Thursday, July 2, 2009

Reunited with the gym again

I woke up today feeling the effects of last night! I don't think it was the riesling so much as the fact that I ate a fair amount of food after midnight. My body doesn't like this very much.... does anyone's? It's always so nice to snack when you get home from a fun night (especially when drinking is involved!) but it never feels good the next day. The food was good, really good, but it also did not fit into my "high raw" plan at all!

For breakfast, I had a Green Monster with the usual. I'm really starting to love Amazing Grass wheatgrass! I know for a fact that it tastes awful by itself, but mixed with some other good stuff it really adds a nice, fresh taste to my GM. I headed to the gym for what felt like the first time in ages!! I have been gone so much to Vegas and visiting my grandparents that I probably haven't gone more than once or twice in the past couple of weeks, which is not like me!

I attended my first Muscle Max class this morning. I really liked it! My arms will probably be killing me tomorrow, but I love that feeling! I have been trying to squeeze in some cardio here and there even when I am away from the gym, but it's much harder (for me) to make time for strength training when I am away from the gym, so it felt so good to get back into this. I also did 15 minutes on the reclining bike.

After cleaning around the condo (getting ready for the big party tomorrow!), I finally got my act together to walk to Borders. I love where we live, but one thing that is missing is a CLOSE Barnes & Noble or Borders. When we lived in the Gold Coast I had a B & N about 5 minutes away, and now our closest bookstore is at least a 35 minute walk. I don't mind the walk so much, but there is so much more preparation into the excursion this way... packing stuff to eat so I can save money and not succumb to the yummy-looking treats in the Borders cafe, etc.

I packed a Sun Warrior protein drink Green Monster! This is my first time trying this, and I thought it was pretty good! I mixed it with almond milk, spinach, and some wheatgrass. It was my first time taking a GM in my fancy schmancy Amazing Grass drink carrier, and I was hoping that it wouldn't spill in my bag on the walk there!

I also brought 3 ears worth of fresh corn off the cob. Supposedly, fresh corn is not considered a starch (like cooked corn is), so you can eat endless amounts of it, according to the raw peeps out there. I usually add copious amounts of I Can't Believe it's not Butter spray and lots of salt and pepper to my corn, but 1) I'm trying to give up that processed garbage, and 2) it didn't even need any seasonings since it was sooo sweet and delicous. It tasted a bit like corn crossed with sugar snap peas, interestingly enough.
I went to the Chicago public lib first and then headed to Borders, where clearly I grabbed about every "raw" book I could get my hands on! Don't worry I didn't read all of these, but I wish I could have :) My FAVORITE thing to do when I have the time is to go to a bookstore and to spend alllllll day there reading books. Perfection!!

As excited as I was about my delicous corn that I brought with me for lunch, once I started eating it my stomach was rumbling..... I think I forgot that reading about food was bound to make me starving!! The corn tasted really good but did not do a good job of filling me up. The GM was good though, and was filling enough for a short while. Unfortunately, my hunger kept building and I had to leave the store early just because I could hardly wait to go home to eat something!! I had planned to walk home, but I was so darn hungry that I got on the bus, thinking it would get me there faster. Wrong-o! It was soo crowded with the Taste crowd and the upcoming holiday that I surely could have walked home faster.
Hummus was calling my name, and though I don't think it is "technically" raw, it is still healthy in my eyes, and I realized I haven't had hummus in a long, long time. Well, I MISSED THIS STUFF. WOW, is hummus good or what?!?! I threw some Whole Food's spinach hummus on top of some spinach, cuke, and tomato. The hummus didn't spread well so I put some more into my mini food processor with some lemon, garlic, and salt, and put more onto my salad. It was awesome and I definitely went back for more spoonfulls of the hummus!

I snacked on more than a few of my fab cookies from last night with some of this "fudge" from Whole Foods - not raw, but good stats nonetheless: it's fat free, is low-cal, and is sweetened with fruit, like pineapple juice! It was VERY good alongside the cookies.
For dinner I didn't have much of an appetite oddly enough, so I just had an avocado with some lemon juice and salt. I loveeeeeeeeeeee doing this, and it was simple yet delicious. Later that night I indulged my sweet tooth by having some dates dipped in chocolate PB.... until I realized that peanuts are considered to be off-limits foods while going raw, due to the heavy processing that they go through.... I think? I'm still learning :) To cover up my indiscretion, I had a couple of my vegan cookies, and called it a night!
So, MarathonVal, why are you trying to "go raw"?
First of all, the reason why I am searching for ways to change my diet is because I frequently feel discomfort from my food choices. Although I feel better as a vegetarian than I ever did eating meat, I still frequently find myself feeling nauseous after eating certain foods. Now, I don't just mean after having 10 choc chip cookies, I mean like after a normal bowl of pasta, for example, that wouldn't bother most people.
The last few years I have gotten weird stomach cramps and pains after eating, particularly during times when I have to stand on my feet or walk around after eating. At my wedding last October, this even happened to me!! I feel terrible thinking about it now, but I shouldn't, because I know that it wasn't anything that I did wrong. Basically, I ate a normal meal at dinner and had only had about a 1/2 glass of wine so far, but my stomach became sooooo pained that I had to leave the reception for quite a while to unzip the dress because my stomach became so bloated and uncomfortable. (It's worse during events where I am wearing a dress or tight pants, because these particular foods make my stomach expand more than usual, which becomes painful if I am wearing tight clothing. It's happened at numerous weddings and other events like this).
So, I know a lot of people will think I'm nuts for trying to undergo any kind of "diet", especially something that sounds so extreme like the word "raw", but that is my main reason. Despite testing negative to food allergy tests, I still feel confident that there is something in my diet that causes me the discomfort. If I can find that food, eliminate it, and feel better, why would I not want to do this?
I found the raw plan to be so appealing because it just makes sense and resonates with me - it involves eating foods that are unprocessed and kept in their natural state, the way our bodies are meant to digest them.

There are many different ways to interpret "raw", and everyone does things a bit differently. Basically, people that eat "raw" believe that cooking foods over 118 degrees kills valuable food enzymes that our bodies need for digestion and to sustain other body functions.
There is also a lot of info out there about food combining, which is pretty complicated, and I won't bore you with the details since most of my readers I'm sure will not be undertaking a raw lifestyle anytime soon. Basically you just take care to eat certain foods together and certain foods apart so that you optimize digestion - if you combine foods that are both hard to digest, your body will send its energy to the food's digestion and you will then feel sluggish, tired, and moody.
Eating raw does NOT just mean raw veggies... I can also eat nut butters, desserts (I made a great cookie dessert yesterday!!), bread, cheese, pizza, ice cream, etc. I was suprised to find out what a varied diet you can have from eating raw!
For more information, please visit Gena's blog at She has been doing this for a long time, and is also a raw food counselor that can help you get started on this journey, if you so choose.
I have a ton of questions about this myself, which is why I'm trying to continue to do research and to learn more about it. If you have any tips for me, I would appreciate it, or if you have any questions, ask and I will do my best to find the answer. I am not going to attempt to be 100% raw, but am striving for "high raw", which is when you eat most of your meals this way, at least up until dinner. For example, the peanut butter that I snacked on this evening was NOT ok by strict raw standards, but I am going to cut myself some slack because I ate mostly raw food during the rest of the day.
I'd love to hear from anyone who has tried this with success! Also, would anyone be interested in going on this raw journey with me? I'd love to start a raw "support group"! :)


  1. i love love love going to a bookstore and reading books too! and, when i have lots of time to kill, i love going to used book stores and exploring!

  2. I will be interested to read about your high raw experience. It makes sense to try to fix a problem where it exists, and I think diet can fix a LOT of things that Americans generally try to only throw meds at!

  3. I love hummus too :) I don't think I could ever be disciplined enough to just eat raw foods, but I can't wait to read about your journey!!