Tag Archives: raw food diet

How I Stuck To a (Mostly) All Raw Food Diet While Visiting Family

mango delight (vitamix)

mango delight (vitamix) (Photo credit: vigilant20)

Actually, it was easy. Mostly.

The last week or so has been a particularly difficult time for me and my family. We’ve been going through some tough stuff. I decided Hannah and I needed to get out of Dodge for a little while, so we drove to Las Vegas and stayed with relatives for a few days.

Before we left, I threw some sprouted nuts, some raw almonds, green tea, raw cacao, a few bananas and a big green smoothie in a bag.

While on the road, I chowed down on the sprouted nuts and drank the smoothie.

Upon arriving I noticed our hosts owned a VitaMix! This was very good news. I figured they would have a blender and that I could “make due” with any old blender, but it was nice to see the VitaMix.

I drank a lot of banana and Cacao shakes. I am battling melancholia, so I have had a hankering for chocolate. The shakes are super satisfying and the perfect comfort food. And they’re easy. Just throw the following in a blender:

  • One heaping tablespoon of Raw Cacao Powder
  • One banana (or mango)
  • A little sea salt
  • 8 ounces of water
  • A handful of nuts
  • A tablespoon of agave
  • Some ice

I also made fruit smoothies with fresh fruit and frozen fruit.

I ate a lot of Flackers. Flackers and an avocado make a quick and easy meal. I bought some raw organic almond butter and ate a spoonful of that on a few occasions. Travis and Lynette also took me out to an awesome raw food restaurant in Vegas on Monday and the leftovers provided dinner the next day as well.

I did slip up, though. We all went bowling one night and I hadn’t eaten enough that day. I was suddenly ravenous. I ate a bunch of corn chips and jalapenos. I also helped myself to some of my daughter’s cheesy nachos. I don’t feel too bad about it, though. I’ve been saying that I am committed to a “90% all raw food diet” for just such an occasion. I’ve been pretty religiously sticking to all raw food, aside from that incident and a cup of vegan stew a couple of weeks back. I’d say, so far, I’m holding at 98% all raw food.

Which segues perfectly into…

I know these videos are getting old, but seriously, I’ve said almost every single thing in them. You will watch them now:



Filed under 101 Day Project, Freeing the Fat, Going Raw

151 Things I Plan To Do Before the Year 2073

My first skydive

My 30th birthday and first skydive!

1.    Live on a small houseboat, docked at an affordable, friendly and beautiful marina, modified to accommodate my piano.
2.    Let go of the past
3.    Learn to speak French
4.    Ride a camel
5.    Meet the Dalai Llama
6.    Write a truly beautiful poem — no more rants!
7.    Truly commit to a man I love
8.    Greet each day with love in my heart
9.    Write a book
10.    Support myself financially as a writer
11.    Go back to Indonesia

New Ngelepen, Prambanan, Jogjakarta, Java, Indonesia

I love the mosque we built for this little village.

12.    Re-coat the domes of New Ngelepen with a better elastomeric coating or stucco
13.    Retrace Darwin’s voyage around South America and to the Gallapagos
14.    Learn to Scuba Dive
15.    Sell a song to an artist I admire
16.    Grow a small container garden on my patio
17.    Whiddle down my possessions to just 100 things
18.    Wander the streets of Rome with my sweetheart
19.    Get published
20.    Run ten 10k races
21.    Own and live in an Airstream or other very cool caravan, when I’m not on my boat — it has also been customized to fit my piano
22.    Dust off my guitar and re-shape an hour-long set of songs I’ve written
23.    Develop a habit of sending letters to my mother
24.    Stick to a mostly all-raw food diet
25.    Get a “high five” from Barack
26.    Learn to sketch
27.    Learn to sail
28.    Learn and memorize an hour or two worth of piano music I love

Ready to Ride
29.    Own a Honda Rebel
30.    Live in the moment
31.    Play at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville
32.    Ride a motorcycle across the Andes
33.    Kiss Ewan MacGregor
34.    Design and successfully market the perfect wardrobe for a hip, minimalist woman on the move.
35.    Help ex-members of the LDS church to recover their sense of self worth
36.    Go to Nepal
37.    Get close enough on a clear day to see the peak of Mt. Everest (base camp?)
38.    Visit Antarctica (maybe work at a research station)
39.    Sail the Mediterranean with the one I love
40.    Take my daughter to Greece
41.    River Raft again
42.    Snowmobile again
43.    Camp out under the stars with NO PHONES for a week
44.    Go on an African Safari

At the souk in Rabat, Morocco
45.    Revisit Morocco, but make it to Marrakesh this time
46.    Go to the top of the towers in Kuala Lumpur
47.    Own an iPhone 4 and an iPad with loads of memory and wifi (so I can get rid of everything else)
48.    Get everyone to calm the f*ck down about everything
49.    Spend a month in Cinque Terre
50.    Spend a month in and around Cornwall — where most of Rosamunde Pilcher’s books are set
51.    Learn to paint roses
52.    Stop biting my nails
53.    Sing with my guitar in an English pub
54.    Have my teeth whitened
55.    Own a small guitar with a deep and round sound
56.    See my daughter become a healthy, happy, educated and capable adult
57.    Go on a cruise
58.    Drive from Alaska to South America
59.    Throw caution to the wind
60.    Make-out with someone at the Great Wall of China
61.    Visit Jerusalem
62.    Visit the Dead Sea and Petra
63.    Get a degree
64.    Hang out with Steven Colbert, Jon Stewart and Bill Mahr
65.    Dig my toes into the sand of the Sahara
66.    Visit Walden Pond
67.    Talk to a Jain Monk
68.    Go deep sea fishing
69.    Learn to knit or crochet for realsies
70.    Go on a whale watching cruise in Alaska
71.    Finish those 20 or so song “zygotes” I have in the folder by my bed
72.    Somehow help facilitate a system of education of basic health care to all the women in remote villages of Java, to start, and then refine the program to make it replicable world-wide.
73.    Scuba dive at the Red Sea Reef

Favorite Parisien Moment

I was lucky to capture this quintessential Parisian moment on film!

74.    Take my daughter to see my favorite parts of Paris
75.    Figure out what dark matter is. <– that one might be tricky
76.    Find a cabin near a stream, surrounded by pine trees and live there for a month or two
77.    Visit Myanmar
78.    Travel to Tibet
79.    Never get married (again)
80.    Spend a month in Ireland, take Hannah there
81.    Start hiking again
82.    See the pyramids
83.    Check out that crazy shit at Easter Island
84.    Go salmon fishing in Alaska
85.    Rent a house in Idaho, along the Snake River, and invite all my favorite people there, once a year, to catch up
86.    Swim in the Mediterranean again
87.    Visit the tree that Buddha sat beneath when he became enlightened
88.    Touch the River Ganges
89.    Take a boat down the Nile
90.    Bathe in a waterfall
91.    Go to Istanbul again
92.    See the running of the bulls in Spain
93.    Pay my respects at Auschwitz, et al.
94.    Drive the 101 from Washington to San Diego
95.    Retrace the steps of our Founding Fathers
96.    Drive from Maine to Key West
97.    Go back to that awesome Irish Pub in Key West
98.    Visit Gandhi’s ashram
99.    Get the chance to explain to Jimmy Fallon why he and I really would be best pals
100.     Ride in a hot air balloon
101.     Observe a vow of silence for a time
102.     Go paragliding
103.     Write a beautiful and uplifting song
104.     Figure out WTF Marxism is
105.     See “the Book of Mormon” musical on Broadway
106.     Learn to manage my finances
107.     Stay present
108.     Meet Amy Poehler and see if she thinks I look and sound just like her
109.     Memorize more of my favorite poets’ works
110.     Develop a daily meditation habit
111.     Learn to waltz and do the tango
112.     Make money as a lounge singer in a swank jazz club
113.     Plant a new euphemism into pop culture — something so specific that I’ll know it was me
114.     Have a portrait of my daughter and I painted

Jethro and his Flute
115.     Learn my favorite Jethro Tull flute solo from “Thick as a Brick”
116.     Skinny dip
117.     Learn the names of at least SOME of the bands I love so I wouldn’t have to constantly be asking my daughter, “Now, who sings this again?”
118.     See Prague
119.     Ride the Trans-Siberian Railroad across Asia
120.     Write a song for my daughter that conveys the breadth of my love for her
121.     Drive from Salt Lake City to New York City, cut across to St. Louis, then New Orleans and back to SLC
122.     Ride that plane that astronauts use to train for weightlessness in space
123.     Visit Montauk
124.     Spend some time in a monastery
125.     Find a trampoline in a backyard somewhere in Idaho where the owners will always let me sleep out under the stars
126.    Traverse 3 different sections of the Amazon by boat
127.     See the Red Sox play in Boston
128.     Have an IRA that I consistently fund
129.     Drive a race car
130.     Go to Stonehenge
131.     Drive that winding road in Monaco you always see in the movies

Road trip!

Proof I Am a Road Warrior

132.     Drive on the autobahn (I really love to drive!)
133.     Go to Carnival
134.     After Carnival, go skydiving again, but in Rio this time
135.     Join the mile high club
136.     Rent a beach house in South Carolina for a season
137.     Go spelunking in an impossible cave
138.    Take my Airstream to live in Baja California for awhile
139.     Visit the Forbidden City
140.     Look for clues
141.     Cuba. Must see Cuba

142.     Travel in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park
143.     Spend a week in Tokyo
144.     Santorini
145.     Go to a topless beach
146.     Enter a “beat” poetry contest and win
147.     Stay one night in an actual castle
148.     Take a week-long phone vacation
149.     Learn how to do that thing the fancy ladies do that combines yoga, dance and long strips of fabric hung from the  ceiling. You know, the thing where you see women performing acrobatics while flying through the air
150.     Make a similar list of all the things I’ve already done
151.     Find a shack on a beach on an Island somewhere and spend a month alone with a boy I love

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Dreams

When in doubt, eat something.

I am tired.

I let myself get so tired, in fact, that my brain stopped functioning today. I know that in order to have energy, I should eat. But when I’m tired, I often miss the obvious. It has been over a week since I’ve had a decent night’s sleep and until about an hour ago, I’d probably only eaten 300 calories in 48 hours.

I am NOT into torturing myself by starving. I am also not into going without sleep. But I AM determined to become a morning person. For realsies. So I have been greeting each day at dawn in hopes my body will believe me that I’m serious about falling asleep earlier.

But today was a straight-up nightmare. I woke up at 5 AM per usual and meditated for a half an hour before waking up to write for a couple of hours. I was anxious because I knew that at 9 AM I had to be at the school to confront a professor about a grade. I have never had to do that before and was really nervous. I was also angry. Outraged, actually. By my estimation, there is no possible way I deserved a ‘B’ in that class.

So I forgot to make a smoothie before school. I also forgot to throw a macadamia/cacoa energy ball in my bag. I also neglected to consider that I had only had about 24 ounces of raw juices and soup the day before. I figured I’d pick up an apple and a banana at the school cafeteria, along with some green tea and all would be well. But the “conversation” I had with my professor was very upsetting and before I knew it, I was still choking back tears halfway through my critical theory class (which I love).

I hid my droopy, tired red eyes with my Ray-Bans and somehow made it through music theory and a history lecture. Next, I drove my daughter down to Draper (It may as well have been Mexico) and took a nap in the parking lot of Outlook Development. My back was not pleased with the arrangement (My sister, Nan, jokes that we have “ancient gymnast syndrome!”). So I took some big, deep breaths and drove back toward downtown.

I took the 1300 South exit so I could stop by the health food store to pick up some more Flackers. I was wicked hungry and too tired to make dinner, so I figured I’d polish off the avocado and pine nut hummus I’d made two days prior with an entire box of a few Flackers. I walked in the door and was immediately heart sick. “This is not a health food store,” I grumbled to myself, “this is just a stupid restaurant.”

I turned around to leave, my head hung low, believing I was probably just going to starve to death, when the woman behind the register asked me if I was looking for the market. I said I was, and expressed my confusion. And then she said some glorious words. They were a little jumbled up, but I caught fragments of “All” and “Raw” and I swear I heard the angels singing when I looked back over my shoulder at what I had assumed was a salad bar. But this was no salad bar. This was a buffet of gorgeous, thoughtfully prepared, all raw food dishes.

It was glorious! They had Raw Pizza, Zucchini Noodles, Vegan Sushi, Raw Lasagna, Curried Kale, Smashed Cauliflower, home made Flackers and more! I was like a wild animal. I am laughing out loud, by myself, in my living room right now at how crazy I must have seemed to the nice organic hippy ladies.

After wolfing down the comfort food, I came up for air long enough to appreciate the cute, quaint diner space. I especially liked that they had books laying out on every table ranging from the sensible to the “far out.” The address is 329 W. 1700 S.  I think it was called “Manic Organic” or some such thing. I’ll definitely go back again.

After letting my stomach settle, I had a surge of… energy! I was still tired, but now fully functioning again. I realized I could’ve saved myself a lot of misery today by being just a little more prepared.

Next time I feel like I may actually be starting to die in the middle of a class, I will use my head and go buy a banana (or seven). Divorcing the drama, to me, means more than just staying out of negative conversations and relationships, it means planning ahead so days like today don’t happen.

I can hear Doug’s voice, “Everything happens for you, not to you, Rebecca.”

and mine replying, “Can it, Byron.”

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Freeing the Fat, Going Raw

The Project Illustrated…

This is a “mind map” of the complete Excess Emancipation Project. The daily habits I am integrating; new beliefs I am creating; and the “broad strokes” of my 101 day journey are depicted here.

I committed to this vision on December 11, 2011 and it will be completed on March 21, 2012. This future I am creating is really an integration of habits I once had and/or things I’ve always wanted to do.

So far, it hasn’t been particularly easy. I see a lot of blogs out there about this person’s great new life on a raw food diet or that person’s successful purging of the possessions and I get a little frustrated. It seems like these things came easy to those people. Maybe I’m not reading far enough. Maybe they just didn’t talk about the crying.

One thing is for sure: As I look at my Dad’s desk from when I was a kid, or his galoshes from when he was a kid, I am acutely aware of tough times ahead. I am so habituated to attributing sentimental value to inanimate objects, it feels kinda like I’m getting rid of him, not just some stuff. Granted, I will be hopefully giving any/all family heirlooms to my sisters and brothers, but I know there will be a few things left over that I will have to face selling or giving away.

And it’s not just stuff from Dad and Mom (like her tin dollhouse from the 50s) a lot of my stuff are things I have picked up during my travels to Paris, Morocco, Indonesia, Costa Rica and more. Or they bring back memories of hijinks or lost loves. I suppose this is the inevitable crux of the issue.

I am committed to getting free of having to “tend” all this stuff, though. It’s so much work to dust, house, store, maintain and care for and about this inanimate menagerie. I have always fantasized about being free of it — about living a life more like Thoreau at Walden Pond — and I am determined to get there.

(Dear Universe, Please don’t infer that I want to be put in a position where I have to build my own house with just an axe and old nails from my neighbor’s shanty.)

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Breaking the Fast…

So after 10 days of “eating” nothing but green smoothies I was VERY ready to break the fast. I felt like I was starving. I probably was, because I know I wasn’t drinking enough of the dense smoothies. Not because I don’t love them, but because I’m super lazy. I have historically been reticent to spend time in the kitchen.

I broke the fast eagerly while sorting boxes the other night. I made some cashew-based dip and chowed down on broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. It was glorious! I had to force myself to really chew and I got full super quick, but it tasted like thanksgiving.

Since breaking the fast and starting a broader all raw food diet I have more energy than I have had since I can remember. I am floored by the difference!

I have been on a straight-up American diet for most of my life. Sure, I’ve spent a few months here and there as a Vegan and I have never been a serious carnivore, but diet soda, cheese, Taco Bell and KFC have ruled my life.

Once my mother asked me if I had a drinking problem and all I could say was, “I don’t think so, but I know I have an eating problem! I have never laid in bed and wished for a whiskey, but many a night I’ve laid there wishing for a cheese sandwich!”

And really when I think about it, CHEESE and it’s dairy companions have always been my nemesis. The gals who wrote, “Skinny Bitch” explain why. It’s been awhile since I read it, but they posit that cheese is actually addictive and put forth the science to back that up.

I’m happy to report that it seems my desperate need to eat copious amounts of cheese is starting to subside.

I forced my nephew to go to yoga with me this morning. After which I chose green tea (What?! Not coffee?!) at our favorite coffee shop and then made him go grocery shopping with me.

I totally bought cheese (per my daughter’s wishes) and did NOT rip open the package and eat it all right there in the store. I even cooked bacon and eggs for the gang without the tiniest twinge of jealousy.

I threw raspberries, oranges, a lemon, flax seeds, a half-banana and a bunch of kale in the blender and made one of my favorite smoothies to date. I shared with Hannah and Kaleb (daughter and nephew, respectively) sans kale.

At any rate, this whole raw food adventure appears to be paying off in spades. The week to ten days of malaise and no energy were completely worth it. I’m so excited!

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Freeing the Fat, Going Raw

Today has been kinda brutal

I am on day 7 of an all green smoothie diet. I feel like I could eat a small child. I’m sure a lot of that is my willingness to go hungry vs. spending anytime in the kitchen, but last night when my niece, nephew and daughter were chowing down on pizza, I started feeling pretty, well, hungry.

I admit, I have historically detested the kitchen and I am by nature adverse to rules, so the idea that I would undertake something like ten days on an only green smoothies is downright ridiculous. But my desire to jump start this year and accomplish some pretty lofty goals won out over my desire to stuff my face day and night with crap.

The other reason today has been hard is that I know I only have tonight and tomorrow to clean this house and accomplish phase 1 of my goal to divest myself of 50-75% of all my stuff. (I have a self-imposed due date of Wednesday night to get phase 1 done.)

I f***cking hate cleaning! I honestly feel like I’m being tortured. I’m trying to going to change that for myself in part by becoming Emancipated from my Excess stuff. In order to get there by the Ides of March it is imperative I start today.

So, right after this I am going into the kitchen, I am making an energy packed smoothie, I’m going to gather sorting tools and labels and I’m going to take every damn thing that is laying out, or not in it’s exact right place and dumping it all in the living room. You will be horrified to see how much stuff that includes.

After I get that done I will take some pictures and describe my plan for tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

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Filed under 101 Day Project, Freeing the Fat, Going Raw