Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Shenanigins and Day of Rest from Exercise

Forty one years ago in 1970, Earth Day was born. Now more than ever...we must pay attention.

  • National Resources Defense Council's staff did a short blog on Acting NOW.
  • The Huffington Post Green (love them!) posted (no pun intended) a great article asking if we can afford to go green anymore .
  • Please check out The Earth Day Network. Remember to check in ALL year long. It's Earth year :) Much like other holidays, I enjoy celebrating them on only one day, but I try to be conscious of them all year long (i.e. Valentine's day, Mother's Day, etc).

On the Earth Day Network, you can learn about Green Schools & Education, Advocacy, Energy, Transportaion, Sustainable living, Conservation and Biodiversity, Recycling & Waste Reduction, Water use and so much more. I believe that if more people knew better...they would do better. It isn't a matter of shaking our heads at people brushing their teeth wtih the water on, but rather educating them in a compassionate and nonjudgmental way about their options along this green path.For those that live this green life with me, remember the time when you were clueless and operate from that place.

After planting our sunflower (composter plans on hold until it is at least 55 degrees), we headed over to my friend's house for Easter fun! We didn't participate in the egg boiling because Kenendy couldn't understand why they were boiling baby eggs! But we did do lots of decorating and laughing. This Earth Day felt so magical as I shared this time with her and really tapped into that space where everything is as it should be. I pray that all can find it. I haven't found it in a partner...or in Kennedy...or in a career....but rather in my spirit. It lives in a deep, dark, mystical place in my soul that just knows that everything is exactly as it is supposed to be in this very moment...exhale...

This ties into Earth Day. People...go green. It isn't a choice, but rather a gentle command. We didn't inherit this planet from our parents, but rather are borrowing it from our children (forget where I read that), but please work to be mindful. It is super easy to think about going green. Let me help you. Click on any of the blogs below!

  • Upcycle Magazine Awesome DIY info on reusing materials to make everything. One of (if not) my favorite!
  • Natural Living in South Carolina Crazy cool down-to-earth life of a family living sustainably. So inspiring. Makes me really wish I owned my home- though most times I don't want to!
  • Raw Model Former 100% raw, 100% vegan turned sustainable, live-off-the-grid non vegan dude on a mission. I totally respect what he's into
  • Treehugger- Amazing site with all things eco. I subscribe to their newsletter
  • NYTimes Green Blog- Knowledge is power...that's all I'm saying
  • 365 Ways to Go Green- This guy took on a challenge to do something green for a year in 2010. I'm glad he left the blog up!
Now what are YOU going to do to be green????

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

My First Attempt at Patio Gardening!-- TV Tuesday

Before I get started, today I went to Weight Watchers and threw my "Lifetime" Status around and weighed in. Just having to stand there in judgment (totally overreacting) was enough to make me feel on the ball. Is there someone you can feel "accountable to"?

Last Friday I put my muscle into making my own patio garden. I don't own my home and this townhouse development I live in doesn't allow major planting of anything on the ground. So, I did some research and came up with a few great ways to start cultivating my green thumb. Let me say that this "garden" has been about 5 years in the making. But my perfectionist traits wouldn't ever let me feel I was ready to actually start one. I need more money. I need more space. I need to be more knowledgeable about it. I need..I need...I need... Finally on Friday I was in home depot for mirror screws and decided that NOW was the time. I sought out a knowledgeable sales associate with some time on his hands and I picked his brain.

My fully loaded Home Depot Cart


Car loaded! I can fit anything I want into that VW Beetle!

I'd already watched endless youtube videos and read a ton, but still didn't feel ready. Although a storm was due to come the next day, I set my gears to working on it. I set out in the sun (one of the only really warm Spring days so far) to build this garden. My neighbors (not the friendly people I've met in life) kept coming out on their decks and looking at me like I was insane. Perhaps it was because I had 12 pieces of ply wood spread out everywhere, or maybe because I kept running in circles lifting my shirt up over my head to dodge yellow jackets (bees)...either way I set out to do my own thing. I sang to myself as it took me about 3 hours to full open, set up, plant all my veggies. This is my FIRST FIRST FIRST attempt at finally starting my own garden. A true lifelong dream of mine. Money is very limited so I decided to start with one 4x4 and one herb bed. My herb bed (lavender, thyme, oregano, basil)  is dead thanks to the storm that came :( but I will replant it this weekend on Earth Day with Kennedy.

Getting Set up. My Red compost bucket cracked in a million pieces. WTF??

Making accurate measurements.
It was so windy I had to use things to hold down my sheet!

35lbs each bag. I had to bring them up a hill. I felt like I was on the Biggest Loser

Ready to be planted!

My lonely basil..she is all wilted after the winds came

Fully assembled raised garden on my patio! (before the storm came)
That's a tomato cage in the corner

Using organic soil. Gave all my compost away:(

What I planted:
  • red peppers
  • 2 rows of cukes (2 vines)
  • vine tomatoes
  • swiss chard
  • 3 types of lettuce
  • beets
  • basil
  • lavender
  • thyme
  • oregano
If all goes well financially speaking, I will get another raised garden to build next to it and will add:
  • zucchini
  • three more tomato vines
  • onions
  • three more lettuces (lettuce? lettuci? whatever :-)
  • more red peppers
This garden represents so much more than just seeds in the ground cover by soil. This is me shifting into a different consciousness. This is me saying goodbye to perfectionism and accepting what is while moving forward in the direction of my dreams. Guess what? If I keep waiting, I will never be__________ (rich, have the time, be in the position enough etc.) to get anything done. I was very impressed with my work. There are no more excuses for me. NONE. I have to do most everything (98%) alone. So I used chairs to hold things in place while I drilled and biggie! NO excuses. What would your life looked like if you had no excuses? What would it look like if you stared FEAR (false evidence appearing real) in the face and said fuck it and did the shit anyway??? That's the space I'm living in now. Fearless. Bold. Daring. Alone. I'm empowered and liberated. For that that don't like what.

What I Wish I Knew Before Starting:
  • You don't have to know EVERYTHING about gardening to start.
  • There is a plethora of resources just waiting for me
  • Home Depot staff in that area are trained and willing to answer any and all questions you may have
  • You don't need a fortune to start a garden
  • You can start now and build every year!
  • Learn from the "global visual university" aka YouTube by clicking here!
  • I am learning more about container gardening and will share as the Spring continues (if it ever starts here in PA)

Earth Day Activities:
  • Take a walk out in Mother Nature and collect as many things as we can along the way.
  • Go for a short bike/scooter ride in our cul-de-sac
  • Make out own compost (blog will be up next week about it)
  • Plant an organic sunflower in the cutest plantar ever for Kennedy
  • Kennedy goes with her dad and I am going to go to few local events/vegan samplings. Don't forget I live in a freak-ass small town so I'll be home soon
  • Take a bike ride! - post later this week
Tuesdays are TV Tuesdays in my house. The only day that I dedicate to watching tv. I watch The Biggest Loser and Parenthood. It was soooooooooooo awesome.

Upcoming on the Blog:

  1. April is Autism Awareness Month- "Autism Thru the Years"
  2. My "Treadmill Races"- 2 5ks in April; 2 5ks and a 10k in June; 1/2 marathon in July
  3. Biking Post- Facing a Major Fear
  4. At Home Workouts vs Gym Workouts- My preferences and resources for each

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

50 Creative, Cheap Ways to Have Fun- TinyBuddha

056/365: I'll paint our love with wild flowers

This site is amazing! Check em out! I found this list so inspiring. Right up my alley. Lots of this I have on my vegan bucket list :-)

50 Creative, Cheap Ways to Have Fun

by Lori Deschene (all photos are hers)

“Never let lack of money interfere with having fun.” ~Unknown

Back when we were young, we may have asked our parents for money to do things, but more often than not, we found creative ways to have fun without spending a dime.

At least I know I did.

My cousins and I turned their bulkhead cellar doors into a slide—and the main attraction of our DIY amusement park.

We turned cardboard paper towel rolls and rice-filled soda bottles into instruments, and entertained ourselves for hours on end. OK, maybe not hours, but you get the point.

We didn’t wait for overtime or vacation weeks to have fun. More often than not, it didn’t really matter what we did. All that mattered is that we were together, and we were fully committed to enjoying ourselves.

I highly doubt I’d spend one of my adult Saturdays banging on a homemade coffee can drum, but there’s something to said for getting a little creative with your downtime. Especially since a lot of us spend a great deal of time immersed in routines and technology.

If you’re looking for some cheap, creative ways to enjoy the weekend—or perhaps an upcoming weekday you’ve chosen to liberate—I recommend:

Have Fun Outside

1. Take a “flip the penny” hike in the woods. Assign each side as right or left, and then when you come to a fork in the road, flip to see which way you go. Make sure you keep track of where you’re going so you don’t get lost!

2. Host a modern scavenger hunt, using technology.

3. Have a picnic in the park, and ask everyone to make something from scratch.

4. Make your own kite and then head to the beach to fly it.

5. Take up urban foraging—the act of picking free fruits, vegetables, and edible plant life around your city, where sanctioned.

6. Start a nature collection—interesting shaped rocks or shells—and then spend the day getting it started.

7. Start a garden on the cheap using some clever ideas from

8. Download a bike map application for your iPhone and explore a new area.

9. Have a nostalgia hunt at a flea market. Look for GI Joes, My Little Ponies, Cabbage Patch Kids, or anything else you loved as a kid.

10. Go geocoaching—a “high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers.”

Have Fun with Food

[ Feeling in the Mood : Pizza Dreams ] London, England, United Kingdom

11. Swap family recipes with a friend and make each other’s to enjoy together.

12. Make ingredients gifts for upcoming birthdays and events—get a jar, decorate it, and then layer cookie ingredients inside.

13. Have a cookie swap party. Everyone makes a dozen and goes home with a dozen of all different types of cookies.

14. Take turns hosting dinners with friends. It’s much less expensive than going out to eat, and it gives everyone a turn to host.

15. Host pot luck dinners based on food themes. Everyone brings something Italian, and the next time Thai, and the next time Chinese.

16. Have a food art party—everyone needs to bring something that’s both edible and creative.

17. Have a budget food contest. Everyone has to cook a dish spending no more than $5 or $10. Eat and vote on the best budget dish!

18. Start your own Julie and Julia project—grab a cookbook, start working your way through it, and blog about it as you go.

19. Make a recipe book of all your favorite dishes to give to someone you love.

20. Have an ugly cake contest. Have all of your friends make a desert, and then before you enjoy them together, vote on which is the ugliest!

Have Fun with Entertainment
after the explosion

21. Have a karaoke night using the YouTube karaoke channel.

22. Look on Craigslist for your area to see if there are any free concerts going on in nearby parks.

23. Have a movie marathon with one or two friends where everyone brings their favorite DVD.

24. Have an independent-film marathon, watching free indie videos online.

25. Spend a day looking for free street performances in the nearest big city. In the summer particularly, there’s a ton!

26. Host your own open mic night and invite all your most talented musician, comedian, and poet friends.

27. Have a culture day—visit a museum on a free day, listen to classical music on the way, and watch a classic movie in the evening.

28. Call your local theater to see if they take volunteer ushers. Many theaters give free tickets to volunteers who either seat guests or clean up post-performance.

29. If you have children, host a family barbecue where the adults catch up while the kids come up with a little show to perform later in the evening. (My favorite childhood memories all involve a show with the cousins!)

30. Use Facebook to get a group together for a flash mob. You’ll need a lot of people—and undoubtedly, this requires work—but it can be a ton of fun to prepare and carry out! Here are 15 flash mob videos to get the creative juices flowing!

Have Fun by Trading

old buttons

31. Host a clothes swap day where everyone brings clothing and accessories they no longer want, and everyone goes home with something new. (This may be more for the ladies!)

32. Exchange homes for a night. When you’re staying at your friend’s high-rise condo and she’s decompressing in your claw-foot tub, a relaxing night in will have a whole new sense of excitement.

33. Trade gear—let your friend use your bike while you learn to rollerblade.

34. Trade iPods for a jog or hike with a friend to learn a little more about the type of music that gets your friend pumped.

35. Have a board game night where everyone brings their favorite game. (OK, so this is more sharing than trading).

36. Trade your services for someone else’s. Offer to help your painter friend set up a website in exchange for painting your bedroom. It will be a fun, free, productive afternoon!

37. Have a no-money garage sale on a sunny afternoon. List on Craigslist everything that you have that you’d like to get rid of, and include a list of everything you want in exchange.

38. Trade ideas. Ask your friend to share his or her favorite way to spend a day off, and then you share yours. You can either do them separately and report back to each other, or do them together on two respective off days.

39. Trade videos with a loved one who lives far away. Each of you plan a day of fun, without telling each other what it will entail. Then go through the day with the intention of creating a joy-filled video to send the other one later that evening.

40. Trade blogs. You host your friend’s blog for a day and let him or her host yours. If you both write about different niches, this is an incentive to try something new so that you can write about it.

Have Fun by Giving Back

41. Create a digital product about something you enjoy and donate the proceeds to charity.

42. Host a free webinar sharing something that you’re passionate about.

43. Sign up to be a volunteer dog walker through the SPCA (you can also help organize fundraising events, provide general animal care, and assist with grooming, among other things.)

44. Call your local children’s hospital and see if you can host a sing-a-long or come dressed up as a clown to spread cheer. (Contributor Harriet Cabelly did something similar through Patch Adams international clowning trips.)

45. Volunteer to help with events at your local zoo. Some zoos require an extensive time commitment, but others take short-term volunteers for specific events.

46. Be an unofficial park volunteer for a day. In between relaxing and reading books on the grass, pick up litter to keep the area clean.

47. Use Charity Navigator to find a local charity that you can trust, and then get involved starting today.

48. Help an elderly neighbor with her garden, or with another chore that you generally enjoy doing.

49. Lead or participate in a midnight run to help the homeless.

50. Have a bake sale with friends in your neighborhood, and then donate the proceeds to your favorite charity.

Have anything to add to the list?

When you go to her site she has tons of links to click to help you get started on your journey! Check em out!

Monday, April 18, 2011

My WeightLoss Story- Pictures and All

First, let me say how unbelievably important it is for me to share my entire story in full honesty. This is important. I don't know why I haven't shared all of it before now, but I feel it on my heart to do so here goes. My prayer is that this story reaches whomever it's intended to reach.

It was slightly difficult to show childhood/old photos because I lost all my childhood photos in Hurricane Katrina, but I did have a few with me here in PA when her insidious flood waters stole my others (can't you see I'm not bitter lol).

In early childhood I was the child who was a very very finicky eater. I ate only the boiled buttered veggies off of my plate and laughed as my brothers fought over my barbecued chicken legs. I would choose cheese pizza over meatlovers and was rarely found with candy in my hand. I am not sure if I had a serious aversion to junk or if my desire to be a Catholic nun stood in my way of desiring anything. As I saw it, to be a nun one must learn to deny oneself of anything pleasurable. But I digress. As a result I was a super skinny child. I mean super skinny. Like "donate ten cents a day skinny". :) I was fine with it though. For the longest time I never ever had any thoughts about food ...good or bad. I ate veggies when we sat down and didn't think of eating anymore after that.

Onto high school...ahhh puberty etc. After puberty I "beefed" up a little. My version of "beefed" was about average size at that point. I wasn't very active. I fancied academic groups over the limited physically active groups my all-black-all-girls-Catholic high school offered. But I became a Majorette and spent hours twirling and marching for Mardi Gras seasons. I didn't watch anything that I ate. I didn't have to.

High School- 17 years old (120 lbs)

High School - 17 years old   (120lbs) weight problem. Oh me oh my. I started freshman year wearing my nice size 5. Enter (a) 18 hour course load, (b) premed courses, (c) part-time job, (d) isolation --I was NOT the party girl, and (e) no sleep...== freshman 15. It was no big deal. I had a pizza here. Fries there. Coffee all nite full of cream. But I wasn't mindfully doing it. 2500 cals a day and no exercise will make any young girl fat. I didn't seem to mind it and came home to New Orleans for the summer in between years. The looks I got!! No one said anything to my face, but I can see the stares. I actually overhead a conversation between two of my female cousins about "how fat she got". Ouch. But, it didn't stop me. The freshman 15 that I gained was NOTHING compared with what was to come. I wasn't depressed at that time. Just busy. Buried in the books.

Freshman year. My dorm was so cool! (128lbs)  

     Playing dress up instead of partying! (128 lbs)

Sleeping thru depression- Started gaining. About 135 lbs                                                               

    150 lbs

The next year I had a near death experience. Without going into detail, the love of my life at the time, tried to kill me. I made it out alive...but had I??? I walked away physically alive, but a large part of me died that day. How could I ever trust again? I built an iron-steel fortress around myself and ate away the pain. I had never used food before to comfort myself, but found it waaaaay too easy to soothe my wooes with it. Remember earlier on when I said I wasn't a party girl? Well, that isn't to make myself seem dignified. I really wasn't. My father is a crack addict and alcoholic and has been for most of eternity. Therefore, I've been afraid to use any substance--mostly ever-- even Tylenol. Illegal drugs? NEVER. Drinking? I average one glass of wine every few years. But there I was...knee-deep in an addiction! WTF! I was furious. Worst yet, I hadn't realized there was a problem until one fateful day I ordered an extra large extra cheese pizza and I said to myself, "This is the last one and then I'm not going to get these anymore". I found myself saying that four days in a row.... I knew I had a problem.

      Presenting some research at a National Conference.        

       Nice thighs!

I graduated college weighing about 172 pounds...ouch! I still thought I was hot stuff though. I laugh when I think to myself that I didn't realize that I was that big at all! I was so wrapped up into my studying that I hardly noticed pound after pound creeping on! When I became vegetarian at the age of 21 I started to pay more attention to what I ate and then I made a huge connection. But the overeating didn't stop....

     Right before graduation                                     

How tired do I look? 3 pots of coffee a day

At age 22 I started using my mom's old kitchen treadmill and I drank my first homemade smoothie. I made a smoothie everyday and had awesome vegan dishes. I still wasn't cooking yet, but lived on convenience foods.  As a new vegan I was enchanted with this new world. I was very excited by all of it. I lost forty pounds doing this! I felt amazing. I went from about 175-135 pounds. All on my own. Shortly thereafter I got married...he went overseas...came home and I was pregnant within two months of his arrival. I did well with my vegan pregnancy until I went into preterm labor at 27 weeks. I was shut in the hospital, drugged, and paralyzed for about 5-6 weeks. I took countless steroids to inflate her lungs, heart, liver, kidneys. As a result, I ballooned up to about 195 pounds. I don't have any photos from that time. They didn't believe that Kennedy would make it and I did not want one single reminder of that dreadful hospital stay.

After givng birth to Kennedy, I set out on a mission to be healthy. Here my little 4 lb baby was fighting for her life and I wanted Rice Cream. I joined a gym when she was 3 months old and started out very very slowly. I mean super slow. I mean the grandma on the machine next to me looked like Flo Jo compared to me. I didn't give a shit what anyone else thought, I just wanted to move my body. It I quit the gym shortly after. My exhusband complained about the time it took for me to go to and from and it started to get cold. Plan B- Billy Blanks Tae Bo on VHS. He will always have a soft spot in my heart. I gave all of my VHS and DVDS away to a dear friend on her bday a few years ago and I miss em! It used to be (1) me, (2) Billy, (3) a used 19" old school tv, and the (4) living room. When Kennedy went down for a short nap, I would work out. She was on a heart rate monitor so I would be alerted if she stopped breathing (which happened quite often).

I went from 195-155 lbs this way. On my own. Using the book Fit for Life: Not Fat for Life , super old Billy Blanks DVDs, my beloved BeachBody in particular Turbo Jam and a black n white composition book to log what I ate. It was really Turbo Jam that changed how my body looked. The strength training component coupled with the crazy cardio left me sweating buckets and using every muscle in my body. But at 155 lbs things started happening in my life. Kennedy developed Autism and my marriage started unraveling. Hurricane Katrina happened to my family and city and I was a full-time student and researcher at Penn State. YIKES. The pressure was on. I couldn't lose weight and played with the same ten pounds (155-165) over and over again. The overeating/binging when sad/overwhelmed just wouldn't go away. I thought maybe Overeaters Anonymous was the answer. I attended only one meeting and knew that it really wasn't the fit for me. One day at lunch with a stressed out friend I hadn't seen in a while, I noticed that she looked great! She told me she was on Weight Watchers and I asked her what that was. Yes I was probably the only woman who never heard of Weight Watchers. I explained to her that packaged meals wouldn't work for me and then I learned all about the program that lunch period. Packaged meals wasn't a part of it. I was so excited. Accountablity? Group meetings??? Sign me up!

The next day I walked into a Weight Watchers meeting where my weight read 155.2 on the scale. I was so nervous to be there. I had never in my life thought I'd need a place like that. But there I was 26 years old and in a meeting. As a budding psychologist, I knew that asking for and recieving help for any problem is always the more noble thing to do. Suffering in silence and pretending to be "above" it are just lame-o. Anyway, I was a diligent Weight Watcher. I did the CORE plan-- basically whole foods (which I did all vegan) and used the weigh ins for accountability. I kinda felt like I was on another plan from everyone else because of how much I did things differently, but that is the beauty of Weight can do it anyway that you want to. I went from 155.2-115 lbs- using Weight Watchers weigh ins for accountablity, eating whole foods and working out between at home and the gym (post coming this week on both). After I made lifetime...I found raw food. I didn't need any group for that and I found all the support I needed online. I effortlessly maintained my weight of 109-114 lbs.

 I wasn't until this past year (2010) that I have ever gained weight in 4-5 years. I went from 115-142 :( I know  I know. My ass couldn't fit into one pair of my jeans. No literally my ass. I am "lucky" enough that when I gain weight 70% goes to my ass, 20 % to my breasts, and 10% all over (mainly my belly). I will make a separte blog post about Kennedy's surgery when it gets closer to her one year anniversary date (July 21st), but it almost killed me to go through this. I can't even put into words how my heart skips a beat everytime I close my eyes and remember that pain. I sat alone in the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit) and ate batch after batch of fries. I don't think I stopped crying every second that her eyes were closed. I have never felt so detached and so low in all of my life. I shut the entire world out. It was the only way I knew to survive it. At one point, she started doing so poorly in the PICU they called up the chaplain. I was so so so so depressed. I ate and ate and ate and didn't stop. She came home on steroids and wanted to eat everything in sight- I let her- doctor's orders. She would ask, "Aren't you hungry too mommie? Am I eating too much?", I responded, "Of course you aren't sweetheart, I AM hungry" even when I wasn't sometime.

Fast forward to now. (the current pix won't load). I'll share a few tomorrow and then repost em here on this page. April 2011. I have 20 pounds to lose (135lbs) and everytime I seem to get a great handle on things, life throws me another curve ball. Now it's a bitter and nasty custody battle with my exhusband- the lawyer grinch. I am using a plethora of techniques to not be as phased by all of that and I finally think I'm in a good place with it all.

So, what's next for me?
  • Weight Watchers weigh ins for accountablity? I don't know. I am lifetime. Since 2006. I never lose that so maybe I'll give myself that once weekly weigh in to be accountable. But, if these plans I have work out (more on that this weekend), I will surely be  held accountable there. I'll keep you posted. I may start going there to be accountable and stop when I feel like things are under "control".
  • 7 Days Raw Until Dinner followed by Kris Carr's 21 day Adventure Cleanse Tune Up . click here for a recap by Kris if you don't have the book
  • Working out more. I just bought a bike! It will be here by next week and I have to put the seats down in the VW to go get it assembled. Wish me luck. I'll do an entire post about biking after it arrives. This is truly me facing a mayjah fear.
  • Being more active in general. Dancing with the Wii instead of watching useless tv...taking Halo the pooch for long walks...etc
  • Other "little" things like not eating after 8 pm, getting my 3Ls of water in per day, having at least one green smoothie/juice per day
  • Take my personal training exam in May! I will be up for business shortly thereafter! I am working on so much awesome stuff!! (like I said, I'm a solo operation so bear with me ;-)
  • Knowing that I know what I am doing. I have all the tools. All of em!
Thanks for letting me share this long version of my history with food and weight gain/loss. I have accepted that I will most likely have to "work" in this area for the rest of my life. I am okay with this. I know what I am doing. I did it successfully for five years. I have to slow the chatter down, accept that my daugther is fine and will live a long life, and stay on the horse.

Anyone else out there vibe with my story? Have you been round and round the bush? Well, join me as I use all the crazy knowledge that I gained over the past 6-7 years to get back into the best shape of my life and live my wildest dreams even in the face of extreme adversity and crazy circumstances.

Thanks for reading. Phew! :-)

Up Next on the Bloggie:
  1. My first attempt at patio gardening! - Resources and info that I WISH I had
  2. April is Autism Awareness Month- "Autism Thru the Years"
  3. My "Treadmill Races"- 2 5ks in April; 2 5ks and a 10k in June; 1/2 marathon in July
  4. Biking Post- Facing a Major Fear
  5. At Home Workouts vs Gym Workouts- My preferences and resources for each

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Failure on Raw?

                                                                   Go to fullsize image
A super sweet blog reader (hey Eryn!:) left a comment saying how she thought she'd barf if she ate another raw thing! She wanted to know if there were any stories of gradually going 100% raw or maybe not going 100% at all and just being raw-concious. Let me tell you Eryn (and all else interested), raw is a journey NOT a destination! My decidion to go 100% raw (when I was 100%) happened over a year and half time period. I read tons of books. I looked at a zillion articles and I read blogs. I didn't want to feel  pressured or to feel less than because I wasn't ready.

I know if I had tried to dive into it back then in 2006, I would have failed miserably. By fail I mean= feel less than; guilt; low feelings of self-worth associated with the choice, etc. I honestly believe that eating tons of raw food is the healthiest possible lifestyle imagineable. I have never been more happy and at peace than when I ate 100% raw and when I keep my diet high raw. It's what keeps people coming back to the lifestyle over and over and over again. What "gurus" (that word is wayyyy overused) is that they don't tell you one thing.... EVERYBODY is difffernt. What worked for one may not work for you. You have to read all the stuff and sort through what best fits your lifestyle. If you are a single woman on the go who hates cooking...planning elaborate raw gourmet dishes probably isn't for you. It's all about getting educated and then getting motivated. (There is a really emotional post that I am putting up tomorrow all about motivation...amongst other things).

Tips for Starting Raw

  • Ask yourself WHY you want to go raw. Have you seen weightloss success for other people? Are you ready to get in control of your health? Been feeling sluggish lately? The answer to the question will determine SO much about your raw food journey and how long you stick with it.
  • Realize that you canNOT fail at raw if you don't stop trying. Some days I have 100% raw days and some days I barely have an apple after my cooked oatmeal. The weather plays a lot into it as does my stress gentle with yourself as you try to undo years and years of food conditioning.
  • Dare to figure out for yourself what works. Yes this one or that one has the "perfect raw story", but maybe they aren't parents like you are. Or maybe they live in a warm climate where good fruit is available 10 our of 12 months. Try not to compare yourself to anyone else and simply do the best YOU can do in your situation.
  • Design a raw week for yourself. Old school style. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. What will you eat for B/L/D? Grocery shop on Sunday to get the supplies for it. (Want me to post ideas...lemme know)
  • Pick raw foods/meals that you love. I like to look at my menu and salivate at the weekly choices! I wouldn't dare put a mixed beets salad as lunch on Monday because I would look for excuses and reasons to skip it and grab something ridiculous.
  • Pay attention to your EXCUSES and the lame lies that you tell yourself. You can work on the lies you tell others later, but start being honest with yourself. Why is this raw or vegan journey seemingly so difficult? Is there something else that you are working through right now that is making this "diet/lifestyle" change super difficult for you? (for me it surely is!)
  • Lastly, lovvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeee this process. Raw food is meant to be light, easy, delicious, and enjoyable. If you find yourself stressed out, broke, annoyed, is time to step back, grab a green smoothie and reboot your gears.
NO matter what happens in my life (and plenty is going on right now <---more on it tomorrow), I vow to remain 100% vegan and to continue finding myself on the raw road...even if I feel like I'm fighting to stay there. I don't profess to be a "guru" or anything like that. I am a single mom, hard-working American with a limited budget trying to change cultural standards and genetic norms to create vibrant living and health for me and my daughter. Join me!

  1. My entire history with diets/weight loss--- "My Weightloss Story"
  2. My first attempt at patio gardening!
  3. Newly designed blog - give me some time/space I don't have a "team" helping me, it's all Jayna'
  4. April is Autism Awareness Month-- "Autism Over the Years"
  5. My "Treadmill Races"- 2 5ks in April; 2 5ks and a 10k in June; 1/2 marathon in July
I am so grateful for my dedicated blog readers. You all have no idea with your comments/emails mean to me right now. I love you!


Friday, April 8, 2011

SARK's Writing Contest, Kris Carr, Raw Food, etc!

It is Autism Awareness Month so I have been busy (more on that in the next post), but I wanted to mention (last minute I know) SARK's Word Contest! As a budding writer and lover of all things SARK, I urge you to stretch your creative mind muscles and enter the contest. It is super easy. You just read the entire page and come up with a title of a book using five words on that page! I won't tell you mind, but I will tell you it took me 20 minutes, a quart of green smoothie, and a larabar to figure it out! I am proud of my selection! Contest ends today so check it out!!

Kris Carr's awesome site of information and inspiration at Crazy Sexy Life never fails to inspire me. Sometimes I wish I had more "internet browsing time" to spend there like I used to back in the day, but when I do make time, I never run out of ways to be inspired by this woman. Truly. She is the REAL dealio and is a magnetic ball of energy. I was one of the first people to learn about her amazing forum way back when.

I have been a fan and follower since she stepped out with her Crazy Sexy Cancer documentary that I watch at least 6-10 times a year. When I met her in person (as I wrote about earlier this year), I was so in awe of her dynamic presence. She has a few events coming up in April. None of which it seems I can attend...well, Maybeeeee one of em...hmmm

Kris Carr's April Schedule- No I'm not her assistant :) I just wanna spread the info. If you are around, I promise you it won't be a disappointment to hear this woman speak.

 Monkey Mind Challenge  I am JUST starting the challenge today. In 2011, I have been wiping away all illusions of perfection. So this is perfectly fine for me to start 13 days into it! Any takers? You don't have to join CSL, just start meditating or as Dhrumil taught me years ago falling still.

Crazy Sexy MeditationWhen: Started Sunday, March 27 for 21 days

                                          Where: Crazy Sexy Meditation Group, My Crazy Sexy Life
We're heading into our second week of our 21-day meditation challenge. We'll be posting our second giveaway on Monday so be sure to join in here. In case you missed it, I posted an excerpt from Crazy Sexy Diet sharing my tips for creating a sacred space in the Getting Started discussion. Share a photo of your altar here.

Urban Zen Sustainable Wellness
Date: April 14                                              urban zen

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Location: Urban Zen, 711 Greenwich Street, NYC

Tickets: $75
Join me April 14 for Urban Zen's Conversations on Sustainable Wellness led by Dr. Frank Lipman. I will be speaking along with Dr. Christiane Northrup on how to triumph over illness, cultivate wellness and master sustainable living. We'll be answering your questions from twitter! Just tweet them to @urban_zen on April 14. The event will also be streaming live for those who can't make it to NYC. Tune in at Buy your tickets for the live event in NYC here.

OMG! Cancer Summit                                  
                                                                                              omg summit
Date: April 16-17

Time: All day; exact times listed here

Location: The Altman Building, 135 West 18th Street, NYC

Tickets: Free, but you must register. Only a few spots left or sign up for the waiting list.
On April 17 in the morning, I'll be speaking in NYC at the 4th Annual OMG! Cancer Summit for young adults. This is a major international oncology conference and social networking event for young adults affected by all cancers, as well as for their caregivers and providers. Tickets are free but limited, and you must register here.
Onto raw food...been craving it. Been wanting mega green smoothies and dreaming of juicing and crunchy crisp salads...whoa! It isn't exactly warm on the East Coast (today's HIGH is a rainy 45 degrees), but I guess my body is use to the change in season and is craving more raw food. I have been cooking a ton lately and am feeling the itch to make more raw recipes!!!  I have been sent a new amazing looking raw food cookbook to review. I will make a few dishes this weekend and report back. Has anyone else been wanting more raw food??? Is this just me?? I haven't eaten my protein oatmeal in a while and all I want in the morning is a green smoothie with almond milk, spirulina, flaxseeds (ground), etc. Yummmm. Granted it's a HUGE smoothie, it's a smoothie nonetheless.
Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Milk, Unsweetened Vanilla, 32-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)I am back to running after unfortunate knee/pine cone/bad ass 3 year old incident. It feels good to run again. There aren't many races for me to enter at this point (shorter distance 5K, 10K, etc) so I decided to start running my own treadmill races!!!!!!!! This week I have completed 3- 5Ks. I will have an entire post coming up about my dedication to running. As an uninsured American properly rehabbing my knee was a no-go. So WHAT does a gyrl do??? They turn to youtube aka America's new Visual Encyclopedia. So, we shall see how ye ol' knee holds up.

Okay, it's raining and cold. I have to get Kennedy in a few hours. I have to let this food digest and hit the gym. Tonite is movie nite with Kennedy and I HAVE to be ready ;)


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