Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Realizations about Health and Happiness

I have been having trouble posting to the blog...sorry about the absence.
Things have been insane.Kennedy is much better now. She spent almost 8 days in the hospital. I was so nervous. I slept terribly and ate a ton of dried fruit and nuts JUST to survive. I was so hungry and used her hospital windowsill as a makeshift restaurant for salads and smoothies. Yes I did bring my tiny blender. I had an epiphany in the hospital. This news may shock some (but please keep the mean emails to yourself this time :-), I don't want to be 100% raw anymore. Raw= YES. 100%= NO. There were so many "healthy" versions of fresh brown rice and sauteed veggie options and instead I was eating 3xs the calories in nuts and almond butter b/c it's raw??? Bullshit.
As I changed my mind about a few things, I started doing research (of course!) about the history of cooked food and the reliability of comparing myself to an ape who only eats leaves and bananas. I then started seeking out people who are REALLY healthy who eat cooked foods (of course with lots of raw) and I got inspired. More inspired than I have in a very long time. I read up about macrobiotics (still tryna figure that one out...advice?) But definitely got in touch with the process of being grounded and centered.While in the hospital sleeping an average of 2-3 hours a night (broken up between the 24 hour day), I wrote in my journal about perfection. No such thing. And I don't want to play into any of it anymore.
So I take the labels away. Do I still consider myself raw? Yes I do and always will, but I won't put a percentage with it unless some asks me for clarification. I still of course advocate for the raw diet, just as I do for the vegan diet...forevermore, but as soon as I tightened the reins from around my neck, I felt free again.
I have been eating healthier than I have been in a long time and I'm religiously taking my enzymes. My cooked meals come mainly as my last meal of the day and I feel wonderful. Of the 7lbs I gained, I have lost 2 lbs and counting. People had me thinking that the second I ate an ounce of cooked food that I would gain 900 lbs.I decided that with school starting, I am NOT setting that high of a bar for exercise. You all know I am the mom of an awesome mostly-at-home 4 year old kiddo with Autism. I am SO busy. I spent a ton of time that I could have been doing schoolwork at the gym. So as it begins to warm up, I will get in my garage on my treadmill and go for early morning walks when school picks back up for Kennedy. She's been out for 4.5 weeks now. And I will use my weights in my house and get to the gym when I can. She loves it there and that is always a plus.So my diet has been something like this:green juice and fruit til noon.salad with greens, avo, veggies of all kinds (maybe lightly steamed broc, but most likely not)green smoothie snackdinner 1/2 or whole baked sweet potato, salad, steamed veggies. OR brown rice sauteed with olive oil garlic onion and veggies with a huge salad and TWO enzymes.I know that writing every morsel, taking pictures of all of my food and obsessing about if something is 100% raw while still eating packaged "raw foods" and "chips" and "bars" and thinking that whole foods like yams, and lentils = death.
How did I let THAT happen???I am not sure what works for everyone, but I do know what works for me. MODERATE exercise NOT excessive. TONS of raw foods in their natural states and not 75 step ingredient raw food combination dinners (although delicious when I can get to a raw restaurant) and some GROUNDING cooked WHOLE foods.I feel better than I have in a long time and I hope my honestly inspires someone else to know they do NOT have to try to attain something...some goal like 100% raw thinking it will be the won't. I was 100% for a year and half. that was long enough to know it wasn't working for me.
I love being vegan and will never be anything but vegan....but I encourage others to find what works for them and then WORK IT!Speaking of gourmet raw...I went to CA and ate at my favorite south of the Bay raw cafe'....yum yum, yum.
I did stay 100% raw while in CA and AGAIN wished that i had transitioned to more cooked before I left b/c there were really healthy vegan whole food options there and I didn't eat any of it b/c I didn't' have my enzymes and I was afraid of getting sick in any way while out of town. I'm making a lentil veggie soup for tomorrow nite, I will keep you posted.


Gillian Young said...

This is a very refreshing post and a healthier attitude than a lot of blogs I have been reading. I am a healthy eater, but believe in sharing foods with people and different cultures, and find a cooked dinner is essential to finishing my day. All the best.

RawFitMama said...

Gillian- Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. I grew up in New Orleans where sharing food was SO much a part of our culture. As I travel with my daughter (and for myself), I find that piece of "community" missing...definitely. Many blessings to you on your journey

Dayma said...

I am so glad to hear that everything went well with Kennedy.
Girl, I am right there with you on the food thing. I have been going back and forth about 100% raw and my hubby is all or nothing so...I have decided for me that is not practical. So, I read the book, "Raw Food Detox Diet" and had a light bulb moment. So, I have been eating raw all day and having a healthy vegan cooked meal for dinner. This has been working so far for me. But, like you said, "whatever works for you" is what one must go with.
Love ur post! Stay strong!


ChocolateOrchid said...

Glad to hear that your daughter is better!

No mean emails here. I really believe that you have to do you. And if 100% isn't "happy" for you then you shouldn't do it.

Wish you the best!
Peace and blessings!

The Veg Next Door said...


I love your honesty. I know it was a hard decision to make and even harder to announce it. You're right...why eat tons of calories while eating nuts when you can eat delicious rice and veggies and feel satisfied and nourished?

I eat mostly raw during the day and typically have one meal that's cooked (usually dinner). If I eat a cooked lunch and dinner so what! I was beating myself up b/c I wasn't drinking green smoothies for breakfast every morning and I let that guilt go. They were making me so darn cold! I'm still making healthy choices and I'm happy with that.

It's so liberating not to have lables and rules.

I would love to know more about you found out in your research about cooked foods.

Good to hear that your lil' one is well.

Kristen said...

Thank you for your honesty in your posts. I think there are so many of us out here who feel like if we don't do it 100% raw perfect, we are failures. Thank you for allowing us to be human. I pray that your daughter is doing well!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, you are such an inspiration! :) I hope Kennedy is doing well. Who cares about being 199% raw? It's become an elitist thing. It's refreshing that you are so honest with yourself about what makes you happy.

Violet Parr said...

Glad your daughters better =)
Who needs labels! just do what feels right for you...

RawFitMama said...

All the love here is making my heart bubble!!! You ladies rock!

Dayma- SO SO RIGHT ON. I love Natalia Rose. Her approach is so healthy and wonderful. Although she isn't vegan...she has an open mind and an amazing body and energy. Way to go gyrl!

Choc Orchid- Peace back at cha! It's all about happiness isn't it?

Veg Next Door- Hey gyrl!!!! you are so right. In this movement there is a lot of "pressure" to be's almost a pain in the ass. The first question someone asks me at a raw party is "Are you 100%?" When I say I am...then suddenly my words have more credence. Now that I'm not I wonder wht will happen. Maybe I will bring a baked sweet potato to my next raw party! hahahahaha Somewhere along the way these "rules" got made up 1. Drink a green smoothie for breakfast. Who invented that??? Well, maybe Victoria B., but you get my point! ;-0 If you have a cooked lunch AND dinner, try to get a big salad in the mix and add some enzymes when you're done. you will be fine. ESPECIALLY IF it's whole foods you're consuming.

Kristen- Thanks for the prayers. You ARE NOT a failure. Just the fact that you care enough about your God Pod (term for body invented by my idol) to try to eat raw and pay attn to cals/ingredients means you are a rocking woman. Forget what anyone says. Do what's HEALTHY and you will be fine. The pressure is there... I know first hand, but you can do it. Just do it YOUR way.

Anon- Thanks for the love. I am so glad that you like the blog. yes being honest with myself was the FIRST step to clearing this all up (more on that in my next post tonite!)

Violet- Hey!! Here , Here! Who needs labels??????? Not me!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a time and never got started raw out of fear and intimidation...Your new diet has totally inspired me. Raw during the day and vegan at night sounds so doable. I am starting tommorow...thanks for your honesty it has launched me forward

Ireon LeBeauf

UrbanizdGemini said...

Hello, I stumbled across your blog and I have to say this post truly helped me. I just got started in this raw thing recently. Going from eating meat and everything else inbetween to eating raw has become a headache to me. I would like the health benefits but I don't want to be beat over the head about being 100%. I've decided to do what works for me and MY body & you gave me a lot of encouragement to do that.

Thanks a lot :)

Anonymous said...

If what you are doing now ever needed a title then it sound like the Hallelujah diet sans the product. kudos to you for DOING YOU and feeling really authentic in the process.

My goal is to eat according to the vibration and energy of the food. If I'm hyped and buxziing and need to be grounded then yeah warm brown rice, soup or even a vegan oatmeal cookie do the trick. Where as a low day requires me to consume and all RAW green smoothie.

It all about what fuels you and feels right for you.

Glad your daughter is well and glad the rpessure is off.

Peace and chickpeas


Charis said...

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Aimee (Bitt) said...

I tried that too but found over time it gave me too much inflammation. But no weight gain. We are all different and I wish more in the raw food movement would realize that. Thank for staying vegan, the animals thank you!

Casey Lorraine Thomas said...

Darling, you rock! Only you know what's best for your bod and there is never a right or wrong.
Love to you and your beautiful girl.
Casey x

The Agenda: said...

sending healing vibes to you and your daughter. we met at a raw event in nyc last year i believe. you are such an inspiration. it's great to hear about your evolution. 100% raw isn't realistic or sustainable for me and my family, and I've been incorporating different aspects- raw veggie juices, smoothies, salads, etc. and have leaned towards a cyclical approach to incorporating raw foods- raw from rising through lunch, as well as an emphasis on raw in spring and summer. i look forward to hear more about what you discover and share in this phase of your nourishment explorations. blessings, -Nathalie

Kate said...

Hey just found your blog & am really enjoying it:) If you are interested in macrobiotics - definitely check out The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics...explains all the "whys" of macro living & is funny as well.

I shied away from going raw in the past because I wasn't sure I could (or wanted to) to do it 100% I also found some of the very hard core raw & vegan people I know to be a bit arrogant about the whole thing. Now as I am exploring & expanding the amt. of raw food in my diet, I am realizing that it doesn't matter if I am 100% or 75% or whatever - increasing the amt. of LIFE in my diet is a good thing....whatever shape it takes.

Whitney said...

Hi RawFitMama! I am sending this post because I am right there with you. I am a 21yr old african american 100% raw foodist. For the first year I was on cloud nine but after a while I have become bored and gained wieght because of lack of greens and enjoying fats and sweets. I have gone back and forth plenty of times about going back to vegan food but then I think about exactly what it is that I want to eat as a vegan. Burritos, corn bread or whatever and yes I might lose wieght but I will also go back on what I have accomplished in the last year and half. Jayna how has it been since you went back to vegan? I know you lost wieght but I was reading that you constantly take enzyme capsules to ensure your food is digesting. What is up girl...I would love to speak to you over the phone. Please email me if you would like to speak about it:)

DivineJoy said...

DO U ... I am 80% raw, but didn't know it until the Internet, lol. A rawfoodist, what's that? I was just doing what was good for my body. I need alittle rice and bread for balance or I would never sleep! And check it, 4 days a week is plenty of exercise. If you over train, you body will try to hold onto weight because it would think there's a problem. The body will protect itself.

All the best to you!!!!!!!!!!

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Phoenix's Muse said...

I definitely believe some long-grain brown rice is healthier than eating nuts and dried fruit, especially long term. Nuts and dried fruit can make a lovely crust for a raw pie, but the filling should be filled with lots of fresh fruit. The raw diet is all about fresh, fresh, fresh enzyme-rich food. Lots of vegetables, sprouts and fruit. Nuts, seeds and dried fruits are essentially seasonings. They're for moderation. My husband and I call them "raw junk food." They aren't as bad as doritos, but in the world of raw, they are junk by comparison. The healthiest cooked food is still healthier than raw junk food. So I agree with you. I still think that a 95% to 100% raw diet is healthiest, but if you're in a position where it's healthy cooked food or nuts/seeds/dried fruit, then I'd go with the cooked quinoa, brown rice, steamed broccoli, etc. I still would stay away from beans, breads, pastas, anything containing flour, any cooked 'snack' foods, and white rice. *hugs* ~ Raederle

Marsela said...

Your daughter looks fantastically healthy, and really belies the fact that she has such a serious condition, I think you must have an guardian angel looking over you, I really do admire you for trying to create this wonderful world for Kennedy, where do you get this inner reserve and discipline to do this?

VeganFitMama said...

Marsela- I don't know how I didn't see this comment until now. I am so sorry!!! My "inner reserve" comes from daily meditation/or/journaling. Whether on my ipod touch, cell, ipad, manual journal whatever...I have to keep resisting ON A DAILY BASIS "WHY" I am living this way. Don't get me wrong, I have my days, but 90% of the time I am right on schedule. Email me if you need some tips :)

womanofcolor said...

i am loving your blog and your approach to this raw thing and healthy eating in general. your realness makes it very doable for anyone. youve def. gave me peace of mind on my plantbased lifestyle journey. thankyou for this blog

VeganFitMama said...

Womanofcolor- Thank you for your kind words. I am so happy that the blog is helping you. That is my entire mission. I have been on this raw journey for years and years now and I finally have a plan that makes sense. If there is anything I can do to help you don't hesitate to email me. :) Much love,

ngocminh nguyen said...

Great post! Wish you the best!

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