Monday, December 7, 2009

Into the light ... I see it off in the distance

Last week I did a few days mostly simple raw. I didn't want to go into full detox mode -- a little difficult with the kids nipping at the heels -- but it just felt right. So right, in fact, that I thought, "Wow! I've forgotten how good it feels to feel alive and totally vibrant like this!" I had loads of energy all day long both days and was immediately lifted out of a horrible mental funk I was in. Very powerful.

I'm now quite a ways out from my previous attempts at this lifestyle, which became quite psychologically burdensome for me those couple years ago. But now I'm in a different mental place. Truthfully, it's only incidentally about the food; more so right now it's about wanting full mental clarity, not wanting to be controled by anything, wanting final freedom to live a vibrant and energetic life.

So today is Day One all over again. I'm looking forward to the journey ...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Well that worked!

Not! (Okay, maybe for a day or so.)

Alright my friends, I'm going offline for awhile. It's clear to me that this blog is no longer serving me, at least at the present moment. I thought about deleting it, but I still have hope that I'll be able to get back on track here one of these days, and in that case I want a record of how difficult it's been for me. I can't be the only person out there that finds this whole thing exasperatingly and horrifically impossible.

I need to give myself some space. Check back every month or so maybe if you're interested.

Feel free to post a comment if you like, or if you ever want to check in.

Thanks, everyone!


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A New Plan

In case you're wondering, I didn't last the full 10-days, but I did fast (besides the honey thing) for four days. I felt pretty good with that clean-out. I don't really like fasting, while I'm doing it anyway, but I recognize the benefits of it, and it's really easy on one level: There are no decisions about food.

In that way it's easier for me to fast than it is to eat a raw food diet. I guess that's where I'm crazier than your average bear. Pondering thus, I've decided that it's really all the choice and decision-making that screws me up royally on this whole transition, and I need to get my head out of the picture. Because as soon as I have to decide, in a crazed, detoxy state of mind, what to eat, well, quite frankly, I always choose something, eventually, that slows that process and eventually knocks me right out of it.

So I have come up with a radical new plan. Starting today, THIS is what I'm eating for the next 30 days:

  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • Lettuce
  • Celery

Thought of making it just bananas and lettuce, but feared I would definitely rebel against that plan, so added a few more things just to have some variety.

For all you out there who are not at all into this "crazy" raw food thing, who only read this because you're somehow related to me or know me, I'm not suggesting that this is necessarily a balanced diet to eat for life. (Not suggesting it's not either though; I haven't really examined it on that level.) My theory is this: If it's possible to fast for days and days, a restricted diet for 30 days is no big deal. And, quite frankly, I think it's what I need.

I'm sick of deciding what to eat, and having that decision take up all the thinking energy of my days. If you don't know what I'm talking about in that department, you're just not crazy like me I guess. But I recognize that I've got better things to do than think about what to eat. So I'm not gonna think about it anymore. Plus, I can get cut-stem bananas at Berkeley Bowl for $.59/lb, and can even find them in bargain produce occasionally for $.29/bag, so maybe I'll save some money to boot.

I had a dream the other night that seemed to come from the ether: I was shopping and shopping and shopping for bananas. Went into like three grocery stores and there was not a banana to be had anywhere. Well, one store had like three. I awoke and thought, my body must be screaming for bananas.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fasting is Annoying

Sunday wasn't perfect. I was reminded pretty immediately how awful the whole cleansing experience is. Cravings all afternoon. I slipped and slid.

But I found out that day that my neighbor was starting Master Cleanse on Monday (yesterday), so I decided to jump on the fasting bandwagon with her. I'm not doing Master Cleanse, but an almost-water fast. I say almost-water, because one of my coping mechanisms while fasting is to have warm water with honey occasionally (2-4x day), which really seems to help in my ability to deal with it. Purists might raise their noses, but hey.

Tried to do the saltwater flush yesterday, but failed! I couldn't do it first thing in the morning because I had to take my son to preschool, so I decided to do it at mid-day instead. I didn't bothering to think that I had just had a bunch of water to drink not too long before (half hour?). Two hours later, all I was doing was peeing like crazy. In short, it was no saltwater flush, but a saltwater toxification. I felt fine. It actually made me laugh that I could screw up a saltwater flush, but the thought makes me wretch: A full teaspoon of salt down the hatch, and God only knows where it is now. Yuck! So there's a warning to all you cleansing newbies out there: You MUST do a saltwater flush on an EMPTY stomach. (But there: I also did the experiment to see what happens if you eat a full teaspoon of salt, and for me, anyway, the answer is "Nothing," but it's not fun!)

I went to bed early last night at 8:00 and slept in a teensy bit this morning. Feeling pretty good this morning, and just downed the saltwater for the flush -- cross your fingers for me!

I'm not sure how long I'm (almost) fully fasting for; probably at least 3-4 days. I do plan to switch to juice and continue something for the full 10 days, but whether I would do a full fast for 10-days I will have to determine by how I'm feeling as I go along here.

I have to say though, fasting truly is annoying for me. The whole day consists of forgetting about it, then thinking, "I'm hungry! ... Aw, I'm fasting! ... I'm hungry! ... Aw, I'm fasting ..." ad infinitum. I'm not one of those people who feels "closer to God" when I'm fasting, at least not at this point in my life. On the contrary, I feel tightly tied to my body, like it's this masochistic thing that won't let me forget about it. But, saying that, when I fasted for 4 days in January I did gain a ton of energy and felt really healthy. I'm hoping for the same this time -- hoping it will put me on firmer footing to continue progressing -- even if I'm not enamored of the fasting process itself.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Day of Resurrection

Well, it's Easter today and I thought I would commemorate it, in all seriousness, by rolling away my stone of apathy to get back on track. In case you haven't guessed, I've been off track for a number of reasons. Quite frankly, I haven't really wanted to post lately because I've been so despondent about this whole experience and haven't really wanted to "air my dirty laundry" for all the world to see. Plus, I haven't really fully understood some of the things I've been attempting to process.

What I have learned -- and what I now know I have to keep in the forefront of my mind -- is that this is about ME. If I start focusing on someone else and what they think of me, especially in the world of raw foods, this is a recipe for disaster that will send me on a clear course for "failure" for quite awhile. Further to this point, I have to be careful about who I'm holding up as an example, because I can only deal with positivity on this journey. I don't have the emotional strength to process negativity, even if that negativity is something along the lines of how all those "cooked food eaters of the world" "just don't get it." (Such statements irk me, and I tend to deal with being irked in negative ways.)

The truth is I'm kicking and screaming, folks. I don't really want any of this. It's very depressing. I just want to get on with my life. I don't want this illness. I don't want this diet. But guess what? I recently had to have my medication slightly raised (I'm doubling my dose one day a week now, as opposed to bumping up to the higher dose) because I've been checked out of the reality of my situation for the last 6 weeks or so. Well, not totally checked out. I still have quite a few fruit meals, but I have learned I really have to be focused on this to do the healing work, and I truly haven't been ... that's the lesson.

I have thought about closing this blog, but have decided to give myself one last chance with it. If I don't stay on track this time, I will close it so that I don't have to feel like such a miserable failure anymore.

There's my whining over with ...

My inspiration for the monumental task I'm undertaking -- that of picking myself up and moving forward -- are the following posts:

This post about Debbie on Kris Carr's fab blog: People are overcoming stuff a lot scarier than what I'm dealing with, and staying positive and learning from their trials.

Sarah's recent post on Cravings and Visualizations: On the one hand I think, "Maybe that's it, I'm just not a big enough believer." But on the other hand I'm truly inspired that she hasn't had a craving in a long time, since I can't even fathom a life without food cravings. (Wouldn't that be nice!!)

Oooh, I almost forgot to tell you. I am now studying to be a personal trainer. I plan to do my CPR training soon (a requirement for the ACSM certification) and will take the exam once I have sufficiently studied for it. There's a lot on there that I'm shaky on, but I took a 3-full-day course last weekend and was really inspired. So I guess I'm unfair to myself to say I've been up to nothing.

I have my warm cup of coffee with cream next to me right now, and then that's it: Taking the 100% plunge again. Gotta brace myself for the lovely caffeine withdrawal. Thanks for still reading. Hugs to you all!

I'll post soon, promise!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Avoiding McDonald's fries ... for now

Now don't let that heading shock you, but the truth is that this is what I've been doing since about August of 2003. I have always loved McDonald's fries. Still do. But I don't eat them now. I'll eat other crap at times, but I avoid McDonald's fries on principle. After all, I live in Berkeley, California -- hippie capital of the world -- and you can't very well go around stinking like Mickey D's fries or you'll have NO friends. I mean, my friends are already pretty limited since I'm a striving fruitarian, but to go so low as to eat those greasy things? ... well, what would the neighbors think?

And that's just it -- the last time I got McDonald's fries I was freaking out at the drive-thru that someone might ACTUALLY SEE ME DOING THE UNTHINKABLE! I got those puppies, drove home, wolfed them down inside my house, then had to air out the WHOLE HOUSE because, well ... what would the neighbors think?

You see, we're very close to our neighbors, who run a very cool organic raw saurkraut company (mentioned in Juliano's RAW: The Un-Cookbook; their name at the time was Fermentations, but it's now Cultured; check out their product line here). So McDonald's fries just don't go down well in these parts.

Ever since that crazy experience, I have looked back on it in amazement, because I have not eaten those things since. I love them though. Still. But I just avoid them "for now" ... all the time. I've thought a lot about how this is a potential metaphor for how to deal with some of my other issues around food. Just avoid it "for now". This is another, albeit perhaps saner, version of "just for today".

Where I am now
I'm struggling, as always, but I have to say I've definitely progressed. My health is perhaps the best that it's been since my teens (and I'm at my high school weight of around 111, to boot). I feel stronger than I have in years, and more energetic than WAY before I got my thyroid diagnosis. This is all good.

Where I get hung up is that, yes, I could perhaps avoid cooked food "for now" ... all the time. But to do that I have to be in a head-space of constantly pushing back at everything around me, and I'm not sure that, spiritually, that's a healthy place to be for me personally. I haven't given up on it, but I seriously question it. But saying that, I still have a major illness to deal with, so I feel like I "have to" do this. But saying that, I then think, yeah, but we all die, every last one of us, and is life for making yourself into an obsessive-compulsive stress case, or is it for enjoying? So the bottom line is that I'm really ambivalent on this. I want to be happy. I don't necessarily want to be a strict raw vegan. Whether the two necessarily go hand in hand is my big question mark that I'm still exploring.

I'm also really struggling with what I perceive as the out-of-control ego and arrogance of certain people who promote themselves as long-term raw successes. I really can't abide it. I think we all -- raw vegan or McDonald's fries fiends -- have gifts in this life, and that we are all amazing souls. I don't think that anyone should be silenced or disregarded because he/she hasn't reached dietary "perfection". That's not the only kind of perfection we should be striving for.

On that note, I would like to mention that raw foods are not the be-all-and-end-all to happiness in life. I know this. A friend of mine committed suicide a few years back, and one of the reasons cited for it was that he had fallen off of his two-year raw diet. No joke. So no one can tell me that it's a panacea, because I think it can potentially create problems psychologically as well; not because of nutritional issues, that's not what I'm saying, but because of the constantly pushing back at everything around you. As for my friend ... God rest his beautiful soul ... it's not worth that. It's just not. Not that I'll ever end up necessarily in the same lonely place that he was, but I have definitely seen how the obsession with "perfection" is not necessarily conducive to health, and I want to temper my own experience with the painful remembrance of my friend.

These days I eat mostly simple raw food. My pattern is that I go a few days and then "can't stand it anymore" and do something else for a little while, and then get back "on track". I'm continuing to heal, which is the most important thing and the whole reason for any of this. This diet is Pandora's box, so I can't see turning away from the diet, but I do sometimes want to turn my back on the fanaticism and self-righteousness of it.

Not such a chipper post today. All is well, but not necessarily light-hearted. Peace to you!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Here's the story: My pulse felt a bit fast this morning, and maybe I noticed it a bit yesterday too. Then I went to yoga today it felt even faster, and I wasn't doing anything but just puttering around the house. I finally looked into it and clocked my pulse at 128 (!!!!!!!!!) and, even after sitting down for awhile it was still like 95, which is WAY higher than I've ever had it when I was starting to go out of balance before and needed a dosage decrease. I finally decided to call the doctor office -- the answering service people, you know -- because it was starting to look a bit questionable, like do I go to the hospital or what?? The doctor was very good and called me back right away. He said he could prescribe one dose of a beta blocker (which he said would sort it out), but as I wasn't enthusiastic about that if he didn't feel it was absolutely necessary, he said I should be fine, as long as I just take it easy for today and just monitor it to make sure it doesn't get worse.

Going forward, I'm not to take my medication for 3 days, then start up again, but at the lowered dosage. He bumps it down in half-dosage increments. The highest I had it (in October, I think, when I started this lifestyle shift) was 112/100 mcg on alternating days. With this lowering I'm down to 88 mcg every day.

My goal for the end of this March is to get it down to 75 mcg every day. I'm already half way there. I may be able to exceed that expectation even. This is my biggest desire, and the reason I entered the 90-day fitness challenge I've been participating in: to reverse this "irreversible" condition. And I'm doing it. As far as I'm concerned today, if I did nothing ELSE but get off these meds, that's FINE with me. Of course I think the increased fitness contributes to the healing, not only the dietary changes. I've made huge strides in that area over the last month, and I'll blog about that soon.

I am slowing the detox for the next few days while I get the heart rate down a bit. I just plan to eat vegan for the next few days. Then mid-week, assuming I'm stabilized, I will increase my raw intake again, to continue the process.

I've not been too into being regular with this blog lately, but plan to get back on it soon. In the meantime, know that I will keep you updated on developments.

In a nutshell, I'm still struggling with staying 100% raw, but I seem to be progressing at the rate that I should be progressing at nonetheless (any faster and I would need beta blockers). So everything's working out just fine and as it should be.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

From mourning to morning

I have been going through some really heavy emotional stuff over the last few weeks while taking part in this F.I.T.S. 90-day Challenge. My DH and I had a big talk the other night. I was discussing my own frustration with myself about not being able to do everything "perfectly" as I want to. He said it gets annoying living with someone who's "always" down on herself. I can see and respect what he's saying, although I did have to remind him that I'm not "always" down on myself: I was really proud of myself for doing the yoga competition earlier in the month, and I'm proud of myself that my fitness level really has jumped tremendously over the past few months. I'm proud of the fact that I've lowered my medication twice. And my yoga practice is stronger now than it was when I did the competition just a few weeks ago.

But it's the diet that I struggle with so much, the finality of it, what I've always been looking for. And the more I think about it and look at it from every angle, the more I'm starting to recognize that I can't turn back, that I absolutely have to do this, and that I absolutely will do this 100% of the time, and that time can't be further than just around the corner; because when I'm not doing it 100% of the time I can TELL that I'm killing myself slowly. Anyone who is not a raw foodie who's reading this (yes, there are a few!) will probably think that's a crazy thing to say. But when you feel yourself going perpetually forward, health-wise, when eating simple raw food, and then you feel it immediately and tangibly go backwards when you don't, there just ain't no mistaking it.

So I'm in mourning, really, because I'm realizing that I have to forgo my entire culture, and that's a tough thing to do. People just don't get it, so I'll probably inadvertently have to be more distant with some people. Which isn't necessarily what I want, but if you're on two different paths, and one path tends to derail the other, what do you do?

Also, there's my love of world cultures. Food is such a huge part of all cultures, and to no longer be able to participate in this way literally makes me want to cry. I did cry the other night to Gary. The fact that it's practically an impossible thing to do, but that I KNOW that I must do it, it's almost indescribable.

And then there's also the fear that no one else is doing this around me. For my life to change so dramatically is a frightening thing. Of course I want to get better, but if you transform your life it transforms your relationships too. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, but it's scary.

But then there's that quote, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you," and I believe that, and I think that's what we're doing here. I am seeing that I have to relinquish the power of the senses, because they have me in an absolute stranglehold. I don't want that habit anymore. But breaking free of it is like being thrown into a pit of fire. It's agony ... the toughest battle I've ever fought in my life. And I think for most people you don't realize how hooked you are until you try to stop.

But I'm part way up on the side of a mountain. To one side it drops out underneath me into an unspeakable abyss, and to the other side is ascends arduously and painstakingly into the heavens. Which path to take? Up or down? I don't really have a choice, now, do I?

But hopefully if I take the path to the heavens, somewhere up there the mourning will change to morning, and I'll be free.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Medication lowered again!

I went to the endocrinologist yesterday and got my lab results from the blood draw I had at the end of December. I have felt my pulse slightly racing now for some time, so strongly suspected I was due for another decrease, and, sure enough, my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is still on the low side, meaning I've already got a lot of thyroid hormone in my system. The last time it was measured it was .06, and this time it was .14, whereas it should be at least .5. I'm overjoyed at these results because it does indicate that the lifestyle modifications, not just my doctor's over-dosage, are making the difference. I am now officially below a dosage that I had to have raised some six months ago. And I have been far from perfect on my lifestyle modifications too.

Also of interest was the fact that my adrenals, with the addition of the DHEA, are now way normalized. In fact, the level that is the reference range is like 8-11, and I'm now at 23! My doctor seemed a bit perplexed that the addition of DHEA could have had such a positive impact, as he had suggested it more as something to tide me over while he ordered another type of cortisol test. With those results, he is no longer saying that I'm going to have to stay on adrenal support for life. He said I might need it for six months to a year, but probably not a lifetime.

I did tell him, although not in great detail, about the changes I'm making in my diet. He seemed supportive from the standpoint of wanting to continue to measure everything regularly, as we don't know what the effects will be. I told him that I have heard of people having their thyroid medication lowered repeatedly after implementing these dietary changes.

I've been in somewhat of a bad place, food wise, lately, and have been doing a lot of work conquering my demons. These results are exactly what I needed to fully convince me. I'm starting over with renewed dedication, starting with a one-day fast today (maybe two: I'll see how it goes).

This is not an easy process, but I'm getting to the point where I just don't want to do battle with it anymore. I just want to accept it and move on, and heal, as I know I will. I know the more dedicated I am to this lifestyle, the faster I'm going to make that progress.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Focus for peace

I have had a roller coaster of a last few days. My yoga competition was on Saturday, and Friday night my studio paid for me and the other participants from our studio to stay in a hotel in San Jose, which is about 50 miles away. The San Jose studio paid for everyone to go to dinner, and, as I blogged about before, I decided to go because I thought they were going to go over pertinent details of the competition. As it turned out, the only pertinent information they had for us was that the women were to compete after the men, and we should be there by 10:00 a.m.

I went into a lion's den for that!

I had brought and drank my multi-banana/lettuce smoothie in the car ride down, which is normally quite satisfying to me, but not that night. I drank the whole thing and still felt hungry (or something!). Then we get there and find out this dinner is in basically a high-class pizza joint, and, to make a long story short, I gave in.

I wasn't the only one who was incredibly bothered by this dinner though. They gave us a tiny salad, way more pizza than we could possibly eat, then desserts like cheesecake and apple pie (of which I had a bite, but didn't otherwise indulge). It was ludicrous! I mean, some of the people at that competition are world-class athletes, and you're feeding them that before their big day??? My friend sitting next to me said, "Man, the pizza just keeps following me!" I felt the same way. We all agreed that like 5 of the salads would have been perfect. My stomach was a bit of a mess that night, but, fortunately, I recovered by morning.

Saturday I had performance nerves so bad that I could only drink my orange juice in the morning, then I didn't eat again until about 3:00, after it was over. That night we went to a party in San Francisco, where a friend of ours proposed to another friend. I had wine and Chinese food, already feeling somewhat defeated from the night before.

On Sunday I felt like a truck had run over my emotions, so had some more cooked stuff, even ice cream with my son (aaaaa!). But I did figure out how to get the video Gary took of me competing into YouTube. I have to say, although I was nowhere near as good as some of the participants who have had steady, daily practices for years, I think I did ok for only training hard for about two weeks (most spent months).

At 5:45 on Sunday I decided to stop being so down on myself, and took myself to the 6:00 p.m. yoga class, which is just what I needed. The teacher was talking about how he's doing an 8-day cleanse, which is basically 811rv except he's having a cooked broth each morning too. Everyone in the class was like, "Wow! 8 days of nothing but that???" And here I am thinking I'm gonna try to do a lifetime of it, and thrash myself mercilessly because it's a eensy weensy bit difficult. It really put it all in perspective, and I told the teacher, Tim, that I'm doing that cleanse too, starting tomorrow (minus that broth, of course). It seemed the forces that be were looking out for me in getting me to that class. It was difficult, and I drank about a gallon of water (after my imbibing the night before), but I felt emotionally recharged in an extremely fortuitous way.

In sorting this whole experience into logical sense, what is apparent to me is that I am at peace when I am focused. Sometimes it is hard to stay focus, like when someone wafts pizza in front of you and you're feeling hungry (and left out), but the focus is what I need to retain. I am getting good at recognizing when I've lost my focus, and I'm getting better at getting it back faster. Looking back at my experiences over the last few months of really trying to transition, I'm seeing that my off-day experiences are getting shorter and shorter. From 5 days, 4 days, now 2 days. Used to be (years ago) that if I was strong on a raw diet and then went off, it would be months before I could muster the will to try again. So I have to say I'm making progress, even if it's still all such a bother.

I've been spending the little time I have on the Fruitarian Fitness 90-day challenge logs, which is why I haven't been posting here as much. I'll try to keep this updated from time to time though.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Thank God for New Year’s Day!

Olivia Newton-John was right, you know
I woke up this morning with my head chock full of 1980, singing away to the Xanadu soundtrack. How odd. So I thought I’d get out some cheese of the non-dairy variety and put it in my blog. You see, it occurred to me that, in order to get off of cooked food and to survive the temptations long-term with this lifestyle:

You have to believe we are magic
Nothin' can stand in our way
You have to believe we are magic
Don't let your aim ever stray
And if all your hopes survive
Your destiny will arrive
[And] bring all your dreams alive
For you

And that’s what it’s really all about. It’s such a head trip, this whole thing. I’ve been slipping and sliding all over the place since I last posted. You don’t even want to know. I have almost felt compelled to skate thin ice at the end of the year. It’s annoying, but I know I’m not alone in this strange psychology. I’ve had a few “on” days and a few more “off” days. Here’s a YouTube video which pretty much sums up my reality:

Now, my problem’s not really a weight one (although have I ever in my life thought I was thin?? Last time was maybe when I was 10 years old). But I’ve definitely got the “food issues” thing going down. Whether it’s really an “issue” or whether I’ve just made it one, who really knows. But the reality is that I’ve got a health problem that I think this diet would fix, or at least improve, so no matter what my “food issues” are, that is still my reality.

The test of endurance
Saturday is my yoga competition. That photo above is me practicing one of my poses for my family members when we were in Lake Tahoe just before Christmas. (Sorry about those extra feet in the pic.) Well, I just found out attendance at the pre-competition dinner is mandatory (or at least highly recommended) for all competitors, as the format of the competition will be explained. I was originally thinking, and posted some time back, that I might just “do the best I could” at this dinner. I was even at one point thinking, screw it, I’ll just eat the dinner.

The last few days, however, being so dietarily haphazard, have taught me that I cannot do that. I will attend, but if I’m starving and eat nothing and suffer gravely for several hours, so be it. I cannot afford to give in. Why?

Because New Year’s Day is one of the most powerful days of the year, where we are given a mental clean slate, a get-out-of-jail-free card, if you will. This day has a powerful momentum that radiates as long as you cling to it. If I were to just eat that one cooked meal, it might be until January 1, 2009 until I could re-harness that energy. So I will make it through that dinner, no matter what.

Here’s another reason: Does that pose look very comfortable to do with a bad stomach? :-)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Day 21: Oops, I did it again!

Can't seem to manage to get to three weeks on this diet without taking a stumble. I really set myself up for it in a way though, but I'm alright with it too. Here's what happened ...

Yesterday I spent all day cooking a lovely three-course meal of Indian food for some family members visiting from the East Coast and Colombia: saag paneer (spinach cheese), channa masala (spiced chickpeas), aloo gobhi (potato cauliflower), chapatis (flatbread), and rice. Everything homemade. I actually like making fancy meals like this every now and then. For my dinner I had a guacamole with avocado, cilantro, tomato and corn, and scooped it/wrapped it up in bok choy. It was pretty good, and I ate until I couldn't eat any more; in fact, I couldn't even finish it. My dad had brought some wine over, which I love, but, since I've been avoiding that kind of thing lately, I didn't have any with dinner.

Then an hour or so after everyone left I was feeling hungry a bit but didn't pay much heed since it was getting late-ish. But that wine sure looked good, so I poured myself a glass: my undoing! No sooner had I downed a glass of wine than I was straight into those leftovers which looked so appealing. Then I had some more wine while watching TV.

I wouldn't call any of this a binge per se, because it wasn't. I just ate/drank some things not on my list of preferred foods. But you know what? I'm actually OK with it. I don't want to make huge excuses for myself, but it is Christmas, and I've been doing really well. If I stumble a bit it's not the end of the world. I'm seeing and feeling progress, and, while I love all the festivities at this time of year, for dietary reasons I'm looking forward to getting past them, going into the new year with a reaffirmed commitment to this lifestyle. Now that I know that it's working for me, I can't help but continue to transition into it more fully.

(By the way, my pulse is, quite frequently, racing at about 85-95 bpm, which probably means my thyroid medication is TOO HIGH: WHOO HOO! Did I tell you that already? Anywho, I go for my blood draw later this week. Cross your fingers!)

Truly, there's a reason why everyone picks New Year's Day as the day to start all those resolutions, especially of the weight-loss variety. There's nothing, zilch, nada going on for about 6 weeks (Valentine's Day, if one celebrates that), and it's almost a straight shot through until summer when it's time to get out the swimsuits.

So if I fall a little because I'm not yet a Hardcore, Professional Fruitarian, eh ... whatever! I'm human, and I'm learning to give myself a break for that. I do, however, feel more committed to doing this for the long haul than I did a couple months ago, and I think that's why my stumbles don't frighten me so much now. I also think there is great value in presenting to the world my "imperfections" while transitioning to this lifestyle. It's the most ascetic thing I've ever done in my life, and I want people to know that if you stumble a little bit, all is not lost. It's the overall direction I'm going, not how perfect I am every second of every single day. If I can do it, so can other mere mortals out there, and that's the moral of the story.

Today so far I've had just orange juice, and am thinking that it would be nice to (some time soon, not necessarily today) just drink orange juice for a few days. That's the closest I'm going to get to fasting for the moment.

I went to a yoga class today (which didn't feel so perfect after imbibing last night, but I survived). I'm definitely feeling a lot stronger in my yoga practice. My muscles are still complaining a lot due to lactic acid buildup, but it seems I'm actually getting stronger at a faster rate than usual. I'm feeling quite sturdy, and my balance is improved. Flexibility is noticeably enhanced.

I may not blog for the next week or so, as Gary is off work this week and I don't want to spend my days on the computer. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (or whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year).

Too lazy to input all my food into Nutridiary. I'll pick up on that in the new year.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Day 19: Whistling while I work

Housecleaning can be fun
I think that quantum leap in health that so many people speak of with this diet is just around the bend. In fact, is that energy I'm feeling? I hardly recognize the sensation anymore, it's been so long. But here's what I got up to today: Woke up early, but tried as hard as I could to sleep in, finally emerging at around 7 or 7:30. My man has returned, so he was entertaining the children downstairs while I attempted to get my beauty sleep, which was not forthcoming. Gave up, got up, and immediately decided to clean the entire upstairs, where we have our bedroom and a bathroom. That took until noon.

I have to interject here to explain that one of the symptoms of a thyroid problem (and mothering young children) is a perpetually dirty house. I have not had the entire house clean all at once EVER, not since we moved here in 2003. I have desperately wanted to clear out and clean out for YEARS, but even keeping my head above water with the regular daily tasks has been an almost insurmountable challenge ever since I got sick. Another symptom of a thyroid problem is depression, and sitting around devoid of energy in a messy house does not help the situation one iota. Today, I FINALLY had the energy to start changing that.

I cleaned that upstairs top to bottom, removing all the cobwebs, dust and grime, washing all the bedding (yes, I have actually done that since 2003!), putting things away, going through things, reorganizing, until it was all so spic and span that I actually smiled inside. I have decided that all I want for Christmas is a clean house, and the energy to make it so!

I cleaned and I cleaned, and when I was finished cleaning upstairs, I came downstairs and cleaned some more, but I ran out of time because I had to get to my high-intensity Bikram yoga class. Darn!

Went to yoga, did every single pose without sitting down to catch my breath once -- and I haven't done that in over a year, probably. Additionally, I was more flexible in this class than I was the last class I took, which was about three weeks ago. How does that happen???? This diet is the Super Boring Incredible Diet. It truly appears to be beginning to work wonders, and just in time for my yoga competition in two weeks!

Eating fruit in the snow
About that vacation: Four days in the snow eating fruit, very strange indeed. But I made it through. There were times that I did not eat enough, namely the one day I took my son skiing. I brought some dates and a few bananas, but I didn't want to have to pee too much, so didn't bring enough bananas. I got a headache early on that day, which built up and built up. What really was the final straw was deciding to do a longer ski run with my sister, which set in some motion sickness for some reason too. In fact, it was so excruciating that I took a couple Tylenols in the car on the way back to the condo, but when I got in the house I immediately threw them up. So I'd call it sort of cheating. :-) I had a headache all the next day too. I do think some of it was altitude, plus I think I really started to detox pretty heavy, probably somewhat from ingesting less. I've had a pretty bad taste in my mouth since then, but today, man, my energy is amazing!

Following is my food since I last blogged. I did eat one avocado each of the three evenings I was away, and I think this was a good idea. Although it brought my fat intake to higher than 10% for those days (as high as 19%), it also helped me feel much more satiated when I was surrounded by a whole lot of yummy looking cooked stuff (pizza again!) on all sides. I intend to eat lower fat for then next couple days to bring it back into balance. I think the higher-fat strategy when I knew I was in a proverbial lion's den was a good move which helped me emotionally to survive the temptation; it felt like I was getting a "treat" too.

Day 19

5 cups orange juice
6 bananas, blended with 1 romaine heart
10 blended tangerines
2 stalks celery, 3 persimmons
Calories: 1559
Calonutrient ratio: 91/5/4

Day 18

6 bananas blended with 3 stalks celery
15 dates
3 bananas
5 cups orange juice
Smoothie of 6 red bananas and 1 romaine heart
Calonutrient ratio: 92/5/3

Day 17 (small headache still today)

4 persimmons, 1 mango, smoothie of 11 clementines
3 bananas
4 cups orange juice
6 bananas blended with 1 romaine heart, 1 avocado, 4 persimmons
Calories: 2235
Calonutrient ratio: 82/5/13

Day 16 (the really bad headache day!)

2 bananas, 2 mangoes
2 bananas, 10 dates
1 avocado, smoothie of 3 bananas and 1 romaine heart
Calories: 1314
Calonutrient ratio: 77/4/19

Day 15

4 cups orange juice
7 bananas
10 dates
1 avocado, 4 persimmons
Calories: 1601
Calonutrient ratio: 80/4/16

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day 15: Into the wild

I'll be out of the blogosphere for a few days while I go attempt to rest and recuperate in Lake Tahoe with my family. It should be fun, although I won't have the spousal support in dealing with the little guys (he's still in Texas: Sarah, would you guys stop using so much water so he can come home??). The kids will get to see real snow for the first time (I think), and I'm looking forward to that.

I'm getting my food all packed. Went to Berkeley Bowl yesterday and bought about half the red bananas on the shelf, plus I noticed they were selling "cut stem" yellow bananas for $.49/lb, so I bought a bunch of those too. I wonder what people think as I go through checkout with 80 bananas!

This will, I hope anyway, be one of my first successful escapades in traveling while raw. In the past, with my love of travel and restaurants, I have always, ALWAYS, without fail, failed to continue a raw food diet while traveling. This will be uncharted territory.

I haven't always been eating as much at meals lately, and have had some cravings as a result, but haven't really been fully tempted by them. I've just sometimes felt, "I wish I didn't have to do this," but never the thought, "Let's do something different!" It's not always comfortable, but I don't feel threatened at all. As to why I haven't been eating as much, it's partially boredom, and partially the fact that the need for bathrooms makes me have to plan ahead, so sometimes I stall eating longer than I should.

Marjorie posted an explanation from Dr. D to the peeing phenomenon on my comments the other day: "Basically, you are losing brine from all of those years of eating salt. AND as you lose fat, you'll also lose the water that was stored in your adipose tissue. And the diet is high water content, too. So, the answer is, you won't pee like a racehorse forever, but you will pee more than the average dehydrated SAD [standard American diet] eater." Great! I could eat cardboard all day and already do that. Hopefully it will settle down soon. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for the explanation, Marjorie! :-)

Yesterday I got invited to a Friday evening dinner on January 4th, pre-yoga-competition on the 5th. At first I declined, but then had second thoughts. My studio is going to pay for a hotel room for me down there, and I really think it will be a fun opportunity to meet others who are really into this yoga thing I love. I thought about it awhile, then called back to confirm. I don't want to miss out on life opportunities because I have this super strict diet. The dinner is supposed to be a buffet. Hopefully they will have a salad I can eat. I'll eat in advance and bring an avocado and hope for the best. I may try to get contact info and call down there to get more details next week.

It's things such as this where I find this diet super annoying, but I'm not sure what to do about that except just try to work around it as best I can. I was speaking to my friend Ela yesterday and she said that truthfully it's not about what you do on one occasion, but what you do every day, that counts, and I think that's true. But unfortunately at this point I can't "just have one meal" because that would turn into another 6 months of indulgence and put me back at square one. At least that's what previous experience tells me. So for now I have to stick to the straight and narrow as best I can. Especially the night before a competition after a month on low fat raw food, I bet my body would rebel something fierce if I tried to go too crazy. Yet still, I don't know what the outcome of that night will be, but I wanted to take the risk, because the payoff seemed good enough. If anyone else out there has experience with this type of thing -- how the heck do YOU deal with it??? -- I'd be happy to hear.

Many blessings over the next few days!

Weekly Numbers:
111.4 (-7.6)
Body Fat % (according to the Tanita scale): 21.7% (-1.8%)
Hydration (according to the scale): 53.6% (+.9%)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Day 14

4 cups orange juice (12 oranges)
2 blended oranges (didn't like that very much -- too bitter)
4 red bananas with 18 oz raspberries
1 cup cherries
3/4 romaine heart, juice of 1 orange as dressing, 1 avocado

Calories: 1659
Calonutrient ratio: 77/6/17

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Day 13: A minor success

Just wanted to blog a bit about the experience I had last night. My sister invited me down to her workplace where they were having this amazing Christmas party for kids. They had a giant bouncy slide, another bouncy thing, ornament decorating, face painting, caricature drawing, a "shootout" game, a toy grabber game, this giant bungie jumping thing, bumper cars, Santa Clause, Santa's "sleigh ride" (wagon with horses), and a whole bunch of food. It was quite a production, and I was really impressed. The owners of the company, to save money, were making all the food themselves, which I thought was quite cool actually. It's a family operation, and the whole family was back there cooking hot dogs and tri-tip steak for all the employees, which I found quite impressive, even if I'm not into that kind of food.

In addition to that they also had boxes of Domino's pizza, which I could have so easily sank my teeth into. I know, if I'm going to eat pizza, it really shouldn't be Domino's, and I wasn't about to fall off the wagon. But I can't say that it wasn't a nails-on-the-chalkboard moment. I had planned ahead and brought my banana/hemp smoothie with me, which I guzzled in the car before going into the party. Didn't seem to help one iota. Still wanted the pizza. They had salad too, but it wasn't quite up to my snobby purist standards (vinegar, etc.), so I just let the kids eat and then we went to play some more.

But you know what the BEAUTIFUL thing was??? (I'm so excited about this!) When I walked away from that table, it was out-of-mind. And when I drove home (a two-hour drive) I was hungry, but I was not overwhelmed by thoughts of how much I wanted pizza. I just wanted to go to bed, and it was NO BIG DEAL!

The best analogy I could come up with while I was driving is this: When you are overwhelmed by food cravings you feel like a vacuum cleaner that's turned on, but you're not getting anything. You just feel a vacuum that is really uncomfortable. Last night I definitely had the sense that the switch had been flipped off. While it's still no fun necessarily to be in the presence of something, it wasn't an issue once the immediacy of that situation was over, and I felt quite satisfied and at peace.

The event was a minor success, but what it suggests about inner chemical changes is potentially huge.

Someone asked recently about before and after pics. I do have some before pics, in all their unfinished glory (i.e. no makeup, close-up shots). But I’ve only started this journey, so unfortunately, I’m not too far from that stage, and am not yet comfortable posting them for this reason. I’m quite self-conscious about how poor my skin is these days (to me anyway). It actually is better than it was: I’m not getting boils anymore. But it’s still very dry and makes me mad. Give me some time and I’ll post pics once I have some progress to show. My assumption is that my skin will sort itself out at some point, but since it’s one of the last eliminative organs, that may not happen totally for a little while. Plus, I’ve still got the adrenal business to deal with. Hang tight, and I’ll post when I’m far enough away from my “before” pic that I’m not embarrassed.

4 cups orange juice (12 oranges)
6 red bananas
7 red bananas
1-1/2 cups orange juice
10 blended tangerines, 4 persimmons, 1 asian pear, 1.5 cups roma tomatoes, 2 stalks celery (I think??)

Calories: 2408
Calonutrient ratio: 91/5/4

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Day 12: Are racehorses fruitarians too?

'Cause man, this diet makes me pee a lot! Sorry to be so blunt, but it's true. Ok, I admit it: I already pee more than your average Joe, and now I'm even worse than that. I can't even tell you how much, but I can say it's more than I choose to count, if that gives an idea. I'm wondering if it's simply that I'm eating higher-water-content foods, or if this is part of the detox process (please let it be the latter, because it's super annoying!). Any ideas out there in wwwville?

  • 5 cups orange juice (ok, that would make average Joe pee too, but not all day long!)
  • Smoothie: 6 bananas, 1/4 cup hemp seeds, handful of lettuce from the garden
  • 4 fuyu persimmons, 1 asian pear
  • Smoothie: 6 bananas, 1/4 cup hemp seeds, handful of lettuce from the garden
Calories: 1863
Calonutrient ratio: 88/6/6

Friday, December 14, 2007

Day 11: I'm an orange juice junkie!

Strange days .... On the one hand I’ve been on a total upper, feeling so motivated by this life replete with possibilities. On the other hand, I’ve been in a cranky mood, irritable, impatient. I suppose that’s nothing to do with 24/7 childcare for the last 10 days without so much as a 15-minute veg-out session (does blogging count??).

I feel like I’m over the worst of the initial-craving clean out, like I’ve settled into this way of eating quite easily this time. Yet, lest someone out there is reading this who is bruising their feet on the sharp stones of this narrow ascetic path, let me remind you that it’s taken me years to get to this point, years, and I never thought I could ever get here, and I can’t say what happens after now, this very moment in time.

Especially when there are homemade cheese tamales in my oven! My son goes to a bilingual Spanish/English preschool, and every year they have a tamale sale as a fundraiser at Christmastime. You have to buy at least six. It’s just about killing me, folks. Well, I could have donated more than what they were selling the tamales for, and maybe I should have, but I didn’t realize they were arriving today, when it’s only me at home with the kids. It’s Satan at work, I tell you! Mmmmm! They SMELL SO GOOD! Alas, the struggles of a fruitarian housewife!

But I did make a welcome discovery last night: Banana + hemp seed + lettuce + VitaMix blender = smiling kids and a filling, satisfying meal. My older child wanted it for breakfast today, as well as dinner (after I had already put those tamales in the oven). It’s a hit! I’m off for three days next week to Lake Tahoe with family, and I think I’m going to make this smoothie a staple, so as to not go insane with everyone else’s food around. It’s a bit higher fat than I usually have, but it’s not off the charts, so it’s fine for once or twice a day. I’m glad to have a really filling, long-lasting meal discovery just in time for the holidays.

I keep forgetting to post my exercise. I’ve really only been getting back into the groove the last couple days, but I’ve been jogging now two times this week (about a mile each). Plus I’ve done my physical therapy several days this week. Day before yesterday I did a full Bikram yoga session, and yesterday I did a quick half session. Today I’m still a bit sore, so I just did the poses that I’m going to have to do in front of a million people (ugh!) on January 5. I did notice that today during my jog my pace had come up slightly from when I first started jogging six weeks or so ago.

On the fitness note: Today I registered for the Fruitarian Fitness 90-day Body Transformation Challenge, and I’m really looking forward to it. I want to prove that the weight bench in our attic is not the stupidest thing I ever bought! Seriously, if you’re interested, I’ve posted my short- and long-term goals on that site. Join the competition yourself! I need all the positive stress I can get. :-)

I am such an orange juice junkie these days. I swear, I should have just kept up my cigarette habit! :-) Naw, those oranges are costing me about $2.50 a day, mas o menos. I buy them from the orange dealer guy who hangs out on the corner of Cutting and Harbour Way in Richmond. It all feels very clandestine. He sells bags that are roughly 6 pounds for $3 each, or two for $5, and they’re really good oranges, plus, I get to practice my Spanish with him. I could maybe get cheaper oranges somewhere else, but I like supporting the little guy on the corner. I think my morning orange juice is my favorite part of this lifestyle (although I do suffer some bladder repercussions from it later in the morning, which I’m working on improving).

Other than my morning orange juice, I have to be honest and say this diet doesn’t much excite me. As a matter of fact, it’s forced me to totally stop looking at food as a sorce of excitement. I do actually find it quite boring, palate-wise. But in a sense, I see that as part of the point of it: It’s an interesting and beneficial experience to use food as nourishment and only as nourishment. That means you’re truly eating simply. Can’t say I’ve ever really done that for any stretch of time until now. What I’ve found, now that I’m past the initial stage, is that I’ve simply found other things to focus on. There’s a lot more to life than food, and this diet heightens your awareness of everything else in life.


  • 5 cups orange juice (12 oranges)
  • About 5 bananas, ¼ cup hemp seed, 1 bunch of lettuce from my garden, blended
  • 2 persimmons and a few bites of asian pear
  • 2 bunches of lettuce from my garden (really bitter), 5 kiwis (tasted bitter too, so maybe it’s me today)

Calories: 1836
Calonutrient ratio: 88/6/6
Exercise: Jog 1-1/5 mile, 10 push ups, some ankle exercises, yoga competition poses

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day 10


  • 4 cups orange juice (12 oranges)
  • 8 red bananas
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, ½ asian pear, 1 mango
  • 2 red bananas (hungry a bit just before taking the kids to the park)
  • Smoothie: big handful of romaine, ¼ cup hemp seeds, 7 yellow bananas

Calories: 1991
Calonutrient ratio: 89/6/5

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Day 9: Get out yer popcorn ... ehm ... bananas, 'cause it's showtime!

I had a flash realization last night that I have had this thing ALL WRONG! I said earlier that my goal was to get off of thyroid medication. After watching a bunch of raw inspiration videos on YouTube I saw clearly what a really dumb goal that is. To live free of the evil tyranny of Big Pharma is my goal in life? It's my birthright! Not the goal of my life! So that is no longer a goal for me. It is a milestone that I want to reach while on the way to my ultimate goal of a wondrous life of my own creation.

So what, indeed, is my goal with this health and fitness fanaticism? The biggest inspiration who spawned this mental gear turning is my new hero, Tim VanOrden, who is "attempting to make an Olympic team and break world records at the age of forty, as a raw vegan." He's the reigning stair-climbing champion in the US. He only began this crusade a few years ago. He gave up on competitive sports years ago due to multiple injuries, but then, after a year of being a raw vegan, he found he had abundant energy and was able to start training again, so he set himself the mission of seeing what was possible. Do check out his website, where there are a lot of clips: Here's one clip I really enjoyed:

Goals Redefined

So he got me thinking, what if I decide to train for the London Marathon or something? I'm still thinking about that one, but I did come up with a couple goals I'm sure about:
  • Compete in the regional 2007 Bishnu Charan Ghosh Yoga Asana Competition on January 5 in San Jose. I'll be there, so if you're anywhere nearby, come cheer for me! No, I won't win in the traditional sense of the word, not with a mere few weeks of "hard training" under my belt. But I decided that even if I fell out of every single pose it would be a triumph for me, because I would be conquering my fears and my illness. I went to the yoga studio and registered for the competition today.
  • Do an aeriel cartwheel again (that's a cartwheel with no hands). The last time I suceeded at it was about 15 years ago (I'm in my mid-thirties, folks).
  • Here's an even bigger goal: To be able to do a back handspring. Haven't done this since I was 21, maybe.
  • And I wasn't half joking about that marathon idea!
Here's another inspiring video, from Richard Blackman (F1, aka Fruitarian One), another great inspiration to me. Blogger Sarah's husband Kevin already posted this clip on his blog, but it's such a great clip that I think it's worth repeating. Sorry to steal your idea, Kevin! :-)

  • Juice of 3 oranges (1.5 cups), 2 mangoes
  • Smoothie: 6 yellow bananas, 6 oz kale
  • Large salad: Not totally sure of the amounts of the greens, but it was about 6 oz of romaine and 1/2 bunch of spinach, with 1 cup grape tomatoes, 2 stalks celery, and a dressing of blended mango.
Calories: 1378
Calonutrient ratio: 89/7/4

I see so many possibilities in front of me now. I'm feeling better already, and I'm only on Day 9, for Pete's sake! What will the future hold??

Gratitude of the day goes to Tim VanOrden and Richard Blackman, for inspiring me to trek on with a big grin.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"See ya!" to hachiyas

I have had it up to here -- quite literally -- with hachiya persimmons. They have taken over my entire living room, and, quite frankly, they're irritating. Can you believe I'm still waiting for some of those to ripen that I blogged about almost a month ago??? Now, I'm sorry, but that's wearing out your welcome!

Hachiyas, when I met my first group of persimmons a few years ago, were my definite favorites. I must have had a string of good luck with them though, because this year is another story entirely. I went to Berkeley Bowl the other day to get a bunch of bananas (my staple of late), and saw that they had boxes of five ripe hachiyas on sale for $.49. I bought four boxes, and came home thinking I got a killer deal. Opened an entire box up the other night and they all -- every single one -- was overripe and disgusting, although they looked and felt perfect on the outside. I basically threw out all but about three persimmons out of 20. I give up on that fruit!

How I'm feeling after a week of really solid 80/10/10
Energy: The first six days I was sooooo tired in the evenings, going to bed no later than 8:30, or 8:45, with the kids. Meanwhile, my energy during the day kept getting better and better, and more and more constant. During my 811rv hiatus, I was needing naps in the afternoon, and it's not natural for me to nap (even as a very young child, I boycotted naps). But this week, I don't think I had even one nap.

The other thing that absolutely delights me is that I have WAY more energy for my kids. I took them to a park the other day and we actually raced across a baseball field, back and forth, and back and forth, and rolled in the grass; then I chased them up and down this play structure until my 4-year-old got tired and bumped his head on something (Game Over). We were all breathing really hard, and I could have played more. Back in my supposedly-hormonally-normalized-but-not-feeling-normal days it was hard enough just to get to the park, let alone chase them around, so this is a milestone for me, and I didn't feel this good last week.

Last night I actually felt like staying up past the kids' bedtime, for the first time in a week. I put them to bed, ran myself a nice hot bath, sank into it ... aaaaah! ... then, seven minutes later "Waaaaa, waaaaaa, waaaaaaaa!" coming from upstairs. I think my two-year-old had a nightmare or something. So much for that bath! So I ended up going to bed fairly early anyway (9:30), but later than I had all week.

Appetite and Cravings:
Over this last week I have had a very few bouts of cravings, but they have been very short-lived, and I've made sure to eat something large as soon as they have hit. To say this lack of cravings is highly unusual for me is a major understatement. I have really, really tried to eat as much as possible, heeding Doug Graham's advice, and have diligently tried to stretch my stomach a bit, and I think it has really helped. I think I've managed to get an extra 200-300 calories a day over what I was getting a few weeks back through this attention to detail. It may not sound like much, but that's about 10-15% more than what I was eating, and it's made all the difference. It also helps that I'm alone this week (Gary not here cooking all kinds of yummy smelling things) so I have remained very focused on my own path.

Detox Symptoms:
  • Besides the tiredness, I had a few headaches in the late afternoons. The first one, on day three, was the killer one that required Big Pharma's help (due to childcare considerations). Besides that one I think I've had two minor ones that were barely something I noticed.
  • My skin, although maybe not overly noticeable to anyone but me, is definitely a bit redder, rougher, and changing every day.
  • My tongue has a bit of white coating on it, and my mouth tastes slightly bad sometimes between meals.
Digestion: well, it had totally sorted itself out, and I was completely regular, and now I might be becoming a bit too regular (5x per day!), which is fine with me since it may indicate hyperthyroidism, which necessitates a drop in dosage. I'm not overly comfortable talking about this aspect, but I think it's important to report for all those with thyroid issues. I know I certainly have been unable to find much information about the long process of getting of thyroid medication, for the main reason that very few people go succeed at it, especially when it comes to longstanding Hashimoto's thyroiditis. All I can do is cross my fingers at this point, and hope that someday I will be totally off the meds.

Sensation of Temperature: This is a weird thing. Even when I was supposedly more on the hyperthyroid side a few weeks ago, my feet and hands were freezing (ok, we were in stormy, rainy Portland for a few days) all the time. And they are still pretty cold, although not freezing. So this is one thing I can't really make any sense of. Hypothyroidism makes your extremities cold. Why are mine still cold when I'm not hypo anymore? No clue. Just something I've noticed.

Indications that I'm going in the right direction

  • Energy, when I do have it, is WAY up (like 50% increase).
  • Energy levels stabilizing, rather than the roller coaster AWAKE ... tired ... AWAKE ... tired thing.
  • Waking up earlier and earlier (5:30 today with no alarm: That definitely ain't normal for me).
  • Wanting to exercise (but not really getting a huge chance, with the kids. I have done a few strength training exercises each day, but very little cardio this week).
  • Feeling very satiated most of the time.
  • Marked decrease in cravings.
Weight: 113.8 (-5.2)
Body fat: 23.6% (+.1)
Hydration level: (-.3)

Note: Those numbers seem very strange to me, but judging by how good I feel I can only conclude that my body knows what it's doing, in the order it wants to do it. :-)

  • 4 cups orange juice (10 oranges)
  • 8 red bananas
  • 6 red bananas
  • 2 mangoes, 2 stupid hachiya persimmons
  • 6 blended clementines, which I drank and also used for salad dressing on my salad of 1 romaine heart, 2/3 roma tomato, 2/3 red bell pepper
Calories: 2281
Calonutrient ratio: 91/5/4

Day 7: Strangely hungry much of the day

  • 4 cups orange juice (10 oranges)
  • 7 red bananas
  • Smoothie with some citrus leftovers from the kids: 1.5 kiwis, 5.5 tangerines, 2.5 cups strawberries
  • Smoothie: 6 red bananas, 1.5 cups red grapes
  • Salad: 11 oz romaine (2 romaine hearts), 1/2 sliced avocado (2 oz), 1 ear white corn; dressing of 1 small avocado (4 oz), 1 cup grape tomatoes, 5 honey dates, juice of 1/2 a lemon (a bit too much lemon).
Calories: 2466
Calonutrient ratio: 81/6/13

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Day 6: Getting used to this

  • 4 cups orange juice (12 oranges)
  • 4 arbutis berries (not sure if there's another name for them; they're from my parents' yard); smoothie of 10 red bananas and 1 romaine heart
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 cups orange juice (6 oranges) blended with 12 oz strawberries
  • A few bites overripe hachiya persimmon, 1 mango, 1.5 cups red grapes (I was not hungry even at the beginning of this meal, and probably should have heeded the call and not eaten, but I wanted to try to get my full calories for the day, so I did anyway.)
Calories: 1786
Calonutirent ratio: 90/6/4

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Day 5: Bless Me, Dr. D, for I have sinned ...

... it's been 41 hours since my last pain killer! (That's a jab at the 80/10/10 -- not the Catholic -- church!) Yes, it's true. I regret to inform you that karma came a-knockin' the other day, just after I told you how I was in so little pain and the detox was going just fabulously. Whoom! Huge headache of migraine-like proportions. I knew if I didn't take a pain killer (or two! :-) ) I was not going to be able to pick up my child from preschool without turning my car into a vomitorium. I was not partial to the vomitorium option, so I had two choices: Eat a bunch of pizza and drink some coffee or take some little blue pills and watch the pain go bye-bye. I opted for least fun of the two options, the second, which I think was the one that allowed my detox to continue in some fashion.

Today the skin on my forehead is really rough and my nose looks red (rosecea-like issues going on). My energy is not so great yet, but I can really tell I'm in cleansing mode, more so than when I was doing my halfway approach to this diet.

I have been doing a lot of visualization recently, seeing myself as energetic and healed. It's helping to keep my spirits up. I think the most difficult part of this whole journey is just the first step. Not even the first action, but the thoughts that precede the action: Just believing that it's possible to heal, and countering all the negativity that is dumped on you by the medical establishment, which feels like a latrine of 100 elephants.

  • Juice of 7 oranges (3.5 cups)
  • Smoothie: 4 red bananas, 6 oz blueberries, 3 pears (a couple varieties -- not sure which -- from a bag of bargain produce)
  • Watery smoothie of 2 red bananas, 4 honey dates, with a handful of common mallow (malva neglecta) from my back yard (I was doing the weeding and found some edibles!). If you don't know what this is, check out the link, because you probably have some of these free greens in your yard too! 1.5 Hayden mangoes on the side.
  • 4 stalks celery - I was kind of craving this.
  • 2 fuyu persimmons, 1/2 small hachiya persimmon, 1 burro banana. I never had one of these before. I don't think it was ripe enough. 4 oz avocado, 1.5 cups red grapes, 1 red bell pepper.
Calories: 2000
Calonutrient ratio: 86/4/10

Friday, December 7, 2007

Day 4: Craving uprising

I'm posting this on Day 5, but here's a summary of yesterday:

I struggled with some horrendous thoughts of devouring the cheese Gary bought that's still in the fridge, as well as some of the cooked stuff the kids had, but I managed to not focus on it. I just noted the momentary sinking feeling and moved on, although I did note I was more irritable than usual.

I was very, very tired in the evening, and forced everyone to bed at 8:00. Had a bit of a yelling match with the two-year-old who jabbered in bed for an hour, talking about "night night" and "a-muls" (animals). Under normal circumstances this would have been cute, but I was not in the mood. I badly needed sleep, and he was extremely reluctant to give it to me! I finally went to sleep a bit after 9:00.

  • 5 cups orange juice (10 oranges)
  • 8 red bananas, 4.4 oz box of blueberries, 2 sticks celery, blended
  • 3 fuyu persimmons
  • 1 box 4.4 oz blueberries
  • 1 romaine heart, 1/2 cup broccoli, 1 large carrot (trying to use these up - I had a whole bunch in the fridge from my juicing days), dressing of 1.5 roma tomatoes, 1/2 avocado (2 oz), 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 ear yellow corn
Calories: 1931
Calonutrient ratio:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Day 3: Nightmares can be a good omen!

I officially entered the detox portion of this journey last night. I was wondering, too, because I felt almost too good for days one and two. Didn't get around to posting since Gary went out of town (Ft. Worth – Sarah,
he’s programming/starting up
your new water treatment plant!) and I'm on the childcare/juggle-your-life/24-7 thing. (I did manage to track my food, see below.) Yet I can tell you with certainty that something has shifted within me. The last few weeks of struggle have turned out to be a watershed moment in my life, separating the wheat from the chaff.

I have been on such an emotional upswing it's almost unbelievable. I fully, one hundred percent, believe in myself, and believe that I can heal from this. I also believe that I have the focus and clarity now that it will take in order to achieve it, and that's what I needed to take some time honing. It's a hard thing to do: Not only what no one else will do, but what many people are appalled that you even want to try, and to do it with conviction and certainty, is a difficult thing. I have acknowledged that for myself.

Let me tell you about my daydream yesterday (and then I'll tell you about that nightmare). I was thinking about that moment when I know that I have finally overcome this thing, who I would like to thank as I throw out that last bottle of levothyroxine: My parents, who have supported me emotionally during this journey; my husband, who's really seen the worst in me and stuck by me nonetheless; Paramahansa Yogananda, my guru, who has taught me to believe in the wonder of myself; Jesus Christ, who taught that love is the greatest gift of all; Bikram Chodhury, who would never take no crap from no one, including me, when I think I can't do it; and my kids who are so precious to me, who gave me a beautiful reason to try to reclaim myself and who teach me that I am worthy of love. Those are a few, and I'm going to keep thanking people (there are a million more) as my healing progresses. So if I didn't mention you, I'm thinking of you. Just wanted to get the gratitude juices flowing.

I think it really helped me tremendously on an emotional level to literally throw out my higher, 112 mcg, dosage, which I happily did on Friday morning. I thought for a nanosecond about keeping it, just in case, but I thought how stupid that would be, because I don't intend to ever need it again. And keeping things like that laying around in a houseful of kids is a health risk, besides. ;-)

I was listening to KPFA radio here in Berkeley yesterday and Frances Moore Lappe was on, author of the groundbreaking ,1971 (?) bestseller Diet for a Small Planet. She said one thing that really made my ears perk up: "What is power? It is simply our capacity to act." And I realized that she hit the nail on the head of what I am experiencing right now. It is when I learn to believe in myself, when I learn that it doesn't matter what someone else's "prognosis" is for me, that I learn that I have power over this thing called illness. I have the capacity to act, and acting I am ...

... and then there's detox. Ai-yai-yai! It really ain't so fun. But it's not so bad this time 'round either. Just groggy ... didn't want to get out of bed. Only a very slight headache though, thankfully. So all in all I have to say it's rather painless. But I did dream last night of drinking a giant cup of coffee with cream while I munched maniacally through a Snickers bar and a packet of Skittles. Sent me into a mental tailspin in this dream too, feeling no hope, feeling controlled by the world around me, etc., etc. And then I woke up from that nightmare and, behold, it was very good. :-) My life was still in my hands! And I realized that I must be -- finally -- growing, because I know that once a fear reaches nightmare proportions, I have immense power to turn my back on it. And I can only get better from here.

  • Juice of 10 oranges (5 cups)
  • 8 fuyu persimmons
  • 8 red bananas blended with 2 stalks celery
  • 4 stalks celery, 3 small zebra tomatoes (last of my garden crop), 1 romaine heart, 1/2 avocado (2 oz); 8 blended tangerines
Calonutrient ratio: 89/5/6

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Day 2: Stats

  • Juice of 9 oranges
  • 3 manila mangoes, 5 fuyu persimmons
  • 8 bananas blended with 2 stalks celery and 1 cup strawberries (by the way, if anyone reading has a two-year-old, a big stack of strawberry baskets can keep one of those kids occupied for hours!)
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 8 blended tangerines, 1 romaine heart (am I getting enough greens, you veterans??)
Calories: 2081
Calonutrient ratio: 91/5/4

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Day 1: Stats

  • 2.5 cups orange juice (6 oranges)
  • 7.75 red bananas blended with 1 stick celery (tastes much better this way, easy on the celery)
  • 4 fuyu persimmons, 2 manilla mangoes, a few bites of an unripe Hayden mango that I had to throw out, 2 stalks celery
  • 6 red bananas blended with 1 stalk celery
  • Juice of 4 oranges, 1 romaine heart
Calories: 2155 (yeah!)
Calonutrient ratio: 92/4/3
Weight: 119.0
Body Fat % (according to the Tanita scale): 23.5%
Hydration (according to the scale): 52.7% (seems I should be dead! :-))

Into the deep end, completely at peace

Today is the day my life begins to change for the better. I am actually very glad that I didn't try to get right back on 811 right after Thanksgiving, because I now see that I had a lot of emotional work to do, and I (cross my fingers) think I've done it. Not like the process is probably ever over, but I feel that I have done what I needed to do to get myself fully motivated to take the plunge off the edge of the universe, which is sometimes what this feels like to me. (That's my son relaxing in the pool, by the way.)

Today, emotionally, I feel totally at peace with this decision -- and I have made the decision. I'm not looking back, come hell or high water (which I am 99% certain will not happen). I have informed those around me who I needed to inform about my decision. Now it's time to begin my healing escapade.

My goal with this diet, my first goal anyway, is to fully recover from Hashimoto's thyroiditis and its consequent thyroid failure, as well as to restore my adrenal function. Endocrine balance, period. I doubt there's a doctor out there who would think it possible. My doctor said, quite frankly, he thinks I'm past the stage where my body can deal with it, or something along those lines; that I'm past the point of recovery.

I don't believe that. I believe I can and will recover.

New Rules
Screw my previous attempts at making up my own rules. The new rules are the old rules. Very strict 80/10/10 raw vegan to the freakin' letter. I will also (try) to tell you what I'm eating, for those who want to learn about this. While I may eat more than one food at a time, I will endeavor to have no more than four. I will not have coffee, juice (except oj), salt, oil, seasoning: Nada, but will hopefully receive the blessings of the entire universe in exchange.

A new life begins ... NOW! :-)

Friday, November 30, 2007

My dosage has been decreased!

I had a doctor appointment yesterday, which was quite interesting. This doctor has so many patients that I can only get last-minute cancellation appointments, so consequently I had to bring the whole clan with me. I was quite worried, because in the past I've had to wait like an hour in the waiting room, but yesterday I was able to get right in, so the kids did not have to go into meltdown, and they were quite good for the whole appointment.

In sum, I still feel like crap, but apparently it's not my thyroid this time, and it wasn't my thyroid not long ago when I told you it was crashing again. The doctor thinks it's my adrenals, and he's running more tests, and has put me on over-the-counter DHEA in the meantime.

You know what's kind of funny/not funny about being chronically ill? In the beginning, I really had that Rocky theme song going on in the back of my head. You know, like I was gonna fight it, tackle it, defeat this thing, and who needs your stupid drugs anyway! But then, as I realized that it wasn't going away, the Rocky theme gradually faded, and there was actually no music, just profound silence for awhile, and the I-don't-want-your-stupid-drugs attitude changed to I'm so sick of feeling like crap I'll take anything. Battery acid? Sure, give it here! DHEA? Pfft! Whatever! Frugivorous diet? No problem! You know, you just get desperate after awhile. And I'm about 18 months into this now. But I do feel slightly -- ever so teensy weensy slightly -- encouraged today -- and is that the Chariots of Fire theme I hear in the background?? I guess I'm in for the long haul ...

Of course what all this really means is that I don't really know what I'm talking about, or what I'm feeling, or how to interpret what I'm feeling. Still, the doctor should have at least called me back when I called him saying I felt awful and needed an appointment. It's all a complicated picture, because I do apparently have two imbalances, with my thyroid and adrenals out of whack. And I did have a dosage increase on the thyroid meds about two months ago, so I can't say this is all related to my attempts at the 811 lifestyle. Still, the doctor has lowered my dosage of thyroid meds -- whoo hoo!, and I never thought I'd see that day. I was on 100/112 mcg on alternate days, and he's put it back down to 100 every day now, which is an improvement. Yet now I understand what hyperthyroidism feels like, and if I'm to get over this on the 80/10/10 diet, I'm going to feel it for awhile as my dosage is gradually decreased.

It's 5 a.m. and here are my blood results
Lest you think that having hyperthyroidism feels good, let me tell you that it's 5 a.m., friends, and I can't sleep worth a darn. Really need that sleep too. I'm exhausted, but my pulse is racing slightly (86 at the doctor office yesterday) and you just can't sleep through that kind of nonsense. One thing that came up yesterday in my appointment is that I had a really strange night last week where every time I would lay down my heart would kind of freak out and start beating like da ... da ... da ... dadadadadada ... da ... da da da ... anyway, hard to capture in writing, but you get the point: Normal heart rate for a few beats, then like 120 bpm for a few. Kinda scary. Thought about going to the hospital, but then it calmed down, so I didn't worry about it. Turned out it was the over-dosage of thyroid hormone. Look at these numbers:

TSH-ICMA: .06 uU/mL (yes, that's point-OH-six, not point-six)
T-3, Serum: 188 ng/dL
T-4, Serum: 10.3 ug/dL
Free Thyroxine (by Dialysis) (no idea what that means!): 1.54 ng/dL
Testosterone, Serum: 20 ng/dL (yes, girls have it too!)
Bioavailable testosterone, S: 2.3 ng/dL
Bioavailable testosterone, %: 11.7
SHBG (IRMA): 116 nmol/L
Cortisol, Serum or Plasma: 4.5

I don't pretend to know what all these numbers mean, but I thought I'd publish them in case they mean anything to anyone else. What the doctor said is that my thyroid stimulating hormone is now low (meaning my thyroid doesn't need to be stimulated because I've got too much hormone circulating from the meds), all my thyroid hormones themselves are now high, and my adrenal hormone(s?) are in the low-normal range.

And now back to 80/10/10 ...
... but not today. I'm off on a romantic getaway to Portland today, returning on Monday. First time I will have been away from both my kids for longer than about a night. It will be strange, but I'm looking forward to it. Still, this trip has been one of the things that was actually weighing on my mind when I was doing 811, because we're going up there with a couple friends, and I really couldn't figure out how I was going to be going to restaurants and all that without feeling completely deprived. So after I fell off it, I finally gave myself a break and have decided that this truly is my "last hurrah". When I told Gary that he said, "You've had sooooo many last hurrahs you could have a marching band!" ... to which I had to laugh. He's right, you know, but all I can do is dust myself off and start over. I wrote a letter to my family about my decision, which I sent yesterday, so it's official: Tuesday is the day, and I have no intention of looking back. I'll be offline for a few days, until then, and I'll show you that letter when I get back.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Small steps forward

I went into a slight emotional meltdown after stumbling in my 811 path last week. But I heeded my inner warning, and have been working a lot, I think, on what has stood in my way. I will blog more about this is the next few days. But I did speak to my husband, Gary, on Thanksgiving about how I'm such a pathetic drill sergeant to myself, and that this is likely one of the things that has been a roadblock to me on this 811 thing. Like I'm not allowing myself to fully feel the negative feelings, because they are not allowed by the drill sergeant.

One person, nay, group of people, who have so inspired me recently in trying to cultivate positive attitude are Kris Carr and the folks who comment on her Crazy Sexy Cancer blog. Kris Carr herself is amazing, and has seemingly spawned this groundswell of positivity in cancer circles after coming out with her groundbreaking documentary on TLC, Crazy Sexy Cancer. She's a cancer SUR-VI-VOR, and I think she, for one (and there are so many others) truly shows what dealing with illness is really about. She's blogged and spoken about how getting past the "please, make it go away!" mentality really jump-starts the true emotional healing and growth that come from dealing with illness. And she's so right. I can't say that I've come as far as her, but I'm on the same page. It's a process, not a destination ... whether it's illness or life, really.

Where I am on 811
So I haven't gotten fully back on track (but I WILL BE SOON ... READ ALL ABOUT IT!), and haven't fully tried yet per se; because I recognized that I have deeper emotional issues to deal with. There's a phrase in financial management: Pay yourself first. I realized -- on Thanksgiving Day, no doubt -- that there is a similar phrase in life management: Love yourself first. I wasn't heeding this. I was getting so mad at myself for feeling what I was feeling. I was having no inner mercy, and it wasn't working. There are also some physiological issues I need to deal with too, such as stretching my stomach for all that fruit, which brings me to ...

... It's a record!
This morning I ate 15 clementines in one sitting. Maybe that's nothing to you veteran 811ers, but it was truly a record for me. I asked my 4-1/2 year old how many tangerines he thought I could eat and he put 16 in a bowl. I said, "Well, that's sure a lot of tangerines, but do you think I can do it?" He had a ball peeling them and cheering me on in our homemade competitive-eating competition. There were a couple halves I had to spit out because they were over-ripe and made me gag (does this happen to any of you??), but I actually did it, so I made it to, say, 15. Probably could have managed a few more, but torture was not on my morning agenda. Which brings me to ...

... Does anyone else out there watch the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest besides me??
I know, I know: It's ABSOLUTELY BARBARIC! Couldn't agree more. But somehow every year I get sucked into the sheer shock of it, and end up watching it. It seems I find out about it always by chance at the last minute. The last one was actually fairly recently -- a few months ago maybe? But especially this last time I watched it I thought: We have GOT to get 811ers going against these competitive eaters (Doug Graham/Takeru Kobayashi/Joey Chestnut, you game??) in a fruit-eating competition sponsored by ORGANIC FARMERS, not Nathans! Now maybe I'm totally crazy, but I think it would be a really fun way to bring attention to not only organic farming, but also to raw foods. And maybe the 811ers would beat these guys, what with their big, stretchy stomachs -- who knows?? We'll certainly never know if Doug Graham could eat more hot dogs than them since he obviously wouldn't, so they're gonna have to come to us! Tee hee! Of course, the whole idea of competitive eating could very well go against the cardinal rule of "just getting enough" of something, but it's still a fun idea that makes me laugh inwardly.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I haven't given up

Although the last few days have been a huge challenge for me with my symptoms all starting to return, I've been grateful for the support I've gotten from some raw food folks. I've been exchanging emails with Helen of Tennessee (found her on Shazzie's site) who also has a thyroid problem. She wrote this to me:

“I can totally relate to what you wrote about eating raw (fruits). I love fruits though. But even though I love fruits, when I’m hypo, I find it very difficult to eat them and prefer the cooked foods. It’s a catch 22. If I’m feeling well I can eat raw and love it. When I feel bad (hypo), I can’t stay eating raw. Maybe if and when you can get all your hormones balanced (including your adrenal glands) you may find you’ll enjoy eating raw. In the mean time you’ll have to do whatever it takes to feel the best you can.”

I would never wish this problem on anyone, but at least I'm not alone in the world in having to deal with it. To top it all off, I've been desperately putting in calls to my doctor's office to try to get my dosage sorted out before I take a serious nosedive. I know my levels are off and they probably have been for a month. But it appears it wasn't important enough to my doctor to even warrant looking at my lab work -- let alone call me back -- before he left for the rest of the week. At least he'll have a nice Thanksgiving. I've been calling since last Friday. I need a new doctor.

Getting off 811 hasn't helped one iota (duh!). Nothing helps. So I just need to put one foot in front of the other and eat some fruit I guess. I don't know that tomorrow is the best day to force the issue though. Maybe Friday.