Monday, March 26, 2007

Minus 30 Years ... or Comin' Around Again

Ten days ago I turned 53. Has anyone ever awakened on their 53rd birthday and said, "I'd love to mentally and emotionally just lop off 30 years of my life and begin to finish now what I actually started then?" Has anyone else, upon finding themselves in their early 50's, just decided to "act as if" they were 23 again? Has anyone else ever decided to simply declare a "do over" of sorts in their lives? Well, I have. With regard to my physical health -- and certain aspects of my emotional and spiritual life -- I have declared an official "do over." (I think of Carley Simon's song, "Comin' Around Again," and I say to myself, "Yup, that's me.")

I wanted a place where I could record this somewhat radical "trip" I'm on and have a day-to-day "snapshot" for myself of what it's like to go from eating what's known as the "standard American diet" (the SAD diet!) to eating virtually only living food -- food before General Mills gets ahold of it. I also wanted a place where I could write about the amazing emotional and spiritual changes "acting as if I were 23 again" might reveal. Someone suggested I "blog" about it. So here I am a bloggin. (Originally, I was going to keep a journal just for myself, albeit in blog form. But I'm making it public for those who may be considering doing the same thing. Maybe some of the things I learn as I go will help them in their own "grand experiment"!)

Mainly, this blog will be a place where I recap my day-to-day experiences of leaving the sad diet behind and eating "live" food instead. I want to see if I begin to have any extraordinary surge in energy and vitality, not only in my physical stamina, but mentally and spiritually, as well. I want to see if my eyesight improves (I'd love to chuck my glasses)! I want to see if my bones get stronger ... and ligaments and tendons, too (I still can tell when it'll rain because my knee that got messed up in a taxi accident aches just before the rain comes!) Anyway, it's my grand experiment. I have no goal weight I want to achieve; no target time frame within which to accomplish anything. I just want optimum health, and I'm curious as to how that will show up in my bod, soul and spirit.

I've finally headed out on this living foods adventure ... it's been months in the making. One day at a time, eating food that grows -- it's gotta be simple, right?

A lot of people helped me get to this place, to this "experiment" -- where I'm willing to forego a roast chicken and baked potato for a lovely, vibrant salad. Those people are the healthy folks who've walked this path before me and took the time to write about it, talk about it, teach about it, blog about it and in general share their experiences going raw. They are too many to name now, but they will make their appearance here via links and references throughout this diary. (Mainly, it was my beautiful daughter who got me to this place -- but that will require a book, not merely a blog, to express!)

A little history of where I've been ...

When a woman's body is carrying around a whole lot more weight than she needs, lots of things are going on for her. Mostly -- and sadly -- a steady mantra in her own soul that she is "huge" ... or "matronly" ... or "disgusting." Couple that with a lot of other people thinking the same things about overweight women, and that woman has a virtual guaranty she'll stay stuck in that unhealthy place for quite some time. Self-criticism, beating one's self up mentally, actually reinforces the very things one is trying to break free of. In my life, I have "been there, done that" (as the expression goes). I'm not there any more because I realized something profound: What we continually think we are, we become even MORE of.

This past year, as I've gotten more and more healthy, I "toyed" with going raw, but never felt fully committed to it. Thought it might be too drastic, something one could get obsessive about -- and thus become quite obnoxious to be around in mixed company. But the more I learned, read, and felt intuitively, the more I realized that this was the next step for me. About a month ago, while reading Living on Live Food by Alissa Cohen, I became profoundly convinced that to go even further along this road to optimum health, living food is the way for me.

For all of five days now, I've been on a 95% "raw diet" (virtually zero cooked food). Already, I'm noticing some very positive things. My intention is not to be 100% raw, as that is a sure-fire way to failure, I think. My intention is to eat living food rather than cooked food as often as possible. Period.

And now to the grand experiment!

Day 1: I was psyched, joyful, confident ... enjoying the simple pleasure of knowing that what I'm eating is actually helping me and not harming me. No room there to guilt one's self about anything. I like that. (btw, cooked foods make the body work harder to digest everything, to break down the food and deliver nutrients to the cells. Live foods help the cells receive nutrients easier and faster.)

Day 2: Even more psyched. Knowing it's totally possible to change habits of many years and to not be burdened by doing so.

Day 3: Asking myself, "Can I really live like this every day? ... then realizing what a bizarre question that really is! It's real food, the way God designed it. It grows, we pick it, we dress it up a wee bit, and then we eat it. What's truly bizarre is that what I've known since age 20 has taken me 30 years to fully embrace!

Day 4: Today. Could be my imagination, but I noticed how deliciously unique the taste of each vegetable is (seems to have become "Vegetable Appreciation Day" for me). I'm glad. Eating food in its basic form isn't "hard" to do. It's just different. Here's a huge difference: it's not man-handled in factories and plants and processed and "fortified" with supposed "natural" flavorings. And ... it has no unpronounceable chemicals in it.

I decided I'd give my friend, Deenie, a call -- she's a raw foods chef -- and ask if she might want to be my "mentor" as I make this transition. It would be cool if she's game (ha, ha ... "game" ... we'll have none of that now, will we).