Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 12- GeekedFu: Lighten Up!

The Picture

This picture was taken last June at Matt and Angela Monarch's wedding by the lovely and most adored by many (especially me), Jeff Skeirik, the Rawtographer.  I look back at this picture, and I can remember how happy I was that day.   I met Angie, Tiffany, Cindy, Rawbin, Heidi, Rainbeau, Camille, Kevin & Annmarie, David Wolfe, and so many other amazing people that have been part of my raw food experience. 


This was a very happy, but bittersweet time in my life.  I had been laid off from my job of 7 years, and was trying to create a job by pulling together a raw food magazine with a handful of people, and with my pitiful savings.  I grossly underestimated the cost of printing, and production, folded the magazine after two awesome issues.  I lost a couple thousand dollars,  still owe people money which I have been chipping away at paying back, and fully intend to pay back every cent when I attract money into my life again.   Some people may have seen this venture as a flop.  I saw it as a life accomplishment, and a very cool learning experience.   That's how we can choose to view our world- as a flop, or as a unique experience to learn and grow.  Or as a unique experience to learn, and stumble a few steps back, only to reground your footing and get back on your way.


So often I see people who are eager to start their raw food lifestyle, lose a ton of weight, completely transform their life, and be a bright shiny new person.  Everything starts out with a bang, and then old habits creep in, a friend invites you out for Mexican, or you wind up hitting a drive in after an exhausting day of work, kids, errands, and you know, having a life.   Suddenly you may be feeling the same happy but bittersweet experience of my life last summer.  You're learning new things, you're starting to feel better and lose a pound or two, and you're glad you chose to take a RawFu Challenge.  But maybe you grossly underestimated how much different your new lifestyle would be on your social life.  Maybe it's more expensive than your old way of eating.  Maybe you start thinking that every single thing you do that isn't in the Raw Food Handbook (of which there are SO MANY) is just turning your happy raw food experience into a flop. 


But look at what you've learned, even if you've only been at this for a week, or a month, or six months.  You have probably learned that if you soak nuts they are easier to digest.  You've most likely shoved spinach into a blender, and made a smoothie that was packed with minerals and vitamins.  You've stopped, and at least thought about the food you were about to eat, even if it wasn't the best choice.  That's three unique experiences that you've got under your belt.


My happy raw food experience has taught me incredible things about myself, even with the stumbles backwards, the days that I just threw my hands up and gave up, and the many times I brushed myself off, and got back on track.  I've learned that I'm very sensitive to the effects of sugar, and that I need to tread lightly on the glycemic index.  I've learned that I'm still a valuable part of a community, even though I'm not perfect.  I've learned that not everybody is going to like what I do, say, or how I feel, but that I can still love them unconditionally.  I've learned that I can be obsessive about food if other parts of my life are out of balance.  I've learned that being able to laugh at myself, and not take everything so seriously is one of my best qualities.


Tomorrow is May 1st, and I'm starting my happy raw food experience over again.  Every single day is a chance to lighten up, and love what your life is made of,  even if it's a day of stumbles, and belly flops.   Just laugh it off, and welcome yourself to the human race! 

Send in the Clowns!


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 11- GeekedFu- Live Your Life NOW!

Today I got the opportunity to talk with Amanda, RawDawg's lovely wife about her upcoming Live Your Life Now Trek.  I had to take this opportunity to tell you all about the amazing journey that the RawDawg family is about to embark upon.

Here is more information about Amanda's Journey:

If you could drop everything and go on your own Live Your Life Now journey, what would you do? 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Password for Celiac Testing is Diarrhea!

A funny thing happened today at the doctor's office.  Enjoy! I seriously wish sometimes that my life was being recorded like a reality show. Moments like the one in the hallway of my doctor's office today are just good old fashioned entertainment!

Monday, April 26, 2010

When Reality Sinks In.

This is my son, Beckett. He's six years old now, and just lost his first tooth. He loves Legos, dressing up in costume, but most of all, he loves ME. I am his mother. I am the person that scratches his back at night and pushes his hair back behind his ears just the way he likes it, so that he will fall asleep with a smile on his face. I am the person he comes to when he's proud of a drawing, and wants to tell me all about it. I'm the person he comes to when he scrapes his knee, and needs to cry. I am the person he comes to when he's hungry, and wants a snack. His father and I are his everything. We get up in the morning, and turn on the sun for him, and we wave our magic fingers to bring stars into his night sky.

This morning I was so tired, I couldn't get out of bed. Everything ached. I didn't know what day it was, what time it was, and Basil scooped Beckett out of bed and got him off to school. I woke up around 11, feeling more human, but still in pain. I remembered the two pieces of pizza I ate yesterday, and how I had to get up in the middle of the night to take heartburn medication. And I knew I'd be in pain all day because of those two stupid pieces of pizza. It was hockey night. The Red Wings were playing at the Joe. Let's just order a pizza in tonight. That's what normal people can do once in a while on a rainy Sunday night during the playoffs. Why can't I remember that I'm NOT a normal person.

I have never gotten a doctor to give me a formal diagnosis, but I know that I have Celiac Disease. I know because I've experienced it, and what gluten can do to my body. I know because I've gone gluten free, and had periods of amazing relief, and clarity. After I woke up this morning, I grabbed the blood work I had done recently, and went to find more information online about Celiac Disease and C Reactive Protein. The normal range for CRP is 0-3. Anything over 4 puts you at greater risk of a cardiovascular event. Anything over 10 puts you at risk of that first cardiac event being fatal. Mine is 18.9.

Whenever I eat gluten, and I freely confess that I eat it a lot, my immune system attacks the gluten protein as if it were a virus or foreign invader in the body. It causes extreme systemic inflammation in my blood vessels and arteries. That inflammation is indicated in my CRP levels. I feel an ache in my elbows. I feel a twinge of pain in my back. I can't feel the silent cardiac event or stroke that could erupt out of the inflammation caused by those two pieces of stupid pizza. I am playing Russian roulette with the life of my child's mother. And it's right there in black and white on my results from LabCorp.

My immune system also fights the gluten molecules that make it to my small intestine. They wind up killing the villi that are vital in absorbing the nutrients in my food. Because I continue to eat gluten, I'm sure certain areas of the villi are completely dead. Which means my body is malnourished. Which explains why my Vitamin D levels are low, considering that it cannot be absorbed. Because of the malnourishment, my body thinks I am starving. It craves more food, and stores the food I give it as fat to keep me alive. 40% of Celiac patients are obese on diagnosis. Doctors dismiss obese Celiac sufferers, because their textbooks tell them that a Celiac patient will be wasting away, and have chronic diarrhea. Those textbooks are outdated.

I had a long heart to heart with Basil. I told him how depressed and scared I am about not having somebody working with me to address these very real issues that I know are quietly taking time off of my life. I told him that I want a diagnosis. I want to know, so that all of the pieces of the puzzle can come together, and I can work with a professional that I trust to monitor my CRP levels regularly. I don't want to die of a sudden cardiac event caused by a food allergy. I want to KNOW what we're dealing with here. And I want to know NOW.

I'm not taking no for an answer any more when it comes to get tested for Celiac Disease. I'm not going to just "cut out gluten" because I "think" I might have Celiac. That sort of namby pambiness is not working for me anymore. Reality is sinking in, and I need to get serious about changing my life. I've spent all morning with Dr. Google reading about Celiac and Insulin Resistance. Celiac and Vitamin D deficiencies, Celiac, and C Reative Protein. If I'm wrong, I need to know it. If I'm wrong about the gluten, then I need to know why my body isn't working, and I need to know how to fix it.

This is my year. I am going to do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of this. I'm going to do whatever it takes to take back control of my body. I am going to fight like hell, and be my own advocate. My family deserves that, and so do I. Whatever it takes, I'm there.

I will not be dismissed because I am overweight. I am Geeked Up about living a quality life. And I want that quality life to start RIGHT NOW.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

GFu Day 2- Metabolic Syndrome & Low Carb Raw

Today, I talk about Metabolic Syndrome, and what it means for certain type of metabolizers. I have realized that the same diet will not work the same for all people. During this challenge, I am committing myself to switching my diet out to a high raw diet that is low in carbohydrates compared to a typical raw food diet. I will be replacing the nuts and seeds that my body cannot digest with pastured eggs, raw milk, raw buttermilk, raw butter, kefir, and anything else that will help turn my fat burning mechanism back into high gear!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

GeekedFu Day 2- The Tectonic Plates of the Soul

When the tectonic plates of the Earth shift, great changes can occur. An earthquake rumbles, or a volcano erupts. And we can find ourselves a humans feeling extremely small and humbled by the very nature of the Earth that we live on, and the scale of how small and insignificant we are next to these huge tectonic shifting of plates.

Since last summer, I have felt incredibly small. I have tried to put on a brave face, and continue with my work here on RawFu, which I truly love and see as an act of service. I am humbled to be able to serve in people's lives, especially when it comes to something as important as health. Thank you for letting me share my gifts and love with you.

The feeling of smallness drew me in during the last 100 day challenge, and forced me to face some of the giants in my life that were making me smaller by the minute. My Big Fat Ego was the culprit in 95% of the time, and the other 5% were things that were totally out of my control, but I was still trying to control them, because of My Big Fat Ego.

Coming out of the last WholeFu Challenge, I realized that I had done a lot of the emotional work necessary for me to carry through with some much needed changes in my life. I quickly realized that I'm racing towards 40 years old, and I'm fat, unemployed, and still struggling with what I put in my mouth on a daily basis. I had to get real about WHY this was my current reality. I had to stop tiptoeing around the issues, and look at the situation for what it really was. I had turned into a complacent employee, an apathetic wife, a half-assed raw foodist, and I used food as my way to numb out. I also used my weight as an excuse not to do things with my friends and family. And I certainly used weight as an excuse not to exercise.

So, I'm standing here on Day 2 of the GeekedFu Challenge, open and honest about where I am and where I've come from. I'm at my highest weight ever. I have eaten my way here on foods that I know aren't good for my body. And I am standing here humbly, and ready to start over. Ugh. It stings to write that after two years on this raw food path, I am at my highest weight ever. Just back in November, I was at my lowest weight in 5 years! But you know what? It's okay. I am where I am.

I'm ready to let go of the excuses. There is no excuse. This is my life, and my health, and it's my job to do what I need to do to turn things around. God wiling, and the creek don't rise, it is my time to have a tectonic shift in the soul. I'm surrendering all, and ready to do the work it takes to make it happen. I am changing.

Bring it on, Fu!

During the last WholeFu Challenge, I dug deep inside of myself, and dragged out all of my emotional dirty laundry, and put it into three piles. Wash, Mend, and Throw Away. I wound up throwing out so much emotional crap that didn't fit me anymore, and now I have all of this room in the closet of my life to ADD IN whatever I want to make happen.

I'd literally sit down and make lists of my self talk. And I'd categorize them. Wash, Mend, Throw Away. I mended relationships that had been frayed for years. I washed the mental picture of myself in love, and allowed myself to be exactly where I was, and to feel perfect there. And I threw away old patterns of abuse that really don't fit into the new me.

I think it's a constant process. Just like your closets at home, you have to go back and clean them out every once in a while. But it works. And it's wonderful!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Okay, So Here Goes...

Today, I talk about what I am going to be working on during this challenge, and how excited I am about turning my body into a fat burning machine! I am ready for my physical transformation.

This was not an easy video to make, or an easy post to write. I know that this will rock the boat with some people here on RawFu, and in the raw food community at large. But you have to remember that only I can be my own health advocate, and right now, my main focus is to change my relationship with the raw food lifestyle, and to burn as much adipose fat as fuel as possible with diet and exercise. Like Rory said, I am going to give myself the care and love that I would give any person who came to me in this situation.

One thing I have learned is that one diet does not always work the same way in every person. I'm open to exploring what is going to work best for me, and what is going to nourish me physically, and also helping me break some of the raw food mental traps that I have created over the past two years.

Duringthis challenge, I will be lowering my percentage of raw foods in order to try to find some balance in my life, and to stop obsessing about food. I am looking forward to everything I have to learn.

Here are links to some information about the 51% raw food theory.


Angela Stokes:

David Wolfe claims that even if your diet consists of 51 percent raw organic foods, your body will build a stronger immune system, and also tolerate up cooked food without treating it as a foreign invader. I heard him lecture about this in my Institute of Integrative Nutrition course.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Here We Go Again!

Today, Helene, posted this discussion on RawFu. Here is a snippet of the discussion topic.

I realize that I was addicted to sugar (the bad kind as in I used to eat lots of candy) but now that I switched to a raw food diet I'm still struggling with a sugar addiction but now it's in the form of more so-called better sugars (fruit, natural sweeteners, dates, etc.). This may be one of the hardest things yet to get away from. I do especially love fruit. But as an old owner of a local organic health food store said to me: Fruit nowadays is 30% sweeter than it used to be when he grew up due to hybrids. even the organics...

Anybody have any luck getting rid of most or all sweets?

My reply is exactly what I wanted to talk about, so welcome to where I am right now, and buckle up. We're going on another ride!

Helene, this has been my uphill battle with a high raw lifestyle. Sweets in my diet cause me to obsess over food, and to overeat emotionally. Because of my struggle with sweets, I joke that a raw food diet helped me gain weight and develop an eating disorder! Of course, raw foods have been an amazing miracle in my life over the past two years. Today is my 2 year anniversary of going a raw food diet. And is the anniversary of me going on a journey that would teach me so much about my body, and how it digests and metabolizes food.

One thing I have learned most profoundly is that the same diet will not work for every person the same way. Some people can thrive on a raw food vegan diet that includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and sea plants. If that person is you, you've hit the raw food jackpot! Some people need to add more proteins and fats to thrive, and use more nuts, seeds, avocado, and coconut that others. Some people thrive on the high carbohydrate plan, eating more sweets, and less fat. I think it takes a leap of faith and a lot of trial and error to navigate which version of a raw food diet is going to work for you.

I have been where you are, and honestly, I had to cut out all of the sweets. In doing so, I explored adding more non sweet fruits and vegetables, but that alone left me feeling hungry and deprived. So, I explored adding more fat and protein via nuts, seeds, avocado, etc. This left me much sicker, and threatened the longevity of my gallbladder. So, there I was, stuck between a rock and hard place. Can't eat sweets without becoming food obsessed. Can't eat fats without gallbladder attacks. My food world became extremely small. I could eat greens, non sweet fruits (cukes, tomato) and vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, etc), avocado, and coconut. I was cool with that for a while, but then realized that I was creating a raw food trap for myself. This diet wasn't going to keep me satisfied. And when I felt unsatisfied, I would binge on the worst foods possible.

This is one of the reasons I have asked RawDawg Rory to come in and lead a challenge. He will lead you all on a challenge that will rock the raw vegan lifestyle, and I look forward to everything I can learn from him.

Meanwhile, I want to explore what my options are outside of the raw vegan arena that may help me feel more balanced, less obsessive, and less food focused. I have a vision of what this looks like for me, and I feel like I have to explore it. I envision a series of cycles, much like seasons that I can create to allow me to accomplish all of my health and wellness goals. A season of fat burning, a season of cleansing, a season of resting, a season of nourishing. I'm not exactly sure what it looks like yet. But my hope is to create an environment in my life where I am able to include the most broad spectrum of food choices possible through the entire cycle of seasons.

I know my body, and my body cannot have all of the seasons mixed up into one big soup. I'm looking forward to what lies ahead. I hope the next two years are as pivitol an life changing as the past two have been. Raw food changed my life, and opened my eyes! I am forever humbled and grateful.

Monday, April 12, 2010

And I'm Back to the Blog!

Well, hey there, I am back to blogging while RawDawg Rory takes over the reigns at RawFu for the GeekedFu Challenge starting April 19th! If you're looking for a fantastic raw food challenge, go join RawFu today!

I am going to be taking this challenge as a participant, and blogging/vlogging my way along. Right now I am working on goal setting for the upcoming challenge and coming up with a game plan for my personal growth. I have a lot to work on during the upcoming challenge. I spent a great deal of effort and time over the last 100 days, working on getting my emotional house in order. This time, I'm ready to work on making a physical transformation. I will be focused on loving myself, pampering myself, making myself sweat, and nourishing my body.

I need this physical manifestation. I want to look on the outside the way I feel on the inside. Before now, I wasn't ready to really embrace a physical change. My body and my mind were holding on to every inch out of guilt, fear, and shame. I felt like I wasn't good enough for a raw food lifestyle because I was never able to string together a chain 100% raw food days.

I am taking that pressure off of myself during the upcoming challenge. In fact, part of my game plan is to not strive for 100% raw food. Instead, I will be eating a diet that maximizes fat burning. Most of the foods will be raw. But they will not all be vegan. I have had to cut nuts and seeds out of my diet completely. They are so taxing on my gallbladder. So, in order to replace the fat burning power of nuts and seeds, I will be using some raw dairy products, such as raw milk, raw kefir, and raw butter.

I am working with a nutritional counselor who has been through what I'm going through. I am very much looking forward to sharing this upcoming challenge with all of you, and getting back in touch with my slinkier self. Stay tuned. I think this is going to be a very interesting ride.