Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm DIZZY for you, but who the heck AM I????


Heck, i'm smiling NOW that i'm resting in bed....but when I got out of bed at 8:30a.m., I discovered i could barely keep my balance and felt incredibly dizzy. I figured it was just the way i got out of bed, and that it would certainly abate, but it didn't. My head swam like i was on a rocking ship, but I was in my bedroom, having a hard time gaining equilibrium.

I had hurt my ankle yesterday missing a step going downstairs and my achiles tendon ouches. Can THAT cause dizziness????

I called Arnold to explain i'd be late to work, and called the Doctor. I see a holistic practitioner.

The Physician's assistant was able to see me and determined my blood pressure was very low. 105/60. She suspected i was severely dehydrated from the diarhea i had for 2 days.

Luckily, my coworker, Megan, was able to get another coworker, Kim, to come in early to the cafe' to rescue my shift, so thankfully, i am able to stay home and rest, which is what i'm doing.

I still feel 'off kilter'. The doctors assistant explained that the 'd' could have been a stomach virus, that there has been one going around, and that dizziness following a virus is common. Maya, Arnolds daughter, was sick with 'd' the other day. Did i catch a virus?

Arnold doesn't believe in viruses. Along the same lines, i tended myself to believe the 'd' was from the binge at work on Friday. The body tries to rid itself by whatever means it can of whatever it doesn't want in it! But, whatever it is, or was, I don't feel good. :-(((

~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


3 peaches, 1 handful grapes, 1 large herbal tea unsweetened.

LIQUID: The dr. suggested Gatorade to replenish the fluid. I know it is not raw, containing corn syrup, but, i was hoping it would help, and it was a suggestion from a holistic dr. I knew it wasn't ideal, but also wouldn't kill me. 1.5 large gatorades.

BREAKFAST: chocolate "icecream": 4 frozen bananas, cacao, agave, 1 tsp cashew butter vitamixed

LUNCH: 1 salad of: red leaf lettuce, fresh jersey tomato, crisp cucumber, cilantro, red onion, 1 heaping Tbsp nutritional yeast, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp tahini, water, a little tiny bit of sea salt, fresh chopped garlic. This was tasty, and leaning towards the gourmet, but not entirely 'dark grey zone'. There was minimal salt in it and very little olive oil.

Yet, my tummy doesn't feel that great after eating it.

Fruit DOES always make my tummy feel good. It's so easy to digest. I suppose fattier things are more challenging to digest. I must remember to take some enzymes later. i have to sing tomorrow.

SNACK: 1/2 medium watermelon. Was hungry.

DINNER: 1 salad of red leaf lettuce, fresh ripe tomato, 1/2 crunchy cucumber, red onion, chopped fresh garlic, chopped cilantro and fresh basil, 1 Tbsp of cashew butter, 1/2 lemon's juice, 4 shakes of sea salt

SNACK: strawberry banana shake with agave. was NOT hungry at all. cliff wanted one and i wanted it, too. i don't think this is working. there are going to have to be SOME boundaries. Hunger, at least.

Leaving the door open for 'gourmet' is scary. I'm afraid i'm being 'bad' all of the time. I wanted this salad, so i ate it. [for lunch] [i also wanted it for dinner....and felt so scared afterwards...what am i doing to myself? i think i'm going to gain weight.] I had initially made the raw tahini dressing for Cliff, and served him 1/2 of it yesterday on a falafel. But decided i, infact, wanted the other half today. [i made more for dinner] I was genuinely hungry and yes, it was all raw, and yes, it did taste good. Not mind blowing. [i was not really hungry for dinner] It didn't have nearly enough salt to blow my mind. [the dinner one had enough salt...it was good...but i'm terribly troubled by my attempt at moderating, and i feel i'm stepping over boundaries left and right and, though, yes, it tastes good, what good am i doing to myself if i gain weight?]

But, still, i feel guilty for enjoying a little bit extra fat at lunch, and extra bananas and agave at breakfast. [and dinner and the snack i had no hunger for]

Plus, I don't really feel good, dizzy still, and am a little worried about that, too. [i feel better now]

AND no walk. [no walk still] [this definitely won't work without walking. i can't just eat because and expect to lose weight...and add in more fat, salt and even more bananas and not expect to gain.]

Being on the straight and narrow is much easier to cope with. Being in the grey is....complex...and not here and not there. I don't know if i'm gaining or losing. [i think i'm gaining]

That's WIERD. [that's awful and i feel out of control. it's total insanity to look at my meals and see meals and snacks and to feel out of control. i really have an eating disorder]

Maybe i'm not doing EITHER. [i think i'm gaining]

Maybe i'm just BEING.

THAT is Ultra Le Strange. [i'm not sure it's good]

Am i a dissappointment? [i feel dissappointed in myself. i'm confused and feel out of control]

If i'm not losing, who am i? Am i boring? Where is the drama of losing? Or the drama of gaining? Do i just miss THE DRAMA???? THE EXCITEMENT? [all i feel is fear and worry]

Grey is an awful BLAH color! [this doesn't feel very good]

The last time i was weighed at the drs office i weighed 398. Today i was 255 dressed. Very exciting.

More later. Don't get bored - something wowy kazowy is bound to happen!!! Maybe Chicken Little is falling from the SKY!!!

Heck, if i'm not losing 15 lbs in a week or my hair is falling out in clumps or i'm gaining 23 lbs in 2 weeks, what am i, like, ....invisible??? Maybe life doesn't always have to have such DRAMA!

Stay tuned...

xoxo michelle joy

Scenes from Grants Pass, Oregon, Wedding Footage, New Article, New Raw Wedding Pic!

Beginning Raw Vegan Weight: 425

Beginning Blog Weight: 277

FRIDAY, June 26, 2009 WEIGH IN (new weeekly weigh in day): 250 lbs

Total Blog Loss: 27 lbs in 4 weeks! (i was mistaken that it was 5 weeks, this is the fifth week)

NEW GOAL: 249 - only 1 lb away!!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Good morning, ma dear ladies! How are you all today? I continue to receive such fine wonderful emails and look forward to highlighting them in future blogs! Keep talking to me, my girls! I love to hear from you!!!

Above are scenes from Grants Pass, Oregon, where i stayed with the wonderful Morris family.

The first is a photo of adorable Johnathon Morris. You can check out his mom's new blog at http://www.mydailyrind.com/ Shawna is a raw mom and documenting her journey!

Next you will see one of Shawna and John's poodles! This is Dillon! He is apricot colored. There are 2 other poodles, Bonnie and i can't think of Bonnie's brother's name. Is it Zoe? They are all rescued dogs, so sweet! I would have NEVER thought poodles were such great dogs!!!

Next you will see the 'Sunshine Cafe'. Never say you can't find good raw food wherever you go. You must seek it out! The Sunshine was a wonderful wonderful resource. A health food store with a salad bar, yay, and a juice and smoothie bar, yay. I had it made. i got a fresh salad, they even had nutritional yeast at the dressings area, wow, i sprinkled yeast, lemon juice and cayenne and lemme tell you, yummo. i ordered a huge carrot juice with greens and other veggies and a banana and blueberry smoothie, no milk, no nothing, just fruit and water. it was fine. really great!

The last shot is a vista of beautiful Grants Pass, Oregon. Southern Oregon is gorgeous! I highly recommend a trip there!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I awoke at 4:30a.m. and have not been back to sleep. Oh well!

Off for a walk very soon and to meet my darling Cliff on Main Street after his bicycle ride. This supportive exercise relationship has rocked our world and is the BEST thing we could have ever done. Cliff even is renovating the house, too! He finally has energy to do it!! My new blue bedroom is looking gorgeous and i'll soon show pics of what a great job he did. He ripped up the linoleum floor last night and exposed a beautiful wood floor beneath. Exciting!

I work today, so the question of the day is: how will i handle the food at work? Okay, here is the plan:

a) i will not restrict bananas,
b) i will keep the fat low and keep things salt free, fruit and veggie based for the bulk of the day
c) i will probably make a green smoothie
d) if i feel i need a gourmet meal, i have several options:
- i can add more fat or a little salt to a meal i make
- i can have a bag of kale chips (under 400 cals)
- i can have one awesome foods meal
- i can have ONE gourmet arnolds way meal (pizza, cheesesteak or cheeseburger or wrap or soup or raw dessert, seated, eaten slowly, savored and enjoyed. I will sit with this and experience anxiety and panic, BUT will keep calming myself. it will not escalate into a binge. I will report back.


Here are a few new additions you might enjoy!

NEW ONLINE ARTICLE featuring raw chef michelle

YOUTUBE WEDDING FOOTAGE (ceremony part 1 and 2) with michelle joy singing

INTERVIEW WITH MATT MONARCH before raw wedding (about 4:10 into video)


Much love to you all,
xoxo michelle joy

Monday, June 29, 2009

Moderating....and Letters from Women!

Michelle Joy in the redwood forrest of northern california, right outside of the border of california and oregon!
Beginning Raw Vegan Weight: 425

Beginning Blog Weight: 277

FRIDAY, June 26, 2009 WEIGH IN (new weeekly weigh in day): 250 lbs

Total Blog Loss: 27 lbs in 4 weeks! (i was mistaken that it was 5 weeks, this is the fifth week)

NEW GOAL: 249 - only 1 lb away!!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hello, my dears! Here was my day!

1 very large herbal iced tea

Exercise: 50 minute walk to town and back. What a fun treat to walk myself to the supermarket, buy a few things, meet up with Cliff and have him motorcycle my purchases home while i walked home. Empowering!

Breakfast: 2 big glasses of dark green smoothie. I drank 1/2 of this entire amount: 5 bananas, 1 tray of icecubes, 1 big head of dark green dinosaur kale, 1/2 cup water in vitamix.

Lunch: zucchini spaghetti with tomato/red pepper sauce with fresh basil and cilantro and 1 heaping Tbsp of nutrtional yeast. Chocolate 'ice cream': 3 frozen bananas, 1 tsp of cashew butter, agave, 2 heaping tsp of raw cacao powder in Vitamix

Snack: rest of green smoothie

Dinner: left over zucchini spaghetti with tomato/red pepper sauce with fresh basil and cilantro. Black raspberry pudding: 3 frozen bananas, 1/2 tub of black raspberries, glurg of agave, 1/4 cup of water in Vitamix. yum.

Moderation is an EXPERIENCE
I'm freeer with the bananas and am eating them basically whenever i like, and it's nice! I didn't experience any GUILT today and actually felt quite a surge of HAPPINESS to be doing this new focus on living in the GREY and being more MODERATE with my diet in an attempt to stop BINGE eating for good. Instead of fits of very extreme DIETING followed by insane raw food BINGES.

I don't know WHAt those extra bananas will do to my weight this week, but having the focus SHIFT to DOING WHAT I NEED TO DO TO NOT BINGE rather than QUICK WEIGHTLOSS has drastically changed not only my behavior, but my outlook. I realize that in MODERATING, i may actually lose MORE WEIGHT than i would have had i succumbed to insane out of control BINGES. Then last binge had me ingesting the equivalent of 5 or so entire gourmet raw meals. If in moderating my intake, i take in LESS than that, but actually ENJOY it, savor it, feel good about it and exercise and make great choices as well, i may actually ULTIMATELY lose MORE weight than i would had i given into binge eating.

Also, I really SAW, WITNESSED that extreme deprivation CAUSED a binge at work. I SO WANTED to have something a little comforting, such as a whip or a banana smoothie, and had i ALLOWED myself that, i may very well have averted that last binge just a few days ago.

Today as i drove home from my singing rehearsal (i have a performance on Wednesday), i was hungry. I considered driving 30 mins to Whole Foods to pick up a raw gourmet "Awesome Foods" pre-made entree. http://www.awesomefoods.com/ We sell "Awesome Foods" at Arnolds Way and they are definitely in the 'treat' category as they are rather high in salt and fat, but many of them are totally yummo. I truly considered driving to get one. Then i considered how it would be hard to chose just ONE because usually when i eat these entrees, it is usually a binge. I don't remember ever just chosing ONE and having that be OKAY or enough or have it end there. That will be an interesting exercise one of these days to just get ONE and have to SIT with that!!!!!!!!!!

i thought of the pesto pizza, it's good, mine is better, but it's good. It is VERY rich, however. And i thought of the very salty flax crackers which are a real favorite and i thought of the jicama 'sourcream' and chive chips and i wanted them all.

Then i thought of my bloated fingers this morning from the Lydia's crackers and how i'd be ever MORE bloated from the salty flax crackers or a salty entree. I am a salt FANATIC, and having LAID OFF OF SALT almost COMPLETELY for the last 4 weeks has taught me to 1) get used to salt free food and 2) love not being bloated. I retain water INSANELY.

Then i thought about the fat/salt free spaghetti i had leftover at home. i enjoyed it for lunch, so decided to have the rest for dinner. I made myself another banana based dessert and enjoyed it. I was hungry!

My problems with Reflux Laryngitis also crossed my mind tonight in considering an 'Awesome Foods' dinner. As they are fatty, they aggrivate my reflux. Since i have to sing a concert on Wednesday, i thought it best not to aggrivate my vocal cords from reflux.

Checking in like this was interesting. I don't think i was doing so much of this before.

So, i ended up having extra bananas today, 1 tsp of cashew butter, agave a few times, cacao, and no salt. That was a very 'GOOD' but slightely more moderate day i have been having. And i had a walk. So, i'm livin' in the GREY zone, baby!!! Today felt totally light GREY. The day with the crackers was MEDIUM grey. If i'd have an 'Awesome Foods' entree, or a cheesesteak at Arnolds Way, that would be DARK GREY and i'd have to do a LOT of SELF CALMING i think to just SIT with that and not allow it to escalate to a binge. Isn't that NUTS??????!!!!!!

Sooooo many of you are writing in with binge eating advice, stories, experience. I'd love to share with you all what i have been reading and what these fine women are experiecing and sharing.

FROM Ellen
"I had been a binge eater for most of my life, but not long after you and I had been [first] in touch [several years ago], which happened because we both shared the binging, I decided to just NOT diet any more and stopped weighing myself. I let myself eat everything that I wanted and GAINED a lot. This went on for over a year. I gained over 20 pounds.

Amazingly, ever since then, even though I do watch what I eat and focus on healthy organic and natural unprocessed foods now and lost the extra weight, I DON'T binge anymore. I overeat sometimes. But it's a different animal. Lost is the urgency to stuff and stuff and promising that I'll start again tomorrow. And I am continuing to lose weight. Very slowly, and I believe permanently. I'd like to weigh about 160. [I weigh 190 and am 5"11]. I think that's reasonable and even though I always felt I was fat at that weight, I think it is better to be comfortable and be able to eat normally. Starvation is my set up to binge."

From Talia
"I am so proud of you, you just don't know. I think it is a great idea that you are going to weigh in weekly instead of daily. Also, I think it is imperative that you allow yourself some "indulgences"...that way you won't feel so repressed and eventually may not even want those "indulgences"...but knowing that they are available if need be is going to prove to be very comforting in my opinion.

Please remember to be gentle on yourself and kind to yourself. We are always taught to be kind and considerate to others....but often times we overlook that we have to be kind to ourselves also. Love where you are right now and enjoy the

From Shawna
"Raw food is helping me gain a greater sense of recovery. However, like you, I am still learning what raw foods I am addicted to. I was so excited to find raw food because I thought I could eat everything and still be healthy and eating disorder free! That picture of the gorgeous Carol Alt on the cover of RAW 50 ( I think that is the name of the book), with a huge bowl of ice cream, is such a tease! Maybe a raw foodie without an eating disorder can eat that big bowl of raw ice cream, but not this one! I can just see the ice cream and whatever else I binged on swirling down the commode. . .a little graphic, but true!

I bet an alcoholic raw foodie cannot indulge in raw wine! I bet there is apart of an
alcoholics disease that tries to lie to them. . .tempting them to taste the wine. . .just as certain raw foods tempt a food addict. Maddening, huh!?! I want to eat that big bowl of raw ice cream and be free of the anxiety that would follow, but I am not that developed as of today. That's why I would love a raw food support group. One that wasn't telling me to eat cooked food and work through the discomfort! One that let each individual determine what they were physiologically addicted to. . .wouldn't that be awesome!

I don't even fully understand my disease. So it is hard to expect a non sufferer to
understand. Black and white addictions are easy to understand. . .ex. never drinking alcohol again. . .I am not saying they have an easier recovery process, just more black and white. We must eat every day for life. . .so we have to learn to moderate the very thing we abuse. . .not so black and white, is it?

I am happy you did not gain weight. Bodies are beautifully complex...maybe some in-ate wisdom was protecting you! Maybe God gave you grace because of all your hard work and giving through your blog. . .who knows? For me, I cannot weigh in daily! I am addicted to the scale. . .it could lead me to restrict which then leads me to binge. . .Honestly, I think daily weighing may be a little difficult on your spirit, simply because of the complexity of the human body. Maybe one day it decides to hold onto a little extra water weight, not because you had yummy namo shoyu the day before, just because of something in the cosmos. . .this could be upsetting. Maybe you don't gain weight even though you know you abused food. . .could this lead you to abuse again? Just some thoughts to ponder. When I was on the eating disorder clinic I got weighed in backwards in a hospital gown. As a result I still am scale leery. I try to focus on how I feel verses what the numbers lead me to feel. I become obsessed with numbers like demon. . .ya know how OCD food addicts can be!

I send you so many thanks. I thank God for finding your blog! At first I just wanted to read all about you, supporting and loving you as a fellow eating disorder sufferer, and not do any work on myself. I was hiding from myself seeking a false comfort from my eating disorder. I have bunches of muck to work through. Your strength and determination is inspiring! You are Joy!

I want to tell you I made it through my first 100% raw day yesterday! I even made through without a night time binge purge session! This is a huge leap for me! Today I must take things one minute at a time. . .I cannot let the eating disorder lie to me or comfort me. . . your blog helped me make this leap! I am sending you peace and love!"

From Glenda
"Thanks for the tips on how to go raw correctly. No wonder, I felt bad. I was going about it the wrong way. By the way, the fruit cup was one of those Del Monte naturals. I had purchased the Bolthouse [flash pasteurized juices] because I was desperate to try to get as near to raw as possible. Yes, you were right the Bolthouse was expensive. I won't be buying it anymore. Yes, again I was hungry grumpy and starving. I'll take up your idea of mostly fresh fruit and salads. Thanks for the idea of a big salad and then a tuna sandwich and the watermelons, I hadn't thought of that.

I've lost 10 pounds since I've last talked to you. I've also suffered the last 10 days with a terrible case of gout. It is finally abating so I can get to the doctor. I wonder if the gout was a part detoxing, since I haven't had gout in a while. I'm so happy that the cravings are becoming less and less. Watermelon has become my favorite friend along with pineapple and peaches. I eat one regular meal a day. I really feel good, in fact I feel great."

So grateful for all you! Want to hear from more of you!!! Thank you also for all of the COMMENTS! I hope to respond to them soon!!!! So sorry it's taking me so long!!!

xoxo michelle joy

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I can't believe how late it is! 2:15a.m.

Cliff is sleeping. And i'm feeling semi wide awake.

We did somethin' nuts tonight....we went to the movies and stayed for a triple feature!!! We watched "The Hangover," "The Proposal," and "Angels and Demons."

I'm having a hard time mentally processing my food today...and being 'okay' with it. Isn't that CaRayZEE???? Boy, it's really apparent i have an eating disordered brain.

When i follow a certain plan, say, 80-10-10, and follow it perfectly, there is a certain....peace in that, i never have to second think anything, i never have to feel guilty about anything.

When i binge, it's such an overblown event that there's a certain peace in that, too.

But, a day like today, kind of 'moderating', living in the 'grey' is curiously COMPLICATED for me.

After recognizing there have been weeks in my past blogging where i ate many many bananas, i kinda just went with WANTING more bananas and, so, i did that.

Then, at my moms house, i was so hungry. I really felt like having a salad. All she had was iceberg lettuce. And i wanted dressing on it, so i moderated, took only a tiny bit of olive oil, no salt, lime, herbs, a few spritzes of balsamic vinegar. It was good. But i was still starving. I had some raw Lydia's crackers at my moms, i wanted them, so i ate half a bag, which turned out to be 3 servings worth, 150 cals each serving. Not too terrible.

Then WHY did i have such a tremendously difficult time just SITTING with all of this moderation and having it be OKAY?

There is such an intense desire to binge.


It occurs to me that listening to myself, feeding my desires is frightening to me. Listening to somebody else and what they think i should do (80-10-10) takes away alot of the responsibility for me to be 'in touch' and 'in tune'.

If i want something and i eat it, my problem is, i'm never really sure WHICH voice i am listening to. The voice of REASON. Or the VOICE of destruction.

I second guess myself the rest of the night. Feel an irresistable urge to do harm. And have a really difficult time having 'moderation' and the 'grey' zone just be OKAY.

I feel like i'm letting myself and everyone else down. Like if i don't lose 15 lbs a week, i'm a failure. If i don't deny myself every last pleasure, i'm a failure.

I so admired watching Angela at the raw wedding eating her dinner slowly, savoring it. I scarf mine up so i can get more. Where is her guilt? Where is her empty pit, like my empty pit?

What is so frightening about pleasure? Experiencing pleasure? Why can't i enjoy it, and have that be ENOUGH?

All night at the movies, i was in and out of the bathroom. That 'D' i had last night and this morning continued all day! My stomach was gurgling like crazy and i kept having 'D'. But, since i was in the bathroom so much, i kept looking at myself in the mirror, and today i looked so GOOD to myself. Everytime i looked!

It was like, i half expected, the skies to fall down and the walls to cave in from what i ate today. OOOOoooooh, evil olive oil and raw crackers!!! YIKES!!!

You know, there was a day when ALL raw foods were LEGAL to me. I ate at raw restaurants sometimes as much as 5x a week when i was in San Diego at the raw retreat. I didn't KNOW any better then. I thought, heck, if it's raw, it's LEGAL!!!!

I think working at Arnolds Way and hearing Arnold preach about 80-10-10, plus my extreme abuse of the more fattening raw foods at Arnolds Way really kind of gave me a phobia. GOOD raw food is in ONE CATEGORY....and BAD raw food....is ALL THE WAY on the opposite side.

Eating those crackers tonight, i was like, dang, they ARE good. But, then i kept having to check in with myself. I kept feeling guilty. Kept feeling like bingeing.

I decided to write about it instead.

I think it's just....FEAR.

If i'm going to aim to NOT binge, being really strict suddenly doesn't seem all that appealing day in and day out. I was suprised at my choices today because they were not in line with what i've been doing. But, if what i've been doing has been keeping the binging alive, isn't it better to live in the world of moderation? And just learn to SIT with it?

It's definitely forcing me to go 'inside' and 'check' in with myself a whole lot more. I don't know if that's good or bad. It just 'is'.

I didn't walk today either. Can that be 'okay' as well?

I mean, what am i on, a RACE?

I swear, i am so lucky, i've been receving the most wonderful emails from so many of you and some advice i got tonight was saying, 'what's the rush?' 'can't you just STAY 250 for a while and ENJOY it?'

You know, i suppose i really COULD. I AM enjoying how i've been looking, my face looks good, my clothes look good. What the hell IS the rush afterall?????? Is that what my binge was trying to tell me????

When i started this blog, i set out to make peace with gourmet raw food and to stop bingeing, but also to lose more weight.

Can i EAT Lydia's crackers.....(a 'bad' thing) AND take a walk tomorrow (a 'good' thing)??? Can BAD and GOOD coexist?????? Or is there only GOOD FRUIT and walking. And BAD CRACKERS and NOT WALKING????

God, i yearn to be the kind of person that can take raw treats, enjoy them, and say, "ahhh, i've had enough", to enjoy a walk, to be filled with raw joy, to enjoy what life has to offer. That doesn't seem like the kind of person who would binge, does it?

I may have to keep my focus HERE for the next few days and see where this leads me. I don't think i can listen to EVERY yen and desire i have. I think i have to really operate from hunger and satiety, and just keep checking in and asking myself, 'am i hungry for that? or do i just want it?'

I experienced a lot of ANXIETY tonight about what i ate. How nuts. But maybe it will be a little frightening for a while to live in the grey zone...and then i'll get used to it. Can i actually HAVE some gourmet treats .....and still LOSE WEIGHT?????????? Shit, that would be cool.

I received the nicest email from a girl who is doing just that. Losing ALOT of weight and eating some gourmet.

I KNOW, i used to do it!!!! I don't really know how it became soooooo off limits and frightening to me. I suppose my out of control subsequent behavior with it fills me with FEAR that that's where i'll take it.

But, maybe i don't NEED to do that. Don't NEED to take it to the extreme. Can i moderate gourmet raw food? And still lose weight? And still exercise? And still eat fruit and green smoothies and do all the good things STILL too?

Let's see!


John and Shawna Morris
Mr and Mrs Monarch
Meredith and Dustin
Petals, wood chips and Flowers...a gound display at the raw wedding
Kevin and AnneMarie Gianni

Beginning Raw Vegan Weight: 425

Beginning Blog Weight: 277

FRIDAY, June 26, 2009 WEIGH IN (new weeekly weigh in day): 250 lbs

Total Blog Loss: 27 lbs in 5 weeks!

NEW GOAL: 249 - only 1 lb away!!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Good morning, dear Folks :-)) I felt a little romantic this morning, so here are some beautiful raw couples. Shawna and John Morris from Grants Pass, OR http://gotgreensrevolution.com/, http://www.mydailyrind.com/, the newly wed Mr. and Mrs. Monarch http://www.rawreform.com/, http://www.rawspirit.org/, Dustin and Meredith from Boulder, Colorodo http://www.therawseed.com/, http://hundrethmonkeyeffect.net/, and Kevin and AnneMarie Gianni, an inspiring raw couple who spoke at the festival http://www.renegadehealth.com/.

Yesterday I went shopping with my Cliff to Ikea, shopping around for a throw rug and a new sofa, we had a fun time. As we were passing the area with wardrobes, i spotted myself in a mirrored wardrobe. I said to Cliff, "Come here, hon, look at me in the mirror. I'm looking good. Can you believe it?" I stared at him in our refection, he wholeheartedly agreed and his smiling agreement was accompanied by a big hug and kiss! My face is looking slender, my bod is looking better. I don't look like i gained 10 lbs. And even if i did, he still LOVES ME and thinks i'm the biggest success in the world :-))) We will be sharing our 10th anniversary together in September.

Poopy Update
Last night i had "D" in the middle of the night, and then again this morning. That's all them nuts and raw bread cleanin' out. Only a wacko like me would see "D" as a good thing...meaning possible WEIGHT LOSS!

Secret Weigh In
I know, i know, i know what i said, but under the circumstances, i couldn't resist. I HAD to weigh myself. I set the scale to weigh 10 lbs higher than my last weigh in, and i kept having to push the weight down and down and down... I'm actually VERY excited about my weigh in. Let's just say, 2 days later, i didn't do much damage at all. How the hell can that BE? I'm just happy about it. I only gained 1/2 lb.

Support...and where it will lead!
I have been receiving such amazing letters from women reading the blog, i'd love to share some of them with you and will in the next few blogs. I'm asking for permission. So, if you do write, let me know if i can reprint it, k?

You are all amazingly supportive and it is such a HUGE help to me. We are accomplishing this TOGETHER!!! I could not do this without this blog...and a blog wouldn't be a blog unless there's YOU reading it!!! It would just be a journal and what fun is that?

I did tell you of my plans for a book, didn't i? My dream is to take this blog into a publisher after i've overcome my binge eating, after i've lost my excess weight, and i'll say, "HERE. HERE'S MY BOOK!" So, the more you contribute, the better, the richer, the more encompassing, not only of my experiences, but of yours.

So many women suffer with binge eating issues. So, i'll be asking for permission to reprint your notes!!

Yesterday i said i wanted to do an overview of what i've been doing here these past weeks and how it affected my weight:
  • WEEK ONE: -15 pounds lost. I had come off of a 2 week gourmet bingefest, so this was cleaning out. I had totally forgotten, however, that i ate zero overt fats this week, but did NOT limit my bananas. Eating at work was SO much easier like this!!! Walked daily.
  • WEEK TWO: -5.5 pounds lost. Still ate unlimited bananas, ate bananas at work and this made work so enjoyable, must remember that, perhaps to avoid a binge, just drink regular smoothies and have whips!!!, only ate fat, 1 tsp of cashew butter, on last day of week two. Walked daily.
  • WEEK THREE: -3 3/4 pounds lost. Began experimenting with limiting bananas this week, and ate overt fats instead. Walked daily.
  • WEEK FOUR: -2 3/4 pounds lost. Moderated bananas to 1-1 1/2 daily, some fat, tahini, avocado. Ate a huge gourmet binge at the raw wedding. Walking slowed down.

This was very enlightening to do. Wow. I had forgotten in the beginning of this blog journey that i ate no fats, and didn't count bananas. This seemed to produce bigger weight losses, but my hair also fell out alot more, and seemed to calm down once i added more fat in. Perhaps to lose 2 lbs a week, i can eat more bananas, yay, and still keep the fat, but keep it low, and i won't go bald in the process.

This exercise was particularly instructive in that I know now at work, i am NOT going to limit my bananas. I had such good times previously at work on the days i did not limit my banana intake. And the other day, I was very hungry and needed something MORE. If i would have just had a few more bananas, a big cacao smoothie, so comforting, or a huge whip, i might have averted a binge. I think i felt physcially bad, frustrated and just kinda snapped. I need to do whatever i can to not let these events happen again.

Basically, at work the other day when i binged, i ingested the equivalent of 4 or 5 meals in about 5 hours.

If i ever feel i 'need' something again, i should feel absolutely entitled to eat 1 meal and a dessert should i need it and be absolutely GUILT FREE. I'll need to do some thinking about the best way to handle this. Do i allow a weekly treat? A daily treat?

I'm going to do my BEST to be in touch, in tune, and address my needs in the moment. I know i did not NEED a binge. I was OUT of touch then. But, i did enjoy that whole burger on 2 slices of bread with white sauce. THAT was good. If i ate that once a week, big deal. Even twice a week. If it averts a binge, my progress will be steadier the MORE treats i eat spread out, rather than all at once. And how much did i enjoy that binge? The only thing i really enjoyed was the burger because i was HUNGRY for it. The other stuff 'tasted' good, but i didn't 'enjoy' it. So there. What is life about? Shoveling stuff in out of control to be greedy? Or enjoying raw food and savoring it...and LIFE?

Or if i just want to eat more bananas, i should feel absolutely entitled. And if i need to on those days, i can skip the fat, but eat all the bananas i want. I think that will help the binge eating for sure.

More to figure out about this, but, i'm on the right track.

I have a singing rehearsal this morning. :-)) Wish me luck. I have a singing performance on Wednesday!


  • Breakfast:A thin 'milky' shake of 2 frozen bananas and cacao with water while doing my vocalises
  • Snack: handfuls of green grapes, 2 bananas, hungry, while driving to visit Cliff's mom
  • Lunch: 2 mangoes
  • Dinner: starving. At my moms. Starving for something green. Salad of : 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce, 1/2 container cherry tomatoes, 2 tsp olive oil, 1 lime's juice, 3 spritzes balsamic vinegar (not raw), cumin, oregano. 3 Servings of Lydia's green crackers (150 cals per serving)
  • Snack: 2 bananas

    xoxox michelle joy

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Weekly Weigh In NEXT FRIDAY!!!

Beginning Raw Vegan Weight: 425

Beginning Blog Weight: 277

FRIDAY WEIGH IN(new weeekly weigh in day): 250 lbs

Total Blog Loss: 27 lbs in 5 weeks!

NEW GOAL: 249 - only 1 lb away!!



Good morning, Folks! This is me and Shawna Morris in the redwood forrest of Northern California! You know what this photo says, "We're hanging in there!" Yeahhhh!!!!! With support, we can do ANYTHING!!!! Shawna has started a new blog dedicated to supporting her raw diet, http://mydailyrind.com/ and her raw website is: http://gotgreensrevolution.com/! Shawna is THE BEST. Please support her!

I have decided to not weigh in until NEXT FRIDAY. I think this gives me a chance to psychologically overcome the damage done yesterday, still hold onto what i did lose weight-wise without 'robbing myself' of that success, at least mentally, and to come out smelling like a rose on the other side.

This is exactly what i did at the raw wedding. I overdid it on gourmet at the wedding reception, 3 plates of food, 3 peices of cake, then went home to the Morris' to have some more treats of raw hummus on bread, i was STUFFED, it was a binge. I woke up THE NEXT MORNING (unable to weigh myself which was probably a blessing as i saw no scale), and said to myself, 'okay, that was ONE day, THIS is another, and got right back on 80-10-10, as if nothing happened!

I ended up losing over a pound that week. And you know what? That was pretty thrilling.

I think expecting myself to lose a pound a DAY is a bit much...sometimes. It was definitely too loaded the other day. BREAK 250 IN ONE DAY, MICHELLE!!!!! It was like a loaded gun put to my head. Too much pressure. I buckled.

The girls at http://www.rawfoodbootcamp.com/ do it, lose a pound a day, but, dear folks, get this.......i have heard it from the horses mouth, from Carlene Jones herself, the creator of rawfoodbootcamp, and this is a direct quote from her,


Carlene has started a new experimental program with higher fat and more treats BECAUSE OF THIS.

So, if i have to go a little slower to MAINTAIN this loss, to stop the bingeing, to make weight loss less extreme and more sustained, that is what i will do. And that is all i can expect from myself as a human being.

Weight Watchers only suggests losing 2 lbs a week, afterall!

Yesterday i spotted a poster that i had made for the rawfood festival we held at Arnolds Way back in the end of May, 2009. The morning of the Lansdale Live Food Festival, I weighed 255, very close to what i weigh now. Only AFTER that, I went on that 2 week bender and gained 23 pounds back. I have finally overcome THAT 2 week setback. But, what if all along i had just aimed to LOSE SLOWER, instead of engaging in these fits and starts? 1 step forward, 2 steps back? If i had just been more MODERATE, instead of being so EXTREME and then swinging wildly from PERFECT 80-10-10 into a BINGE....i would never have HAD to gain all of that weight to be only ultimately 5 lbs LESS than i was on May 30, 2009. It is now a MONTH later and i've only succeeded in losing 5 pounds more. So, if i had gone SLOWER, i might have actually lost MORE WEIGHT ultimately.

And now that i have actually GAINED WEIGHT, i don't know how much, but i have, i'm actually NO FURTHER AHEAD than i was ONE MONTH AGO.

Whereas, if my goal were to moderate my eating and to lose 2 lbs a week, i might be 8 lbs less right now.

My point is, i'm NOT sure this extreme dieting and binging is really WORKING FOR ME. In the coming days, i would like to figure out EXACTLY what i have lost each week and see an overall picture of what i ate that week and see if i can figure how what it would take to lose 2 lbs a week, how far i can go, how much fat, etc...

I have to figure out how to be less extreme. This is the goal.

Anyway, i just feel like today, this morning, upon waking, that:

  • No, i will NOT weigh myself this morning
  • Yes, i will go out and walk. Cliff is bicycling
  • Yes, i will listen to my body today
  • Yes, i will drink a good amount of water, i'm REALLY thirsty after all of the salt
  • Yes, i plan to eat watermelon when i get hungry as, yes, i know it's very cleansing, and yes, i don't like feeling bloated by salt
  • Yes, i LIKE 80-10-10 and feel like returning to it, but NO, i don't like binging
  • So, YES, i will create, not today, but will create a SOFT SPOT to fall of ALLOWABLE TREATS so i don't binge.

Perhaps i can allow myself a few WEEKLY indulgences? Banana whips, more bananas in my smoothie, maybe 1 tsp of oil, something like that. One salty treat? I'm going to meditate of creating a list of 'indulgence' foods for EMERGENCY. Something to serve as a CUSHION BETWEEN 80-10-10 and bingeing.

I don't LIKE bingeing. It doesn't feel good. it doesn't even TASTE that good. The whole time, no, i was not in 'heaven'. Nothing tasted as good as i imagined it would, well, except the raw burger with the flax bread and the sauce. That tasted surprisingly good. Why? I was hungry. But i could have stopped there. But i didn't know HOW.

Perhaps i can add one reasonable raw gourmet meal to my EMERGENCY backup plan. Allow that, take deep breaths, no guilt, and just MOVE ON.

On 80-10-10, i eat whenever i'm hungry.

On gourmet binges, i eat whenever my head tells me i want to, or when my mouth wants to have a party.

Angela Stokes-Monarch eats when she's hungry. Sparingly. Actually, she drinks most of her calories. But when she eats a meal, she savors it, is very in tune, in touch.

THAT IS MY GOAL. If i am to eat a gourmet meal because i feel like i NEED something, dang, perhaps i actually DO, and if i eat it purposefully, with attention and savor it and enjoy it, what the hell is wrong with THAT?




Last night it dawned on me what may have preceeded the binge. I was upset about money. I had spent alot to get to the raw wedding union and i am now broke. i have bills to pay and only 300bucks in my account.

Someone asked me to sing at a party and i hesitated and explained to her that i lost alot of money at the last 2 singing engagements i did, which i did. Between lessons to get ready, flight, hotel, karaoke backtracks, taking singing engagements has been a financial drain instead of a way to make money. I was WAY upset about money.

I also had been feeling a little angry over something and creatively a little stifled, these are my own issues.

I also was NOT feeling PHYSICALLY well. In fact, before i even ate that first 1/2 of raw veggie steak, i felt faint and dizzy. I drank 2 coconut waters before i ever binged in an attempt to revive myself. I think i was dehydrated. (Sometimes THIRST can be confusing with HUNGER.)

Nevertheless, the plan today is to go back to keeping it light, drink alot, walk this morning, get stuff done in the house, straighten up the downstairs and get my suitcases unpacked, my laundry put away, to just move ON as if nothing happened, and to just weigh in on Friday.

To break 250 in a WEEK instead of a DAY seems like a MUCH SANER goal.

I love all of your comments, all of your emails. I love this blog and how connecting with myself and my own guiding light directs me, and seems to help others, and in helping others, it turns right back around and helps me. We are supporting each other. This has become a tremendous daily support that i have come to rely upon.

I want to thank you for being there for me. For listening to me. For encouraging me. For offering up your friendship. And in sharing your own stories with me, i realize that i am NOT ALONE. I love you all. We will do this TOGETHER.

: iced herbal tea, big bottle water

EXERCISE: 40 minute walk on Main Street during Manayunk Arts Festival

ACTIVITY: bought farmers market veggies and fruits!

ACTIVITY: Cleaned and organized kitchen from head to toe!!!

SN: 1 carton of black raspberries, yum

SN: 1/4 watermelon

LUNCH: zucchini pasta with fresh tomato sauce, basil, garlic, 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, a little sprinkle ginger and cumin. this was double yum.

SN: 2 grapefruits

DINNER: Giant blueberry and blackraspberry smoothie with 5 bananas and a little agave. Triple yum. So much for the banana rationing!!! IT was worth it!!

xoxo michelle joy

Friday, June 26, 2009

Flower Petals, Balloons & Sunshine Part II

Hi Folks, I just got home from work and am feeling quite melancholy. I never did walk today. Or yesterday. Cliff is not home yet, and i had a bad 'food' day at work.

This is the first 'bad food' day i've had at work since the infamous 2 week gourmet bingefest that caused me to gain 23 lbs and spurned me to begin this blog almost 5 weeks ago.

But this is actually my 2nd 'binge' in a week. I did lose control at the raw union wedding dinner. (But mostly everyone did as it was a celebration.) After my 2nd plate of food, i was satisfied, but i made the decision to go further, and once i cross that line, i have a hard time stopping. I did get back on track after that and was so pleased to actually LOSE weight that week. So i KNOW i can dig my way out of this.

Not everyone splurged that night at the raw wedding union feast. Angela Stokes-Monarch didn't. I watched her. She ate slowly, purposefully, savoring every bite. She eats very sparingly and has overcome her 'abuse of food'. For this, I admire her so. I have bought her new book 'Raw Emotions' and look forward to getting into it further and gaining lots of insights and sharing it with you.

Plain and simple, I'm a binge eater. On 80-10-10 my tendency to binge is severely reduced, so long as I stay within the parameters of the plan. What i've been doing here is really 80-10-10 for quick weight loss. It's even more extreme than 80-10-10 with the banana reduction. But, if every time i go 'off' of it and have a flip out binge, is that confirmation that i should just NEVER GO OFF OF IT, or that i need to LEARN HOW TO GO OFF OF IT?

Perhaps I need to create for myself a backup plan for those days when i just can't get myself to go in heavyduty DIET mode. Because when i begin to lose control, if i just had a safe haven 'snack' or 'snacks' i could indulge in, i might have more ability to STOP THERE. Like, say, GIVE MYSELF PERMISSION to have a huge banana whip if i need it, or a huge banana smoothie, or a raw burger in a salad. What the hell is really WRONG with that anyway??????

Not having any backup options, ANYTHING I do 'off plan' sends me off into a binge and I begin heavy into the gourmet treats, the bread, the sauces, i have a hard time stopping myself, and lose all sense of control, lose sense of my 'hunger' and 'satiety' and just kind of go nuts.

The problem is - is really that there is nothing IN BETWEEN these two extremes for me. There is 80-10-10 for weight loss. And then there's binge eating. Can there be something LESS EXTREME that i can turn to in times of need?

Is the solution NOW to create that SOMETHING in between the two extremes for myself, so that i don't have to suffer these distressing episodes anymore?

Or do i just forget it happened, get back on 80-10-10 and just deal with it again the next time it happens?

I will gain weight tomorrow, not just from overeating, but from ingesting heavy dehydrated foods and salty foods, so i'll have that extra weight in my intestines that eating mostly fruit doesn't produce, and there will be the water weight. I am going to prepare myself for a 10 lb gain. It's not 10 lbs of fat, it's food and water retention.

I was on edge today. I didn't FEEL well. And i was irritable. Work in a commercial kitchen is stressful. I was also hungry. I 'knew' i wanted to do well today so that i could break 250 tomorrow morning. That felt like a pressure. Suddenly breaking 250 didn't SEEM all that important. I just wanted to FEEL BETTER. FEEL SATISFIED. Most days on 80-10-10 i do. But i didn't today. i don't know why.

I wonder if i sabotaged myself? Am i afraid of success??

I do know that i felt hungry and that my breakfast smoothie didn't really satisfy me.

My lunch i enjoyed VERY much.

But i had a constant yen for something with more banana, with a little more fat, but i kept telling myself i knew if i ate more banana, i wouldn't lose weight and break 250.

Perhaps my 'focus' and my 'attitude' was off. Perhaps i attracted this as i kept focusing on what i COULDN'T have instead of on what i COULD.

I was minorly irritated at work, just work stuff, but maybe i wanted to 'stuff' it instead of 'deal' with it?

Was this EMOTIONAL eating?

Or is this just the doings of a FAT AND SALT ADDICT?????

I am a binge eater and I was in distress. I couldn't stop thinking about eating something 'else' all morning. I held out well and had a healthy lunch. But the thought of another smoothie didn't seem satisfying. I thought of calling Cliff. Of calling out for help. Telling him i felt like eating something 'off of my program' and that i needed support. I never did make that call.

I crossed a line, either in my own eating disordered mind or in my fat addicted body when i decided to eat 1/2 of a veggie steak. There was really nothing WRONG with that!!! It was actually a good 80-10-10 choice. it's salt free. And there are only a few cashews in it!!!! I could have easily stopped there.

But the whole mental obsession kind of took over. I sort of went on automatic pilot after that, there's kind of like this 'F this' attitude and I just wanted to eat stuff now i've been denying myself.

Fairburn's book, "Overcoming Binge Eating" suggests writing down one's food daily, which i've been doing, and documenting everything. It also suggests 'legalizing' all foods (for me that would mean legalizing all RAW foods, including fat and salt) and learn HOW to eat these in moderation.

It DOES make sense. it's what many people i know do. It's what Dustin does. He maintains his weight loss by eating gourmet in moderation. It's what Tim and Leslie do. They eat raw food in moderation. They don't deny themselves. They just keep their portions small. They've lost weight, but they don't obsess over every little bite. They don't even weigh daily. In fact, Tim, who has lost 140 lbs, doesn't weigh in AT ALL.

80-10-10 for weight loss (no salt, 1 banana, low fat) for me has felt FREEING from the NEED to learn how to control myself within the fattier saltier world of raw food. But, perhaps in skipping OVER that important step, i'll never make permanent forward progress?

I'm so ALL or NOTHING that MODERATING my intake of fatty salty raw food seems HARDER than just NOT EATING IT AT ALL. Until times like these, when i go off and go off of my plan and lose all control.

Do i get back on 80-10-10 and just forget this, like it never happened? Keep the fat low for several days and just kinda hope for the best? That is EXACTLY how i handled the raw wedding meal. The next day, i just got back on 80-10-10 as if nothing had ever happened.

Or do i juice for a few days to clean out even quicker, getting even MORE extreme as a solution?
Or do i begin a NEW PHASE of LEGALIZATION and do ala 'Overcoming Binge Eating' and just learn how to MODERATE tasty salty and fatty foods, and not concern myself so intensely with WEIGHT LOSS, start weighing WEEKLY instead of daily, come up with a food plan that includes LIMITED RAW BREAD, raw sauces, etc... DO I DARE LEARN HOW TO EAT IN MODERATION. ???? Uy. Scary.

Becoming so overly concerned with weight loss seems silly after an episode like todays because i delayed weight loss by at least a week anyway. When if i had not been so EXTREME, i might be able to enjoy fattier tasty foods IN MODERATION and just LOSE SLOWER, and I may have been able to REDUCE BINGE EATING by doing just that.

Tomorrow i'll decide what my next course of action is. One thing i know for sure is this. I will not allow this to snowball into a 2 week affair. I am nipping it in the bud with the help of this blog. And i KNOW that ultimately i will succeed in overcoming my issues with binge eating. And my weight loss continues to, with a few minor blips, move in the RIGHT DIRECTION.

Pray for me. We'll get through this TOGETHER.

~ ~ ~ ~ FOOD TODAY~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Smoothie of pineapple, peaches, mango, 1/3 head of celery, 1 Tbsp spirulina

Lunch: Chopped 'mediterranean' salad: Cuisinart S Blade chopped: parsley, cucumber, tomato, red pepper, mushroom, onion, garlic, carrot, lemon juice, zucchini. Cumin, cayenne and 1 Tbsp of tahini on top. 1 Tbsp of nutritional yeast on top. This was delicious.

Binge: [ From 3:30 until 8pm]
* 1/2 veggie steak
* 1/2 veggie steak
* 1 veggie burger
2 coconut water
1 flavored water
* 1 slice raw bread with 1/2 burger and white sauce
* 1 slice raw bread with 1/2 burger and white sauce
* 2 slices raw bread
* 3 whip samples
2 Wonder drinks
* awesome foods "spanish omelette"
* bag of spicy ranch kale chips
* slice Maya's cinnamon pie
* 3.5 oz seasoned raw germinated almonds
* 2 ms. meridith's chocolate covered frozen bananas

xoxo Michelle joy

Flower Petals, Balloons and Sunshine!

Beginning Raw Vegan Weight: 425

Beginning Blog Weight: 277

Yesterday's Weight: 250 lbs

Today’s Weight: 250 lbs

Today's Loss: 0

Total Blog Loss: 27 lbs in 4 weeks and 6 days!

NEW GOAL: 249 - only 1 lb away!!


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Good morning, Folks! Above you will see a picture of the raw wedding ceremony. The glorious Mr. "Avocado" David Wolfe, whom i adore, performed the ceremony as he is an Essene Minister of God. Who knew? The ceremony took place on a beautiful veranda overlooking everyone in attendance at the Angels Organic Farm in Central Point, OR. www.angelsorganicfarm.com

Here is the new Mrs. Angela Stokes-Monarch, the raw goddess, and me. Angela is a huge inspiration to me.

In this photo, she so tenderly reached for my hand and leaned her head to mine that i was sincerely touched. What a vision of beauty she is in this photo. She wore a dress of light green, a very earthy statement, which had a 'renaissance faire' feel about it. She had henna tattooed to her arm for the occasssion, and wore a tiara of silver and torquoise. No makeup. She doesn't need it, she is such a natural beauty. Those big blue sincere honest eyes just cut right through to your soul. I LOVE Angela. The sun was crashing through the clouds and i said to her, "I want to look just like you...and soon, i will!" Angela weighed almost 300 lbs at her highest weight and now weighs about 140. We are about the same height! If i could only be so beautiful!

I am wearing the tie dye dress i spoke of yesterday! Everyone really liked it. I felt good and fit in with the casual hippie-funky raw foodist crowd. I think i would have felt silly in my formal gown.

David Wolfe and me. OH, i LOVE David Wolfe. What a charismatic, warm, friendly person. What a wonderful and engaging speaker! David really connects with you when he speaks. You realy feel like he is looking right INTO your soul. I just adore him. And i LOVE and CHERISH this photo! God, he was embracing me and we had to wait a long time for the flash and he just wouldn't let go! I was flattered!

I dyed my hair a little darker shade and it covered up the thinning quite effectively that evening, i was really pleased with how the pictures turned out. It was nice to not look bald for an evening!!!!

The fabulous groom, Mr. Matt Monarch, and me below at the raw wedding reception. Matt is so attractive with his long curls, and i'll never forget the special way he showed his appreciation to me for my singing. After the bride and groom kissed and I sang 'Climb Ev'ry Mountain,' he turned to me with tears in his eyes and whispered, 'THANK YOU!'. It was very touching, and i felt like, i did 'good' if the groom was happy!

In the foreground, you can see one of the raw cakes! Isn't it gorgeous????!!! There were in actuality about 4 or 5 cakes to feed the 300 raw foodists in attendance. One was more delicious than the next. My favorite hands down was the coconut cream pie from "Cafe' Gratitude"!

Looking at the pictures really fills me with joy!

It was so nice to spend time with Dustin and Meredith, my friends from Arnolds Way, who recently moved to Colordo and drove all the way from Colorodo to attend the wedding and festival!!

If there is another festival next year, i am going to personally see to it that Meredith and Dustin get in on the artistic side of the preparations! Ms. Meredith could create the most UNREAL raw anniversary cake, because, people, she is THE MOST TALENTED baker and raw food chef i have EVER met! Ms. Meredith in fact had a successful fulltime business creating vegan and trational cakes in the most artistic shapes one could ever imagine. To see her creations check out http://www.tinylittleovencakes.com/. Ms. Meredith is no longer 'baking' in the traditional sense since moving to Boulder. Her RAW creations, which are her focus now, however, are BEYOND...and our little ms. thang is going to be a HUGE raw food infuence on the Boulder area. Wait until they taste HER raw cake. I swear she sneaks real cake crumbs in it, because, hers really TASTES like CAKE!!! Ms. Meredith's blog is http://www.therawseed.com/. It's my favorite blog. We will have to hire her husband, Dustin, also, to do a mural for the anniversary festival! What an amazingly gifted artist, painter, tattoo artist. Check out Dustin's blog: http://www.hundrethmonkeyeffect.net/ Forthcoming pictures to be posted of Dustin sketching during the festival, his favorite pasttime!

Here is the cute couple standing in front of the main stage area at the Angels Organic Farm in front of a beautiful shrine created from wood logs, flower petals and candles. So pretty!

I wish i could continue to reminisce, but will have to save that for future blogs!

For now, i have to get ready for work and take a short walk. I missed my walk yesterday as i got late writing. I do get absorbed and find it hard to stop!

Yesterday was slightly stressful at work, as work in a kitchen inherently is, and i so wanted to eat a banana whip or a shake with bananas in it. But, i'm really trying to break 250, so i was a good girl! Self control is so much easier on 80-10-10. Controlling myself on gourmet is a MUCH GREATER challenge. So, again, today, i will focus on my fruity, greeny, low fat, no salt, low banana diet in the hopes of soon breaking 250!! I'm soooo close!

I've appreciated all of your letters of support so very much! Looking forward to getting back to all of you soon!

xoxoxo Michelle Joy

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Back Home From the Raw Wedding!

Beginning Raw Vegan Weight: 425

Beginning Blog Weight: 277

Last Weigh In: 251 1/4

Today’s Weight: 250 lbs

Loss Since Last Thursdays Weigh In: -1 1/4

Total Blog Loss: 27 lbs in 4 weeks and 5 days!

NEW GOAL: 249 - only 1 lb away!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hello everyone! I'm home!

Above is a picture of Angela Stokes-Monarch and her new groom Matt Monarch...and that's little ol' me right in the background just getting ready to sing "Climb Ev'ry Mountain"!

"WOW – we were SO awesomely blessed to have opera singer Michelle singing during our ceremony... :O I literally felt like I was being electrocuted with energy flow after we were pronounced 'husband and wife' and Michelle broke out into 'Climb Ev'ry Mountain' – THANK YOU Michelle, we LOVE you :)"
~~Angela Stokes-Monarch and Matt Monarch

I have so many great pictures, so much to report and am looking forward to doing that in future blogs! This mornings entry will have to be short. I need to go to work today and do my exercise! I arrived back just last night at 1am and didn't fall to sleep until 3:30a.m.....I think i'll be drinking a cacao shake this morning to wake me up! Cliff's already left for his morning bicycle ride, and i'm going to go out for a short walk to join him! The little stinker surprised me by repainting my bedroom the most gorgeous shade of blue, just what i wanted! I love you, Clifford!

Well, folks, i ended up wearing a TIE DYE long dress that i hadn't even shown you! I had bought it to speak in. I never did have the opportunity to speak..., but i wore it for the 2nd day of the festival. Everyone loved it so much, it matched the flowers, it matched the mood, they implored me to wear it to the raw wedding that evening. I'll have more pictures of me in my tie dye dress hugging hunky David Wolfe and Matt Monarch!

Weight LOSS!!!!!!!
I can't believe I actually LOST weight on this trip and am so close to breaking 250!!! Yay!

What's even MORE exciting is I have not had a b.m. yet this morning, so, my God, when i do, i could very well have broken 250!!!

I did stick to my plan 90% of the time, ate tons of fruit, greens, no or very low fat.

Thank you Morris Family!!!!
Staying on 80-10-10 was a peice of 'cake' because I was blessed to have stayed with THE MOST WONDERFUL mostly raw family, Shawna & John Morris and their adorable son, Johnathon. What a wonderful family, what a wonderful home, what a wonderful raw lifestyle they live! You should see Johnathon, their adorable 3 year old, excitedly devouring a bowl of raw oats, cut up mango and peach, almond milk and spirulina. Truly an amazing sight! John is the master of the green smoothie, packing one of their 3 vitamixes with fresh picked spicy bitter greens from the garden and adding chia seeds in for protein! And Shawna is an absolute whiz with the dehydrator making cheesy kale and 'fried' eggplant! This family is a true RAW JOY inspiration!

Shawna and John are Arnolds Way customers who just happened to move to Oregon about 30 mins drive from where the raw wedding took place. Shortly after announcing I was singing at the raw wedding, i received an email from Shawna saying, "Come stay with us!" Was that not divinely inspired? A plethora of fruit and greens, all organic to satisfy my every desire and whim! What marvelous and generous hosts! We had the BEST time! I have lots of pictures of the wonderful Morris Family that i'm looking forward to sharing with you!

Gourmet Indulgences
Yes, I had an amazing BIG gourmet meal, 3 plates AND 2 desserts at the raw wedding, and a few gourmet treats that evening at home at the Morris', but i went back on track the very next day. One evening in the hotel in Dallas I had a small package of Red Pepper Macadamia Nut crackers called 'Mac n Cheese'. Yummy, and brilliant name, but not overly salty at all. In fact, the food at the raw wedding was not overly salty at all either and i think this really contributed to helping me not gain.

So, yes, I can get a way with a few gourmet treats here and there, but overall, 80-10-10ing really works for my body to lose weight, even on vacation!

Exercise was NOT a big part of my vacation and I DO suspect that i may have lost a bit of muscle mass, contributing to the weight loss, but you know what? i think that's a cool little trick. Once, when i was on weight watchers, i stopped exercising a whole week and started pigging out binge eating that entire week. The next weigh in, i actually LOST weight. I had lost muscle mass and the fat i gained didn't equal what i had lost. ha ha, stumped the system!

But it's time to get back on track!

Gourmet at Work Today - Do I, Don't I?
I was really craving a flax wrap or flax cracker with tahini, parsley, tomato, and garlic terribly on the airplane ride home last night. After weighing myself this morning and being so so so so so so so SO freakin' close to breaking 250, this puts a damper on my desire to have a gourmet meal at Arnolds Way today, because usually, when i indulge there, i have an impossible time 'stopping' myself.

Perhaps i can come up with a light version, a salt-free, lowfat version of what i'm craving? A chopped salad with zucchini and tomato and garlic and romaine with a tahini sauce poured over (1 tbsp of tahini and lemon juice). That actually sounds good!!!

Many blessings to all of you! Can't wait to catch up with you! Write me at LaSoprana@aol.com and let me know how you're doing!

Br: Had that chopped salad i was craving: zucchini, mushrooms, garlic, tomato, cucumber, lemon juice, parsley chopped in cuisinart with s blade, topped with 1 tbsp of tahini mixed in a little water, with cumin and cayenne. It was.......okay, good, not mind blowing. Would have been awesome with salt, i think and with MORE tahini!!!!

Spirulina smoothie with 1.5 bananas, mango, peach, pineappple, 1/4 bunch of celery, 1 tbsp spirulina. This was good.

2 grapefruit, yum.

pineapple vanilla smoothie: vanilla, pineapple, mango, peach, no banana argh. Okay, would have been killer with more banana.

SN: 1 large soft scrumptious medjool date

2 grapefruit, yum yum.

: a few cacao coated nibs and 1 Tbsp of coconut butter

: 1/4 of a small watermelon

It's 11p.m., i'm in bed, and i'm hungry!!!!!!

Michelle joy

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Michelle's Info:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtdn_avVkpc (Shot about 1 year ago at arnolds way, i had just come back from the raw retreat)



Classically trained opera singer - PA certified teacher. Learn natural SPEECH LEVEL singing technique, see immediate results. All styles, all ages. Beginners welcomed.

Call Michelle Schulman 215-284-6525 Inquire about Piano lessons.

Fly away, you let me fly so high, oh, you, you, you are the wind beneath my wings!

Beginning Raw Vegan Weight: 425

Beginning Blog Weight: 277

Weight Yesterday: 252

Weight Today: 251 1/4

Today’s Loss: -3/4

Total Blog Loss: 25 3/4 lbs in 3 weeks and 4 days...and a LOT of inches! Saturday will be 4 weeks on this low fat, high fruit, no salt plan!

NEW GOAL: 249 - only 2 1/4 lbs away!!

TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS: 173 3/4 lbs

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Well, it's a rainy morning here in Philadelphia, but I'm happy because i not only lost weight and understand HOW to lose weight at this phase of my journey on raw (low fat, no salt, low bananas, exercise), and I'm nearing breaking 250, but that's not ONLY it...I'm happy because today is a VERY BIG DAY!

Wish me a good flight out to OREGON! I leave today at noon for the RAW UNION!!!!!! http://www.rawunion.com/ where i will be singing in the wedding ceremony and reception of Matt Monarch and Angela Stokes, and I'll be sharing my story at the festival! There will be 300 people coming and it is going to be a rawking good time filled with tons of raw energy, raw teaching, raw music, raw food and raw fun!

I am taking my digital camera and will try to keep you updated every few days, if possible. I am staying with some friends and hopefully i will have access to their computer. These friends are marvelous. They are former customers of Arnolds Way http://www.arnoldsway.com/, the raw cafe and education center i am a raw chef at. Was it not divinely inspired that they should move from Philadelphia to 20 minutes away from the festival site...and invite me to stay with them??? Awesome. God works in strange ways!

Silly me. I still can't decide between the pink dress or the camoflaugey one!!! Thank you for all of your replies. It was exactly a 50/50 call for either of them. I feel prettier in the pink one, it's more feminine, but Cliff prefers the greenier one as do 50% of you. Maybe i'll bring both and see how i feel that day! The formal ones are the most beautiful, and i got replies for them as well, but being that they both don't fit and are too big, and that they are FORMAL, i think i'll go with a less formal one. I don't even know if Angela will wear a formal gown herself! I would honestly be surprised if she did. you know what, i can bring the black formal one, just in case! i may have to steam it after folding in my suitcase, but it might not be a bad idea!!

My love and appreciation to all of you for your amazing support of me on my journey! Thank you, Debbie, Holly, Shawna, Talia, my new friend Cheri, Glenda, Rebecca, Meredith, Sheryl, Mary, Karen, and so many others! I cannot do this without your support! Knowing you are THERE has made ALL of the difference.

In those little moments when i feel like doing something naughty, not that agave is so naughty, but avoiding it is helping push the scale weight down, i remember that YOU are there rooting me on and i think 'twice'. I HIGHLY recommend blogging to ANYONE who needs support. It has been AMAZINGLY focusing for me.

So, i THANK YOU!!!

So many of you are on your own raw journeys and i give you so much credit. Stay on the path and you will see success!

For me, raw has been THE ONLY diet to deliver me from crippling food compulsions, chronic devastating binge eating and constant weight gain, mental obsession with food and depression. I finally feel hopeful!

Raw food, especially low fat, no salt, low banana raw, when the time is right in your journey, can be a savior. In the beginning, it may be premature, or best left as the bulk of your diet and supplemented with many gourmet treats. You need to see what works for you. My friend, Dustin, http://www.dustinkellogg.com/ has lost like 80 lbs drinking tons of fresh green juice, green smoothies and then having gourmet meals in the evening. There was a time i could eat MUCH more gourmet. I lost the initial bulk of my weight indulging in gourmet OFTEN, but then i abused it and I turned into a total raw gourmet binge freak and gained, but i am finally back on the losing track and feeling physically energetic and motivated due to low fat low banana no salt raw with exercise.

I hope to still incorporate some gourmet in the near future. Uh, the VERY near future. I may have something gourmet-ish after i sing, but only after. Salt bloats me and fat gives me reflux. Meredith and Dustin, yay! are coming to the wedding festival, so hopefully we will be able to share a fabulous meal together after the wedding singing is done!

Overall, I highly reccommend a plan such as this when weight loss on raw is desired, but has stalled. What a dissappointment and discouragement THAT can be. To go raw to lose weight and to NOT see the pounds melt away. You know, it's totally FABULOUS to just STAY THE SAME weight on raw for a while, too. I was happy with that for a LONG time. Just staying the same was MORE than i ever accomplished on regular dieting.

When losing is desired, the key has also been walking. We have to move to lose.

The great part about all of this is that we're finally figuring out how to lose, how to stay the same, how to gain on raw. With that knowledge at our fingertips, we are FINALLY IN CONTROL. There is no black and white. There are CHOICES. We are FREE. With raw, we fly high...! Raw and YOU are the wind beneath MY wings!

God bless you all!
I'll be in touch soon! Love to you all!

xoxo michelle joy

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Summertime, And the Livin' Is Easy!

Beginning Raw Vegan Weight: 425

Beginning Blog Weight: 277

Weight Yesterday: 251 3/4

Weight Today: 252

Today’s Loss: + 1/4

Total Blog Loss: 24 1/2 lbs in 3 weeks and 3 days...and a LOT of inches!

NEW GOAL: 249 - only 3 lbs away!!

TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS: 172 1/2 lbs

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Good Morning :-)) Here's a side by side of 'before' and 'after' from 1 summer apart. Last summer i weighed in the high 280's or 290s'.

In the second picture, i'm roughly the same as i am now, 252. It's not a dramatic difference, but i can see a difference. It's at least a 30/35 lb difference.

I remembering when i looked at that picture of myself standing in the water last summer after we shot it, i looked really heavy to myself. I mean, heavy is relative, but i thought i looked more like i do today, and was surprised to see that i didn't.

It's nice to look now today, like i thought i did then!

A little bit up in the weight today, but that's because I didn't walk and chose to drink a shake with 4 bananas and 3 fats - 1 Tsp cacao butter, 2 Tbsp coconut flakes and 2 Tbsp chocolate. I didn't put agave in it, wanted to, but if i had, it would have been worth it! It wasn't THAT tasty afterall.

You know what, though? I am so NOT upset. In fact, i think it's kind of cool to now KNOW exactly how to CONTROL my weight. On days when i am not so concerned about full force losing, i can loosen the reigns a bit, as i apparently did yesterday. Daily fluxuations are to be expected anyway. If i were weighing myself weekly, we wouldn't see little blips up.

I think i like weighing myself daily, though. It's helping me really focus. And doesn't allow anything to get out of control.

I encountered some stress yesterday (just the normal stresses of getting ready to travel and also the stress of getting ready for a performance and planning that), and tried to talk myself calm, think positive, meditate, the whole calming routine, but i still wanted a more comforting meal, which means, a 'fattier' meal, so, you know what? i had it, the shake i refered to above, and it wasn't even THAT fatty. I still controlled myself pretty well. 4 Tbsp of cashew butter might have been a different story. So, a little extra coconut and cacao. And the walls didn't come tumbling down. lightening didn't strike. i survived. it didn't escale. and i'm still here.

Then i took a bath, did some laundry. Spoke with my darling friend, Talia on the phone. She is so great, i just love her. I eventually relaxed.

We talked about how when i'm not stuffing myself with food, i just have to feel my feelings. And feelings don't always feel good. I just have to get used to that. Accept that. Roll with the punches.

When i get home from Oregon, i'll refocus. And it will be very exciting, because i'll get under 250, yay!!!


I've been working on a myspace page, www.myspace.com/michellejoyschulman, but was told it was the wrong kind, it's a 'regular' myspace page, and not a 'music' myspace page. so, i have to cancel my url and create a new one in the music area so that i am able to put clips of my singing on it. One can't do that on a regular myspace page. Who knew?

Lots to do today before i fly out on thursday!! Wishing you a wonderful day!

  • BREAKFAST: A few peices of fresh fruit before running out for my throat dr appointment. I am thrilled to report my vocal cords look perfect and everything is good to go. I had a serious sinus infection a month ago which left me with some swelling. All is fine now, yay!
  • SNACK: watermelon and a few peaches in the car
  • EXERCISE: 47 minute walk home. Cliff dropped me off 2 3/4 miles away from home. I didn't feel like walking...but after 2 minutes forgot that and enjoyed it. I even practiced my songs, so it was so enjoyable!!! That initial resistence is SO NOT the right voice to listen to.
  • LUNCH: Blueberry Pudding: 2 whole big containers of fresh ripe blueberries, 1.5 bananas, 6 frozen strawberries, all vitamixed. I like to eat with spoon out of vitamix cannister.
  • SNACK: 3 corn on cob
  • DINNER: Salad with 1/2 large red ripe Jersey tomato, leftover red leaf lettuce, 1/2 cup shredded bok choy, 1 tbsp raw tahini mixed with a little water and juice of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 small clove of garlic smashed up, 2 tbsp nutritional yeast. this was good!
  • VOCAL PRACTICE: Awesome practice time. I have GOT it. Man, was i off course during that studio recording session. I am ON TRACK. It feels AMAZING!!!! Here are some comments from my new raw singing friend and amazing letter-writer, Cheri xoxo!!!!! Cheri, you 'rawk'!!!!:

    "I doubt if most people who do not sing can truly comprehend your recent fustrustation with both your recording session and your practices. AAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!! I used to feel so helpless when I went into those phases and could not figure out how to pull myself out. Then when it does all come together it simply feels like you are an eagle, floating up there in the sky. It is PHENOMENAL!! I am so glad you are in this space, especially before the event." Cheri

    Cheri, i couldn't have said it any better than you! Singing well feels like flying!! I am really starting to get excited for the event because I'm on track vocally. I have the kind of voice where if the mechanics are not working, it's like being christy yamaguchi with a broken leg. The better i can connect vocally, the better i am able to connect with my emotions and share my joy!!!!
  • SNACK: Peachy Pudding: 1.5 bananas, 6 small ripe peaches, 1 tray icecubes, all vitamixed. Resisted my desire for agave!

    xoxox michelle

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Dress - Help Decide!

Beginning Raw Vegan Weight: 425

Beginning Blog Weight: 277

Weight Yesterday: 252.5

Weight Today: 251 3/4

Today’s Loss: -3/4

Total Blog Loss: 24 3/4 lbs in 3 weeks and 3 days...and a LOT of inches!

NEW GOAL: 249 - only 2 3/4 lbs away!!

TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS: 172 3/4 lbs

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

- Flowery Pink Brightness, Informal
- Black/Gold Formal
- Brown Christmas Tree, Formal
- Subdued Classy Camoflauge, Informal

Cliff and I are leaning towards the camoflaugey one nearest to the bottom. I'll tell you why!
  • It's not as formal as my formal gowns, but I suspect the wedding will be rather informal and i don't want to stick out like a sore thumb in a ball gown, like i did at the last wedding i sang at.
  • It will travel well lumped into a ball in my suitcase, and ultimately, i think it will be more comfortable than my formal gown, the black and gold, which is falling off of me. (I won't be in fear of my tatas making their grand debut in front of 300 people.)
  • The brown Christmas Tree with the black ribbon's boob area is so huge on me now, i look like dolly parton, except there's nothing to fill it. I have like a B cup and that dress is made for a D.
  • The pink colorful one is pretty, but actually not as flattering on me closeup.
  • In the photo, the camoflaugey one looks a little subdued, perhaps it is, but Cliff and i think it's the most appropriate one for a raw food festival. The pink one is pretty loud.
  • I think i look most beautiful in the formal black/gold one, but it's too big on me and i'd have to wear the little hold up straps and they're kinda digging into me because they're holding up a dress that's too big.
  • The only 2 that really fit are the pink and the camoflauge.

Whattaya think?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I felt so great yesterday! Was it the sunflower seeds? Did they give me some energy? Was it the Betaine HCL i took to help me digest? Betaine helps us ABSORD nutrients. I think i should be taking that daily. Was it that i processed/came to terms emotionally with the hair, the recording session, all of the ugly feelings i was having? It passed.

I had THE BEST VOCAL PRACTICE SESSION. I was fabulous. I sang for Cliff all of the songs i will be singing at the raw wedding union http://www.rawunion.com/ and vocally it was night and day from the recording session. Why? I was finally CONNECTED...in vocal terms that means my BODY was connected under me. My diaphragm/abdominals were engaged. Having a low larynx is not good enough. I need to have my SUPPORT under me. It felt AMAZING. I felt i had CONTROL over my voice.

BREAKFAST: 5 plums, 2 nectarines

EARLY LUNCH: zucchini spaghetti with tomatoey sauce - blenderized 2 ripe tomatoes, 1/2 red pepper, 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast. okay, not great. the yeast didn't taste good here.


SN: 2 coconut waters.

SN: Chocolate coconut shake: 2 Tbsp raw coconut flakes, 2 Tbsp raw cacao, 4 bananas, 3 big frozen strawberries, 1 heaping tsp cashew butter, 1.5 cups water. This put me over my fat limit, but i was really needing something 'comforting'. It was emotional eating, but it wasn't a hamburger or a gourmet pizza either. So, i'm improving!

SN: Lots of crispy sweet watermelon, delish. i have bought a watermelon DAILY for the last few days. I can't get enough of it!

xoxo michelle joy