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.

kickoff party

Welcome to the Summer 12 Week Challenge Kickoff Party! Woohoo!! Tomorrow we begin the journey! So far, there are two three four of us accepting the challenge (the Husband, Sana, Kris, & Me). If you would like to join in, please do!

Today, I would like for us to post the specifics of our personal challenges. If you’re blogging along, feel free to post them on your own blog and link back here so I can follow your journey as well. If you’re planning to “comment along”, then enter your information in the comments of this post.

In Tae Kwon Do, we have to memorize the six rules of success. They go something like this…

  1. Have a goal.
  2. Have a plan.
  3. Have a coach.
  4. Take continuous action.
  5. Review your goal.
  6. Renew your plan.

While I was typing that out, I was chanting it in the sing/songy manner that we do in class. Had my hands been free of the keyboard, I would have added in the hand motions as well.

Here are my “specifics”:

I will do Beth Moore’s study of Daniel.

  • This study has five days per week of homework with a weekly audio lesson.
  • I have wanted to do this study for a few years… so why not now.
  • I will post my progress through the study in my challenge related posts.
  • Results: More time in God’s Word and growth.

I will follow the 80/10/10 low-fat, raw vegan plan.

  • 80% or more of my calories will be carbohydrates.
  • 10% or less of my calories will be fat.
  • 10% or less of my calories will be protein.
  • Raw indicates uncooked fruit, vegetables, nuts & seeds.
  • Except in situations outside of my control, I will avoid bottled juices and dehydrated foods.
  • Results: I am hoping for weight loss, inches lost, and body fat loss. I would love to get back into a smaller pair of jeans that have been sitting in my closet for about a year now.

I will eat as much as I care for.

  • Logging my food is a pain. I did this during my 30 day challenge so I already have a general idea of how much avocado/nuts/seeds I can have and still average less than 10% fat.
  • I will eat until I’m full.
  • I am not setting a maximum number because exercise will play a role in calorie increases.
  •  I am planning to write down what I eat, in case I need to look up the values at a later date. For instance, if I find that I am routinely feeling hungry, I may run the numbers to see if I’m eating enough.
  • Results: I am hoping for fewer cravings, fewer mood swings, more energy, quicker recovery, fewer injuries, clearer skin.

I will do my best to adhere to the half-marathon training schedule I came up with prior to the start of the challenge.

  • Because I may be slightly paranoid (lol), I will not post my training schedule. Sorry people. I might post it in hindsight, after I’ve completed my next half-marathon, but I don’t feel comfortable listing what days I’ll be running. I do have a training schedule, and it includes running and cross-training activities.
  • I will post my exercise in terms of “calories burned”, and not the actual exercise performed. Facebook friends, you guys know where to find my running/cycling workouts 🙂
  • Results: I am hoping for pace increases and overall performance increases. I hope to complete my next half-marathon in 02:45:00. In preparation for my Black Belt Test, I will begin working on jumping rope. Currently I can do three (although I was using my daughter’s jump rope that is too short for me). I would like to be up to at least 60 consecutive jumps by the end of the challenge. That means I need to be at 5 by the end of the first week and add five every week after.

I will do some kind of strength training three days per week.

  • Building muscle is key to overall health, so I see this as important (if not more so) as cardio.
  • My plan is to lift weights M/W/F using the old Body For Life schedule that I have… Upper/Lower/Upper one week and Lower/Upper/Lower the next. I will keep track of my weight increases throughout the challenge to demonstrate fitness improvements.
  • Results: I am hoping to see some muscle tone emerge. I would also like to see an increase in strength. In preparation for my Black Belt Test, I am going to begin working on “boy” push-ups. Currently I can do 10-20 girls ones. I would like to be able to do 10 boy push-ups by the end of the 12 weeks. I would also like to be able to hold the plank for 3 minutes.

I will blog about my experiences throughout the challenge to keep me accountable.

  • I am going to aim for daily blogging about my challenge journey. I am certain there will be days when that is not possible. I will try to catch up at the next earliest opportunity.
  • Results: I hope that by blogging I will hold myself accountable to following through on my plans.

The Challenge begins in the morning! WOOHOO!!! I’ve got lots of fruit all cut up and ready to go.

raw raw raw

If you say “raw raw raw” really fast you start sounding like a pack of chanting cheerleaders. Since my post, to thrive or not to thrive, I’ve thought a lot about the low-fat, raw-vegan diet… and I do mean a lot. I’ve read many websites and watched countless YouTube videos on the topic. I finally broke down and bought some books. Most of the ones I found didn’t have a Kindle version, so I had to wait for those to arrive via Amazon’s “super saver shipping”. One book that did have a Kindle version was Robert Morse’s, The Detox Miracle Sourcebook.

I’ve watched several of Morse’s videos and he offers most of the information in his book for free on his YouTube channel. To me, the book was most helpful in regard to the detailed information on the functions of the human body. I’m not sure what religion he practices, but he sounded a bit “inner peace” and “new age-y” to me, he even mentions reincarnation in one of his videos (although he could have been joking). I have no doubt that, in general, his heart is in the right place. It is quite clear that he desires to help others, but I find it difficult to read his recommendations on the “ideal diet”, when it appears that he doesn’t live by it himself. That being said, I did find his book educational. The most profound part for me was the explanation of the lymphatic system (which you can watch on his YouTube channel). I already knew about acidic and alkaline ramifications, but that would be something important to know for those who haven’t heard of it before.

The two books I was waiting for via snail mail arrived a few days ago. I dove right into one of them because its basic philosophy is what I based my first raw challenge on. I’ve watched many videos about Doug Graham’s 80/10/10 diet. The first video I watched with him in it was one where he performed “superman” pushups (the video is now blocked for some reason). I called the Husband in to see it – unbelievable. Clearly he practices what he preaches. It is one nutrition plan where the testimonials of people actually doing it are undeniably remarkable. Sure, people lose weight but the ailments and diseases they recover from by eating this way are astounding. It’s further proof to me that God is more incredible than we could ever comprehend. We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made.

I ordered Graham’s book, The 80/10/10 Diet, to see if I was missing anything in my attempts to go (and stay) low-fat, raw vegan. I did come across a few things I should change. Overall, I found the book informative and helpful in clearing up some questions I had. The book also further confirmed that this is something I really want to do. Graham even includes some seasonal “menus” for those needing further help (and maybe a bit of variety) in their meal planning. Since I’ve struggled with staying raw, I think this part grabbed my attention the most:

“Learning how to eat a raw food diet properly takes time, patience, and yes, effort. Although I provide a blueprint for doing it healthfully, most people find it challenging to adopt the raw diet 100% the first time out, unless they get professional guidance. It seldom occurs overnight, and in fact, can take years to accomplish.

Because our taste buds have been exposed to, and our brains have experienced the excitement of salt, sugar, and spices, we may miss those tastes initially when they are no longer part of the daily diet.” (p. 251)

This really made me feel better. I was pretty down on myself over derailing for cooked/salty food the first time… and the second… and the third. This is most certainly a process, one I plan to keep working on. Lord willing, one day I’ll cross over to low-fat, raw-vegan and stay there. I was hoping he would have some kind of formula for convincing your spouse to do the diet with you. Instead he says, “accept them where they are, and then lead by example, with an open heart… you will have far greater success if you do.” Yeah, not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I know it’s true. If it were up to me, we would remove the oven and the microwave and install shelves to hold raw fruit in their place… maybe one day (picture me daydreaming with a goofy grin on my face).

The third book I purchased isn’t necessarily about raw food. I first heard about this book while watching the documentary, Forks over Knives. If you have Netflix, you really must watch this flick. It totally transformed our belief system about food – literally overnight. The movie interviews a doctor by the name of T. Colin Campbell. I’ve wanted to read his book, The China Study, since October of last year. I began reading it today and all I can say is, “Wow!” It amazes me that this information isn’t common knowledge, especially with all of this scientific proof to back it up. I’ve talked to a lot of people over the past seven months about what we are learning about our bodies and the foods that we eat. Most find it “interesting” but not enough to alter their belief system. I am usually hesitant to say any particular diet is right for everyone, but what I’m learning has me wanting to shout, “Eat your fruits and veggies, people!” Grab a copy of The China Study and see what you think for yourself. This book doesn’t chant, “raw, raw, raw”, but it does give a great argument for a whole-food, plant-based, vegan diet. Hmm, not really sure what “plant, plant, plant” sounds like when you chant it, but I’m thinking it may just be the sound of health restoration.

to thrive or not to thrive?

It’s been almost 7 months (in three days) since our switch to vegan. Honestly, being vegan hasn’t been as difficult as I thought. Don’t get me wrong, those first weeks we had no idea how to eat. Many of our “go-to” meals and snacks revolved around some kind of animal by-product. Cheese, turkey, yogurt… these were staples so figuring out what to eat instead wasn’t easy. It helped to get the word “protein” out of our heads. We’re all told that we need a ridiculous amount of protein. “What about protein? How do you get enough protein? You need more protein!” Protein exists in plants, I eat plants, ‘nuf said.

I’ve noticed some positive changes since becoming vegan, one being a little bit of weight-loss. My monthly cycle “good days” have increased and the “bad days” have decreased. The overall cycle is closer to normal length now. Still, I felt like things could get even better and faster. So, I decided to do a 30 day raw challenge. Unfortunately, I opted for the taste of cooked food after about seven weeks. When I read my seven week entry today, I was floored I ate that junk because I was feeling so good. I have struggled to fully return to raw food ever since. About half the weight I lost during the challenge came back and I’ve hovered there for weeks… going up, down, up, down, up… Of course, being injured off and on for the last three weeks or so hasn’t helped. Limited activity and pain turned into a bit of depression. “Boohoo, poor me…” you get the idea.

With the half-marathon looming over my head, those injuries sent my frustration level went through the roof. Seeing the Husband’s runs added to the frustration. I was happy for him but jealousy reared it’s ugly head. I was the runner in this house… just like I was the “computer geek” when we met. He’s surpassed my skills on both counts now. He’s even “published” (albeit it was his opinion of the book) and now sits at his goal weight while I struggle to accomplish both. Sigh.

I’ve learned in the past few days that I am a very insecure person. This might come as a shock to some who know me, while others will think “well, duh!” I’ve been reading So Long Insecurity: You’ve been a Bad Friend to Us by Beth Moore. I can’t even put into words how open my eyes are to the unnecessary turmoil I’ve lived with for decades. The jealousy I feel toward the Husband is merely my own insecurity flaring up. I know who I am in Christ, but now it’s time to start believing it.

Where my nutrition is concerned, I have insecurities there as well. I know people thought I was crazy to live primarily on fruit. I often wished I looked like the picture of health so that my dietary choices would be validated somehow. I wanted others to do it with me so that I wouldn’t be alone. When it comes right down to it though, I have to decide the answer to one question. “Is merely surviving enough for me?” That’s what I feel like I’ve been doing since leaving 100% raw eating… surviving. Here I sit on my sofa on Sunday morning rather than being in church. Why? Because getting out of bed is difficult. I ache all over and I’m exhausted. Don’t think for a moment that this is due to being vegan, I felt much worse as a meat eater, I just kept it to myself because I thought it was “normal”. Having felt, first hand, how good I can feel, this current state feels like waiting for death. Which is why I call it “surviving”. I didn’t realize how bad I felt until I actually felt good. The difference is indescribable.

I’m reminded of two plants that we purchased for our yard about two years ago. I intended to plant them both in the area of the yard we were landscaping at the time, but both of them wouldn’t “fit”. So, I planted one in that area and the other I planted in a part of the yard, that still today, has not been landscaped (this project is taking lots of moolah so it must be done in stages). The plant in the landscaped area with adequate water, fertilizer…etc is beautiful and produces lovely flowers. The other plant, however, looks much different. Until this spring when some green appeared on it, we actually thought it was dead. This sickly plant is still alive but it has taken much longer to show growth and hasn’t bloomed. The soil is too sandy and lacks nutrients, it is only watered when it rains/snows, and it is surrounded by weeds. It truly is miraculous that it is still alive. Both plants started out looking almost identical. The one receiving good care is thriving, whereas the other one is merely surviving the best it can in those conditions.

So, why haven’t I stuck with what I know makes me “thrive”? Because you feel worse before you feel better. Because it takes about two weeks to really start feeling the benefits. Because I feel like a failure for all the do-overs. Because I live with five other people who have no desire to eat raw so I’m fixing two meals. Because when we eat out, I feel like an oddball so I give in (hello, is this insecurity or what?!). But isn’t feeling yucky much worse than the obstacles or feeling like a “weirdo”? Yes!

Hmm. To thrive or not to thrive… that is the question.