Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 81 - Story Time

I'm officially a year older. I celebrated my birthday on Monday, with dinner at a fantastic fish place. Did I mention that I eat fish sometimes? That may have been on my "rules" page in the beginning...from time to time, I go non-vegan. Oops. So with this birthday interruption behind me, I'm chalking up February AND March as a non-raw, mostly-cooked couple of months. Mind you, I do still eat a lot of raw food, but the balance (maybe 50%?) wouldn't really warrant a truly raw classification. I'll stick by my mostly-vegan classification for the purpose of being techncial. But overall, my tendency to overeat in the last 2 months has been my true demise, and not really my food choices persay.

I'm beginning to wonder how "raw" this year will be... as I search for viable options for a sustainable lifestyle. Deep down I feel like raw is a good option for me, but my cooked-food-attachment is quite against that idea at the moment. My skin is raging out of control. RAGING. The dermo meds are not working, and I'm secretly glad this isn't the quick fix, although I'm longing to look like "me" again.

I received a LivingSocial coupon via email for a $25 consultation with a Naturopath in Chicago. I most certainly BOUGHT it...and called to schedule an appointment at the earliest possible. I'll meet with the Doc next week, and am HIGHLY anticipating what she will say about my dreadful skin.

I also spoke with a Raw Chef-in-training who said that she conquered her Candida (ie: acne-causing-bacteria) with diet and lifestyle. She emailed me the name of a book: The Yeast Connection - that she used to get through it. She also suggested that it may be beneficial to allow myself some cooked and non-vegan food as I try to transition my body into a healthier gut flora. Her reasoning was this: I believe that eating organic, free-range chicken could help you.  The raw food diet often needs fruit to make things taste good, so your choices would be severely limited.  At least while you working on this specific problem, you might want to not worry about being so strict on the raw.

Interesting...I might like her already. I will see what the naturopath has to say, and continue on my path of discovery...

Story Time
I was at the Trader Joe's grocery store last week, grabbing a few things before heading home for the evening. The friendly check-out associate politely asked me how I was doing as he scanned each item through the register. I told him that I was generically "fine" and smiled. Then he asked, "Did anything exciting happen today?" Hmmm...I thought...scanning the day's events in my head. Woke up. Showered. Drove to work. Sat at the computer. Went to the bathroom. Talked on Gchat. Drove to Sprint Store. Drove to Trader Joe's while waiting for phone to be fixed. WOW. So I responded, "Well, I'm getting my phone fixed, so I feel somewhat disconnected and that's nice." He said, "Whoa isn't that weird?" I said, "Well it's only been 30 minutes."

He handed me the receipt, I took the bag of groceries and made my way to the parking lot. Whoa, he was probably thinking that I have the most BORING life ever. Maybe it takes saying it out loud to realize how uneventful our lives can be if we don't intentionally inject FUN and INTERESTING circumstances into them. So with that I am currently reevaluating what I'm doing with my life, and how I can strive to have more exciting things to share on a daily basis. Thank you friendly-Trader-Joe's-associate, for asking such a thoughtful and eye-opening question even though you probably ask that of everyone who comes through your line.



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 73 - Vegan Travels


Another 2-week hiatus between posts, tsk tsk. I just got back from a week vacation in San Diego, Los Angeles and Denver. I took the week to catch up with old and dear friends, while my hubby went to Las Vegas with a few buddies. It was a great little spring break, but I'm glad to be back to the daily grind.

Knowing full-well that it would be difficult for me to be raw during vacation (heck, it's been hard to stay raw in LIFE) I went into the week desiring to stay vegan and stray from refined carbs as much as possible. I'd say it was pretty successful, and I stayed at about the same weight throughout. Phew! Granted, the simple act of eating 3 meals a day felt somewhat overindulgent because my body is trained not to need that much alas, the bloat is back. Aaand I wasn't as successful at straying from sugar, especially during my stop in LA.

Day 1 was super encouraging. In San Diego my friend took me to a drive-thru vegan & raw "fastfood" spot that was right by her house! It was called Evolution....I got rawcos (raw tacos) that were DELISH. Here's a look:

Also, according to my friend AJ in Denver, San Diego is the healthiest city in the nation -- followed by Boulder and Denver, CO. So go figure, I found something raworthy in my travels. Do you think raw fastfood would fly in Chicago? Somehow I doubt that....

This past Monday I attended a raw Asian food prep class at Cousin's Incredible Vitality on Irving Park Rd. This is the restaurant that hosted the 28-day detox program.

We learned how to make: Thai curry soup, Thai spinach salad with Peanut Coconut dressing, Vegetable Teriyaki (stirred, not fried), Ginger berry truffles

ALL of these recipes, I would make again without a doubt. The teriyaki was especially tasty -- put in the dehydrator to warm for about an hour -- and it really didn't matter that it wasn't cooked. When I remake them, I will post pictures! I tell ya, if I had a personal chef, I could be raw all the time...

The last thing I'll share for today is that I started a training program for my 8k that is coming up in 2.5 weeks! I've been such a slacker in the running department, but I've already signed up to run, so I'm doing it for sure. I ran a 5k this morning at about 11.4 minutes/mile. Not great, but I was happy to have ran the entire time. The idea today was to run for 40 minutes without stopping, so after I finished the 3.1 miles in the neighborhood, I kept going for an additional 5 minutes or so. I was pleasantly surprised by my endurance =D

I'll have to keep up the training because at the end of April I'm doing a 10k... gosh, Spring got here so fast! All the while, trying to be raw, or some combination of cooked/raw/anti-yeast. The battle continues....


OMG PS - You may remember my previous post about Rawtella. I've never tried it but felt comforted just knowing it exists. Well get this...the company is based in GLENVIEW, ILLINOIS. Hello, I grew up there! I'll be investigating this situation for sure...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Day 60 - Raw or Not Here I Come

Well, I thought I had neglected this thing for a mere ONE week, but in fact, it has been TWO. The funny thing is that I took pictures of a lovely meal I ate last week and just didn't get around to posting them. It's been a busy couple of weeks for me and D. My eating has been "ok" at best -- still vegan with maybe 50% raw, if that. I spent a few days in Toronto for a business trip, where I ate more plain veggie pita sandwiches than ever in my life. HA. It was the only vegan option anywhere! Roasted Vegetable Wrap, hold the cheese please!

I'm still snacking quite a bit -- I cut out peanut butter (wow what a mistake it was to buy those huge jars) and I'm keeping fewer carby snacks around the house. I got my monthly bill yesterday, so some of this last week's scavenging can be attributed to that.

BIG NEWS! I went to the dermatologist! Yes, I'm officially fed UP with my crazy face. I mean, we all have our limits I guess. I look like I have tumors on my face, literally. No I won't provide photos. So I found a new dermo, instead of the same ole guy that would prescribe Accutane in a heartbeat. This new guy was direct I'd say; he called naturo-health-people "a bunch of lunatics" -- but aside from that little dig, the visit was informative. So here's what I'm pursuing at the moment:
  • A short round of Amoxicilin to get some of the facial inflammation under control. No, I won't be on antibiotics forever. This will be like two weeks, and I'm amping up on probiotics to offset.
  • Spirnolactone -- androgen blocker. This is the one I wary of, I don't know if I'll stay on it. It is basically blocking testosterone from going... somewhere -- he says it stops it from going to the oil glands, but I would imagine it stops it from moving period....? Not sure. He says this should not effect libido. And I'll make sure to let you all know if that is true!
  • Photodynamic Therapy. Ok this one is up in the air. It's a very expensive procedure, but I'm drawn to it because it does not require ingesting any type of harsh medication. It's literally a photo or light therapy that is supposed to shrink the size of the oil glands after a couple of treatments.
The doc said the cause of cystic acne is fatty acids building up in the skin. So for whatever reason (could be diet, genetics, hormones) fatty acids find themselves in my skin. And Doc says the only way to heal this is to shrink the oil glands.

I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING. Fatty acids....HMMM. Yes, this could very well be diet related, I'm no expert. However, I just NEED some relief. I'm going to do this short term, maybe seek out the photodynamic therapy, and see how things go. Oh how far we go for vanity..... No joke.

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THE OTHER NEWS! I gave up coffee and dessert for lent =D It's amazing how I can stick to a "program" when it has a beginning and an end. When it is just a "lifestyle change" I seem less inclined to stick with it. So for now, I'm going strong on day #2 of lent season! Just to clarify, I've been off caffeine since the new year, but I was drinking decaf on an almost-daily basis with my beloved soy milk. So now it's tea in the morning, just like a good raw vegan girl.

Diet overall, I have a serious cooked food attachment. Maybe this blog should just be called "YEAR" and I can update you all on a year's worth of eating in this weird world I live in. Raw or not, here I come!