Lots of things going on in my life right now, I thought I’d just pop in and give a little update.
Bikram 12 in 12
Haha, I love this little log I kept, the progress is bursting from the screen. During yesterdays’s class I could tell my body was finally back, in terms of strength and flexibility, to where it used to be before my little stints of Bikram-abstinence. During the first 5 days I could hardly even lock my arms and get them behind my ears (a must in most Bikram poses and it sounds so easy, but oh man it can be tough!), in yesterdays class I felt a huge improvement. It’s still so surreal to me that your body can ‘change’ that much in the course of a few days, or even just one. I also love how from day to day it changes which poses you rock, and which poses you struggle with.The award to most improvement in a pose goes to… Half Moon! (This is a warming up posture and stretches your spine in 4 different directions).
I have loved this little mini-challenge so far and it goes to show taking a class every day is a really good way to see a lot of improvement, without overdoing it. I deliberately took it super easy the first 3 classes, and it’s paying off right now. I overruled my innate desire to go as deep as I can, or even further, and instead saw these first few classes as warming ups. After 3 x 90 minutes of warming up, your body loves you and enables you to do things you’d never imagined ;).
On Eating Raw
I have been struggling with my raw journey for the past few days, especially mentally. I am not sure where it’s coming from exactly but probably, as is usually the case, it’s spurred by several triggers.
I still haven’t been seeing any real or major changes in how I feel. I did, however, get some lovely detox symptoms (or so I assume): eczema! And honestly, making such a big lifestyle change that requires commitment and motivation, it gets extra hard without seeing immidiate results.
I have never had eczema in my life and it scaring me a bit. I am going to see the docter this morning (have been putting it off since I have little faith in doctors and medicine in general) to confirm that’s what it is. I’ll spare the images, but I have two big, round spots on my face (yes, I look lovely atm), one on my elbow (a huge one, looks like a big gaping wound) and now a tiny one is starting to pop up in between my fingers. Of course I have been reading up online and man, is eczema confusing. For now I am betting my money on that’s it’s a detox symptom, but it could just as well be from spending so much time in a 105 F room (aka Bikram’s torture chamber), according to some internet sources. Although in that case I don’t understand why I didn’t get it before, when I also went 5-6 times a week…
Whatever the hell it is or wherever it’s coming from, it annoys the living crap out of me. The ones on my face are just ugly but the one on my elbow hurts due to its location and it also won’t seem to heal. The one in between my fingers is probably going to be a problem during Bikram since you have intertwine your fingers and pull on your feet several times during class. Oh boy.
Because I am suspecting this to be a detox symptom I’ve been a little ambivalent about eating so much raw. Don’t get me wrong: detoxing is a vital and good aspect to eating raw, but intense detox symptoms are not. In my opinion, that’s a sign you’re detoxing too fast and you should take it down a notch. Which, of course, I am frustrated about.
The last few days I have also found myself not really knowing what to eat. Or, want to eat. Salads don’t really excite me at the moment. I haven’t been craving zucchini pasta. It was fun making raw wraps and falafel but it’s not something I’d like to eat every day (nor want to make every few days!). I still love having my smoothie (and sometimes a juice) in the mornings, and raw snacking is also not a problem, but lunch is where I’d go ‘there’s nothing raw I particularly crave at the moment… wtf’ and ended up eating bread. And the bread triggered me into eating poorly the rest of the day too.
This is quite a funny chain of events actually. Just the other day I told friend R (my lover Smeagol’s momma!) that simple raw foods differ so much from cooked/processed/man-made products in that they are not stimulating (well, raw cacao aside I guess). I have a love/hate relationship with this fact. The simplicity and non-stimulating nature of fresh, whole foods (aka raw foods) is amazing, I’d say especially for those struggling with eating in one way or another (or those who’ve struggled with this in the past, like myself). Raw foods don’t overstimulate your tastebuds nor your nerve system, and thus they won’t make you crave more food or ‘junk’ foods, physically. You eat because you are hungry, you eat to nourish your body, there’s far less fun in binging on fruit or a nice veggie dish as opposed to binging on Pringles. Eating raw is the closest you can get to really eating for nourishment, and not to stimulate or comfort you.
With all that being said, the body and mind are sometimes not in sync. I’ve noticed that even though my body is happy with non-stimulating foods, and my mind is quieter too most of the time, sometimes I get hit by cravings for that exact stimulation! Sometimes I just want to eat for the hell of it, because it tastes so good. I know products like bread taste good to us for certain reasons, and it’s not for their nutritional content. On the one hand I hate that foods can have so much power over me, on the other hand I don’t want to exclude foods like this entirely. But finding that balance is a struggle right now, to be honest.
So at the moment, trying to eat raw but not really knowing ‘where I want to go with all this’ is kind of undermining me. Because, I have also realized now that even eating really high raw is not for me. I still might try and do it for a prolonger period of time (because, like I mentioned, I really want to experience for myself if the health benefits are all that they’re cracked up to be), but on the other hand I highly doubt I’d want to keep eating like this. It’s such a big lifestyle change. And I still love to cook for others! Right now, eating a raw diet except for a cooked dinner sounds really do-able to me, and a good solution. And maybe I have to redefine my idea of lunch. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a coherent meal, vegetables dipped in a homemade spread, a big fruit salad with nut sauce, a lot of raw foodists choose to have a snack-like lunch instead. Thinking outside the box :).
And who knows, maybe I’m just in a funk. I seem to veer between loving the elaborate raw recipes and techniques involved, and finding it far too much work and just crave simplicity.
My Raw E-Book
Is not going to be published at the end of this summer. Phew, just like ripping a Band-Aid! The pressure of having to finish that by the end of the summer was pressing on my holiday feeling, and I realized that was stupid. Also, initially I figured it’s going to be a simple book so 2-3 months should be enough. Well, for the recipe part that may be true (5 down, 10 to go!), but I also want to write an intro to raw foods, a piece on raw cacao (because DOH, it’s going to be a raw chocolate book!), I want to test each recipe multiple times, and last but not least, I want to photograph all the recipes in style (read: I am going to built my very onw light box!). But most importantly, I don’t want to rush it or feel pressurized, I just want to have tons of fun with it!
Some of the e-book recipes so far: