Thursday, May 31, 2012


Howdy, folks,

I just arrived back home from a water-walk at the Health Club.  Very refreshing!  And while I was in the pool, one of the staff needed to test to pool's pH.


Well, as it turns out, pH is one of the most important factors in pool water balance and it should be tested and
 corrected at least every week.

pH talk is big in the raw food world.  But I never really understood it.

Turns out, pH is the measure of how acid/ alkaline something is.  In this case, we're talking  swimming pool water. For that, a pH of 7.0 is neutral - below 7.0 is acidic, above 7.0 is alkaline. (The pH of our eyes is 7.2 . No wonder that the ideal pH for your pool is just that - 7.2.)

It's interesting to note that if a pool becomes too acidic, it becomes a haven for algae growth, the pool tile and surface will degrade, metals and pumps and equipment will corrode,  the surface of the pool will form ugly black and brown stains, chlorine will not be effective and our eyes and nose will burn and our skin will get dry and itchy.

Conversely, if the pool is too alkaline, scaly calcification lines develop at the waterline, the pool becomes cloudy and murky, the filters stop functioning, chlorine is also ineffective, and our eyes and nose will also burn and our skin will become dry and itchy, too.

So, what's this all have to do with raw food and the human body, you ask?

Well, it is a FACT that a swimming pool tends towards acidity, just from daily use.  Staff members have to add alkalizers to the pool water to keep it in balance.

The human body is the same!  The human body tends toward acidity...just from daily use!  WE have to add alkalizers to keep ourselves in balance.  This is just the way God made us!  

Just like a pool growing algae, if WE (who already tend toward acidity) become overly acidic because not enough alkalline is coming in, we manifest our own type of "algaes" - an amalgam of disorders, diseases, and maladies.

After all, we are 70% water!

How can we bring our acidic-prone bodies into their proper pH balance?

By adding alkalinity!  Much as the staff members at the Gym have to do.

The fact of the matter is - the human body has NO OTHER WAY of taking in it's balancing alkalinity to keep our acid level and pH balance in check.... than by ingesting alkelizing foods.  There is just no other way.  We must maintain our "pool of water," just as the staff at the Health Club must do to their pool.    

So, wouldn't you want to know which foods are alkalizing and help us maintain a perfect pH?
Well, it would seem that God already told us the Bible.  God created the Garden of Eden for Adam and Eve, (coincidentally not, i think) to contain just the foods they needed to eat to keep the marvelous human body healthy.  (And the serpent wasn't one of them!)

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food." Genesis 1:29 
After Noah's Arc and the Flood, God allowed man to eat meat as all of the vegetation on the Earth had died.

However, I don't think God intended us to be abusing that "right".  Cultivated society has processed and degraded food to such a degree, all in the name of profit, that what is healthy for us, barely exists the average consumer.

Apparently, back in the 1900's, the human diet consisted of only 5% organic flesh protein and dairy, and 95% organic plant based foods.  Almost no one had cancer back then.  And no one was making money off of processing foods.

Look at the average American diet today.  It consists of almost TEN TIMES the amount of protein as in 1900.

And as protein intake has soared, so have our incidents of cancer.

Not to mention, we've strayed so far from our "organic" past, with all of the pesticides and depleted soils and factory farms, it's a miracle we have any nutrition coming in at all.

In terms of pH, I find it wondrous that God's IDEAL diet-instructions for man should consist of alkalizing fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds for these acid-tending bodies.  He just knew what we needed.  And that flesh proteins, dairy, and grains, which should be kept to a minimum, are coincidentally, acid-forming, and eating too many of them would cause the human body to become too acidic.

So, how is the average American joe, eating a cheezeburger, fried mozzerella sticks and a coke....balancing his pH?  He's not.  Hence, all of the diseases we have.

It's worth mentioning again - just as the swimming pool whose pH is out of whack grows algae, when our pH goes out of whack, we develop: heartburn, cancer, heart attacks, obesity, tumors, rashes, irritable bowel, chronic fatigue, etc...  The list goes on and on.

What does the pool staff do if the pool becomes too acidic and grows algae?  Cut it off?  Daily?

No, they change the pH of the pool, and don't perform "surgery" on the "symptoms".

~ ~ ~

According to Dr. Joel Robbins in his film, "Healing Through Nutrition," the human body will not be in the proper pH for health and well being unless we ingest at least 80% raw alkelizing fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and keep the cooked acidifying foods to a minimum of 20%.

When it comes to alkalizing foods, the more the better.

However, according to Dr. Robbins,

"It is not unusual for the average American to go 7 to 14 days without eating ANY alkaline foods."      

No wonder why we are so sick.  We have a scaly pool...inside of us!

The Garden of Eden teaches us what God's idea of the BEST and most IDEAL diet for humans is - and it just so happens to be an alkalizing one, just what we need.  
Not that we even all have to "go raw" to be healthy, but it seems there is great wisdom in God's green Earth, eating most of our food, just the way He made it.    

~ ~ ~

I passionately implore you to read below notes from Dr. Joel Robbin's video, "Healing Through Nutrition," The following is probably some of the most IMPORTANT information you will come across in terms of pH and how it affects the human body.  Please read!:

The Textbook of Medical Physiology by Arthur C. Guyton, M.D., probably the most recognized authority on human physiology states: "...the regulation of hydrogen ion concentration (pH or acid/alkaline balance) is one of the most important aspects of homeostasis." (Homostasis is where the components involved seek an equilibrium.)
Definitions:ph = measure of how acid or how alkaline a substance is.
ph scale = scale of measurement for acidity and alkalinity.

All chemical processes have an ideal pH at which they are most efficient. For example the body functions best with an internal chemistry being slightly alkaline (pH of 7.0 to 8.0). The pH of the blood is even more specific: 
Blood ph 7.4 = Normal 7.2 = Death
Our internal body chemistry functions in an alkaline environment. Our blood must maintain a pH of 7.4. If it drops below that to 7.2 we die.
The cells of the body in health are alkaline. In disease, the cell pH is below 7.0. The more acid the cells become, the sicker we are and feel. The cells won't die until their pH gets to about 3.5. Our bodies produce acid as a by-product of normal metabolism. This is the result of our bodies burning or using alkaline to remain alive. Since our bodies do not manufacture alkaline, we must supply the alkaline from an outside source to keep us from becoming acid and dying
Food is the means of replenishing the alkaline to the body. The main determining factor of alkaline is the organic minerals. One can equate organic minerals with alkaline for better understanding.
Foods are of two types, acid or alkaline. This refers to the ash value of a food. (Meaning the type of residue that remains after the food is digested and processed). Is it acid, or is it alkaline? If there is an acid residue (inorganic acids), the body must neutralize this acid to keep the blood from getting acid. The acid is neutralized with alkaline.
Ideally there is adequate alkaline in the diet to do this. However, if there is not, the body must extract alkaline from its cells to neutralize the acid. This, of course, causes the cells to become acid, and thus diseased. Because our bodies are an alkaline entity, in order to maintain health, the majority of our diet must consist of alkaline ash foods.
We can remain in health by consuming a diet that is at least 80% alkaline and no more than 20% acid. The more alkaline the better. If we become too alkaline by eating a majority of alkaline foods, we will lose our appetite and automatically want to fast, during which time the normal acid metabolic by-products will return the body' s pH back to normal. It is interesting to note that some foods which qualify as a real food have an acid ash reaction. This is probably nature's way of keeping a balance so that the real food consumer does not become too alkaline. Also note that the acid content of these acid ash real foods is very low and they still contain valuable nutrients which can be utilized by the body.
Below is a chart of the acid and alkaline foods.
Acid/Alkaline BalanceThe breakdown of foods into acid ash and alkaline ash categories would generally be as follows:
NOTE: Foods in the Acid Ash column are listed in order of least acid to most acid; in the alkaline ash column, foods are listed in order from most alkaline to least alkaline.

(cranberries, blueberries, plums, prunes, squash)
(cheese, eggs, milk, etc)
(almonds, pecans, cashews, etc.)
WHITE MEAT (fish, fowl)
Raw, Rare, Well Done
RED MEATS (beef, pork, mutton)
Raw, Rare, Well Done
(garlic, hot peppers, onions, horseradish, etc.)
 xoxo michelle joy

Monday, May 28, 2012


Life is positively blooming!

Days ago, I replanted a Dillweed plant that was dying, drained-of-color and limp.  I was angry at the store that sold it to me like that.  Concerned about it, I watched it everyday, though i didn't hold out much hope for it.

Finally, the day before yesterday, it just positively sprang to LIFE with furry baby BRIGHT green fronds blossoming up!  And today it's furry green fronds have doubled in volume!  It is so exciting and little dill babies!

LIFE is so amazing!

I sat outside eating watermelon for breakfast and watched a tiny white butterfly eat the nectar off of my once dying and now thriving Salvia plant.  I'd bought that one on sale from the almost-dead-sale-rack, but now, look at it, look at how beautiful it is, how it's already attracting life!

The plant's little nutritious periwinkle blue flowers, now restored to lovliness by only plucking off some dead heads, offered up their tiny delicate nectar cups to a gentle tiny white fluttering butterfly.  The butterfly danced around from one unstable stalk to the next, weightlessly dancing and enjoying what it could suck from each tiny flower.  Flutter, flutter, suck, suck, suck, hop, hop, hop!  I was mezmerized at the hopping fluttering little creature as it danced from one flower to the next until, finally, it's little belly was full,...and it flew away.  Fly, fly, fly!  Whish, and it was gone.

I set my watermelon rinds aside, took a deep sigh of contentment, looked out at the beautiful sky and sun and felt happy.

Life is so amazing!

I went about the work I'd set out in front of me.  I was going to make an Raw Almond Pate' and my organic almonds had been taking a water bath all night, just layin' in there, swimmin' around, happily germinating.  They still had their brown bathing suits on, but I could tell they were all nudists and couldn't wait to be sprung free from the shackles of their outer clothing.  They wanted their little white tushes to catch some sun.

The work was easy and meditative.  The sun beat down on my shoulders, the breeze blew through my hair as I sprang little naked white almonds from their brown papery jackets into an empty bowl.  Spring, plop! Spring, plop!  Soon, a whole bowl of naked almonds stared at me, saying, "HELLO! We are happy to offer ourselves to make your Luscious LIVING Almond pate'...!"

Thank you, little naked Almonds!

What a lovely morning!  Life is abloom everywhere!  

I walked back into the kitchen, bowl of almonds in hand, took a deep sigh, closed my eyes and wove my other hand over my Cuisinart, in a circle generating love and positivity.  In this way, I blessed the Cuisinart and I asked it to guide me.

Raw Food Prep is a think of Intuition and Energy, I'm finding.  If I'm not rocking a receptive, positive, creative, life affirming energy, things can go sour.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Herby Almond Dip, with fresh herbs from my porch garden, came out looking and smelling so good!  But I waited to taste.  I'd just eaten the watermelon...and wasn't hungry...  (I can tell you now, it is DELICIOUS!)  I was being extra cautious.  I'd had a little E.D. moment last night that I didn't want to repeat. (E.D. is Eating Disorder in Eating Disorder Speak.)

Very long story short, what happened last night, is that I'd made the most awful raw cheezecake.  I definitely didn't bless the Cuisinart that time!  I mean, a real BOMB.  I  tasted the raw batter and winced.  AWFUL.  I tried to fix it and it got worse.

I poured the batter into a bowl, sprinkled some coconut over it, shoved it into the fridge to set and stormed away.  I sat in bed and stewed about it.  What kind of a raw chef am I?

And then, all I could think about was wanting to EAT that lousy tasting thing.  I wasn't even hungry, I was just mad at it and wanted to take out my frustrations on it.  At my expense.  We E.D. folks do stuff like that. Hurt ourselves, purposefully.

I went downstairs to see if it had set.  I knew I was walking into trouble.

Maybe it had come into itself miraculously and would taste better?  Knowing I wasn't hungry, I guiltfully dished myself up a serving and sat down with a fork with the best intentions - to discover what had become of it - to ENJOY a piece of raw cheezecake as I had been craving some - to enjoy a TREAT like any normal person!  Every awful tasting bite filled me with self doubt, so I polished off the serving and had some dates and some almonds to console myself.  (It you're an E.D. person, that makes sense to you.)

And then I felt really BAD because that was the first time since I've been back on track that I've eaten when I wasn't HUNGRY and I didn't enjoy it.  Not only that, I'd just made a very expensive failure.

The next morning, I sat at the computer, and wrote about it.  I reviewed all of the events.  I wasn't hungry...then the dates...and the almonds...the fat...the sugar.....  I began to get more and more upset the more I wrote.  "I'm compulsively eating again.  I'm doing it again.  I've lost it. It's all gone.  I can only do good for a week.  I'm a  total failure."  I got up from the computer.  I skulked through the hallway and had the brilliant thought to go weigh myself.  Bad idea.  I was already in a negative emotional reactive spiral.  And indeed, I weighed 3/4 lbs heavier than last I checked, and walked away from the scale even more dejected.

But hungry.  So, Flash forward to the butterfly sitting out there with my watermelon and naked almonds and everything in bloom, happy, happy, baby dill and sunny smiling Salvia and butterflies! My cares and concerns of the night before had washed from me into a poetic butterfly breakfast of absolute beauty, and I'd noticed it.

Now, I'd write about it!

And, as I wrote and recounted the story of the butterfly, I felt like energy was pouring through me, happy happy!  And then I weaved my way to the story about the cheezecake - in much more gory detail - how awful it was, what i put in it, what i should have put in it, how I do this to myself, eat things that I don't like, aren't I worth more than that friggin' expensive thing, what was i going to do with it now, I'd gained weight, I'm hopeless.  My shoulders hung lower, my entire energy just evaporated.

Just WRITING and REVIEWING the cheezecake weightgain story, and my ENTIRE MOOD had CHANGED for the WORSE again.  I now felt absolutely MISERABLE!  

And I found that incredible.

What I FOCUS on really DOES change how I feel.

Focus on the FAILURE of last night, on my awful hopeless eating disorder, on the failure of weight gain, on wasted expensive flops, on the re-occurence of emotional eating, and I suddenly feel AWFUL again.  Focus on BEAUTY and springy dill and hopping butterflies...and I feel HAPPY!

The tendency to want to dwell on the negative is all part of the mental insanity of indulging an eating disorder, and, I suppose, it's a tendency of just being human.

I wrote about what eating when you're not hungry feels like, horrible and empty.  I wrote, "It feels like you're not really a part of yourself, like you are somehow very disconnected.  And scared.  And angry at yourself.  And feeling unworthy of good things.  I start eating and realize I don't even LIKE this thing and I'm still eating it BECAUSE I don't like it because I'm a trash receptacle for bad things.  I'm just no good and don't deserve to enjoy life.  Figuratively, it's almost as if I walk through a trapdoor and find that it's very dark in there and I'm going the wrong direction, away from the light, and I can't find my way out.  I just keep going further and further and it just keeps getting darker and darker the further I go because I just keep going further into the darkness, all the time, struggling and panicking to find the way out, but I'm not looking where the Light is."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

On the other side, it's all so clear!

I see the Light and I LOVE how it feels to see the light and go towards it!

(Better yet, next time, I don't even fall into the trapdoor anymore!)  p.s. I think the coconut oil was rancid.

The light is always there, I just have to want it.  I have to want to feel GOOD, and be SICK and TIRED of feeling BAD, of eating emotionally and abusing my body with extra food....when I'm not even HUNGRY and when it tastes BAD.

I want to shout it from the street tops - I AM WORTHY OF GOOD THINGS, OF FEELING GOOD!

It had been such a PLEASURE, such a VACATION from MYSELF,  to be eating when i was hungry this last week, and not when i'm not.  Last night's sneak peak reminder into how I used to treat myself (though it PALES in comparison to the POUNDS of food I have binged on at times), has made me realize I can easily "go" there, but don't WANT to anymore.

I want BETTER for myself.

~ ~ ~ ~

My mom and dad :-)))  You just gotta smile!
There is no more fear today.  No more fear that the snowball has started to roll and I can't catch it.  Or the feeling that I'm on a merry-go-round...and can't get off.  Control was restored almost instantly after realizing my failure...and I have no more fear anymore.

What was my failure?

Focusing on the wrong thing!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Healing from an eating disorder is a thing of moving from living in the darkness, to reaching for and grabbing the light and living there and seeing how really great and un-scary it is.  How did I not know this before?  

Life is abloom and I wanna grab ahold!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
By My Attention to Things, I Am Making Choices... What people do not understand is that you do not choose something by looking at it and shouting "Yes, I would like some of that!" You make your choices by your attention to things. In this Universe that is based on attraction, when you look at an unwanted thing, your attention to it causes an activation of the Vibration within you, and then the Law of Attraction brings more like it into your experience.
--- Abraham
Excerpted from the book, The Vortex, Where the Law of Attraction Assembles All Cooperative Relationships # 454

xoxo michelle joy   

Friday, May 25, 2012


1.     Bananas!  Buy a case of bananas!  We use 4-5 bananas in our morning smoothie.  We take bananas with us in the car in case we get hungry.  We freeze them to use in banana whips.  In fact, bananas always travel - when i go to my mother's house, what do i do?  I stop at 'Giant Supermarket' for 2 bags of spotty bananas at 39cents a pound!  Always there for smoothies and snacks, and even meals!  Oh, oh, oh, I cut up banana along with mango and leftover salsa and poured that sweet and hot tomatoey sauce over it!  That and some flax crackers, and I was in raw heaven!   
2.     Variety of GREENS! Have a huge variety of organic greens always on hand.  Right now in the fridge, we have romaine, kale and collards, spinach, and arugula!  These will be the basis of multiple salads and green smoothies and juices.  We would have been shipwrecked this week without at least 3 heads of kale, a huge tub of spinach and a tub of spring mix.  With spinach, I have even made raw spinach dip and raw spinach soup!
3.     Variety of FRUITS and VEGETABLES and HERBS!  Have a big variety of veggies and fruits on hand, always!  Keep several fruit bowls on the table.  Keep the fridge stocked with celery and carrots and peppers and lemons and everything imaginable!  Leave fruit upstairs for emergency yens.  Take fruit in the car.  Veggies just MAKE the meal.  Cucumbers are lovely sliced thin atop a raw sandwhich.  Carrot shredded make a fine beginning to a memorable side dish.  Fennel sliced thin atop a salad of greens is licoricey good!  An apple before bed or an orange before your morning smoothie can be very welcome.   What would we do without a huge variety of God's gifts to us?  We ask ourselves...what am i craving?  And let intuition lead the way!  My morning smoothie suddenly ended up with blueberries and celery in it because my body just wanted them and they just jumped out at me when i looked in the fridge.  Let your body lead the way!  Today i'm craving broccoli, so i got some, and will make a wonderful broccoli salad dressed with ginger and cashew cream...and mint!  Lest I forget those miraculous herbs.  They turn any boring bland thing fabulous: Cilantro and Dill and Parsley and Mint and Basil, I could NOT live without.  Create a patio garden.  Herbs are SO easy to grow!  Basically, what we eat when we go raw is TONS and TONS of raw fruits and veggies.  The chips, bread, cheezes, and dressings all act as adornments for literally millions of raw meal possibilities!
4.     Avodados! Have plenty of avocados on hand!  Buy some ripe, some not yet ripe.  Put the ripe in the fridge.  They last longer.  Where would I have been this week without my avocados?  Right now I have 5 in the bowl for us for this week!  I am certain that not a day has gone by that i did not have at least 1/2 avocado a day.  Avocados can form the basis for a marveloup soup.  They add creaminess to salads.  They add form and fat, yet hide themselves in raw icecreams and don't even know they are there, but they do so much!  Lest we forget guacamole?  Can we live without that?  Avocados make a meal!
5.     Flax Krackers!  Have plenty of raw flax krackers on hand!  I could not have made it through this week if i had not made up a huge batch of those delish pumpkin buckwheat flax krackers.  I made them salt free...  So good!  And Cliff even enjoyed them as is!  They just complete ANY meal, particularly something 'soft.' Suddenly a bowl of mushy fruit salsa is a delight to spoon into the mouth after you get done crunching on the corner of your flax kracker!  Alive and full of nutrition, these are a KRUNCH you can feel GOOD about!
6.     Raw living bread!  Have plenty of raw living bread on hand, in all sorts of varieties!  Living Bread is a little less crunchy than a standard flax cracker and usually contains ground up veggies in it.  Again, these form the hearty earthy basis of so many wonderful open faced raw sandwhiches.  Cliff enjoyed Cheezeburger this week and Cheeze Sandwhich atop raw bread.  It felt like a 'real meal' to him...because of the bread!  And I tore up some pieces to act as Taco Chips for Salsa and Guacamole.  Totally indispensable this week.  And get this, for Thanksgiving, I moistened lots of raw bread, added chopped veggies and sage and created "stuffing!" 
Sunny writes, "This picture is of my first attempt of your “living bread”  …it is DELISH.  I added onion which made it very tasty!"  Bravo, Sunny!  
7.     Raw salad dressing!  Have some made up in the fridge, or whip some up last minute.  As a Raw Chef, a good raw dressing to me should contain some kind of: tart acid (raw vinegar, lemon, lime, tart orange, etc...), something slippery (olive oil or cashew cream or even blenderized mangoes), one or a variety of spicy flavors (garlic, onion, shallot, jalapeno, ginger, etc...), something salty (celtic, himalayan salt, nama shoyu, braggs aminos, or even Nutritional yeast if you are avoiding sodium (only 5mg sodium per 2 Tbsp) or fresh made celery "salt" (ground dehydrated celery) or dulse or kelp), something sweet (dates or mango or agave, etc...).  A combination of all of these elements (sweet, salty, spicy, tart...and slippery) will complement your BITTER greens so delightfully.  Anything extra you add is a bonus!  A good generic raw dressing is: olive oil, nama shoyu, agave, raw vinegar, garlic and ginger blenderized.  Often i add cashews and water to this base and make a marvelous creamy dressing.  Sometimes I'll add tomato and beet to that and make it pink colored.  Plop some raspberries into THAT and you have raspberry vinaigrette, which i usually complement by adding orange and lemon juice.  Wow!  The possibilities are endless.  This week, I made a salt free dressing that was so good!  Tomato, red pepper, carrot, garlic, onion, olive oil, cayenne, cilantro, date, lemon.  No salty elements in that one, but plenty of spice, and lemony tart and datey sweet.  (But i always sprinkle Nutritional yeast on my salads so that is my salty element.  YUM!)  That dressing was SO good!  I drizzled it on top of a raw veggie burger for Cliff, I dressed kale salad with it, I poured it on top of chopped veggies/fruits and created a salsa.  We could not have gotten by without that dressing this week.  I suggest having 2 dressings on hand of different varieties.      
8.     Cashew cream! Have some made up - lasts 10 days refrigerated!  Since i'm doing salt free, I just blenderized cashew and filtered water into a 'sour cream' type of consistency, covered and refrigerated.  How many times did i grab for that in the fridge this week?  Too many to count.  I added that to the kale salad instead of oil, made creamy Moroccan carrot salad using that instead of standard mayo or olive oil, adding raisins and curry!  I spread it on raw bread under Cliff's raw veggie burger, added it to soaked chia to create "rice pudding" (add cinnamon, honey, vanilla, lemon).  The idea to leave the cashew cream salt free was so smart.  You can always add!  I'm trying to grab for nut or seed based items before I grab for the olive oil.  More alive and less processed!
9.     Raw Nut Cheeze or Seed Pate’s!  Have a few 'cheezes' in the fridge.  Cliff had such a great variety of meals this week with the Toona and Cheddar I kept on hand.  Toona Nori Wrap, Cheddar Cheeze Sandwhich, Cheddar Nori Wrap, Toona Sandwhich, etc...  The cheezes functioned for us this week as a complement to the marvelous veggies that took center stage piled atop or within!  Raw cheezes last 10 make as much as you can use up in that time, or whatever is leftover, make it into a dehydrated treat!
10. Superfood powders!  Have plenty of superfood powders on hand if they jive with you. We really enjoy a good smoothie in the morning, and since Cliff's favorite smoothies don't involve greens, we make sure to get lots of superfoods!  (I'm hoping that will change, but for the time being, it's fine!  Sometimes I have green smoothies for dinner, then!)  We love cacao powder, carob powder, hemp seeds, maca powder, cacao nibs and spirulina!

You know what the other crucial elements this week have been?  Nori wraps and raw veggie burgers!!!  

But the biggest help staying raw?  EACH OTHER!  Cliff and I can do amazing things when we are in partnership.  Conversely, we can create such disorder when our resources are not joined.  We really NEED support when going raw.  I feel so so amazingly blessed that my Cliffy is doing this beside me, to help himself, but also to help ME.  Wow.    

Hey, if you don't have someone to go raw with, I'll be your partner!

You can always write me!

xoxo michelle

Thursday, May 24, 2012

MEDICAL INTERVENTION - 370 lbs to 351 lbs in a WEEK

I've complained about my feet here.  But suddenly, last week, everything came to a head.

Lately, my feet always hurt at work.  I'm excessively heavy and it goes with the territory of being on your feet for 6-10 hours a day, several days in a row, prepping food.  But my right foot/shin, I broke in high school and that foot always gives me trouble when it's going to rain and the barometric pressure gets high, or I spend too long on it, and it aches.  Lately, i noticed some red blotchy spots around the ankle which has really frightened me.  There were more the next time I looked.  I've been having more and more pain in that foot, and after having to spend long hours on it, cooking, it has been terribly painful, and the red spots grew.  I've been very scared.  

Maybe I had a stress fracture from the sheer force of standing on it so long at my weight?

The other night, I had a singing performance and could barely stand on that foot for an hour i was in so much pain.  Plus my feet and ankles and legs were also very very swollen, even though i had stopped eating salt and gone back to raw.  That was the third day, and still the water didn't leave my legs.  I could barely walk to the car after singing.

Finally, my mother insisted and I went to the Doctor.

The Doctor said, from my weight, I have developed poor circulation, and those discolorations are dead blood vessels.

You know people who develop blue feet?  I think i was on my way there.  

So, she put me on a temporary diuretic to "lower the pressure" in my legs/feet, which she said should alleviate the swelling and the pain immediately.  After I take the diuretics, I am to remain on a course of B6, which naturally keeps water retention at bay.  She suggested I lay off of salt, which I intuitively had been and have been.  After the diuretic, my legs are comfortably un-swollen again and the pain IS improved.  She also prescribed tight compression socks that I've been wearing all day now to help the water not pool in my legs/feet.

The body can only take so much.  That foot/ankle/shin area was already weak, and my circulation always poor -  I have always been one to retain fluids.  My weight and my return to binge eating near about killed me.  I was running on adrenalyn, basically, just getting by, suffering, in denial....

~ ~ ~ ~      

I've been raw with Cliff now a week.  My weight went from 370 to 351 in a week because of raw and no salt and the diuretic.

All in all, to get better, the Dr. said I must lose weight, avoid salt, avoid sitting long times or standing long times, exercise and move as much as possible, wear the socks, and take a break from work, where i stand on my feet for long periods.  Things should improve and get better and better as i lose weight.

I also know raw will work on healing me again.  

Suddenly, i'm very CLEAR about what to do with salt.  No more talk of wanting salty gourmet raw.  It's very clear it's not good for me now.

Suddenly, it's very clear binge eating must be avoided at all costs.    

This 'healing opportunity' is really all for the best and I am exceedingly grateful for it, and to be back on track.  I am on the road to getting better, my weight is coming down, and Cliff and i are both feeling better.  Together.

"The body will do whatever it needs to for the love of who you are."  My wonderful boss, Arnold Kauffman says that alot.  My foot/ankle/shin knew I needed a break, knew I needed to get my health back under control, get off of salt and lose weight.  Thank you, feet!

Symptoms...are our friends.     

Weighing 351 again is an amazing amazing blessing.  In just a few days, i'll be in the 340's, then the 330's - what I weighed last year when i worked with Dr. Graham!  Then, soon, I'll weigh 299 again like I did when I first started  Those will be big milestone of success.    

I've been walking and water walking.

The foot hurts, but is much improved.  I'm on my way and have a lot of gratitude for this wonderful body that lets me know what it needs.  I just have to be smart enough to listen.

xoxo michelle joy

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


I am just whirling out new raw recipes left and right!  But we've got to EAT, right?

It is almost a week that Cliff and I went raw and, yes, it takes WORK, and EFFORT, but it is so worth it!

Here are some of the fabulous meals we've been enjoying.  When they turn out good, i run to the computer to write down exactly what i did so I can share it with you!


Okay, so I woke up from a detox-induced nap and was so hungry and so hopeless and dejected about what i would eat for dinner.  I was at my moms and what i wanted was microwaved baked potatoes.  No more for me, however.  Microwaving kills 99-100% of the nutrition in food.  I actually CRIED.  What was I going to EAT?  My mother asked, "Why are you crying?"  I said, "Because i'm SO hungry and i don't know what i'm going to eat!  Raw is hard.  It's limited."  I didn't know what I wanted and the prospects looked poor.  Then Cliff called.  "Honey, can i bring you something from home?"

YES!  Saved by the bell!  I asked Cliffy to bring the yummy sweet 'n spicy tomato sauce i'd made earlier in the week at home, and my Pumpkin Buckwheat Flax Krackers to my moms.  All of a sudden what I would eat came into view!  My mom had fruit and mangoes and avo.  I'd chop up fruits and vegetables and pour the sweet spicy sauce over it and eat the "salsa" with the flax crackers!

Let me tell you, for salt free?  This was SO SO DELICIOUS and you can't believe how HAPPY I was afterwards!  From crying to HAPPY from this YUMMERS STRAWBERRY MANGO SALSA meal!  The Pumpkin Flax Crackers as an accompaniment?  Brilliant!

Into a bowl:

  • 1/2 champagne mango diced
  • 1/2 medium sized ripe heirloom tomato, diced
  • 1 inch of cucumber, diced
  • 1 slice of mild onion, diced
  • 3 strawberries, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Pour a few tbsp of the recipe below for Sweet 'n Spicy Tomato Date Sauce over it, mix, and eat immediately!  2 small servings or one big.  Save the rest of the sauce for other uses as a yummy salad dressing or dressing for a veggie burger on living bread, as Cliff had earlier in the week!

Sweet 'n Spicy Tomato Date Sauce (*This is a salt free sauce, awesome!)
In Vitamix, blenderize until smooth:

  • 1 roma tomato, cut up
  • 1 small red pepper, cut up
  • 1 small carrot, cut up
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small slice mild onion
  • 1 medjool date, pitted, soaked if you want
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • generous sprinkle of cayenne, or hunk of jalapeno pepper
  • nice handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cashew nuts - makes it creamy! 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Mmm, mmm!  These are the Krackers I made earlier in the week.  I made them to be similar to the Krackers we used to get at OHI!  I make them salt free.  Feel free to add salt if you want!  They are fabulous and so crispy! 

Pumpkin Buckwheat Flax Crispy Krackers

The night before you want to make these - In large bowl, soak seeds: 

  • 1 lb hulled buckwheat
  • 1 lb flax seeds, light or dark
  • a few handfuls of raw pumpkin seeds
  • a handful of raw sesame seeds
  • a handful of chia

Fill large bowl with seeds and cover with filtered water to1 inch above seeds.
Let sit out overnight on the counter or in the fridge, covered. 
The next day, only if necessary, tip bowl slightly over large sieve to drain out excess gummy water. 

Next step-  In the Vitamix, blenderize:4 roma tomatoes6 cloves of garlic1/2 onionany other desired spices and herbssalt, optional (I did not use any)
Next step-
Pour sauce over seeds and mix. 
Spread about 3 or 4 large plops onto teflex covered dehydrator sheets and spread an inch away from corners of teflex, which should fill about 5 to 6 trays.
Dehydrate on 105 for 2 days or until fully dried.  I didn't even need to flip them!
When dry, break into large kracker shapes and store in ziplock bags.  

These will be good for 12 months. 

~ ~ ~ ~ 


I fixed this for Cliff and myself by pulse chopping in the food processor and served it with the Quick Quick Chunky Guacamole below, a small dressed salad and some living bread triangles.  THIS WAS SO SO good!  Such an attractive presentation.  (I left out the salt on my portion!) 

  • 2 roma tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 clove garlic, sliced
  • handful fresh cilantro
  • a nice slice of onion
  • some shakes of cayenne or fresh jalapeno slices
  • himalayan salt, optional
  • juice of 1/2 lemon or 1/2 lime
  • 1/3 small red pepper, sliced

Eat immediately, but save a few spoonfuls to make the next recipe!

~ ~ ~ ~ 


In food processor, pulse chop:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp reserved salsa
  • another squirt of lemon or lime
  • 1 stalk celery
  • extra sprinkle of the himalayan salt, if desired

This kind of food needs to be eaten immediately.  You won't have too much trouble with that!!!

Too bad i don't know where my camera is!

~ ~ ~ ~ 


I can't tell you the IMPACT that Dr. Joel Robbins video "Healing Through Nutrition" has had on us.  We now eat food the minute we make it and try to limit saving leftovers.  The Heirarchy of Food Preparation is from his video and can be found on the website below.  Blessings!

You know how when you bite into an apple, it turns brown?  Raw foods oxidize quickly.  I just learned from the Dr. Robbins video that it is BEST to eat fruit and veggies AS SOON AS you cut them before they oxidize and lose their nutrition.  Leftovers, in fact, lose a lot of nutrition!

Heirarchy of Food Prepartion by Dr. Joel Robbins from "Healing Through Nutrition": 

WHOLE FRESH RAW ORGANIC FRUITS and VEGETABLES - Retain 100% nutrition - best fresh picked, fresh cut
DEHYDRATED OR DRIED - lose 2-5% nutrition
FROZEN - lose 5-30% nutrition
STEAMED - lose 15-60% depending on how lightly steamed
COOKED - lose 40-100% depending on how cooked
COOKED LEFTOVERS MICROWAVED - lose 90-99% nutrition value
COMMERCIALLY CANNED/FRIED FOODS/FOODS WITH ADDITIVES - lose 100% nutritional value and have added toxins in them.

You can find more info on Dr. Robbin's video here:  

xoxo michelle joy

Monday, May 21, 2012


This was sooo good!  I made up a YUMMY kale salad for me and Cliff for lunch yesterday and it had less fat than I usually put in, so i wrote down what i did and wanted to share it with you!  It was delicious! And most importantly, Cliff LOVED this!!  You are going to have to get messy for this one and enjoy playing with your food!!!

KALE SALAD decorated with cherry tomato halves...Mmm!


You need: a large bowl, a vitamix, a knife.

This recipe feeds two ~~~ 

Tear kale leaves off 1 medium-large head kale, discarding center stalk.  (TIP: Save stalks and use in your raw bread).

Rip kale leaves into small pieces and place in large bowl.

Massage for a minute to crush and crunch up. 

In Vitamix, blenderize: 

1/4 cup mild onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup or less olive oil
1/3 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
1 - 2 Tbsp raw vinegar
1 Tbsp agave

Massage dressing onto kale, crushing and crunching.  This tenderizes kale.  The more you massage, the better and better it gets!

1/3 cucumber cut into 4 spears and sliced very thinly
1/3 cup red pepper cut into very thin short strips
1/2 carrot shredded
1/2 avocado cut into chunks
1.5 stalks celery cut into small thin slices
1 handful of raw pumpkin seeds (soaked and dried if you have)  
1/4 cup of sliced mild onion
1/3 cup nutritional yeast

Remember to tear up your kale leaves into small peices!

Massage veggies, yeast and avocado into the dressed salad, gooshing up with your hands thoroughly.  This will make an even creamier dressed chunky kale salad.  Add fine Himalayan salt to taste, if desired, and mix again.  Eat immediately!  Enjoy!  

LOWER SALT: Leave out salt all together for a low-salt salad!  (
I added NO salt to my portion, but some to Cliff's.  I find the minimal sodium found in Nutritional Yeast (5 mg per 2 Tbsp) to be just enough to give me just the slightest salty flavor....and it doesn't make my ankles swell!)     

TIP: LOWER FAT: For an even lower fat kale salad -
- Leave out the olive oil
- Or put in only 1 Tbsp
- Or substitute a few chunks of mango instead of the oil into the blenderized dressing.  (Mango is slippery and provides creaminess without adding oil.)
- Substitute more avocado...instead of the oil, for a less 'processed' form of fat!

Kale is a leafy green vegetable from the Brassica family, a sulphur containing vegetable like broccoli, cabbage, and brussel sprouts.

Kale is very popular in Europe and the USA. It grows well in hot and cold climates and actually thrives in cold climates and tends to have a sweeter taste.

It is truly a remarkable vegetable that is a superfood, which needs to be incorporated in more people’s diets.

Kale is excellent for those who are trying to lose weight; one cup of kale contains only 36 calories. It is fat free and high in fiber which helps your body to stay full longer and helps to keep your blood sugar lower. It also promotes regular bowel movements and prevents constipation.

Kale fights heart disease by removing plaque from the blood vessels and may also prevent stroke.

Kale contains antioxidants that are known to remove free radicals from the body. These antioxidants are also known to stop existing cancer cells from growing. A diet containing kale is highly beneficial against stomach, ovarian, breast, and colon cancer. Studies have shown that tumors shrank in animals that ate a diet high in sulphur-containing vegetables.

Kale is high in vitamin A, carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthan, which are great for protecting the eyes from UV light and preventing cataracts.

One cup of raw kale contains 134% recommended daily serving of vitamin C!  It is known that vitamin C helps fight infections, oxidizes cholesterol, and is anti-inflammatory which is also beneficial in autoimmune diseases. Vitamin C also repairs and strengthens collagen in the skin, giving a youthful glow.

Kale also has a high dose of calcium, which strengthens bones and teeth.

It also has manganese, which is a trace mineral and a great fat burner because it metabolizes and uses energy from protein and carbs, also great for weight loss. It makes fatty acids, which are important for sex hormones and the nervous system, too!

Kale can be used in many recipes such as green smoothies, raw kale chips, and raw kale salad
. And it is easy to grow, so why not include it in your garden?

xoxo michelle joy

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Cliff and I onto our fourth day of raw, and we're detoxing.  Though my feet and ankles and knees are feeling better, and his ankles are feeling better, we're really tired.

It's to be expected when going back to healthier eating.  Detox is real and a natural consequence and it comes in waves throughout the day.  Sometimes I awake really energetic.  This morning I woke up crying.

Dr. John Robbins explains in his video, "Healing Through Nutrition," "Start eating only fruits and vegetables for a few days, and on the 3rd day, you won't be able to get out of bed and you'll see just how healthy you really are."  Meaning, to the level that detox kicks in, that's how lacking in real, true vital 'energy' you really were.   

Raw food, he explains, alkelizing raw food, is energizing from the organic glucose, nutrients, enzymes, proteins, fatty acids, minerals and water inherently within it.  Since the body tends towards acidity (so important to realize), it NEEDS to be fed daily with alkelizing foods, to function properly - this is just the way the body is built.  So why does eating healthy...suddenly make you feel 'bad?'

Robbins video is really offering answers.

Acidifying foods offer false STIMULATION.  Our body has been leaning on and drawn to the stimulation they offer, at our expense.  Instead of running on true vital energy created from good nutrition, we are running on adrenalyn from our emergency reserves.  When we take in acidifying foods, our body sees them as poisons and directs the poisons away from the heart creating tumors and other symptoms and storing the toxins in body fat.  The body does help us!  It is trying to keep us alive!  When we eat acidifying foods, we are putting our body through an onslaught of stress, asking it to keep energizing our daily activities with energy from it's own resources (adrenalyn), since all we're giving it is poison (acidifying food).  Soon, however, the adrenals are exhausted from constantly pumping out emergency energy.

Go raw and suddenly pour in an onslaught of live and alkelizing foods, and suddenly the body needs to make a serious switch in what it has been running on.  Suddenly, the body realizes there is REAL LIVE ENERGY to go about the serious work it had been unable to accomplish until now, having been busy diverting all of those toxins away from the heart to keep you alive.  Now at work cleaning those stores and pockets of toxins out, there is only so much energy to go around.  Our regular daily activities may have to take a step back as the body busies itself cleaning up the insides.  "Respect the body and rest while you're having an internal healing crisis. The body is working on cleansing from the inside," Dr. Robbins says.    

In the video, Robbins cautions listeners to detox slowly for the sake of your daily life, and suggests working towards a diet of nothing less than 80% raw and 20% coooked.

Cliff is not as used to raw as I am and took note of this and decided to have a cooked gluten free breakfast while he was out this morning, thinking it could help slow the detox down and help him not feel so tired and adjust better to all of the alkeline he's been suddenly eating.

As long as he gets back on the raw alkeline wagon, I have no problem with this.  Maybe cooked every 3-4 days will help him adjust.  He is doing so well - no coffee today (acidifying), all raw since we started - he is such a trooper.  And the fact that he ate something cooked 'out' is abiding by what I had asked - I had initiated a pact that our kitchen would be all raw and all cooked food would be eaten out.  I'm okay with whatever he needs to do for himself.  (And, I know I have that "option," too, which feels comforting, but i'm okay so far.  I don't feel like i need it...yet.)  And really the intense FEAR of cooked 'starting a binge' is lessened by what Dr. Robbins is teaching - if you have ENOUGH alkeline to buffer the cooked (at least 80%/20%), your body will feed off of glucose and nutrition and not off of adrenalyn.  At least that's how i'm understanding it today.        

So, we respect the body and rest.  It's going through a cleansing process.  Rest, water, gentleness, togetherness.  We feel close.  We're in this together.  It's nice.  Finally :-))  We just needed each other :-)

Soon we'll piddle on the patio creating our garden by setting up our new tomato plants and herbs, and later I have a singing job.    

My sweet Cliff just fell asleep on the sofa after having just gotten back from a bicycle ride and having popped in the Dr. Robbins video again, from which I am gratefully absorbing info as we speak.  It's so nice how much interest he is taking in getting more educated.  He's taking responsibility for his health!

So, even though we feel a little crappy, we still feel better than we did before we started, and we know how much better we will soon feel!

P.S. I found notes on the internet that go along with Dr. Robbins "Healing Through Nutrition" video that someone unrelated to Dr. Robbins put up on their website.  Check them out to learn more about what foods are alkelizing and which are acidifying... 

xoxo michelle joy

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Friday, May 18, 2012 - 1:32 a.m.

Day Two of Raw is soon coming to a close...and I'm still zooming ahead.  My feet are absolutely dead exhausted from a long, long day at work, but i am experiencing new-found energy!  Something is definitely working!

Today was a great and busy day at work - we had some special people for lunch, we got ready for the potluck, and we hosted an outstanding event in the evening.  A 10 hour work day for me!  

Sunny and John came for lunch and brought some more of their friends.  It's such a delight to see the retired couple who volunteer at Arnold's Way a second day this week, bringing even more of their friends for lunch.  "How do you have SO MANY vegetarian friends?" I'd asked Sunny because every week they bring ANOTHER new couple to Arnold's Way!  "Well," she hesitated, "Have you ever heard of The Seventh Day Adventist Church?"  Oh, my Lord, I can't believe I'd never put two and two together.  Yes I have heard of it!  Adventists are vegetarians and I used to Chef in the Expressly Vegetarian Cafe at the Chestnut Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church and attend services regularly and sing and perform and lead hymns!  It's a small world.  Sunny and John and I met years ago at church and didn't even realize it!

Also, My honey, Cliff, visited the cafe' and brought along his pregnant former student, Sarah, for lunch.  Sarah just got married and is 5.5 months along and soon ready to pop!  Sarah wanted experience a raw meal, so, I served Mommy-To-Be a yummy "Cheeze" Sandwhich stacked high with lotsa veggies, good for Mommy and Growing Baby.  She (they) loved it!  For Cliffy, I made a yummy "Toona" Gorilla Wrap (a collard wrap).  Afterwards, they enjoyed Banana Whips for dessert.  "I'm going to make these for the baby!" Sarah exclaimed!

After the cafe' closed, Arnold's Way hosted our "Dinner And A Movie" Night, a regular event every 3rd Friday of every month (the night before the Monthly Potluck).  The attending folks enjoyed some yummy raw food i made for them: "Garlic Lovers Kale Salad," "Veggie Slaw," "Marinated Mushrooms," and "Apple Pear Dessert," all dishes we will enjoy again at the potluck tomorrow.

But the real highlight of the evening was the film we watched - a 2 hour seminar called, "HEALTH THROUGH NUTRITION" by Dr. Joel Robbins.
In this enlightening and thought provoking program, packed with revoluntionary information that will change your life, you will learn indispensable information that takes the mystery out of illness and disease.  You will discover how to conquer bad habits, avoid cancer and other diseases, and have more vitality than ever.  Dr. Robbins explains both the positive and the negative ways that food affects your health.   

If you have never listened to or watched a Dr. Joel Robbins presentation, run to the nearest source IMMEDIATELY!  PRONTO, if not sooner!  I will be featuring what I learn from Joel Robbins on the blog, and it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE!  I said last night to Arnold, "This should be REQUIRED VIEWING" for EVERY Arnold's Way customer!"

Quite simply put, Dr. Robbins made me COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND WHY I binge eat.  Period.  End of Statement.  I just "get it."  Finally!  And I'm excited to share my newfound understanding with you because I know so many of you are still suffering.  I really think, aside from singing, that THIS (to solve the mystery of binge eating and obesity) is my LIFE'S WORK.

I came away from the film so much more committed to raw and to restoring my health.

It is hard to believe the struggle it was to decide to finally go raw again.  I laugh at it now 2 days into it. I feel more committed than ever.

So, how did the raw couple do today?  Awesome!

I enjoyed my 2nd raw day at work as a raw chef at Arnold's Way, no stops before work or after for fast food.  What a relief to not have the food compulsion running my life.  And when i arrived home hungry, Cliff had a yummy raw salad waiting for me!  Am i a lucky girl, or what?

Cliff enjoyed fruit smoothie for breakfast, his raw lunch at the cafe', more smoothie later, and a raw salad for dinner.  I'd say this guy is SERIOUS.

And guess what?  It's day 3 and my knees and feet feel BETTER!  I usually have to take the steps downstairs one-at-a-time.  Not this morning!  And Cliff's ankles feel better already, too.  He's out bicycling.  I suppose inflammation is already decreasing and it's only day 3!      

I would call that A GOOD DAY!

Cliff's student, Sarah, is due in 8 weeks!  She enjoyed her lunch today at Arnold's Way!  This is an old picture already.  Her belly is twice as big now!

We gifted Mom-to-Be, Sarah, a veggie Spiralizer and a RAW FOOD MADE EASY cookbook!  Sarah is having a BOY!    

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Cliff and I were sitting on a park bench yesterday behind the Art Museum, by Lloyd Hall, watching the geese and the turtles and the birds and enjoying the cool breeze.

Our chatting turned introspective to how bad my feet hurt and how heavy I am, and how hopeless I feel.  I'd weighed myself, 370.  For all of the effort I've been making trying to balance raw and cooked, i'm just spinning my wheels and have made no progress in losing.  In fact, I'm in my heavier weight zone again.  Just a month or two ago, I was in the 350's again.

Cliff's noticed.  And he's felt helpless for me.

Not feeling well himself, either, hasn't helped.  His ankles are really bothering him.  Sometimes it's hard to just walk.

We're both in the same boat.  My weight, my knees, my feet.  His ankles, his Buddah belly.  We both have low energy.  We feel stuck.

I said, "Honey, I just don't know what to do.  I can't afford to go back to OHI, and i can't seem to stick to raw on my own, but I know I need to go raw.  It's the only thing that ever worked."

Michelle Joy, taken in 2009, 100 lbs lighter than i am today.  This is how I will look again, I'm so excited!

My babe, Cliff, in 2009!  He is going to be feeling so much better in 2012!

He agreed.  "3.5 years," he said, "You've NEVER stayed on ANY other plan THAT long or kept your weight off for THAT long!"

"I know," I admitted, "I need to get back on raw."

"Honey," I asked, looking at him a little sheepishly, "You wouldn't want to go raw with me, would you?"

It would make it so much temptation at home....a partner....instant support.  There could be no denying it - I need the help, and his ankles have been getting worse. 

He looked at me with a pained expression and answered, "Yeah.  Maybe i should.  My ankles are killing me.  I think that's the only thing that will calm the inflammation of my arthritis.  And i'll lose weight."  He shook his head and looked dead serious.  "Okay."

I asked if he was serious.

He was serious.

And so was I.

- - - - -

So, when we got home, I cleaned out the cabinets - bye bye pasta, rice, crackers.  Bye bye tomato sauce, peanut butter and canned beans.  The fridge stuff is going this weekend, and the bags of stuff from the cabinets are sitting with the garbage.  We'll throw them out or donate them somewhere this weekend.   

-  - - - - -

After cleaning out the cubbard, I surmised my remaining raw stuff.  Well, with bowl in hand, I said, "it's time to get soaking!"  So, I soaked a bowl of almonds, one of chia seeds, one of flax mixed with buckwheat and pumpkin seeds.

That's an A#1 job for our first raw day tomorrow!  Soaking cuts the fat by 40%, removes the enzyme inhibitors and begins the germination process.

- - - - - - -

When I woke up this morning, I smiled.

I felt a new HOPE!  We were going to be RAW and today was the day we would begin!

- - - - -

Before work, I busied myself preparing some raw food so Cliff would have something to eat.  My attempt at Hummus was foiled when i realized i had no lemons.  I turned the mix into raw burgers and turned the dehydtrator on to 105.  "105 alive!"

I made some salad dressing from soaked almonds that turned out crappy.  I'll dehydrate it, too, probably!

With nothing ready or palatable for Cliffy's first day raw, we'd agreed Cliff would fix himself 2 giant smoothies today, one for breakfast and one for lunch, and he would eat raw trail mix or a peice of fruit in between if he needed a snack.  He makes his smoothies so big, they hold him for hours.  We agreed when i got home from work, I would make him a wonderful raw dinner for his first day raw!
- - - - - -

Having finished making the burgers just in time to head out for work, I sped off to Arnold's Way, where I work as a raw chef.  I prayed to God, "Help me get through this day, dear Lord, because my feet hurt already and I don't know if these poor doggies can make it!"

When i arrived at Arnold's Way, I was blessed to discover there were 3 volunteers there to help me!  What an amazing gift!  God must have heard my prayers!  With my aching feet, the extra help certainly was a true blessing!

- - - - -

The day went well and i did pretty well with eating!  I had some smoothies during the workday when I was hungry, and a lovely salad and raw veggie burgers for lunch.  I snacked only a very little bit.  (When I got home, I wasn't hungry for dinner until later when I had some chia pudding and a raw burger on raw bread with tomato, yum.)

- - - - -

After my work day, I arrived home to my RAW babe!  Our welcome kiss hello felt energized with something new - HOPE, ADVENTURE, EXCITEMENT!

- - - -

Cliff had faired well on his first day raw!  The two big big smoothies and a little bit trailmix held him.  But now was HUNGRY!

With what I'd brought home from work, I made him a delicious "Burger Salad" like we serve at Arnold's Way.  And after whipping up a quick cashew cream, I made chia pudding (from seeds I soaked last night) for dessert.  "Mmm, that was SO good!" he exclaimed after his dinner!  "I feel so satisfied!"

- - - -

The PLAN: I've decided to make gourmet things, and make them taste good, and just focus on portion sizes and keeping snacking to a minimum.  I hope this strategy works.  It seems the easiest and most palatable way to maintain raw right now...TOGETHER.

Sure I can eat 30 bananas a day and lose 40 lbs this month, but can i "SUSTAIN that lifestyle?  And can HE stick to 30 bananas a day and nothing else?  Nope, we'll have to do something TOGETHER that we can BOTH sustain.

I'm actually HAPPY not to be getting too caught up in the details of too much fat, too much salt, too much oil.

Today, I know I can trust INTUITION...and THIS is what my INTUITION told me when I asked it what I should do!

"Just RAW.  KEEP IT SIMPLE.  There is always time to refine."       

- - - - -

It's 10pm, and I just made Flax, buckwheat, pumpkin, sesame, onion, garlic and tomato Krackers with the seeds I'd soaked!

I have more energy already!

- - - - -

What amazes me is that we've BOTH gone from suffering to HOPE....all in ONE day.  The POWER of a joint decision has just propelled us forward into a realm we both wanted to go, but we didn't know how we'd get there.  We both knew we needed help.

You know what?  We needed EACH OTHER!

- - - - -

So, folks, it would seem that Mr. Cliff and Ms. Michelle can now officially and finally claim to be.................. a RAW COUPLE!  We are now one of the many at Arnold's Way, like Megan and Joey, and Tim and Leslie...  Now there is CLIFF AND MICHELLE!

- - - - - - -

I'm feeling very happy and very supported.

I'm looking forward to feeling better soon and having my babe, right by my side, feeling better, too.


xoxox michelle joy