Why did I stop eating 100% raw?

Oh, yeah – my life interfered.

This post is another twist from the past.  I had already lost more than 150 lbs. (getting down to 170+ lbs.) and had 50 more to go.  Getting from 320 down to 210 was accomplished merely by going nearly all raw, vegan and organic. The next 50 lbs. was accomplished after working with two gorgeous personal trainers, Jeff and Chris. I never imagined that working out could be so exciting!! : )

So there I was at 170ish lbs. wanting to be at 120 lbs. (I was perfectly okay with the last 15 lbs coming off as a product of plastic surgery. I was already to have a body lift and get my underarms (my wings) trimmed. The skin ravages of obesity, longevity and gravity are brutal. In order to fit the vision of myself that I’d conceived, I was going to need a bit of nip-and-tuck.

I knew that in order to get down to 135 lbs. I would have to do the four-letter word – DIET.

I can make great-tasting raw food, even though I’m not a chef. But like everyone else going on a 100% raw diet just to lose weight, I don’t like giving up my mental freedom that I can eat anything, anywhere, anytime.

The journal below ends after Day 16 because I went to Switzerland to set up a client’s kitchen. But it chronicles the first two+ weeks of me transitioning to an all raw diet with all of the withdrawals, the pleading to be allowed back into denial-land, the self-berating sessions as well as the lovefests that accompanied my staying true to my word and goals.

The trip to Switzerland was strange because usually I get so excited by the thought of food as I travel, but this time I was looking at all the people in airport, and the shockingly bad food they were guzzling. I was content with my cacao beans nestled with goji berries in my little zip lock baggie in my back pack pocket.

My bid to be 100% raw, until I lost the 40 lbs., began its descent in Geneva when my client decided he’d had enough raw food after six days and insisted on showing me traditional Swiss fare – FONDUE! And they dipped meat, bread and potatoes into it – the most fierce of my addictions. My intentions/efforts to lose the rest of the weight were demolished by my food addiction which got fed generously in Switzerland and my association with eating opportunistically while traveling.

It was months before I brought my will under submission.


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –  WRITTEN in December 2011 and January 2012 – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

So, I’ve lost 150 pounds, but I’m still fat. The weight that I lost in the first 2 years was easy. I was so obese that the weight just had to fall off with the change in my lifestyle. But now I’ve normalized at about 160ish and at 5’2” I’m still fat.

Starting with the launch of the website, I’m going 100% raw for 4 months. My goal is to lose 40 pounds and reset my new norm. I feel that documenting this transformation is important because I’m like everyone – I’ve got my issues. With all my blessings, I still overeat. I allow myself excuses of being busy and not having enough time and call it emotional eating.

I’ve come a long way to be where I am now. But I’ve rested here for nearly 5 years. It’s time to finish what I started and get sleek. I’ve got to deal with the emotions and my habits so it’s time to see Dr. George Pratt to “rub myself raw.” Then it’s time for calorie counting, rebounding and cardio 6 days a week, and salads, smoothies and juice.

I’ll be posting weekly with how I’m doing, and monthly with photos.

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Week #1

Day 1 (12/19/11) Today was a breeze. I started on a Monday – like all diets are supposed to start – on a Monday, the first of the Month, or the first of the year. I didn’t think about it too much and just munched on food that had been prepared in class that Saturday. And I fell asleep much earlier than usual. It’s much easier to sleep than to stay awake and think about what I’m not eating.

Day 2 (12/20/11) Today was a nightmare of withdrawal. I wanted my bean, egg and cheese burrito, from the drive through Mexican shop down the street from my house. It called to me everytime I took my focus from work or my busy-ness. It mocked me for being on a raw-food lockdown. I hadn’t realized just how much cooked food I’d been eating again until I decided to go 100% raw. The whining addict inside of me tried to persuade me that it would be okay to start again tomorrow – that no one had to know that I had just one bean, egg and cheese burrito. I was the comical protagonist with the red devil on one shoulder and the haloed angel on the other. “No Joan, you’ll know – and you promised.” I just wanted to scream. So I went to bed early.

Day 3 (12/21/11) Today wasn’t so bad. I felt renewed and triumphant  I had survived yesterdays detox tremors, I had swatted that devil off of my shoulder. Day 3 would be an easier day. It was. I discovered the Banana Maca Smoothie. That smoothie made me forget all other foods, cooked or otherwise. I blended water, ice, mejool dates together, then added fresh bananas, ground vanilla bean and some Maca powder. SUBLIME. I made two that day and turned my mom on to them. It gave me something to look forward to for Day 4.

Day 4 (12/22/11) Today was the day of reckoning. I got on the scale. It was the news that no one wants to receive. I weighed a lot more than I thought. I knew that I’d put on some weight – getting the website up, finishing the 2nd Edition of the System and still practicing law (have to make the financial ends meet) – it all added up to pounds on my back end. Sitting at my desk for hours on end and eating mindlessly (over my keyboard) had taken it’s toll. I weighed 177 pounds. I was weigh above the 15% margin that I’d maintained around my new set weight of 150 pounds. The red devil on my shoulder kicked into high gear. “Do the Master Cleanse. That will take the weight off fast, then you don’t have to tell anyone that put back on so much weight. Just do it until you get back down to 165 and then you can start the blog. No one has to know.” And, of course the angel chimed in. “You know the whole reason for posting this transformation was so that you could connect with real people. You’re not perfect. This will help someone else who’s struggling. You’ve got to be okay with who you are and where you are so that you can make real, healthy and lasting change.” The angel won again.

Day 5 (12/23/11) Today was easier. My inner child had come to grips with the fact that I meant what I said – 100% raw damnit. The only concession made was that I wasn’t trying to calorie restrict or diet or anything. Just stay 100% raw. So that was the deal. The first week there would be no agenda, no special twists (like wheatgrass juice or low-fat detox raw foods) – just raw. In future weeks I could add the different twists. But for now, just get used to being 100% raw. The funny thing is, I know all of this, I teach this to my students who go raw to overcome health challenges. The mind hates limitations and restrictions. In the past when I went 100% raw, I never put a timeline on it like “I must stay raw for a year, or until I fit this dress, or until…” It was always just open, as in “I’ll stay all-raw as long as it suits me.” I miss my mental freedom to eat anything I want, whenever I want. I’ve got great tasting raw food and plenty of it – that’s not the problem. It’s feeling like I gave up my freedom.  I miss being able to grab something while I’m out. But my body is feeling lighter and cleaner. And I’m proud that I’m keeping my word when no one else is watching.

Day 6 (12/24/11) I had a little dissappointment. I went on my normal Saturday morning hike up Cowles Mountain – a 45 minute uphill jaunt of loose gravel sand and dirt with an occasional 1-foot vertical step-up rocks. The disappointment came because I expected to have more energy since I had been 100% raw for nearly a whole week. I was still huffing and puffing. I didn’t stop as often or for as long as I had the week before, but it wasn’t the performance I had been anticipating. I thought I’d just power up the hill with no stops. Maybe next time, after being raw for nearly two weeks – we’ll see.

Day 7 (12/25/11) I gave myself the gift of comfort food – Fat and Salt. This was Christmas Day. My family meet up at our friend’s house as we have every Christmas since my parents divorced. And the traditional Christmas dinner was on for everyone except me. I had packed my comfort food: Onion Bread and Avocados. While everyone else ate the unmentionables, I lovingly scooped out mouthfuls of creamy green avocado with spreckles of pink Himalayan crystal salt. Hmmmm… And I remembered the Banana smoothie that I had before leaving home and that could be waiting for me upon return. My family is used to me eating my raw food and no one was offended or outwardly sympathetic as though I was in suffering.

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Week #2

Day 8 (12/26/11) I developed cold sores on my lips. I don’t know if it was from stress relief. I’d just finished a legal drama that had me preoccupied for 8 months. And my website was up and my System was complete. So now it was time for the break down. This used to happen to me when I finished my finals in college and law school. The big stressor is over so now it’s time to get sick. Or maybe the cold sores were a sign of detoxification. I don’t know, but they made my lips feel like beaks. I never realized how difficult it was to eat salad until my lips grew. The good news is – I’m not thinking anymore about being 100% raw. It’s becoming my new norm and the struggling and feelings of deprivation have waned. Or maybe it just because I’m focusing on my lips. Hmmmm, that’s something to think about.

Day 9 (12/27/11) I had something more important than the cold sores to think about.  I’m going to Switzerland from January 7th through January 20th. The neat thing about teaching the guests that come to the cleansing center is that they come sometimes from all over the world. And I get invited to come stay with them if I’m ever in the vicinity or I get hired to come out and consult. This will be my first trip to Europe. I’m not worried about the airport travel, that’s easy enough. But my philosophy of “when in Rome…” is going to be put to the test. The red devil said, “LOL – you promised, you promised – look at me people, I’m going to be 100% raw blah blah blah for 4 months or until I loose this back 40 which is really the back 50, LOL, LOL, LOL.” All the angel could say was, “Be healthy and realistic.  Don’t set yourself up for failure.  No one will blame you if you relaxed it a bit and tried some of the local fare when you get there.” No halo this time. And the red devil was waiting with the come back. “Yeah, try the local fare, and by the time you get home your first stop will be Albertos for that bean, egg and cheese burrito. And then it will be Phil’s Barbeque and the pork spare ribs and french fries.” I think the red devil won this round.

Day 10 (12/28/11) Today was a delight because I got to spend the afternoon with two raw women that I admire. I had lunch with world class chef Susan Sbicca. She taught me how to make raw green tea gelato. She makes the world’s best raw vegan gelato – www.MilliesGelato.com. While in Geneva, I’ll be helping my client prepare for 4 raw dinner parties. One of them will have an Asian theme with Green Tea Gelato for dessert. Only my green tea gelato always turns out bitter. Susan taught me her secret for taking the bitter out of the green tea. I can’t reveal her secret, but I’ll ask her to when we make a video together on the raw creative process. From Susan’s I went to see Liliana Cabouli, a raw psychologist/sex therapist. Liliana had just completed a stint at a cleansing center and wanted to process the information with me. She’s writing a book on her experiences of being raw for the last year and how it changed her psychology as well as her physiology. And in her book she’s including stories like mine. Every time I’m with Liliana I learn more about myself. I didn’t even think about cooked food. Susan gave me several pints of raw vegan gelato, including the chocolate peanut butter banana that makes my eyes roll back in my head. www.MilliesGelato.com. OMG – I’m going to tell her she should rename it “Who Needs a Man?” Alright, okay, maybe I’ll tell her to rename it “Who Needs Cooked Food?”

Day 11 (12/29/11) Today was nothing special. I’m over the newest of being 100% raw. And I still had some of Susan’s gelato. Maybe next week, I’ll start calorie restricting. Maybe.

Day 12 (12/30/11) I divorced myself from my weight. I’m not what the scale says. The caliber of my day, how I see myself can no longer tied to the numbers that show up on the scale. That’s huge. After my initial day of reckoning, when I realized I weighed more than I thought, I wanted to weigh myself everyday. And of course it’s not moving very fast. I had to divorce myself because the temptation to do the master cleanse (lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne with water, ONLY, no food) was too great. It made me realize that I still have major issues around food, maybe even a disorder. I can be very controlled or not at all. The only way to navigate this was to let go of the weight. I had to stand in the mirror and say – you’re okay Joan – where you are is a reflection of the best you knew how to do. The way you’ve eaten, or not, the way you’ve exercised, or not, has been your survival mode. That was then. You get to choose your now.

Day 13 (12/31/11) I went on my hike of Cowles Mountain and I got further than last week before stopping. So there was some improvement. But mostly I started noticing that I felt cleaner. I’m on better fuel now and it’s beginning to feel like it. My hiking partner, Nancy, pointed out that I had a lot more energy when I was doing coffee (enemas) in the morning before the hike. She said that I only stopped as a courtesy to her – now she’s in the lead and I’m crying “uncle.” I didn’t think the coffee enemas effected my energy – I thought they were just stimulating my liver to release better. It’s good to get feedback.

Day 14 (1/1/12) New Years Day. I stayed in the house all day. I meant to go outside because it was a gorgeous day in San Diego, but there were so many things to organize to prepare for my new year, my new projects and my trip to Switzerland. The most amazing thing happened – I juiced and ate a large salad for dinner. That’s a first in a long time. I’d been eating heavier foods for comfort.  But now that I’m used to being raw – probably got that cooked food out of my system now – lighter foods and more fresh vegetables are appealing to me. I think going into week 3, I’m going to focus on having a large salad with (or for) lunch and dinner. That should be doable even as I travel.  Can’t wait for my next hike.

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Week #3

Day 15 (1/2/12) I’ve put into practice my new detachment from the numbers on the scale. I’ve decided to only weigh-in once a week.  On Monday. 175 was the magic number. Was that pain of disappointment I felt. The red devil said, “Damn, you’ve been raw all that time and this is what you have to report. One pound per week. At this rate it’ll take nearly one year to lose your back 40, oops, your back 50. Just do the mastercleanse, that way you can report better numbers.” The angel came back with, “What’s really important is that you’re keeping your commitment to yourself and you’re feeling cleaner and looser. This first month is more about letting go of your beliefs about what food and about what your weight means to you.” Even though I’m listening to the angel mostly, or believing that I am, I still look in the mirror and think about what I’ll look like at 120 and what my life will feel like at 120 and what exciting things I’ll do at 120. Sometimes I think the red devil is talking to me in first person.  ”Just think how my life will start when I’m 120.” But I know better. I’ve lost 100 pounds before in my early twenties. My dream life didn’t start because I could rock a size 7 mini-skirt.  My dream man didn’t notice me and ask me out and propose to me and make my life into happily ever after when I lost the weight. I tell the world that my goal is 130 because that’s something healthy, it sounds reasonable and not like I have body image problems. But somewhere in my mind I say 120 is when my life really gets to start. Yeah, I think I need help. I’ll think about that some more, or later when it’s safer. For now, I’ll just not care about what the scale says and look in the mirror and love what I see (or tell myself that I can and I will).

Day 16 (1/3/12) I’ve got good news.  I just realized that the raw food is really kicking in.  I’m happily eating salads.  I didn’t realize it until it happened 3 days in a row.  For dinner, I filled up a large salad bowl with dark green lettuces, arugula and chopped cabbage, kelp noodles, soaked cashews and my raw peanut sauce. I was content and satisfied. And to make it better, I even juiced 2 days in a row. Mostly vegetables and beets. I even bought wheat grass. And my bowels are moving during the day. Usually I move in the morning after I’ve been up for 30 minutes or so. I know for some of you that’s TMI. So I’ll change the subject. I had a busy day yesterday running around doing stuff. And after a meeting with Ariel Policano (Naturopathic Doctor – www.DoctorAriel.com) and Susan Sbicca (world class chef – www.MilliesGelato.com) about putting together a weekend raw food seminar in San Diego (planning one for April 2012), I realized I was hungry and didn’t have any of my raw food snacks with me. I went to a regular grocery store and was looking for raw food products. I can happily report that the store carried the raw revolution bars. I got a couple of pieces of fruit and a few raw food bars and I was on my way. Nice to know that the raw food movement is growing so fast.

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