Monday, March 31, 2008

Day 1: Hungry

Today I had:

6 cups of water

2 cups sesame seed milk

4 cups apple/banana/bok choy/butter lettuce/collard smoothie

6 cups orange/banana/bok choy/collard smoothie

1 cup apple/string bean juice (string beans are shockingly sweet)

1/2 cup strawberry/blackberry/grape/collard juice

1 cup apple/bok choy juice

1 cup apple/bok choy/ginger juice

Detox symptoms: headache started @ 6:30pm. When I woke up this morning (morning of Day 2) I had a completely white tonuge, and parts of me didn't smell so good :-(. I'll leave it at that.

Mood: very positive, but I'm hungry.

Heart openers: I did spinal twists, and hands on my heart meditation. They are easy to do and I did them in my living room in front of my kids. They just looked at me ;-).

Cravings: raw tacos and chocolate candy bars. I woke up this morning with a craving for Thai Summer Rolls. ◦

The Real Brick Wall: My Heart

That's me and Amaadi, my partner in the 14-day juice feast, at a raw potluck last night. We both had a great time. I saw two friends, Vaneta and Niloo, that I hadn't seen in a while. And I forgot to take pictures of the food! Doh! Our feast began this morning, but I'll post what I drank and the corresponding emotions and detox symptoms starting tomorrow.

So you know how you have what Oprah calls "a lightbulb moment?" I had one at the potluck. In my last post I mentioned my "brick wall" dream. Ty Pennington said it would take 2 weeks to knock down the brick wall. Last night, Michael, who coordinates these potlucks in Baltimore, said he'd done a juice feast when he was having family problems. He said he realized his heart had been closed, and his his juicing open him back up. That's when the light bulb went off in my head.

Last summer, a friend of mine who is a Dragon Reiki Master told me that my heart was like a brick wall. Those were his exact words. At the time, I kinda sorta got it, but not completely. Last night, it all came together with Michael's words.

I've posted about my disabled relatives before. In the March 2008 issue of Yoga Journal, there's a feature article about Care for the Caregiver. Anybody caring for elderly or disabled family needs to read that. I saw myself all over it. What started off as compassion has turned to resentment within me. I'm just keeping it real. Thank God, it's a normal emotion, but I've stayed in that space for too long. I closed my heart to protect myself from my relatives, who will suck me and Rom dry if we let them. But...since they live with us, my hardened heart has spread, like a virus, to my other relationships, even my husband and children. I knew it, but I didn't KNOW it.

When I was going through the worst of the "emotional quicksand" I withdrew from my family. That was a mistake. I think I thought they wouldn't want to hear from me, which is totally not true. The Hughes Family, descended from ancestors of Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, has got to to be the coolest people on the planet. My pity party mode was pretty pitiful. I even see it with my friends, who I do not see often enough. That is about to change.

I'm adding Heart Centered meditations and kriyas (set of yoga poses) to my juice feast. I know this is going to be an emotional ride, but I don't want to be resentful or depressed about my situation. That puts me in victim mode, which is against my core belief that we are co-creators of our lives. So you all join me! I love the emails I'm getting, so please keep them coming :-).

And here's pictures of the Hughes clan from when I was in Detroit last month:
Karis, me, Christian, Donovan, my brother Chad, our grandparents, J.K. and Pearl Jane

My dad's sisters: Beverlyn Lynn, Tawana, and Gloria

The Brunch: Grandma (back to camera), Great-Aunt Geraldine, Great-Aunt Opal, Donovan, Beverly Lynn, Karis, Christian, and Grandpa


Friday, March 28, 2008

Inspiration: Terrilynn

After my 3-day smoothie and juice fast a few weeks ago, I said I would do another one when my children were older. Then I read Terrilynn's blog, Inspiration: Life. She completed a 92-day juice feast all while raising four kids, the youngest being ages 1 and 2. Well, okay then. I read every single post in her blog all the while in amazement. I started to consider doing a longer fast.

Then I had a dream: I was in a basement that had exposed brick on one wall. Ty Pennington from Extreme Home Makeover was there. I asked him "how long does it take you to remodel those houses on the show?" He said, "Two weeks." I pointed to the brick wall. I said, "how long will it take to remodel this house?" He said, "two weeks." When I woke up I knew Ty was talking about me. In dreams, houses represent the self. So 14 days it is, thanks to Ty and Terrilynn. I may go longer, we'll see.

Why am I doing this? To knock down some of my brick wall issues. When you don't eat solid food, there is nothing to mask your emotions. Food, especially heavy, processed food (all the life processed out of it) stifles emotions. Dead food deadens feelings. I don't want that any longer. I want to "break on through to the other side." So me and my friend Amaadi start on Monday, March 31. We are going to a raw potluck on Sunday, March 30 and kicking off the 14 day smoothie/juice/sesame seed milk fast the next day. I'll post a picture of me and Amaadi before we start.

Oh, and I am currently reading Angela Stokes' e-book Raw Emotions. Perfect for where I am emotionally right now. I will post a review in a few days.

And here is a picture of the next generation juicing. Beta child loves to juice. He won't drink it (yet) but he pushes my oldest son out of the way so he can do it all by himself. :-) Pictures cannot convey this child's enthusiasm for juicing! That's him juicing carrots.


Monday, March 24, 2008

5 Things About Me

Tag! I'm it. Okay, I've been tagged by my friend Gail at The Writer Stuff to tell five things about me you probably don't know.

I used to be able to sing. I sang in choir in high school, sang at karaoke clubs all the time, and auditioned for two bands. I lost my singing voice in my fifth month of pregnancy with Alpha Child. I only know one other woman that has happened to. Now I sound like those people who audition for American Idol who think they can sing. LOL.

I'm an American Idol freak. Like, I watch the reruns on Saturday nights from Seasons 1 and 2. I'm ridiculous. I work every Tuesday night now, so my poor husband has to tape it for me. I can tell you every top twelve contestant from Seasons 2 through the present, where they are from, when they were booted off, everything. Like I said, it's crazy. But it's the American Dream. I only watch Oprah, American Idol, and Heroes (God, how I miss that show), and 24 (When it was good; What the heck happened last season? Were those writers on crack?).

I won the African-American Writers Helping Writers Award for Best Self-Published Fiction in 2002 for Walking The Line.

I graduated from high school when I was sixteen. Only one person in my graduating class was younger than me, by a few months. Her name was Charis (short for Charisma). I named my main character in Walking The Line after her. I'll never forget her. Very sweet girl.

My highest dream is to win an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for one of my novels. You have no idea how many times that image swirls in my mind. I'm only sharing so you all can hold that vision for me too and help manifest it into reality.

5 1/2.
And where are the black female superheroes? Can I get a witness? This is something that burns within me. As a Buffy and Alias fanatic (oh, I've seen every episode of Alias on DVD), all I kept saying was, "Where are the sisters?" We've got Monica on Heroes now, and if you search the Internet, there is a comic book site message board that lists all the black female super-characters known to man. But I'm talking about in popular culture. Catwoman was a flop, but I applaud Halle Berry for the effort, and she was Storm in X-Men, (which really should have been Angela Bassett), but I digress. Eartha Kitt was Catwoman for a minute in the Batman TV series. A sister got to be one of many slayers-in-training in Season 7 of Buffy. And that leaves us with........the sound of nothingness. Oh, hell to the no.

Althea to the rescue (don't you all forget about that Academy Award...more to come.) ◦

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chocolate Pudding and Ice Cream

Here's the newest and simplest things I've made this week:

Chocolate Pudding:
Super simple! Jello pudding cannot compare. NO one would know this was (almost) raw. Serve it to your SAD friends and watch them lick the bowl. I didn't measure anything.

1 avacado
Agave nectar
chocolate powder

Ice Cream:
Fantastic! My husband and oldest son loved this. Awesome. It's from RAW by Juliano:

1 cup frozen mango
2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup banana, frozen
2 cups soft or soaked dates
Blend and eat. Or chill in the freezer for 20 minutes. (I left it in for 3 hours)
Both were wonderful and easy and very, very tasty :-).


Monday, March 10, 2008

California Nori Rolls

I had to have these nori rolls! The ingredients are:

-cauliflower, cut in the food processor until fine
wrap in a nori roll, use water to seal the wrapper, dip in nama shoyu and eat!

Kale Salad recipe (from The Joy of Living Live by Zakhah)
1 bunch Kale Greens
2 tablespoons liquid aminos or 3 tablespoons soy sauce
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1 diced avocado (optional)
1 diced tomato (optional)

Wash and chop kale by hand or in food processor (I rip them up with my hands). Blend a paste of olive oil and garlic. In a large bowl, mix kale, nutritional yeast, liquid aminos, lemon juice, and as much of the olive oil/garlic paste as you desire. Add diced avocado. Decorate with tomatoes.(side note: it’s delicious even without the avocado or tomatoes)

And I mentioned the Sesame Seed Milk on March 7th. It definitely works for the chocolate cravings. I haven't had any or thought about it in four days.

Sesame Seed Milk:
1 cup sesame seeds (hulled or unhulled, but unhulled has more calcium)
2 cups of water
honey or agave to sweeten

Blend all in a blender. Pour into a nut bag and squeeze the liquid out. Only pulp should be left.
Enjoy! I feel great today! ◦

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Juice & Smoothie Fast - Day 3

On March 9, I had:

6 cups water
8 cups banana/peach/kiwi/strawberry/parsley/kale smoothie
2 cups apple/carrot/beet juice
1 cup carrot/kale/green pepper juice

Emotions: I was so fatigued today. Thankfully, because Rom is home, I got to sleep for three hours. On Friday, I was sleepy but today my whole body was exhuasted. But emotionally, I'm pretty calm.

Detox symptoms: Nausea and fatigue. The nausea happened this morning, followed by a trip to the bathroom. And I wasn't very hungry today. I drank less today than I did on Friday and Saturday.

Cravings: I still want those nori rolls! Might be having those tomorrow.

: I am very glad I did this fast. I feel like I'm ushering in the next phase of being a raw vegan. I only want to stay raw. But...I don't think I'll do another do another fast until my children are older. During a fast, detox symptoms are going to happen. And I think being able to rest, sleep, and sit down whenever you want to are important. But I am glad I did it and I've fallen in love with raw food again. ◦

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Juice & Smoothie Fast - Days 1 and 2

As promised for my birthday weekend (March 7, 8, and 9), I would do a juice and smoothie fast to usher in the new Althea in her 36th year. My birthday fell on the New Moon, which I didn't realize, so I feel extra good about this. To start, I knew I would have to address my chocolate issues (am I a choco-holic?). I love chocolate anything, but chocolate candy bars are a ridiculous weakness. Heavily processed stuff and really not good for you. My chocolate issues went WAY past, "Oh, I'm just enjoying a special treat." No. I've been about 80% raw, but the chocolate thing had not gone away. I decided to commit to drinking sesame seed milk everyday until my cravings go away. Sesame seeds are high in calcium. Between my raw books and the Raw Soul yahoo group, the consensus was the same: either I am lacking in calcium or craving salt. I've never been into salt, so I think it's a calcium deficiency. In the past, when I'd had sesame seed milk, I didn't think about chocolate. So I bought five 12oz bags and ordered two five-pound boxes that I should get on Monday.

Here's how the juice and smoothie fast has gone:

Friday, March 7

I had:
4 cups of water
2 cups of sesame seed milk
1/2 cup cantaloupe juice
4 cups orange/banana/romaine lettuce/beet leaves smoothie
4 cups kiwi/orange/banana/romaine lettuce smoothie
4 cups orange/banana/romaine lettuce smoothie
2 1/2 cups strawberry/banana/romaine lettuce smoothie

Emotions: AWESOME DAY! Best birthday week and day EVER. My phone rang off the hook. We picked up our second car that had been fixed. Woo Hoo! I was really happy, for most of the day. I was INCREDIBLY sleepy late morning. I slept for 20 minutes on the couch while my sons played in their room. Later that night, I kept getting really pissed off at my relatives. I was like, "this has been a great day...why am I so angry?" I realized that I didn't have food to stuff down my emotions (candy bar, anyone?). BIG realization for me.

Detox symptoms: Super sleepy.

Cravings: Nori roll with cauliflower, avocados and carrots.

Saturday, March 8

I had:
4 cups water
2 cups sesame seed milk
3 cups peach/banana/kale smoothie
4 cups kiwi/orange/strawberry/banana/kale smoothie
2 12 oz. Bolthouse Green Goodness smoothies
4 cups apple/kiwi/banana/parsley/beet lettuce smoothie
4 cups orange/kiwi/blackberry/banana/parsley smoothie
1 cup apple/beet lettuce/green pepper juice

Emotions: Even steven. Another great day. I went out with Beta child to run errands, in the pouring rain. It didn't bother me. I went out with Alpha child to Whole Foods because a friend (hi friend!) took me to Whole Foods as a birthday gift. The rain was even HARDER. Didn't bother me. But that was the closest I came to eating food. Alpha child was hungry, so I got him a hot plate of tofu, sweet potatoes, cabbage, and mashed potatoes. I got two green smoothies. Yes, I wanted that tofu, but I resisted :-). When I came home, I had to make my smoothies, and feed my family, so I was tired, but I'm okay now.

Detox symptoms
: The coated tongue. When I woke up this morning, my tongue was white. By 7:00pm tonight, it was white again and my tongue tasted like chalk. Yuck. My mom looked it up and said it's a normal detox symptom. I probably need a colon cleanse too.

Cravings: I REALLY want a nori roll. Got the stuff to make it on Tuesday. The first thing I thought about when I woke up was a strawberry parfait, which I have never had. I think I'm supposed to create one.

Day 3 coming up tomorrow! ◦

Monday, March 3, 2008

Raw Tacos

I made raw tacos two days ago. Aren't they pretty? That is walnuts with chili powder as seasoning and color. Looks just like ground beef minus all the stuff that is bad for you. Just put the walnuts in a food processor, add however much chili powder you like, and blend. It does not have to be as much as I used. I wasn't trying to get the walnuts that dark. Here is what the walnuts and chili powder looked like after they are combined:

Just put the mixture into red cabbage (or green cabbage, collards, or lettuce). Add whatever garnishments you like! I dig avocados, cilantro, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. And yes, I used bottled taco sauce. Hey, a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. Enjoy your tacos! ◦


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