Monday, October 29, 2007

Rethinking the day

My fantastic friend Ela just left today, and I've been pondering where to go from here with this diet. It's apparent to me after the last few days that I can't eat crap forever! It makes me feel yuck, and a different, more useless kind of yuck than what I was feeling on 80/10/10. My skin is worse, and I feel a bit crazy. I suppose I may just have to accept on some level though that "yuck" is going to describe me for awhile, even on the 80/10/10 path.

My husband commented something about that with Ela here it was a perfect opportunity for me to eat raw food, and why did I falter? But thinking about it -- and this is something I've noticed with myself before, like at potlucks and whatnot -- that being around other raw food people can actually trigger me to eat cooked food, probably because I get freaked out by the "severity" of the diet. It scares me for some reason. I think I'm only just beginning to understand this. And that feeling at the same time that I was dealing with a thyroid flare-up I think set me off kilter.

So tomorrow I'm back on the "80/10/10 (almost)" bandwagon. I think I'm going to add a bit more fat starting out and see if that makes a difference with the cravings, as an interim gesture. I've also decided I'm not going to post my food, but may mention it. It's too much effort to track it and I don't have the time, and I also worry a bit about the psychological aspects that can accompany such obsessive tracking: It could drive a wooden woman crazy! (That was one of my Texan grandmother's old sayings.) I also NEED to try to eat more calories. I think that was messing me up too.

Mmmm! Cooked food tastes SOOOO GOOOD! :-)

Ok, so here's the deal ... I'm thinking of renaming this blog to "Blue Skies Within: The definitive guide to the 80/10/10 high fat raw vegan omnivore diet"! Tee hee hee! Well, that's been my wacky life in the last couple days anyway, and I need to find humor in the experience somewhere.

I think intellectually where I'm having a great deal of difficulty is that it seems to me that if this was going to help with my cravings that they should get less over time, not keep getting worse. It was not comfortable the first 3 or so days, but manageable; then my cravings subsided a bit; then, right around the time that my thyroid started getting worse, my cravings got worse. I think I was craving fat the most. Couldn't stomach the thought of fruit. It just wasn't satisfying me AT ALL. I've been eating loads of fatty things over the last few days and feeling really imbalanced, although I've been not quite as fried feeling since yesterday. Yet it seems to me a bit of a "which came first" scenario, where I can't tell how things are related to each other, if at all. Am I feeling imbalanced just because the thyroid is on its usual down-slope (unrelated at present to the diet), or is something with the diet making me feel more imbalanced because it's stimulating an already-over-stimulated immune system? Doug Graham says your system will never turn on itself like that if you're doing everything right, but I'm not so sure.

It could be that my thyroid is going to keep declining no matter what I do. I don't want to be pessimistic, and haven't necessarily accepted this as definite truth, but I think I have accepted it as possibility. I could live with that -- taking medicine every day -- if I could just ever feel normal again. Unfortunately, I question whether it's ever possible to feel normal if you have to rely on a once-or-more-a-day pill to do something your body should do intuitively.

One of my biggest inspirations on this path is Richard Blackman. I really want to get in great shape like he is. In fact, I got out my Practical Approach to Strength Training book (by Matt Brzycki) last weekend. It's an excellent excellent book that turned me on to strength training some years back (pre-raw) and enabled me to train my upper body for the first time in my life. Since having kids and having issues around pelvic instability (resulting in my knee injuries) I have not been strength training. But this weekend I reviewed that book and got a list of exercises I can do with my free weights and weight bench (stashed out-of-sight-out-of-mind in the attic for the last 4 years), and I'm anxious to get started.

Despite the dietary and health setback, I still managed to take up running this weekend. I've never been much of an endurance runner due to collapsed arches in my feet which take the spring out of my step, but I can manage shorter distances. Yesterday I put on my running shoes and ran about a mile, slow - ly, and it felt good. I think it may have helped somewhat with my energy, maybe because it stimulates the adrenals. I went again today, baby in stroller, and he giggled all the way.

I bought some raw cheese today. While I don't necessarily see that as an ideal food by any means, I'm wondering if I need to ease into this more. I really want to succeed at this long-term, but maybe I just can't handle doing things too rapidly. If I ate some cheese or some other kind of fat for the first few weeks or a month, maybe it wouldn't seem so drastic, and it wouldn't be the end of the world either. Pondering that ...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Day 12, sort of ...

I am very very down today because it is apparent to me that my thyroid is crashing again. I have felt that horrible hypothyroid fried feeling for the last 3-4 days, and today I have just been crying on and off from the frustration of it. Plus, now the depression is setting in (another symptom of hypothyroid) as well as irritability and edginess. It's difficult when it doesn't seem to matter what I do, how well I try to take care of myself. I just get worse, no matter what. I had a blood draw yesterday and feel sure that I need an increase in dosage on my thyroid meds.

So today I could no longer, under the circumstances, face eating a mountain of fruit over the course of 45 minutes. I opted for a peanut butter sandwich, which took about 5. I'll be feeling like garbage here for the next few days (the medication, even once I get it, takes at least a week to even notice it), and when I don't have energy to function, I'm not sure I'll have energy for the 80/10/10 path for the next few days.

For those of you who know nothing of hypothyroid, I can tell you with certainty that what I'm dealing with now is not detox. It's a systemic imbalance, and a feeling I know only too well.

I haven't totally given up on this, and intend to continue this blog, but with my thyroid hormone levels plummeting and my body screaming for fat intake as my feet and hands get colder and colder, something has got to give. I suppose I didn't really think this would be a smooth ride, but I didn't expect to continue to worsen.

I will probably post again sometime next week. Wish me luck in stabilizing.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Day 11: Ouch, this hurts!

I don't have time right now for a long post, but wanted to take a couple minutes to give an update. I'm still on track but am not liking this one iota I tell you! My good friend Ela is visiting for a few days, staying at my house.She has been raw for 5 or more years, with a great deal of time doing the 80/10/10 version, so she's also helping to keep me accountable.

One thing that I do want to clarify for the wider audience is that, while I am definitely attempting to do the 80/10/10 diet, meaning 80% carbs, 10% fat, and 10% protein, I am not claiming to do it "perfectly" or to do it to the letter of anyone else's recommendations (i.e. Dr. Graham's or anyone else's), although I do view respectfully some of these more experienced viewpoints. I see this as a process of seeing what works for me. It may be that some things, such as juicing or balsamic vinegar, are not the most healthy things (I'll blog more about juicing at some point), but I may choose to partake in such activities at times if it keeps me from going down to the curry house or the taqueria, for example. In other words, while I do appreciate respectful insight, I am doing this for myself, ultimately. I am also hoping that I can be a guinea pig, so to speak, for others who are trying to heal autoimmune hypothyroid in particular. So, just to preempt some comments I feel might be coming, I'm fully aware that:
  • Honey is not considered vegan by many folks, since it is essentially bee slavery.
  • Honey is a concentrated sweetener.
  • Dr. Graham doesn't recommend juicing.
  • Sweet fruit and nuts can prove to be a bad combination.
  • Some people eschew eating more than two (or three, or four, whatever -- depends who you talk to) times per day.
  • Tea is a cooked, processed food.
  • Balsamic vinegar and olive oil are devil's spawn.
  • High fat raw will probably kill me. :-) (Can't say I'll never have it again, and, indeed it may be imminent.)
There, I said it, and I hope you can all still find some love for me!

Today's Stats:
  • Food:
  • Spearmint tea with honey
  • 3 bananas
  • 3 peaches, 2 plums
  • (More to come ...)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Day 10

Today's Stats:
  • Spearmint tea with honey
  • Smoothie: 16 oz. strawberries, 4 dates, 1.5 asian pears, 2 bananas
  • 1 red banana, 3 satsumas
  • 3 bananas
  • Salad of 1 head of romaine, 1/2 cup tomato, 3 brazil nuts, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Day 9: But there are some good aspects to this! :-)

Just thought I'd give a little cheer for some of the good things that are happening as a result of this experiment.
  • My skin, which has plagued me for some time now, is starting to regain its moisture and to clear up.
  • I'm gaining some muscle from the exercising I'm doing.
  • My knees are WAY improved (from my 4-year-old tendinitis) from what they were several weeks ago. I attribute that to both my physical therapy exercises that I'm doing as well as the diet, which is perhaps reducing the inflammation a bit.
  • I've lost about 5 pounds.
  • My cravings are actually less, yes, I said it. But they're still there. I think it's OK as long as I'm not putting myself in harm's way...
Like last night ... I made a homemade pizza for my family. I've gotten very good at homemade pizza just recently -- within the last 6 months -- and pizza's one of my faves. I made it last night because I didn't feel like messing with anything and it's pretty quick and easy. (For all you diehard 811ers out there, no, my family's not raw. I do give my kids tons of fruit and veggies, but they're basically lactos.) I knew when I made the decision to make pizza that I would just need to leave. Sauce of sundried tomatoes homemade from our garden, with fresh oregano, basil and rosemary. Yum. I thought to myself, "You haven't actually announced that blog to the world yet, just have the pizza!" But I didn't. I left instead.

I've been frustrated with my energy level because I feel my thyroid dipping again. I missed a dose by mistake last week, so that may be part of it; maybe it's catching up with me. But then I'm scared that, with an autoimmune inflammation, if I improve my immune system maybe it will attack my thyroid more and continue the decline. I think I just have to take a wait-and-see approach now.

Today's Stats:
  • Peppermint tea with honey
  • Smoothie: 16 oz strawberries, 4 dates, 3 bananas
  • 1 cup red grapes and 4 red bananas
  • 2.5 cups red grapes
  • 2 red bananas, about 6 sticks of celery
  • 2 green kiwis, 1 gold kiwi, 3 bites of a tasteless avocado, about 8 walnut halves

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Day 8: Food history

I have had an annoying relationship with food ever since my early teens. As a kid I don't remember being overly interested much in food, and I was a teensy kid. But as I went into my teens, that's when the food cravings hit. I don't still understand it, what the trigger was. It might have had something to do with becoming acutely aware of my body image and trying to control it; I was quite involved in ballet, taking about 3 classes a week at age 14. By age 16 or 17 I was taking 12 classes a week. The ballet world is truly a breeding ground for eating disorders. All of the best dancers in my class (who went on to attend top-notch ballet schools and to dance professionally) had either anorexic tendencies or were bullemic. I remember being chastised by the teacher, who told me -- at 110 pounds and 5'2" -- that I could stand to lose a few pounds. I was very sensitive about feeling "fat" as a teen because I was no longer in the double digits, and was very clueless about what to do about it even if I did want to lose weight. One time I went on a broccoli, snickers bar, and coke diet (the drink, not the powder!) for a week. I was eating so little that I lost weight, but I was a raving lunatic the whole time too.

During my teens I had strange eating habits in general, even when I wasn't sticking to a regimen. I remember eating tons of cereal and yogurt. By high school I pretty much did my own thing, food wise. Not that everything I ate was awful, but I remember especially loving pepperoni pizza (I ate an entire large Domino's pizza one summer day on a dare when I was 18). I also loved fast food: Taco Bell nachos, McDonald's hamburgers and fries. I haven't had those things in years, but they can still make my mouth water.

I've been lacto -vegetarian since 1992. I had an old friend who I had recently seen after a long period of time who had become vegetarian, and I was inspired by the idea. A few days later I literally decided overnight to stop eating meat. I only wanted it for about a month, and then I was fine. I never noticed any difference from going vegetarian. None whatsoever.

Over the years I have tried going cooked food vegan from time to time, but I was never inspired to stick to it for very long since I didn't feel substantially better and always craved cheese and other dairy. I'm not one who's prone to allergies, for example, so I never had anything I was trying to solve through diet (apart from losing a very few pounds), until more recently.

I think I've always really been searching for truth in the diet arena, because I've always, since I became aware of such issues, felt that something was wrong, that the food cravings I had were not good and normal. Now I definitely feel it's addiction. But I'm not going to take the standard raw food approach and say that everyone's addicted to cooked food. That may be true on some level, but, quite frankly, my husband doesn't seem to care if he eats or not half the time (and in fact often just doesn't eat, which I find truly baffling). But for me, although I'm not necessarily totally out of control, to some extent I feel controlled by food, and I don't like it. I also feel that I'm always trying to exert control over food, something that "should" be natural and easy, not like how I experience it. If I could be over my food cravings (is that even possible??) life would be so much simpler.

I don't like feeling like there's some kind of annoying void in my life just because I can't have ___________ (fill in the blank with whatever my current craving is) when I'm hungry. But that's what I feel like right now at least some of the time. I want it to end once and for all, and I'm willing to stick it out to see if it passes. Thinking about that, I was reading one of Sarah's old posts yesterday and she said for the newbies that you have to be patient with this diet, and I'm so trying to do that.

In thinking about this blog, there's a part of me that wants to be really upbeat, you know, "Yeah, go 811 raw!" But there are a couple things that keep me from that: 1) That's obviously not truthful to my experience, and 2) If I ever can get through this -- and I hope and pray that I can -- I would like to show others with similar issues that just because it's difficult and horrible feeling at times doesn't mean you won't get there; that, in fact, the feelings you have along the way do not determine the outcome, only your determination at overcoming.

Today's Stats:
  • 7 red bananas
  • 1 asian pear
  • Smoothie of 24 oz. strawberries, 1 red banana, 1.5 tangerines, 2/3 asian pear, 5 dates
  • 6 dates
  • Salad of 1 head of butterleaf lettuce, with dressing from 2 stalks of celery and 1.5 cups of tomato
  • Smoothie made of 2 sticks of celery and two bananas (one of Sarah's recommended combos, but ICK! I hated it!)
Exercise: walk around a small lake (about a mile)
Weights and physical therapy
Bikram yoga class

Monday, October 22, 2007

Day 7: Keeping the momentum

Yesterday was really hard. I went to a party at my dad's house for all the people in my family who have Fall birthdays, including me. I had a nice time seeing everyone, and my 2 boys (ages 2 and 4) had a good time, but at this point in my 811 adventure (abbreviation for 80/10/10) it is not fun to go watch people eat a whole bunch of stuff that looks really yummy, like pasta with cheese sauce and chocolate cake. I wasn't really tempted, meaning I didn't ever think of eating it, no, but it was not a nice feeling, because it did look really good. I was very good in that I brought plenty of my own food to get me through it.

It's also hard because I feel that people don't really understand how I've come to the choice I have in diet. I feel like people think I'm just kind of nutty (no pun intended). Not that people are not supportive, because they are. But I think there's this all-pervasive feeling in our culture that if someone with an MD tells you that you're "incurable" that you're silly to think otherwise, and you're definitely silly if you think what you eat, more than anything else, affects your disease state. It does feel a lot like paddling upstream, but I've chosen my own boat, and I'm not getting out at this point.

Funny thing, I decided to eat more fat than usual at that party meal since my fat consumption has been about 6-8% for the last week. Decided to have some pine nuts, avocado, and a tad bit of olive oil on my salad. By the time I got to the bottom, where most of the pine nuts were, I looked at them and could not eat another bite, I felt so grossed out from all the fat. That was a surprise, especially considering how much I enjoyed that pound of Indian cheese I ate last week!

I had a teensy bit of balsamic vinegar on that salad too. Figured it was better than the chocolate cake, especially at this early in the game. I'm still clinging pretty tightly to my tea too. I love a warm drink in the morning, so I'm not ready to let this go just yet.

My mom asked me today if I ever thought I would go back to eating the other way. I said I really can't say at this point, but that I've definitely decided to give this one a good whirl before I give up. One day at a time, as they say, and I can't do more than that right now.

I've had a bout of feeling sleepy today, something that always frightens me a bit: I wonder whether I'm normal-sleepy, detox-sleepy, or sick-sleepy. I think there's a part of me that is scared that this drastic change in diet won't even touch my problems, but it's too early to make that determination.

Today's Stats
Weight: 112.0 (-3.8)
Body Fat: 22.4% (-1.2%)
Hydration: 53.1% (+.6%)
  • Peppermint tea with honey
  • 2 bananas
  • Smoothie of 1 lb strawberries with 2 dates
  • 4 red bananas
  • 1.5 cups sliced tomato, 3 gold kiwis (yum, never had those before!)
Exercise: Bikram yoga class, physical therapy exercises

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Day 6 - No time to post!

Today's Stats
  • Peppermint tea with honey
  • 3 red bananas, 1 asian pear, 1 cup grapes
  • 2 bananas, 1.5 cups grapes
  • Salad (1 romaine heart, 1/2 avocado, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 1 handful pine nuts), 2 tangerines

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Day 5: Feeling more balanced

Last night I went to yoga and noticed something interesting. I always, and I do mean always, used to have this horrid ammonia sweat smell that would seep into my yoga clothes and towel. According to one online source, an ammonia sweat smell comes from the breakdown of amino acids for energy; in other words, when you're not getting enough carbs. I had tried eating some time before class before, but it's a tricky balance (if you're eating anything other than fruit, that is) if you don't want a full stomach. Well, guess what? Last night, no ammonia smell. Another thing sorted out that I hadn't even thought of. I can't argue with that. AND my energy was really good and I did everything in a manner consistent with my current physical (i.e. recuperating) state.

I thought I'd talk a little more about what got me on this path, and I mean what really got me here, i.e. illness. Because I really don't think I would be doing this today if I hadn't gotten as ill as I had. It was about a year and a half ago and my youngest son was about a year old. I was constantly tired, something I didn't notice right away since, well, isn't every mother of a one-year-old who has to wake up a million times at night to feed and change a baby? But this was different. I would sleep 10 hours and still need a nap a few hours later, and, as my mother can tell you, I don't nap. I hate napping. Always have, even now. Can't stand it. So this was not at all normal. Eventually I relented and went to the doctor. I wanted tests. Thought I had a nutritional deficiency or something.

The doctor office called a few weeks later and said they wanted me to come in to go over my results, that they couldn't tell me over the phone but that it was not a big deal. (Not a big deal???? I don't know what kind of crack they're smoking!) So I was told I had low thyroid. My TSH (that's thyroid stimulating hormone, a pituitary hormone) registered 8.75, when it should be about 1. She wrote out a prescription, but I wasn't ready for that yet. She told me my "levels weren't so high" that I couldn't try some alternative treatments such as acupuncture. I took the scrip and said I'd look into it.

I was not immediately convinced of the wisdom of taking the synthetic hormone. I did acupuncture, and messed with my diet a bit, trying to stick to raw food (the anything-you-want variety) and felt a bit better. I used the lab order they had given me at the last visit and had another test. The results, I thought, were somewhat encouraging, as my TSH was down to 6.2 or thereabouts. I continued what I was doing for another few months, but couldn't seem to feel much better. I called the doctor office to get another lab order, but they wouldn't give it to me without seeing the doctor.

I went in and this time it was the doctor who met with me. To make a long story short she raked me over the coals for not taking the medication, and acted hostile to the notion of me getting another opinion. She was downright mean, and I still think that's no way to treat a sick person with a legitimate mistrust of pharmaceutical companies. Plus, she seemed to be clueless as to my original conversation with the RN (who, interestingly, was no longer at that office). One of the things that sticks out most in my mind about this horrible visit was that she said, arms crossed defensively on her chest, "Oh! You've got VERY little chance of being able to recover from this on your own." How positive! That was Monday, and on Wednesday I got a letter from Missy MD who felt I would be better served by another doctor. Gee, no kidding!!

I found another doctor who was sympathetic to my concerns. By the way, I was not necessarily opposed to the idea of taking pharmaceuticals; I just needed to be fully convinced for myself that it was a last resort and that I was making my own decision to do that. I tried managing it myself for a couple more months, and then couldn't take it anymore, and finally relented, starting generic Synthroid thyroid hormone at 75 mcg. (By the way, once you start thyroid hormone, generally your dose is not decreased, and I'm currently on 100/112 mcg). My new, good, doctor ran some more tests and finally established that my problem appeared to be autoimmune in nature.

So for about 8 months I felt like I only slept about 2 hours a night. I was so tired that if I drove down to my dad's house with the kids for an afternoon (about an hour away), I would sometimes have to take a nap down there before returning home or risk crashing on the freeway. I felt like I had black holes behind my eyes, and I would get recurrent boils on my face and neck (still happening to some extent). My skin was constantly dry, and I just couldn't get enough sleep. I would yell at my kids when I just couldn't handle all the things that young kids do to try your nerves.

The medication helped, but, as I've mentioned, I've had to keep increasing the dose. Hopefully I'm stabilizing for now, but it's been a really rough ride. Basically I have hardly felt normal since Spring 2006. And the meds have not solved everything. My skin is still less than good, and, when I'm not eating this way, my energy is still unreliable.

But I have refused to give up on the idea that there is a way out of this lifelong dependence on Big Pharma. I knew to find the way out, I had to make major changes, and, quite frankly, when you have no energy, well, it's hard to make major changes. So the meds did help with that. But at my last doctor visit (a new guy -- an endocrinologist who is pretty good by conventional standards) I was told that I may have autoimmune problems with my pituitary and my adrenals. In other words, my whole endocrine system is messed up. That, for me, was the straw that broke the camel's back. I felt very calm and unafraid actually, and just decided, "No, I'm not going to do this anymore." As Bikram Choudhury says, if you want to turn your life around, just turn around and walk the other direction. So for once in my life, just once, that's what I did.

I am tempted to say that I had "no choice" but to do this diet, but that's not true. My choices were to keep on with the traditional approach and continue to watch my health decline, or choose something else, which is what I did. It was a choice. I don't have to do this. I choose to do this. I choose to heal and to learn from that process.

I hope that I can turn around some years hence and say that that diagnosis was one of the best things that ever happened to me, spurring me on to new heights. I'm not quite there yet, but I would love to be able to say that.

As for today, my energy is good and I haven't had really bad cravings, just the standard annoyance factor. My husband's making roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding tonight (he's English), so I'm going to exit stage left and go to yoga to avoid those wafting scents.

Today's Stats:
  • Peppermint tea with honey
  • About 4 pints of watermelon juice over about an hour (I juiced a bunch of rind since I didn't want to waste it)
  • 3 tangerines
  • Big bowl of fresh tomato
  • 2 bananas
  • Handful of grapes
  • 10 g walnuts, 60 g lettuce from garden, 2 kiwis, 2/3 grapefruit (I don't like it, not sure why I had it)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Day 4: Getting slightly better

I'm doggedly determined about this thing this time around, but, folks, that don't make it fun. I want to be honest here. I'm not feelin' it yet. But, I have faith that this is going to have an upswing at some point. Saying that, I'm not sitting on my hands trying to stay away from the stove, so to speak. I'm fine, perfectly nourished, just hardly excited about it just yet. But who am I kidding? It's gonna take a wee bit longer than 3.5 days to change my life!

Saying that, my energy is pretty good today. Don't need a nap. I feel fine. Good enough to put one foot in front of the other, so I'm grateful for that.

If I continue to feel good I'll go to yoga tonight. I do Bikram yoga and, although I'm struggling to overcome longstanding knee tendinitis I am slowly trying to carefully work back into it, and am having to invent "restorative Bikram yoga" along the way -- not an easy task.

Speaking of my knee injury, I made a list of my ailments, which was actually difficult to do. Took me awhile to remember them all.

My personal train wreck:
  • Hypothyroid (currently taking 112 mcg Synthroid, that's synthetic thyroid hormone)
  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis (antibodies to my own thyroid -- go figure)
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Pituitary fatigue (not sure if that's what it's called, medically speaking)

  • Minor rash on stomach
  • Spaciness, forgetfulness (that's the thyroid)
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Knee tendinitis
  • Nerve pain in feet
  • Fungus on left index finger
  • Dry scalp
  • Dry skin on face
  • Red skin on face
  • Occasional boils on face/neck
  • Acne
  • Burgeoning crows feet
  • Wrinkes on forehead
  • A few gray hairs
  • Brittle nails
  • Collapsed arches in both feet
  • Pelvic instability/strained psoas muscle
  • Clicking/pain in wrists
  • Cramping muscle between thumb & forefinger
  • Recurrent irritation at earring site
  • Geographic tongue which comes on when stressed/ill
  • Strained upper hamstring
  • Strained adductors
  • A few pounds additional weight (10?)
  • Low bladder capacity
  • Disturbed/light sleep
Man oh man is that dirty laundry or what? But I'm posting it just so that we can see what happens over time.

Today's Stats:

  • Peppermint tea with honey
  • Smoothie of strawberries, banana, dates
  • 2 satsumas, 1.5 bananas, 1 red banana, 1 asian pear
  • Juice of spinach, carrots, celery
  • 12 g walnuts
  • 3 red bananas, 2 satsumas, 1.5 c watermelon

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Day 3: Trudging On

I am so incredibly tired today. Could hardly wake up this morning. It felt like I had a big bale of cotton stuffed into my brain. I had a headache last night thanks to my coffee overdose yesterday (knew that was coming) and I still have the slight remains of that. The kids want to play and I'm just too groggy to move. The sky outside looks how I feel ... gray.

I've been concerned that I seem to be hungry constantly. Seems like I'm grabbing fruit every hour or two. I'd really like to just eat three or four meals, but that's not happening today. Yesterday it seems like I ate 5 or 6 times. I'll try not to stress about it, because I'm sure my body is adjusting.

Hopefully I'm nearing the end of the initial awful cleanout stage. I'm sure I've got a lot more inner housekeeping to do, but the first few days of anything are always the worst with the withdrawals.

I have an interesting thing to note today, but let me start at the beginning. I've done pretty well eating mostly 80/10/10 raw for about the last month. What I'm counting as Day 1, a few days ago, is the day that, no, I'm really doing this and I will no longer break down and eat a cooked meal. I just won't do it anymore. Well, I started my cycle yesterday, and I wouldn't normally post such things in a blog except that, extremely notably, it was the first time in my life that, unmedicated, I had absolutely no pain from cramping. None. Zilch. That's definitely a new thing.

Today's Stats:
  • Peppermint tea with honey (so I'm not a complete purist yet! I'll let this go at some point.)
  • 5 bananas
  • 2 bananas, 1 mango
  • 1 huge tomato from my garden
  • Juice from about 8 carrots, 1 bunch of spinach, 1 bunch celery
  • Salad: head of romaine lettuce, 1.5 cups spinach, 3 chopped brazil nuts, 6 chopped dates, 1/2 cup orange juice

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Day 1: Freefall ...

Dear God help me ...

I'm doing this, but not after 3 desperate cups of coffee with cream, now consumed and enjoyed thoroughly. I kept waking up the night after last night's disgustingly heavy dinner (but so yummy), and every time I did I agonized about whether or not I should drink coffee as my final send-off from poor dietary habits. I ultimately concluded that it wouldn't make a difference one year from now, so, brain, just SHUT UP, HAVE it, and MOVE ON!!!! So that's what I did ...

I am scared. How will I ever do this think?? I don't really want to be the odd man out. I don't want to hang out with raw foodists all the time. I have often come home from raw potlucks wanting to vomit, and not from the food: From the sickening self-righteousness and utter lack of compassion I have found at times. I've often had a response, when telling people of the horrible difficulties I have had with cravings, similar to (and I'm dramatizing a bit, but you get the point), "Ew! How could you even TOUCH cooked food. Disgusting, horrible, TOXIC stuff. I, for one, wouldn't even put it on my skin, and I CERTAINLY wouldn't eat it even if it was the ONLY thing left in the whole world to eat! Raw food is the only real food, and it tastes so much better too!" ... my fingers are down my throat right about now. I do concede that maybe ultimately some of this is true, or I wouldn't be starting a blog about trying to follow this path. But this type of treatment, which I have encountered time after time at potlucks and on message boards, I have found to be so insensitive, unproductive, and unhelpful. It certainly never stopped me thinking of pizza, and probably even made me think of it more, as I thought to myself, "Now where would be the least likely place that I will ever see this person again??"

I, for one, am all in favor of understanding and gentle kindness. I want to meet people who have struggled with this, and found the solution, not necessarily just those who believed in it with such unbroken conviction that they never looked back. This is why I was so thrilled to get a post on
Doug Graham's message board from Sarah who told me how long it took her to get over her cravings (about 2 months) and introduced me to her wonderful blog about her experience with the 80/10/10 lifestyle (also abbreviated 811 or 811RV (for raw vegan)). Halelujah! There are sane people out there!

Nay, nay, I'm too hard on the raw community. One of my very dearest friends (hi Ela!) is a long-time raw fooder, and she's the greatest. I have a lot of respect for many raw fooders. It's just that the few harsh ones have really spoiled it for me at times, because I'm not one who wants to be uptight and serious all the time.

Funny, just after drafting the above I opened
Paramahansa Yogananda's commentary of the Bhagavad Gita and read this: "The yogi, the man of perfect equilibrium, is neither hypersensitive nor stoically heartless" (Verse 30, pp. 240, book I). I can only conclude that many of us -- most of us -- have not yet achieved perfect equilibrium.

I'm off for my colonic -- gotta get rid of that paneer tikka somehow! -- marking the true start of this journey. Wish me luck in this whole endeavor.

Over and out ...

Today's Stats:

  • Coffee with 3 tbsp half & half
  • 2 mangos
  • 3 bananas
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 asian pear
  • Juiced cucumber, spinach, celery
  • 2 kiwis
  • 2 cups grapes
Weight: 115.8
Body fat: 23.6%
Hydration level: 52.5%
(In case you are wondering, I have a Tanita scale which measures this stuff.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Minus One and Counting

It's the night before my new adventure. I've been experimenting enough with the 80/10/10 raw diet enough to know that this is the thing that has the greatest potential to turn my life around. I was first introduced to raw foods in 2001. Although I did not at first learn very much about it, the concept resonated strongly with me, as someone who has always battled food addiction and cravings. Sure, raw food is the natural food for humans, I reasoned, but I could never do that.

I've tried the "eat anything as long as it's raw" diet on and off many times, but could never manage it for longer than a couple of months at a time. There's a phrase in 12-step circles (a philosophy I don't personally buy into much but I have attended 12-step food programs at times) about "letting go absolutely". I always had the sense that I had never let go absolutely, and never really felt all those 12-steppers had either necessarily. I think 80/10/10 is about letting go absolutely. I so want my freedom; I am ready. So I will embark on this journey in the morning, after tonight's meal of about a pound (ugh!) of paneer tikka, one of my old favorites. (In case you're wondering, yes, I've felt gross all evening.) I'm jumping off the cliff as I sleep tonight, and tomorrow and probably the next few weeks at least will feel like free-fall, as I abandon my old familiar crutches that have only heaped misery on my shoulders.

My biggest goal is to get off of thyroid meds, which I've been on for about a year, and also to not have to take the adrenal and pituitary meds that my endocrinologist is thinking about putting me on. In other words, I'm trying to "cure" myself of an "incurable disease" that's considered autoimmune (hypothyroidism caused by Hashimoto's Thyroiditis). Just a few days last week on 80/10/10 had me up before the sun and even before my 2 and 4-year olds. Now that truly IS a miracle. In this I have discovered that there is hope of a release from this nightmare of declining health at the age of 36.

If you're reading this, please feel free to let me know by posting a comment. If you prefer for me not to post it to the site, just say so and I won't post it publicly. I'd love to hear from you.