Monday, November 29, 2010
How ya'll doin'? Did you have a good Thanksgiving? I had Tofurky, it was yum!
How do you like my little naked man here, the pied piper! I searched under "God" and he came up. I liked his little pecker so i kept him!
I'm doing well on my plan with Megan. It's turned out to be an all vegan plan with green smoothies for breakfast and lots of fruit snacks on my best days. Other days, like this morning, I ate a cooked breakfast. It was so cold, 25 degrees when we awoke, and the bananas were STILL green from the cold, that we opted for oatmeal and whole wheat toast with vegan hot chocolate for breakfast. It was delish and I remind myself that ANY meal is good as long as i don't binge.
In terms of health, however, I acknowlede that green smoothies for breakfast are optimal.
I'd thought, well, maybe i'll have a salad for lunch, then, but we went to vietnamese. And I enjoy the rice noodles, so i did that, and enjoyed them. Which is important to me. Letting go of guilt and trying to accept what is and not beat myself up but try to aim for overall progress is my motto these days. Sometimes it's just as cleansing as a green smoothie to have an attitude filled with love and acceptance. Again, as long as i don't binge, i feel like a success.
I'm not sure if I am indeed one, but i feel like it. Mind over matter.
There is something to be said for the journey I am on.
My friend Meredith asked one day so matter of factly it actually gave the journey validity, "Are you still working on legalizing and inner balance?" There is something to be said for this journey. I don't know of other raw foodists were were obese who lost all of their weight who were also former binge eaters. All of the obese people I know that went raw and lost all of their weight were not binge eaters. Maybe this is just a STEP in my journey?
I know eventually, i will get there.
I had a few bad days when i went off totally, back to the cheese and the shrimp and binge eating non stop, but thank God, i've been able to pull myself back together.
Megan is very encouraging! I love my little Megan-dearheart. She lets me write to her as much as i want, and you know what? I really love it. It helps me. I even check in a few times a day sometimes. She even lets me send her really long letters.
Last week during the binging, i did some writing, which revealed I was feeling a lot of shame. This seems to be a theme for me, shame, feeling ashamed. Perhaps that is what precipitates binge eating for me? But i use the binge eating to express it.
I'll try to really focus in and if i feel shame coming on, allow myself to express it and acknowledge it, without having to binge eat as a means of expressing it.
I'm going to try not to focus on weight too much, too. It is what it is. Weighing myself daily when the scale goes down is fun, but when it doesn't go down, it makes me crazy in the head. Weighing myself and being discouraged precipitated the last binge, "Why am I working so hard for that number?" What good did a binge do? After the binge, i'm even heavier that before I even weighed myself.
It dawned on me to do a week-long banana feast or a smoothie feast to get the extra weight off, but i couldn't make it happen. Is it a good thing or a bad thing i couldn't do it? I don't know anymore. I just had to accept. And move on. And that's where i'm at.
Nevertheless, my conscience is telling me I was better on raw. My body is telling me some things I find worrisome and discouraging. While i so enjoy eating, say, regular spaghetti and whole wheat bread and all of these yummy non-raw things today without needing to binge eat as a reaction, I'm fearing a little what they are doing to my body. I'm feeling symptoms in my body that frighten me, like stiffness in the joints. I don't know, maybe i'm just stiff? Or maybe it's because i'm not raw anymore.
I guess since i am not a raw foodist anymore, i won't have the tremendous health benefits that raw foodists, do, like limber joints, like abounding energy, and delaying menopause. I'd always dreamed of having a child someday and hoped I'd be fertile for a good long time due to raw foodism. Maybe now i'll never have a baby.
I'd turned to raw food to stop binge eating, to lose weight, and to re-grow my thinning hair. The hair never regrew. (Neither did Dr. D's. He's bald). I did lose weight and kept it off miraculously for 3 years, wow, I never did before, but i didn't lose it all. I was still binge eating.
My weight was undeniably MUCH better on raw. But at a certain point, i stopped losing. I routinely ate gourmet raw non stop. I maintained my weight and gained 20-30+ lbs, but it nver went above that.
I never lost anymore signigicant weight until i found 811.
But, then i got frustrated that i had to go so fat free, so gourmet free, so salt free to lose weight. Then i started eating beans (less fat than nuts) and then I went nuts and lost it all. At least now the FEAR of cooked food "causing binges" is gone. I don't think it "causes" binges or everyone would be binge eating.
Two other raw foodists i know, men, have lost all of their weight on gourmet raw. How do they do it? One exercises non stop. The other does not exercise at all. They're not binge eaters. They may not even calorically eat that much.
Angela Stokes has lost all of her weight, but she barely EATS anything at all anymore. She drinks juice mostly.
I got frustrated ultimately from 811. I never learned how to make it work for me as I'd hoped. That's what Megan is hoping to nudge me towards.
Yesterday I got kinda scared that I've lost my taste for raw. I was cleaning out the cabinets and came across bag after bag of raw snack chips, cookies, crackers. All of them had gone soggy and stale. So i threw them out. I could have re-dried them to perk them up, but they didn't appeal to me anymore. Because they were old? Or because they were raw? Maybe it's just because they were old??
Sometimes i'm happy to be just like everyone else now when it comes to food. It's freeing - off the cuff - to just end up at the local vietnamese place for lunch - rice noodles and tofu, instead of having a carry around a bag of bananas or constantly worry about what i'm going to eat, or spend a million dollars at All The Way Live. I never made it out of there with a bill under 80$. Today, lunch was 15$, how sensible.
On the other hand, now i'll just be like everyone else with diabetes and heart disease and rhemetoid arthritis.
And my weight is obviously not as GOOD as it was on raw.
Maybe i'm completely deluded and offbase, but to me, the most important thing today is that i am controlling my eating (except for those few bad days preceeding thanksgiving). It's been about 4 weeks with Megan, and maybe i haven't lost a million pounds, but it's a great feeling to just be eating normal meals and not be out of control, MOST of the time.
I've been batting around the idea of alkeline vs. acid and wondering if too much acid-causing foods precipitate binges. Any thoughts on that? I'd love to hear your experience with binge eating and how it relates to acid/alkeline.
I've also been aware the last few days of my feelings and impulses around food. I sometimes feel inexplicable guilt after eating, then ask myself to let it go, and I do. I know when i start feeling guilty again a binge is imminent. When foods become "good" or "bad" for me, it can set me off. Jan asked me if this was going to happen around non-vegan foods, being that Megan wants me to eat Vegan. I suppose that's a possibility, but I try to view the vegan thing as a CHOICE, not a command. Megan is easy going and she constantly reminds me, 'I'm not going to yell at you..." It seems to help. Less "you must do this" produces less need to rebel.
I also feel drives to eat fake bologna sandwhiches in the middle of the night when i can't sleep, but thank God, i've been able to say 'No' to that impulse, too. I eat grapes instead.
Emotionally, it's been a tough week, and i have to DO something to release the tension, frustration, anger....instead of eating... Today i had to just call my mother's dr i was so frustrated. In fact, both my mom and Cliff's mom are sick again, and it's discouraging. How much can we do? We run from one to the other, i make meals for Cliff's mom she used to love and now turns her nose up at. Her urinary tract infection is back for the 3rd time and it decreases her appetite and makes her want to sleep. "Come on, mom, wake up, eat." It's draining. My mother started herself on anti-biotics because she thought it would stop her diarreah, when she didn't even know the cause of the diarreah yet. When i spoke to the dr he said she shouldn't have done that - now they couldn't test the stool to see what the cause was. My mother is a pill popper. I keep harping on her about how the anti-biotics are killing her digestion. "Really. i didn't know that." How many times have i told her....
Sometimes, i just feel like i'm having a nervous breakdown.
The more involved you become with your parents, if they're not well, the more frustration you face. If you don't get involved, you don't feel the frustration. Plenty of people have aging parents, but we're there daily and in the midst of it all and feeling it. It's TOUGH, but we've made the choice to be involved. I don't know how people who have children AND aging sick parents who they are involved with cope, let alone have jobs, and they keep the house clean and food on the table. I don't know HOW they do it.
I guess they don't have a blog.
I have to remember to meditate more and think of God more and turn things over to Him more. HE knows better than i do what's best for me (diet) and will lead me if i let him, if i listen, if i first ask and if i'm open, and willing to take direction, which i am, i think, sometimes. Hell, i know i'm stubborn and bullheaded, but i'm not that bad, am i? I'm just trying to go with the flow, go with my desires and not feel BAD about them.
But i'm noticing, asking, allowing and waiting for the prompting to go further with raw. It really does have to be driven by an internal motivation for it to stick and not just be another "diet" I go off of.
And HE will watch over our parents, or at least give us peace that God's will will be done, if we remember to turn everthing over to Him.
Let go, let GOD. Let go, let LOVE.
It's a good thing. A good practice. And, I know that eventually, if i do that, everything will work itself out.
xoxo michelle joy
Saturday, November 27, 2010
1 handful ITALIAN FLAT LEAF PARSLEY or more, to taste
2 stalks of CELERY or more, chopped, with CELERY LEAVES
4-5 BANANAS, frozen if desired
(AGAVE or DATES to taste - optional)
Parsley is also known as "Rock Celery". Both Parsley and Celery come from the same family! One day I started adding celery to my green smoothies and I haven't stopped since! It is so refreshing! By far, this is my favorite green smoothie! The combination of celery AND parsley is amazingly REFRESHING! Chopping the celery helps the fibers not to twist around your blender blade. Add all ingredients to blender and blend thoroughly. I enjoy this slightly salty and bitter green smoothie without any sweeteners. Enjoy!
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Celery leaves has high content of vitamin A, whilst the stems are an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C with rich supplies of potassium, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and plenty essential amino acids.
Nutrients in the fiber are released during juicing or using in smoothies, aiding bowel movements.
The natural organic sodium (salt) in celery is very safe for consumption, in fact is essential for the body. Even individuals who are salt-sensitive can safely take the sodium in celery, unlike table salt (iodised sodium) which is harmful for those with high blood pressure.
While many foods lose nutrients during cooking, most of the compounds in celery hold up well during cooking.
Celery has always been associated with lowering of blood pressure.
Recent studies have shown that celery might also be effective in combating cancer.
Neutralizes Acidity: The important minerals in celery and celery juice effectively balance the body's blood pH, neutralizing acidity.
Replaces Electrolytes: Celery juice is the perfect post-workout tonic as it replaces lost electrolytes and rehydrates the body with its rich minerals.
Cancer Fighting: Celery is known to contain at least eight families of anti-cancer compounds. Among them are the acetylenics that have been shown to stop the growth of tumor cells. Phenolic acids which block the action of prostaglandins that encourage the growth of tumor cells. And coumarins which help prevent free radicals from damaging cells.
Lowers Cholesterol: This humble pale juice has been shown to effectively and significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Prevents colon and stomach cancer: The phytochemical coumarins prevent the formation and development of colon and stomach cancers.
Alleviates constipation: The natural laxative effect of celery helps to relieve constipation. It also helps relax nerves that have been overworked by man-made laxatives.
Cooling: During dry and hot weather, drink a glass of celery juice two or three times a day, between meals. It wonderfully helps to normalize body temperature.
Diuretic: The potassium and sodium in celery juice helps to regulate body fluid and stimulate urine production, making it an important help to rid the body of excess fluid.
Aids Inflammation: The polyacetylene in celery is an amazing relief for all inflammation like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, asthma and bronchitis.
Promotes Healthy Kidney function: Celery promotes healthy and normal kidney function by aiding elimination of toxins from the body. While eliminating toxins, it also prevents formation of kidney stones.
Lower blood pressure: Drinking celery juice every day for a week significantly helps lower blood pressure. A compound called phtalides help relax the muscle around arteries, dilating the vessels and allowing blood to flow normally. To be effective, drink the juice for one week, stop for three weeks, and start over.
Calms Nervous system: The organic alkaline minerals in celery juice has a calming effect on the nervous system, making it a wonderful drink for insomniacs.
Weight loss: Drink celery juice frequently throughout the day. It helps curb your cravings for sweets and rich food.
Urinary and Gall stones: The diuretic effect of celery juice also aids the breaking and elimination of urinary and gall bladder stones.
You can expect many more healing benefits from celery juice as you consume its natural sodium. Our bodies lack and have been deprived of natural salt.
Choose green celery where possible for its chlorophyll. The whiter the celery, the less chlorophyll it contains. Ensure that the ribs are still firm, not limp. To store in the fridge, wrap celery in a sealed container or wrap in a plastic bag or a damp cloth.
Do not leave it at room temperature for too long as it tends to wilt quickly. If your celery has wilted, sprinkle it with a little water and put it in the refrigerator for a few hours. It will regain its crispness.
CAUTION WITH CELERY:
Celery is such a succulent plant that it produces its own "pesticide" to protect itself from fungi. This protective layer is called psoralens which although protects the celery, may not go down so well with some people. If you begin having skin problems after eating celery, it might mean that you have some sensitivity to psoralens.
Some people with low blood pressure complain that celery makes their blood pressure even lower, so you might want to avoid celery if you have low blood pressure. Listen to your body when you take celery.
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INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT PARSLEY
While parsley is a wonderfully nutritious and healing food, it is often under-appreciated. Most people do not realize that this vegetable has more uses than just being a decorative garnish that accompanies restaurant meals.
Parsley is native to the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe and has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years. It was originally used as a medicinal plant (see below) prior to being consumed as a food. Ancient Greeks held parsley to be sacred, using it to not only adorn victors of athletic contests, but also for decorating the tombs of the deceased. While it is uncertain when and where parsley began to be consumed as a seasoning, historians think it may be sometime during the Middle Ages in Europe. Some historians credit Charlemagne with its popularization as he had it grown on his estates.
Parsley’s Many Therapeutic Health Benefits Include Its Use For:
* Anemia: Parsley builds up the blood because it is high in iron. The high vitamin C content assists the absorption of iron.
* Antioxidant: Parsley increases the anti-oxidant capacity of the blood.
* Bactericidal: Parsley kills bacteria.
* Bad breath: Parsley deoderizes breath. Chew on it after eating.
* Baldness: Believe it or not, men even scrubbed parsley onto their scalps to cure baldness—which doesn’t work.
* Blood purifier
* Blood vessel rejuvenation: Parsley maintains elasticity of blood vessels, and helps to repair bruises.
* Diarrhea is greatly helped by drinking parsley tea.
* Digestion: Parsley is an excellent digestion restorative remedy. It improves the digestion of proteins and fats therefore promoting intestinal absorption, liver assimilation and storage. Because of its high enzyme content, parsley benefits digestive activity and elimination.
* Dissolves cholesterol within the veins
* Diuretic: Parsley acts as a diuretic and blood vessel strengthener
* Ear health: Parsley is effective in treating deafness and ear infections.
* Fatigue: Parsley is high in iron so helps repair and provides components for better blood cells.
* Gallstones: Parsley helps dissolve them.
* Glandular support of the liver, spleen, kidneys and adrenal glands.
* Hormonal support: In women, parsley improves estrogen and nourishes and restores the blood of the uterus. Conditions like delayed menstruation, PMS, and the menopause (dry skin, irritability, depression and hair loss) can often improve.
* Hormone balancing is achieved through the volatile fatty acids contained in parsley.
* Immune booster: The high vitamin C, beta carotene, B12, chlorophyll and essential fatty acid content render parsley an extraordinary immunity enhancing food. Parsley is an immune-enhancing multi-vitamin and mineral complex in green plant form and one of the most important herbs for providing vitamins to the body.
* Inhibits tumor formation: Parsley inhibits tumor formation, particularly in the lungs.
* Insect bites: Rub on to relieve the swelling and itch.
* Kidneys: Parsley is effective for nearly all kidney and urinary complaints except severe kidney inflammation. It improves kidney activity and can help eliminate wastes from the blood and tissues of the kidneys. It prevents salt from being reabsorbed into the body tissues; thus parsley literally forces debris out of the kidneys, liver and bladder. It helps improve edema and general water retention, fatigue and scanty or painful urination.
* Liver congestion: Parsley enriches the liver and nourishes the blood. Parsley helps reduce liver congestion, clearing toxins and aiding rejuvenation.
* Menstrual irregularity: Parsley helps to make the cycles regular by the presence of apiol which is a constituent of the female sex hormone estrogen.
* Menstrual pain
* Night blindness: Bad eyesight is a sign of Vitamin A deficiency. Parsley packs in the Vitamin A.
* Spleen strengthening: The parsley root in particular strengthens the spleen, and can, therefore, treat malabsorption.
* Stamina and Resistance to Infection: Stamina loss and low resistance to infection point to a sluggish liver. Taking parsley can help clear up blood deficiencies, fatigue, a pale complexion and poor nails, dizzy spells, anemia and mineral depletion.
* Stomach problems
* Strengthens loose teeth: In the Middle Ages parsley was used for many conditions including 'fastening teeth' (Scurvy, which is caused by a Vitamin C deficiency, makes the gums spongy and the teeth loose.)
* Uterine tonic
* Weight loss benefits from being a diuretic
Nutritional Benefits of Parsley:
Parsley is a nutrient powerhouse containing high levels of beta carotene, vitamin B12, folate, chlorophyll, calcium, more vitamin C than citrus fruits, and just about all other known nutrients. Parsley is a moistening, nourishing, restoring, ‘warming’ food, pungent with a slightly bitter, salty flavor. It enhances and stimulates the energy of organs, improving their ability to assimilate and utilize nutrients.
Beta carotene is used for protein assimilation. This nutrient benefits the liver and protects the lungs and colon. Beta-carotene is converted by the body to vitamin A, a nutrient so important to a strong immune system that its nickname is the "anti-infective vitamin."
Parsley is abundant in chlorophyll, thus purifying and inhibiting the spread of bacteria, fungi and other organisms. Chlorophyll from parsley is slightly anti-bacterial and anti-fungal which acts to enhance immune response and to relieve mucus congestion, sinusitis and other ‘damp’ conditions. Chlorophyll, high in oxygen, also suppresses viruses and helps the lungs to discharge residues from environmental pollution.
Essential Fatty Acids: Parsley is a source of alpha-linolenic acid, an important essential fatty acid that is too frequently deficient in today’s diets.
Fluorine is an important nutritional component abundantly found in parsley. Fluorine has an entirely different molecular structure from chemically-produced fluoride. Tooth decay results from a shortage of fluorine, not fluoride. It is the combination of calcium and fluorine which creates a very hard protective surface on teeth and bones. Fluorine also protects the body from infectious invasion, germs and viruses.
Folic Acid, one of the most important B vitamins, but one of its most critical roles in relation to cardiovascular health is to convert homocysteine into benign molecules. Homocysteine is a potentially dangerous molecule that, at high levels, can directly damage blood vessels and increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Folic acid is also a critical nutrient for proper cell division and is therefore vitally important for cancer-prevention in two areas of the body that contain rapidly dividing cells--the colon, and in women, the cervix.
Iron: The iron content of parsley is exceptional with 5.5mg per100g (4oz). A half-cup of fresh parsley or one tablespoon dried has about 10 percent of your iron daily requirements. Plus, parsley has the vitamin C your body needs to absorb that iron.
Protein: Parsley is made up of 20% protein. (About the same as mushrooms.)
Vitamin B12: Parsley contains traces of B12 producing compounds. Such compounds are needed for the formation of red blood cells and normal cell growth, important for fertility, pregnancy, immunity and the prevention of degenerative illness. The action of vitamin B12, however, is inhibited by birth control pills, antibiotics, intoxicants, stress, sluggish liver, and excess bacteria or parasites in the colon or digestive tracts. Parsley helps to counteract these inhibitors.
Vitamin K: Getting at least 100 micrograms of Vitamin K a day can drastically cut your risk of hip fracture. Vitamin K is necessary for bones to get the minerals they need to form properly. Parsley is loaded with vitamin K (180 mcg per 1/2 cup). Cooking parsley nearly doubles its Vitamin K.
Vitamin C: Parsley contains more vitamin C than any other standard culinary vegetable, with 166mg per 100g (4oz). This is three times as much as oranges. Flavonoids, which make up the Vitamin C molecule, maintain blood cell membranes, and act as an antioxidant helper.
Volatile oil components - including myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene. Parsley's volatile oils, particularly myristicin, have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies, and particularly, tumor formation in the lungs. It acts as an antioxidant that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke, charcoal grill smoke, and the smoke produced by trash incinerators).
Parsley also contains calcium (245mg per 100g), phosphorus, potassium (1000mg per 4 oz), manganese (2.7mg per 100g), inositol, and sulphur.
How to Use Parsley:
Top off your sandwiches with it, include it in your salad greens, put it in Tabbouli or toss it into simmering soups, stews and sauces.
Parsley juice, as an herbal drink, is quite powerful and is usually taken in quantities of about 2 fl oz (50ml) three times a day and is best mixed with other juices. It is most effective to juice parsley in between other vegetables as the juice is heavy and thick and doesn’t move through some juicers very readily.
Types of Parsley:
The two most popular types of parsley are curly parsley and Italian flat leaf parsley. They are both related to celery. The Italian variety has a more fragrant and less bitter taste than the curly variety. There is also another type of parsley known as turnip-rooted (or Hamburg) that is cultivated for its roots, which resemble salsify and burdock. Chinese parsley, is actually cilantro.
How to Pick and Care for Parsley:
Whenever possible, choose fresh, dark green, organically grown parsley that looks fresh and crisp over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. Avoid bunches that have wilted or yellowed leaves indicating over-mature or damaged produce.
Parsley can be stored loosely wrapped in a damp cloth or plastic bag and refrigerated for up to a week. Wash just before using. If the parsley wilts, either sprinkle it lightly with some water or wash it without completely drying it before putting it back in the refrigerator.
The best way to clean it is just like you would spinach. Place it in a bowl of cold water and plunge it up and down like you would a toilet plunger. This will allow any sand or dirt to dislodge. Remove the leaves from the water, empty the bowl, refill it with clean water and repeat this process until no dirt remains in the water.
If you have excess flat-leaved parsley, you can easily dry it by laying it out in a single layer on a clean kitchen cloth. Pre-chop (both varieties) and place it on a cookie sheet on top of the refrigerator where it is warm. Stir it occasionally to allow consistent drying. Once dried, it should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place.
Some feel the curly leaved variety is best preserved by freezing, as opposed to drying. Although it will retain most of its flavor, it has a tendency to lose its crispness, so it is best used in recipes without first thawing.
So, drink my new favorite green smoothie...and you will receive LOTS and LOTS of health benefits! Bon Appétit!
xoxo michelle joy
Saturday, November 20, 2010
THE RAW CHEF
I wish you were at Arnold's Way tonight! I made Thanksgiving potluck stuff, o m g, i wish you could taste it, I'm so excited! I hope the dishes last until sat night...it's Thursday!!! I was so exhausted i could only make 6 dishes out of the 10, someone will have to make the other 4.
I made the mashed "potatoes," like i usually do with cauliflower and cashew, but i jacked them up a bit with cayenne, garlic and onion, and added nutritional yeast this time, yum!
I also made a mushroom gravy with nama shoyu and thyme and garlic, which i was happy with, mmm...!
I made this most frickin unbelievable cranberry relish sauce which will probably be separated and dead by Saturday, uy, but it was so good! Arnold only had about 1 cup of cranberries frozen, so put them in the Cuisinart, added about a cup and a half of frozen pineapple, cinnamon, a slice of ginger, fresh squeezed orange juice, orange rind, a spinkle of celtic salt, agave, and S bladed the whole thing up. OMG! It is so delish, i almost died. Everyone who tasted it was like, OMG!!!
The other frickin unreal thing i made i'm so excited about!!! You know everyone always makes KALE salad??? We didn't have enough, so i figured, 'why not collards!!!!!?' I made "Gramma's Creamy Collards!!!" I shredded the collards really thin by hand and made a white sauce - nutritional yeast, olive oil, garlic, onion, cashew, salt, agave, lemon and raw vinegar, mmm! It was such a thick sauce, it turned out really to be a mayonaise! The thick mayo made the shredded collards all stick together, but when you tasted it, it tasted like like a CREAM SAUCE, CREAMED COLLARDS! Incredible! It will probably be brown and runny by sat, though!!!!!
The other thing i'm excited about is the creamed sweet "potatoes" I made from carrot, maple syrup, cashew, pumpkin pie spices, ginger, orange peel, coconut oil and celtic salt. SO YUM!
OH MY GOD, I also made STUFFING!!! I took about 20 slices of well seasoned assorted raw bread slices and put them in the cuisinart with some water, onion, celery, carrot, olive oil, salt, agave, a little lemon juice, thyme, pepper, lots of pecans, and pulse smooshed it up. I added more handchopped vegetables and whole pecans to the mix and it really LOOKED like stuffing! And tasted REALLY GOOD!! Tim tasted it and said, "Wow, you really captured something very thanksgivingy there!" We didn't have any fresh sage so tomorrow someone is going to add fresh sage for me. What is stuffing without fresh sage??? Fennel would be nice, too, make it taste a little sausagey.
Ahhh, making raw food is FUN...especially with the inspiration of a holiday...!!!
I was so tired after work, i going to write you about my day tomorrow because i was so zonked, but i guess i got my second wind! This morning i had a pear, then some raw cereal, just a handful. It was an all raw day, yay, but high fat and high salt and lots of tasting and no defined meals. I have a hard time at work, i really do. Anyway, i got to ARnolds and had a big green smoothie with kale and celery, yum, then i was hungry already and had a pack of raw toona on a slice of raw bread. Then, really the whole day i was tasting stuff I was making. I also recall snacking on 1/2 raw burger, a few salty walnuts, a few more slices of bread, leftover blenderized soup, etc.. I have a hard time at work not picking.
And i feel discouraged about it because when i eat the salty stuff, i gain.
I weighed this morning back down to 12 lb loss. I had gained 2.5 lbs, but i think it was water retention from the wheatmeat, then lost it after eating beans and veggies with no additional salt. Canned beans are already salted, but i always rinse them. They are tasty enough as is.
Anyway, i was discouraged again today because my bowels have not been working as good as they had been. Isn't it fun to talk about poop? But finally i made my 2nd poop late in the afternoon. i've really been making less poops the last few days. Maybe it's all of the walking and I'm dehydrated and don't realize it? Come to think of it, i don't pee much. Dr. graham used to say normal should be 10x in 24 hours. I probably went twice today during the day. I'm so prone to water weight and holding water.
I decided to start up my intake of Diatomaceous earth again. Maybe that will kick my bowels into action again and help with gas i get from beans!!! It does seem to help me digest. And i could take the Betaine like i used to. That's a big help.
When i got home, zonked, i was hungry curiously enough and had 3 oranges and now i'm drinking a thick mango blueberry banana "whip" (i make it in the blender) with agave.
FRIDAY tomorrow will be week 3, can you believe it??? Uy, i probably gained today again. Water weight. Raw pickles. I had to tell myself more than once today, "It's a lifestyle, not a diet." If i keep walking and eating healthy there is NO WAY i can't lose weight EVENTUALLY. Maybe i'll have to eat less or less fat or less salt or whatever, but it will eventually come off if i make overall lifestyle changes.
Guess what? My hour walk I was so proud of wasn't an hour after all, because this morning, i actually timed myself and i was like, "wuh???" It was a 45 mins walk. So what! I haven't been timing, just guestimating. Anyway, so what, I'm still doing it! I bring my book and love it! I read and walk!
I do get a little nuts sometimes in the head with my weight. I just KNOW that i COULD lose 30 lbs in a week doing all bananas. I sometimes think of that and get a little discouraged, but then i think, "But can YOU maintain that?" and i really can't, nor do i want to.
Hey, so today was an all raw day and tomorrow Talia is having a Bday party at Arnold's. I'm making a chocolate pie. I'm bored with that idea. I hope i can come up with some sort of inspiration.
I want to make tomorrow an all raw day, too, and take advantage of the Bday party dinner being raw. If i keep my breakfast a smoothie as it has been, and dinner is raw, i'll just have to make myself a raw lunch at home, and there's day 2 of raw!
Raw is a little HARD because i like the high fat stuff and the salty stuff.
Wish you were here.
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GETTING READY FOR TALIA'S BIRTHDAY PARTY
Missing you tonight. Talia's Bday is at Arnolds tonight. I made a pie that i am DYING for you to taste!!! It has cherry chocolate LIQUOR in it!!!! That's, uh, not raw, and I don't know if any of the stricty's will eat it, but it is divine!!! It's called "Deep Dish Black Forrest Cherry Cordial Pie"!!! I marinated the cherries in chocolate cherry cordial!!!
"DEEP DISH BLACK FORREST CHERRY CORDIAL PIE"
* nut date crust with a hint of orange rind, delish
* layer of choco avocado mouse, very rich and chocolatey
* layer of white vanilla cashew cream, yum
* topped with sweet black cherries marinated in agave and Chocolate Cherry Cordial, ooh la la!!!
I"m SOOO excited! I hope it's good!!!
So, today was my 2nd raw day!!! But guess what i ate for bfast???? TASTE TESTS of FATTY FAT FAT choc cherry pie. Nothing like a big bowl of FAT for breakfast!!! I actually only had tastes, about 8 spoonful tastes....
Then i drank water the rest of the day and bypassed hunger, so i'm HUNGRY for tonight and can have a good time!!
Heading to Talia's party soon. Hopping in the shower now. Going to the DOG SHOW with Cliff tomorrow!
BIG HUGS! xoxo michelle
~ ~ ~
TALIA'S RAW BIRTHDAY PARTY
Did you hear me yelling hello to you on the phone with the whole crowd tonight at ARnolds?? It was fun at Talias party, but you were definitely MISSED!!!
They loved my pie and devoured it! Arnold called it decadent! I put Hannukah candles in it and we all sang Happy Birthday to Talia! P.S. The cordial laden cherry juice leaked in the bag and the pie looked ugly when i unveiled it from the car ride!!! Arrrg! Note to self: use guar gum or some kind of thickener for the cherry juice next time, and use coconut oil in the white sauce to harden it up! The top layers were too loose... It was RICH but yummy! This pie has real promise, but needs some tweeking...!
Talia made yummy raw chicken salad and fabulous "NORITO" crackers from corn and sunflower seeds, and a cake that tasted like fig newtons, mmmm! Joan made an amazing raw sauerkraut. Carol made the most amazing cheesecake pie with blueberry topping. Nizar made the most incredible guacamole with THICK CHUNKY veggies in it and no salt! You didn't even MISS it! The food was exceptional!
I was raw all day, yay, but had fatty stuff tonight, hard to avoid at a potluck, not that i tried, i rather looked forward to it, but i didn't overdo it!!! My attitude about fatty raw food has changed. I accept it for what it is. Half of the 80-10-10ers do the fruit thing and abstain, and the other half bash fat all night and then can't stop eating it and pig out and blame the fat. I was happy to have what felt like a balanced approach. It seemed to work for me. I ate when i was hungry, enjoyed what i wanted, and stopped when i had enough. 2 plates was enough. I did good! No thirds!!!
I didn't eat all day except a little fresh orange and this morning tasting the pie contents.
You know, i have the WORST sore throat!! I'm sick! I can't believe it! Either it is a reaction to being raw for two days and my body is "ready" for a cleansing. Or the 2 raw days were the FATTIEST days i have had in TWO weeks and my body is saying NO MORE FAT! OR it's just a reaction from the D.E. I haven't taken it in a while and i took a whole heaping Tbsp, which is too much to start up again with.
It's hard to tell what our bodies are telling us, why we're feeling how we're feeling.
Arnold suggested green smoothies and light tomorrow.
Something i was thinking about in terms of raw - you know i NEVER go to the potluck or to these parties and it was SO NICE! Why don't i go? I'm so glad i did! I'm thinking that being raw is something like being Christian. You keep having to FEED the RAW spirit. I need to keep more in the loop with raw potlucks, events, etc... They help to keep one motivated. wow!
Dorinda was there tonight. I was feeling her creamy soft skin all night. I have NEVER felt such soft skin in my life. All from her soap that she makes from french fry oil. She has skin SOFTER than a babies bottom and it is quite remarkable. I said, "Does your husband just want to feel you all night?" She answered, quite matter of factly, "yes." I bought 2 bars of her fabulous soap last night. I freely advertise Dorinda's soap because i just LOVE IT!! Check out her website: http://www.washtyme.com/
Mostly everyone is going to hear Doug Graham talk tomorrow in Kinzers, PA. I am not going. I'd thought about it, but i still owe him money and, well, i can't pay him right now, so i don't even want to open that can of worms.
Arnold is running a sale at Arnolds Way this coming WED NOV 24th and FRI NOV 26th - 20% off of everything in the store and cafe, excluding equipment. We made flyers tonight at the party.
Everyone was also making plans to drive to NYC for a raw fruitarian dinner that a friend of Talia's is hosting. I can't go because i'm making TURKEY for my family!!! Maybe i'll get a TOFURKY for myself!!!
Everyone said i looked pretty and looked good tonight. Must be the 2 weeks of daily GREEN SMOOTHIES!!!
Missed you, xoxo michelle
xoxo michelle joy
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
7 social tea bisquits (vegan low fat cookie) 140 cals
1 cup tea
Sn: 2 apples and water
After dinner last night, I was hungry, even though i recognize i'm having these big meals. Maybe it's all in my head, but i was hungry. I really wanted some kind of cookie, something sweet and crunchy. My mom has these plain cookies called "Social Tea Bisquits" which have no dairy and are low fat and low cal. (7) cookies are a serving at 140 cals which sounds reasonable, so i enjoyed 7 with tea and it was an "Ahhhh, yum" moment.
A part of me feels guilty for eating cookies.I was still hungry later before bed, so I had 2 apples.
Another part of me feels entitled as any other person to have a few cookies every once in a while and enjoy them.
I decided to listen to the second voice.
I keep reminding myself that this plan is not temporary. It's not a quick fix diet. It's a LIFESTYLE.
This outlook really seems to be working for keeping the binge eating at bay.
~ ~ ~
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2010
I weighed myself this morning and gained ANOTHER pound and a quarter!!! I've gained 2.5 lbs over the last two days!!! This would completely be freaking me out under normal circumstances, but i'm kind of intrigued. I decided to do the 2 cooked meals a day and it had been working like a charm, nothing changed, and then i gained. I don't get it. Am i really eating too much? Am i really eating over 3500 cals a day??? I HONESTLY don't think so!! I'm not eating any more than i was last week...
But maybe i am? I may be in denial. It's always a GREAT possibility.
What i do see is the following:
- My ring won't come off of my finger and my cheeks look swollen. I'm retaining water... I think it's the wheatmeat stuff which i love...
- I'm also slightly constipated. I mean, i was making like 3 and 4 poops a day. Now, barely one. I think i have been eating more bread than i had been last week, and i'm thinking maybe THAT has something to do with it. More bread means LESS vegetables and more calories, i suppose.
- I also recognize that i've been walking regularly now and perhaps not drinking enough water! Dehydration can make you constipated. Isn't it fun to talk about pooping? Only we can do that in our community!
It might behoove me to stick more to the plant based foods (Fruits, Beans, Vegetables, Potatoes, etc...) and use bread and wheatmeat as special items.
Discovering weight gain is never particularly pleasant, but I'm trying to analyze it. And I'm coping with it differently. I didn't let it depress me for more than a few hours! I'm talking about it, instead of obsessing over it or eating over it. Most importantly, I'm recognizing that gaining weight is SIGNIFICANT feedback. It's MY BODY telling me something about me.
~ ~ ~
FOOD/ACTIVITY - WEDNESDAY, Nov 17, 2002
Br: GREEN SMOOTHIE
kale, celery, banana smoothie, with no agave. Yum!
EXERCISE: 1 hour walk, yay and cleaned out the cabinets.
Lunch: stir fry of:
1 can chick peas
leftover rice noodles that had minimal olive oil on them and a little seasoning
Sn: 1 banana
Dn: stiry fry of:
1 can chick peas
1 large spoon of veggie soup over everything which has a little fat in it
Sn: "Sorbet Dessert" - Frozen Black Cherries, Frozen Mango, Frozen Banana, Agave, all blenderized
~ ~ ~
THOUGHTS ON AUTONOMY
I spoke with my good friend, Jan, yesterday. HI JAN! :-))) Big cyberhugs to you! Jan is encouraging of my new plan and really thinks Megan is great. SO DO I!! Jan said this, "She's really allowing you to be autonomous." I was like, "Yeahhh...", but I admit i didn't even know what autonomous meant. I liked the sound of the word so much that i came home and looked it up. No wonder the word felt so right to me. Autonomous is exactly how i feel these days...and I LOVE it!
autonomy - noun
1. the quality or state of being self governing
2. self directing freedom
3. a self governing state
synonyms: accord, free will, choice, self - determination, volition, will
antonyms: dependance, dependence, un-freedom
Take my walking. I did an hour today! I feel really good about this, that no one told me to do an hour, but that i came to it on my own because it felt right. Being able to work at my own pace feels fabulous! Megan suggested 30 minutes 4x/week. I began with 20 mins because it felt like all i could handle. Soon, i was doing 20 mins once myself and again later with my mom. Now I did an hour today. Working up at my own pace feels like nothing, because i went with the flow, I listened to my body saying it was ready for more. I didn't listen to anybody else telling me to do something i felt i couldn't or didn't want to. When I was with Carlene, uy, there was so much pressure. I find i don't really NEED it now. I so appreciate this freedom to explore, and do, and eat, based on how i feel or want, to self monitor, to be a big girl! I want to thank Megan for this wonderful freedom. To be supported, but to feel free, is a unique experience and i'm loving it!
There is a big part of me that feels like, "Who do you think you are to control YOURSELF????" for wanting control over my own food and exercise. "You don't know what you're doing! Who the hell do you think you are???"
I think these must be old, old tapes from when i was growing up. My parents never encouraged independance, but were enabling.
~ ~ ~
A much healthier, stronger voice is asserting itself these days. I'm very proud of it. That voice says something like this:
When you have been on a diet almost your whole life and have people telling you, "DO THIS, DO THAT, EAT THIS, EAT THAT, LISTEN TO ME BECAUSE YOU CANNOT CONTROL YOURSELF, YOU ALWAYS MAKE THE WRONG DECISIONS, I NEED TO BE IN CONTROL OF YOU,"...you learn to doubt your own instincts, your own desires, your own motivations, your own self motivation, your own POWER, and you believe you can't do anything on your own, and that you are your own worst enemy and need HELP and to be DEPENDENT on someone to DO everything for you. Because you CAN'T do it.
This is my life story. With dieting, for sure.
So you keep running back to experts, desperately, saying, "TELL ME WHAT TO DO! I can't TRUST myself! Help me!"
But one day, you wake up and you finally realize, you don't want to listen to experts anymore. You want to be your own expert. You start to want to try to listen to YOURSELF. You want independance, and you break free.
So you do. And it's GREAT!
And then, you fall down, and you realize you were kidding yourself. And you're desperate for someone to control you again. HELP ME! You run to someone new, and submit to their control. It feels so good to be dominated! Take control of ME!! I need you! I can't do it without you! I don't know what i need, only YOU do!
But, soon again, you break from them just like you always did before. You assert your independance! It feels good.
For a while.
You fall down, again.
You do this a million times before you realize, this ain't workin'. You realize that everytime you run to an expert for help, you end up wanting to be your own expert.
So, maybe, you realize, from each person, you learned what you DIDNT want anymore, and that that was a worthwhile experience, but now, you realize you just wanted permission all along to be your own expert. You only needed support and encouragement to run your own ship.
You realize you just kept running to the WRONG PEOPLE for help.
You have some success, but over and over again, you fall down. But something is growing in you, telling you that you can have what you want, that you can do it! And you realize that you have it within yourself to pick yourself up. You just needed encouragement.
Then you meet someone who says, "You can do it. I'll give you some guidelines, but go ahead and make this your own. I'll be here to encourage you." And you feel triumphant. And you realize you have the power.
So you start to learn to listen to yourself and you feel so supported doing that. Wow! You become an AUTONOMOUS being. And you start to like it. ALOT! And sometimes you fuck up, but most of the time now you do great, but even when you fuck up, you still feel like a success because you were in control, and not some crazy plan that didn't make sense anyway.
You start to TRUST yourself! And you realize that you have the ABILITY to make GOOD DECISIONS. And to figure things out, and come up with solutions. And you realize that you will not SELF DESTRUCT like you believed was all you were capable of. And you realize it feels amazing to be the one to say, I will do this, i will eat this. You realize it feels amazing to be "self governing."
You appreciate so much that liferaft, that security of knowing someone is there, watching, guiding from afar. But, you don't need someone up your butt anymore, telling you you ate 1 banana too many. "That's not gonna cut it!" You realize a good coach and a good friend encourages you, but let's you find your way, and applauds everything you do right.
~ ~ ~
Wow! I am loving it Michelley! You can weigh yourself as often as you like. I know I enjoy tracking minor changes day to day as well. I am so excited that you are actually enjoying the plan. There really are so many options under the vegan umbrella, especially coming from a raw food perspective. It is great that you are so conscious of including raw food though and still eating lots of fruit. I am enjoying reading your blog and I'm sure you are inspiring many people. The results are steady and amazing. How is your energy? Still feeling pretty good? Any detox? The walking is great. That's good that your mom is doing it with you.
Thank you so much for being so amazing :) I hope you have a great day tomorrow!
~ ~ ~
xoxo michelle joy
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
How're you all doing?
I'm hangin' in! Megan and I were talking about energy. My energy is pretty good....not great by any means. Not like it was on raw. On raw, i had more energy, but i'm also heavier than i was on raw. I'm thinking about how i feel at work or at the end of the day, and i do feel tired at the end of the day, and sometimes I feel midday slumps that i used to not get on raw. But overall, i'm feeling pretty good, no real complaints.
I gained a little over a pound today. It's interesting because Megan and I were just talking about me weighing myself daily. Gaining weight is no fun, but it's interesting feedback. What does it mean? I don't think i did anything particularly differently yesterday than i have been, but maybe i did? I'm trying to not freak out, just be curious. Some days i eat so much and lose 2 lbs. The day i lost two pounds, i ate oatmeal the night before. Go figure. This is certainly a journey!!
It must be water weight. I did eat those tofu dogs and mustard yesterday. Maybe i had a lot of sodium without realizing it? Also i had some of that vegan butter AND nayonaise and a little tofutti cream cheese all in one day, so maybe too much fat??? And bread twice. THAT could be it.
Interesting to look and notice. Just to see what happens.
I can't imagine calorically, i ate over 3500 cals, which is what they say will gain you a pound. It's probably just water weight.
The reason they say NOT to weigh yourself daily is that everyone has daily fluxuations and it can discourage you. I get that, but it's actually good in a way to write what i eat down and track my weight so that i can then SEE what i eat on days it goes up. Maybe i'll find a pattern?
As long as i don't get nuts in the head about weighing daily, we're not making an issue of it.
I'm so grateful for Megan's support. You have NO IDEA how much i appreciate her. I wish i could give her a big hug!!! Just knowing she's there means so much.
Anyway, honestly, the most important thing to me right now, honest to goodness, is that i'm on a PLAN...and NOT binge eating. Binge eating is my WORST problem, even above obesity. I'm just so grateful to be eating relatively healthy low fat meals and fruit snacks and not to be out of control anymore. You have no idea just how good THAT feels. Taking back CONTROL feels so empowering!!!
I'm certain i'll continue to lose slowly. I don't see how i could not. Even if i lost 1 lb a week, that's over 50 lbs by next year and 50 lbs the next. In one or two years, i'll be 100 lbs down and weighing 220-ish. In three years, i will weigh 170. Can you imagine??? Who cares how long it takes, if i just stick with a PLAN like i'm doing, and exercise, it's going to happen... Isn't it???
Or am i deluding myself?
Am i really gaining because i'm eating too much?
Well, there's plenty of time to sort it all out and figure it out. I can always make adjustments.
Overall, I've COMPLETELY and RADICALLY switched my perspective from short term crazy dieting to a LIFESTYLE that i can maintain without binge eating. That is A#1 in my book.
Thursday i'll eat raw all day again when I work at Arnolds WAy. At least i'm eating raw 1 day a week! It's a beginning.
I'm kind of happy doing this with the cooked - 2 cooked meals a day. You know, I really NEEDED this transition. To have been raw for so long, and then to have gone off for about a year, it felt impossible to just get back on. And i didn't even really WANT to. Is that a horrible confession? People usually turn to raw for big time health issues or energy reasons or for spiritual reasons. I turned to raw to stop binge eating. Raw didn't really STOP binge eating. I binged my heart out on raw gourmet CHRONICALLY. So, to be eating the food that i mistakenly thought MADE ME BINGE...and seeing that IT DOESN'T feels like SERIOUSLY IMPORTANT WORK. After I get rid of the binge eating, i can address the raw issue to a greater extent. I'm eating more raw today than most normal folks. Lots of fruit and smoothies.
I'm really enjoying all of the variety. And enjoying not being compulsive about it. I have a wonderful feeling of "ABUNDANCE". I feel SAFE and pleasantly content with all of the choices available to me. This is a wonderful feeling from someone who felt she couldn't trust herself with food, that food was the enemy.
I found some whole wheat tortillas in the cabinet yesterday that i bought last week. I'd forgotten about them. Since when do i forget about FOOD???? I'm not compulsive AT ALL! I used to feel like bread was evil and "bad" and that i was addicted to it, and i would eat the entire loaf telling myself, "You see? You see? You can't handle bread! No more bread for you! You're a bread addict." And then i'd be binge eating on bread for WEEKS, months until i banned it again, but i'd always run back, scarfing down loaves and loaves piled in butter.
To be free of all of that? What a gift.
Anyway, Megan is my little secret weapon! Thanks for being my friend, Megan!!!!! So close but so far, out there in AZ!!! Megan moved out to AZ to be with Joey on a 6-month videography job. She's out there writing her next raw book. Way to go, girl! Megan's website: www.meganelizabeth.com
So, the consensus is that I AM doing good. I feel good about how i'm doing. Megan seems to be happy for me. I spoke with Jan today and she's happy for me. All of the raw people who read this are probably disgusted. OH WELL! SORRY!!!
I think i'll just stay on this track for now and continue to see what kind of progress i make. I told Megan, "We can always re-evaluate, depending on how things go, you know?!!! I mean, if i continue to gain or stop losing completely...we'll re-evaluate. For now, i'm going to see where this leads!"
FOOD ACTIVITY Tuesday, Nov 16, 2010
Br: Banana Spinach Agave Smoothie, 3 glasses
2 baked potatoes with ketchup and 1 tsp of vegan butter
bowl of homemade squash vegetable soup
2 tofu pups cut up in it
1 bowl homemade squash soup
Extra vegetables added in it
1 small sandwhich wrap
-1 med whole wheat wrap
- 4 slices soy turkey
- 1 slice rice cheese
- lettuce, onion, tomato
cherry pineapple "sorbet" - 1/2 frozen banana, frozen bing cherries, frozen chunks fresh pineapple, agave
Monday, November 15, 2010
I had a great conversation with Megan (on Friday, i think it was). God, i miss her. I'm hugging you in cyberspace right now, Megs! I am so freakin' happy she is my coach/friend/email buddy. I'm so freakin' happy. Somehow she knew what i needed. I'm super grateful she agreed to the "slow plan" (2 cooked vegan meals a day). I'm really enjoying it and she's agreeable to it and since it's working, we're all okay with it! Being Vegan again is so cool. Sometimes your friends know better than you do what's best for you. I love Meggy so much. I'm so happy being VEGAN again!!! I LOVE IT! Memorably in a conversation about dairy, she would ask, "Doesn't the mucous bother you?"
YES!!! But, not anymore! And my snoring went from a 10+ to a 4, Cliff said. And he said, "And sometimes you don't snore at all!" I'm content with this amazing reduction in just a week.
During my conversation with Megan, I felt so GOOD because, unlike the asshole Dr. D, Megan was incredibly supportive and is allowing me to control my diet. Somehow writing that feels forbidden. That "I" should be in control of it? Of what i eat? Of how much? And what i choose? ME? Isn't that DANGEROUS??? Megan said she wouldn't yell at me, but encourage me, and that she didn't care if i was raw or not, that it was not important to HER, but that she was thrilled I was eating healthy and feeling good and feeling happy and that the binge thing seems to have....evaporated. Her brand of support feels WONDERFUL.
Megan asked about the binge eating, "Why do you think it's stopped?"
I think there are alot of reasons.
TOP 11 REASONS THIS IS WORKING
1) I think I'm finally eating enough to fill me, so i don't NEED to FILL MYSELF OUTSIDE of my plan, i'm doing it INSIDE of my plan! And Megan is to thank for really steering me in that volume direction. "Fill yourself up," she said. You have no idea how profound those words were to a binge eater. You mean i'm A L L O W E D to fill myself up?????????????????? Finally accepting the fact that i have a large appetite feels like finally finding out I have a good voice. It's like, "DUH!" With high fiber low fat, i can make a GIANT plate of food with TONS of veggies on it, and then lose 2 lbs.
2) I also think the VEgan plan has ALOT to do with it on many levels. For one, there is such a WIDE VARIETY of foods to choose from. I feel ZERO, ZERO, ZERO deprivation. Fake hotdogs, fake chicken salad, fake tuna, etc. etc. etc. I can basically eat anything I want.
3) VEgan protein sources like TVP and seitan and wheatmeat seem so much lower in calories than other protein sources. This is astonishing me. You can really FILL UP for little calories.
4) Vegan foods don't seem nearly as addictive as cheese and shrimp, for example. I've lost that intense DRIVE~!
5) Having Meggie's support means the world to me. I write her these LONG LONG emails...and she actually READS them!!! I'm giddy with delight!!! She asked, "Does it help you to write daily and write out your feelings and your food?" I exclaimed, "YES, I LOVE IT!" "Great!," she said, "I think it's therapeutic for you! Write as much as you want!"
6) I have a basic plan that i follow: fruit and smoothies for breakfast and snacks; vegan cooked lunch (or brunch) and dinner; exercise. Having a plan feels comforting and confining in a GOOD way, like a seatbelt does in the car, and keeps me on track. I delay gratification in the morning and at snack times, which is a good practice, but eat what i want in my cooked vegan lowfat meals.
7) I have PLENTY of leeway in my plan. I don't feel like it's a "diet" because I can eat a veggie eggroll and rice dream and a bagel, so it's not only variety I have, but I can eat high fat foods in moderation, too. I'm kind of just using common sense.
8) I follow the guidelines of HUNGER and FULLNESS and eat until i'm SATISFIED. (Eating until I'm satisfied is HUGE. I accept that i have a big appetite). Waiting to eat until I'm hungry ensures I thoroughly ENJOY my food. And eating slowly and SAVORING is another ticket to success. Basically, eating large volume meals and snacks on a consistent plan keeps me full until the next snack or meal, so I never need to binge.
9) I write about my emotions, talk about them, and stay in touch with what's bothering me, with how i feel.
10) I'm exercising again, daily, and enjoying it!
11) All of the fruit and green smoothies...are ALKELIZING, balancing me, taking away that "compulsive" feeling completely!!!
So i have support, I'm exercising, the food is low cal, I feel totally uncompulsive, I pay attention to how i feel, emotionally and hungerwise, I'm full when i'm done eating, there is plenty of variety, I get to go out to eat almost anywhere, and I don't feel deprived in the slightest! I suppose this all leads to success!
When i feel hungry, i'm learning to value it, address it.
For example, When i was eating the fake chicken salad tonight, i SWORE it was FATTENING, it was SOOOO good. So i served myself 1/2 of the little tub. After my sandwhich, i still felt hungry, and kinda made myself feel BAD for that. Like, 'you're such a pig, you ate 1/2 of that fattening container and a normal amount of whole wheat baguette, and you still feel hungry. What's wrong with you?' THEN, i looked on the fake chicken salad container and saw how low cal that stuff really was - i had to read it three times! What? (shock and amazement!) 175 cals for the entire container of the fake chicken salad? I also realized all of the activity I did today and that being HUNGRY would be NORMAL after all of that, which i WAS, so I finished the container, guiltlessly!!! It filled me up and that was that!! No nagging hunger pangs in an hour. Under different circumstances, i could EASILY have binged, not realizing I was just HUNGRY and hadn't eaten enough calories to sustain fullness. Normal people feel hungry and eat. Food obsessed people get all screwed up, depriving themselves and then binge eating or denying their hunger or feeling guilty about being hungry or fearful about it.
No, this is much better. I'm learning to TRUST my hunger. Every time I trust it and eat, following my guidelines, and then get on the scale and lose, I realize it's OK to eat when I'm hungry and fill myself up.
~ ~ ~
STatus quo around here. I'm super enjoying my plan, feeling fine and fancy free. I thought i would gain weight after yesterdays fake chicken salad, but nope! this seems to be working! I hope it's okay i'm checking my weight often. it seems to help me mentally cope with how i'm doing. i can easily feel like i'm fucking up, and then i weigh myself and i'm like, nope, you're doing GREAT! So far, weighing frequently hasn't caused problems or caused me to feel badly. it's been the feedback that i need that says, "keep on doing what you're doing!" so far it's working. when it becomes an issue, we can look at it.
Anyhoo, today was a boring day at Chez schulman with my mom.
It's quite early, so i'll probably have a snack later, most likely a banana berry smoothie, my favorite, but here's my food for today.
3 glasses green smoothie - spinach, banana, pear, agave. (used 3 bananas and 1/2 pear)
A wrap! What a delight!
1 small whole wheat wrap, 200 cals
3 Tofu dogs, 80 cals each
lots of romaine, tomato, onion
ketchup, mustard, 1 tbsp vegenaise
4 low sodium, low fat puffed rice/corn treats, 17 cals each
Exercise: walk alone 20 mins; walk with mom for 25 mins
2 bowls homemade butternut squash soup
VEGAN BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP (COOKED)1 small piece whole grain baguette with 1 Tbsp vegan butter
I used water as the base. I added two containers of the precut butternut squash, a 1/2 onion shredded, cut up 3 carrots in it and celtic salt and pepper. I let this cook a while until the squash broke down. I then added a small shredded cabbage, 1 head of broccoli chopped, 3/4 cup soymilk, 2 Tbsp vegan
butter, adjusted the celtic salt, added agave for sweetness, thyme, cumin, marjoram, cinnamon, chili powder, garlic powder, more black pepper and let it cook another 20 mins. DELISH, kind of middle eastern tasting! This made enough for about 6 bowls. Super yum! I added a nice handful of fresh baby leaf spinach, raw, to each bowl. The heat of the soup wilted it and added more texture and fiber.
3/4 cup rice dream
1 vegan chocolate - these were expensive, 10$ for 9 pieces, but pretty good!
pineapple smoothie - banana/pineapple/agave/1 tsp tofutti cream cheese in it for creaminess, yum!
1 apple - later when i was hungry.
I get kind of freaked out that i'm eating SO much but then i sort of count calories, i realize, it's not much! 600 cals for breakfast and snacks, 200 for the wrap, about 240 for the tofu dogs, 80 for the vegenaise (so far that's 1100 cals for breakfast and lunch.) If i eat another thousand for dinner and a few hundred for snack, i'm kind of on target with 2200-2500 cals. For dinner tonight i seriously doubt i ate 1000 cals even with rice dream and a piece of chocolate. The soup, which had some added fat, was overall very low fat because it was a BIG pot and over so many servings, each serving is then negligable in fat. No wonder why i feel like "heck, i want a piece of bread with my soup...and you know what? i'm putting vegan butter on it, and some dessert would be nice too.) I am learning to trust these instincts now, because if i don't, i end up binge eating later, because i denied myself. Feeling entitled to eating an enjoyable meal is a kind of a new free feeling. I'm going with it and trusting it and following my hunger and cravings and hoping that it is working. i think it is. i'll check tomorrow again to see if i gained or if i'm the same or if i lost! xoxo michelle
xoxo michelle joy
Saturday, November 13, 2010
It's Saturday, the first day of the 2nd week, yay :-))
I weighed in at 326 3/4 after 2 poops this morning, so i've lost 9 1/4 lbs so far, since i was 336 when we started and went up 2 lbs after a lot of salty food over two days.
I'm very content with this rate of loss, since I'm basically eating whatever the hell i want, in big big portions, just very low fat and i try to watch the salt, and vegan, thanks to my Megan-dearie who insisted I go vegan. I'm so GLAD!!! And I eat like 5 or 6 times a day. I'm in hog heaven! No horse heaven! Thus, the picture of the horse eating, hardy har. And i'm walking again. It's all good. :-)) I am certain i will continue to lose weight, slowly, but permanently, and my binging days will be OVER. Binging is for me so connected to strict dieting. Without strict dieting, i don't have to break free from ANYTHING. And I am not dieting strictly! Do you see what I eat? Maybe i should take pictures of my huge portions. I can't BELIEVE this is working. It's VERY VERY high volume, just considerably LOW fat vegan. And it seems to be working...!!!????
I amended my food from yesterday. I had more snack Friday night: 2 apples with cinnamon and agave and leftover oatmeal, about 1.5 cups. I was pretty concerned about this extended snack after the fact. Am i having a binge? Is this the start of a binge? Am i back to my old tricks? But after the oatmeal, i felt satisfied and didn't want anything else. It didn't have the urgency and compulsion of a binge. I think i was just hungry. Whatever it was, i was satisfied after the oatmeal. I think i just have a big appetite and I'm finally just learning to ACCEPT it!
But i can get really nuts in my head. Am i gaining weight? Will this really work? You're fooling yourself. You can't eat like this and lose weight. I told that voice to calm down and just let whatever is, "be." How many calories is oatmeal and 2 apples anyway??? Of all of the choices i could make, it was a pretty darned good one. Binging here at my mom's house before Megan, I used to eat 1/2 lb of natural munster cheese every night, 1 or 2 cups of icecream, 1/2 bag of potato chips or 1/2 box of some kind of snack cracker, 1/2 bag of cookies, 1/2 tub of yogurt and an entire large tub of cottage cheese before bed. Lovely. (uy!) That's high volume if there was ever high volume.
Even if i did do something "bad" eating oatmeal (when i try for the most part to stick to fruit snacks), how really "BAD" is it in the scheme of things? When i allow myself to buy into all of that head talk and feel terrible regret and guilt and fear and like i failed or am failing, i always binge. That voice...that one that whispers to me with doubt, you're gaining weight! with fear, this will never work...I'm getting more and more confident that this voice doesn't know what the hell it's talking about! shut the f up, i should say! With my eating disorder, which is very much a mental disorder, i have to force myself to turn from this doubtful fearful voice, and focus on the larger perspective. This is what rescues me from disaster. I could have easily binged listening to that voice. you fucked up already, so why not have FUN? Now, I talk to myself, with sense, with logic. Maybe i hadn't done PERFECT but this is not about a diet that i'm either ON or OFF of. This is a lifestyle plan that has a routine, but also flexibility, and backup plans! Didn't Megan say it was OK to fill up on Vegan stuff? Was what i ate vegan? check. Was it low fat? check. Am i full now? check. Then, forget it!!! It's only one episode in a day in the life of michelle's new LIFE STYLE plan. It's a lifestyle...it's not life or death. If i gain weight tomorrow, then i can reevaluate. 2 apples and oatmeal? Get some perspective!
When i weighed myself the next morning, i lost another pound and a quarter from just the day before, so i realized that the whole drama over the snack was just that, DRAMA. In the larger scheme, it was a blip. And maybe 1/2 cup of rice dream wasn't that much of a snack to begin with, so i was hungry.
I obviously have a big appetite. If i'm not eating a lot of fat, i seem to want volume. As long as what i eat volume of is fruit or veggies or oatmeal occassionally as a snack, i seem to be doing just fine!
FOOD/ACTIVITY SATURDAY NOV 13, 2010
3 glasses parsley banana agave smoothie
17 mins walk alone
20+ mins walk with my mom
1 medium bagel
2 Tbsp tofutti cream cheese
lettuce, tomato, onion
1 cup of vegetable soup
1 cup of soy banana berry smoothie (frozen banana, blueberries, raspberries, agave, soymilk)
Snack - hungry!
1 red pear
4 very small clementines
Stir fry of:
1.5 servings of rice noodles according to the package
at least 3 cups of stringbeans, alot!
1 slice of marinated tofu (2 servings according to package)
1/2 cup vegetable soup
I "stirfried" (no oil) everything all together and it was so good, really BIG meal with all of the stringbeans, but stringbeans have no calories and fill me up!
I have to sing tomorrow, so wish me luck! I was nervous earlier today, but feel okay this evening.
xoxo michelle joy
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No snack last night, just water. I thought that was an novel concept, just to drink first when i feel hungry. It seemed to do the trick! Gotta remember that!
I weighed myself this morning: 324 1/4 from 336. That's almost 12 pounds, wow! Eating like a horse, huge meals, but low cal and vegan and I try to do with as little salt as I can, but still enjoy it. Seems to be working! I can LIVE like this!!!! Walking is a pleasure now. I bring my book. It's so much fun. I can't wait for tomorrow morning. My book is so good! And I met my 2 lb quota for this week and more! Now i can eat fried chicken! [I'm kidding!!!]
FOOD ACTIVITY SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2010
parsley banana agave smoothie made with 4 bananas
No wonder why i'm always starving for lunch, only 400 cals. Each banana is roughly 100 cals. My mother's blender is so small and this is the biggest shake i can make. It yields about 3 glasses which i sip throughout the morning and then by noon? Famished!
20 mins walking alone, reading. LOVE IT!
20+ mins walking with mom with her walker. She's doing good!
1 hour opera concert - that's even harder work!
As I write this, it's 5:30 p.m., and i'm absolutely zonked! Wiped out! and Starving!!!
1 cup brown rice
3/4 c. veggie soup
1/2 c. stringbeans
1 triangle of baked tofu from Whole Foods Salad Bar
container Whole Foods fake chicken salad - an astonishingly rich portion for UNDER 200 cals. Can that be right? It was 1.75 servings of 100 cals each!!! Amzingly delish!
2/3 of a whole grain baguette - I never planned on eating so much of the baguette, but i was starving (In Yiddish we say, "I was vom Hungerland!) and I'm learning to trust that, and that feeding myself is OKAY!
lettuce, tom, onion
2 pieces vegan chocolate
banana berry soymilk "whip" with agave
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xoxo michelle joy
A wonderful part of having a blog is the incredible people that i meet through it and keep in contact with, and the emails, the wisdom, support and encouragement they offer. It's just another gratifying part about being in our community, the people are so special.
Today, for a nice change of pace, let's hear from some of my blog friends. Today I offer you wonderful lessons that they have sent to me from other raw sites or sites dealing with eating disorders that they visit. Since we can always use more wisdom and inspiration in the food department, I'd love to share what they've sent me with you.
The first lesson is brought to us by way of Karen from Ardmore. She is my new blog friend that I had the pleasure of meeting at one of Arnolds raw Festivals. Karen shares with us snippets from a yahoo group email she receives. In these snippets, we hear from an author with the same first name, Karen Koenig.
I get mail from a yahoo group called Food and Feelings, but actually I don't pay attention to it very often. Today I looked at what was in the digest, and I thought these were good to read. Karen Koenig is an author, counselor (somewhere on the west coast, I think) and sort of the mentor for this group. I have her Food and Feelings workbook, but have never really sat down to work with it. I thought this was good -
"If you're using food to fill yourself up to quell uncertainty about what to do with your life--or for any other reason--you stop by not doing the action and by allowing yourself to experience the discomfort of doing so. Same goes for if you always want to be busy doing some activity so that your life feels full when it really isn't. Rather than fear emptiness, you have to befriend it and make it an acceptable state. More than that even, a learning state. It's okay to not know what you want to do, but you will never, ever find it by unwanted eating. Stop the eating and you will discover what really feels you up."
"I was recently talking with a client who said that whenever she's emotionally uncomfortable, she automatically thinks about food. This is an unproductive habit that makes superficial sense: It's more comforting to think about food than to delve into whatever is really on your mind or in your heart. When you focus on food (never mind eat it!) or weight, it's because you want to feel better. But that only works short-term. The long-term solution is to experience and fix whatever is making you feel badly. Right now, your brain is simply trained to go straight from a pinch of discomfort to food or weight thoughts. You'll have to retrain it so that emotional discomfort has staying power and eventually food/weight thoughts won't even enter the picture."
Karen R. Koenig
These really hit the nail on the head for me - food/weight and eating issues are definitely a short term solution only, but I have not yet figured out how to "experience and fix whatever is making you feel badly." I know what things I feel bad about, but I don't know what to do about them, and I definitely don't want to feel the feelings associated with them. That's the growing up I have to do.
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What profound lessons Karen has shared with us through Karen Koenig. Karen, where can we sign up to get this email, Food and Feelings? It sounds like a good one!
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Next we hear from my friend, Jan, who I met at Optimum Health Institute, who is a member of the Rawfood Rehab. http://www.rawfoodrehab.com/. There are wonderful inspirational successful raw fooders on that site and Jan often describes to me the many cyberfriends she meets there, or sends me inspirational and meaningful posts she finds there. Here is a post that Jan sent me from Raw Food Rehab that is very appropriate to the blog, about ADDICTION.
The Juicy Life
So, yesterday was second verse, same as the first. I skipped breakfast (I never do that but I needed to get a fasting blood test) then came home and started with 1 quart green juice. Then I made myself a green smoothie (just 50%greens and 50%strawberries + lemon juice) and another blended soup (50% greens + carrot, celery, lemon juice, red bell pepper, heirloom tomatoes, onion, garlic, fresh cilantro, 1/4 of an ancho chili, seeds and veins removed.) And then it happened. My appetite came back, with a vengeance. I didn't even want my smoothies. They didn't appeal to me. I felt like I would rather have nothing than have those smoothies. It was so weird. It is not like me at all.
My kids made homemade pineapple pizza for dinner. (Whole wheat crust, low-fat cheese, homemade organic sauce, but I still think it's a train wreck...) And I wanted it! I really wanted it, especially the cheese. I felt myself going there. I was reaching to nibble, just a little bit of the melted cheese...its not really cheating...just this one little bite...
And BAM! I put that Brat right into TIME OUT! Oh yes, she was piping up, big time. The same Brat that talked me into so many binges, once upon a time. But that day, is not TO-DAY. I took my life back, and I'm not giving it back.
I quickly pulled out the organic prunes I bought to help break the feast. I counted out 6 of them, and gobbled them down. (I was supposed to soak them, but I didn't trust myself to do that with the smell of pizza in my nose.) Then I immediately went and got in the shower. It is very difficult to eat pizza in the shower! So I felt safe there. And I prayed for strength to face the temptation and waited until it passed.
I could be telling you such a different story this morning, about how I blew it, but I forgive myself, etc.
But I'm not. I share this story because I think it's important to know that:
1. Just because you have a craving, you don't have to act on it! Sometimes they are STRONG, but you are stronger.
2. I should never have skipped breakfast and not had even juice till noon. I never should have let that pizza be in my house. My house is a safe-zone! Mama always said, "If you don't want to slip, stay off the ice!"
3. When you hear the voice of your Brat (or your Beast, or whatever you call your addictive voice) that should be the equivalent of lights and sirens and a funky old robot waving it's arms and hollering "Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!" Enact your emergency plan immediately!
4. HAVE an emergency plan! Cravings will come. They just will. There will be times when the temptation is great.
My emergency plan looks like this:
1. Recognize the signals. (The Brat trying to talk me into it.) SOUND ALARM!
2. Talk back to the Brat! Tell her NO! I decide what goes in my face, not her.
3. Remind self: I am a RAW VEGAN. If it ain't raw, and it ain't vegan, ITS NOT FOR ME!
4. Eat something healthy that IS raw and vegan, immediately!
5. Get far away from the temptation!
6. Do an incompatible activity. An incompatible activity is one you can't do while eating. So far I have take a shower, go swimming, knit, and um, couples have another option, if you get my drift. AND I THINK YOU DO. (Alas, I am gloriously single, sooo...)
7. Pray for help. (and to stop thinking about #6, lol)
This is what works for me. If you are not a person of faith, instead of the #7, you could get on-line and get support here. I do that in addition to the others, so that would be my:
8. Check into the 'Hab and get some support - http://www.rawfoodrehab.com/
Bottom line: You NEED A PLAN. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! You can have excuses, or you can have success, but you can't have BOTH!
Michelle, Mallory used to weigh over 400 lbs. and has now lost about 130 lbs!!
Just know that I love you and want the very best for you, dear friend,
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Thank you, Jan, for your caring concern and for sending Mallory's wonderfully descriptive and wise teaching regarding ADDICTION and an EMERGENCY BACKUP PLAN. This is so smart and so necessary! Wasn't i always asking that stupid Dr. Graham for such a thing? He never offered one.
And i LOVE Mallory's teaching that we must be wise to the voice of the BRAT. I love that way to describe "her"...she just wants what she wants. "Put her in time out!"
Although now I'm not 100% raw now, I really got a lot out of this.
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The next wonderfully descriptive post is also by way of my friend, Jan, and is a farewell from the Earth Mother who had a wonderful blog that Jan followed lovingly and with much anticipation daily. Earth Mother has now decided to live her life instead of write about it, much to Jan's dismay. It's a wonderful blog if you'd like to check it out: http://earthmother-intheraw.blogspot.com/
Let's read what Jan sent. It's another wonderful message.
TAKE A BITE OUT OF LIFE INSTEAD
I haven't been hanging out too much in the blogosphere. I'm happiest outdoors in nature and that's where I've been every spare moment, enjoying the heck out of summer.
This earth mother likes to get her hands dirty, working the soil in the garden and lovingly tending to all the plants. I've spent weekends camping in the woods, falling asleep with the twinkling stars above while feeling the heartbeat of sweet Mama Earth beneath me. I've clocked countless hours down by the river, playing my flute as the hawks perform their aerial ballet overhead.
Too many summers past have been spent indoors in air conditioning, trying to escape the heat. I don't know if it's the plant-based diet, high in raw living foods, or the fact that I've lightened my load a good 120 pounds since last June, perhaps both, but the heat and humidity don't seem to bother me nearly as much as they once did.
I've been much more physically active — walking, hiking, roller blading, yard work, yoga, dancing, swimming — and I've even gotten back in the saddle, after being absent far too long. Not that I thought my 1,500-pound pals couldn't support me, but I could no longer hoist my 300-pound butt up onto their backs.
All this is to say that, while missing from cyberspace, I've been actively engaging in and relishing life. And that was the point of this whole journey into Raw Food Land — to stop dieting and start living, to regain my health and vitality.
I'm not certain if and when I'll update this site again. The internet is chock-full of raw food blogs these days. I don't know if there's anything new I can bring to the mix. If you have any thoughts or ideas about that, you can leave a comment below or contact me by clicking on the link at the top of the page.
And hey, next time you find yourself mindlessly reaching for the food when you're not physically hungry, stop.
Now go take a bite out of life instead.
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In just a few minutes, we've learned a lot of lessons:
Stop dieting and start living!
Take a bite out of life!
Revel in feeling empty - don't fear the emptiness, embrace it!
Don't listen to the voice of the "brat."
Stop eating and you discover what really fills you up.
Stop thinking about food and deal with life.
Have a backup plan, always.
Fail to plan, plan to fail.
Thanks, girls for passing along the wisdom. We need to fill ourselves with these positive messages lest we allow the negative ones and the negative behaviors to take over...
Much love to you,
xoxoxo michelle joy
Friday, November 12, 2010
Fable of the porcupine
It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided
to group together. This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest
companions even though they gave off heat to each other.
After a while, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen.
So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. Wisely,
they decided to go back to being together. This way they learned to live with the little wounds that were caused by the close relationship with their companion, but the most important part of it was the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.
The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but the best is when each individual
learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities.
The Moral of the story: LEARN TO LOVE THE PRICKS IN YOUR LIFE.
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Is that cute or what??? It's a nice story and a good life lesson.
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FOOD/ACTIVITY Friday Nov 12, 2010
3 glasses green smoothie with parsley and celery - my new favorite
3 packs veggie sushi, wasabi and pickled ginger, no soy sauce
Sounds crazy, but 3 packs with cucumber and avo and carrot inside is not really that much food. how much food can that REALLY be...??? If i shoved it all in a cup, it would probably be 2 cups of food. And i ate all of that at noon and was hungry again at 3:30, so it couldn't really be that much food if i was hungrySnack
berry banana shake with agave
Low-fat skillet of brown rice, white beans and veggies
-1 can great northern beans
-mushrooms and broccoli
-1 tbsp of tofutti cream cheese mixed with water, lemon juice, celtic salt and agave to create a sauce
-1/2 cup brown rice
1 apple for dessert
1/3 cup of rice dream
Not the most delish thing in the whole world, but okay for a once in a while thing!
2 apples with agave cinnamon drizzle
1.5 cups oatmeal...i was hungry...i must have some appetite...!
Weight lost week one: 8 lbs. Originally, two days ago, i registered a loss of 10.25, but i ate salty stir fry on wed night out (soy sauce) and i ate a lot of pickles yesterday at work in the toona, so i'm thinking....it's just water weight?.... I am surprisingly NOT freaked out about it at all. This feels more like a lifestyle than a diet, so i know it'll eventually come off...and if i shoot for 2 lbs a week, i'm already 6 lbs ahead of myself!!! What a new refreshing balanced viewpoint!
Walked: 20 mins today w/mom. She used her walker and was able to walk much farther than only a few days ago!
xoxo michelle joy