Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm here, but my wagon is a mile away

Raw food is the truth.

During and after my fast, the hormonal issues and other negative symptoms went away. I thought that since my cravings for chocolate and sweets had disappeared, I could eat a bit of cooked vegan food.

Uh, no…

In the past week, here’s what has come ROARING back inside me:
-poor sleep
-mood swings
-foot pain
-intense sweet cravings
-brain fog

Goodness knows that raw food is the only thing that gives me the mental clarity I need to have a successful life. I am the emotional center of my household. I want to be focused, healthy, and present for my family.

The good news is that Tyrah, a woman who reads my blog in Australia called me a few days ago and told me that I would help a lot of women as a raw food coach. She didn’t know that I had already set that intention for myself. But I know I must be my own first successful client.

The other good news is that I had some time to myself during my yoga class tonight. I only had one student, and she really needed to relax. So I gave her a restorative yoga class, which uses blankets to gently open the body, allowing it to relax naturally. In that silence, I truly thought about my "why." Why do I want to be raw? And why was I able to stay on my fast for two weeks? My "why" for that fast was huge. I wanted to clear some emotional blockages. Do I not still want to do the same thing? So I am going beyond my mission statement, and posting my "whys" on the right side of my blog permanently.

Thanks for reading, and for all the encouragement. You all rock!!
Althea ◦

Monday, April 21, 2008

Falafels and Dill-icious "Crab" Cakes

These are the falafels from The Joy of Living Live by Zakhah. I took a picture of them before, but this is a better one. Served with any tahini dressing of your choice, these rock the house.

Now these may not look the greatest, but even my picky husband liked them. They are veggie "crab" cakes from RAWvolution by Matt Amsden. Beets give them the purple color. I made a dill sauce from Incredibly Delicious by Gentle World Publications. The sauce has tofu in it, but that is what I had available at the time. Rock, rock, rock, the house!!!!!!!!!!!!
And as a side note about my juice feast, one thing I have noticed is that I do not crave sweets. Coming from a sweet-a-holic my entire life, that is a really big deal. So that is another benefit of doing the fast.
Gotta run!


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Feeling Good in the Neighborhood

That's a Cashew Burger with Spinach Curry Salad. First, the spinach salad was WAY too spicy. I call myself doubling the recipe and added too much curry. The cashew burgers are the
B-O-M-B. I could eat those everyday. It is from Fresh by Sergei and Valya Boutenko. Get that one. These kids are wise beyond their years, and they know how to make food.

Sooo, reflecting on the Juice Fast. It was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. It changed the way I look at food, how it's used as comfort, and it freed me from a lot of bad habits. If I did a longer one again, I would enlist even more support. Amaadi and I talked every single day, usually twice a day. But I would line up a babysitter or two. There was never time to really be by myself. All my breakthroughs came at the weirdest moments: in the kitchen, in my car, in my bedroom. They were ah-ha! moments, but down time would have been nice.

Colonics and enemas: a must. The colon is the garbage disposal of the body. It needs to be cleaned out during a cleanse. I would absolutely get one or two.

I wish I had known to do this before I had my children. The youngest one definitely has a sweet tooth and I have to work to break his before it becomes a life-long habit. But I am grateful that they like to juice and the oldest one always tries whatever I make. His current favorite is beet-apple-lemon juice.

I think everyone needs to take a break from eating to really step back and get a perspective.
See you soon!

Althea ◦

Monday, April 14, 2008

Days 13 and 14: Success!!

I DID IT!!!!! WHOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Oh Thank God!
That is me, two pounds shy is my ultimate weight loss goal. I am really, really happy right now. I've broken the feast with water, prune juice water, and 8 oz. of prunes. I'm ready to eat but I will break the feast sensibly. Tomorrow I'll post my thoughts about it, but here is what I had the last two days of the feast.

Day 13, I had:
5 cups of water
2 cups apple/broccoli/parsley juice
2 cups apple/broccoli/lemon
3 cups orange juice
1 cup apple/kale juice

Day 14, I had:
8 cups of water
3 cups apple/broccoli/kale juice
1 cup apple juice
8 cups orange/banana/romaine smoothie

You see I added the smoothie in again, right? Sunday was super busy for me, and the smoothies were the fastest thing to make. I made them really thin so that is more like a thick juice. I was also quite thirsty. Now I realize that you have to drink lots of water during a feast. My energy level stayed high during the last two days, and all I was thinking about was what to eat afterward. Reading Angela Stokes' Juice Feasters Handbook, she says to break with water, prune juice water, and prunes. I'm adding juicy oranges, more fruit tomorrow, and salads on Wednesday.

If I ever do this again, the one thing I would definitely do are enemas or a colonic. Things gotta keep moving.

Thank you everyone for reading my blog. All of the support kept me going. I'll be back to taking pictures of lovely raw food very soon.



Saturday, April 12, 2008

Days 10, 11, & 12: Emotionally Free

On Day 10, I had:
6 cups water
2 cups carrot/apple/broccoli juice
2 cups carrot/apple/broccoli/ginger juice
3 1/2 cups apple/lemon/broccoli juice
2 cups orange juice

Not a whole lot happened today. I spent most of the day at home with my sons. I was anticipating how I would do on Day 11. My oldest disabled relative had an appointment with her psychiatrist on Thursday. I'll admit it now: I have never taken her to any doctor appointment (family practitioner, endocrinologist, psychiatrist, therapist, thyroid surgeon, colon surgeon) without grabbing a Dove candy bar or Hershey bar. Never, not once. I knew it was an emotional response to all of this caretaking, but I didn't know how to stop it. Hence, why I am doing this fast.

My anxiety must have been high, because that night, I had a dream that I think was about obstacles. I was born in Detroit, and lived in Southfield, Michigan for seven years. This dream took place in Southfield. I was driving on Telegraph Road, which is the main road to the entrance of our subdivision. It was dark and the road was muddy. At closer look, the mud was really black-eyed peas in water, but it was quite treacherous. Furniture fell off a truck ahead of me. Some men in other cars stopped to move the furniture. I kept driving because I needed to get home ahead of my mother, father, and brother. When I got home, all the lights were off. I turned them on and immediately headed for the kitchen and starting eating without thought. And in the dream, I was on a fast. But I couldn't stop eating.

Which leads to Day 11...

On Day 11, I had:
6 cups water
2 cups apple/lemon/romaine juice
2 cups carrot/apple/romaine juice
1 33.8 oz Bolthouse Green smoothie
2 cups apple/lemon/parsley/broccoli juice
2 cups carrot/apple/romaine/parsley/broccoli/lemon juice

Okay...I got through the day without eating! Whoo Hoo! And I've lost 4 more pounds!

But it was a very long day. When I went to pick up my relative from her day program for her psychiatrist appointment, I was told two disturbing things. First, I was told she got irate when one of the workers suggested her bag was too heavy for her. If you haven't read my "Bag Lady" post, it is here. Then I was told that she is stealing magazines under the guise of helping our other disabled relative (they are in the same program). What the deuce? I didn't say anything until we got home. But I was gone much longer than I thought. I dropped her off, went to the store, got myself a Bolthouse Green Smoothie and some water. I got the kids a veggie sub at Subway. Then I picked my relative up, and walked her to a lab right next door to get blood drawn, which her endocrinologist needs.

Once we were home, I told my relative "No more bags. Take only a notebook and pens to your program." Between me and Rom, we both got cussed out. I won't repeat what she said because you all will think we are crazy for putting up with all of this. I walked away from her. I didn't raise my voice. And I didn't have any cravings for candy, chocolate, or anything else. For the first time, ever, probably, I felt emotionally free.

I call me and this relative a "juxtaposition of opposites." Her "bag" is a physical manifestation of her pain. She clings to her "bag" and "stuff" for dear life. I found a piece of paper in her bag from 1978. Yes, 1978. I need to take a picture so you all believe me. I feel for her now, but this would be a lot easier if she weren't so damn MEAN.

But for me, I am committed to healing me and letting go of my stuff, which has been holding me back. I want to travel through this life as light as possible.

No major detox today, just feeling great that I got through the day!

On Day 12, I had:
6 cups water
3 cups carrot/apple/lemon/romaine/parsley juice
1 cup apple/broccoli/lemon juice
2 cups orange juice
1 cup apple/broccoli/parsley juice
2 cups apple/lemon/parsley

So my relative starts the day by trying to take a smaller bag to her program. No go. This is how my day started. She was IRATE. But I was chill. I'm always thinking "how is her madness affecting my children?" So no more craziness. She doesn't have anywhere else to go, but her dementia is getting to the point where, for that reason alone, we are considering long-term care somewhere else. She is forgetting to take important medication, so I'll have to start giving it to her.

By 4:00pm, I was pooped. Just no energy. I was in bed by 7:30pm. That was the first time during this fast that I was completely exhausted. I woke up this morning feeling great. I'm taking a vegetable gardening class and I am really excited.

I'm also ready to eat! I got a copy of Fresh: The Ultimate Live-Food Cookbook by Sergei and Valya Boutenko. And excellent book! I'm ready to start creating dishes again. But I am amazed that through all of this more cooked food cravings have been minimal to none.

I'm off now, but tomorrow is that last day! Whoo Hoo!

Until then...and if you read this far, thank you.
Althea ◦

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Day 9: The Best I've Felt So Far

Today I had:
6 cups of water
4 cups apple/carrot/beet juice
1 cup apple carrot juice
2 cups orange/broccoli juice
1 cup apple/kale/ginger/romaine juice
1 1/2 cups apple/ginger/broccoli juice
2 cups apple/carrot/broccoli juice

This is the best I have felt since I started the fast. I'm typing this around 2:00pm on Day 10. I do want to eat, but thanks to all of YOU, I am motivated to keep it going. I feel clear mentally and I can see that I've lost weight. I'll do a weigh-in at the gym tomorrow.

As far as detox symptoms, my nose will start running without warning. That's the biggest issue I'm having right now.

And I forgot to mention a kitchen essential yesterday.
The Saladacco! It's a spiral slicer that costs about $14.95. You use it to make spaghetti, or potato chips, or anything "spiraly." I love it. And I'm craving spaghetti with basil pesto sauce, so I am sure that'll be something I'll eat next week.

Until tomorrow.
Althea ◦

Monday, April 7, 2008

Day 8: The Mental Challenge and Kitchen Essentials

Today I had:
8 cups water
4 cups apple/carrot/beet juice
1 cup apple/lemon/collard/broccoli/beet top juice
1 cup orange/collard juice
1 cup orange/mango/broccoli/romaine juice
1 1/2 cups orange/broccoli juice

The doubts started to really kick in today. Can I really complete this? I got more emails back from my friends who cheered me on. That was the reason why I started this blog: to keep myself accountable for what I say I am going to do. So onward I go! Thank you everyone for your emails. I CAN do this!

I get emails asking me about my kitchen appliances: what do I have, what do I recommend, etc. I'll divide my list into essentials, optionals, and dream appliances.

- Blender
- Juicer
- Food processor

You do not have to spend a lot of money on these three things. I have an Osterizer Blender from Target that cost $19.99. Yes, I have gone through three of them in two years, but I do use it everyday. I have a Juiceman Jr. from Target that I bought in 1999. I think I paid $35 for it. I looked it up on and apparently it's not sold any longer. The Juiceman 2 model comes in two prices: $59.99 and $79.99. I bought a $60 13-cup food processor a few months ago. Raw foodists chop a lot of vegetables, so I find it essential because it saves so much time. A food processor is also good for making sauces, veggie burgers, and pates.

- Sprouting jar
- Dehydrator

Sprouting is really easy. I know people who sprout in bowls, but I do own a sprouting jar, but I don't recommend running out to buy one unless you are truly interested in sprouting. I think it was ten dollars. And the dehydrator question is forever coming up. If you want to make more gourmet dishes or dishes that resemble cooked food, then get a dehydrator. The square Excalibur models are superior to the round ones. My fellow Mocha Mom Monique gave me a round one for free and I have used it, but it is limiting.

Dream Appliances
-Ice Cream Maker
-Champion Juicer

I would LOVE to own all these things. And I will eventually, but they are not "must-haves." You have to know that you love being in the kitchen and creating new things. If not, your appliances are going to gather dust.

Keep the questions coming!



Sunday, April 6, 2008

Day 7: Just Because It's in Front of Me....

On Day 7, I had:
8 cups of water
2 cups apple/carrot/beet juice
2 cups orange/collard juice
1 cup Golden Flowers tea
2 cups apple/lemon/broccoli/kale/collard juice
1 cup apple/collard/romaine lettuce juice

The big revelation of the day? Just because food is in front of me, doesn't mean that I have to eat it. Huge breakthrough. I made my oldest son an apple crisp. I didn't touch it. It was in that moment that I realized I don't have to eat something just because it is there. I don't know about people in other countries, but in America, food is every freakin' where. And we eat at nearly every major holiday: Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Halloween (the abundance of candy), Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, and of course, Christmas. And let's not forget family reunions and birthdays. The more religious holidays like Ramadan, Lent, and Yom Kippur, people fast and atone. I believe that is what I am doing.

I've cook everyday for my family. I have made some of my personal favorites like the kale salad, pizza, apple crisp, pancakes, and I have not eaten a thing. I truly believe that my "why" or reason for doing this, is big enough to keep me honest. But it's still challenging. I sent out an email last night and this morning asking my friends for their virtual "atta-girl." The emails have been a life-saver.

Until tomorrow,
Althea ◦

Day 6: Being The Change I Want to See

On Day 6, I had:
8 cups of water
4 cups orange/pineapple/banana/red chard/romaine lettuce smoothie
2 1/2 cups apple/ginger/broccoli/lettuce/collard juice
1 1/2 cups apple/beet/carrot juice
2 cups ginger tea
2 cups apple/collard/romaine lettuce juice
1 cup orange/collard juice

I had a lot of energy today until about 4:00pm, then I crashed like a rocket. Because I cleaned my house, played outside with my sons, made breakfast, lunch and dinner for everyone else, that, surprise, I was wiped out early in the day. And I remain completely pain-free on my cycle. I am in awe.

I officially hate smoothies. Too thick. I'm sure I'll go back to them when I start eating solids again, but for now, this is strictly a juice fast.

The major revelation came last night while I was falling asleep. The old adage "be the change you want to see" made perfect sense. I moved from understanding the sentence on an intellectual level to understanding it on a heart level. The state of our planet is a result of the feelings/thoughts/beliefs/emotions within us collectively. In other words, our outer world is a reflection of our inner world.

Taking that down to a micro level, and speaking only for myself, I see clearly why my life is the way it is. When my disabled relatives moved in, I was absolutely in a "lack" space. I'd always had trouble handling money. I always felt like I never had enough. I've had plenty, trust me. There is no reason why I should ever have had money problems. But because of my BELIEF about it, I squandered it. So in walks two women with no money consciousness whatsoever. They hoard everything (no so much anymore because I'm around) and the world is a dangerous place. On a very extreme level, the were reflecting back my own beliefs.

My outer world was only reflecting back my inner world. I get that now.

This was originally meant to be a 14-day fast and it will stay that way. I toyed with the idea of 21 days or 30 days, but the intent was to open up my heart center and that is what is happening. I do need some help though. As I write this, it is Day 7. The halfway point. I feel like I am running a marathon. Please keep up the emails and help a sista out!



Saturday, April 5, 2008

Day 5: The Closest I've Come to Eating

On Day 5 I had:

1 cup of orange juice

2 cups orange/pineapple juice

4 cups apple/kiwi/banana/butter lettuce smoothie

4 cups of water

1 Bolthouse Green Goodness smoothie

Okay, the good news is that I started my cycle on Day 4. I cramped a little but for the most part, I have been PAIN FREE. Whah-hoo! This is a big deal because since my tubal ligation in August 2006, all my cycles have been horribly painful. That is a side effect of the surgery, which I did not know. To walk around with no pain is AWESOME!

Now, to the most difficult part of my day. I got into it with my oldest disabled relative. When am I going to learn? My goodness, I know her brain is diseased. I know it. She is SUCH an emotional eating trigger for me. Ugh. In short, she walks at at 70 degree angle. She adds all this crazy stuff to her necklaces to make them heavier. And she carries that bag to school that weighs ten pounds at least (no exaggeration). I said to her, "Rom asked you to take everything off your necklace except the cross." Then I asked her to lighten the load in her bag. She has to lift it up the stairs one step at a time, then she takes a step. That's how heavy it is for her.

Girlfriend went OFF on me. And instead of walking away, I let loose too. This woman does not know how old she is, who her daughter's doctor is, nor who her own doctor is. All of this came out in our "conversation" yesterday. But yet, I did not walk away. My triggers with her are these:

- Saying "I'm sorry" has never sincerely crossed her lips. I know those are the two hardest words to say, but when you have spent the past 50 years hurting your family and you cannot see it, that is tragic.

- I am responsible for all the doctor visits, prescription pickups, service coordination, everything. And yet, she thinks she is and gets mad at me for handling everything. I get upset because I know what Rom and I have sacrificed for, time, energy, money, sleep, and most of the time, all I get back is an argument. I'm not saying all of this to paint myself as a victim. Forty-four million adults are caring for older relatives. Mostly women with kids, like me. I know I am not alone.

So you know I wanted some popcorn, right?

I called Amaadi and my mother to help me get through this. I normally eat in response to the insanity. Without the food, I didn't know what to do. My mother said to read something inspirational. I grabbed a book from the library called The Path of The Dream Healer by Adam. Turned to the table of contents, and there was "Achieving Emotional Equilibrium." Check. That's me. I read the section, wrote down my consistent negative thoughts, re-wrote them in the positive, and I really did feel better. I taped my re-written positive affirmations over my altar.

I have to let go. My older relative has a psychiatrist, therapist, social worker, four doctors, and nurses & friends at her day program (all of which I got for her). She lies to every single one of them. Schizophrenia is insidious. I am taking the positive approach. I will focus on keeping her safe, but she is attached to her dramas, and I am not. I let go, and let God.

And back to the food: Amaadi and I were out with our children yesterday. Her youngest son handed me popcorn and I was about to put it in my mouth, when Amaadi stopped me. I was so unconscious about it. This fast is teaching me a lot.

Detox symptoms: I am really, really tired.

That's it for today!


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Day 3 & 4: Clear Intuition and Weird Dreams

On Day 3 I was really cranky.

I had:

6 cups of water

12 cups of orange/kiwi/banana/romaine lettuce smoothie

4 cups of kiwi/pineapple/red chard/lettuce smoothie

While we were at a farmers market, my oldest son dropped a watermelon. I was getting greens while the kids were looking at fruit on the other side of the sales counter. Alpha child comes up to me and says, "I dropped a watermelon" as casually as you would say "the sky is blue." So it didn't register at first. Lo and behold, a busted watermelon on a concrete floor cost me $7.50. I was ticked. Cranky was my middle name for the rest of the day. My last good nerve was gone.
I still have the coated tongue and another zit. I'm not craving any food, but thinking about the raw things I'd like to have when I'm done fasting. My energy level was high today.
Day 4 I had:
5 cups of water
2 cups pineapple/kiwi/red chard/banana smoothie
4 cups pineapple/orange/red chard/banana smoothie
1 cup cantaloupe juice
2 cups carrot/beet/apple juice
1 cup carrot/beet juice
I lost my taste for smoothies today. I thought, my goodness, if I have another smoothie, I am going to scream. So I switched to juice and loved it.
The good news is that I have lost another six pounds on top of the seven already "released." I weighed myself at the YMCA today. I am so excited. I wasn't going to weigh myself until I was done, but curiosity got the best of me. And two people have commented that I look different already.
Detox symptoms: itchy face, white tongue, tired around 4:00pm, but I had to go to work. I know I need more sleep.
I had the wildest dream this morning. Dream interpreters, get out your notebooks. I was in Las Vegas having the time of my life. Party Hardy was the operative word. I was in a place where there was lots of ice cream, soft serves, and frozen drinks, all chocolate. I picked the least of all the evils. They were all fattening and decadent, I just picked the one with the least calories.
Next thing I know I'm in a school and I look like a completely different person. Different race, different hair, everything was different but it was still me. I pick these couples, all criminals, to compete in a where I don't know. So I tell them all to go downstairs and outside, while myself and another couple go upstairs. We get upstairs and gunfire erupts outside. I say, "that happens every time." There's a body in the room I am in. The male half of this couple shoots the body and it disappears. Then he turns the gun on me. I'm laying down on a bed, and I can FEEL this gun on my stomach. Because it had just been fired, the barrel was hot. This man was about to pull the trigger, when I WILLED myself to wake up.
I was like "What the deuce?" My take on the dream was that the SAD route (Standard American Diet), gluttony, unconsicous eating, will lead me down the path of ruin and bad choices. If you have a spin on it, please comment or email me.
Until tommorow...:-)


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Day 2: Teensy-weensy breakthrough

I felt like crap the first half of the day, total nausea but it was interesting.
I had to drink:
2 cups sesame seed milk
8 cups blood orange/banana/ collard smoothie
1/2 cup blood orange/broccoli/collard juice
6 cups of water

On Monday night, I'd had a dream that I'd gotten into a minor car accident. I wasn't paying attention and I hit an outdoor furnace and water heater. My car dented both of them. Then I left the car so I could look for my insurance card in my purse. It took me an hour to look for it and I didn't find it. Anybody remember the 1980's R&B group DeBarge? Well, they were with me at this Asian market where I was looking for my insurance. I was so distracted that I didn't ask, "Um, what are ya'll doing here?" Then it hit me that my insurance card was in the car. I totally was not paying attention.

So on Tuesday, I was in the bank depositing Alpha Son's Tooth Fairy Money. They had candy bars for sale for a dollar. I was like, "I have a dollar." I'm reaching for my dollar when I realized that I AM ON A FAST. Good Lord, I am dense sometimes.

I remembered the dream in that moment. Unconscious eating. Not paying attention. Unnecessary accident. Not seeing what is right in front of me. Doh! How many times have I, or the rest of us, ate something without thinking about it? That hit me again today (Day 3) while at the grocery store. We are SURROUNDED by food. I felt like RJ in the movie Over The Hedge when he was screaming "Food. Food. FOOD!" I felt so weird being around all that food.

Heart Opening insy-weensy moment: I had to work last night, so I ask my older relative to wash the dishes. As I was leaving, she was looking down at the sink and she had the same look on her face as she did when I found her unresponsive in her room two months ago. Something in my heart cracked open. I felt for her. I really did. I said, "Thank you for washing the dishes." She replied, "And thank you for the dinner." It was small but it was a moment.

Detox symptoms: white tongue, nausea, zit on my nose...cute :-) ◦


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