28-Day Summary

Well it’s been 28 days of raw food. I wish I could say it’s been 28 days of only raw food but I can’t. Which means I still haven’t accomplished my goal of a 30-day raw experiment. The good news, however, is that I’m really excited to keep on eating raw food and to really do the 30-day trial. I’m starting March 1st, 2012. I’ll try not to do too much damage in the day off between trials!

What I’ve noticed so far:  I feel better and I sleep better. My skin looks better and I can run farther than before. I am a little more flexible and don’t walk like an old lady from bed to bathroom in the mornings. I haven't lost my taste for sugar completely although I tend to really enjoy the veggies now. I lost a few pounds (around 4 over all because I put on a couple the last week when I got off track). I had planned on losing much more than that but if I’m honest with myself, it’s actually a miracle I didn’t gain any weight. I ate A LOT of food. I ate when I wasn’t hungry. I ate more than April made for me to eat. I ate extra raw and non raw foods that I wanted at the time. (Food cravings and/or emotion eating. ) I ate everything April brought because it was tasty or healthy and because I can’t waste food! The kids were not fighting over who got to drink the blue green algae juice so that left me.
I had a week or so where I had some detoxing symptoms and felt pretty crummy. I didn’t work out on those days. When I did feel fine I tended to ease up on my workouts as well because I was still in the cleansing phase and didn’t want to slow down my detox by working too hard. I can really come up with some great excuses for not working out, can’t I?

Now that I feel like I’m pretty much detoxed I would like to step up my workouts and see what I can do. No more wimping out- I mean backing off during detoxing-it’s time to go all out. I want to be able to run and not be weary. I want to hike like a mountain goat and to swim like a fish. I’ve been wondering about the whole aging athlete thing. I’m not an athlete at the moment (not even close) but I used to be. I’ve been walking and hiking and running to prepare for some races but I’m feeling the urge to return to the water.

I was a swimmer in college and I’ve been really curious lately. I wonder if it’s possible to compensate for an antique body. Can a really clean diet and hard work make up for the extra years? Is it even possible to have the same focus I had in college now that I have kids, dogs, house and husband to worry about? How close can I get to my college swimming times? I’m the same height and only 25 pounds heavier! If I lose the weight and eat better than I did in college, how fast can I swim? Will a raw vegan diet help or hinder performance? What about the internal engine? Can I get my resting heart rate, my cholesterol and my blood pressure back to college athlete levels? When do you get to the athletic point of no return? I’m going to find out. As of March 1st I’m officially in training. No more ice-cream! (Especially when I've had sooooo much ice cream that it starts growing out of the top of my head.)



I’m nearly two weeks into this raw food experiment and I’m feeling pretty hopeful. This is the longest I’ve ever gone without eating a significant amount of sugar each and every day. I went to the grocery store this afternoon. I was in a bit of a hurry because Makai was at home with a big headache (too much brown sugar in his Grape Nuts) and we were out of ibuprofen. It wasn’t until I got back into my car that I realized that something was different.
Walking through the bakery section before was stressful. I would peruse the isles and force myself to look at the whole wheat bread for as long as I had stared, longingly, at all the goodies. The cupcake devil and the broccoli angel debated loudly and continuously in my head until I wanted to put them both in a time out. But I would keep on walking, pushing the cart, acting as though there was no internal struggle going on. Who me? Pondering the consequences of a donut as though it was the answer to world peace? Naaaaah. I’m just an average joe grocery shopper, thank you very much. In reality, I was a die hard sugar junkie pretending to be something else. 

It used to be that I would hear my name being called out by my old buddy Bismark. Then the french bread, cookies and cupcakes would chime right in with a veritable symphony of temptation. Even after leaving the bakery section I could still hear their little high-pitched voices following me around the store. “I’m fresh baked. Just one bite won’t hurt you. I’ll get you a sugar rush in no time flat. I’m cheaper than spinach. You can eat me in the car on the way home like usual. I have cream filling and chocolate on top, oozing down the sides.” The voices know I love most things ooey and goey. And they are relentless. The farther away I walk from said bakery section the more insistent they would get so that I can’t even concentrate on ready labels or comparing prices. 
So as I sat in the car today on the way home from the grocery store I realized that no one was talking to me that day. In fact, I don’t think I even went near the bakery section. Wow. I have no illusions of being cured. I do understand that just one or two days of partaking will land me right back where I started: running from the bakery section, drool on chin, hands cupped over my ears and begging the unseen voices to PLEASE stop beckoning me.
But today, after eating mostly raw for two weeks, the voices have been silenced. And that, my friends, is what I call freedom.  
Friday  2/10  Day 10  148 pounds   Down .8 pounds
8 am Green smoothie
11 am  blueberry granola
12 pm salad with sunflower seeds, nuts and veggies
1:00 pm strawberry, banana cashew shake (extra sweet treat I made)
6:30  Salmon patties with "hollandaise" sauce and asparagus
I walked an easy two miles with the dogs in the morning then I did the 3-mile Smith Loop trail in the afternoon. I jogged about half of it
Saturday 2/11 Day 11  147 pounds down 1 pound
8:30 am green smoothie
10:30 am carrot cake
1:00 energy soup (blended veggies and sprouts-not so tasty)
3:00 chocolate nut peach parfait (raw but my own doing, not from April)
6:00 purple cabbage with taco type filling
8:00 vanilla avocado shake (this was good but after I threw it in the blender with a half a banana and some ice and it was REALLY good.)
I did the loop today, about half walking and half jogging. I’m starting to think I could be a runner some day.
Sunday 2/12 Day 12  147 pounds  no change
8:00 am green smoothie
12:30 pm cabbage taco and chocolate peach parfait
1:30 pm miso shiitake soup (I loved this-I thought I was in a Japanese restaurant. I’ve gotta get the recipe)
6:00 pm spinach salad with flax seed crackers and Italian pate
8:00 Kale chips
I did an easy two mile walk with the dogs this afternoon.
Monday Day 13  146 pounds down one pound from yesterday
From now on I will report weight weekly instead of daily because I don’t want to feel like this is mostly about weight loss. It’s not. Weight loss just happens to be a very happy consequence of this raw food cleanse. I didn’t work out today because it was rainy and yucky outside and because I just didn’t feel like it. Now there’s the attitude of an elite athlete in training! I have felt extra tired yesterday and today. I’ll blame it on the detoxing and call it good.  
8:30 am green smoothie
10:00 am veggie wrap
1:00 pm minestrone soup
3:00 pm kale chips
6:30  pm polenta with mushroom ragout (another really tasty dish)
8:00 pm chocolate avocado pudding -another dessert I made myself. It was raw but I really need to stop adding on or April will wonder how I actually gained weight while cleansing!


Cross Your Fingers


I’m doing much better now. Two all raw days under my increasingly loose belt. Let’s just hope I’m on a roll! I talk as though I am not completely in control of what I put in my mouth. In all honesty, sometimes I’m not. Well, okay, often times I’m not. I’ll go as far as ‘mostly’ but that’s it. I really hate the word ‘never’. But all that nonsense is going to change now. After years of aborted attempts  (usually by 10 am on day 1) I think I'm actually going to finish a healthy diet experiment. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Wed Day 8  150 pounds (I feel like my body is attached to this weight with a bungie cord that takes me right back there with any diet infraction. No matter how good I’ve been beforehand. I defy calorie physics!!)
9:30am Green smoothie
11 am Guacamole and veggie sticks
1:00 pm salad with sunflower seeds
3:00 Raw cashew ice-cream (big bowl) with fresh strawberries and raw chocolate sauce. This is not part of April’s detox program but I had some in my freezer and hey, it’s better than going to Cold Stone.
8 pm Curried vegetables with seed crackers
I walked two miles in the morning and I swam 45 minutes in the evening. I’m starting to feel better.
Thursday Day 9   148.8  pounds   Down one and a half pounds
8:30 am Green smoothie-now it’s only 50 percent fruit and a shot of wheatgrass thrown in for good measure. More ‘getting used to’ required here. But soooo good for me! 
10:00 am Sauerkraut and seed crackers
12:00 pm Veggie soup and a collard wrap filled with sauce and veggies
2:00 pm  Kale chips and a cherry malt (these were supposed to be tomorrow’s snacks but I really couldn’t resist. I LOVE the kale chips and I just sampled the cherry shake to see if I liked it. You can probably figure out that it passed my inspection. Tomorrow’s snack time will be a sad, sad time, indeed.
4:00 pm Black sesame slaw with ginger dressing
8:00 pm Salad with avocado dressing, sprouts and sunflower seeds and carrot crackers
I rode the exercise bike for about 45 minutes tonight. I thought I was working out pretty hard but I kept getting involved in the TV show and forgetting to pedal soooo, not really sure if that constitutes a workout. Don’t you just love the exercise equipment with the built-in TVs? When is someone going to attach a TV to my vacuum cleaner? Oh, wait. I never vacuum so that won't do me much good.  I don’t have TV at my house so there’s some extra incentive to workout for me. If I can just remember to keep pedaling. 


Days Four Through Seven

 This is the part I really don't enjoy. Having to be accountable when it's not good news.

Saturday: I ate a small order of pretzel bites at the mall and ate some zingers from the gas station during a late night return home from out of town trip. They didn't even taste good. (The sugar kept me awake while driving.)

Sun: I ate all raw goodness from April’s kitchen. The chocolate mango parfait was soooo delish I made happy noises while eating it. It was a perfect day until 7pm. Then, I made blueberry muffins for the family and had a few in a late night lack of self control. It’s hard having homemade goodies around.
Monday and Tuesday spiraled down hill fast on the blueberry muffin slope. I threw in some pizza, ice cream, cake and cookies for good measure. I’m feeling very frustrated and discouraged. (Not to mention nauseous.) I was doing so well, so what happened??!! I think I need to regroup. I’ve been slacking off and haven’t done what it takes to succeed. I need to plan, to be careful, to remind myself of my goals and to ask for help. Daily. Hourly, actually.

Tomorrow is the first day of week two. It feels like a quantum leap from knowing what I should do to actually doing it. But I think I’m ready to take that leap.


One Tough Mudder

I was facebook snooping last year and came across Monique, who was my friend and neighbor when I lived in California. She looked exactly the same as the last time I saw her 16 years ago-  beautiful and happy. She has lots of fun pictures and lots of crazy adventure ones as well. Like the action shots of her participating in a Tough Mudder event. She said it was really fun!  Ten to Twelve miles with 25 tough, military-style obstacles that involve heights, mud, tunnels, mud, freezing cold water, mud, electric and barbed wire, mud and hills. That does sound fun in a crazy, someone-dropped-you-on-your-head-when-you-were-a-baby type of fun. Thanks mom, for dropping me and SIGN ME UP!!! When I told Monique that I wanted to play, she mentioned that her team (The Good, The Bad, and The Muddy) was already signed up for the So Cal Tough Mudder on Feb 25 and that I could join them. I got sooooooooo excited. For about 10 seconds. Then I reminded myself: you’re not in shape, you’re packing a few extra pounds(“few” is a relative term) and you’ll still be doing the raw food cleanse on that date. So I will sit this one out and live vicariously through the facebook photos. This time around. One day I will do that race because I know, deep down inside, that under all my layers of jiggly, slothful, undisciplined apathy I AM A TOUGH MUDDER. I can do that race.


I remember doing the 50 K Hong Kong Green Power Hike years ago. Brandon has done  races his entire life of all distances but at that point I was a confirmed sprinter. At BYU I was on the swim team and my best event lasted all of 23 seconds on a good day. I didn’t think I could finish the hike but wanted to try. Hubby kindly stayed with me that first race and even carried my water bottles. Before you think he is a supportive saint let me clarify. He carried my water bottles so that after I got a drink he could “convince” me to pick up the pace and jog by running slightly ahead of me while I tried to replace the bottle in his back back. I’d get close and he would pick up the pace. This would go on for what seemed like eternity until I either caught up with him or cussed loudly and threw the bottle towards his head. 

I did end up jogging a little, but mostly hiked and walked- trying prudently to make sure I had some energy for the end. On some of the steep climbs I could be heard muttering under my breath: “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...”  The last couple miles were on a rocky mountain trail in the dark. Brandon led with our only flashlight and I had to keep up if I wanted to see anything. It was another one of Hubby’s sneaky ways of getting me to move faster, but it worked. I ended up running like a crazy woman after the light, pumped up high as kite on adrenalin. I knew at any given moment I could break my ankle or take a fall that would keep on going. I guess that’s what they mean when people say they feel alive when taking risks.

We finished in 10 hours and I was amazed and euphoric while crossing the finish line. About 15 minutes later I was puking and feeling as though I had just given birth to a gorilla. I hobbled for about a week afterwards, crippled and seriously doubting my mental stability. But like most child birth experiences, I soon forgot the pain and planned to do it again.

Two years later I did. But this time I knew I could finish. I had actually given birth to a new me. This time I knew I could, I knew I could, I knew I could! I told Brandon he didn’t have to wait for me, that I wanted to see what I was capable of doing without a coach, a pacer and water pack mule at my side. I wanted him to do his own race and I still hadn’t forgotten about his sneaky water bottle and flashlight tricks.

There was lots of tedium and discomfort and pain involved in the race. Sometimes it was crowded and I was annoyed at having to wait for slow pokes on the trail or got  passed why someone who was just plain insensitive to my ego. Other times it was crowded and I relished the camaraderie of strangers/unknown friends doing something hard, together. We were laughing, encouraging and advising one another along the way. Sometimes I enjoyed moments of blissful solitude where I felt my heart would burst with happiness for no apparent reason. Sometimes I trudged along a steep part and wondered what the heck I had been thinking to sign up for this AGAIN. Other time I felt like an graceful animal, lightly bounding through the jungle over rocks and logs, hill and dale, without tiring, having tapped into some source of primal energy. I was alive with the realization that I was doing something I couldn’t actually do. I learned to fly down the hills by just letting go, leaning forward and then praying my body would keep up with my feet.

I didn’t set any records that day and it didn’t really matter if I finished in the top of my class. (I didn’t) When I crossed the finish line 8 hours later (I think it was actually 7 hours and 59 minutes which feels a lot better than 8 hours) I was exhausted but happy and I felt great knowing I had pushed myself beyond my limits. Hubby wasn’t at the finish line because he hadn’t expected me for at least another hour. But I found him shortly afterwards. And like the race before, 15 minutes later I was down on a blanket in the grass and only moving when I had to throw up. One kind medic abandoned his first aid station to take my vitals because of how great I looked. He advised our friends to take me to the hospital if I didn’t feel better soon. I didn’t go-mostly because the thought of one extra stop between me and my bed was unthinkable at that point- but I appreciated his concern.

Years later I had the realization that this race was a metaphor for my life. (I know I’m a little slow, be patient with me.) I had always known that my Heavenly Father helped me out quite a bit during that race. I had put my heart into it but my body had surprised me. I knew that I had done things I wasn’t in shape to do and that He had carried me throughout some of the harder stages when quitting would have been so easy. I was grateful afterwards but thought it was a little strange that He had been so helpful during a silly little, recreational activity that I had participated in mainly for bragging rights. I was grateful but knew that my performance in the race really meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. So why the help?

Then one day it hit me. The race is your life. There is lots of tedium, discomfort and pain involved. Sometimes you will be slowed down, hurt, or annoyed by those around you. Sometimes we will be a supportive comfort to each other in this journey. Sometimes when kids/spouse/jobs/unemployment feels like an endless steep climb you just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and you will eventually reach the summit. Sometimes strangers at an aid station offering a banana look like angels and sometimes you need to dress up like an angel for someone around you.

And often, quite often it feels like, you will need to do something you don’t feel capable of doing. You will surprise yourself what you can do. There is help. It usually comes in unnoticeable but crucial ways. It doesn’t usually come in  the form of a helicopter that will lift you off the mountain and give you a free ride to the summit. Trust me, the view is better if you climb the mountain first. So don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to offer help. We’re all in this together.
I am ONE TOUGH MUDDER. And so are you.

Thursday 2/2/12    Day Two     149 pounds (down 2)

9am- green smoothie (getting a little better)
10am- date, almond, coconut lemon bar (tasty)
12pm- Kale, avocado and veggie soup (looks like the breakfast sludge-tastes really healthy)
12:30 one piece of whole grain toast with butter and jam (unathorized but really tasty)
1:30 jicama and fennel salad (pretty good but not as good as the toast)
5:30 Thai Pad style zucchini and carrot noodles and seed crackers. (Loved, loved, loved the noodles)
9:00 The last 5 bites of chicken and brown rice soup that I fed to kiddos for dinner. I shouldn't have done it but I was cleaning the kitchen and I couldn't just throw it away and it was too little to put back in the fridge and it looked really good, and, and and. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

One year ago Asia (older daughter now 21) and I went to the Optimum Health Institute for a raw food cleanse. The place is wonderful/horrible depending on what part of the week you ask. We arrived on a Sunday morning and by Monday night I found Asia sobbing violently. I was alarmed and asked her what was wrong, fearing death of a family pet or boy problems.
"It's only day twooooooooooooooo" she wailed. The impact of that statement hit me and I starting sobbing myself. By the end of the week we felt transformed and the day two blues were all but forgotten. We can even laugh about it now.
I had a bit of the day two blues today. I wondered why I had thought this was a good idea. I felt sad at the loss of my comforting doughnuts and ice cream and chocolate. I was run down, ornery, tired and I had a killer headache most of the afternoon. I trudged on and tried not to complain TOO much.  I did appreciated the support I received.

Friday  2/3/12    Day 3    148 pounds (down 1)

I woke up feeling better than yesterday. I was also tickled pink to find my dough boy belly is shrinking!

9am green smoothie (down in one sitting)
10:30 almond and sunflower seed Spanish scramble
11:30 banana with raw peanut butter (not on April's cleanse but I was really hungry)

I'm going to go do the three mile Smith Circle with doggies right now. Then I will eat only what I've been given which is:

Lunch: Kale and sea veg salad with orange sesame dressing
Second snack: Blue bliss pudding:bananas, berries, cherries, and dates (good for my sweet tooth)
Dinner: Polenta with mushroom ragout with creamy corn and cashews.

Have a great weekend all you tough mudders!


A Little Help

Guess where I found myself today? Back at square one! It seems that 1-23-12 wasn’t really the start of my 30-day raw feast experiment after all.  I will spare you all the excuses, just trust me when I tell ya they were really good ones! But, here I go again...

I don’t know about most women, but for some reason I don’t really care for diet and exercise advice from my husband. Suggestions, especially (but not limited to) unsolicited ones, don’t sit well with me. Although I understand on a logical level that he is trying to be a helpful, supportive husband it really just feels like nagging criticism to me. I know this is due entirely to my perception of the situation but, it is what I think it is. Even though he will benefit or suffer from my food and exercise choices, I still stubbornly cling to the belief that it's none of his darn business.

I’m taking a different approach this time. I’ve invited him along on this journey, partly out of a desire to participate in an activity that will bring us closer together with common goals and mutual support. Partly so that he can review my exercise and food journals and finally believe me when I tell him that the female metabolism after forty turns into a huge, mean-and-nasty, sluggish, fat-making machine. Mostly, however, out of sheer desperation. I’m not doing very well all by my lonesome. It’s too easy to rationalize, justify, change my mind, start over or just plain wimp out at the sight of a doughnut.

I’ve signed up for April’s raw food cleanse here in St George. For the entire month of Feb she will prepare and deliver three meals and two snacks a day-all raw vegan. I’m really excited about not having to prepare any meals and about enjoying someone else's creations for a change. She’s taken the time to put together a great program for a month-long cleanse. I will not try to supplement or substitute anything. I’m committed to eating the meal, the whole meal and nothing but the meal.

I'm going to bring my dogs inside more often to infuse the house with their positive love energy. (My husband is shaking his head in disgust right about now) They're both labs and they never seem to run out of positive love energy!

And then there’s my twin sister, Suzy, who is also along for the ride. She sends me encouraging text messages all along the way which is really wonderful. She’s been sending me encouraging messages pretty much my entire life but it really helps here.

I'm also going to tell a few friends about this blog for that all important accountability aspect. It's been a super secret blog so far but I could use some more support on this journey.

It seems silly to me at times to ask for help concerning what I put in my mouth. But it’s not about the doughnut. It’s about so many other things like keeping promises to myself, taking care of myself, having some self control, doing hard things, following through, learning and growing, setting a good example, exploring paths to optimum health and learning through experience. It's about being the boss over those pesky sugar cravings.

Maybe, it’s taken me years of frustration at not being able to kick my sugar habit to finally admit that yes, I need a little help. This little problem is too big for me. Maybe, I just need to get rid of a little pride in order to make room for a little miracle.

“I can do all things, through Christ, who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

Since this seems to be the month of new beginnings, I will spend more time each day studying my scriptures, feasting on the word of God, and less time mindlessly surfing the internet. In the past I've noticed that when I do that I seem to make better choices. I get a little smarter when I don't depend entirely on my brain.

Feasting > Surfing  (need to write that on a post it and place on computer screen)

Wednesday Feb 1, 2012  151 pounds (up 3 pounds since Monday)

Three pounds in two days? Let me just say I really enjoyed myself. Back to business:
The green smoothie I had for breakfast was 60 percent fruit but tasted REALLY green to me. It got better after 4 or 5 swallows so I’m sure my taste buds are just adjusting to all this healthy stuff.  I had a chia seed pudding for a snack, which I enjoyed. The seaweed and cabbage salad for lunch was good but a little fishy for my taste. The kale chips were amazing (I don’t even like kale) and the veggie pasta dinner and crackers were quite tasty.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. It should be a good one.