Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Performance Day!

Mornin' Folks!

It's a cold one here on the East Coast!!! Brrrr!!!!

I awoke early and happy this morning...and no detoxy feelings...although my little tummy is a-grumblin', so i'm definitely hungry!

Here are some images from yesterday's performance day!!! That's me in my new dress (care of Salvation Army for 6$) outside of my house in Manayunk, and there's me and Alex after we performed our show "From Opera to Broadway!" It was a success! More about that later!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

I'm writing this on Wednesday night after my successful performance of "From Opera To Broadway" at the Masonic Village in Lafayette Hill!!! Several of the audience members came up to us afterwards and said it was the best show they've ever had. How nice!!!

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Here's what i ate/wrote/did today [which was yesterday...i wrote all of this yesterday]

BREAKFAST: several cups of fresh juice made of cherry tomatoes, 1 large head celery, 4 big carrots, 1/2 cucumber, 2 small radishes, 3 apples. Produced lots of juice. Cliff had a cup and i've been drinking the rest this whole morning.

juicing is a grind, literally!...but somebody's gotta do it!

It's 11:30 a.m. now. I feel LOTS of energy now after having juiced and after having drunk it over several hours! But, this morning when i awoke? Whew...woozy. Maybe i was just...hungry? Don't feel any detox symptoms now after i juiced. Feeling MUCH better!

Nerves about singing tonight. Nerves about warming up. I had a lesson with a new teacher and am working on implementing what she taught me.

I'm out of food at home, need to color my hair, warm up and meet Alex for a short rehearsal before performing.


SNACK: some green grapes, the rest of the juice.

Went shopping! Met a nice checker who asked me if i make smoothies with all of the bananas i was buying! 'Why, yes!' i exclaimed. I told her about green smoothies. She told me she adds flax to her smoothies. What a pure raw joy to meet a kindred spirit at the SHOP RITE!!!

LINNER: 4p.m: Creamy Curry Salad - the same curry pate i've been using on a bed of greens. It's almost finished...time for a new one!

Met Alex at 5:30p.m. Had the performance at 7pm. Hungry afterwards! Glad i was only 15 mins away from home!

DINNER POST SHOW: Shake - 6 bananas, icecubes, agave, vanilla. LOTS of shredded organic non sweetened coconut flakes folded in.

I was SOOOO hungry. I enjoyed my shake very very much. I make it thick and eat out of a bowl with a spoon. I like that. it makes me think i'm 'eating' something, and not just 'drinking' everything. Although i had been dreaming in the car ride home of making myself a nori wrap with some kind of heavenly pate, using the real pickled ginger and wasabi i have in the fridge.... It dawned on me i could have one tomorrow at work, instead of eating heavy right before bed, (reflux time). Very good of me to delay gratification! I think i'll make one with avo or nutpate tomorrow, but keep out the salt!!!

WORK: Wow, i have to work tomorrow....and this will be the first time i'll be on my new plan at work. Wish me luck!!! I plan to juice in the a.m. at home....and have smoothies/whips at work and a good treat lunch. I am thinking i would like to have 2 slices of raw living bread - we've been making it alot less salty, with the 'steak' which is a salt free burger, and i'll make my own salt free sauce to put on top, with lots of veggies. Since that actually might not be enough, i am a big eater, i'll make a nori wrap while i'm at it with lots of veggies, fresh ginger, some of the nutfree sauce i make, lemon, wasabi and dulse dip (i hope i remember to bring my wasabi to work!). I'll sit down and eat, which is always an issue. Constant customers. And people ask me why i'm not 80-10-10ing... But i honestly in my heart of hearts believe that for me some type of moderation is BETTER than a life of 'dieting' and then binging. I MUST BRIDGE THE GAP. First of all, i WANT to. And secondly, it is HEALTHIER than binge eating. So i am actually eating LESS by eating MORE. Isn't that a paradox????

I feel kind of guilty now for having eaten so much coconut. Coconut is fatty, i KNOW that, but i really wanted it. I feel guilty because chosing it did not conform to my new "ideal" plan which does not allow for fat at night.

Uy uy uy. Life is not always ideal. OKay, so, it was NOT an ideal, but i worked hard singing and i wanted it. You know what? Anything that's not a binge should be considered a HUMONGOUS success for me! I still had a really freakin' great day and i should be really pleased with myself!!!!

Singing-wise, I can tend to get a little hard on myself, but i MUST give myself lots of credit for getting out there, first off, and secondly, for working on and trying a new technique. Many of the things that used to be difficult for me, lines of songs, or notes, were now much easier working the new technique, so it's very encouraging. However, some things which used to be easy ceased to be easy, which was frustrating, but it's natural that things shift as i'm shifting in technique, so it's to be expected that things go haywire for a little while.

I have another lesson on Tuesday EARLY 10am!!!! No coconut the night before THAT!!! In fact, no eating after 6pm the night before THAT!!!

I know it will continue to get easier and easier the longer i work and study this new technique. I feel this is the right direction for me to go in!

Nevertheless, the audience loved the program, i connected with many of the sweet folks afterwards, i got paid (yay!) and i should be very proud of myself. PLUS, Alex said everytime he sees me i look thinner and my waist looks smaller! That really feels good!

xoxox michelle joy

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Detox, Baby!!!!! And almost 11 lbs lost in 5 days.

Hello there,

I am in a SERIOUS detox!!!! I never knew Juicing could be so powerful!!! Man, i shoulda listened to Meredith of the like AGES ago! She and her hubby juice DAILY.

I feel like i have the flu, but i don't. It's just detox. I feel that feeling you feel when you're slightly feverish, like you could just sit and stare at the wall for hours. And sitting or laying i feel fine, but standing, a little woozy.

I've felt this way many, many, many times before over my 3 years of being raw. It is sooooo reminiscent of how i felt at the raw retreat in San Diego. We were all walking around like zombies, carrying pillows with us to classes, resting alot, napping alot.

Usually these waves are followed by renewed energy.

Knowing about this normal reaction of the body and the opportunity it is of detox, i'm totally okay with it, even welcoming of it. Many people who don't realize detox is GREAT, are frightened by it and go back to eating regular food, saying 'RAW FOOD MADE ME FEEL BAD.'

Well, raw food may make you feel badly for a little while, but ultimately, you will feel even BETTER than you ever did. Some people just don't allow themselves to get over that hump.

I know that my body is finally able to go to work cleaning house since i'm offering it less food and more nutrition. I've been raw for 3 years, but my kind of raw has been tons of nuts and living bread. It was time for a good cleaning out i suppose!!!

Juicing is not EASY. It takes effort. It's kind of a pain in the ass always washing the juicer elements, but, so far, it is seriously WORTH IT!!!

This daily morning practice over the last days has produced ASTOUNDING weight loss (due to the calorie reduction, i suppose, of one entire meal, which could have been 1,000 cals easily in a thick banana shake with hemp and agave, etc...), and it's enabling me to eat a meal containing nuts for lunch....AND still lose weight!


I weighed in this morning at 255.5. I think i was 266 like 5 days ago???? Pretty amazing!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Here's what i ate for Tuesday, Sept 29th

Breakfast: juice -
celery, ginger, green apple juice, sipped all morning until 12pm

Sn: cacao shake - banana, vanilla, cacao, agave, 1 large glass before my singing lesson

Ln: at least 4 cups curry coleslaw: dressing of 4 heaping Tbsp pistachio cream made with 2 curry powders, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, agave, nutritional yeast, raw vinegar, on shredded savoy cabbage, red onion, red pepper and carrots, eaten over 3 episodes. when i got full, i stopped and finished later.

Dn: big banana shake drank over several hours: 10 small bananas, icecubes

So, I drank my juice in the a.m. It's not as pleasurable as a fattening nutty shake, but i really see it's value. And plus, i still have 1 more head of celery leftover from the Beckwith event (yesterday i juiced 2 whole heads) and some other veggies still leftover. Having those loads of veggies leftover really prompted this juicing feast. I am soooo grateful I overbought veggies!

Since i had an early singing lesson yesterday, i packed up my cacao shake into my igloo, knowing i would be hungry before the lesson.

You have to REALIZE what you need and realize that juice alone will not hold you in a singing lesson and address those needs and take food with you, always. I did great energy wise in my lesson after my cacao smoothie. NO problem.

I also make lunch and packed in, figuring i'd be hungry afterwards. Take care of yourself this way and you CAN stay raw. Packing food is paramount to success. Don't pack, and you end up at "Wendy's". That little bit of effort saves you everytime. Don't think of it as work. This of it as SELF CARE. I never begrudge that i HAVE to do this. I WANT to do it. Because i'm committed to staying raw. The benefits of eating raw far outweight any hassle. I know if i don't pack, i will either starve, or have to run all over town in search of prepacked 'Awesome Foods'. Or sometimes, when i don't pack and have the time to market, i'll go pick up an avo and some veggies and make a meal in the car. But packing is a huge YES-YES with me. I almost always pack something when i go out. Even just to throw a few apples in my purse.

Juicing yesterday was hard to do. Juicing is kind of like exercise. You think about it and you're like, 'aaaaarrrrggghhhh....i have to do THAT.' I suppose packing food can sometimes be like that. Like i'll get ready to go somewhere in a rush and be like, 'oh no, i'll need lunch.' Juicing, exercise and packing food all take a fair amount of effort and forethought, but they are ALL worth it! With juicing, once you chop up your veggies, you're on your way. Keep your juicer clean and that's half the battle.

What do you do with the pulp? All of the pulp, you SAVE. You're nuts if you get rid of it. Well, some people compost it, but don't just throw it in the trash. It'll only last a few days in the fridge, so I'm freezing mine now. When i have a good load, i plan to defrost and make living bread from it with no or little oil and a fair amount of soaked buckwheat instead of tons of flax seeds, which are fatty. Better for the waistline, i am surmising. And no salt. I'm excited to make it!

I had a singing lesson yesterday and have a singing performance tonight. Wish me luck!!!

I bought the prettiest dress yesterday, new, still with tags, at the Salvation Army, for my performance tonight. It was just one of those things finding it. 6$ and i look smashing. Size 20W. I used to wear size 38W and was growing out of that when i weighed 425 lbs.

The new teacher is GREAT. All new concepts, however, so it will take some time to assimilate, but i had an awesome practice session last night using the new concepts and it really feels GOOD.

Overall with the diet change over the last few days, my voice is so much better since i stopped the insane gourmet binging. HELLO. Don't you think a destructive behavior, overloading the body with fat galore, has it's consequences???? On me, it certainly does. The swelling in the larynx/vocal cords is down. Singing was good. It will get even better.

I'm taking the Betaine HCl still. I guess i have bad digestion and really need it. I take at least 10 pills a day. It really helps me. If i eat nuts and don't take it, i wake up with a froggy voice (reflux laryngitis).

I tried to nap yesterday. Not successful, really. I dozed off for 2 mins, but awoke feeling somewhat rested and actually much better. But I awoke this morning still feeling flu-like. It's detox, baby! It kind of sucks, but you have to look at it in a positive light. My body is actually strong enough to start doing an internal cleansing. For that it needs rest and respect. I'm pleased with this flu-feeling in a way because it means what i'm doing is working. And the weight is dropping off. Less nuts, less oil, more nutrition, better cleanse. yay.

Took 3 poopies yesterday. Man...that's a lot of stuff movin' through me!

LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear from you. So happy to have received your comments and emails. Keep 'em comin'! Say HI please whenever you can.

xoxo michelle joy

Monday, September 28, 2009

"YOM KIPPure" Raw Joy of Juicing...and Lower Fat and Low Salt Eating!

Hiya Folks,

I have a singing lesson this morning with a new teacher. Wish me luck!

I lost -1/4 lb today! I weighed in at 257. That's not as exciting as losing 3 lbs, but i took a LONG walk uphill yesterday and i'm probably building muscle...and me thinks that asking for more than like -9 lbs in 4 days might be pushing it. :-)))) I'm totally happy. Tha-rilled!!!

Actually, i did have some nama shoyu yesterday in my lunch burger, but it was very minimal.

Hey, Talia's burger was DELISH!!! Wanna make them??? Here's her recipe:

My favorite Burger Recipe - I think this is from The Daily Raw Cafe!
by Talia Palant

Jalapeno Burgers
> 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
> 1/2 onion, finely chopped
> 1 cup walnuts, soaked for 4 hours
> 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked until very soft, reserve 1/8 cup
> soaking water
> 1 tablespoon Nama Shoyu
> 1 teaspoon Hamburger seasoning (from Whole Foods)
> 1 teaspoon sea salt
> 1/2 teaspoon
> black pepper

In a food processor, combine walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes and soaking water until you achieve a meat consistency. Remove from processor.

In a mixing bowl, lightly mix together walnut meat, onions, jalapeno peppers, Nama Shoyu, salt and pepper. Shape into 6 patties. Serve.

Optional: Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 1 hour.

**The changes that I made - I did 1/2 sunflower seeds and 1/2 walnuts, I only put
hamburger seasonings (an organic brand I got at whole foods...actually I think
it's poultry seasoning...a bunch of savory herbs put together) and the nama
shoyu...I did not add additional salt or back pepper. I barely had any sundried
tomtatoes this past time so usually they taste even better!

I dehydrate for about 4 hours and then turn them over and dehydrate for another 2-4 hours.

Lots of love,

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

Hey, what i'm doing is working...i'd like to keep this up!
  • Breakfast: Juice all morning (zero calories - 100% nutrition) (make the juice, 4-6 cups and take it with you. By the time you are finished, it's lunch time.)
  • Lunch: AT HOME: Whatever appeals to me that is relatively low in fat and salt and high in veggies. May include nuts, avo, seeds. Ex. I made up a special salt free pistachio dressing with no oil that i've been eating from in moderation, which is yummy. I've been spreading out perhaps 1/4 cup on huge salads, yum!!! 1/4 cup of pistachios have less than 200 cals. This pistachio "cream" is 1/2 water, so it's even LESS calories. No wonder why i am hungry later! I've been using no oil, too. I use nutritional yeast for saltiness. only 5mg of salt per 2 tbsp compared to one tsp of nama shoyu which has over 900mg of sodium.
  • Lunch: OUT TO LUNCH: OPTIONAL 1 meal raw gourmet and one dessert and drink AS TREAT
  • Exercise: Walk in neighborhood
  • Dinner: no salt, no fat fruit, veggies, greens (green smoothie, fruit smoothie, applesauce, cut up veggies, etc...)
  • Snacks: no sBoldalt, no fat fruit, veggies, greens

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I think i must be rid of all of the pounds of living bread that was in my gut. That's exciting. So, i only really gained a few REAL lbs. I am so so so so SO happy to be in the 250's again. I'm so happy, i'm so happy, i'm SO happy!!!!!!

I'm also totally in a detox. Wow. I really feel it. Flu-ish feeling. I just wanna sleep. I couldn't sleep in this morning, but i can later if i want to.

I'm also feeling allergy symptoms. I've noticed a lot of sneezing and my voice is a little hoarse, which is now NOT the reflux. Mold spores are very high again. I'm also a little stuffed up. I hope someday to not be reactive to allergies anymore. Aren't we supposed to stop being allergic by being raw?????? It's been almost 3 years raw for me!

Overall yesterday, i had another wonderful juicing morning followed by ideal lower fat low salt eating. I'm so very very pleased. If i could eat like this for the next, i just KNOW i will stop binge eating...and continue to lose. How could i NOT? That little bit of 'freedom' at lunch means i can eat out a meal somewhere...just try to keep the fat and salt low, or do the best i can, and get back on lower fat/salt at home.

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

Here's what i ate / did / thought yesterday:
Food / Activity for Monday, September 28, 2009
Breakfast: From 10:30a.m. until 1:30p.m. enjoyed 6 cups of fresh homemade juice: carrot, apple, ginger, 2 heads celery, red pepper. I'm using up what i have leftover from the Beckwith catering!

Lunch: A pure raw joy lunch!!! - much much lower in fat and salt than typical binge food, but tons of flavor! A small spicy walnut burger that Talia made, mmmm...thank you, Talia!!! And a HUGE CURRY SALAD, wow!
_ _ _ _CURRY SALAD_ _ _ _
1/2 bag of salad mix greens in bowl and 2 cups of coleslaw veggies over greens (savoy cabbage, red onion and carrot chopped with S blade of cuisinart)

As dressing: 4 heaping Tbsp of curry pistachio cream (pistachios, ginger, garlic, saltless chili powder, 2 curry powders), juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 Tbsp raw vinegar, 1 tsp agave, 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast.

Mix all up and devour. Looks like Tuna salad on a bed of greens!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Man, oh, manoschewitz. It's Yom Kippur and I broke the fast, but it was worth it. Lunch was not only an immensely filling meal, but included an item that was 'delayed gratification.' Talia saved a raw burger for me from the potluck and i've been wanting to eat it, but am aiming to eat one lowfat nut meal a i waited...and it was so good!!! I'll give you all the recipe she gave me tomorrow.

The salad was also immensely satisfying to the taste buds, but lower fat and salt as well, so so so exciting!!! I'm not only losing weight, but eating like this will eliminate binge eating, i am SURE of it. It is safe enough to be considered 'diet' (no salt, no olive oil), yet decadent enough to be considered a treat (fabulous mouth feel, texture, great flavor).

ACTIVITY: 1 hour walk uphill to go pick up my car that died yesterday!

SNACK: big shake of 6 small bananas, 3 peaches, vanilla, agave and water.

YUM! Was HUNGRY. Hard to believe it, but i was.

How many calories do pistachios have in them??? 1 cup over 700 calories, 1/2 cup over 350 cals and 1/4 cup a little over 175 cals. So even if my salad at lunch was ENORMOUS, the calories it rec'd from the pistachios were not even over 200. No wonder why i'm hungry again! You see, when i douse a salad with's a different story.

THAT was a pure raw joy i get to be satiated and satisfied, and get to be hungry again soon, wow!

Tonight i meet with family and friends to break the fast, and will bring some fruit or crudite. I plan on dinner and subsequent snacks to be light, meaning salt free, greens or fruit.

This feels like the ANSWER!!!

You know what, i'm not even going to bother with what fat percentage i'm eating, ala doug graham. what does it really long as this way of eating keeps me from binge eating????? If i'm a little higher fat, isn't it BETTER to feel satisfied and keep it up over LONG TERM??? rather than swinging wildly back and forth between almost no fat and insane amounts of fat????

DINNER: veggie crudite with no dip and lots of fruit at Yom Kippur Break the Fast Dinner. It's nice to just enjoy the company!!! I LOVE not feeling obsessed by food!!!

SNACK: 2 mashed bananas with agave, hungry.

xoxox michelle joy

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Pure Raw Joy Self Control!

Mornin' Ladies!!!

Oh, it's a glorious mornin'!!! Another pure raw joy morning! I weighed myself this morning and am thrilled to weigh 257 1/4. What is a 9 lbs loss in 3 days?

Believe me, it's not ME. It's juicing. I'm convinced. (And eating low fat, no salt).

Juicing is so great. (Thank you, Meredith!) My friend Meredith and her hubby Dustin have been juicing daily for forever.

I finally got my juicer down to the kitchen down here, and since i had so much leftover veggies from the Beckwith event, juicing it has become. I've made juice for the last 2 or 3 days...i can't even remember...and drink whatever i juice (alot) all morning until i get hungry for something solid.

Sleep change: This morning i slept until 10:30a.m. and went to bed about the same time. I am in a detox. When we detox, it can feel like the flu sometimes, wanting to sleep alot. It's the body cleaning out and using the opportunity of lighter food to start cleansing the innards. It's probably my liver cleansing. Overeating fat and overburdening my liver with ultra fatty foods in big amounts all not good. My poor liver! But i think it's happy now :-)))

Juicing is so great because it's 100% nutrition with barely any calories. On regular raw days, I usually drink a big shake for breakfast or eat 10 peices of raw living bread when i'm doing poorly. So in juicing, i'm saving all of those calories, like 1000 i'd venture to guess.

And juice is pure alkelinity. Flooding the system with alkeline fluid.

The rest of the day i remained low fat and almost completely salt free. I'm so pleased with my newfound self control. It is such a blessing.

I had one meal yesterday that filled me with such an amazing amount of joy, i felt like bursting. I discovered that for ME it was the ideal pure raw joy meal. Lower in fat than gourmet binge food and almost zero salt, it was the ideal way to add a yummy AND healthy meal to balance my diet and not make me feel deprived. Having daily meals like this will stop the binge eating. I'll just be living. God, i want to cry!!! The rest of the day was either veggie juice or fruit.

Dinner was hard, because i was tempted by what i had eaten for lunch. But something in me said, "SAVE THAT ONE NUT MEAL FOR LUNCH. ONLY ONE PER DAY." Besides, nuts at night are NOT good for reflux.

The problem with nuts is, when i eat them, i want nuts.

BUT....i didn't give in...i felt i WANTED TO REALLY BADLY...but i didn't. And as soon as i had my banana soup dinner...the craving for nuts was gone...i felt satisfied, and i felt FREE.

Living in pure raw joy by having a little nuts and little something yummy, like my lunch, will be challenging in this way, i will suffer some cravings, but it is worth it. It's the balance i am seeking.

This is actually a cool model: juice for breakfast, yummy moderation for lunch, fat free salt free again for dinner and all snacks. I lost another like 3 lbs in just a day doing this.

I know the super fast weight loss will not continue like this. This is just a water loss (since i usually retain so much fluid from eating salt which i have been having a lot of) and dehydrated items, which obviously stay in my system much longer than they should, since i overload on them!

Anyway, here's what i ate yesterday:

Food/Activity - Sunday, Sept 27, 2009

Br: 6 cups of fresh juice, drank over several hours: broccoli, mixed greens, 2 green apple, entire head celery, 1 large red pepper, 1 lime, ginger

Sn: 2 large banana whips from Arnolds Way with cacao and maca in each - was STARVING!

Sn: 3 bananas in car...that's all i had!

LUNCH: an utterly and completely "pure raw joy" lunch: "Curry Kelp Noodle Salad" - 1/2 bag mixed greens, 1 bag raw kelp noodles. Dressing: several Tbsp. of pistachio cream with ginger, garlic, garam masala, hot madras curry powder, chili powder. Also on salad: 1/2 juiced lemon, 1tsp cider vinegar, 1 tsp agave and 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast.

UNREAL! Barely any salt. No olive oil. DELISH!!! And i feel satisfied and happy. THIS is how i should eat raw. This is pure raw joy for ME!

Last night I brought a variation of this "pistachio curry" dressing served with shredded cabbage and other veggies to the potluck. Everyone loved it! Since i chose to eat none of it as it had about 1/2 cup of olive oil in it and 1 tsp at least of celtic salt, i wanted something 'near' to it today that would fit into a lower fat model and be salt free. So i made the same dressing, BUT omitted the salt and omitted the oil and added nutritional yeast instead!

Nutritional yeast has 5 mg of sodium for 2 Tbsp. Nama Shoyu has over 950mg of sodium in just a tsp. It is my GO TO salty seasoning for "recovery days" since it provides a slight saltiness with barely any sodium. Also, it provides a cheezy-ish flavor.

I am so thrilled right now after eating my meal, i can hardly contain myself.

It wasn't THAT much fat. I expanded about 3/4 cup of pistachios into at least 1.5 cups of nut cream using water in the vitamix, added garlic, ginger, curry powders and chili powder. And then I used enough to coat my big big big salad. There is a LOT left over. How much did i eat? I dunno...several Tbsps. I should check next time. But...ehh...i did GOOD. It was so radically lower in fat than the gourmet-gourmet i usually binge on, AND had at least 90% less salt. THIS is success for me! HURRAH!!!

AND...I juiced this morning, so i kind of felt like i deserved something halfway good..and i was SO HUNGRY! I was soooooooooo hungry!

Meredith Frantz's words of wisdom rang in my ears about how balanced she feels due to her morning routine of juicing greens daily (i used what i had..leftover salad mix and an entire head of celery, broccoli, and other veggies/fruit). She gets to eat the most wonderful gourmet raw food BECAUSE she juices every morning. No weight gain. And you know what??? Juice is...calorie-FREE, but HIGH in nutrition!

Since i ate pistachios in my lunch dressing, it would probably be best to go no fat for the rest of the day. I can handle that!

DINNER: 5 bananas, agave, coconut flakes blenderized into "Banana Soup"

I opened the fridge and remembered i had one of Talia's spicy walnut burgers she saved for me from the potluck. Man, did i want to eat that! I also saw the leftover pistachio cream and really wanted to eat that. That's the only problem with nuts. They drive me nuts!

I held my ground, however, trying to save myself from reflux and chose bananas instead. They satiated me and I'm okay now, but i do not like that feeling of intense craving. I think, though, it's worth it. THIS is called self control.

SNACK: hungry!!!!! Green Apple Applesauce with Golden Raisins: 2 green granny smiths in cuisinart with s blade with fresh lemon juice, vanilla extract, agave, cinnamon. Golden raisins sprinkled over. YUMMMMOOO!!!!

SNACK: 1 glass wine, with my honey, Cliff, listening to relaxing music.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Today is Yom Kippur and i may fast, or just do juice, or eat regularly, not sure yet. Believe me, whatever i do is much better than i've been doing and it's celebrating God and the my own way!

Much love,
xoxox michelle joy

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pure Raw Joy Morning :-))

Mornin' Folks,

Here's what i ate yesterday. I weighed in this morning at 261.5. That's -4.5 in one day. That's a pure raw joy morning!

FOOD/ACTIVITY from Saturday, Sept 26th, 2009

: 4 small glasses mixed veggie juice: carrot, celery, broccoli, asparagus, red/yellow/orange peppers, parsley, lemon

Lunch: last cup of juice. large banana peach hemp smoothie (4 bananas, 2 peaches, hemp seeds, vanilla, agave) I was hungry and wanted something more than just juice. I'm okay with this. I had a great morning. I can do more juice in the morning.

Exercise: 20 min walk uphill

Snack: hungry - banana shake with bananas, homemade raw chocolate syrup (cacao, agave, vanilla, celtic salt)

POTLUCK: Plate of raw veggies and fruit...ONLY!!! I am so happy someone brought fresh fruit and crudite!

Snack: hungry! - Coconut vanilla banana shake: vanilla, bananas, coconut flakes, agave

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

I spoke and sang at the Devon Potluck last night. It was SO nice. I had such a good time. Now the potluck is disbanding...what a dissappointment!

Because I have to sing a music rehearsal this morning, i stayed light with the food at the potluck and all day yesterday. Thank God I was able to do that. I had been getting pretty discouraged with myself.

I had planned on doing juice all day yesterday, but just couldn't gag another glass down by 2pm.

But, that's okay.

I did fine the rest of the day. Low fat. Lots of fruit. Back to what a "recovery day" used to be like for me. It felt like "coming home."

And at the potluck, I did great. I ate fruit and crudite and it felt good to at least reign myself in.

I don't know why it always turns out, however, that i have to do 80-10-10 in the most opportune moments to actually ENJOY and INDULGE in gourmet raw. It's totally insane. I pig out in secret and then eat 'diet' in public. Why can't i figure out a way to diet at home and pig out in public??? That would make MUCH more sense...and be MUCH better for my figure!!!! pig out on gourmet...when everyone else does!!!

Under the circumstances, though, it was the right choice to make, for me, tonight, knowing i have a vocal rehearsal today and a singing lesson on Tuesday and a vocal performance on Wednesday.

Because of the lighter choices, I will be even less bloated and have less reflux laryngitis because of the lighter choices i made tonight. If you don't know yet, reflux laryngitis is when i wake up sounding like a bass because of eating too much fat. Some people experience reflux as heartburn. I get it in the throat. Lucky me!

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

Intellectually, i DO think it would be better to have a more balanced relationship with food.

The confusing thing is the conflicting messages I keep receiving from the universe. Tonight my good friends, Tim and Leslie, were at the Potluck. Tim has lost 140lbs and eats whatever raw gourmet he wants. The catch is - he runs at least 10 miles a day, so he's burning everything up. AND he is not a binge eater. AND he eats lowfat during the day. (He eats sunflower seed cheeze on his salads daily as a dressing. NO OLIVE OIL.)

This 'lighter' approach to "nuts"...eating soaked a wonderful strategy to keep the fat lower. When seeds are soaked, they reduce in fat by 40%, and seeds are much lower in fat, anyway, than nuts.

Tim eats whatever he wants at potlucks, but i noticed tonight he did NOT overindulge.

That is the difference between ME and HIM. He eats gourmet...and then stops when he's had enough.

I overindulge, hiding, lose control, and end up binge eating almost always.

Anyway, Tim constantly talks to me about his purposeful avoidance of deprivation by eating raw goodies daily. He says, "it's a mindset." I get that. I really DO believe a person can achieve what they want by just desiring it and believing it is possible. If he avoids being deprived, it's because he knows that deprivation makes him go overboard.

This is pure "Overcoming Binge Eating" philosophy. This is really what i wish to accomplish.

But he DOES eat a huge amount of raw healthy things like green smoothies, etc... And doesn't do "black and white" like me: either out of control gourmet or completely in control 80-10-10.

To me, Tim is a prime example of someone who 'has it ALL,' someone who has found balance AND eats what they like, want and enjoy, AND keeps his weight off, or even loses. Amazing. My hero!

And Tim keeps encouraging me to start running like him. He promises the weight will just fall off and i can eat what i want. You know, i DO believe this somewhat because since i've been walking more, i actually didn't gain AS MUCH as i did in that initial 2 weeks of gaining 26 lbs that had me start this blog. It'd been about 3 weeks and only 16. THAT's because i was still walking regularly.

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

Another viewpoint:

I received a wonderful comment to my last posting from "Swayze", which ALSO makes so much sense, and uncannily addresses MY issue of losing control and cravings so specifically, but is diametrically oppossed to Tim's way of living.
"Hi Michelle, So sorry to hear about your struggling. I've definitely been there. For me, I had to go 100% healthy, low fat raw vegan (no salt) to kick the cravings. Even one taste of salt or anything cooked (no matter how bland) would send me over the edge. I think even more important than what you eat is your mindset. I was not able to stick with low fat raw until I was completely dedicated to it. Before, I would say that I wanted to go 80/10/10, but having just a little bit of something salty or fatty was always in the back of my mind. If even the slightest cravings came around, I gave in."

Sounds like Swayze is thriving doing 80-10-10, has lost her cravings and is committed to this way of eating...indefinitely.

You go girl! I know how you feel. When i was doing 80-10-10, i felt so FREE of cravings. It was amazing.

And Meredith of reiterated just how powerful juicing is for her in her daily diet. I will be juicing again today!

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

Nevertheless, i realized something tonight, speaking at the potluck. I may still be struggling, but I'm NOT a failure...though sometimes i feel like one.

But I'm not one, because i haven't given up yet.

I may drive you crazy going around and around and around on the same topic, but it WILL all eventually come to a head and the path will be lit.

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

Doing 80-10-10ish at the potluck felt FINE. i SAW all of the wonderful food there and i KNOW i would have loved it, but it wasn't hard not to indulge. Forefront in my mind was my upcoming singing engagements.

I hope I will sing better in my upcoming singing than i sang tonight! I am still swollen with reflux and didn't get to warm up much when i sang. The more swollen I am and the less i can warm up, the less 'control' i have over my voice.

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

Anyway, on the topic of food - If you don't eat something, you don't miss it. It's when you eat it, you think 'how could i EVER live without that?'

I don't miss cooked meat hamburgers. Because i stopped eating them. If i ate them again, i'd miss them.

I think this just all depends on what i WANT. Do i WANT to do 80-10-10, or don't i? Do i want to eat gourmet moderately, or don't i? As both Swayze AND Tim say, "it's all a mindset." I do firmly believe whatever i set my mind to, i can acheive.


What do i want? Whatever i WANT, set my mind to.

It's really been good to receive comments. I SOOOO appreciate it.

So tell me, what do YOU want? And what are You achieving? I really want to hear from you all. What works? What doesn't? Where are YOU with all of this?

Much love, xoxo michelle joy

Door Number One...or Door Number Two?

Morning, Ladies...

C'est moi aussi :-)) (It's me again!)

Happy to be reconnecting.

These past few weeks have been tough for my figure. I suppose you know that already. I weighed myself this morning to find I weigh 266. I remember weighing somewhere in the low 250's last month.

I really wanted this blog to be all about success, about constant weight loss and finding that balance that works for me. Regretfully, it's been more about lack of success with food as I've not found that balance yet that i desire. I'm still stuck in either binge eating or dieting.

The last weeks of weight gain tasted delicious. I adored every bite. So much so, that i never wanted the pleasure to end, and it didn't. I just kept going. There's something very shameful in admitting that. I wish i just had the willpower or the self control to, well, control delicious food. There also is the choice of remaining like this, out of control, and just accepting it. Unfortunately, that's not really a practical option if i want to sing beautifully. Binging on raw food like flax crackers and nutspread give me horrendous reflux laryngitis. I can't sing well with a swollen inflamed throat.

I've been walking around for days now thinking that i want to learn to control gourmet, that i deserve to, that i should quit this crazy yo yoing and create a plan with lots of healthy AND include some pleasure foods in it. I've been thinking i just should break out that "Overcoming Binge Eating" book again by Dr. Christopher Fairburn, and REALLY work the program this time. Write my food down every day. Do the manditory questions afterwards. Get on a plan with eating times. Eventually, within a few weeks, he promises, you can move to a phase of the program where you are listening to your body and eating when you are hungry, including healthy AND pleasure foods in your daily diet.

80-10-10 for me has been more about quick weight loss, or getting myself out of trouble once i've overdone it.

If there's no overdoing it, there's not that much reason to be so rigid.

Fairburn promises that it's not the FOODS that make us binge, it's US that make us binge. I guess it's just that we, or I have tremendously BAD eating habits.

The fact that there is NO binge eating on 80-10-10 complicates things in my mind and makes me feel like....if i could just submit to that way of life forever, my situation would be cured. My reflux laryngitis would be gone, my weight would keep coming off.

Then what the heck is stopping me??

It seems like a tug'o'war between what i WANT, and what i NEED.

Although what i NEED is really the question at heart. What do i need???

I still don't know.

Do i need to live on 80-10-10 for the rest of my life....?

Or CAN i find a way to eat healthful raw foods AND have some pleasurable foods in my diet as well, without losing control, or sacrificing my ability to sing.

I'll take door number two, please.

I speak tonight at the Devon Potluck and am finding it more than a little hard to muster up all of the wonderful things about me when i'm feeling in such a low place, personally. I also promised i'd sing and i'm hoarse. If i'm feeling better tonight, i'll see what i can scrap together song-wise. I tried out a few numbers last night that might work.

On Sunday, i have a singing rehearsal for 4 upcoming concerts of "From Opera To Broadway" with my friend and accompanist, Alex Ramirez. Our program is a lovely one that spans from Puccini to Gershwin to Rodgers and Hammerstein. We also throw in some Andrew Lloyd Webber and some Lerner and Lowe in there for fun.

I'm REAL nervous about these programs. I've done the show at least 10 times before, but I'm real worried about singing well, consistently through all of them.

When i sang at the Raw Union Wedding, i was 80-10-10ing, and barely had any nerves at all and sung the "Ave Maria" , i thought, pretty well.

When i sang the 2nd rehearsal to Don Giovanni recently, i was reflux free, drank green smoothies all day and sounded and felt marvelous.

When i go back over this in my head it confuses my desire to eat gourmet moderately. I think i'm just kidding myself. I don't do ANYTHING moderately. It's all or nothin' baby.

I had a ton of fresh raw veggies left over from the Beckwith event: 3 bags of cut up crudite, 7 heads of celery, about 10 red peppers.

I've been wanting to juice. Go on a restorative juice fast.

The last time i did a 4 day juice fast after binging on gourmet, i lost 12 lbs of waterweight and intestinal gunk. 4 days.

I suppose my entire mental idea about raw food is confused. Everyone i know juices every once in a while. Everyone I know goes overboard once in a while. Everyone i know gets back on track.

Maybe this is just the nature of raw food...and i should just make peace with it.

So, i made a huge container of fresh juice this morning and it tastes delicious: carrot, assorted peppers, broccoli, tomato, asparagus, celery, parsley.

If i didn't eat fatty salty at the potluck tonight, i'd be doing myself a favor for tomorrow's early singing rehearsal.

I also have a singing lesson on Tuesday and a concert performance on Wednesday.

Wouldn't it be NICE to be reflux-free and bloat-free and 12 lbs thinner by then, if i kept juicing?

It's really where my HEART wants to be.

I just have so much competing, conflicting ideas running through my head, i sometimes don't know WHAT to do.

I read something once about my numerology that stated i would find the answers i needed by blending my BODY's needs with my HEART's wisdom and my HEAD's intelligence. It sounds so simple, but obviously harder from some than others.

My body responds INCREDIBLY favorably to 80-10-10. Take out the head longing for gourmet treats and i'm fine. The heart's intuition tell me i need to sing and to sing i need to give up what robs me of my voice.

It's hard being me.

I'm off for a walk. The first one in days. And enjoying another glass of fresh juice.

I love you all and hope to be more focused in the future on what i want and need. It will help me and will help you find your way.

If you're found a balance that works for you, or even a way of eating that might seem out of balance, please write in and share your story. We all need to find what works for each of us as individuals...and if you can shed some light, it would be much appreciated.

xoxo michelle joy

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Right in our own backyard is a wonderland of raw living cuisine...and the most beautiful raw chocolate the tastebuds have ever tasted...and the eyes have ever beheld! Believe my honey, Cliff...He's a chocoholic...and he LOVES Oasis Cuisine Living Chocolate!!!! What better way to spend one's anniversary??????

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The OASIS mini truffles (For pics, please visit the website!)
  • Chocolate Maca
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  • Chocolate Hazelnut
  • Chocolate Cream
  • Chocolate Bliss
  • Coconut Acai
  • Mystic Mayan
  • Coconut Creme
  • Coconut Chip
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  • Cosmic Saucers
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What's so great about OASIS is that everytime I go there, there are NEW products in NEW shapes. It's ALWAYS exciting at OASIS!

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Tell Tiffany I sent you!

xoxoxo michelle joy


Hiya Ladies,

How are you all today?

I'm looking at my beautiful greeting card from Cliff on this 10 year anniversary of being together. We met on Sept 22nd 10 years ago and see this day as a very great confirmation of our love for each other. We've been engaged for two years and will be tying the knot one of these days...

My honey is such a rascal. I was so surprised to find roses in my car yesterday, a bottle of wine (it's raw!) and a beautiful card. He snuck them into the car while we were both out teaching in Chestnut Hill. What a surprise! What really makes the card cute are the pictures...i wish you could see them, but my camera battery is dead!

"Honey, we used to have a lot of fun without a lot of fuss...we stretched a bit to make ends meet - it didn't bother us. Although we've been through thick and thin, there's not a thing we've lacked. And through the years we've kept our wits and sanity intact. So on our anniversary, there's not a shred of doubt - your love's the only thing on earth i couldn't live without!!!"

Ain't love grand???

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~'ve I been??? STILL STRESSED, unfortunately... I've always wanted to be honest here and know that sometimes that means I will bum others out. I'm so sorry if i do. I just feel this is a place for me to be able to 'come clean.'

Honestly, I've been extremely overwhelmed and emotional and unbalanced since the Beckwith event. Housework was on hold, LIFE was on hold while I slept away for almost a week and sunk into massive food prep with Susan. Now that the event is over, my house is a mess and my fridge a disaster. We overbought celery and i have at least 10 celery in well as tons of other leftover veggies. My plan is to juice with these leftover veggies. Yet that "rebellious" thing in me...doesn't WANT to. It would be the BEST thing for me, to help me restore balance, so why do i resist?????

I've been doing pretty poorly with the food as we had gourmet raw leftovers and leftover cooked hummus from the event also, which i've been eating for days, and not in a very controlled manner. I haven't weighed myself in 2 weeks and frankly, am fearful to.

I'll be celebrating my 3rd anniversary of raw in November and this is the first that i've ingested cooked beans. I honestly didn't feel ANY negative consequences from eating them. My thinking was: "Cashews aren't really what's the difference???? At least cooked beans have a lot less FAT." Honestly, i've had no negative consequences from the beans. No terrible gas. I'm not even frightened that this will snowball into hamburgers. i don't think they are driving me nuts. I think it's more about the olive oil and the sesame seeds in the hummus. It's the FAT...not the beans.

Whether i want to continue this practice of eating cooked beans has not been decided. I do have black bean brown rice salad in my fridge which Cliff has been eating. I did not touch that because instinctually i KNOW that eating cooked rice would not be a good thing for me. I wouldn't be able to stop. The beans, however, i will see.

I'm also feeling very stressed as i have 4 big vocal concerts coming up. The first rehearsal is this Sunday. Because of the gourmet and overall fat overload, i have a pretty HORRENDOUS case of reflux laryngitis.

My body shows me it hates the extra fat, but my taste buds love it. I'm feeling discouraged and unable to get back on track.

What IS back on track????

I feel 'confused' again about food. We made this amazing gourmet raw food for everyone at the party to love. I loved it. It all tasted amazing.

If i could CONTROL that kind of food, life would be no problem. Choosing gourmet over ascetic 80-10-10 would be a non issue. I'd be like everyone else. Enjoying the marvelous variety of gourmet raw foods and feeling blessed daily.

What happens, though, is that i basically cannot control myself around this food. I almost ALWAYS go overboard.

I'm getting sick of reporting the same thing over and over.

"Make peace with it.....stop eating it....or stop talking about it," a voice inside of me says.

I'm so sorry to not be perfect, to not be cured yet. I need it. You need it. We all need to be inspired and i don't feel like an inspiration.

My only hope is that through all of this STRUGGLE with food, i will ultimately FIND BALANCE, FIND what works for me and be able to share that with you.

My intuition says that 80-10-10 is the answer for ME because my singing voice is so positively affected by this lowfat diet, as is my weight problem.

There is this little thing in me that feels like dying when i talk about this. What is it? My ego? My sensuality? My pleasure source?

I remember that in Christianity they say that 'dying' is being reborn. In all of this pleasure seeking, have i actually gotten any better? no.

xoxoxo michelle joy

Monday, September 21, 2009

Meet Carol!

Dear Folks,

Meet Carol from North Carolina.

Carol is a real inspiration and a great example of stick-to-it-iveness! She has only 60 lbs to lose yet to meet her goal, but previously lost a huge amount of weight on Medifast. Before losing over 150 lbs on Medifast, Carol dieted during the day with chicken and fish, but gave into all kinds of snacks during long drives when no one was looking. She lived for her treats. Medifast seemed like a savior at the time, but offered her little in the way of real food.

Now, after discovering raw food, Carol is feeling great and able to eat well and is losing. She's lost 30 lbs eating raw and has only 60 more to go. She’s newly discovered banana whips and is just loving them! Carol recently broke 200...and is in ONEDERLAND!

Congrats, Carol! Let’s support Carol in her raw journey!

Here is her story:

In May of 2004, I discovered that I weighed in at 297 lbs. I truly was a morbidly obese old lady at 60 years old, and only 5 ft 3 in. tall. I remember clearly, poking down the street one early morning around 6 a.m. behind my 2 little dogs, barely able to walk and thinking to myself that the savings that I did for retirement was futile, because I could barely walk and every joint that I had hurt as I walked, and I might not live to spend the money.

At that time, I worked 8 hour days and commuted for 2 hours, and I rewarded myself on Friday night with more than the salad with chicken and lowfat dressing that I ate for dinner every night. For lunch at that time, I ate 6 ounces of poached farm raised salmon and cut up veggies like cukes and peppers or cherry tomatoes.

On Saturday, I ate the only ‘fast food’ that I ate which was an “Arby's” Deli Sandwich and curly fries. On Fridays, it could be a reward of an 8 ounce container of “Whispride” Cheddar Cheese spread, “Pepperidge Farm Snack Sticks” to scoop it out with for the drive home and traffic on interstate 85 in NC for a NASCAR race or a football game in Charlotte could make the 1 hour trip up to 3 hours, so I always had my provisions. I would frequently devour a bag of Moravian Cookies - all 8 ounces before I hit my driveway, or Bachman's Pretzel Cheese Sandwiches, or Cape Cod Potato Chips - all car snacks.

After work, I would go the grocery store across the street for the snacks, then I would go to the Fresh Market in the same shopping center and get really good prepared cooked food - Rotisserie Chicken – (I gave the dark meat to my 2 precious dogs, they loved it), Green Bean Dilly salad w/ water chestnuts, Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread, some good cheese.

A sweet treat could be a small pie of a large one, some cookies, maybe a loaf of chewy rye bread. If it was a really stressful week, I would also go to Panera Bread for at least 6 Cheese Bagels to take home - the problem was 3 were usually in me by Saturday morning.

During the week I went to bed at 9:30 pm, so I could get up every day and continue the madness the next day - but Friday I stayed up late and slept through the program that I always wanted to watch at 10 pm - 20/20. I would see it come on and the next thing would be one of the dogs would be in my lap licking my face - I was snoring and drooling - that was the signal - I guess - when she snores - we jump in her lap and clean up any crumbs she missed.

Once I took my little nap - I was awake so I stayed up another 2 hours or so - watching QVC - spending $$$ -or old Hallmark or LMN movies and entertaining my "Mid-Nite Lovers" - "Ben & Jerry", "Mr. Hagen Daz" or " Ms. Godiva" all ice creams -- Of course with this schedule - Saturdays were very busy and Saturday was a night to eat take out -- except for the town where I live limited me to pizza, calzone, and pretty bad fried fish or shrimp.

Once I moved here from CT - Chinese was definitely not on the menu - because the steamed dumplings are always half ray and the supposedly chicken - is not for sure - I do know what chicken is. You truly have the picture and can relate with your own demons.

So, I start looking for a miracle - and low and behold - I find an ad for Medifast on the back of Parade magazine in the Sunday paper. Monday moring - I go online at the office and try to order, I can't get it to take my info. I find a gal in my office that is always walking around with a shaker jar and saying she is fasting - sure I think - she gives me a packet and I knew I could drink the stuff - finally I get the stuff ordered - it comes within 3 days - and I begin shaking as they said. For the first 6 weeks or so, I went to McDonald's and got their new salad with grilled chicken and low-fat Paul Newman dressing for my only real food meal of each day.

About the time I could trust myself with lettuce, cukes & cherry tomatoes, I took in another dog. She barked all the way home in the car, and I about came close to giving me a reward of ice cream or some junk food just to be able to zone out.

By March 17 of 2005 I had lost 156 lbs. I never ate any real food, except for my salads and 3 bites of each food that I prepared for Thanksgiving.

I felt great, looked pretty good - and maintained it quite well, until last fall.

In November I was at 170 but still feeling good. Then I got retired earlier than I had planned - and I had a bit of an “English Muffin, Panera Bread Cheese Bagel, Pizza, Chicago Hot Dog, Key Lime Ice Cream Pity Party” until May.

I tried the Medifast again and just was not into it. I wanted real food.

In my efforts to maintain - last summer I found RAW Food and had ordered Nomi Shannon's Books. In early May I found some prepared foods at the health food store 18 miles from me and tried the zucchini pasta and lasagna and liked it. In late May of this year, I ordered my Blendtec - Nomi recommends that now. I have also ordered several books from Victoria Boutenko, and others, and went to Hallelujah Acres for their 2 day program.

About June 15, I believe, the Blendtec arrived. I looked at it for a few days, but really got going on 6/21.

I found your blog, “Pure Raw Joy,” from Matt & Angela's wedding. I have really made it and losing weight on raw a study and discovered that many of those that have been really successful ate some things that I do not want to eat - Angela ate Rice Cakes and Popcorn Cakes well into her weight loss - that would set me up to want to eat ‘real’ bread or popcorn - so I know I could not do that - and she now eats lots of the powders that Matt sells.


Last night I finished up my Corn salad from Nomi's book and probably will not make it again as corn probably will be out of season soon. I tend to really pig out on it.

I have 4 quarts of Gazpacho that I made from tomatoes, cukes and basil that I grew - I am going to try to stick to melons, Green Smoothies, Green salads and Gazpacho for as long as I can.

I have maintained being in ONDERLAND for the past 5 days. I have 60 lbs. to go. I know I can do it, I just want it done yesterday.

Yesterday, I ordered a dehydrator - I guess the juicer is really necessary and I should do that next, but I already have a Cuisinart.

Thank you for the Bannana whip info! I have frozen Bananas in pieces - I get them when they sell them 1/2 price because they are spotted ripe and freeze them. I don't have Cacao, but do have a really good Natural Process Cocoa from Penzey's spices which they import from Belgium that I might try. I also have some marvelous Macadamia nuts that I got from Olive Nation on line. I have my refrigerator all in order and all my nuts in canning jars and my produce in ‘Debbie Meyer’ preservation bags. Nomi Shannon would be happy to see my fridge!
I really wanted to go to Wash., D.C. this weekend for the “Raw Spirit Fest,” however it is more important for me to be home. Two of my dogs are near the end. “Scamp,” the Pekingese, has oral cancer and “Munchie,” the Terrier mix Heinz 57, is in renal failure. “Polly,” the Shih Tsu and I will miss them so much when they make the trip over the Rainbow Bridge. Try to enjoy your time in DC and find some time to relax while there.

"I feel 100% better eating RAW"
Because I had gained back about 1/2 or about 75 lbs. of what I had lost on Medifast, the achy's and stiffness were back. My shoulder hurt some too and I could not sleep on it, I had to have Cortisone shots for the problem that occured when I fell.

Two years ago, while I was still thinner and wearing size 10 or 8 jeans, I fell in my driveway and broke my ankle. This happened about 7 pm on a Sunday night and I was not about to go to the ER then, I thought it might be just a strain or sprain at the most, I could still walk the dogs very slowly, although it hurt. Next day when I went to my Dr. and saw the X-ray of the break, I was pretty surprised. I never told him about the shoulder then. Quite some time later, when I could not open the car door with my left arm, I went to Dr. again and he tied it back to the fall when I broke my ankle.

I was RAW - for about 2 weeks and no aching and swelling when I arose in the morning, about 2 weeks later I happened to try sleeping on my left arm with my arm raised like I had done for many years before the fall, and I could. I am ecstatic with this.

I am losing just not what I would call consistently or predictably. In 2 months I have lost 30 lbs. I have been under 200 for a week now. Now, I am trying to focus on exercise, when I eat and drink more water. I am trying to eat according to Paul Nison's Daylight principles. I am anxious to get his new book the "DayLight Diet".

I know Medifast works - in the end I was not satisfied though - I was always dreaming about my "after Medifast food" - (Chewy Bread, Cheese Bagels, Pizza).

Now I have real food right now - that is what is so good about RAW. Today I ate 1/2 a Cantaloupe, 3 Brazil nuts, 6 Macadamia nuts, Banana Whip w/macadamia nuts & chocolate and Gazpacho at dinner and I am fully satisfied for today and not planning on more food before I go to bed or planning what I might eat tomorrow morning. I will eat what appeals to me tomorrow morning when it gets here.


You can leave messages for Carol here, or email her at:

Sunday, September 20, 2009



We're off to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire on this fair Philadelphia day!

Just packed up the igloo with lots of veggies, smoothie, yummy raw treats leftover from the Beckwith event!

Have a great day!

xoxox michelle joy

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Beckwith Event - A GRAND SUCCESS!!


The man of the hour - The Reverend and Dr. Micheal Bernard Beckwith! I cannot believe that we did not even get to meet! Running the catering at the event and keeping the people happy took precidence over everything. I can only hope that some day in the future we will cross paths again! What an amazing inspirational teacher!

Part of the platter of samples that Susan and I hand delivered to Dr. Beckwith's "green room." We hope he was pleasantly surprised with our offerings as they were all vegan and mostly raw. Dr. Beckwith and his wife follow a similar diet! On this platter, starting with the small cups with red fluid at "noon" and going clockwise were: zesty gaspacho, pesto pizza, toona boats on celery, baklava and lemon vanilla cream stuffed dates, blackbean garlic salad, walnut herb pate stuffed mushrooms, thai broccoli salad. On the inside of the plate are chocolate dipped strawberries, key lime mousse with vanilla cream and pistachios, chocolate coconut balls and more stuffed dates! We were on a tight restricted budget, so our contact insisted we use those little ugly plastic cups, but, you know what? No one noticed! They were too busy flipping out over the food!

The note we left for Dr. Beckwith in his green room wishing him a wonderful stay in Philadelphia and thanking him for his "light"!

Dr. Beckwith's mostly raw foods in his green room! We hope he was delighted with our additions! His wife, Rickie, oohed and ahhh'd at the platter we created for her and her husband and heartily approved our bringing it upstairs for him to eat after the event!

The VIP Reception in the basement of the Tindley Temple. This room was transformed from blah into fabulous by a team of inspired volunteers of the Common Ground Organization. Just incredible what a little lighting, some trees, christmas lights, gorgeous linens can do to a room. Simply amazing!

Dr. Beckwith led everyone in prayer before digging into the mostly raw hors d'oeuvres!

Our team of volunteers in the kitchen at Tindley Temple! In the back left is Lynn Robinson, a customer at Arnolds Way, Mitzi, Megan from Arnolds Way, the gorgeous 6'5 brother of Susan, Craig Wollman of NYC, a voice over artist and talented musician, my fiance, Cliffy, me, Susan and her hubby, Mark.

Susan and me and Craig! I look so breasty! It must be the bra! They ain't that big!

Beautiful natural Susan and Mitzi. Susan is a former model with Ford and Elite. She is truly one of the most beautiful women i know, inside and outside. She radiates.

My coworker and friend, Megan, otherwise known as "Megabites". Is she not the most adorably cute thing you have ever seen? The guys all FLIP for her. Everyone is in love with her! In the back is Mark, and Lynn Robinson. Lynn once took my class at Arnolds Way, a 6 week 80-10-10-makeover session. She's getting more and more into raw foods and loving it!

Our incredible team creating chocolate covered strawberries. UNREAL!

Uy, where is Meredith Frantz when you need her? Meredith is not only THE most gifted raw chef i know, she is the most gifted and talented raw food photographer, ever, in the whole world. Have you seen the pics on her website???

These photos do NOT do justice to the food. Cliff snapped them on his way out midafternoon before the party. Pesto pizza is up top left, Thai Broccoli below and stuffed mushrooms up top right. We had 3 big bowls of broccoli salad, at least 10 trays of stuffed mushrooms and 10 trays of pesto pizza. 4 pesto pizzas got eaten up in NO time from the buffet table and our volunteers "butlered" the rest on gorgeous gold chargers. Same for the mushrooms.

Two trays of toona boats with tri color hummus in the middle. The spectacularly gorgeous crudite which we shamefully did not get a pic of was still in the fridge which accompanied it.

More scenes of the table before it was complete. There was a lot of food. In fact, there was really the RIGHT amount. Enough to feed everyone at the party, AND our staff of volunteers. We also got to take some home for ourselves, so it worked out PERFECTLY. This perfection is ALL due to Susan's amazing talent for planning. We figured EVERYTHING out before hand. If each strawberry, for example, gets 1 Tbsp of sauce, how much sauce do you need to cover 200 strawberries? 200 Tbsp....or so many cups. I THINK it's 18 Tbsp per cup. Or nearly 10 cups, am i right? I'm not sure, you have to ask her!!!! Every dish was figured in this way! How else do you know how much to make, having little catering experience?

A ghostly vision of me!

The amazing menu! Almost ALL of the credit goes to MARK AMAN, the amazingly talented genius who spearheaded the creation of the final menu presentation, painstakingly creating, editing, designing, printing, mounting and displaying it! You are a genius, Mark!

The wonderful and beautiful and my 'rock', Susan Aman - my catering partner, friend and 'sister' in the raw!

Susan's husband, Mark Aman, an ultra gifted guy in so many ways I'm having great difficulty coming up with adaquate words to describe his many talents!

Big hair and in leopard print, that's me prepping over 100 cabbage leaves for Rainbow Cabbage rolls, a "sushi" looking creation, that yielded 200 vibrantly colorful rolls, that were dipped in a 'to die for' creamy ginger garlic sauce.

It takes a LOTTA Savoy cabbage to get 100 good usable leaves! Red cabbage is too challenging to yield as many leaves as we needed without ripping them, as is plain green cabbage. Savoy is a better choice as it is much easier to 'peel' due to the rippled effect of it's leaves.

Thank GOD we had the kitchen at Tindely Temple to use. Tell me, where do you store the vats of food, produce, cold drinks, completed trays needed to feed 175...unless you have a walk in refrigerator? Tindely graciously allowed us access to their kitchen all week, although we only ended up using it for 2 complete nonstop days. Oh, yeah, how do you brew jasmine tea for all of those thirsty throats unless you have a 5 GALLON pot???

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Hello again, ladies!

It's been a few days since i've written....I absolutely did not have one second to write, but you were always in my thoughts! This has probably been the hardest, most challenging, most FUN, exciting and joyous workweek i have ever had in my entire life. Now that it is over, there is a huge sense of relief, and pride. It is so good to connect with you again and update you on the last few days!

I've missed you! Drop me a line to say hello or leave a comment. I so love keeping in touch with you!

This last week was an absolute whirlwind of planning and creation, 16 hour work days daily since Monday, sleeping mostly every night at my catering partner, Susan Aman's house, so that we could maximize our prep and planning time together and get done everything we needed to to make the food for the Micheal Bernard Beckwith event here in Philly (last night, Sept. 18th at the Tindley Temple downtown). We needed to feed 175 people mostly raw vegan hors d'oeuvres, 8 selections, plus 6 desserts, plus two beverages, for a one hour VIP Reception to meet Micheal Beckwith (and mingle with the upper echelon of spiritual notables in Philadelphia). It was an awesome success! There were RAVES about the food all night. The Beckwith people and the Common Ground Organization were blown away by our calm organized kitchen, amazing staff, not to mention the food!

Susan and I have called ourselves "Mostly Raw Catering" as I have been raw for 3 years and Susan is mostly raw and makes some delicious cooked bean dishes. So, between the two of us, everything we create is...'mostly raw'! For last night's event, there were 2 cooked bean dishes: a tri-color cooked garbanzo bean hummus (red pepper, mint parsley and lemon), and a black bean wild rice salad in blackbean garlic dressing, everything else was raw.

As for the planning and prep, Susan and I made all of the pate's, fillings, puddings, and sauces at her house (which is incredibly beautiful by the way, and so well stocked and organized, so it was an absolute joy in which to create together). The rest of the prep was done on site.

Working with Susan, at her home, for the last week.....was an absolute JOY. We read each other's minds, completed each others thoughts, tasted and corrected each others creations.

It was a true collaboration of the best sort. My weaknesses are Susan's strenghs and vice versa. I want to overshop, she's more reserved. I throw things together by taste, she's a stickler for documenting. (Speaking of documenting, Susan created the most elaborate incredible spreadsheet detailing all of our shopping, recipes, shopping needs, equipment needs, comparitive price shopping. UNREAL.) I dig my fingers and hands into food loving to feel the food and get right into it. Susan is so attached to her little red spatula she could practically wear it as a necklace! I like things sweet. She likes them tart. (Allowing her to keep the lime pudding tart was stressful for me, but, i realized, after tasting so much sweet at the sweet table, the tartness was an absolute DELIGHT! And the jasmine orange honey-sweetened tea I made was delightfully refreshing not so sickeningly sweet as i would have desired.) I'm fearful and a worrier, "What if, what if, what if...???" and she's calm and confident, "No problem!" It's a comical, and inspired pairing that just works!

I had so much fun with Susan, laughing, chopping, blending. After cooking, we watched the Food Network together and brainstormed and dreamed about all that we could do together, write books, open a restaurant. I'm so excited for this collaboration and what the future holds for us. We must have handed out at least 40 business cards last night, so here's hoping for more success!

Collaboration is not without it's stresses, but it's worth it. There were a few tears, a few miscomunications, minor friction and disagreements. For the most part, this collaboration feels so good and so natural, like a comfy shoe. Lots of respectful totally honest discussion and processing, lots of hugging and open and honest supportive communication led the way. I'm so grateful to Susan for her immense warmth and openness. We could not have survived the rough patches if it were not for her huge heart, her loving demeanor and her belief that everything would work out wonderfully. We might not see eye to eye about how sweet something should be, but we compromised and worked through it. And the proof is in the pudding, the event and dishes were an amazing success. We could NOT have done this without each other...and i wouldn't have wanted it any other way! Without Susan's keen eye for detail, problem solving and management, her high standards and love of beauty and organization, this event would have never been the success it was. And had it not been for Mark's amazing artistic flair and patient non-stop work to see projects to completion, the food would not have been so GORGEOUSLY displayed, nor the dishes cleaned. His help on this project was indispensible.

Did i mention being fed by Susan and Mark daily and afforded the most comfy sleeping arrangements in her gorgeous and cozy guest bedroom? What wonderful hosts! No needs of mine were overlooked and i felt like i was 'family,' part of their raw family! Susan and Mark are both inspired raw chefs who whipped up the most incredble smoothies daily, made mind blowing salads for lunch and pate's for dinner. Oh, god, i never ate so good. Those were the fun breaks amidst all of the intense labor and prep.

You really don't know how labor intensive raw food is until you attempt to make it to feed nearly 200 people!

When things got overwhelming, a quick call upstairs to Susan's gem of a hubby, Mark (her amazingly artistic, sensible, intuitive, delightful, super funny, kind, supportive, workhorse partner) did the trick. And, when things really got overwhelming, a jingle to Susan's mom and pop, Mr. and Mrs. Wollman, was all that was needed. Mom and Dad were over in a flash to help in whatever way they could. When the task of reeming over 100 citrus fruits and zesting over 50 to make a key lime mousse looked daunting, a call to them was all that it took!

Taking on the assignment of key lime pudding was an exciting thrill, because it's so good and yummy we wanted to share it with everyone, until you realize you have to feed 175! A few avos in the Vitamix for a home version is a cinch, but to feed 175???? The amount of citrus juice and zest we needed was unreal. (Not just for the pudding, but for all of the dishes.) (Citrus is KEY. I purchased 5o lemons and 50 limes from the Restaurant Depot and we used another 50 at least!) The pudding ultimately landed in a huge bucket..., can you imagine??? While Mom and Dad Wollman were juicing, I was prepping over 30 huge avocados. Purchasing them at just the right time took some planning, too. They need to ripen just in time! Some had so many spots to cut and clean out which made my neck ache. To clean all these made the process a long one. Cutting into a pristine avocado was a relief and a joy. With Mark and Mom and Dad Wollman jumping in at a minutes notice, we were able to do in one afternoon what would have taken Susan and I an entire day to complete.

That was just the lime pudding...there were 13 other dishes as equally labor intensive to complete! The 8 entrees included: Zesty Gaspacho, Herb Walnut Stuffed Musrooms, Rainbow Cabbage rolls with Thai dip, Toona Boats, Pesto Pizza, Black Bean salad with garlic dressing, Orange Thai Broccoli salad, veggie crudite with tri color hummus. We brewed jasmine tea and filled 150 glasses with it, no easy task, and filled 120 glasses with Poland Spring water. There were at least 15 more pitchers of tea available. For dessert, we offered: key lime mousse with vanilla cream, chocolate covered strawberries, vanilla lemon cream stuffed dates, baklava inspired stuffed dates (pistachio, walnut, honey, cinnamon) and chocolate coconut balls. Oh, god, rolling each ball...stuffing each date...first slicing and pitting. HOURS and HOURS of prep. I let out a long "whew" just thinking about it. Luckily, we both enjoy that kind of stuff. Backbreaking prep, but still fun.

Sleeping over at the Aman's afforded Susan and me long long days that began at 8am and didn't quit until 11pm or later. (Susan lives about an hour away from me in Chalfont, PA, and I was literally too exhausted to drive home, so a comfy bed 2 steps downstairs was too inviting to pass up!)

Speaking of sleeping, i haven't done much of that in the last few nights. And tonight, i went to sleep after midnight and awoke at 3:30a.m.

So, that's that, folks! It was SO MUCH WORK, but ultimately, a grand success, many people were exposed to raw foods for the first time ever and we received so many compliments and requests for our card. Wish us luck on our next project...whatever that may be!

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Needing a break after all of the stress, luckily, i don't have to work until Wednesday. Monday I have a decompression/review powwow with Susan. Today I celebrate finally Rosh HaShannah with my family...and then there's a few days to relax and sleep and wind down.

(I can't believe the opera i sang less than a week ago feels like MONTHS ago - so much has transpired this week, it's been overshadowed.)

Soon i'm on to more musical performances. I have 5 retirement homes gigs coming up in which i sing my show "From Opera To Broadway" with my accompanist, Alex Ramirez. Our show is a musical review of piano and vocal numbers from Gershwin to Puccini to Rodgers and Hammerstein to Lloyd Webber. The people just LOVE it everywhere we've performed it.

The rest of September and October are busy with these concerts, and then hopefully November will calm down. In February, I sing an italian concert at Dock Woods and a new opera by Donizetti in April. "Calgon, take me away!"

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How did i fare with the food? Well, we did a lot of taste testing, and i awoke every morning bloated from salt, but that was the least of my worries. I probably burned calories from work! And over the last two "push" days, didn't eat much until the end of the day. But, then i overdid it out of sheer exhaustion and starvation. I've gained weight from the salt and from the gourmet, but considering all i've been dealing with, i have totally cut myself a big big break. I'm still doing great and have lost a persons worth in weight. I hope to join a program at soon to help resolve the emotional eating and to start resolving my food issues. I know there is a happy balance for me in the 80-10-10 world AND the gourmet world. I just have to find it!

Last night, i wound down with a plate of leftovers when i wasn't even hungry. Stress relief...and fun. That's bad. Hopefully Carlene can help. Now i have awful reflux layrngitis, froggy groggy throat. Dropping the fat all the way down again can help me get back on track. Since i have a lot of singing coming up, i have to get the reflux laryngitis under control again.

How are you? Keep in touch.

xoxox michelle joy