Saturday, February 26, 2011


Morning, Folks,

We had the SECRET class last night, and it was really good! We had 5 ladies in total, watched about 1/4 of the DVD and then did a worksheet identifying our COMPLAINTS and changing those into GRATITUDES. It was very enriching and we all left feeling uplifted. Come join us!

Change your change your life
215 361 0116

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One thing concerns me. You know how important it is sometimes to just get 'something' troubling off of your chest? When you just need to releave the burden of carrying something painful or troubling, to get it out, to talk to someone, to open up about something hurtful or worrying? The SECRET never acknowledges that need.

One time my brother wanted to open up to me. As soon as he started taking negatively i told him his attitude was bad, the conversation came to a dead halt, and he never opened up to me again. That wasn't exactly my desired outcome. I meant to help him, but he needed someone to listen to him, FIRST, and to acknowledge they heard him.

If you're working the SECRET, what do you do when someone opens up to you? Do you immediately find fault with them for their lousy attitude?? Or do you thank them and praise them for their ability to open up and acknowledge how they feel firstly, let them know how much you appreciate that they confided in you, and then, if they show interest in your viewpoint, ask if they wish to explore how you can work together on changing their attitude as a possible remedy to the situation?

Life is not problem free and there definitely is the possibility that a person could DENY troubling situations trying to THINK positively, instead of actually WORK THROUGHT THEM. That has ALWAYS been a concern about the SECRET. I think we'll discuss this next week. Holding in or REPRESSING negative emotions, feelings, etc... seems counter to general accepted teachings about MENTAL HEALTH. I think first you have to acknowledge feelings to even have to OPTION to change.

For instance, some people never allow themselves the opportunity to complain or talk about what's wrong. "How are you?" "Fine." They never acknowledge what's wrong, so nothing changes. Identifying COMPLAINTS is the first step. Learning to let go of the FOCUS on them is the second step.

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There IS a great difference between GRATITUDE for what IS, and AFFIRMATIONS for what we want - The SECRET DVD addresses both of these positive life-affirming LAW of ATTRACTION principles, but doesn't really delineate the difference. In presenting a class on the SECRET, I just want to acknowledge their individual aspects.

Last night in writing our gratitudes, many people instead wrote affirmations, which is totally cool, but i see a difference.

For instance, in filling myself with GRATITUDE for my HOME, I can tell myself, "I am so grateful to have a roof over my head, plenty of heat, to have so many rooms, 2 bathrooms and 2 kitchens. I am so lucky and so appreciative that my Cliff takes such good care of me with our home, paying for gas and electric and water and taxes and trash, and that things run as well as they do. I am grateful to have all of my basic needs met." That really DOES fill me with alot of gratitude.

On the other hand, as an AFFIRMATION for my most heart felt desires concerning my home, i can tell myself, "My beautiful home is RENOVATED magnificently with all NEW REFINISHED WALLS, ARTWORK, NEW WINDOWS, BEAUTIFULLY REFINISHED WOOD FLOORS, GORGEOUS THROW RUGS, STURDY and BEAUTIFUL and FUNCTIONAL FURNITURE, GRANITE KITCHEN COUNTER TOPS, NEW REFRIGERATORS and SINKS and PLENTY OF STORAGE in the kitchens and in every room, NEW WATER HEATERS, NEW SHOWERS and BATHS, NEW FLOORS in the BATHROOM, NEW VANITIES and SINKS, and EVERYTHING is ORGANIZED and ORDERLY. My home reflects my LOVE of cleanliness, orderliness and beauty. Beauty surrounds me wherever I go in my home. I freely invite FRIENDS and FAMILY to my home as I feel so PROUD to live in such a BEATUFIL and RENOVATED home. My home makes me so HAPPY!!!"

Both ways of thinking seem to be working the SECRET from what i can gather, but I think we need to see the distinction. We still need to be grateful for what we DO have. And the SECRET promises that the more we fill ourselves with GRATITUDE for what we DO have, the better we will FEEL about it, the happier we will be, the higher our vibrational level and the BETTER and BETTER will be attracted to us.

And as we work our AFFIRMATIONS, we keep in mind constantly what we WANT and DESIRE and our wishes will be granted! We will attract those things into our lives!

I must say, in feeling gratitude for what i DO have, it makes me want to take better care of it, and for that motivation to better my environment, I feel grateful, because I often have felt paralyzed and depressed about my home sitatuation, and thus, unable or unwilling to want to improve it.

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Yesterday in my job as a RAW VEGAN CHEF at Arnold's Way Raw Vegetarian Cafe' and Education Center in Lansdale, PA, I made raw TOONA and a yummy curry pate'. The day before I made spicy chedder cheeze, also an herby dip with cilantro and parsley, and the most yummy dessert balls i called "BANGIN' BETTER THAN SEX BERRY BLISS BALLS," a scrumptious combo of raspberries, coconut, cashew, ginger and orange peel.

At work, i have been eating what i want instead of trying so hard to follow food combining, and things are surprisingly OKAY with my eating at work. Not out of control like things have been in the past. I generally eat when i'm hungry.

At home, we practice the food combining. And I go off less and less. This week has been much improved. Go figure!
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Here are some of the COMPLAINTS turned to GRATITUDE from my list at class last night:

I am in debt and broke.

I feel grateful for my job, for the money it provides, and feel so grateful to Cliff for all that he does and provides for me. I am grateful to my parents for their loving support and financial support.

I can add to that an AFFIRMATION or WISH.

I receive income abundantly from my jobs as an opera singer and raw chef. I receive large tips at Arnold's Way. I have well paying singing jobs and private cooking jobs steadily. I receive a large salary for singing professionally. My singing schedule is full. My bank account is over 50,000$, and I am financially secure today and for the future. I am debt-free and owe nothing to credit cards. We are financially comfortable to travel frequently and live our dream life, able to afford the best of the best. I receive income from my writing, which I so enjoy.

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My feet hurt.

Mobility is a gift I am blessed to have! I am so grateful that i can walk comfortably when others cannot, that i have feet and legs to balance myself and that i am so mobile, and that i can serve the public in my job as a raw chef.

My legs are strong. My feet feel refreshed and vibrant all day long. I am light and lean. I walk miles and miles and feel fit and free. I am physically fit! My size 18 clothing fit me. I look and feel marvelous and better than ever! I am an inspiration to all who meet me.

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My throat is hoarse and I am scared that i will sing terribly on Sunday.

I am so blessed to have been given such a gift for music and singing and communicating. I am blessed to have been given the opportunity to play such a great role as Lady Macbeth and to present Verdi's incredible opera to everyone in attendance. I am blessed to have such good flexibility with my voice, such a good range and so much expression. I am grateful to know the role as well as I do.

My voice is healed completely. With every breath i take, i send healing energy to my vocal cords and throat. I sing better than ever on Sunday. I sing with total control and comfort very high and very low and in between. My larynx is low. My support is perfectly balanced. I sing each note on the breath and it rings perfectly. My technique is rock solid. I am in total command. I remember all of my lines. I express myself with my music artistically and with different colors and expressions. I inhabit the role of Lady Macbeth wonderfully, and everyone in the audience is greatly moved by my performance.

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Thinking like this feels good. When my mind is on the is not on food. Food promises to numb the fear and serves to keep me in DENIAL.

Extra food excites me and gives pleasure. But LIFE is supposed to do that, isn't it?

Food overeaten or binged on offers negative consequences like weight gain, and a plethora of other downsides like reflux, swelling, indigestion, allergies, cravings, the list goes on and on. I don't really need that, for today.

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Working the SECRET takes EFFORT, but it is well worth it. Soon, this way of thinking will come naturally.

When we think on a higher vibrational level, we attract more positives into our lives, effortlessly. We work hard on our attitude, gratitude and
affirming what we want....and the rest takes care of itself.

This last year with all of the stresses i endured, my mother's illness, Cliff losing his mother, the stress and FEAR of gaining and going off of raw, i really lost my way, and dove head first into food as the COMFORTER. That great distracton only made me fatter, more depressed and more discouraged. Me eating lots of non-nutritional food outside of sensible meals and gaining so much weight and being so discouraged about it only served to feed the ADDICTION TO NEGATIVITY. My vibrational level really PLUMMETED and I only attracted and wanted more and more of what i didn't want. The more I got stuck in complaining and making excuses, the worse things got.

I'm turning that around. The future feels bright!!!

xoxo michelle joy

Friday, February 25, 2011


Morning, Folks,

All of the positivity seems to be working! I don't remember having a binge this week. I may have overeaten, but it was on something relatively healthy like too much quinoa (wayyyy too much...which gives you really BAD gas, so i think i learned my lesson!!!).

So what's happenin' that the out of control eating has decreased?

Well, nothing diet-wise is different. We're still practicing the food combining I've talked about. I've just stuck to it WAY better this week, not because i TRIED to, but because i WANTED to, i think.

And for that, i can only credit my new habits of positivity.

I read The Optimist Creed daily, and weekly we watch The Secret at Arnold's Way and discuss.

The class is deceptively powerful. What we watch and discuss in class plants the seeds. And then cool shit happens. I get parking spaces. The cop who stops me doesn't give me a ticket. My diet improves. Just like they said would happen in the movie if I work the "secret." Wow!

The first week of the class everyone made vision boards. (I still need to make mine. I was rolling raw bliss balls in coconut while everyone was working...!!!)

Last week, we watched the entire The Secret DVD and discussed.

And tonight we'll watch a portion of the film again, and we'll be turning complaint lists into gratitude lists. I'm excited about this. For instance, a common complaint of mine is: "I hate that i'm so much fatter, that i gained 100 lbs!!!" I'm training myself to see my weight from another point of view. My new gratitude filled viewpoint says this, "I'm grateful to be the weight I am because it is alot less than my highest weight was." Ahhh, that FEELS good. Empowering. By talking like this to myself, a side effect is that somehow, freakily, the binge eating decreases. Pretty awesome.

Come on out to the class if you'd like to! Very informal, and it's free.

The Secret Class with Michelle and Lynn - Friday nights, 7pm, Arnold's Way Raw Vegetarian Cafe and Education Center, Lansdale, PA 19446. 215 361 0116.

Another affirmation that is REALLY helping me is to focus on believing the BEST about myself and to believe that people want me to succeed. This is really helping, especially alot, since I have my opera performance this Sunday. Please come to that, too, if you'd like to:

Michelle sings LADY MACBETH in Verdi's MACBETH, Upper Dublin Lutheran Church, 411 Susquehanna Road, Ambler, PA 19002. Sunday, February 27, 2011, 3pm.

So, if your behavior seems outta whack, maybe it's because your attitude is outta whack? My suggestion today is to read the following everyday and see if it starts affecting you for the positive.

Look, we've GOT to RE-brainwash ourselves. What do you think all of that negative self talk does? It brainwashes you to think poorly of yourself, so you do destructive things that support that outlook. When you feel better about YOU, your behavior changes.

Man, this shit is working! It feels so good!

The Optimist Creed

I Promise Myself...

...To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

...To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

...To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.

...To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

...To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.

...To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

...To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

...To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.

...To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

...To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

...To think well of myself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in big words, but in great deeds.

...To live in the faith that the whole world is on my side, so long as I am true to the best that is in me.

Christian Larson

xoxo michelle joy

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Hi Folks,

Since it seems i have little idea how to control my weight as of late (i've gained 100 lbs since going off of raw and have been unable to reverse the tide much), i'm involving myself more and more in spiritual and mental ways to conquer it. When i just focus on changing my food, i constantly fail as of late and end up binge eating or overeating invariably.

I realize that when i lost my initial 140 lbs at Optimum Health Institute, i was in an atmosphere of total hope, total surrender, total gratitude, total faith, total focus on exercise and feeling good and loving myself and accepting myself totally and completely. At OHI no one walked around apologizing for the poor state of health they were in. We were all there, in the same boat, grateful to be taking charge of it. I never realized just how powerful all of this was in my recovery, and how no wonder just focusing on the food seems to keep failing. There was so much more to my recovery, and it unwittingly slipped through my fingers.

Well, it's now time to reclaim success. Below are some ways I am working on improving my situation. I like to write, so set aside time to read this long entry if you like.

To improve my general outlook on life, I and a co-worker created a "The Secret" class at Arnold's Way. And true to form, since doing focusing more on the teachings of "The Secret," my level of gratitude has increased, i feel happier and more willing. Our plan is that developing our sense of gratitude will "attract" success into our lives, be it financial or weight success or career success, as "The Secret" teaches.

The first week of class, participants created vision boards. The second week we watched "The Secret" DVD and had a supporitve chat. This week, we will likely watch the DVD again, or a portion of it, and will work on changing our complaint lists into gratitude lists.

Come join us. THURSDAYS at 7pm for "The SECRET," Arnold's Way Raw Vegetarian Cafe and Education Center, Lansdale, PA 19446 / phone: 215 361 0116

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I've also participated in a few RAW OA phone meetings and have been emailing a fellow compulsive eater.

In case you might be interested, this OA phone meeting takes place on Monday nights and focuses on alternative diets. It's on from 9 to 10 pm EST.

You have to call 712-432-3900 and enter the access code 186262#.

It can be helpful to hear people in OA who are raw, partly raw, vegetarian, vegan, or who have other "alternative meal plans" (gluten free, etc...). The meeting has an alternative diet focus, but the meeting is open to anyone for participation.

Readings come from 12 Step books, which if you own, can be helpful to have on hand for the call, and there is also open sharing, and open fellowship from 10pm-10:30pm

OA Program of Recovery
Overeaters Anonymous offers a program of recovery from compulsive eating using the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. Worldwide meetings and other tools provide a fellowship of experience, strength and hope where members respect one another’s anonymity. OA charges no dues or fees; it is self-supporting through member contributions.

OA is not just about weight loss, gain or maintenance; or obesity or diets. It addresses physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. It is not a religious organization and does not promote any particular diet. If you want to stop your compulsive overeating, welcome to Overeaters Anonymous.

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Cliff and I are still working our food combining program (though i fall off of it regularly and he does not), and doing this together has strengthened our relationship, and has really helped his health. He is down 15 lbs, is never bothered by reflux or postnasal drip or shooting pains in his liver anymore. We eat fish and quinoa and millet and salad and veggies for dinner; fruit smoothies every morning for breakfast; and salad and veggies and gluten free starch for lunch. When I do not eat outside of this plan, like landing at McDonalds for filet o' fish sandwhich binges, i do pretty well, meaning i still generally overeat, but don't binge at home. There's nothing illegal here to eat, and i haven't ordered fried stuff from the corner restaurant in a few weeks. Things are improving ever so slowly..., but it's the mental and the spiritual that are going to have to be the focus, i think.

Oh, and exercise. I walked 1 hour with Cliff the other day. Was that a struggle... But i felt like a champion when that was done, and have the best of intentions for continuing in that direction. Exercise raises the feel-good feelings and burns calories and revs the metabolism. Any plan for regaining health must include it - the body and mind are ONE. I know that at OHI where i lost my initial 140 lbs, i walked and swam DAILY and that that was a MAJOR MAJOR influence on my success, in terms of weight loss, overall fitness, and mental health. I have to exercise to get healthy.

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The Real Cause of Weight Gain

Directly below, you will find a blog post by Jinjee Talifero concerning compulsive eating and the real cause. I thought this was a fantastic post that a fellow compulsive eater sent to me. It was posted on February 18, 2011 by Jinjee Talifero on her Garden Diet Blog page. I cut an pasted the article below, but here is the link to the blog in case you would like it:

Since reading this blog article, i've purchased the Marianne Williamson book from Amazon, and the meditation CD. I'm looking forward reading and meditating on letting go of fear, as Williamson points out fear and love cannot coexist, and that healing comes exclusively from self love. I recognize how fear has played a huge part in my disease with food, and my reluctance to pursue singing professionally... I'm looking forward to sharing more with you on this topic.


Why do I still struggle with food issues 18 years after going raw? I lost about 45 lbs. in the first few months of being a raw vegan. 18 years later I’ve put back on about 15 of those pounds, which isn’t bad, considering I’m now 43, have had 5 children, home-school and run a business. Also I’ve built some muscle, which weighs quite a bit more than fat. But what I don’t like is my often erratic relationship with food.

Sometimes I cruise along eating 100% raw for months at a time, and I’m really grateful that I have those times! I’m grateful for the days I don’t think about food, and for the times I’ve managed to do a water fast. I’m grateful that I enjoy exercise more and more as I get older, that I enjoy movement, and that I like a lot of things about my body. I’m grateful that I am happy with who I am and learning to fully accept myself, the whole package, inner and outer, as I am.

That acceptance and self-love is a new development, on this level anyway, for which I have in part to thank the book “A Course in Weight Loss” by Marianne Williamson.

I mentioned that for periods of time I do fine with my relationship with food. But then there are also times of stress, whether financial or emotional stress, or whether related to my children or my work, or times when I may stagnate in my spiritual growth, or I experience disappointment, low energy, or depression. During these times my relationship with food is not so healthy. Sometimes I will eat constantly, eat too much, eat things I know are not good for me, indulge in cooked foods and even junk foods, stay up too late, stress too much, stop working out, stop drinking water. It would puzzle me that after all this time, I could still be battling these demons. It would puzzle me that being a raw vegan for so long did not heal my food addictions or my self-destructive behaviors.

Through working in this field and talking with hundreds of people online in my 21 Day Raw Cleanse and 28 Day Transition-to-Raw Program, and through my own experiences, I had begun to realize that going raw was not the complete answer to healing our relationship with food. It is the greatest diet in the world, no doubt! And plants are obviously the most natural and most nourishing foods available. But I realized that if we do not desire to live, then we will find ways to hurt ourselves even on the best diet in the world.

So, I began to focus on the things that brought me the greatest joy and peace and “life”. These included love, positivity, happiness, forgiveness, pleasure, time out, and dedication to doing my best work in the world. To anchor these things in my life took a lot of journaling and a lot of praying. And I began to write about these things, and developed a motivational “happiness” or “well-being” program to go along with our diet and exercise programs.

I so much enjoyed writing this program, that I thought I would like to write a book called “Spiritual Weight Loss”. I googled it to see if anyone else had done it, and “A Course in Weight Loss” by Marianne Williamson came up. Marianne is a best-selling author of many books based on “A Course in Miracles”, including “A Woman’s Worth” and “A Return to Love”. After she started reading “A Course in Miracles” she automatically dropped all her excess weight without particularly trying to. “A Course in Miracles” is a spiritual teaching about the nature of God. The main philosophy of “The Course” is that love and fear are opposites, and where there is fear there can be no love, and where there is love there can be no fear. They cancel each other out.

Hence the teaching in “A Course in Weight Loss” describes our excess weight, our dysfunctional relationship with food, as a manifestation of our fears. To be free of these fears, we simply need to love ourselves completely. So a lot of the exercises in the book are designed to help us love and accept the unloved places within us. And as you practice this, you stop counting calories and thinking about food and playing the hate games with yourself, and your whole life just starts to come in to balance and harmony, you find meaning in your life, everything makes sense and you become whole. And all the reasons you abused food are gone, and the habit of abusing food simply dies away as if it never was.

Many of the chapters in “A Course in Weight Loss” mirror my own daily exercises in the motivational section of our Go Raw Programs. Marianne Williamson and I both write about conscious eating, loving yourself, surrendering, allowing yourself to feel your feelings, allowing yourself to feel pain, putting together a support network, finding ways to embrace discipline, the importance of and methods for forgiveness, and doing your true work in the world.

Here are some of the beautiful concepts you’ll find in “A Course in Weight Loss”

“Love is that which both created and sustains you. It’s both your connection to your true reality and your alignment with the positive flow of the universe. Remembering this Divine truth – that love is who you are – is key to your healing, for your relationship to food is an area where your nervous system has lost the memory of its Divine intelligence. As you remember your own Divine truth, the cells of your body will remember theirs”.

“Reconnection to your spiritual reality is achieved through a force called here Divine Mind. It is a gift from God that will return you to your sanity, whenever you choose to call on it. Your compulsion is a place where, in your spiritual forgetfulness, you go temporarily insane if even for a moment – just long enough to open the bag of potato chips that’s the trigger to your binge food mania”.

“The consciousness of the human race is dominated by fear, which has coalesced in your life in the form of a particular behavioral pattern: compulsive overeating. In doing this course, you will command the spirit of fear to depart”.

“The power of love is perfect, creative, self-organizing, healthy, self-healing, and abundant. The power of fear is insane, destructive, violent, disease producing, and lacking. It expresses itself as an impostor self, perverting your true nature and making you behave in a way that is opposite of who you truly are. It is spiritually immature to underestimate the power of either of these two forces. Both of them are active, and both of them have their eyes on you. One wishes you well, and the other wishes you dead”.

“Whether or not you are a food addict is something only you can say. Every food addict is a compulsive overeater, but not every compulsive eater is an addict. The principles in this course apply to both”.

Jinjee’s note: In my opinion this course/book would benefit anyone who experiences any kind of self-destructive behavior, ever!

“It’s all right if this part of your journey is not pleasant. Part of your repatterning is learning to be with unpleasantness in a healthy way. The mature and sober person knows that on some days things simply feel rotten, and that is okay. You are learning to move through distress by simply being with it, without the need to overeat or to act out in any other way”.

“The weight you are seeking to let go of was added to your consciousness before it was added to your body. Your body is merely a screen onto which is projected the nature of your thoughts. When the weight is gone from your consciousness, it will be gone from your physical experience. In asking God to remove the cause, you automatically remove the effect”.

“A Course in Weight Loss” contains 21 chapters with 21 Exercises to help heal your relationship with food. I am recommending this book as an additional and optional study aid for our 21 Day and 28 Day Go Raw Programs. In the online forum for these programs, in the next sessions starting March 14th 2011, we will have a “Group” in the community for those who would like to do the 21 Exercises day-by-day together, and discuss them in the online community. If you would like to join in you can purchase “A Course in Weight Loss” here…

You can participate in our 28 Day Transition-to-Raw Program starting March 14th and/or our 21 Day Raw Cleanse starting April 11th and work through “A Course in Weight Loss” in a supportive online forum while eating a 100% raw vegan diet! I believe that Marianne’s book will help our participants stick with the program, and that eating a raw diet while reading “A Course in Weight Loss” will give readers the mental clarity to fully absorb these incredible lessons!

Our link is below to find out more: The Garden Diet “Go Raw” Programs

In Joy!

xoxo michelle joy

Monday, February 7, 2011

THE NEXT HOT RAW CHEF!!!! Megan Elizabeth McDonnell!!!

3 more days! VOTING CLOSES WED, FEB 9th!


The Next Hot Raw Chef!!!!!

My good friend and supportive little coach buddy, Megan Elizabeth McDonnell, has entered a Raw Vegan Valentine's Day Recipe Video Contest organized by Living Light Culinary Institute in Fort Bragg, CA.

She could win a prize worth 5,000$ with your help! Just watch her recipe video for scrumptious Strawberry-Filled Brownie Bites here and then cast your vote immediately by clicking on the VOTE button at! Submit your vote for #23, Megan Elizabeth McDonnell! With every vote, she'll be one step closer to winning!!!!

* And, as an added bonus, you will be sent a HOT RAW CHEF E-COOK BOOK containing ALL of the 40+ video recipes submitted! This will arrive FREE in your email box when the winner is decided!

The contest is over February 9th, so get your votes in TODAY!!! Megan's recipe is so scrumptious, but SO simple, only 5 ingredients, and her video is THE BEST and MOST PROFESSIONAL, but she needs our HELP to win!!!! Let's help her win!

xoo michelle joy

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I'm Back!

Hi Folks,

I'm grateful to be in a place where I feel like writing at PURE RAW JOY again :-))

It's been a very trying period for me. It all started more than a year ago with a catering job for 200 that was so stressful, the wear began to show in the unraveling of my 3.5 year raw diet. (Actually, a desire to 'lose weight faster' prompted my desire to start eating cooked beans, again, and from there the entire raw diet unraveled, and over the span of a year, I added 100+ lbs to my body. Whether the binge eating and weight gain was all emotionally based or chemically based, i don't even have a full determination on, i just know, it was what it was.) Also, during this last year, my mom was in the hospital and in rehab for a total of 8 months, and i cared for her daily during that time, and i moved back home to rehab her further after she was discharged. And, Cliff's mom died, a month ago.

It's been a very difficult year.

Finally I feel like i am getting my head above water to breath.

I've had a good few days and I feel renewed and hopeful, again. Thank God.

I've gained over 100 lbs, and the shame of that crushed me, until i changed my attitude about it. With my friends at Arnold's Way supporting me, I'm working on feeling gratitude for everything in my life, even my huge gain. The idea is: It could have been much worse. The fact of the matter is, that everytime i feel BAD about myself, i end up gaining even more.

The answer is self-love. I've come to that realization before and i'm back there. Self hatred gets you nowhere but into bigger and bigger binges, fatter and more depressed. I'm choosing to erase the guilt, the shame and the remorse and just simply, move on. I don't want to talk about gaining weight anymore. I'm consciously loving myself and accepting my big gorgeous self today. Amen.

Arnold is also instilling in me a new sense of responsibility. He gave me a new nickname, "THE GENERAL," and I call him "MY CAPTAIN," and he tells me that MILLIONS of people are relying on me to be a success, that i'm not only responsible for myself, but for the raw future of millions, so I'd better get on the ball! The new sense of responsibility feels empowering! My new name gives me a sense of power and strength. I'm not the raw failure. I'm "the GENERAL!"

And today is my 3rd day raw. How many times i fell off of raw before is now irrelevent. My mind is on my goal and nowhere else. "But you've failed so many times before..." the head says. But today i know that all i have is today. All i need to do is focus on what i WANT. And the law of attraction will set it all in motion. When i constantly dwell on failure, depression and hopelessness, i get more and more and more of that.

I'm not eating cooked food today, but I don't know where this will go. I don't think cooked food is evil or bad or the outright CAUSE of my binge eaing, but i'm back here for today since i finally came to the conclusion that my 3.5 year imperfect raw diet worked a hell of alot better than what i've been doing the majority of the last year, while gaining back 100 lbs. Remember all of those blog entries lamenting gaining 20 lbs after departing from 811 and binging on gourmet raw? i'd give my RIGHT ARM to be back THERE today. That imperfect raw diet seems a HELL OF A SIGHT better than wearing these additional 100 lbs. I should have just been GRATEFUL for what i had...and, uh, exercised more or something.

So, I'm working my life one day at a time right now, but i have my eye and heart set on a goal of staying raw, or mostly raw, and re-gaining my health and fitness again. I can't believe how weak and fat I got.

Denial is SOOO powerful. There was this TV ad for STOP SMOKING that brought home that message the most. Have you seen the commercial? The guy walks into the convenience store to buy a pack of smokes and says to the guy at the register, "This is my last pack. i'm quitting." And then proceeds to buy pack after pack after pack after pack and say the same thing each time. I so related to that commercial. When the pull of something is greater than even your own desires to change, you come to realize this thing may be more powerful than you and you can finally make peace and say, "you know what? i'm done with this. it's had a hold on me long enough."

Cliff and I visited a raw healer because i wanted to go raw again, who reminded us about the power of food combining, so we've been working on that.

What we didn't expect was that she allowed us to begin a transition diet including fish and all cooked carbs. Wow! If i could have stayed on that, i coulda been happy!!!

This food combining diet has proven to offer fantastic results! Over the past month on almost exclusively strict food combining, Cliff has lost 12 lbs, lost his reflux, postnasal drip, pains in his side and stomach, the burning of arthritis in his ankles and joints, and has much improved energy - just by following food combining. AMAZING. He finally sees some light at the end of the tunnel for his health. And, slowly but surely, he is working himself out of mourning the loss of his mother. He and we loved her dearly and will miss her.

Foodwise, this is what food combining has looked like.


  • Melon for pre-breakfast is optimal. Since it's not really melon season, i'll often have a few tangerines or we'll just do the smoothie.
  • Fruit smoothie combined properly for breakfast. We've been advised not to do green smoothies as our healer says they don't combine properly, so...that's the scoop.
  • Snack of apples or pears if i'm hungry and am hungry for lunch.
  • Lunch of cooked gluten free carbs, like baked potato, or gluten free pasta, cooked vegetables, avocado and salad.
  • Snack of apples or pears.
  • Dinner of fish (or chickpeas or millet or quinoa or or nuts or raw goat cheese or cliff eats chicken) with cooked vegetables and salad with "protein" style dressing. i make one frequently out of tahini or chick peas.

The idea with food combining is to separate your fruits, your proteins and your carbs.

There are some rules not mentioned. No vinegar. Salt is a no-no, but our healer said we could use it as long as we needed to, tomatoes don't mix with carbs - that means no tomato sauce on the gluten free pasta, and no mixing acid fruits with sweet fruits. Lunch is not supposed to be eaten before noon, so just fruit until noon to aid in the "fast" every night. No eating after dinner at all. And drink water between meals, not with meals so as not to dilute the digestive acids. It's optimal to not mix proteins such as chickpeas AND goat cheese for dinner, or mix starches for lunch like corn AND brown rice, but after reading the healer's cookbook, which mixed carbs with carbs and protein with protein liberally, we did, too.

We test our urine with PH Test strips and daggone it, the urine tests "green" and "blue" - meaning ALKELINE - on this food combining plan!

The healer promised i would experience less cravings and would absorb more nutrition (diminishing binge eating) with food combining. The first two weeks worked like a charm, but the last 2 weeks, i lost it, and landed into binge land. Were the binges emotionally based? Or just habit? Or driven by a slip that i beat myself up over? Or cries for attention when Cliff was mourning and showed little recognition that i even walked the planet?

All i know is, I never failed during those 2 last troublesome weeks on our new plan to wake up and have my fruit and fruit smoothie for breakfast, with Cliff, every day. That breakfast at least felt like a lifeline, something to grab onto to steer myself back on track every day. During the last 2 weeks, i feel off the horse daily, but kept getting right back up with a smoothie every morning no fail.

But i kept falling off. I'd have triple the serving of rice as Cliff. And then feel remorseful and guilty and it would start a binge. Eventually, I just got tired of fucking up and something in me just clicked and said, "Michelle, quit trying to moderate the rice and pasta and fish. It's too hard to just have a little. Just go back to raw. It helped you control yourself before, and you were able to manage your weight on it." The truth is, the raw healer's food combining diet was meant as a transition to an almost identical to 811 diet (Natural hygiene). So, wanting to go raw was not incompatible with her plan. It was just my way of breaking away from the cooked. Instead of SLOWLY, i just made a clean break. i don't know, maybe i'll reestablish the practice of eating cooked, but from a new more controlled place? I'm open. I'm taking it one day at a time.

But, the last 3 days, i decided to return again to what worked for me before, Raw, but with a new awareness at food combining. Maybe the food combining idea will work to help cut down my cravings and compulsive desires, which still existed on raw, since i'll be absorbing more nutrition?

The fact is, that i lost my initial 140 lbs doing food combining at the raw retreat, OHI. I'd neglected to consider that in all of this searching for a cure to what ails me.

Nevertheless, for emotional, i'm back to working the "Secret," focusing newly on GRATITUDE. I'm grateful to weigh what i weigh today. I'm grateful to have a roof over my head and a great job with friends who care about me. I'm grateful to have a fiance' who loves me and cares for me. Filling myself with gratitude every minute of the day may just end up killing the binge bug after all. Maybe the binge eating has NOTHING to do with raw or cooked. Maybe it's just a disordered spiritual state?

*There will be a SECRET meeting starting Friday eves at Arnold's Way beginning next Friday Feb 11th if you are local and would like to join us.

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But i feel excited to be back focusing on raw, whether it will cure me or not. And i had an awesome salad tonight I wanted to tell you about. If you make it, let me know! It was so yummy!



in a vitamix, blenderize:
1 rounded Tbsp raw tahini

1 cup water

1/2 cup sunflower seeds (soaked if desired)

celtic or himalayan salt to taste

small squirt of agave

juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp garlic powder

black pepper

3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Big bowl baby romaine

cherry tomatoes

purple onion

big slices of button mushroom

sliced celery

Dress the salad, toss, and enjoy. I ended up eating all of the dressing, but if you are of the normal ilk and are not driven to excess as i am, you can use what you want and refrigerate the rest. My salad, on the other hand, was shamelessly and liberally soaked in dressing, and i thoroughly enjoyed every bite of it!!!

PS. This was my protein meal. I did not have a carb meal today, and don't know how i will make a raw carb meal. I guess use corn? But when i have had a salad at work, i've included no nuts (protein), but beets and carrots (starchy veggies), and use avocado to dress it, since avocado, we newly learned, combines with carbs, but does not combine well with proteins.

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FOOD TODAY, Saturday, February 5, 2011

Br: 1 bag of tangerines

Ln: Smoothie - 5 bananas, ice, 3 round tsps of raw carob powder, a tiny squirt of agave

Dn: my middle eastern salad

Sn: would be good if i could eat nothing else!!

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How are you all? Say HI please and let me know how YOU'RE doing. Let's keep in touch.

xoxo michelle joy