Wednesday, May 31, 2006

No mas!

Ugh- today I'm feeling queasy and tired. Last night I had a dehydrated black bean burger and it just didn't sit right with me. I've noticed that I can eat dense, dehydrated foods only sparingly. When Felicia first made nutburgers I loved them and ate them every day for a little while, then suddenly I couldn't eat them anymore! I looked at them longingly, knowing I just couldn't put that "heaviness" into my system. At first I thought I was just tired of them because I'd eaten them for so many days in a row, but with this black bean burger, I am really seeing how density and deep flavoring can be overwhelming.

When I ate SAD I loved foods that were full of flavor, like Middle Eastern, Mexican and African foods. Only certain Indian foods would make me feel queasy like this because they were packed so full of herbs and spices. That's the problem with the black bean burger- it's so packed with flavor and is so dense compared to my salads and smoothies that I really can't eat much.

So today I am physically hungry but don't have a real appetite. I'm drinking lots of water and had cantaloupe for breakfast. Last night I dreamt that I was looking down onto my body and that I could see into my stomach- it was full of nutburger mixture- like raw meat before it's made into patties. UGH!! I'll be so happy when this feeling passes. I'm done with vegetarian burgers for a while!

Monday, May 29, 2006

66 Pounds Down!

Reached Another Weight Loss Milestone
I've finally made it to 275- whoopee!! I'm now 66 lbs lighter than I was on January 1st of this year!

Felicia and I were talking about our status as "rawtarians." Both of us miss some of the old treats we used to indulge in- the chips, candy bars, McDonald's and the like- but neither of us feels "called" to eat those things these days. In the past, a bag of M&M's would have quickly disappeared as we watched TV, but tonight we noticed that even if we are watching some boring TV show and eating something like grapes, we don't mindlessly shovel them in. It's great to have that natural "stopping mechanism" come into play- it was numbed when we ate SAD (Standard American Diet).

Need Your Input!
Someone messaged me at the Raw Odyssey Cafe saying she is a new raw foodist who is already bored with salads. I totally understand her. I used to get bored every few weeks (I've whined about that enough in this blog!) My advice to her would be to branch out and try new foods and flavors using ideas from other raw foodists and recipe books, but wouldn't it be nice if you who read Raw Odyssey registered at the Cafe and posted what you eat in the "what's on your menu" section (hint hint)? When I first went raw, boredom was the most depressing problem I faced, it seems. I would resolve that problem for a little while with my hummus and taboule sandwiches, then I'd get bored again. Lately I haven't been bored, but that's probably because Felicia has joined me on this journey and she has a lot more creativity than I do when it comes to creating meals. Without her, I'd be fishing through forums trying to find out what other people are eating. Which is a good idea for newbies to raw so c'mon to the Cafe and tell us what's on your menu! She needs ideas!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Felicia Makes Raw Lasagna

Felicia's lasagna was so good it inspired me to make this little video. Mmmmm!

For those who cannot view the video, here are some photos of Felicia's latest feat.

We had the lasagna with "garlic bread"- a slice of Ezekiel bread spread with freshly grated garlic and drizzled with a bit of olive oil (cold pressed, of course!)

Felicia took a few liberties with the recipe, as usual, making it her own. But to see the recipe that inspired her, take a look at this Flickr site by "tofu66"- you might be inspired yourself!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Clothes Pile is Getting Bigger!

The weight loss may be slow (I'm at 277) but today I went through my clothes to get rid of the ones that are too big. The pile may not be amazingly huge, but it's progress, I tell you! I now have five pairs of pants that are too big for me. Too bad I don't have five pairs of pants to replace them with- but I'm not going to jinx myself by complaining. Let all my clothes get too big! I'll find a way to deal with it somehow. :-)

Friday, May 26, 2006

A Minor Change to Raw Odyssey webpage

The tagboard has been a bit annoying because I could never figure out how to keep its presence from taking visitors straight to the tagboard rather than to the top of the blog, therefore I have FIRED IT! It's gone. However, its purpose was to allow people to talk to one another, and now the Raw Odyssey Cafe offers the same thing- only better. So goodbye Tagboard and hello to the Cafe.

See you there!

145 Days Raw!

I went to the Go Raw Cafe again, this time to their other location, which has a salad bar. I was very proud of myself for skipping the more caloric menu items and going for the simple salad instead. I didn't need anything other than a salad, really, because I had just had a slice of that pie Felicia made yesterday. (I liked the pie even better the second time around, maybe because the flavors had "married," as my dad, another natural chef, would say). Anyway, the salad bar presented me with a way to try new foods without having to pay for an entire container at the store. I therefore made it a point to try kimchee, a new kind of slaw, sprouted adzuki beans, seasoned grated beets, and two kinds of salad dressing, along with the normal lettuces, carrot and tomatoes.

First of all, kimchee? Wow! powerful stuff. There's a blast of flavor in a tiny bit of it. For those of you who don't know, kimchee (or kimchi) is made up of fermented chile peppers and cabbage (and/or other vegetables). It's a source of probiotics, which I'm trying to learn more about.

The sprouted beans, which include lentils and adzuki, were soft but crisp, a real surprise. They were not bitter as I had expected from past experience. I guess sprouting really does take some of the bitterness away.

The beets were- well, beety. I don't like beets and I always remember why after I taste them! But they are good for you and so I ate the little that I got. The seasoned beets were a bit better to my palate, but they were still beets.

The green salad dressings were interesting. I poured a little of each along the side of the plate instead of over the salad, just in case. Turns out I liked only one of them, to be honest. But I find I really don't need dressings on my salads anymore. Since going raw, a little cold pressed olive oil and some fresh squeezed lime make the perfect dressing- and sometimes I don't even bother with the olive oil.

The cabbage slaw was all right- maybe something Chef Felicia could try making at home and tweaking until it suits us. It would definitely be a welcome addition to our menu. I know that some veteran raw foodists say that over time your desire for raw restaurant fare diminishes, but for the newbie, raw restaurants offer a plethora of ideas for meals, and allows taste-testing so that you can decide what you want without wasting a lot of money. A new raw foodist lucky enough to have access to local raw restaurants and raw potlucks is a lucky raw foodist indeed.

This is a topic of interest to me, so I've put in a forum about it at the Raw Odyssey Cafe. If you haven't registered at the Cafe or even poked around there yet, please drop on by. If you also happen to know about probiotics, you are invited to share what you know and have experienced from them, good, bad or neutral. The exact link to the Probiotics section is Raw Odyssey Cafe --> Health & Nutrition --> Probiotics
If you are interested in registering, you will see the registration link below the probiotics topic.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

New Raw Food Resource for Las Vegas!

The Live Health Food Store
1591 N. Buffalo, Las Vegas

I'm so happy to find a new resource for raw foodists (and for anyone else wanting to eat healthfully) in Las Vegas. The Live Health Food Store is located in a nice, clean, bright storefront where the owner, Maxine, will be offering both one-on-one and group support for people new to eating raw. She will also have exercise classes!

I happened upon the store quite accidentally and am so glad I found it. There are fast food and junk food spots all across the landscape, so we need as many health-related places as possible. The more, the merrier!

I wish Maxine the best of luck and I urge Las Vegans to support this new business and to spread the word that this store is out there.

And when you drop by, tell Maxine that Allison sent you!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Felicia's Raw Coconut-Cacao Pie

Felicia's Raw Coconut-Cacao Pie
Originally uploaded by rawallison.

She did it again. She concocted a decadent, raw treat that looks as good as it tastes. Since going raw I no longer have much of a sweet tooth, but I could still appreciate this dessert! A little goes a long way because it is rich, and is high in natural fats - she used some coconut oil as well as nuts for the crust and coconut meat in the filling. Cacao nibs (you can see them crushed as a topping) are also high in fat. She needs to start selling or giving this stuff away because there aren't enough people in the house to eat all this goodness.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Put your hands up, ma'am, and back away from the cheese!

Green Grapes
Originally uploaded by rawallison.

Felicia and I visited a mall today and happened upon a bloodpressure machine , so we decided to check it out. I was VERY disappointed to see that my blood pressure was 134 over 83. This is the third time I've checked it since going raw and although it was GREAT the first time, it's been high the second and now the third time. What the heck? I'm not in school right now so it can't be stress. I'm thinking it's high sodium from the cheese and nuts. I told myself I was going to finish off the remainder of both packages and just not buy any more, but maybe I should just stop right now. I also don't drink enough water and that could be part of the problem. It also could be that a lifetime of poor eating habits have finally caught up to me. We do have a family history of high blood pressure, so... Well, it is a wakeup call.

The reason we went to the mall was so that Felicia could try on clothes since losing weight on raw. She is down from her pre-raw size of 14/16 to a 12 (and sometimes 10!) now. Whoopeee! I didn't look for clothes myself- I don't get any jollies from trying on clothes. We did stop by a couple of plus-size stores, however, which made me decidedly un-jolly.

Have I mentioned that I played racquetball a couple of days ago? I did! For about 40 minutes. BOY am I out of shape. I was wheezing until midnight, too. A doctor told me that I might have asthma and offered me an inhaler, which I refused. But I can really see that exercise induced my wheezing and coughing. Very annoying, but not enough to stop me from playing racquetball again. Oh, I can't wait to get this extra weight off! I just can't stand being this large anymore.

Some people have joined the Raw Odysssey Cafe at Welcome to all of you! I hope many more come by and drop a line or two. Tell us about yourself, your experience with - or simply curiosity about- eating raw!

Ok, gotta go. I'm sure being up at 2 a.m. is bad for my blood pressure! :-) Hmmm... Let me try this out... Honey, you know I can't take out the trash. I've got high blood pressure! Vacuum? With this blood pressure? What do you mean, do the laundry? My blood pressure is acting up, you know that! Heh- I shouldn't make light of high blood pressure, as for some people it's a very serious illness. I really have been lucky all my life not to have suffered more serious problems from my eating habits. I hope that eating raw really can turn things around for me. I just have to be patient and not expect it all to happen in a few short months, I guess.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Book Inspiration, and a New Forum

Yesterday I read a book that validates my personal odyssey to raw health. This book, by Matthew Monarch, is called Raw Spirit. What I like about Monarch is that he speaks to what I believe to be true about my journey; that it is a personal one, that there is no "one size fits all" method for transitioning to raw, or any particular "percentage" raw that one has to be. I believe that we can all learn from each other about the process of going raw and staying raw, but I get very annoyed when I come across people who are preachy about how their way is "the right way" and all other ways are wrong. My philosophy is that the Right Way is the way that keeps you healthy and happy.

In my own journey to raw health, I've had a few missteps: eating too much of one type of food until I get bored to tears, eating raw cheddar and finding that it brought back my old cravings and desire to binge, believing there is one raw guru I should follow. Monarch addresses these issues with some personal stories of his own missteps. He came to the conclusion that one should not follow one particular person's teachings- something I'd whole-heartedly come to believe myself. There are little bons mots to be found among the teachings of all sorts of raw food advocates; over time we find what works for us and reject what doesn't- maybe permanently, or maybe until a later date when we are ready to try what didn't fit us before. For example, I am against colonics because they are unnatural, yet I can understand how some raw foodists believe that our unnatural, modern lifestyle calls for such unnatural therapies. So even though I wouldn't have one myself, I wouldn't preach to others not to do them or to do them- you have to research the topic thoroughly and make an educated decision for yourself.

I recommend Monarch's book for new raw foodists because it is open-minded, easy to read, and reassuring to those of us who tend to forge out on our own like the Fool in the Tarot deck. It was only $12.95 and is a quick read. I'll keep it around to bring myself back down to earth if I start to get too rigid about any one aspect of my raw food odyssey!

Now to introduce a project I've been nervously working on over the past few weeks:

The Raw Odyssey Café was inspired by the comments that I get on both of my mirror sites of Raw Odyssey. So many people leave great comments, tips and tricks, recipe ideas, etc. but because I have two sites you don't get to read what each other has written. I like the idea of people talking to each other because what I learn from you is useful to others as well. Plus, I like the idea of community- that, to me, is the true spirit and purpose of the internet. (Must be the sociologist in me).

The idea behind the Café is that we can talk about all the sorts of topics that come up on a journey to raw health- good and the bad, because both exist! Why pretend they don't? We can work through problems and challenges by asking questions, offering ideas, and talking about what worked for us personally. The board is a family-friendly, non-threatening place to talk about the doubts, confusion and fears we might have, as well as the great stuff like improved health, weight loss, control over cravings, better skin, mental alertness, etc.

The Raw Odyssey Café takes advantage of a free message board service, so I can't control all aspects of it. I noticed a few times during heavy traffic periods that the board can't accept connections for a few minutes. If that becomes too huge a problem I might have to try another location, but when you're poor and using a free service, you can't complain too much!

I'm not going for a blockbuster, wildly popular board- just a fun, informative place for Raw Odyssey readers to commune, debate, discuss, inform, support and celebrate! If the board is successful in its modest goals, it will evolve over time to adjust to needs. Right now there are a handful of posts in different sections to get things started but YOU- raw foodists and raw-curious- are what make a message board, so come join the party at

See you there.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Trying to Motivate Myself

Fairleigh Dickinson University
Originally uploaded by rawallison.

When I was a kid I remember my dad getting his college degree and how proud I was of him. The memory of his hard work is one of my motivations to finish my Ph.D. He gave me a sweatshirt (pictured above) that I've never let go of. Of course it was too big for me back then, but then suddenly I was way too big for it, having become overweight by age 12. I always told myself I would fit into it one day.

I did fit into one day, when I was about 36. And I do mean "one day", because it took about five minutes for me to start regaining the 190 lbs I had taken three years to lose. I was devastated, and since regaining the weight I've had a hard time imagining myself in that sweatshirt again, or fitting into smaller clothes at all. I had really let myself down, and believed I had let my family down as well. I didn't trust myself anymore.

But now that I'm eating raw, I truly believe that losing weight permanently is a possibility for the first time. The types of foods I eat now are easier to control; so few of them are addictive to me and I can pinpoint the one or two things that I need to be wary of- raw milk cheese and nuts that I put salt on (fat and salt!) - and decide without too much fanfare to give them up completely or to greatly lessen the amounts I consume.

On my Standard American (weight-loss) Diets 90% of what I ate was addictive- the carbs in my frozen meals, the sugars in the "lite" desserts, the chemicals in my favorite pops, the salt and fat in the "lite" snacks. How could I regulate my weight-loss efforts when I was feeding addictions at the same time? I'm so glad that now I can see that the types of foods I was consuming were the cause of my eating problems, not greed, laziness or any of the labels people slap onto us overweight people.

Raw food takes away most of my obsession with food. Not all of it, though, because years ago the obsession with food and eating became a mindset that is hard to get rid of in just 4 monhts. But I have a lot more mental "freedom" since going raw because I'm not obsessing over my next meal or trying to see if I can "fit" such and such a thing into my menu today the way I use to. I still have to learn to eat when I'm hungry and not out of boredom, but the boredom issue is not about food, it's about getting up the courage to get out of the house and DO things without caring about the fact that I'm still overweight. That's a whole separate issue to work on!

Sometimes I feel a bit depressed that I have over 100 lbs to lose, but that is tempered by the fact that I've lost over 60 lbs already and am healthier than I used to be- and getting better all the time! So one day - next year, I'm sure- I will fit into that Fairleigh Dickinson sweatshirt for a third time. (Maybe I'll even buy a modern one to go along with it.) :-)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Changes are in store....

Laguiole raw milk cheese
Originally uploaded by rawallison.

Today I had a little treat at the Go Raw Cafe in Las Vegas and learned a bit more about a raw diet from one of the staff there. In her opinion, I shouldn't be eating cheese at all, raw or not, I should be drinking a heck of a lot more water, and drinking more green smoothies. She says that she eats nuts only about once a week (I was eating them daily), and stays away from tofu because it's processed. She eats her largest meal during the hottest part of the day, and has a relatively small breakfast and dinner. She advocates eating an 80/20 raw/cooked food plan.

It was great to get some perspective talking to her. It's easy for me to get myopic when I don't hear from other people about what they are doing. I know that what other people do won't always be suitable for me, but I like the opportunity to compare what I do to what other successful "veterans" of raw foodism are doing to see if something they are doing might be worth trying. Talking with her helped me to solidify my plan to quit eating cheese for a while. I think I will also adopt her habit of eating my largest meal duirng the hottest part of the day (when, she says, the body's metabolism is the highest). I like her 80/20 plan as well, although I don't plan to consciously add more cooked food to my diet- I like where I am now and want to stick with "high raw" until I get to my weight goal.

The bottom line for me is that there are a variety of ways to eat raw, and no one way is right for everyone. I'm quite sure that on my raw odyssey, I'll try different ways of eating raw and will find some to be preferable to others.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Time to cut out the cheese?

For the past three days I've really been eating more than usual. I'm not sure why. I am paying more attention to what I'm eating as a result. I like the fact that if I eat a lot of raw food, I can easily avoid eating excess fat. Of course that means reducing my intake of avocados and nuts, as well as the raw milk cheeses. I'm thinking of getting rid of the cheese altogether, since dairy isn't really "natural"- maybe I'll have even more improvements to my health by cutting it out. I still want to try tofu, though, even though that isn't any more natural than cheese. I had a few pieces at a salad bar the other day and it wasn't too bad. I've had tofu before, but I always thought of it as "diet food" for losing weight. Now I'm thinking of it as a source of protein and something to replace the cheese with.

I got a little excercise walking around town today. It was very hot- around 100 degrees. Very hot weather often tires me out, so I try to imagine my body burning extra calories trying to stay cool (I've read that this is what happens). If hot weather causes me to burn additional calories, then I should be motivated to get out a little each day even when it's 100 degrees, as long as I have my water and don't overexert myself. Still haven't made it to the gym even though I have a free pass. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Time for a New Summer Routine!

Originally uploaded by rawallison.

YAAAAAAAY!! I am FINISHED with the semester! I'm so happy I don't know what to do with myself. I'm gonna get as much rest as I can, that's for sure.

I made a little change to my diet today- I've been eating cashews and pecans like they are going out of style. Although I haven't gained any weight, I believe I've been overdoing it, so I'm cutting way down. I like the protein I get from cashews, but I don't like having a lot of high-fat days in a row.

I know I should make another change now that I'm on vacation: I should start getting exercise somehow. Between now and the Fall semester, I could put a serious dent in this excess weight AND get in better shape. I guess that will be my new goal for the summer. I'm not very psyched about working out, but I know it needs to get started. I think that living in the Southwest puts a damper in my enthusiasm for exercising because its so hot, but I'll have to get over that. Sigh....

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I've Reached Another Weight Loss Milestone!

I'm thrilled to be just about done with the semester! There are many students who will not see me between now and the end of August, so I hope to be very noticeably smaller to them when the Fall semester begins. I am well on my way- I am now in the 270's! I tried on a pair of beige pants that I couldn't get past my hips about a month ago and I could fasten them today! I can't say they fit comfortably yet, but I should be able to wear them outside in another month.

Being a poor college student, I worry about clothes. I just went on a job interview and was surprised at the looseness of my only decent black pants. Losing weight is great, but not having smaller clothes to wear on the way down is frustrating. When I get a job, I will have to buy office attire because these casual, baggy clothes I have simply will not do! I hope I can find decent work clothes in my size at thrift stores.

"Denise" sent a recipe for greens. I thought I would print it in the blog rather than leaving it in the comments area. I think Felicia is going to try making this recipe. She said it sounds like the southern cooking she grew up with (I'm a northern girl - we never ate greens in my family).

"Wash and cut [the greens]...add oil then seasonings....3 bunches of collards, olive and flax oil to coat, 1tbs garlic powder (I used some fresh garlic as well) 1 tbs onion powder,1tbs chili powder,1bs cajun seasoning,1tbs lemon juice,1/2 tbs cayenne, nam shoya to taste...let marinate two days, tossing each day!! it's great served with chopped tomato and some red onion...let me know how u like it"

Thank you, Denise!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

It's Pizza Party Time Again

Originally uploaded by rawallison.

Now that the end of the semester is approaching, people are bringing food to class and taking classes out to bars! One of my classes was held at a bar just last week, a treat from the professor. Everyone ate nachos loaded with meat and cheese, and barbecued chicken wings and drank beers and mixed drinks... And last week someone brought homemade treats to another class. Today there were two huge boxes of pizza and some homemade brownies with caramel/coconut frosting. Most of my fellow & sister classmates know I eat raw so they kinda chuckle as I sit there eating nothing. Today I joked, "someday somebody'll bring in a big 'ol bowl of fruit salad!" and the guy next to me stopped eating, saying he felt guilty! haha! (He ate his pizza, though).

I really don't feel left out when people eat like that, though. I don't expect them to bring me food I can eat, either. Eating raw is a choice- MY choice- and I'm very happy with it. Despite the hair thing.

Speaking of hair, I've been wearing a wig and/or a hat for the past month. I've gotten used to it, but it doesn't make me happy since it's still falling out gradually. The thinning is along the front of my hairline from ear to ear, if that's a good way to describe it. The rest of my hair is very thick, although I've been obsessively checking it because I'm starting to get paranoid!

Well, my postings have been every-other-day or so because it's finals week and I've been working on projects for the past couple of weeks. Later next week I'll be back to my regular daily posting schedule if all goes as planned. Due to being too busy to take new photos, I've recycled one of my favorite raw food images- the pomegranate.

I wish good luck to all of you students who have just done finals or will be doing them soon!! Can't wait 'til summer vacation!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

I Learn Something New Every Day

Swiss Chard
Originally uploaded by rawallison.

Today I learned that cashews are a complete protein. Maybe I re-learned it, I don't know. What annoys me is that I also learned that it's possible that all raw cashews out there are not really raw; that they are heated. How annoying! Actually, maybe I've read that before, too. I read so many conflicting things that I start to get confused about what's available to a raw foodist. All I know is that no cashew is going into the trash- I will eat them until they are gone!

I learned something else this week. Don't store fresh leafy greens on your counter top in a plastic container covered with plastic wrap. Unless you like fluffy white mold on your salad, that is. All those greens, wasted! Swiss Chard, green chard, red chard, dandelion greens and oval basil alllllll gone. Generally I put all my greens in the fridge, but we thought we'd try something different this time. Guess we won't be doing THAT again!

Today I had a big salad that kept me full from about 11 a.m. to 6 pm. Later in the evening I had three smaller meals: a miniature salad wrap in an Ezekiel tortilla, a snack of nuts with sea salt, and some watermelon. Took my vitamins, too.

I feel good about what I've been eating lately, although I'm sure that's mainly because I'm losing weight again. If I were still on a plateau I'd be blaming my meals, I'm sure. I really need to pay attention to why and how I lose weight so I don't change my diet every time I hit plateau if that's not necessary.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

It's So Nice to be Losing Weight Again

Garlic Bulb
Originally uploaded by rawallison.

I did not weigh myself this morning because I didn't want to be too obsessed now that I'm losing weight again. But it's sooooo nice to be approach the 270s! My parents are planning to visit me this fall, and it's possible that I could lose at least 100 lbs since they last saw me (I moved southwest for college last fall).

Lately I've been eating a lot of salads- I really enjoy eating whole fruits and vegetables lately. We found tomatoes, avocados and fresh corn on the cob on sale and stocked up. We froze a lot of the corn, but we'll have to use the tomatoes and avocados before they go bad. I don't know if balsamic vinegar is truly "raw" but I've used a little on some of my salads for a little kick.

The photo above shows one of my very favorite "substances"- garlic! My salads don't seem complete without it. I use one huge clove per salad. I had abstained from garlic for awhile because Felicia told me she could smell it on me, but that doesn't seem to be a problem any longer, thank goodness. We both use tons of garlic now.

Between studies I have been thinking of ways to enhance Raw Odyssey. Once the semester is over, I hope to be able to launch some "augmentations" to the site. I can't wait until all the final exams and course projects are done!!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Nothing Better than Watermelon on a Hot Day

Originally uploaded by rawallison.

Watermelon is one of those fruits that you might think you can eat all you want of, but it does have calories. I swear I can eat half a watermelon (4 to 5 lbs) easily in a day- well, if that were all I ate. That's almost 700 calories! A whole watermelon would be a day's worth of calories for the average "dieting" woman.

My cravng for ikura maki has subsided some, probably because I can't afford it right now. Drage was kind enough to send a comment with a link to VegWeb's ( recipe for sushi. I actually have made raw sushi before, similarly to what is mentioned on the page, and it's not bad at all. It'll do while I deal with my ikura craving! Thank you for the link.

I weighed myself and found I am around 282! Wow. As a raw foodist I find I have more faith that I will continue to lose weight steadily (including plateaus!) and that I won't regain the weight after I reach my goal. I can't say I've ever trusted that feeling on any type of eating plan I've been on in the past because I fought cravings the whole way down the scale. (And I don't mean cravings like my "craving" for ikura maki. I mean cravings to stuff myself with salty, fatty and sugary foods until I literally couldn't fit anything else inside me). I really feel I can eat raw for life.

I've tried that "this is a lifestyle, not a diet" way of thinking before, but I was still fighting cravings and compulsive eating binges, so it was more of an affirmation than a belief. On raw foods, I don't feel that I have to overcome any eating disorders or cravings, so saying I can do this for life means something very different than it did before. Overall, losing weight by eating raw is such a different experience that I have to shed the old way of thinking altogether!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I'm Shrinking!

Asian Pear, originally uploaded by rawallison.

I've been noticing that although my weight loss has slowed, I'm still getting steadily, slowly, smaller. I've got a pair of black capris that are defintely getting loose, and a pair of black slacks that I would get rid of altogether if I could afford to because they are starting to hang on me. All of my shirts fit very comfortably now, some of them loosely.

I've been able to add three "new" items to my wardrobe. I say "new" because they are actually old, but I haven't been able to fit into them for about 4 years. Felicia bought me a pair of pants a month or so ago that I couldn't even pull up over my hips, but today I can almost fasten them. I'm anticipating fitting into them by the end of next month.

I'm also noticing that I'm not as comfortable with the car seat pushed all the way back when I drive now- the pedals seem almost too far away. In another month or two I'll probably have to push the seat up a notch.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tried New Greens Today

Originally uploaded by rawallison.
Felicia went out and bought a variety of greens, including opal basil, Swiss chard, and dandelion greens. We had them first in a green smoothie, which she made with all of the greens plus watermelon and banana. The basil gave it a very interesting, subtle herbal undertone which was very welcome because it helped to overcome the "green" taste. The fruit also helped by overcoming the bitterness. Overall, very tasty. Unfortunately, says that I did not get my complete protein from this smoothie. Romaine lettuce still holds the lead for protein content amongst the greens I've tried in my smoothies.

For dinner I made a salad with the same greens so I could really taste them. Whew- talk about BITTER! But my palate has really "matured" in the past three months of eating raw. Foods that I would have spit out last year I can now tolerate, including bitter greens. When I first started eating raw I got queasy the day I ate cauliflower - all I could taste was extreme bitterness. I haven't touched it since, but I might get up the nerve to try it again now.

Dru from We Like It Raw (who was kind enough to inform people about the Raw Odyssey post regarding Felicia's experience with gastric bypss and raw foods) advised me that he's known women who've had the same experience as I have: they initially lost hair upon going raw, but then their hair grew back more luxuriously and with more strength. I hope that happens to me! Please please please let that be my fate, Hair Goddesses!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

More Raw Improvements!

Flower - orchid
Originally uploaded by rawallison.
I've noticed recently that the skin on my face continues to get smoother as time goes on- a great result of eating raw. But I also noticed that the toenails on my left foot have normal coloring now! That wasn't something I ever imagined would happen because I've had terrible toenails for so long- several of them are dark-colored and very thick, as if they have some kind of fungus. The nails are still thick, but on my left foot the nails now have a healthy coloring. I'm also noticing that my fingernails don't break as easily as they did last year. Such great news! I look forward to future positive changes.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May 1st, 2006: Beginning My 5th Month Raw

Four months living a raw lifestyle has really gone by quickly! I can still remember individual weeks - the week I discovered the local raw restaurant, the week I first tried nut burgers, the week I used enoki mushrooms in my sushi, the week I felt sick after eating raw cauliflower, the week I realized my hair was really falling out and it wasn't my imagination (that was a bad week)... Eventually there will be too many weeks to remember individually; eating raw will not seem as new as it still does. The fact that I'm still learning new things keeps raw feeling new to me. Taking new vitamins, shifting my menu around to emphasize different food groups, eating a variety of fruits and vegetables as they come into season- all of this keeps raw new for me.

I don't think that eating raw will ever feel "old" in a bad way, though. When I no longer feel raw is new to me, it'll probably be because I am comfortable with the lifestyle changes I've made and will feel that eating raw is second nature. Maybe when eating raw is truly part of my consciousness instead of being this new lifestsyle I'm trying, I'll find that I eat a limited number of foods- a wide variety of types of foods, but limited in that I won't need to try every nut, seed, fruit and vegetable out there. I also envision that I'll be eating less of the dehydrated stuff and more foods in their natural state or perhaps blended or juiced occasionally.

You know what I crave these days? SUSHI! It's a real craving because I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I might give in and have some ikura maki. That's the sushi made with raw fish eggs - salmon roe to be specific. Sort of like Japanese caviar. I don't think it's rice I'm craving, since I've had ikura maki with no rice. I wonder what it is about sushi that I'm craving? The salt? I get salt in my diet so I doubt it's that. Could there be some nutrient in sushi that my body is missing? I don't know when or if I'll actually eat some, but I'm thinking about it!



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