Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Possible RAW SPA In The Planning!!!

You never know how God will make things work out...but I'm beginning to really believe He does!

You know, Susan Aman, my catering partner, and I, have talked extensively about wanting to open an upscale raw food establishment. What that would look like, we had many ideas, but no funding.

So, last week, I spoke to a good friend of my mother's, Bonnie, on the phone who told me a friend of hers, Trudy, had enjoyed a lunch I made for her so much at Arnold's Way, that she wanted to talk to me about possibly opening up a business together, with me as the raw chef! I didn't hesitate when I said, "Tell Trudy to give me a call!"

Well, Trudy called!

Trudy wants to open up a SPA, with an upscale raw cafe, with me as Chef, which would also offer massages, foot reflexology, meditation, etc...

She would like to offer raw diet/nutritional counseling. That is NOT my forte, but luckily, it IS Susan's!!!! She is the most wonderful teacher and nutritional counselor. She is a Registered Nurse afterall and would be a must to get on board.

I just like to make people happy. My strengths are customer service, attractive presentation of food, and blending flavors/seasoning, especially with raw food. I'll leave the counseling to Susan!!!!

But, I would love to run a raw cafe! I have to admit, i am really excited about the possibility, and incredulous how God works.

I'd like it to be mostly raw, but I'd be open to offering some cooked vegan dishes, as well. And I've always wanted to offer a raw cheese plate with fresh raw berry compote and flax crackers with a tartly dressed mixed salad. And luscious raw nut pate's, a small scoop on attractive flax crackers, would be welcome. Of course, fresh salads, some amazing raw pies, naturally, whips and smoothies and juices and green smoothies, yum! Broccoli salad, seaweed salad, kale salad, kelp noodle salad are all contenders! We'll see what Trudy has in mind.

I'd want everything organic, as local as possible, and incredibly FRESH. I'd like the menu to change daily, but with standards always available. I'd like to have a chest high refrigerated glass covered display case that showcases salads and desserts for quick meals.

I'd like the cafe' to seat 12-20. I'd need the cafe to include a full kitchen with raw AND cooked appliances WITH walk in refrigerator and freezer. That way the "Mostly Raw Catering" that i run with Susan will operate out of the Spa. And someday soon I can begin packaging and selling my raw "toona" out of Whole foods. Heck, if Brad's Raw Chips can do it, I can.

Trudy has alot of connections and the funds and desire to make something like this happen.

She expressed the desire to do this in a very ritzy area, "someplace where the women have a lot of money." Sounds good to me!

Trudy and I and her daughter in law are going to meet over lunch next week. I will bring Susan. My father even said he would help back it financially. I've already heard from Trudy twice, and her daughter once.

I think this is FOR REAL!

Wish me luck on this possible endeavor and I'll keep you posted!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

[I wrote this yesterday]

Today i had my eye on doing whatever would give me PLEASURE. I had a luscious bath and scrubbed all over. I feel fresh and clean and good about me today. I can't help it, i'm a pleasure gal.

For brunch, I chose to eat a raw lunch of fresh colorful salad with mixed greens and shredded orange carrots and green peas and red onion and multi-color peppers. On the side, I sliced a few slices of fresh raw cow's milk cheese from France on Awesome Foods flax crackers, and slurped a Papaya Kombucha. This is living!

I paid attention, ate out in the open, no more hiding, savored and enjoyed. Eating like this will diminish binge eating. Pleasure, pleasure, pleasure were the key words today.

For an early dinner, i made a cooked vegan one, more out of necessity than anything. I didn't have any dressing for a salad, or enough interesting fruit, nor my equipment here at home to make an interesting pleasurable raw meal. (We've taken a vacation from mommy for a few days and it's rejuvenating.)

So, a cooked one it was. With an eye towards health and pleasure, I whipped up a butternut squash mash (steamed squash, salt, pepper) and topped it with an earthy italian veggie saute' of eggplant, mushroom, garlic, tomato and onion, with some roasted broccoli and asparagus on the side. For dessert, i had a few tiny bites of raw fontina and grapes. I felt like i was in Paris with my cheese and fruit dessert! Most enjoyable!

I think i'll have some wine now to make complete my Parisian pleasure fest!

I ate outside, enjoyed the cool breeze and the sun, paid attention to the flavors, tried to eat slowly (hard for me), recognized I was pleasantly satisfied...and that was that. JUST HOW EATING SHOULD BE. No compulsions, no insanity.

I didn't know what i was going to do today about cooked or raw. I got out of my head and I just took it a meal at a time and let intuition rule the day. I ended up making healthy choices today and I'm good with them. I'm in a GOOD place today, so cooked food didn't set me off. All i can say is: ONE DAY AT A TIME.

When i get hungry later, i'll make some more healthy choices and remember pleasure, pleasure, pleasure!!!!!!

Life feels good today.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Today's Update

I ended up having a huge binge last night, despite my best intentions and much nurturing of myself. I ate up all of the beans and rice, enough for 4 people, lots of bread and butter.

I woke up...surrendered.

I ate all raw today and have not binged. And I am going to bed in just a few minutes.

I spoke with Susan on the phone today, and reported how discouraged and hopeless I feel to control cooked food. I've been reading several books on how to overcome binge eating from my library upstairs - it's amazing what a collection I've amassed over the years - and I've tried numerous times to "legalize" food and learn to eat in moderation, each time, to no avail, in an effort to eradicate binge eating. I can't get it to work. Still.

When i went raw 3.5 years ago, and maintained a 150 lb weight loss for 3 years, that was the FIRST time in my life as an adult OR a child that i actually KEPT weight off that i'd lost.

Raw didn't take binge eating away, but it was the diet that helped me BEST manage my eating disorder AND my weight.

I told Susan our idea for pizza weekly, etc... sounded good in theory, but it wasn't going to work for me. I'd finally gotten beaten down one too many times. Every night I've binged. Eating rice, or beans or roasted broccoli....somehow my mind can't cope with healthy cooked and not healthy cooked. Every night without fail, i fall into bread and butter and more bread and butter no matter how healthfully i try to eat cooked. I can polish off a stick of butter a day. I am sure i'm over 300 lbs today, and my reflux layrngitis was horrible today.

When i draw a solid line in the sand between cooked and raw, suddenly i feel safe, like i do right now. Maybe that's denial, maybe i'm just feeding into my eating disorder, but it feels like i've finally made peace with my limitations. I am a cooked food addict.

When the line is iffy, some cooked foods, some are good, some are bad, it just doesn't work for me. I can't stop.

That's not true. It's possible i could stop, but it would take a LOT of work and alot of weight gain to do that.

Every eating disorder book would say that eating raw is "dieting," and that it will exacerbate my binge eating when I go "off" of it. Well, may be, but it's my only option at this point. Perhaps when i am stronger and able to legalize cooked foods I can revisit that idea, but it feels pointless today. I just can't keep going on testing myself and failing every night. How fat do i have to get to realize this is just not working. For now, i feel incredibly clear, finally, that raw food just works for me. It might just be that because I believe it does, it does. Whatever it is, I need to do it for me.

I'd like to take the wisdom from the eating disorder books and apply it to my raw diet and learn to eat more intuitively and more from hunger than from stress.

xoxo michelle joy

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