Thursday, January 26, 2012


Last week was tough, winter finally settled in and I started adding beans and rice back in.
Worse I added all those things that go well with beans and rice... sour cream, cheese, guacamole...
Lots of fat...

Fat makes my joints hurt. The fatigue comes back...
So after three days of that I knew I was in trouble.
It doesn't take long to start feeling bad again.

So I've made peace with winter.

I love looking outside at the gray stormy skies. The ice clinging to the trees is wondrous.
And I'm eating raw through it all.

My morning:
I eat a banana (or two) and drink a glass of orange juice.
Then I warm up with a cup of hot herb tea...

Snack: more fruit or more juice

Lunch: Huge Salad and small bowl of warm (raw) soup

Dinner: Small Salad, Fruit
And usually another cup of herb tea...

Snack: Fruit

I'm learning to love fruit. My favorites are watermelon, bananas, grapes, apples, and tomatoes.
Tomatoes with balsamic syrup is amazing... I don't think balsamic syrup is raw or even available raw, but its helping me stay high-raw and low fat. And that's the most important thing.

Salad is my favorite...and the huge salad I eat at lunch is about 4 cups of greens. It takes a while;)
My favorite dressing is
My second favorite is blue cheese (only raw when I can get the raw blue cheese and make my own dressing which isn't always possible, in which case I have a backup organic brand I bought at the health food store. It isn't vegan but it is so amazing I sometimes use it even though it is my fat gram intake for the whole day in one meal, which leaves me juicing the rest of the day. I plan on that. And sometimes, it's worth it.)

The best thing I've done for myself is to stop labeling myself. Raw. Vegan. Vegetarian. Whatever. I'm eating to improve my health and staying below 10 grams fat and eating live whole foods tops my list. Condiments like a tablespoon of dressing in an entire day may make me no longer able to call myself vegan, but I can call myself healthy and feeling good.

Today I'm winning.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Za'atar Dressing and Salad Recipe

Za'atar is a Middle Eastern Spice Combination that really answered my need for a new zesty salad dressing!

Traditional Za'atar is a mix of sumac, sesame seeds, and thyme. I've also seen oregano and basil used but feel those additions makes the dressing seem a little "Italian" for my preference.

Za'atar Dressing:
Whisk together Juice half lemon + equal amount olive oil 
(I use less because of my fat gram limitations and it is still wonderful, though the oil does help the dressing "cling") 
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp black pepper 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Za'atar (grind together 1 part sumac, 2 parts thyme, 1 part ground sesame seeds in mortar)

3 tomatoes, eighth-ed
1/2 sweet onion
1/2 cucumber, diced 
head romaine lettuce torn into bite size pieces 
3T fresh parsley
3 T fresh mint
(add banana peppers and kalamata olives will give the salad a distinct Greek feel)

Toss dressing with Salad and let "rest" at room temp about 30 min for flavors to develop... keeps well in fridge "mixed" overnight if use mix of romaine and iceburg.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cheaters Never Win

Not having a great day...

Sure the weather has sucked big time... rain, ice, snow...48*F to 2*F and back to 48*F all in the course of a weekend...

But more to the heart of the matter, I've been taking chances with my diet, adding things here and there I know my body hasn't been able to handle well--like a bowl of rice or ounce of cheese. The first day I didn't notice a problem, so I thought, "I can get by with that." I believed a "little won't hurt" but each little added up to more and more... until several weeks later... I looked at my averages, not just by day, excusing one here or there, but really looked... and was shocked to find that my average this week was 24g fat, and the average of the last 2 weeks 22grams...and the farther out I went it didn't get much better. The average for the last two months? 19 grams! My goal is supposed to be a 6-10g daily, or roughly an 8g average based on 800 calories a day = 10%. Even on a 1000 calorie day going over 10 g would be unacceptable.

So what happened?
I could blame the holidays...again.
Or I could just face that my food addictions are a major battle. I don't know anyone who struggles with cravings as much as I do, but I do know breaking this latest cycle has to be priority one. 

Whether my unhappy colon triggers my achy joints or vice versa, the end result is a flair. A big pain day (guts and joints) A fatigue day (how many hour naps do I really need? and how long is long enough to stay awake between naps to justify another?) unhappy day (I'm struggling with depression, I don't want to believe my doctor was right all along and I did just get to enjoy a long remission...)

I want to believe I can win again the diseases shackling my body.

I'm trying to struggle and work through it, but what I really need to do is address the problem. I'm thinking another juice fast and this thirty day recipe plan was just what I was looking for.

I'll keep you posted...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Raw Body Butter

I love body butter... it's just so creamy and luxurious...
And sadly expensive...
And loaded with chemicals...

So when RAWMAZING posted a raw body butter recipe, imagine my excitement!!
I am going to try it this weekend;)

For now, go there and see all the beautiful pictures...
and here's the recipe:

Body Butter
  • 1 cup shea butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup almond oil
1. Melt shea butter and coconut oil in the top of a double boiler. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. 
2. Stir in almond oil and essential oils of your choosing.
3. Wait until oils start to partially solidify then whip until a butter-like consistency is achieved. This should only take a few minutes. 
4. Place in clean, glass jar and enjoy! A little goes a long way.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm sharing this video from the article on this page.
The article is Saving Animals From The Plate by David Clein and you can rad the full article at the aforementioned link. It focuses on the efforts being made at the Star Gazing Farm in Virginia.

The Perennial Plate Episode 87: Animal Sanctuary from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


When two friends from two different parts of the US call within days of each other to say, "You have to watch this movie, it will change your go in search of the movie!"

From the website: "The feature film Forks Over Knives -- -- examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.

Now I'm in search of the movie, I've been told it is on Netflix...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Big Dreams...Nope... BIG GOALS!

For the last three years I have been laying on the couch, or the floor, or any vertical surface really, grieving over my lost opportunities to do all the things I've ever wanted to do... and wishing I'd done more with my life while my body was healthy... well, no more!
Pain free at last, I am doing yoga every day again. 
I am walking a mile a day again...
I am finally able to take five mile hikes on the weekends again! 
And even though my friends thought I was nuts, and "rushing it", I enrolled in a belly dance class (and I love it! I can't ever remember smiling so much in an hour!)

Today, I had a serious discussion with my hubby about what it will take for me to ever be in good enough physical condition to rock climb again. Yes, my joints are a still a concern because even though I am pain free, that past pain is still a very recent memory, and we don't want them to start hurting again! And the last thing I want is to have to drag the cane back out of the pantry where it is tucked for safe keeping. Hubby thinks and I believe I can build the muscle strength and tendon strength back that I will need to climb again! We talked about helpful equipment: hand grips, hangboards... weights... excercises I can do.

I am so excited! 
I know exactly which yoga postures I need to focus on to rebuild my core strength and huby is willing to supervise my daily weight training... So, I am brushing the dust off the dumbbells later today:)

And despite what my RA doctor thinks (going off my meds is a big mistake... no, staying on my meds and feeling psycho all the time would have been the mistake) or what my DO thinks (my remission is a fluke but he applauds my herculean effort of juicing and raw foods)...
I think...

And YOU can have your life back to... just try raw foods...fresh fruit, fresh veggies... as much juice and water as you can stand... give up the meat, you don't need it, not even for the protein... give up the dairy, you seriously can live without it even though you emotionally believe you can't right now... give up the microwave!
The benefits so outweigh the negatives!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


vegan defined: a person who does not eat or use animal products.

Tonight I didn't make it to the Vegan Meet-Up I've been looking forward to for weeks... circumstances beyond my control stepped in. In response, I heard from friends and/or relatives, "It's probably for the best... I mean, your not EXACTLY vegan, are you?" or similar phrases...

So in review:

1. I am a mostly RAW FOODIST that on occasion eats steamed vegetables.

2. ON rare occasions I will eat raw cheeses from farms that meet my high standard for housing, care, use of organics, stance of antibiotics and/or hormones, and grazing.
3. On even rarer occasions I consume grains.

4. I eat the occasional egg (last year 2011, I consumed 6 eggs; so far in 2012 I've consumed no eggs thus far) but only if I know where it was collected from and that the collection meets my hard-core standard on housing, free-range, and I believe those eggs were collected in a caring manner ie the owner loves and treats there hens as loved and respected members of their family.

5. I consume honey because I know beekeepers love their bees and will do anything to protect and preserve their hives, including the careful, respectful collection processes.

6. I am against inhumane treatment of all animals ie unnecessary violence including but not limited to domestic violence, domestic animal neglect and abuse, domesticated animal fighting, and factory farms.

7. I carry a leather purse that is a treasured gift made by a man who respected the life given to create the product and as such is one of my "high power items" as much talisman as carry-all.
I have two pairs of leather shoes that are in the same shape they were twenty years ago when I bought them.

Why does any of this really matter? Because it means I am not 100% vegan. In the eyes of every vegan I've ever met, you are either vegan or you are not vegan. Which begs the question, do I have any business going to a vegan support group meeting? In my mind yes... maybe I'm wrong...maybe I'd offend every single person in the room... won't know til I make a meeting.

Here's the thing. This is OHIO. Finding another RAW FOODIST is next to Impossible. Finding a raw-food or vegetarian group in my area is equally so. There is however a vegan group and I am in search of a friend base that will offer support on my down days, share their experiences of different restaurants, and grocers, and point me in the right direction of products I am seeking.

Who else am I going to have this conversation: "this awesome new hand-sanitizer hasn't been tested on animals!" and have the listener care?

Who else am I going to gripe to about factory farms? The high percentage of dog fights north of here? Or would care that I've owned two such "rescued dogs" from a future of violence?"

No, I am not a strict vegan. And I'm not apologetic about that because my heart is at peace with my choices but in lieu that I am 95% raw, I am a vegan eater 95% of the time.

I hope the vegan group will be more supportive than some of those people who want to give me advice...
Because I am trying to live the healthiest, most humane life I can...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Why Does The RAW Food/Living Food Diet Heal?

Medical professionals and Scientists seem stumped. My RA doctor and family practitioner believe that I am experiencing a remission that is a fluke... as they both summed up in their own words "Sometimes it happens but don't expect it (feeling better) to last."

Oh, I expect it will last... as long as I remain >90% raw vegan, <10% fat, rare use of oil, grains, nuts, or seeds

So why do I think raw food works? Same reason as most raw foodists who have seen miracles:

1. Easier and Faster Digestion: Fact is that only the enzymes available in living foods are capable of aiding in digestion. All health or illness begins in the intestine (aside from trauma).

2. Raw food is full of antioxidants, simple sugars, enzymes, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in their most digestible and utilizable form. Which provides more energy for being active. Active people are generally healthier people.

3. The high alkalinity, high water content, high fiber in living foods cleanse and heal.

4. Raw foodists AVOID toxins and pesticides, choosing organic and local first. A local, organic diet is healthier.

And lets face it... being thinner, leaner, more active, more muscular, full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, and empty of high fat, artery and intestinal clogging foods... is there any doubt?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Movie Friday: The Future of Food

This is a full length film... the volume isn't great, I had to use headphones, but the information is informative and valuable. It has reinforced my concerns about GMO's and the Monsanto Monopoly. If you garden, save seeds..if you don't have heirloom varieties, I encourage you to start...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Belly Dance Class

Last night I went to my first ever belly dance class!
Because I've always wanted to learn and never taken the time... and because for the last three years, while I've been stuck on the couch in so much pain I couldn't stand myself I've been thinking of all the things I should have done before I got too old...
Well, I'm here to tell you... 47 is not to old to belly dance and my hubby's fears that I might suffer a set-back and be crippled up again this am were unfounded...
I feel GREAT! Better than ever!
And I am more excited now than ever that a mostly raw food, all vegan, very low-fat diet has been my answer!

So when my daughters complained I'm watching too many factory farm videos... I didn't cave to their concerns. I explained I am able to maintain vegan because I have a heart! I can't stand the thought of inhumane treatment of any animal, especially animals meant for food...

So here is a video that proves I don't have to be all doom and gloom all the time... vegans do have a sense of humor...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

B Vitamin Supplementation

I supplement with a B Vitamin Complex daily. It's never been a question of whether I should or shouldn't. It's a matter of being smart about known facts. And one hard core fact of being vegan and raising vegetarian children is that it is impossible to get enough Vitamin B5, B6, and B12 through only fruits and vegetables to be sufficient and deficiency can be disastrous. This concession to my diet is seen by some as a sell out because it reinforces the idea that we are "meant" to be carnivores. I disagree.

Here's an article about "how healthy a raw food diet is".. I don't exactly applaud the use of some of their sources, but there are some interesting thoughts...

The truth is (research it if you want) Vitamin B12 specifically comes from a bacteria produced in the guts of animals and then absorbed into their tissues. Once upon a time this bacteria was readily available in our soil and water supplies, and humans couldn't avoid it if they tried, but pollution and over chemical sterilization of our water has eliminated the availability of naturally occurring Vitamin B12.

Naysayers can argue that we can get adequate B absorption through vegetables, seaweed, etc... but live in the vegan community long enough and you will begin to see how rampant a problem deficiency is. So why chance it? I know for a fact that I will never consume 7-8 cups of kale or other dark leafy green in a single day to even come close to getting enough Vitamin B...

Here's a nifty article of Vitamin B in the vegan diet

Not to scare anyone, but there are an entire host of health problems that occur from B vitamin deficiency, including anemia, mental deterioration, schizophrenia, and in severe cases paralysis... so do your research, measure your risk level, and hopefully opt for supplementation...

I use a liquid B Complex sublingual, which is absorbed through the mucous membrane under my tongue. I like this option because I don't have to worry about malabsorption through my intestine. I also don't have to arrange for injections...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Another Attempt To Hide What We Are Eating

It is well documented that high fructose corn syrup causes health problems, including diabetes and obesity. It is also documented that HFCS contains GMO's, so is it any wonder sales are down? Or that the manufacturers and marketers of HFCS and their products are fighting back by trying to get a name change from the FDA, which would make finding their products on a food label next to impossible? I can't say I'm surprised, but this article is still troubling.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011: Looking Back: Vegans In The News

Girlie Girl Army reported that it was a busy media year for Celebrity Vegans! Check out this article for the Who's Who rundown!

I love that Mike Tyson dropped 100 pounds changing his diet!
Laughed out loud that Portia de Rossi was quoted as saying that being Vegan was harder than being Gay.
And thrilled Forks Over Knives made the cut!

More Celebrities in the news:
Tennis Pros Venus Williams and Serena Williams are apparently trying a raw vegan help improve their health. This Vegetarian article shares that Natalie Portman, Alicia Silverstone, Olivia Wilde, Pamela Anderson, Bill and Chelsea Clinton are also vegetarians.

And my favs:
Woody Harrelson, Demi Moore, Darryl Hannah and Alicia Silverstone.

Alicia Silverstone wrote The Kind Diet... on my list to buy in 2012!!

Sooo, I'm not normally a celeb gossip follower but anytime I find out someone is vegan or a raw foodist I make a mental note... maybe because I know that sometime, somewhere I will meet someone that won't consider even hearing about raw from moi, but if I toss out a tidbit like "(insert famous name here) is a raw foodist (or vegan) it might get an otherwise impossible conversation started:)

I hope all of you a healthy happy New Year... and I know I am looking forward to being very active this year because I am maintaining more raw every day AND starting today I am tossing grains -- I said goodbye to oatmeal this morning, making 1/4 cup of Irish Steel Cut topped with 1 cup fresh fruit, but eating only a few bites (my dog gobbled up the rest) and all of the fruit, totally 2 bananas, 1/2 cp blueberries, 1/4 cp pineapple, 1 T raw organic coconut, a 1 T raw macadamia nuts... "I don't need no stinkin' oatmeal that rips up my intestines and makes my joints scream!"

Today is Day 1 of 100%Vegan...
Staying mostly RAW...

New Year's Resolution

Got A Veggie Tray?

Anyone resolving to begin a healthier lifestyle this year? Is a fruit and vegetable based diet a part of that plan?

What do you hope to gain by your efforts?

Here's my "short list" of goals for 2012:

1. Stay Mostly-Raw-Vegan, limit fat intake, remove most nuts, grains, and seeds.

2. Exercise Daily 
(walking and yoga)
(I would also like to add a weekly activity...maybe indoor rock wall climbing or belly dance)

3. Read More and Stay Informed
(this journey has opened my eyes to all of the hidden horrors of exactly what goes into our food and I intend to expose what I learn to anyone willing to listen)

4. Be More Involved
(animals are being abused in our country--for food purposes--and whether it's writing letters or sharing expose videos on my blog, I intend to be even more actively involved. )

5. Be more social
(I've been cooped up for so long, I feel like a hermit...most of my friends have fallen by the wayside. I intend to reconnect... and establish a new network of friends. I already joined a vegan support group... and I hope to find other areas I can expand into)

I hope you will share yours with me!