sweet sleep

This is the morning of day five and last night was the best night’s sleep since returning to low-fat, raw vegan. Perhaps it has something to do with some major soul healing that is taking place? I slept solid most of the night, which means I wasn’t plagued by physical pain either. Praise the Lord!

The Husband and I went for a really, really long walk yesterday afternoon. He let me talk out some things that were bothering me, and then I came home and got into God’s Word and prayer. One of the beautiful qualities Husband has is that he is an insanely good listener. Most of the time he doesn’t try to “fix” me or offer advice, unless I ask for it. He listens, he validates what is true, and loves me unconditionally. He will ask me what is wrong rather than assuming he knows and has the answer. He prays for me. I know this was supposed to be a post about “sleep” and how we’re doing on this raw diet, but during this week prompting us to be thankful, I simply must relay how thankful I am for that man.

I have an update on the Daughter (10) as well. She’s definitely thriving on this way of eating. Her eyes are brighter, her energy is through the roof (much to the annoyance of her siblings lol), her symptoms are clearing, and her digestion has never been more regular (another subject she’s all too free to discuss with her siblings).

The subject rose at the dinner table last night about my eating raw making the thirteen year old feel guilty about eating cooked food. I am certain it was my comments about some cooked food that did it, for which I apologized. The Husband jumped in and put it another way. He said that mom is eating this way because it makes her feel better physically. He said that he feels fine eating cooked vegan, but that he’s making an effort to eat more raw fruits and veggies because they are very good for us. He told them that mom has learned a lot of stuff about the foods that we eat, and she naturally wants to share that information with the people she loves. We suggested that the kids try to assess how they are feeling physically. If they aren’t feeling their best, then perhaps they should up their raw foods as well.

One thing that is difficult about eating this way is the passion it elicits from you. Suddenly you feel even more strongly about things. Of course, this is also a good thing as strong feelings usually prompt serious change.

Besides sleeping well last night, my face is clearer this morning, I have little to no pain in my back, no headaches, and my pants were looser yesterday. These bodies God created just amaze me with their healing capability.

better still

It’s the morning of day 3 and I’m feeling much, much better. I slept a little better last night. Despite the lack of sleep, I still seem to have a lot of energy. Late yesterday afternoon I began to feel yucky again, but it wasn’t nearly as bad or as early in the day as the first day. My 10 year old is now doing this 811rv thing with me. We really believe she has a grain allergy (not sure which grain or if it’s all of them), so it’s parent induced. Yesterday was her “day one” and she felt horrible. I wanted to cave for her and let her eat something that I knew would get rid of the headache but I didn’t. I did let her have a pain reliever though (which she said didn’t help much anyway). She’s feeling better this morning. I’m hopeful that she’ll show some positive signs quickly. Because she was low-fat raw vegan yesterday, her sisters joined her in it for lunch. They didn’t continue with dinner though and I think that was very difficult for her. They were eating homemade burritos while she chowed down on a large bowl of cut-up fruit.

Some positive things I’ve noticed are less swelling in my face. I’m also a lot less bloated – in fact, my stomach is looking considerably flatter this morning, more so even than yesterday. I do still have a bit of pain in my back, but that has lessened even more. I didn’t mention yesterday what I’m not doing. I’m not stepping on the scale, I’m not measuring, I’m not weighing my food (except greens to make sure I eat enough of them) or counting calories, I’m not taking “before” photos… I’m not dieting. I’m eating as much as I care for of raw fruits and veggies. I haven’t added in overt fats (avocados and nuts/seeds) just yet. I will eventually, but for now I don’t feel like I need them.

I’m thankful for the beautiful fruits and vegetables that God placed on this planet for us to enjoy.

Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. ~ Genesis 1:11

enough is enough

I guess I’ve been waiting for me to reach this point in my no-dieting journey to better health (mental and physical). Friday night I hit another “low” and I decided that the foods I thought I wanted… the foods I craved… were only serving to keep me in a perpetual state of denial. Much like the alcoholic who escapes to a bottle, I escape to food and television. Those are my drugs and I know how to use them well. I stumbled upon this video of Professor Rozalind Gruben-Graham. I would definitely say that I use food as a coping mechanism. Even as a vegan, you can used food to cope. Just because you’re avoiding animal products, doesn’t necessarily mean your body is properly nourished. Yes, you’re avoiding some harmful stuff by not eating animals or animal by-products, but you can still be malnourished. Take for example that both Twizzlers and diet soda are “vegan”, but certainly not nutritious. Most French Fries are “vegan”, but seriously laden with fat.

So, I decided it was time to get back to the one way of eating that has made me feel like I was thriving rather than merely surviving. That lifestyle goes by several names: 80/10/10rv, high-carb raw vegan, low-fat raw vegan, 811rv…etc. I did a 30 day challenge last year that was unbelievable. It wasn’t easy, and eventually I caved to my old habits. Every attempt after that, I caved rather quickly. Over the last few days I’ve been asking God why I couldn’t seem to make it even 24 hours eating low-fat raw vegan. It came down to several reasons, but the two major ones were addiction and escape. This really angered me as I don’t like to be controlled by anything. I had wrongly believed I was past the bulk of my food addiction because I no longer had a strong craving for sweets. Apparently, I am addicted to any food that makes my digestive tract work so hard that I absolutely must sleep. If I’m asleep, I don’t feel pain (emotional or physical). When I’m awake, I take Advil like I’ve got stock in it because I am in physical pain almost constantly.

Saturday morning I woke up and said, “Enough is enough.” Those cooked, fatty, and starchy foods are not serving me, I am serving them. They make me hurt. They make my stomach bloat. They make my body store fat. They rob me of energy. They throw off my hormones. They give me mood swings. They give me acne. They prevent me from healing. They make me sick. They prevent me from dealing with myself and pain. They prevent me from seeking Truth. They rob me of sleep. They steal my athletic ability. They make me prone to injury. They have been in a place of worship for too long. Anything that sets itself up against the knowledge of God is an idol, and must be taken captive.

Yesterday, I ate 100% low-fat raw vegan. Did I feel good? No. In fact, I felt horrific. I wanted to give in so bad, but I knew it would only be a temporary “fix”. My head pounded. I felt nauseous. Pain radiated throughout my body, but I kept eating raw fruit. I struggled to look “human” at my daughter’s play performance last night. I sneaked in some raw cherry tomatoes and ate those. It didn’t help. I didn’t sleep well at all. It was a rough 24 hours, but all of the discomfort has lessened some this morning. My stomach is already significantly flatter. I know that each day I should feel better and better. Even with as much pain as I am in, I haven’t taken Advil. I’m allowing myself to “feel” the pain. I’m using it to prompt me to pray right now. I told the husband that I’m also trying to make myself “feel” emotions. Yesterday he noticed that something was wrong and started asking me questions that would make me talk it out. That helped immensely.

We live in such an age of pill popping, drink guzzling, food chowing, and shallow entertainment that it is no wonder so many of us walk around in such a state of denial, blinded from the Truth. I want to be of clear and sound mind. I want to be able to rely fully on the Lord, while fully living the life He’s granted me.

Summer Challenge: Day 4-9

Days 4-8 were pretty busy. I haven’t had much time to write about them. We did have some cooked vegan food on Sunday. It was more out of convenience than anything, but I regretted it the next day. I ended up swelling, which is never fun. Today is day nine and I’m finally beginning to feel less bloated. I’m falling asleep easily, but last night was the first night I slept well.

Exercise was going well until Monday, when I believe I broke my toe (I have a photo I’ll post later). It’s still very swollen and purple today. I’m not thrilled. I’ve got to figure out a way to exercise without using it, which means altering my schedule of course.

The husband seems to be adjusting to eating raw. The last time we checked, he’s lost about three pounds. I’ve lost about two I think. I’m trying not to focus too much on weight and focus on following the plan.

Well, today is another busy day. I just wanted to take a few moments to check in before the chaos began.

Summer Challenge: Day 3

Three days in and I’m definitely feeling better than I was the first day. I laughed a lot today. I got about 7 hours of sleep last night. It wasn’t restful sleep, but I didn’t feel “hung-over” this morning. Overall, I felt more energetic mixed with periods of extreme fatigue. I noticed very little glandular swelling today. I did have a headache after tae kwon do, but I think that’s because I was worn out and hungry. It was hot in class today. I came home and ate a lot of watermelon. I burned about 632 calories from exercise.

Now for the TMI part: The lovely monthly arrived, making this another “normal” cycle. Almost every cycle since converting to vegan over 7 months ago has been normal. This is a far cry from what’s been going on the previous 7 years. I wish I would have known that removing animal products from my diet would fix this. I’ve tried all kinds of stuff and nothing has worked until now.

I’ve continued to read through Dr. Campbell’s book, The China Study. It’s a little overwhelming at times. The incriminating evidence regarding dairy consumption alone is astounding. The Husband wants to read it when I’m finished. He’s reading 80/10/10 while he waits.

Here’s a general idea of what I ate today:

  • 4 bananas, 6oz strawberries, 4oz Kale/Spinach, 12oz water (blended into a smoothie)
  • 1.5 lb watermelon
  • 1 banana, a bunch of grapes
  • Romaine lettuce, 1 mango, pico de gallo, 1/2 avocado, & 1/4 wedge of lime
  • 5 oranges

The Husband seemed to be doing better today. He hadn’t complained nearly as much… until after dinner. I think he really wanted some of the kids’ “potacos” (baked potatoes w/ quinoa taco salad on top).

I hope this “feeling better” trend continues.

Summer Challenge: Day 2

Day two was a little better. I still only had about five hours of sleep last night… and woke up feeling like I had a hang-over. However, the headaches were almost non-existent. I only thought about taking Advil once. My glands still went through periods of swelling off and on and my ears ached throughout the day. My nose was drippy until about 3pm when I noticed it had stopped. My throat was scratchy as well. I know this isn’t a cold, it’s detox, but it’s still a pain. I napped again today but for only about an hour. I was sitting on the sofa working on some paperwork, and just couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. I woke up feeling better.

My frustration level was less than day one, thank you, Lord. I did get a bit whiny, which is never a lovely quality in a person. I was able to exercise today and burned approximately 230 calories. I felt like I didn’t accomplish much else today… at least not as much as I had planned… really need that energy to show up.

Here’s a general idea of what I ate:

  • 3 bananas, Kale/Spinach (2 oz), 6 oz strawberries blended with 12 oz water
  • 3 bananas, several strawberries, some blueberries, 1 kiwi, 2 medjool dates (cut up for a fruit salad)
  • 8 oz orange juice (bottled – I drank this during one of my glandular swelling periods – it helped)
  • 10 strawberries after my nap.
  • 1.5 lbs watermelon & 4 oz Kale/Spinach (tried to make a smoothie out of this but it tasted terrible so I added four bananas to it.)
  • 16 oz orange juice (really craving it for some reason) & 1 banana

The Husband is having a difficult time. He made a grunting noise while in the kitchen earlier because he wanted tortilla chips (and I think he almost ate them out of habit). If nothing else, I hope he’s getting a glimpse of what it’s like to be raw in this house. He cracked me up by buying the kids some Portabella mushrooms to bake for dinner. He plans to live vicariously through them tonight. He’s still tired and I don’t think he’s seen any of the benefits yet. I’ll admit, detox makes it difficult to want to keep going. He did mention that one thing he’s noticing is how much he relies on food for something other than fuel. It’s definitely a comfort thing he’s missing (he says he’s missing the taste of cooked food but I don’t think it will be as satisfying after we recalibrate his palate). All of this is perfectly understandable, but so difficult to watch.

He got some raw nuts today at the store. He doesn’t think they taste as good as the roasted/salted variety he usually gets. He’s right of course, which is why I rarely eat them. I’m fairly certain he’ll be over 10% fat today because he had the nuts and he’s already voiced what he wants for dinner, which includes avocado. I know if he’ll hang in there with me, it will get better. When that awesome energy kicks in he’ll wonder how on earth he got along without it. I probably need to remind him about the time I convinced him to give up caffeine. He balked, said that it didn’t affect him one bit. He, um, sang a different tune after he got off of it (although detox wasn’t fun then either). Until he sees the results of this, I get to hear him groan… bless his heart. I’m praying he wakes up tomorrow feeling terrific. Gosh, I’m praying that for both of us!

I do have a couple of photos but for some reason they aren’t loading to the server… will try again later.

Summer Challenge: Day 1

Yesterday was my first day of this 12 week challenge. It was actually more difficult than I anticipated for some reason. Maybe it was because I only had five hours of sleep the night before. Maybe it was because the Husband kept asking me if I wanted chips and salsa (or he would put it like, “are tortilla chips raw?”, knowing full well they aren’t). I know he’s never done the raw thing before, so I’m trying to be patient with him while he adjusts.

Here’s a general overview of what I ate:

  • approximately 10 oranges (eaten outside while soaking up some sun)
  • 4 bananas, lots of strawberries, & blueberries mixed in a smoothie w/ 12 oz water
  • 1 mango, 1 banana, three strawberries, some blueberries, & 2 Medjool dates for a fruit salad
  • huge pile of romaine & spinach with pico de gallo, 2 Roma tomatoes, half an orange bell pepper, some cucumber, half an avocado, and fresh lime juice (quarter wedge)
  • Grapes – not sure how many, munched on them for “dessert” after dinner
  • 3 dried pineapple rings – wasn’t planning to have any dehydrated food but I was super hungry late last night and all of my bananas are what I deem “smoothie” bananas (really mushy).

The Husband is having difficulty eating enough calories in one sitting. Unlike cooked food, the raw stuff takes up more space in your stomach with fewer calories – which means he’s hungry again sooner. I’m hoping that changes by the end of the first week. He also seemed very interested in the veggie soup I made the kids for lunch. He said the smell was getting to him. Last night he kept claiming that something in the house smelled like cinnamon rolls?? Not sure what that was as I can’t remember the last time we had cinnamon rolls. I totally understand where he’s coming from. Cooked food is soooo enticing, but most of the time, what I’ve discovered after being raw for a time, is that it rarely tastes as good as it smells. It’s usually a huge let-down.

I had a few glimpses of “feeling good” yesterday – very short lived. Overall, I felt pretty bad. Over the holiday weekend we had things like donuts and coffee (not stuff we usually eat). Day one back on raw was rough. I had a headache most of the day, and was so tired that I ended up taking a four hour nap in the afternoon. The glands on the left side of my neck were swollen all day. I really wanted to take some Advil. It was in these moments that it occurred to me how often I take pain killers like Advil to make it through the day. My sinuses are suddenly draining. My face broke out on Monday and was worse on Tuesday. As for digestion, eating mostly cooked food for several days messed me up, but that began to turn around for me Monday night. My mood swings were all over the place on day one. I felt frustrated most of the day.

I did not exercise. I rested as much as possible. Unfortunately, I did not go to bed at a decent hour like I should have. I need to get more sleep at night.

So that was Day one, sure am hoping day 2 is better.