Tuesday, March 16, 2010

WHY am I doing this?!

I'm losing my gusto. I've been 'cheating' a lot. Candy, bread, whatever. It doesn't taste good, I feel awful after I eat it, but as a grad student/mother/overworked project manager I just want convenience.

The good things:

I've made amazing granola that I carry with me everywhere to snack on
Fruit salad is ALWAYS good
Sprouts and smoothies are easy
My seedlings are doing really well in the sunroom, and I think I'll have a great garden this Summer

The BAD:

I have started to bruise REALLY badly and easily - I am going to the doctor tomorrow about this.
I don't have the time to make gourmet raw foods daily.
I want fresh, easy, satisfying food, but I don't want to spend an hour in the kitchen for every meal.

Salads, no matter how varied, get old. I want something different. Soup? Crackers that are light, instead of flax crackers?

I am definitely NOT going to consider this project a success in terms of strict raw dieting, but I do think I'm learning about myself. I think that when I FEEL deprived, I rebel on principle. When I allow myself to 'cheat' I see how unsatisfying it is right away, and I'm more motivated to eat foods that make me feel good for that reason alone.

I'm also thinking I may need to drink a lot more water. A lot more. I wonder if some of my hunger is actually thirst.

On a little bit of a deeper level, I think I'm holding on to the 10 lbs of weight I've gained for emotional reasons. I've been grappling with some emotional questions that are pretty deeply rooted, and when I feel overwhelmed by it all, I take refuge in self-destruction. When I was a teenager, I smoked cigarettes. After I quit, I went through a phase of depriving myself of pleasure entirely. Now, I'm trying to find balance and inner strength. Part of that is taking good care of myself, but even that feels contrived and forced sometimes. If I eat raw to feel good, that's ok. If I eat raw because I 'have to' for whatever reason (because it's healthy, because I said I would, etc) I'll pay a high price in my spirit.

The problem comes when I'm stressed, sad, confused or angry. In those times, I don't WANT to take good care of myself. It's almost as if eating a bucket of lard would feel good because it's a way of saying, "F. YOU! To life, and its frustrations." I know that was what smoking felt like. It was just an easy release. A time-out from responsibility & effort.

Quitting smoking was HARD. I had to quit so many times before I REALLY quit. Now, I rarely think about it. I do admit, though, that since the last year has been extremely difficult emotionally, I've thought of it more and more. It's been 13 years since I had a cigarette, and I have no plans of smoking them ever again, but I'm seeing a real parallel here.

What I think I really need is a healthy, effective release. I love yoga. I love gardening. I love singing and dancing. I love long walks by myself. I love sparkly rivers. I love sitting with my thoughts for uninterrupted intervals of 15 minutes or more. Just thinking about these things brings me calm. But, when I'm stressed in the middle of the day, I don't always have space and time to do yoga or take a walk, and even if I did, the thought of chowing on something fatty, salty, sweet, fast and COOKED is often just so EASY to indulge in, that I've found myself saying, "I don't care. I'm working too hard to deprive myself."

So, there you go. Confession, rant, introspection....whatever you want to call it. I see the reality before me. I could use some thoughts and stories from anyone who understands.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Catching Up - One month to go!

I went on vacation last week. It was just 3 days, but as a mother 3 days with no child, no husband and no responsibilities is a pretty great vacation!

I had a wonderful time, and saw quite a few friends and family members I'd been wanting to reconnect with. It was wonderful. The problem: eating out! Most places have no idea how to make a salad, let alone anything else raw that might taste good.

I found one raw vegan restaurant in Portland (Maine) thanks to my little sister. I was ecstatic walking in. Wheat grass shots, salads, raw veggie burgers, etc. I had a salad made from beet greens, spinach, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds cucumbers, avocados, etc, etc...JUST like I'd make for myself at home. I was thrilled! I also brought a cooler of fruits and veggies with me so I could nosh late-night and in the mornings.

Still, most of the places I went to eat with friends had pretty slim pickings. I'll admit, I ate some bread and oil at one restaurant. While I'm confessing, I'll admit to eating a scone made by a client during a company visit on Tuesday...overall, though, I was probably 95% raw while on vacation, so I consider that a major accomplishment!

I've had many, many people asking me about my diet lately. I've also been getting better at my recipes. The flax crackers that I last made were better than the ones served in the restaurant my sister and I went to, for instance. My husband AND my dad both told me I could sell the cacao/sunflower seed granola. I'm settling into a comfortable lifestyle that I think I can handle and maintain...that's what really matters.