My new raw life continues to float along swimmingly. In the past week, five people have remarked on my weight loss and one person came over to specifically remark on the glow of my skin. This all becomes more significant when you consider that I haven't told anyone other than direct family that I am eating raw, and I really don't know very many people. In other words, pretty much everyone I'm encountering is noticing. Very nice indeed.
I had some funny signs/symptoms in the past week. I'm not so quick to call them 'detoxing', but certainly there seems to be an association between what I eat and the phases my body seems to go through. The good thing is, when weird things happen, I assume it's apart of my body letting go of all the crap I used to put in and on it, so I don't freak out. It's all temporary. And I guess I am saying it's detoxing.
I named this post Like A Snake because my skin started peeling like crazy . I haven't had this happen in a few years, before I started using skin creams with alpha hydroxy acid to get rid of the excess skin (I have very dry skin plus some psoriasis). Lately I've been switching over to skin lotions with all natural ingredients, and apparently that prompted my skin to decide to shed many layers (where the other skin lotion would remove/disguise this). While annoying and not so pleasing on a cosmetic level, I do love the idea of shedding old layers (physically, emotionally, and mentally), and I figure, I've got to run out of excess skin layers at some point! I hope...
I have noticed though that my legs , while still very dry looking, are not peeling and flaking the way they have every other winter of my life. This is a very positive change. They used to look like photos of a very dry desert where the clay soil has cracked open. Not so much now.
Another symptom this week was having an itchy tongue . I tried googling it but didn't really find any clues to a cause. It's slightly annoying but no huge whoop, though it is a bit of mind bender trying to figure out how to scratch it.
My fingers (at the joints and tips) have been cracking open but they always do at this time of year when it's very cold outside and warm inside. Bloggers like Steve Pavlina (who just went from cooked vegan to raw vegan for a 30-day trial) blame the raw food diet for the cracking skin, but I can't since I've experienced this every year for many years.
I had been eating a lot of sprouts (alphalpha, onion, broccoli, etc.) but they always seemed to cause almost-diarrhea . Inevitably, I'd get some crampy bowel irritation after eating them, so I've given them up for now. Too bad, because I love them in salads.
One funny thing this week was, without thinking, I took a few bites of my daughter's leftover cheese pizza . I was aware I was eating it, but wasn't thinking, HEY, this isn't raw or vegan! I chewed it carefully and slowly and then realized that I really didn't want to be doing that, particuarly because when I've been treating my body so well, any switchover like that could make me feel sick, and who wants that? I'm not if it's connected, but later that evening, I started having this burning feeling in my eyes . I told my husband it felt like I had hot sauce in my eye fluid, only not quite that stinging. He thought I'd just touched something hot and rubbed it into my eyes, but it was really coming from within my body, so I don't think so. Was it the few bites of pizza? I'll never know.
When I started raw, I had the classic runny nose for about a week. Clear, streams of fluid would just run right out. That stopped for a while but I had it again suddenly yesterday. There was so much fluid I thought my nose was bleeding, but it wasn't. Weird and interesting, it is. Again, I love the idea that my body is getting rid of lots of old crap.
And speaking of crap, is it not a little freaky to hear how many juice fasters report having solid bowel movements throughout a long fast (30-90 days)? It does get one thinking about how much junk gets trapped in our bowels through the years. Yowsa.
My only exercise in recent weeks has been walking my girl to school, which takes about 2 hours a day, and can be quite aerobic in the deeper snow but is mostly just fast walking. I've been using other free time for some home renovating/decluttering etc. I'm thinking about resuming the step aerobics and/or yoga soon, but saying it is not doing it, so we'll see . Also, I knew I was losing weight and didn't want to crank things up too much with the exercise for fear of losing too quickly, which can have its own ill effects such as gallstones, and skin not shrinking back.
I've switched over to listening to several ebooks by Eckhart Tolle : The Power of Now, Realizing the Power of Now....He offers very clear ideas about how we can regard pain and upset in ways that do not have to overpower our lives. I listen to these recordings as I'm falling asleep. I initially started doing this with hypnosis CDs to help my sleep problems. Now I'm a much better sleeper and simply enjoy the lucid dreams that occur when falling asleep this way.
A few people have written to ask how much weight I've lost. I have not used a scale but I can say I'm down two clothing sizes and would guess that's about 20 lbs, though I really am guessing. I feel like I've lost about 1/3 of what I will lose before I'm at my natural body weight.
One day last week was very busy and I only got to have my morning juice and that was it until dinner time. By the time I tried to eat, it felt very rough on my stomach . I can see how eating would become too painful if I let that happen too often.
Normally, I get a full day's calories through the fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds. Some days I feel too heavy from the nuts and seeds and try to cut back on them and the avocado, having just one a day. I add flax seed oil to salad for the omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. I sometimes wonder if I should take a b12 supplement, but I've never been a pill taker or a believer in the whole vitamin and supplement world, so I just put it off for now.
I really love the raw vegan diet for many reasons:
-It's a very healthy, fresh, way of eating. There is such a range of possibilities within it. You can go as simple as juiced fruits and veggies, to the more dramatic realm of gourmet uncooked selections. Any whim can be satisfied within the raw world.
-I never feel tired after eating, I almost always feel satisfied , and I know I can eat whenever I want and never gain weight. The few times I feel peckish, i.e. like eating more, are days when I haven't had enough greens. If I make sure I have one green smoothie a day with about a pound of spinach in it, I get no food cravings . That is freedom from the chains of food .
-Eating raw vegan has apparently eliminated my old urges to overeat (i.e. eat when my body is not actually hungry). When I feel like I need something, but my body is not hungry, I am now content to simply feel that feeling and then move one. It's not about food, and I no longer try to feed it with food.
-I feel much more in touch with my body, and I feel my body is now much more sensitive to how I treat it. There is no option to blindly abuse the body with junk food. I feel much more in the present moment and each choice is in response to what is best for my body and health right now. It has really boiled down to: Does this help or hurt my health? There's no grey area now.
-I started eating raw vegan because I was having a body and health crisis . I could not control my weight, I had all sorts of aches and pains that were not significant enough to involve a doctor but really made life seem a bit too difficult. I could not imagine carrying on like that into old age. I had to change something.
Just days into raw eating, everything changed. I realized it was absolutely true that what you eat is the most significant and powerful thing you can control if you want good health . No more migranes, minimal cramps; I have much clearer thinking, glowing skin. The list goes on and on and it's all good. These are huge changes. Huge.
-There's no food wasted . I have all my fruits and veggies properly stored, and make sure it all gets used. This is very easy to do when you have a juicer. If something needs to be used up, just add it to the morning juice. The amount of compost I generate is quite staggering. My winter compost pile has grown about two feet since I started. My garden will be very thankful in the spring.
- Eating raw vegan means leaving animals out of one's food chain , which I like very much. Some would argue that eating locally is more valuable for the environment, and while I do eat locally as much as possible, I would argue back that the resources involved in growing a pound of local meat, are still more taxing on the environment than growing and shipping avocadoes from the south.
-weight loss is moving along, slowly but surely.
-my compulsion to overeat is gone, knock wood .
-undereating is not an option: it hurts the body just as much as overeating.
-a raw vegan diet is a perfect match for my feelings about animals, how we treat the planet, and what my body needs to feel fit, healthy, and energetic.