Today was a work day at Arnolds Way Raw Vegetarian Cafe and Education Center in Lansdale, PA. I am one of the raw chefs there.
It was such an odd day, but don't get me wrong, i LIKED how odd it was!
Well, the sad truth is, I've been doing poorly the last few days with my food, so you would think I would have felt awful at work today. But i didn't!
When i got to work, i said to Arnold's daughter, Maya, "Maya, look how fat i got" and grimaced and patted my now chubbier cheeks. "I can't tell!," she exclaimed, "you don't look any different." Huh? I've gained, geez, at LEAST 30 lbs, it's entirely shameful to admit, but that is the sad truth. So, i went up to Arnold and said the same thing, "i gained so much weight, can't you tell?" "No," he confessed.
Wow. It is absolutely MOST apparent, but, uh, not fearing i looked like a grotesque monster started off my day pretty well.
It had already had a very rocky start.
I had awoke at 4am, and finally finished reading Victoria Boutenko's "12 Steps To Raw," a very good book, not a GREAT book, but a GOOD book, that i had started just a few days ago. Something seemed to relieve in me after reading that she recommends that people eating cooked food transition slowly into a fully raw diet and that they make a fully conscious decision only after WEEKS of drinking many, many green smoothies. Something about this statement made me feel that cooked food maybe wasn't so terrible after all, and that if you were "IN" it, it may or very well likely "SHOULD" take a while to work yourself "OUT" of it.
You see, unfortunately, i went off of my raw diet, again. Just to backtrack, i was 3 years raw, then began eating beans, experimented with the Fuhrman diet (Dr. Joel Fuhrman), then eventually began binge eating on cooked vegetarian food, only to go back to raw for 20 days, to go off of raw again to continue binge eating on cooked vegetarian.
So, with all of this binge eating, you would think i feel absolutely AWFUL. I am FATTER, yes, i don't like that at ALL. I don't like the way i LOOK, but i feel actually really GREAT!
There are a few things i attribute feeling good to:
1) SOME small successes in eating cooked food intuitively and noticing hunger/fullness and eating cooked meals that i 'wanted,' for instance, a Boca Burger instead of pizza when i felt i wanted the burger. And ordering more wiseley with an eye to what would be TOO filling, etc... For instance, NOT ordering the fries, too, which are at least 1/2 lb of fries, but got a 2 oz bag of chips instead. There has been some MILD but VERY SIGNIFICANT empowering feelings in actually being able to CONTROL my intake during a binge.
3) Betaine HcL
E3Live and Betaine are two supplements I have been taking. Cliff and I have been taking the E3 Live for about 2 weeks now and, wow, i REALLY feel some SERIOUS benefits from it: High energy even when binge eating (!), excellent digestion even when binge eating (!), reduction of reflux laryngitis even when binge eating (!). I suppose the green fluid is alkelizing, so even with eating bread and cheese and icecream, etc..., i am receiving alkelizing benefits from the bluegreen algae routine. We've been taking 1 Tbsp once a day and for the last 3 days, we doubled the dose. Ideally, i'd like to take 3 Tbsp a day, 1 Tbsp with each meal. God, if i feel good NOW, can you imagine how good i'll feel THEN??
The Betaine is a digestive enzyme i've been taking for years now. I LOVE it. I cannot eat nuts and digest them without it. Apparently, it is helping TREMENDOUSLY with the digestion of pizza and boca burgers and fries and fried onion rings even. Wow.
So much for pure raw joy!!! Jeez, well, all i can say is, no one is perfect, and i certainly am seriously flawed and still in the midst of fighting my terrific food addiction and this is all part of my journey, so for me, it's valuable to document it all, because in documenting it, i can be a bigger help to people when i do finally come to terms with myself and discover exactly what DOES work for me.
Anyway, in case you are interested in the supplement, here is some info: www.e3live.com
E3Live® is 100% Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA for short) that is an all-organic wild-harvested aqua-botanical considered by renowned health authorities to be nature's most beneficial superfood.
Physiologically, E3Live® helps restore overall body/mind balance in numerous ways. Its field of action simultaneously includes the immune, endocrine, nervous, gastro-intestinal and cardio-vascular systems.
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So... okay, so, here i had this absolutely lovely productive day at work where i didn't even compulsively EAT!!!!, and do you know what i ate for breakfast? Uy, you don't even want to know - two Dunkin' Donuts eggwhite veggie flatbread sandwhiches with an order of hash browns and a cranberry juice. And i really felt GREAT all day despite this cooked vegetarian overeating episode, thanks to the supplements i'm taking.
I felt SO GREAT and so HAPPY at work today that after work, i actually went to the GYM and took a 30 min walk on the treadmill! I'm not sure what to attribute this wonderful happiness and mental lightness to, as i've been quite depressed, gaining weight, binge eating.
One reason for the feeling of relief could be that i canceled some classes that were to take place at Arnold's Way that i was severely stressing over, and in fact, only 3 people signed up for, not enough interest to make teaching the classes worth my while. Letting go of them was a huge stress reducer for me as it turns out.
Another reason for the lightness is i've been singing. And practicing. That is obviously STRESS RELIEVING for me. Boutenko talks about the benefits of relieving stress in controlling one's eating and, uh, it is certainly true. I'm auditioning for a new singing job this weekend. I'll update you more on that soon.... Wish me luck!
Also, ADMITTING openly and TALKING to many customers today about my diet, "I've gained weight due to eating cooked food compulsively...do you eat cooked food? What percentage?" (Everyone i talked to does.) ALot of the SHAME of weight gain and the SHAME of COOKED FOOD was relieved today merely by being out in the open.
I'm not even saying where i'm at is GOOD, it just IS, and being OPEN about it helps ME to move forward.
So, at the gym, i felt very empowered. There i was doing something good for myself despite a binge in the morning. That is such a wonderful feeling to actually turn a day around! Working at Arnold's Way was such a blessing today. I felt grateful to be there and enjoyed my day very much.] So, i was finished walking on the treadmill, i caught a glimpse of myself in the window and no, i didn't like what i saw. And i said to myself, feeling quite empowered, "I would like to get back to the 250's. I don't like how i look in the 280's."
And then i said to myself something shocking. "Make a list for yourself of all of the cooked vegetarian foods that you've been binge eating on that you obviously LIKE. MAYBE you CAN learn to eat them in moderation."
As i write that now i know how foolish it sounds. Me and Moderation are not close friends.
BUT, what this FREEDOM of thinking this way gave me was the actual POWER to think about going on a green smoothie fast. Like, i can STILL have cooked food AFTER if i WANT it.
I know, it sounds nuts, but mentally it's working for me.
I also bought Victoria Boutenko's new book, "Green Smoothie Revolution," and i'm thinking after the green smoothie fast that i will eat 1 cooked vegetarian meal a day, plus green smoothies.
The smoothie fast is to help me get back to a more comfortable weight. I know, i know i endlessly talk about how destructive dieting is. But, you know what? i don't like the way i look. And that's that.
That's what my THOUGHT is now, but, as you know, those change DAILY!!!!
That's where i'm at today and i'm stickin' to it....at least until bedtime tonight!
So, i hope you are all well. I hope you all are finding your way successfully. And i'm sorry i'm struggling and not able to be a shining light in the raw community anylonger. But, maybe i can still get back there. But, sometimes, by TRYING so hard, one makes things more difficult than by just "letting go" and "letting GOD." If raw is right for me and where i and my body need to be, i'll get back there!
xoxo michelle joy