type A firstborn personality here) I want to have rules and guidelines and checklists to follow. I am fighting the urge to put those boundaries on this 30 day challenge. Despite my best attempts, I do have a few guidelines that I will loosely follow.
I will eat whenever i am hungry, regardless of the number on the clock.

An exception to this will be evening. I will do my best to not eat after 7 pm, so my food has the whole evening to digest.

I will try to exercise before breakfast, when possible.

I will not create awkward social situations or hurt feelings over my diet. If we are at someone's house for a meal, I will eat what they have prepared, and will be thankful for it. I will not feel guilty about what I eat in those situations, though I will make the best choices possible from what is available.


EXERCISE: 30 minutes on the Wii Fit :)

-Tropical Smoothie (pineapple, mango, banana, ice, water, ground flax seeds, spinach) 12 oz
-3 Handfuls of frozen grapes, my current snack love
-salad with mixed veggies
-key lime bar*
-roasted veggie lasagne**
-pound cake**
-wheat bread (1/2 piece)**

*12:58: The key lime bars, left over from our Memorial Day cookout, were on the counter. I was talking on the phone to my mom, when I suddenly realized that I was standing at the counter with a spoon, eating the key lime bars! Arghh!! I was so caught up in the conversation, that I was eating without even meaning to! This mindless eating is another bad habit I want to kick to the curb. Already, only half way through the first day, I have spit cooked food out of my mouth at least three times. A chip, grabbed off my 5 year old's plate, discarded cheerios from the baby's high chair. Key lime bars while on the phone. I didn't mean to eat any of it, nor was I thinking about it when I did. It was there, I was preoccupied, and I ate it. Just shows me how often I am not fully present. Hmmm. Food for thought.
**Well, day one was certainly not clear sailing. My parents and Matt's parents ended up coming over for dinner...they brought apple pie and pound cake. I resisted the apple pie. I made roasted veggie lasagne, a huge salad, and wheat bread from the bakery. Yeah, I have my work cut out for me with this raw for 30 days thing. Dinner is definitely going to be the make it or break it point everyday, because I am cooking for the family. I can see that I am going to need to find some fabulous raw recipes that make me excited about eating dinner. Or, I am going to have to cook things that my family likes but that don't appeal to me. Roasted Veggie Lasagne will not be one of them, b/c I LOVE it. Here is the recipe, in case you are curious.
So, this is supposed to be a raw blog, and after three days, I have already posted two recipes for cooked is going to be harder than I thought.
But, all things considered, when I did eat cooked food, it was small portions. If I hadn't been trying to eat raw, I would have been pretty happy with how I ate today. I would say I ate about 75% raw's not 100%, but I can do better tomorrow!

Monday, May 26, 2008


Articles like this haunt me. It is impossible to even comprehend what is happening to hundreds of thousands of people at this very moment all across Africa. As I am writing this, countless mothers are watching their babies die of starvation, and are helpless to do anything about it. I can't even begin to imagine facing something like that.
I have an entire blog dedicated to learning to eat better, less, making wiser choices. I feel so self absorbed. No, correction...I AM so self absorbed. Every day since I read that article, a week ago, I have thought "how could I ever overeat again, knowing what I know about what is happening in the world? How can I complain about having weight to lose, when I know that people are starving right now?" It feels so heavy. I want to do something, anything, but the need is so much greater than anyone can fathom. Yet, I know that the magnitude of the problem is not license to ignore it.
So, I take little, feeble, insignificant steps. I have given up meat. The cost of grain around the world is soaring. It takes a lot more land and grain to raise a cow, than it does to raise crops in the same amount of space.
And I pray for those people who are suffering so horribly. This article from John Piper was encouraging.

I was talking to our Pastor's wife yesterday, who also struggles with food issues. She said that the food crisis in Africa doesn't change the personal struggle that she has with food. Obviously, what the people in Africa face is a level of hardship that most of us will never know. But we were not born into that. And our struggles, though tiny, by comparison, are real too. Making wise eating choices is hard. Not running to food for comfort is difficult. We don't have to be ashamed that our struggles exist, just because they aren't as big as someone else's.
I really appreciated her perspective, because I do feel so, so guilty about struggling to eat healthy, delicious fruits and vegetables rather than junk food, when so many struggle to even find water.
I ask myself: "What impact does my overeating have on people in other parts of the world"? Alone, very little, I am sure. But what about our nation? We are a country of overeaters. How does that impact people in Ethiopia?

So, while I struggle with what I eat and the emotions that go with it on a day to day basis, I also struggle with with the bigger issues of having so much while others have nothing, of being thankful, of keeping a proper perspective, of taking responsibility to do what I can, no matter how small, regardless of how great the problem.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Why Raw?

You might wonder why I, or anyone else, would choose to eat all raw foods. You might think it seem very radical, or weird. Or restrictive. I know I thought all of those things when I first heard about the raw/living foods lifestyle. But then, I read Alissa Cohen's Book, Living on Live Foods where she addressed the idea that eating raw and living foods is "radical". Essentially, she asks the question "Why do we think that eating foods in their natural state is radical, but we don't think that taking prescription medication or having to have surgery (for various preventable illnesses) is radical?" Eating a raw foods diet has been known to cure many diseases, including cancer, candida, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, etc. Is is more radical to be put to sleep and cut open, or to eat fresh fruits and vegetables? When it was put that way, it made a lot of sense.

I have done many diets. Weight Watchers, South Beach, low carb, low fat, blah, blah, blah. Many of them did help me lose weight. But none of them changed the way I felt on the inside. None of them curbed my cravings. None of them gave me more energy. Raw food does. I didn't have any real health problems to start with, but even I noticed a radical change in my body. My hair was shinier and softer, my skin was clearer, I had more energy on less sleep, my PMS symptoms disappeared, and I lost weight.

One of the main arguments people offer up against the raw food diet is "how will you get enough protein?". There is protein in plants. And, I would have to ask, where do you get your protein? From meat? What did that chicken eat? Or that cow? Were THEY meat eaters? No, they ate plants! So, obviously, you don't need meat to have protein. I am just cutting out the middle man! :)

If you want more information on the raw food diet, check out some of the links on the right.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

I am not officially kicking off my 30 days raw until Tuesday, yet I am already making excuses and justifying having "a little cooked food" every now and then. Wow. I know it is going to be hard. There is so much wrapped up in our food habits besides food. Emotions, cultural and societal rituals and expectations, habits, etc. When I started eating a high raw diet, about 10 weeks ago, that was one thing that really surprised me. I would consider myself to be a pretty stable major drama in my life. I don't have any childhood trauma to work through. I have a healthy marriage. So, when I was warned that eating raw would bring lots of "issues" to the surface, I just kind of brushed it aside. And sure enough, within just a few days, I begin to see so many "issues" that I didn't know I had. How I use food to comfort myself, when I feel tense or stressed or tired. How much I eat just because others around me are eating, or because the clock says it is dinner time, even if I am not hungry. I eat for so many reasons, other than for nourishment.
Another thing I really love about eating raw foods is that there is so much less to think about! I have used Weight Watchers very successfully in the past and think it is a great program. However, one thing I didn't like about WW is that I thought about food all the time. Counting and banking the points, planning ahead, looking up foods, etc. The more I thought about food, the more I wanted to eat. With raw food, it is all good for you. If I am hungry, I can get an apple or make a smoothie. And ENJOY it, without worrying about how many calories are in it. Because the more raw you eat, the less you want junk. Your body craves more and more of the good stuff. And you don't overeat. Portion control seems to happen naturally. It is weird. It is like your mind and body resets itself in regards to food.
I am going to have to keep reminding myself of all this, and how good I am going to feel because right now, 30 days is seeming like a looooonnnnng time. And all I am thinking about is what I WON'T be eating...rice and butter and bread and sugar, oh my. I am going now to drown my worries in a mango spinach smoothie...there are those darn food issues again!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Stats and History

Age: 27
Height: 5'5"
Ideal Weight: 125-130
Current Weight: 159.5
Background: I have given birth to 3 children, ages 5, 2, and 1 (in June). I started out my first pregnancy at 132, which at the time, was the heaviest I had ever been. I gained 55 pounds during my first pregnancy, and the day I delivered, weighed 190. I only nursed for 3 months. At the end of 3 months, my weight was 164. I joined Weight Watchers, and 9 months after I had given birth, I weighed 135.
Over the next 2 years, my weight crept back up, and when I got pregnant with my 2nd son, my weight was 152. I gained 65 pounds during that pregnancy and on D-Day, weighed 219. Yikes! I nursed my 2nd son for 10 months, and at the end of that time, weighed 164 pounds. That same month, I became preggers with baby #3.
I gained 45 pounds with baby #3. 4 months after he arrived, I was back to 164 pounds. I didn't lose another pound for 6 more months. In fact, I gained back 4 pounds, to end up at 168. 10 weeks ago, I was turned on to raw food by my friend, Sara. I immediately started drinking green smoothies every morning and incorporating a lot of raw foods into my diet.
The changes were remarkable. My skin cleared up. I had more energy on less sleep. My cravings subsided. PMS symptoms disappeared. And I lost 12 pounds! And then I fell off the bandwagon. The end.

...Just kidding. I gained back several pounds. I am currently at 159. And am recommitting myself. I really want to change my lifestyle. I want my family to be healthy. My kids eat pretty well, and their diets have improved a lot since I have started incorporating more raw foods. My husband still eats really poorly. Since I started raw 10 weeks ago, I have become almost entirely vegetarian (with the exception of some occasional seafood). I have also given up most dairy. I still eat a little cheese and butter but no milk or yogurt.
I think it will be easier to go 100% raw now than it was 10 weeks ago, now that I have given up meat and dairy. I am going to really miss these though. Man, they are good. You should try them.

My plan for the next 30 days is this. To eat 100% raw. All raw, all the time. I will probably slip up some. But that is OK. It is a process. I will post here every day, recording what I ate and how I felt. I will be including pictures, recipes, and links. Maybe a video or two. My hope is that by having this site to be accountable, that I will do better than if I just did it on my own. Plus, after the 30 days are over, I will have this documentation to look back and see what worked, what didn't, and to learn from my successes and failures.
What do I hope to get from this? First and foremost, I want to live a healthy life. As the person in our family who provides the food and nourishment, I need to be a good example and prepare foods that will keep my three growing little boys (and one grown hubby) as healthy as possible. Secondly, I want to lose weight. I would like to be at 130 again. I am in the process of weaning my baby, and hope that with that, and eating raw for 30 days, I will be a lot closer to the 130's than I am now. Thirdly, I want to feel my best. I want to have clearer skin and more energy. I have lots to do (like everyone else!). I have 3 small children. I have a house. I have a hubby. I have friends and family. I am homeschooling. I want to have energy and vitality to do it all!
30 days. I can do this.

I just saw Bunny Berry's 40th day post, and weigh in. She has lost 16 pounds in 40 days. I am going for it. All raw for 30 days.
It's not a long time.
And I am posting before and after pictures.

Of me.

In a bathing suit.

I thought it was only fair that I warn you.