Sunday, December 30, 2007

Preparing for Raw in 2008

Recently I have been hanging out at Give It To Me Raw, a new social network that all of you who are interested in raw health should check out. It's chock full of positive energy and wisdom, and it has been an uplifting experience for me to post there. I've had a lot of fun there sharing my experiences, getting to know people, and reading responses to my posts and questions. I recently posted about my plans for 2008:

It's been so wonderful reading all of the stories and comments people have been posting at GITMR. This community is very open-minded and welcoming, which is a blessing. My raw odyssey has been an interesting one, but thanks to the internet, it doesn't feel so strange anymore, as I see that many people have jumped on and off the raw wagon, tried different percentages of raw vs. cooked foods, and tested various permutations of a raw diet. I think most of us have concluded that there is no one raw diet for an entire population of people, and that finding the right version is a personal journey.

My own journey began as 100% raw in January of 2006, and progressed to partially raw,then totally SAD, vegetarian, SAD again... and now I'm ready to get back to eating 100% raw. I've pretty much proved to myself that, for me, an unhealthy diet leads to the following things, either directly or indirectly:

1) Poor complexion (rough, dark patches on my cheeks, acne)
2) Digestion problems (noisy stomach, diarrhea, constipation)
3) Low energy, tiredness
4) Depression
5) Poorer quality of sleep
6) Difficulty focusing and concentrating
7) Back pain
8) Dry, scaly skin
9) Severe cravings for sugary/salty foods, binge eating
10) Increased appetite
11) Rapid weight gain
12) Edema (water retention)
I'm very excited about taking what I've learned in 2006 and 2007 from both my raw diet and my doctor visits, and applying it to my 2008 version of raw. This time I plan to do 5 simple things to rid myself of the above problems:

1) Eat a low carb version of raw
2) Drink green smoothies (daily, when possible)
3) Approach 100% raw, 100% whole foods
4) Don't be hard on myself if I occasionally wander off the path- just find my way back!
5) Monitor my health with my doctor throughout the year

I wish everyone success with your own versions of eating raw, and hope to learn from you throughout the year. Maybe I'll even meet some of you in person!

For those who haven't been to, drop by!! I think you'll like it.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Oh This BLAH Feeling. It Sucks!

I've been feeling very blah over the past month. I think it has much to do with my crappy diet and not so much to do with stopping the thyroid medication, even though I did feel a little mood uplift when I was taking it for that short amount of time. When I feel this way, I just want to stay in bed all day. I find it hard to concentrate on anything, and cannot motivate myself to start projects. The longer I feel this way, the more anxious I get because I can see myself wasting all sorts of time and not living my life. Through some kind of force of will I will get myself back to a mostly raw diet, knowing that this feeling will lift and my energy will come back.

I'm very good at not "acting depressed," as I hate to attract attention to myself in that way. In truth, I'd rather be invisible during times like this. But I was proud of myself for attending two holiday events this month rather than hiding out at home: I attended a holiday party thrown by my academic department at the university, and I attended a fancier event sponsored by my firm. I dressed up for the second event and did not wear a scarf or hair band to cover the thinner part of my hair- instead, I carefully styled it. I was nervous, but with my stress over my hair loss I've probably developed body dysmorphic disorder and am no longer any judge of my own appearance!

When I'm hit with this blah feeling, I often start reading self-help articles and looking for books about motivation, life purpose, ending procrastination and all that stuff. Deep down, though, I know that all that reading just gives me something to do while I'm waiting out the blue period. I truly believe that my diet plays the biggest role in my mood and energy changes, so the big issue is how to keep myself from falling off the raw wagon in the first place so I don't keep going through this "depression." After all, it's not like someone points a gun at me and makes me eat junk.

The silver lining in this cloud is that I have such a positive feeling about raw and whole foods and have a history of feeling great while I eat raw. A "diet" always seems like punishment, but even though eating raw has the same healthy benefits of a "diet," raw living is a treat for me. It's a different treat from the comfort foods I grew up eating, though, and those old, unhealthy comfort foods have not lost their draw for me. Maybe they never will. Ugh, what a thought!

Thank you for the informative comments you've been sending- I do make a note of them as well as publish them for others' benefit. The raw community is full of positive, informative people who share encouragement and advice. For those of you who are not aware, a new one has cropped up. Maybe I'll see you there?



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