So here is the latest. At some point during 2012 I decided that trying to eat vegan just wasn’t working for me and I was starting to eat more junk food as a vegan than I did as a vegetarian. I was still holding onto a lot of baby weight and having a hard time losing it.
At the end of 2012 I decided it was time to get back in shape. I hadn’t been doing yoga or much of anything and I’d been curious about Crossfit so decided to try that a few times a week for about 6 months. The husband did this, too. This is how he got into the idea of eating paleo. I’ve been a vegetarian from 1992 through 1996 and then steadily since 2001 so I wasn’t about to start eating ribeyes and greens for breakfast. I did get curious about the idea of a vegetarian paleo diet though: lots of fruits, veggies, little to no grains, some raw dairy, etc. I gave it a try now and then but wasn’t really able to sustain it. I think I even tried to eat 100% raw at some point in the summer of 2013 but it didn’t last more than a few days. I spent an entire weekend neglecting my child while sprouting chick peas, making raw falafels and raw onion bread and probably a raw cheesecake, too. I decided as much as I had loved eating raw before Ruthie was born it just wasn’t realistic for me at this time in my life.
During this summer I also realized I missed Ashtanga yoga. I’d taken a full year off after only practicing sporadically since Ruthie was born but it finally drew me back in. We were able to put wood floors down in the studio building that is attached to our house. I’d planned for that room to be my yoga studio since we first looked at the house in the fall of 2011 and once the wood floors were there (instead of the linoleum we’d been pulling up over the past 6 months!) that is what it became. Yoga was back on.
We got really into juicing in the fall of 2013. We had a Champion juicer that Scott used more than I did at the time. He was always making a V8 sort of juice that I loved but it was such a pain to clean and took too long to make so he usually just made enough for one serving. He’d been interested in the Norwalk juicer for quite some time after reading about the Gerson therapy. We decided our health was worth it and I started trolling eBay for one. When you go looking to buy something you’re likely to find it and I did. We bought a used Norwalk from the 80s for about half the price of a new one but it looked and worked just great — except for the fact that it was as noisy as a jet plane in our kitchen and while you could make cold pressed juices that lasted in the fridge for days, it took at least an hour to make a batch of juice and the cleanup was just horrible. I think we still have pulp on our ceiling from triturating. A few months later I went to a friend’s house and she’d just gotten a really nice Breville for Christmas. You could throw whole apples into the thing. It was so fast and cleanup was easy, too. I started to hate the Norwalk.
For my birthday in April of 2014 my husband got me that Breville. It was a surprise but it was delivered about a week before my actual birthday and I saw it delivered. He let me open it early and I went crazy juicing all sorts of things. I watched Fat, Sick, and Dead for the second time. I’d seen it years ago but decided to watch it again since there was an ad for it right on the juicer. It inspired me to do a juice fast. I did about 15 days including a five day as I recall. I was hungry and had no energy on it. I didn’t practice yoga. I dropped 5 pounds. I stopped the juice fast. I gained it back.
Then I started reading the Joel Fuhrman books: Eat to Live and The Eat to Live Cookbook. I even listened to The End of Dieting on Audible. The idea of being a “nutritarian” and focusing on the nutrients per calorie and striving for nutrient density made a lot of sense. And so of course this brings you back to eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds. I can’t say I did that well sticking to it but the seed was planted at least.
During the first week of August of 2014 we had planned a trip to Montana. We were going to see a client of mine and then go camping in Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Scott had been suffering with a cold that had turned into an upper respiratory infection. Two nights before we were supposed to leave he had an asthma attack and had to drive himself to the hospital at 3 AM. They pumped him up with steroids and gave him a prescription for a nebulizer and an epi-pen. We contemplated canceling our trip or me going alone with Ruthie as I did need to see my client. In the end he wound up coming on the trip but it was a trying 24 hours.
During the trip he decided to give up gluten. While we were out west he gradually started to feel better but frankly we had a lousy trip. Scott was quite sick for the beginning of it and then it rained for the rest of it. Camping in the rain is not fun.
Scott stayed gluten free during the trip and continued with it when we returned. I decided to try going gluten free myself but not until after our annual Labor Day weekend trip to Montreal where they have the best bagels on the planet. I then did a full month being completely gluten free. At the end of the month Ruthie really wanted to go to our favorite wood fired oven pizza place and I decided to split a pizza with her since she couldn’t eat an entire one by herself and they don’t have a gluten free option there. I won’t lie. I felt fine after. No different.
Over the Fall I let myself eat some wheat here and there but much less than I was eating before. We were starting to dip our toe into junk food gluten free foods much like we’d become junk food vegans before. We were eating our fair share of Udi’s gluten free pizzas and the like and those can’t be good for you. A nice whole grain bread would probably be better.
During the first week of November, 2014 I took my semi-annual trip to see clients in Honolulu. A client took me out for dinner the day before I was scheduled to leave and, knowing I was a vegetarian, suggested we try Honolulu’s raw vegan restaurant, Grapes and Vines. It had been years since I went to a raw restaurant and I was looking forward to it. I tend to eat a lot of fruit while I’m there and so I decided to eat raw all day feating on papaya and bananas. The meal was great. We started with some raw ravioli and then each got the vegetable lasagna. It was so good I decided to eat raw again the next day and wound up stopping there to get their garden burger with jicama “fries” on my way to the airport for 9:30 PM flight.
I was feeling inspired to eat a high raw diet when I got back. Going into winter and the holidays I didn’t think 100% raw was practical but I could start eating and preparing more raw foods and just eat cooked when eating raw was impractical. It has been almost three weeks of eating that way now and it’s working really well so far. I’ve been making raw crackers and desserts. I’ve been listening to raw food podcasts. I’ve been eating pretty much raw till dinner and then tending to eat cooked foods with salads for dinner most nights. Last night we had brown rice pasta with pesto and a big salad. I’ve been eating some cheese (parmesan grated on the pasta last night for example) but much less than I was a few months ago. I’ve been making huge green smoothies at work and soaking almonds every few days to make almond milk and then chia pudding. It’s all feeling fairly fun and easy to maintain. I’ve discovered an amazing raw brownie recipe. I’ve fallen in love with buckwheat groats again. I don’t have that walk-on-water amazing feeling I did after a few weeks of eating 100% raw pre-Ruthie but I have energy and for the most fart feel pretty good. And it all has me wondering… what took me so long to figure out that you can eat a high raw nutrient dense diet? Why did I always try to do it all or nothing? As my husband will tell you it’s because I am a little bit crazy and that tends to be my modus operandi. Maybe the yoga is finally starting to work though!