Sunday, May 31, 2009

Less Bananas Works!

Beginning Raw Vegan Weight: 425

Beginning Blog Weight: 277

Weight Yesterday: 262

Weight Today: 260

Today's Loss: -2 lbs

Total Blog Loss: 17 lbs in 8 days! I'm on my way to my 23 lb. 2 week challenge! Only 6 more lbs to go!

A sweet picture of the happy couple vacationing in Cananda three years ago before I left for the raw retreat. I've now been raw 2.5 years and have lost over 160 lbs. A more recent picture of me.

Well, todays weight loss is encouraging information! Okay, i will confirm now, when losses are good, weighing daily is envigorating!

I held myself back yesterday from eating so many bananas. I had roughly 3-4 total, instead of the probably 20 i had the previous day working and drinking so many banana rich smoothies. I also did not use agave in my 2nd banana based meal.

I used nutritional yeast yesterday, but i'm beginning to wonder if that 5mg of sodium is what's making my fingers swell. Nevertheless, it didn't seem to affect my fantastic weight loss, yay!

My walk was longer and harder, arms pumping, no stopping for nearly 45 minutes, and that seemed to help move things forward as well.

Poopy talk time: I had a really good number two this morning. Yesterday i did not. I suspect the entire container of dried chili lime mangos also had something to do with holding things up. Dried foods do take longer for the body to process.

HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY! Only 6 more lbs to go to undo the damage I did by my out of control goumet 2 week binge.

It looks like more not-sweet fruits (tomato, red pepper, zuchhini) were also good choices for weight loss.

Off for my hour walk while Cliff takes his nap! He just took a 15 mile bike ride, his 7th or 8th in a row. We're on a roll with the exercise! Excellent to have a partner!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Walked about 1.15 mins this morning. i did the same walk as I did yesterday, but did not swing and pump my arms, so it took me a little longer. It felt like a more challenging walk today, I suppose because I was a little tired.

It was soooo beautiful here in Philly today, just like a San Diego day! Mid 70's with cool breezes. I was transported back to 'Lemon Grove' (to the raw retreat, O.H.I. ) with today's California-like weather. Awesome!!

Walking in the gorgeous weather, I felt that old feeling of 'freedom' as well. This was how i used to feel walking miles and miles all over Lemon Grove during my 8 mo stay at the raw retreat. I had no car and a lot of time on my hands. I realized today that I rarely walk around Manayunk, where i live in Phila, just to walk. Living without a car in Lemon Grove was such a blessing - I enjoyed the outdoors so so so much, and felt so empowered by my ability to take myself wherever i wanted to go. I must remember to make more of an effort to walk more and use the car less at home here. Next time i need to go to the store for just one or two things, I can chose to just to walk there instead! That's what i used to do in Lemon Grove!

Mobility is such a blessing. There was a time, as a 425 lb person where i could barely walk, my lower back would spasm after a few steps. It was hell. THIS, today, was PURE RAW JOY!

Pre Walk:
2 glasses filtered water

Exercise: 1.15 mins walk, moderate tempo

Breakfast: 'Mocha Water Ice Slushee' - Recipe below

Lunch: 'Spicy Spaghetti' - Recipe below

Dinner: 'Summer Cherry Dinner' - Recipe below

Snack: 'Summer Strawberry Soup' - Recipe below

Summer Cherry Dinner

2 lbs of summer cherries

Get one patio chair,
park your butt on it, dig cherries out of bag with one hand and throw into mouth. Munch contentedly. Spit pits into cup in your other hand. Remember to breath in deeply to enjoy the summer air and to just relax! Who needs hamburgers when you've got THIS?

Mocha Water Ice Slushee
In a Vitamix, blenderize:
- 2 bananas
- 2 trays of icecubes, 28 small icecubes
- 1 heaping tsp of raw cacao powder
- 3 squirts of organic vanilla liquid

Pour into a big mug, turn the boob tube on, and eat with a spoon! Yum!

With agave, it would have been even more spectacular, but was yummy and refreshing as it was! Of course, with many more scoops of cacao, a bit of cashew butter, AND agave, it would have been mind-blowing!

Spicy Spaghetti
Spiralize 2 medium zuchinis and place spaghetti in bowl.

In Vitamix, whir up:
- 2 ripe roma tomatoes, rough chop
- 1 whole red pepper, rough chop
- 2 inches long hot green pepper
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1/2 cup water
- basil flakes or fresh basil added at the last moment
- juice of half a small lemon

Reserve: 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, a little powdered ginger & cumin

Pour sauce over spaghetti. Sprinkle 2 heaping Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes over spaghetti sauce. Add extra seasoning if desired: ginger powder, cumin powder.

The less fat and salt there is in a dish, the spicier i like it. It makes you forget about what's NOT in it and just enjoy what IS in it! Enjoy!

Of course with a generous dose of olive oil and salt this would have been 'knock your socks off', but i actually enjoyed it! After the first bite, you kind of adjust...and just enjoy the natural flavors!

Cold Summer Strawberry Soup
In Vitamix, blenderize:

- 1.5 large packs of strawberries
- 1 banana
- 3 squirts organic vanilla extract liquid
- 1 tray of icecubes, 14 small
- 1 cup filtered water
- glurg of agave -
strawberries were tart, i couldn't resist!

Pour soup into BIG bowl, cut up 2 small fresh ripe peaches as garnish and sprinkle into soup. Huge serving. Delish!

xoxo, Michelle Joy

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Week ONE....It's a wrap!

Beginning Weight: 425

Beginning Blog Weight: 277

Weight Yesterday: 262 1/4

Weight Today: 262

Today's Loss: -1/4

Total Blog Loss: 15 lbs in exactly one week.

Okay, if you have any neck issues from my pictures, I do apologize! Here are some more 'before' and 'on my way' shots for you. The before shot i am in the 380's. The 2nd shot was taken about 6 months ago. I think i weighed about 20 lbs more there than i do now.

1/4 lb loss today. That's respectable, but I'm seeing a trend here. Things are starting to slow down in the daily weight losses, so i'm thinking all of the water weight is gone, all of the raw bread and dehydrated burgers are outta there. Now i'm working on losing fat and it's coming a little slower.

I am now questioning the wisdom of agave and dates and lotsa lotsa bananas. On, we were not allowed any of that. I used to lose 1lb a day on that program. We walked a lot harder, too, on that program.

~ ~ Okay, time to talk to myself, figure this out. ~ ~

BANANA MANIA: i really like bananas. I really like smoothies with a lot of bananas. They are GOOD! Bananas were limited to 1/day on http://www.rawfoodbootcamp/ for a reason i suppose! Carlene who runs bootcamp discovered eating more than 1 banana/day slows down weight loss for morbidly obese people. Well, there you go.

OVERALL REBUTTAL AND KICKING AND SCREAMING: Shit, i like what i'm doing. I feel good. I'm enjoying the food. I'm not feeling deprived. I felt great at work yesterday. I don't want to give up anything else!! No no no!!!

WEIGHT LOSS CALCULATIONS AND EXCITING FORECASTS: If i keep this up, let's say i lose 1/4 lb a day, that's like almost 2 lbs a week. That's good by Weight Watchers standards.

That means, technically, in 7 weeks, i could weigh 248lbs (a loss of 14 additional lbs), and break that 250 mark for good.

That's nice, but no more Larry King weighing 150 in 6 months.

If i lost 2 lbs a week, that's 10 lbs a month, i could lose 60 lbs in 6 months and weigh a little over 200. Shit, that's exciting. Could you IMAGINE?!!!

To lose another 5o lbs to be at 15o lbs, that would take an additional 5 months, so really in just under a year, i could realistically lose the rest of my weight and weigh 150 lbs, wow.

Wow, i just figured out that by my birthday next year, May 12, 2010, if i lost 2 lbs a week, i could weigh 150 lbs by keeping up the diet i've been doing. THAT IS SO FREAKIN' EXCITING!

Man, a little 1/4 lb loss has just turned into thin in ELEVEN MONTHS...!!!

IMPATIENCE: To lose the 8 lbs to put me back to where i was pre-blog at 253, that will take 4 weeks on this plan.

4 weeks? That blows.

If I cut down the agave, dates and bananas and have smoothies more low-glycemic based, my weight loss would probably pick up. If i walked longer or harder, that would probably assist it as well.

JUST COLLECTING THE FACTS, MA'AM: Okay, okay, this is ALL interesting, good, scientific information. I'm gathering facts, weighing things out... I do like having a grasp on what i'm doing and how it's working for me.

DAILY WEIGH INS: I'm liking the daily feedback from the scale. I may not be 'happy' with the results initially, but now i have the opportunity to adjust what i'm doing should i so choose. And when i really think about the long term impact of small changes, i am blown away. Thin in a year, holy cannoli!

Another good positive thing about weighing daily is that things never have the time to completely spiral out of control this way....!

And I'm working hard mentally to not let the 'numbers' rule me. And not let myself become emotional about my weight fluxuations.

I did feel that little sting, weighing in, like, 'All this effort, and that's IT?' Yes, i felt that, i acknowleged it, and released it. I'm okay. I can move on. I can figure this out. I can DO this!

FAST? SLOW? WHICH IS THE WAY TO GO? So, losing a lot of weight fast is exciting, right? And losing slower - is noooot as exciting. But, heck, i did say i wanted steady and slow, didn't i?

I'd kinda like to get back to 253 a little faster than in 4 weeks....and then move more slowly.

I thought slowly losing would entail adding gourmet treats BACK to my diet. Silly me! I didn't think the no-fat/salt plan would produce a 1/4lb/day loss. That kinda sucks!

WALKING: I'm enjoying my walks. They're lovely. I'm not killing myself. I'm walking good, i'm sweating for sure, but i'm not jogging or race walking. I'm not panting. I could play with walking 2 hours a day at the rate i've been going. That's a idea. Enjoy my bananas, and just walk more, or harder. 2 hours a day. God my feet are gonna hurt! Or i could just step it up a bit.

WEEKS OVERVIEW: Overall, i am thrilled with the fact that i am back on track.
  • My eating is so much more in control. I am not compelled to eat raw bread at work and that is a relief, and doesn't feel like deprivation in the least. I feel FREE-er than giving myself free reign in food.
  • I am thrilled with the new forum of a blog that assists me, supports me, helps me keep in touch with me and with others, and helps me process my goals/feelings/results.
  • I am thrilled to have skinny ankles again and be over retaining buckets of water on my body. Giving up salt has been relatively easy. As long as i don't taste it i don't miss it.
  • A loss of 15 lbs in one week is phenomenol! Walking and less fat and salt is working.

FUTURE PLANS: Just for the record, i'd like to lose the other 8 this week. If i could GAIN it in 2 weeks, i could lose it in 2 weeks. To do that, i'd have to walk more/harder and/or lose the excessive bananas, agave and dates, i think. WISH ME LUCK!

I'm going to take my walk!


Drink: Iced Herbal Tea

Exercise: 1 hour strenuous walk, arms pumping. Walked harder and longer than ever. Pooped all day, sensitive and weepy, crying, needed comfort, nurturing, petting. I'm definitely detoxing!

Breakfast: 4 Roma Tomatoes

Snack: leftover pina colada smoothie from yesterday

Lunch: yucky salad, didn't really enjoy this: spring mix, apple cider vinegar, agave, cumin, red pepper flakes, 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Snack: 3 Roma Tomatoes , 1/2 bag red grapes, 2 bottles water

Dinner: "Red Pepper Puree Soup" - Recipe below! This was another soup where upon first taste, i winced disagreeably, and then with taste after taste, i enjoyed it more and more. This was a BIG serving and when i was done eating it spoon by spoonful out of the vitamix canister, i wished i had more! Definitely hard core. But the amazing thing is how the tastebuds adjust. Rather than tasting 'bland' to me, it was incredibly flavorful! When you get off of the salt and fat, you can really taste the real taste of fresh delicious organic produce!

Red Pepper Puree Soup - a totally fat free/salt free thick blenderized soup. In Vitamix, add:
3/4 cup filtered water
juice of 1 small lime
3 shakes of cumin
1 inch of long green hot pepper
1.5 large red peppers, sliced
1 Roma Tomato
1 large carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk chopped
1 whole medium sized zucchini chopped

Whir up in the vitamix...and enjoy! Obviously, with added olive oil or avocado and either celtic salt or Braggs, this would no doubt be absolutely delicious. As it was, i accepted it for what it was, it filled me, it grew on me and i'm satisfied!

I made more of an effort today to reduce bananas and try to eat some lower fat/calorie raw veggies instead. I was hungry much of the day, but feel good now after my soup. I'll probably have a snack later!

xoxo michelle joy

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ups and Downs!

Highest Weight: 425

Beginnging Blog Weight: 277

Yesterday: 262 1/4

Today: 262 3/4

Total blog loss in under a week: about 14 lbs.

An old pic of me when i was in the high 380's. I guess i really like tires! Either that or i'm just a ham and love to pose for a shot taken by my sweetheart, Cliff, whom i adore!

Only a quickie post this morning as i'm running to work. I spent time this morning updating my previous post, as i was not happy with it and obviously like to really say what i want to say. I'm still not happy with it, so i'll probably update it more later!

I gained .5lbs this morning!

Yeeeeees, it would have been nicer to lose, but I'm really okay with it, emotionally, i got over it. I guess this is why they say it's BEST not to weigh one's self daily! Soon i won't be, and would like to begin weighing weekly instead. I think it's healthier. Anyway, it is extraordinarily ridiculous to expect myself to lose 2 lbs a day indefinitely. I think the road will be fraught with lots of ups and downs and my job is to do the best i can, learn from my mistakes, never give up, and just let nature take it's course!

I've taken my 1 hour walk already, which is a real mood booster, and i've felt my feelings for the past 2, i am much more emotional/sensitive than i realized. i have gone through a huge span of emotions in just a few hours already. I suppose this is how super sensitive people like me live, or they 'numb' themselves with something, or they learn how to be less reactive/emotional. That's my ultimate goal.

At the present moment, after doing some updating of my last post, i feel confident and positive about the day facing me. I'll write my food down, approach food with a more centered balanced self, hopefully, and not give into the chili lime dried mangos again!

Wish me luck! More later!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

It's Later!

Guess what? I am certifiably a 'GLAMBERT!!!!" I'm watching Adam Lambert sing on youtube a song from The Ten Commandments called "Is Anybody Listening?". I CANNOT stop listening to it. I just LOVE him! What an BRILLIANT singer! (It's true. I'm becoming obsessed with him...he's gorgeous, i love the make up, i love the bod, he's TALL, the voice is AMAZING, he's a great actor, he's so composed in his interview with Regis and Kelly. Pure and simple: ADAM LAMBERT is a STAR!)

What is so amazing about him and what i ADMIRE so much is his vocal control, his completely 'grounded' 'connected' voice, his ability to go from chest voice to head and superhead so flawlessly, with such confidence, to be connected to his 'body', his ability to just let his voice POUR out of him, to completely sing on the breath, to just let it FLOW, FREE FLOW, he is just a consummate ARTIST and has MASTERED his CRAFT, his ART, HIMSELF. God bless Adam Lambert! When I sing well, i feel like I'm flying. I so crave to be such an artist. He must feel that way everytime he opens his mouth. He's trained his voice and entire self to perform flawlessly. Hard work. Lots of experience. Drive. Passion. I admire him so much and he is such a tremendous inspiration to me, as a singer and performer. I want SO MUCH what he has. I have the talent, yet I still struggle sometimes with vocal control (not to mention food control) and want CONTROL! Adam, I love you! Thank you for your marvelous talent. You are truly a channel for a wonderful gift to the world! I think you're wonderful! YOU INSPIRE ME! You are my IDOL!


"You can tie a rock to my soul, but you can't build a prison for my mind, no! You can chain my body to the earth, but still, the spirit flies. MY SPIRIT FLIES! Does anybody out there see us drowing in our fears?....God if you hear us, send us someone!" IS ANYBODY LISTENING? From The Ten Commandments, Adam Lambert

Adam makes me wonder what I might be like if i got out of my own way and truly dedicated myself to being an artist, 100% and just let go of this food crap, weight crap, and just let the voice flow! Stop stuffing, holding in, holding back, let go of the FEAR, fight for my freedom from the prison of food...and just let the spirit fly....!

"Is anybody listening, does anybody hear? Does anybody out there see us drowning in our tears? Is our future written on a sky of cold stone? God, if you're listening , let us know! They teach us to believe we're not strong like them, that we don't have the will to crush these walls that hold us in. They try and make us think that we'll never have a chance. Can i fight for my own freedom with only these two hands? Is anybody listening? Does anybody hear? Does anybody out there see us struggling with our fears? If you're listening, let us know..." IS ANYBODY LISTENING from The Ten Commandments, Adam Lambert

I had such a MUCH MUCH MUCH better day at work today!!! I would even go so far as to say a GREAT day! I think THIS is what working at Arnolds Way is SUPPOSED to be like. Not continual continual compulsive self-gratification, and the misery that goes along with that. I went into work with a positive mood and attitude and had such a pleasant and productive day. I think just being more aware of myself, after writing about the previous 'irritable' day, and the difficulty i had with being in touch with my hunger, that i felt renewed. I had alot of energy at work today, too, and feel like i did really well with my food. I was unable, however, to follow-through on my desire to write down my food in the busy busy kitchen. By the time i remembered to write my food down, i had another customer to take care of. Maybe it's not going to be a realistic goal to write it down there, where i am stretched in 50 different directions, preparing food, checking people out at the register, taking orders, unpacking produce, packing bread, i could on and's never ending.

But i really would like to. It looks like i ate so much today, though i didn't FEEL like I did. I will still keep it as a goal and try again next time!

I did, however, control myself better, as i was eating from physical hunger today and not just eating to eat, and I felt good, more balanced emotionally, more positive, more allowing the positive energy to flow through me. And feeling more like a channel for positivity was a very good feeling!

I ate when i was hungry, I thought. We'll see what happens with the weight! On i was only allowed 1 banana a day to lose weight quicker. I'm a little worried now after today's .5 gain and what looks like a lot of food!!!

EXERCISE: 1 hour walk - after yoga class last night, my muscles and body felt so good. Walking i felt like i was floating. So light!

4 oranges

SNACK: 1 Green Smoothie: collard, apple, date, banana, filtered water

SNACK: 1 Green Smoothie: same

LUNCH: another big big bowl of 'mumbai spaghetti' like yesterday, only this time i put way too much coriander in it, i think, or maybe it was too much turmeric, and it tasted like perfume, but it was still not awful!

SNACK: 6 oranges

'Organic Orange Julius Smoothie' (recipe below)!

Pina Colada Smoothie: banana, fresh pineapple, a little coconut flakes, agave, filtered water, icecubes

Blend in Vitamix. No need to add water.

Juice of 4 orangic oranges
4 organic Bananas, frozen
1 Tbsp organic vanilla extract
1 Tbsp chopped date slurry (chopped dates mixed with

Much love,
xoxo michelle joy

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Michelle Joy - Raw Union Wedding Singer!

Beginning Raw Vegan Weight: 425

Beginning Blog Weight: 277

Yesterday's Weight: 262 3/4

Today's Weight: 262 1/4

Loss Since Yesterday: - 1/2 lbs

Total Blog Loss: Almost 15 lbs in 5 days!

Only 8 lbs to get back to where I was!!!!

Sometimes things get so bad, our moods become so depressed and we become so discouraged that we think they will never turn around. My progress this last week has proven, that with a little effort, a lot of support and positive action, even the bleakest situation can be no time!

I am proud to report that I have been asked to sing at the wedding ceremony of Miss Angela Stokes and Mr. Matt Monarch at their 'Raw Union' Wedding Festival outside of Ashland, OR on June 21st, 2009!!

I'm very excited about the wedding! If anyone is attending the Wedding Union Festival, please let me know!

Today was a hard day. I slept over my mom's last night and my mother irritated me in the morning, and that set my day off on a kind of an irritable track, I'm sorry to say. Add to that my period and probably detox, and i was more irritable than usual today. Work in a kitchen is always challenging, it can be quite stressful, but I was more irrittated than i usually am, today, and feel badly about that.

I succeeded, however, in not eating any fat or salt at work today, and did not even taste the dishes i prepared for the customers, a real no-no for any good worthwhile chef, but, in these trying times, i gotta do what i gotta do. I brought extra braggs out to the table in case i undersalted unwittingly.

I found it challening to keep track of everything i ate. It's not only a memory issue, but, an issue of being 'in touch' with myself, with my hunger/my emotions.

I think it would be best if i started a notebook to notate everything i eat at work from now on. This is a very important part of Fairburn's book, "Overcoming Binge Eating", and since work is probably the place where i most often stressed to overeat, naturally as i'm around food, my 'drug', handling it, smelling it, touching it...and a commercial kitchen can be very stressful, busy, so this makes it the most 'fraught with danger' location for me.

I felt raw emotionally today and very in need of comfort and nuturing, especially after work. I could not imagine taking my walk in the sudden chill of the air at 7pm. So, yoga class made the most sense to me in my emotional state, a nurturing and comforting and spiritually elevating choice. And I did feel better afterwards. Yoga is so cool. Talk about getting in touch. My favorite part of yoga besides the bicycle thing i can now do with my butt and legs in the air is when we do 'OOHMMMmmm' and we set our intention for the time together. It is so lovely.

Nevertheless, back to the food, in the grind of working, and without a notebook by me, I ate more than i have been. I found it very hard to be in touch with my hunger and being stressed and irritable, ate 'just because' more oftten.

Heck, a notebook is a tool. My goal is to be more in touch from the INSIDE ultimately. But a notebook will help. I also think meditation is something calling me again. I used to meditate daily and found self-control a wonderful byproduct of 'going inside'.

I said in yesterdays post that one cannot overeat fruit. Well, one can overeat DRIED fruit...!!! If there's a way to overeat something...i'll find it in a stressed state!!! Obvioulsy, I need to be more centered, much less emotional.

This was a hard day. My first day back to work without 'picking up' as they would say in AA.

On the ride home from work, i had no dreams of being on Larry King! In fact, i felt really silly about that, but I shouldn't. Dreams can never be silly. It's just disillusionment, discouragement that sometimes get in the way of our highest visions. I'll get back to dreaming about Larry!
Larry: "Caller, you say what?"
This was even one of those days where i was questioning my choice to stay on 80-10-10. I thought, "What, am i NUTS?" There is a field trip from Arnolds Way meeting soon at Matt Warner's new raw restaurant, "The Rainbow Garden" I think it's coming in June sometime. I'll get the date. Anyway, Marvelous Megan, my coworker, who i adore, really talked up their taco salad. "The nutmeat on it tastes JUST like Taco Bell!" My mouth is watering thinking about it, but I guess it's going to be the squeeky romaine covered in strawberry sauce for me, instead!!!!

Although i did eat more than i have been, i had a another realization today that this was the right plan for me. It just 'feels' right as I'm SO MUCH more in control. I thought hard about it and realized that allowing myself to eat gourmet at work, to have 'free reign', i have never had a controlled day at work. Then again, i never have tried to work the 'binge eating' book in that state...

Nevertheless, at home, it's another story. I'll often have a gourmet meal, it may be too large, but it usually doesn't escalate to compulsive snacking. However, the restult is: I either don't lose any weight or gain weight, and i had other complications, anyway, from gourmet, i can talk about another time.

That infernal question hounds me, "Is it ME? Or is it the FOOD?" "Do i try to moderate myself with gourmet, or just give it up?

Perhaps i am going to just ride this out, day by day, and see where i go, where i want to go with the 80-10-10.

I know one thing, I am MUCH more raw emotionally on 80-10-10 with no fat, that is for sure! But, perhaps that is a really really GOOD thing. Time to clean things up on the inside, emotionally AND physically!

I'm going to have to learn how to be okay with that. How to cope without reaching for my sedatives: salt/fat.

Br: 3 oranges, 3 grapefruit

Sn: large banana whip with frozen raspberries on top, yummo!

Sn: 6 whole medjool dates, God's candy, unreal, creamy, mmmm.

Lunch: 1 green smoothie and "Mumbai Spaghetti" - recipe below. i'm like SO into the Indian flavors lately. This was absolutely delcious. I just HAD to write the recipe out.

Sn: 1 med. container dried mango with chilli and lime - outta control they are so good. i ate the whole thing..., not a good idea and something i should definitely not get in the habit of.

Exercise: 1 hour YOGA class

Dn: 1 container mushrooms, sliced, with garlic, red pepper flakes, apple cider vinegar, cumin, agave, nutritional yeast sprinkled ontop. Not too yummy. But lunch? That was 'killer'.
- 1.5 large zucchini's spiralized in bowl

In cuisinart with S blade, add veggies and whir up a spicy sauce:
- 3 or 4 Roma Tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 red pepper, sliced
- 1 large clove garlic, sliced
- 2 slices fresh ginger, diced
- sqeeze of fresh lemon/lime

Pour sauce over spaghetti.

Shake the following spices/seasongings on top of sauced noodles:
- 5 shakes turmeric
- 1 squirt cayenne juice
- 3 shakes coriander
- 5 shakes chili powder, salt free, Frontier brand
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Blend and mix up with your fork and enjoy!

Barely any salt/fat...and sooo yummy. When food is spicy enough, you forget there's no salt or fat. Nutritional yeast has only 1 gram of fat and 5 mg sodium
per 2 Tbsp serving. 2 Tbsp of olive oil have like 30 grams of fat... Nama Shoyu has like 900 + mg of sodium per serving... I keep citing that, i know.

Michelle joy

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Manifesting My Hearts Desire...By Giving Up the Mouth Parties!

Beginning Raw Vegan Weight: 425

Beginning Blog Weight: 277

Yesterday's Weight: 265 1/4

Today's Weight
: 262 3/4

Loss Since Yesterday: - 2.5 lbs

Total Blog Loss: 14 1/4 lbs in 4 days! That's freaky remarkable!

Wow, Wow, Wow, Wow! I need to catch my breath!

Okay, i thought it might take 2 weeks to undo the damage i did in two weeks, but maybe it'll only take one. Holy Moly!

Honestly, I was really scared to get on the scale after i had my three little almost fatty add-ins, but they didn't seem to do much damage. Can i live without them today? Arrrrgh. We'll see.

Losing so much weight so fast has shocking implications. If i can lose 15 lbs in 4 days, then really, very soon, it's a possibility, that if i stick to this fat free/salt free plan, i could actually BREAK 250 (for sure), and even BREAK 225 by July (quite possibly), and even BREAK 200 (oh my god) by the END OF THE SUMMER. I'm a little in shock right now, and need a minute to recover...i feel like i'm going to faint. i'm not used to actually MANIFESTING my QUICKLY!!!

This means that my little ascetic NUN'S diet of just fruits/veggies, no oil, no nuts, no salt can actually MANIFEST my desire to weigh 200....and do it by the END OF THE SUMMER?

Hold on a second. If i could weigh 200 by the end of the summer, then, hypothetically, what is stopping me from weighing, say, 150 lbs, a very reasonable goal weight for me, in 6-8 months. (I would wear about a size 10/12.)

Holy Cannolli! I could publish my book. Be on Larry King. Be on Oprah. Win America's Got Talent. Sing in the opera. Have a nice house. Be debt-free. Have a maid. WOW!

But could i actually LIVE without my fat and salt? What about all of the happy mouth parties i could be having at the raw restaurants? (What about all of the weight i could unwittingly be gaining by giving into Awesome Foods binges!) The pleasure, the toe tingling orgasmic sensuality of a lusty pesto pizza...filling me with deep dark oodles of "ahhhhh!" ...The fun of the constant crunch, crunch, crunch on raw bread! The thick, rich savory nutspread filling my mouth with delight, the slippery sensuality of a well-dressed and balanced salad....!!! Could i LIVE without a LONG time? Like 6-8 MONTHS???? And if i actually DID...I could be THIN????!!!! Thin and attaining my hearts desires...writing book after book, helping others, traveling and talking, being 'hire-able' by Opera Companies to sing with my new attractive public image...!

Okay. Time to weigh it all out.
Which makes more sense...?
  • A constant mouth party with the accompanying constant weight struggle? Or what i've been doing and constant weight loss.
  • Weight struggle? Weight loss? Which would YOU choose? Knowing myself, do i really really think i can learn to CONTROL fatty salty things....or aren't i just kidding myself?
  • If i stayed on 80-10-10 as i've been following it - I'd be giving up a life of self-indulgence, for a little self-denial, a little restraint...but gaining all of the good things that could come from that.
  • If i lost control again with fat and salt, I'll be drowning my sorrows/my joys/my stresses in sensual pleasure, but experiencing the inevitable (misery of) weight gain...
  • Fat-free salads, luscious smoothies, a natural hippie-like 'simple' daily weight loss....and the chance to be one day SOON actually THIN? Isn't pushing myself a bit to exercise daily worth it? Don't I feel strong and enjoy the pleasures of the outdoors? Enjoy the pleasures of exercising with Cliff? Hasn't that been so lovely?
  • Or do i love being a weak gluttonous blob who is lead around by her tastebuds?

    ~ ~ ~ ~ This really shouldn't be a difficult decision!
    ~ ~ ~ ~
When i started this blog it was to LEARN HOW TO INCORPORATE gourmet raw foods into my diet....but with these spectacular results, and really coming to terms with 'knowing' myself, i'm suspecting that THAT WOULD BE THE WORST THING i could do for me and my weight problem, binging problem.

Uy yuy yuy yuy yuy. THIS is a lot to digest.

Have i binged ONCE since i started this? Have I even been tempted to? Have i EVER binged on 80-10-10?? Have i ever even LOST control on 80-10-10??? Haven't i always lost weight on 80-10-10? (I'm losing even MORE now since i gave up the fat).

First i gave up cooked food...and now i have to give up raw fat COMPLETELY and salt like...for a LONG TIME? Much longer than the 2 weeks i initially planned on?

(It's a possibility i might be able to handle more after all of my weight is gone.)

Wow....Listen to me, would ya? I never thought i'd hear myself talking about 'all of my weight being gone!'

My good friend, Tim Arnold, before he lost all of his weight, constantly stated, "I want to be svelte! I want to be svelte!" I was like, "God, i wish i had your drive!" But i was eating the good stuff and didn't yet have a TASTE of success. Now i've tasted success...and to tell you the truth, it tastes better than AVOCADO. You see, Tim was programming himself for success. And what did he get? MASSIVE SUCCESS! - 140lbs. The
guy runs marathons now. MARATHONS. And he's like in his 50's. He has lost ALL of his excess body weight. He is certifiably 'svelte'!! I never thought i would be saying, 'i want to be thin.'

But i never really REALIZED i really COULD not a very long time!!!!

It seems THIS dietplan has afforded me an amazing opportunity not only OUT of binge eating....(how can you binge on fruit?), but the amazing opportunity OUT of a fat life, completely.

These results are more impressive even than on 'Biggest Loser'!!!

Nevertheless, back down to earth, pictured above is a flyer for the Lansdale Live Food and Music Festival, which took place just a few weeks ago in Lansdale, PA, sponsered by Arnolds Way Raw Vegetarian Cafe' and Education Center. It was a great success! Nearly 400 people attended! I spoke at the event and sang a few songs, to the best of my ability. (I was sick at the time with a sinus infection.)

After the Lansdale Festival, things went totally haywire with my weight. That's when I gained the pre-blog weight. I'll be talking more about that in upcoming posts.

Anyway, I must contemplate the weight of the matter at hand. If i could DO this....IF i could...that could be...INCREDIBLE.

I had a busy day today. I did my one hour walk, and headed to Doylestown for a in-house raw cooking job. (I go to people's homes to make them raw food for the week.) Today's client wanted low-fat. I made 2 low-fat dressings (Isreali and Italian), 3 soups (Spring Medley, Gaspacho with Cucumber, and Mumbai Spicy Gaspacho), 2 pate's (low-fat veggie toona and almond basil pate'), 2 entrees (spinach mixed veggie wraps in nori and 'sally's red salad'). I hope she enjoys everything!

Later, i'll be sending out the Arnolds Way weekly email update, which is a job that i do for Arnold from home weekly. The email updates customers about all of the events going on weekly at Arnolds Way and lists raw community events, potlucks, etc... going on around Philadelphia, PA. If anyone would like to get on the list to receive that weekly email, please email me at If you have any events you would like to add to the email, please email me as well. If you're in the Philly area and would like raw cooking classes or to have me prepare meals for you at home, email me as well.

I got my period. Walking today, my fingers were so swollen. You mean, i'm STILL retaining WATER???

BREAKFAST: 'Peachy Green Smoothie' (recipe below)

EXERCISE: 1 hour walk

SNACK: Handful red grapes

LUNCH: Was working - got my period, not that hungry, nausious. Just grabbed some carrot sticks, broccoli peices, tomatoes as i was working. 2 Ayala waters (filtered bottled water containing delicious essential oils. Calorie free)

DINNER: 4 peaches

Peachy Green Smoothie
In a Vitamix Blender, blend up:
  • 4 bananas
  • 3 small peaches
  • 4 squirts organic vanilla extract
  • glurg of agave
  • 1.5 heads of romaine
  • 1 ripe pear
  • icecubes
  • 1/2 cup filtered water

Michelle Joy

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another Day of 80-10-10ish Success!

Beginning Raw Vegan Weight: 425

Beginning Blog Weight: 277

Todays Weight: 265 1/4

Yesterdays Weight: 268

Total Lost: 11 3/4 lbs in 3 days! Yahoooo!


Not the most flattering photos, but here are two 'befores' when i was in the high 380's and one more recently, an 'in progress' shot, wearing my Arnolds Way 'babooshka'!

Wowy, Kazowy, this 80-10-10-ing is getting more and more encouraging!!! ankles are still a bit swollen and i still haven't gotten my period, so this is all likely still water weight...

...(Or just the release of dehydrated and heavier foods from my gut). Uch, that sounds totally gross! But it is a reality. If we overdo gourmet raw and really pack it in, it's gonna take a little bit to release. (Forgive me, but as raw foodists, i think we're all accostomed to talking about poopy).

I know one thing...i am wee-weeing like there's no tomorrow! Last Friday at Arnolds Way, i was in the intensely bloated state, and i did not wee-wee once in 10 hours. THAT is frightening.

Yesterday? Man, i couldn't stop! I even wake up in the middle of the night to go!

When i was a baby, my mother used to open my diaper to find a dry one. Since conception, i've had issues with fluid retention...

Wouldn't common sense say a SALT-FREE plan is best for me????

Holy Moses, i'm just imagining it now, a salt free, fat free life.
Squeeky dressingless bland salads, soups that elicit the initial reaction of 'blech!', trips to the mexican shops with no guacamole, oh god, no more jars of olives, no bubbie's pickles, no more salty nutspreads on crunchy raw bread, no nama shoyu on mushrooms with olive oil, no amazing food from ALL THE WAY LIVE, their corn salad and seaweed salad and kale salad...!!! I'm almost in a frenzy... , no more nori wrap from OASIS with that awesome brzail nut pate, oh, the flax crackers, the buckwheat crusts, no more succulent collard wrap with lemony hummus and slippery avocado. I can't take it anymore!
I think i am destined to live as a raw NUN, put the habit on, say my prayers and abstain from a life of sinful rawfood pleasures.

~ ~ ~ ~
The 'Secret' says that we can manifest what we want in our lives just by envisioning it, just by feeling it, by imagining it into existence. Hopefully soon i can return to these beloved foods, in moderation, but my body is obviously lovin' what i'm doing now. Maybe it's time i listen to IT instead of my dumb 'fat' brain or tastebuds or sensual foody nature.

It was interesting eating that soup yesterday - after i got over the initial absolute horror of it, i actually enjoyed it... (blenderized beet, celery, lemon juice, zucchini, tomato, filtered water, gingerroot)

And Cliff and I celebrated Memorial Day on the patio, cool breezes, bright sun, birds chirping...having a happy little romantic dinner together. As the dry romaine of my Meditteranean Salad squeeked under my teeth, HE delved into a gorgeous big fat juicy burger, oohed and ahhed the whole time, and pierced his fork happily through crispy pierogies, popping them one at a time into his mouth, smiling.

Yes, just call me Sister Margarethe from now on!

My squeeky salad was born again by that nutritional yeast, and I must say i did enjoy the crunch of the celery and the romaine, the spicyness of the cayenne, of the long green hot pepper, the cumin - my new go-to seasoning - and the parsley gave it that israeli flavor.

It strikes me that strict 80-10-10ers do NOT use any seasonings (garlic, cayenne, cumin, etc...), so i am absolutely unequivocably not a strict 80-10-10er, and that's fine with me. I'm a little 80-10-10 sinner! I don't eat this way out of 'principle', but out of a desire to shed pounds, and cumin doesn't have any calories.

Plus, making things taste palatable is what i do as a raw chef. To be able to do it in the salt/fat free realm is an interesting challenge, and having this blog to write my recipes down is an amazing support to me. I am so jazzed about it!

I have struggled for a long time to find a system of how to write down my recipes. As i make everything up off the cuff and don't follow recipes (i do enjoy perusing raw cookbooks, i love cooking shows, foodnetwork, raw and regular cooking show youtubes, cooking magazines, etc...), i draw from common sense cooking know-how and inspiration, create a dish...and that's that. No documentation. At least now i can blog AFTERWARDS exactly what i did...and THAT is going to be such a help to me!

I have come up with a lot of really good recipes, the majority of which i have never written down. My head is full of recipes and recipe ideas. And, yes, i would love to one day write a cookbook. And a book on how i overcame my weight/binge eating problem.

I know this blog will be bringing me in that direction, a direction i very much want to go! (Do you hear that, G-d?!!!) I'm manifesting, i'm manifesting, i'm manifesting!!!
Feeling it, thinking it, imagining it. I see myself on Larry King promoting my books, i see myself on Oprah introducing her to raw food. I see myself handing out copies of my books at some big raw festival! Ahhh....ain't life grand?

In fact, several of my recipes and my story will be featured in Lisa Montgomery's upcoming new book "Raw Inspiration: Living Dynamically", which will soon be available at Here is the link:

BREAKFAST: "Vanilla Greenie" Shake - Blenderized 3 bananas, glurg agave, 2 small heads of romaine, 4 dropperfulls of organic vanilla extract, icecubes, a little filtered water - DELISH!

EXERCISE: 1 hour strenuous walk

WATER: 1/2 quart iced herbal tea

SNACK: "Vanilla Plus" Shake - Blenderized 3 bananas, 4 dropperfulls of organic vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp raw cacao, glurg agave, icecubes, a little filtered water.

LUNCH: "Summertime Picnic Bowl" - In a big bowl - 2 whole cobs of fresh raw husked corn, 3 whole yummy sweet peaches. Alternate eating cob of corn with fresh peach. YUMMM!!!!

SNACK: "Peach Pineapple Fantasy" Smoothie - Recipe below. This was super yummy!

DINNER: "Spicy Garlic Romaine" Salad - Recipe below. Heck, not bad at all for a barely any fat/salt salad. It had a lot of flavor, actually! The yeast actually makes a salad without outright oil and salt quite tolerable! The key, i think, is to make the salad spicy enough to make you forget you're not eating any salt!!!

* * * FAT ALERT! Though i had no 'overt fats' - avocado or olive oil or nuts today, I did indulge in three teensy weensy servings of very low fat add-ins (1/2 tsp cacao in a shake, 1 tsp of coconut flakes and 2 Tbsp of Nutritional yeast.) For 28 gram serving of cacao, there are 2.5 grams of fat and 20 mg of sodium. I don't think 1/2 tsp is 28 grams worth.... i hope not! In shredded coconut, there is 1 gram of fat in
1 tsp and no sodium. I had 1/2 tsp. In nutritional yeast there is 1 gram of fat and 5mg sodium in 2 Tbsp. By contrast, for one serving of nama shoyu, there are over 900 mg of sodium. For 2 Tbsp of olive oil there are 28 grams of fat. * * *


Blend in Vitamix:

  • 3 small fresh pitted
  • 3 bananas
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple
  • 1 tsp unsweetened raw coconut
  • 4 squirts of organic vanilla
  • icecubes
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • glurg of agave

In a large bowl, throw in and mix up with fork to blend 'dressing' into leaves
  • 1.5 small heads romaine, ripped into peices
  • 1/2 medium clove of garlic, slivered thinly over
  • 1/4 cup slivered purple cabbage
  • few slices red pepper
  • few slices purple onion
  • a few splashes of raw apple cider vinegar
  • glurg of agave
  • hot red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
  • black pepper, a few shakes

Shawna, just read your comment - my dear, we are SOUL SISTERS! Let's please be of support to each other! Don't give up! Please email me!

More later!

michelle joy

Monday, May 25, 2009

High Fat/Low Fat Raw...What is the Answer?

Today's Weigh In: 268
Beginning Blog Weight: 277
Pounds to Blog Goal: 14

Total Blog Loss: 9lbs in 2!

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

Here are a few more recent pictures of me, and there's one with my sweety, Cliff! That's us in Manayunk, a section of Philadelphia, where we live.

Okay, I just lost 9 lbs in 2 days of a simple raw diet and by walking. That is AMAZING. That goes to show the power of a simple raw vegan diet, exercise, no fat and no salt and of taking in fluids. My body really RESPONDS favorably to this kind of diet, obviously. (It's my MOUTH that's the problem!!!)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There are women doing a program like this in an online support group i once belonged to: These ladies walk ALOT, some have progressed past 1 hour a day, to 1.5 hours a day, to 2 hours a day, and some walk 2.5 hours a day! The women eat the 'bootcamp' diet which in essence is the 80-10-10 diet. They have huge weight losses in a very short amount of time. The website was developed as a healthy substitute to gastric bypass.

In order to stay on the 'bootcamp' plan, one has to be seriously motivated to get thin, and like to take strict orders and a fair amount of abuse, but heck, if it works, it works! There is NO cheating allowed. In fact, some of the girls eat an even stricter diet than 80-10-10, more like 85-10-5, meaning they eat NO overt fats whatsoever, only raw fruit and veggies, only 1 banana a day, and that's it! When i was on the program, i ate raw fruits, veggies, 1 banana, only 1/4 of an avocado a day and my fat % averaged about 11% a day.

(I am going to steer clear of the avocado, the olive oil and the nuts until i reach my blog goal, so in essence, i'll be eating not too far from what the successful girls on the bootcamp program do!)

There was a time when i didn't need to eat so low fat to lose weight as a raw vegan. When i lost the bulk of my weight 2.5 years ago, i was at a raw retreat in Lemon Grove, CA, the "Optimum Health Institute" I ate a moderately-low fat/SALT FREE diet at the institute, with sprouts, veggies, watermelon, seed cheeses, seeds, and seed crackers as staples of our daily diet, never olive oil, never salt. As i didn't have a car, and not much to do, I walked my butt off all over town, at least 5 miles a day, maybe even twice that, and I swam several times a week for an hour. I reveled in all of the activity.

I also indulged in high fat gourmet meals 1-5x/week at the incredible raw restaurants in town. Man, i had NEVER tasted anything so good. At the time, my eating habits were pretty under control. I was so focused. I didn't think there was anything wrong with high fat raw. I didn't know any different. I rarely binged. (I can remember a handful of times really overdoing it, buying 3 meals at the gourmet raw restaurant and taking them back to my room and eating everything.)

The overall key, i think, was the huge amount of exercise I was getting. I was amazingly toned when i left the institute. I weigh less now, but the pants that fit me then are too tight. I had lost a LOT of inches...and muscle BURNS fat. I could handle the higher fat diet. And, i wasn't binge eating. And as a raw newbie, coming from a diet of up to 5,000 -10,000 calories daily as a 425lb. person, the switch to raw was an overall dramatic calorie and FAT/SALT reduction.

When i came home from the institute and began working at Arnolds Way, i began to snack really uncontrollably on all of the fatty salty goodies there, raw bread, avocado, dehydrated snacks, pate's, cookies, etc... As long as i exercised daily, i stayed the same weight. (I constantly marveled at that.) No, I wasn't losing anylonger, but i wasn't gaining. My eating habits, however, had seriously deteriorated since the institute. Being in a stressful kitchen around raw 'legal' food all day is NOT a good combination for me. My diet changed from overall low fat/salt with some gourmet meals at the Institute, to gourmet meals and excessive comulsive binge-snacking daily. When the exercise stopped, but my eating didn't, i felt worse and worse, so i ate more and more trying to 'get energy' and feel better, which only made me ultimately feel worse. A vicious cycle.

I soon found that on 80-10-10, the impulse to compulsively snack on high fat/salt items left completely as long as i stayed on it! I also began to lose weight again for the first time in over a year and a half of being raw. Exercise became a part of my life again. And things looked hopeful for further weight loss, finally!

I've since struggled seriously with maintaining a steady exercise program, and obviously, with finding a balanced binge-free raw diet, one to enjoy & savor, both low in fat, but high in enjoyment like i once had.

I suppose if i walked for hours a day like i did at the institute and kept my daily basic menu light, i could have that back again, that 'balanced binge-free raw diet,' and enjoy gourmet meals occassionally guilt-free, as i once did, with no effect on my weight.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As i am finding out, many people struggle to lose weight on a raw diet and find that balance - that perfect plan that works for them. Sadly, this is something they didn't quite expect when embarking on the raw diet.

Recently, a customer came into Arnolds Way and asked, "I've been eating raw for weeks....I'm waiting for the weight loss to come...when is that going to happen?" Being in my 80-10-10 phase, I asked about how much fat she was taking in, and about exercise. The answer for exercise was not in the affirmative, and she discouragingly admitted to eating too much fat. The 'magic' of the raw diet was escaping her.

It's confusing, because in 'Raw Reform: How to Go Raw for Weight Loss," Angela Stokes plainly writes, "Eat plenty of nuts." She does NOT eat this way now, most days she eats a diet of 75% fluid, but this obviously worked for her at the time.

I recently met another raw fooder with a perfectly lovely balanced moderate-fat raw diet, high in smoothies and juices and lovely raw salads, and no binge eating. What could be better? It's tasty, it's balanced, it's raw afterall. Yet, she is having frustrating difficulty losing weight with this plan.

From what i have seen at Arnolds Way, people who don't have much of a weight problem seem to do fine on a routine higher fat raw diet, at least for a while. One customer eats a LOT of nutspread daily...and lost 30 lbs effortlessly. But she was never heavy to begin with, and I don't know about her exercise routine. Lately, though, she complains of not feeling energetic.

Others with significant weight to lose have been blessed to find that perfect balance early in their raw food journeys.

My raw friend, Dustin, lost 80lbs juicing, doing smoothies all day and basically eating only 1 gourmet meal a day, with gourmet snacks daily. I am not aware that he has a strict exercise routine, or one at all, but he keeps very busy at work. He has been successful in finding a balance that really works for him. From what i understand, he fasts in the mornings, juices or drinks smoothies beginning at 3pm, and then indulges in higher fat heavier raw gourmet food later. This obviously works for him, as he transformed before my very eyes. He doesn't have binge-eating issues, he savors and enjoys his food, and eats when he is hungry. His wife, Meredith, of is THE most amazing raw chef ever. Both are true inspirations!

Another dear good raw friend, Tim Arnold, recently lost 140 lbs in 8 months eating a moderate fat/high salt raw diet. He was extremely motivated to become 'svelte', resists going 'low fat' and does not want to be deprived at all. He also eats a very high amount of sodium daily in the form of Himalayan Rock Salt, which he snacks on to give him energy. From what i understand, he eats lower fat raw as a basic diet at home with his wonderful wife, Leslie (lots of smoothies, lots of banana whips, not too many raw breads at home, no nut spreads, salads and sunflower pate's and veggie nori wraps often, and rarely olive oil). He then eats basically whatever he wants going out to raw restaurants, at raw potlucks, for raw treats. I don't see him eating huge portions of fatty items, and in fact, he often splits a meal with his wife at Arnolds Way. The clincher in his case is: He runs at least 10 miles a day now, and has even now run 2 marathons within a week of each other. An amazing man!

Men can probably get away with taking in more fat than women. And these two guys are also incredibly positive creative individuals who manifest much in their lives. That may have a lot to do with it as well.

Attitude and how one FEELS have a HUGE effect on the body. The "Secret" says that if we FEEL good, and actually believe what we're eating is good for us and that it will make us lose weight, it will!

That's how i felt at the Institute. I didn't feel BADLY EVER for eating raw food. It was raw, and i just kept losing. (I also barely stopped MOVING.)

So, attitude, and flooding ones body, one's spirit and mind with POSITIVE energy and GOOD FEELINGS no doubt have MUCH to do with weight loss success.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

On a more practical level, at a recent talk, i was discussing what kind of diet we need to create for ourselves, and I remarked, "Everyone has to find a raw diet that works for them." I said, "You have to KNOW WHO ARE ."

I think this is what this blog is all about. The perfect raw diet....whether low fat or high fat...whether it accompanies alot of exercise, or not alot...needs to be discovered.

What actually works? What doesn't?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Binge eating is really a separate issue, i think. Or is it?

YEARS in therapy, 4 stays in Eating Disorder Units could never stop my insane fast food binges. After giving up cooked food, binge eating DECREASED at least 85%. Even the gourmet raw binges i've described....don't even COMPARE to the way I used to binge. An average fast food binge was: 4 double cheeseburgers, 4 orders fries, 3 cokes, 1 chicken sandwhich, 3 peices fried chicken, chicken nuggets, 1 sundae, 1 pie. That was one binge. Some days included several.

While eating 80-10-10, i never binge.

How can you binge on FRUIT??? or GREEN SMOOTHIES?

And who would WANT to?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So, is it the FOOD? Or is it ME?

Or is it my REACTION to the FOOD? If my EMOTIONAL REACTION to the FOOD would transform, perhaps binging would reduce. That never worked with cooked food, believe me, i tried, but, maybe there is hope yet for raw.

Ahhh, I know i have a lot to work on, and the perfect anti-binge raw diet for me will be revealed, although i must say, 80-10-10 seems to work pretty freakin' spectacularly.

If i could maintain 80-10-10 as my basic daily diet, even at work, don't touch a thing there except for fruit, exercise my butt off daily, AND eat out at raw restaurants every once in a while without my eating escalating out of control...i think i will have found something really permanent that i could live with, and be successful with. More like what i did at the institute.

Ahha Moment: I NEVER kept oil or salt or nuts in my kitchenette at the Institute....because i KNEW i couldn't be trusted with them. I only ate them OUT.

A little voice whispers....

"KNOW THYSELF!!" "Know what YOU can handle."
~ ~ ~ ~
  • BR: 1 Quart filtered water, 2 bananas
  • EXERCISE: 1 hour walk
  • SN: 3 oranges
  • LUNCH: Tomato Beet Soup - Blenderized in Vitamix: 3 large red ripe roma tomatoes, 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, 1 larg slice of red beetroot, 1 stalk celery, spritz lemon juice, few circles of zucchini
  • DINNER: Meditteranean Salad: Tear 1 small head Romaine into large bowl, add 3 sliced red ripe roma tomatoes, 2 slices purple onion, 1/2 long green hot pepper cut in rings, 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley dressed in: a few splashes apple cider vinegar, 1 small drizzle of agave, a few shakes of cumin, a few shakes of garlic powder, 1 shake cayenne pepper, 2 tsp. nutritional yeast. A macintosh apple for dessert
  • SNACK: 2 bananas, 1 macintosh apple, 1 red apple
  • SNACK: 'vanilla shake' - In vitamix: 3 bananas, organic vanilla, agave

I wasn't hungry until late morning today, when i had my two bananas shortly before my 1 hour walk. It was a tough walk, but i did it without stopping. The soup for lunch was kinda gross, and kinda yummy. My first taste i grimaced, "YECH!" but the second taste, i was changing my mind to "YUM!" How bizarre! But actually there was something very satisfying about it. Dinner, i desired a salad. Have not had greens for days, shame on me. I could barely comtemplate eating it with just lemon. How i miss salt and oil on a salad. I did the next best thing and chose nutritional yeast. At 1 gram of fat and 5mg of sodium, it was an excellent choice. Nama shoyu has over 900mg of sodium per serving. Yeast is not traditionally 80-10-10, but i'm actually really proud of myself. I enjoyed the crunch of the salad and the tastes of the veggies. The yeast gave it the tiny bit of flavor that it needed. The apple was a delicious dessert. I was hungry all evening! Happy Memorial Day!

xoxo, michelle joy at

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mas Agua, Por Favor!

Mornin', ya'll!

Here's a pic of me and my Honey when i was about 375 lbs. At my heaviest I was over 50lbs heavier than when this was taken.

Who's that little person on the left? That's my Cliffy! He's actually not that little, he just looks little next to ME!

Well, i have good news to report so it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, la la la la!!! I weighed in this morning at 271 1/4 lbs. That is a loss of almost 6 lbs in one day from 277 lbs. Yahhoo!

Now, that ain't FAT, folks, that's a lotta AGUA! My ankles are still swollen, which means there is more agua stuck in me. No kidding, i will be down 10 lbs within 3 days. My distended stomach is flatter, too. Exciting!! Just from a 'simple raw' day. I didn't even juice!

Oh, here's the recipe for the simple no-fat tomato sauce i made last night served over zucchini spaghetti.


In a vitamix:

  • 6 roma tomatos cut up
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh ginger
  • 1 inch of a long hot green pepper
  • generous squeeze of lemon or lime
  • 4 or 5 shakes of cumin
  • If you have a fresh red pepper, throw some of that in, too.
  • set aside: handful cilantro

Blend all ingredients except for cilantro for 20 seconds until as smooth as desired. Then add the handful of cilantro to vitamix and process for 5 seconds to spread out little flecks of green in sauce. Pour over zucchini spaghetti!

Without salt and fat, i won't lie, it wasn't DELICIOUS, but it wasn't BAD at all. It was spicy and i actually kinda enjoyed it, and if it makes my ankles deflate, I LOVE IT!!!!

God, i SWEAR i will never do this to myself again, let myself get this out of control, gain over 20 lbs and then have to reign it in again. I want to make steady, slow progress AFTER my two weeks of REBALANCING and CLEANSING are up (or however long it takes to get back to 254). Saying 'two weeks' makes it more managable mentally for me.

Went for a 1 hour walk...whew, that was a hard walk! And met my Honey on Main street at Starbucks! Cliff took his bike ride down to the art museum and back for the 5th day in a row (Way to go, Cliff!), and i took my 1 hour walk from home allll the way down to the CVS and back (after meeting with him for a cuppa iced herbal tea...) Refreshing...and romantic! xoxoxo

  • WATER: 1 Qt. filtered water
  • EXERCISE: 1 hour walk
  • WATER: 1 Qt. filtered water, 1 large iced herbal tea
  • BREAKFAST: 1/3 organic watermelon
  • SNACK: vanilla/cacao smoothie - In Vitamix: 4 bananas, organic vanilla, 1/2 tsp. cacao, lots of filtered water, icecubes
  • LUNCH: 'Blood Spaghetti Salad' - In a bowl - beet spiralized, chopped purple onion, chopped parsley, chopped long green pepper. Dressing: in vitamix, blenderize sauce of: 3 roma tomato, 1 stalk celery, 1 clove garlic, squeeze lemon juice, few splashes raw cider vinegar, cayenne
  • DINNER: 2/3 of a large organic watermelon
  • SNACK: 'strawberry soup' - In vitamix: Blenderize 1 container strawberries, 1 banana, few dropperfulls vanilla, glurg agave, ice cubes. yum!

I was so THIRSTY all morning...and i did the most logical and healing thing i could do....DRINK!!! I must admit, i OFTEN neglect my needs for water. I must be really super dehydrated with all of that salt in me. The 'Blood spaghetti' salad would have been KILLER with salt and oil, maybe some cashew cream, mmm, but as it was, really NOT BAD at all! It might have been nice with dillweed instead of parsley, a very nice compliment to beetroot. Fat and salt free, but FLAVORFUL. And it looked GORGEOUS! Man oh man! After eating a whole watermelon today, man am i wee-weeing! This is GOOD!

You know what? I am also PMS-ing. I'm getting my period and i'm retaining more water than usual because of that, too. It may have also contributed to my insane craving for salt the last two weeks. Emotionally, I want to figure the whole thing out, really WHAT HAPPENED...what propelled me to go off on such a bender? I'll do that in upcoming blog entries. How will i avoid it happening again if i don't analyze/understand it?

Wow. I just realized. I feel really HAPPY. I've decided, just now, that I am going to reclaim my birthrite, my birth name, and begin to call myself MICHELLE JOY. I've always wanted to. It IS my name. I always thought i'd wait until i was thin. Forget about waiting. I deserve it. I feel it. I own it. I WANT it!! Pure Raw MICHELLE JOY!

Check back later!

xoxo Michelle JOY

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Adios, Salt & Fat!

Hello there, folks!

Here are a few picture of me when i weighed in to the high 390's, preceeded by one of me more recently (sorry to make you crook your head!).

After we took the two 'before' pictures, i actually gained 30+ more lbs. I'm smiling in both pictures, but don't let that fool you. I'm really good at self-denial. I was miserable and hopeless!

I weighed in this morning at 277. It's not where i was 2 weeks ago at 254, but heck, it's a LONG way from where i was at my highest weight of 425lbs. I keep having to remind myself of how far i've come...and just keep fixating on WHERE I WANT TO GO ala the SECRET! I want to be back to 254...and i will REJOICE on the day that i reach 249...and NEVER see 250 again!!!

I am so grateful for this blog! Thank you Meredith and Rebecca for inspiring me to create one! It was exactly the focus that i needed to propel me forward!

I am thrilled to report that i am on my way back into balance, yay!!!, and have followed through on my 'cleansing' plan so far.

Cleansing for me is a no salt, no fat raw vegan plan to allow my body to let go of all of the salt-abuse/water retention, and to help the dehydrated and heavy foods clogging up my system, move through. After a few days of eating like this, i will not be surprised at all if i lose 10 lbs really easily.

You see, I really ABUSE food, so for the average raw fooder, there is NOTHING wrong with salt and fat and dehydrated foods in moderation. Unfortunately, I am NOT the average raw fooder! I am prone to ABUSING ANYTHING that tastes good! The average long term raw fooder eats 1/2 avocado a day. On a bad day, I eat like 8-10! I downed 2 cups of guacamole every day for 3 days last week. An average meal at Arnolds Way is 2 slices of raw bread with veggies and sauces on it (Pizza). I can eat 20 slices of raw bread in one sitting - no problem! That's a LOT of sodium. And that was just a 'snack'! Think of me as the 'Robert Downey Jr. of raw food'!

My plan is to cleanse out for the next few weeks, return to my lowest weight of 254lbs and then re-assess and create a new raw food plan that includes gourmet treats in moderation. My hope is that by working Fairburn's book "Overcoming Binge Eating," which promotes moderation to overcome binge eating, that i will create a diet that will stop the insane yo-yoing and embarrassing weight gain.

Oh, I took a 15 minute walk today.

I'm off to a good start on my cleansing phase!

Breakfast: 1/2 large organic watermelon

Sn: 1 container strawberries

Lunch: "Tomatoes Ranchero" - 3 tomatoes sprinkled with fresh chopped cilantro and fresh lemon juice

Sn: 6 bananas

Sn: 2 bananas

Filtered Water 1 quart

Dinner: zucchini spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce, fat and salt free.
I'll post the recipe tomorrow

Contemplating lunch was challenging as i really CRAVED something fatty and salty, but knew what i had to do instead! I was pleasantly surprised just how yummy simple plain sliced roma tomatoes dressed in flavorful chopped cilantro and lemonjuice really could be. Shocking! It's actually quite nice to return to a place of appreciating the simple foods and how they taste in their pristine salt-free, dressing-free raw state!

I know i'm on the right track with my 80-10-10ing!!! After assualting my body with an overwhelming amount of ultra fatty and salty food, my body needs a rest. I know that if my ankles and fingers are THIS bloated, i must have gone really nuts with the salt. I mean, i did eat an entire jar of olives in less than two minutes the other day. There is a LOT of water stuck inside of me, I'd venture to say at least 10 lbs worth.

For the next two weeks at least, SALT is NOT going to be my friend!!! BYE BYE SALT!!!! I'd better drink alot of fresh water as well, to help flush my system! Now would be a good time to start taking BARLEY LIFE again, too. It will help me detox and flush my system.

I really don't think it's going to take very long to get back to where i was. I will be surprised if it takes longer than 2 weeks. After that....THAT'S when the hard work will begin!!!! Learning how to LIVE with gourmet raw! Wish me luck!!

xoxo michelle

Friday, May 22, 2009

A New Beginning!

Welcome to my blog, "PURE RAW JOY"!!!

My name is Michelle Joy Schulman and I am a raw vegan chef and opera singer, who has lost over 14olbs on a raw vegan diet. I have been trying my entire life to stake claim to my middle name "JOY," and to finally be done with a life of weight gain, overweight and out of control eating. I've made A HUGE AMOUNT of progress along my raw vegan journey, but still have a long way to go. I want to return to a normal weight, finally be in control of food, sing, perform, live in bliss and in pure raw JOY!

My highest weight was 425lbs 2.5 years ago, and things were so bad then - I could hardly walk and i binged compulsively on fast food in huge amounts. I had sleep apnea, snored like a buzzsaw, had horrible reflux laryngitis and was depressed and hopeless. Those days are gone forever, thank God, but I'm still struggling with emotional eating - even though it is vegan and raw... Gourmet raw foods can be so entirely sensual foody nature goes absolutely berzerk! I lose total control...and cannot stop moving my hand to my mouth!!!

As a raw vegan, my lowest weight was 254 lbs. I succeeded in losing over 171 lbs. That was a little over 2 weeks ago.

I now weigh 277.

I've gained 23 lb in two weeks. That is frightening.

How did i do it? By stuffing myself silly with the saltiest, fattiest raw gourmet foods, in large amounts, eating for pleasure up to 10-20x a day, having what Dr. Phil calls, "a party in my mouth". Add to that zero exercise, and with my system (prone to weight gain and entirely prone to WATER RETENTION), oila', embarrassing rapid weight gain.

Yes, it tasted DIVINE...but my ankles are swelled up, my rings won't fit, my face and body...i don't recognize anymore. I had just been coming off of 3 weeks of 80-10-10ing, my butt was shrinking, my face was thin, i received so many compliments, i felt and looked so good! I bought a gown in a size 20! I used to be a size 36!

I created this blog to:
  • support me in losing the 23 lbs i just gained on a 2 week high salt/high fat gourmet raw binge! I will be FEASTING on raw juices, eating watermelon, raw fruit, veggies and greens with no salt/fat until i weigh 254 again!

I also created this blog to:

  • help me to continue to lose weight thereafter, steadily and slowly on a low fat, low salt raw vegan 80-10-10 diet, but learn to include raw gourmet treats, on occasion, in moderation. Can i do that? It IS my goal.
  • focus on Christopher Fairburn's book "Overcoming Binge Eating" as a support to improve my eating habits and becoming more 'in tune' with my body: planning meals, getting on an eating routine, writing down my food, weighing weekly, eating slowly, savoring food, eating until satisfied, ultimately learning to eat only when physically hungry and maintaining control
  • completely stop emotional, out of control binge eating on raw gourmet foods and stop the mental obsession of these foods. Learn how to savor, be in touch...and not be a glutton with these foods! Learn to experience pleasure...without it inevitably leading to PAIN!
  • help me maintain a regular exercise plan, walking or swimming daily
  • create lasting change and maintain this new balanced way of eating raw, stopping the cycle of embarrassing weight yo-yoing (short spurts of success with 80-10-10 and weight loss, followed by binge eating on gourmet raw and devastating weight gain).
  • help me understand my emotional/mental states and how they contribute to my struggles with food.
  • help me work new ways of coping with the stresses of life without turning to gourmet raw food
  • get me back in touch with my intense creative drives! It's time to stop thinking about food, to stop compulsively seeking out and eating gourmet raw food in an out of control manner, but to start singing and performing more, start cleaning, organizing and renovating my house, and finishing projects such as my handmade pocketbooks!

Being overweight and having issues with food is obviously a very, very complex problem. Being overweight is not only a genetic battle - having a predisposition to weight gain, it is the result of a highly complex assortment of issues and behaviors in the emotional, spiritual, mental and physical realms.

Switching to a raw vegan diet has helped me enormously in overcoming my obsession with cooked food....but i'm STILL an emotional eater. Emotional eating can be a response to stress, to uncomfortable emotions, a way to deflect the 'real issues', and with me, emotional eating takes on a life of it's own, it takes on an addictive quality. It starts, spirals out of control, and i cannot stop. Discovering I gained 23 lbs woke me up.

Victoria Boutenko notes that meat produces the same sensations in us as opium. Well, i know THAT from PLENTY of experience! I also know that salt and fatty foods do something HUGE for me...they stimulate me and excite me unbelievably!!!! I am just a FOODY! And I need to learn to control that response...and to control my exposure to those stimulants. When i am on 80-10-10, i am perfectly in control. Fruit and Veggies are not stimulating. Nuts and olive oil and nama shoyu are. Yet, can i live a life DEVOID of these raw gourmet goodies? I don't WANT to.

I WANT to be able to go to OASIS or ALL THE WAY LIVE or THE RAINBOW GARDEN or eat a raw burger at ARNOLDS WAY...and learn to enjoy it, savor it, and not let it spiral me out of control.

According to Christopher Fairburn of "Overcoming Binge Eating," emotional/out of control binge eating can also be the result of strict 'dieting'. Is 80-10-10 just TOO strict for me...that i 'break free' of it and go hogwild on gourmet raw when i do?

Mental 'programming' will also be an extremely large focus in this blog. When i learned about the "Secret", it literally rocked my world. Little things i wanted....i magically long as i 'worked' the 'Secret', kept that positive attitude and focused NOT on what WAS, but on WHAT I WANTED. These days, I spend so much time lamenting what IS, feeling sorry for myself....that what i WANT never manifests itself. Instead, things have been getting worse and worse out of control, in my messy home and my growing waistline. It's time to get back to working the 'Secret'!

Of course, in helping myself, i pray to help OTHERS, just by sharing my story, my successes and my challenges. I KNOW and TRUST that i was not given these HEALING OPPORTUNITIES if there were no way OUT of them and no way to use them to inspire and assist others who are still suffering. Believe me, when i find the way to PURE RAW JOY, when i find that balance i so desire eating low fat raw foods AND decadent blissful gourmet fare in control on occassion, when my weight is low and my mind is stimulated from art, music, creative endeavors, friendships, travel, LIFE and LOVE....and NOT simply from FOOD, there will be no stopping me from shouting it on the rooftops!

Thank you for joining me on this journey and i really hope to hear from you!

xoxo michelle