Thursday, August 9, 2012

Day 4 of Garden Diet and How Did We Get Here?

Yesterday was a fantastic day.  I loved how simple the meals were to  prepare, exercised for an hour and enjoyed my family.

We did listen to an hour long school presentation at a Baskin Robbins.  My children ate ice cream, I did not.  It didn't bother me in the least, surrounded by people eating ice cream.  I wasn't even tempted.  Things got a little intense as we went shopping later.  In the grocery store there were all sorts of food smells, particularly fried chicken which seems to really get to me.  At home, we could smell a baking cake or cookies coming from one of our neighbor's homes.  I was ready for this - it seems the day after eating SAD, (Standard American Diet) the smells of baking, frying and caramelizing  foods are particularly compelling.  It was easy to overcome this because we were so well nourished with delicious raw vegan food.  I simply acknowledged the SAD cravings without giving in, and ate the good food we planned for ourselves.  I think of our raw vegan food as "spa food."  It's different than SAD food, but just as special as a gourmet steak dinner.  Wait.  Not "just as special," MORE SPECIAL! 

This morning I was done with all meal prep and cleanup for the day before 8:00 this morning.  I love that.  There will be no wandering into the kitchen at 3:00 this afternoon, confronting the question of what's for dinner.

How great it would be, to make three tasty meals a day, never spending more than an hour a day in the kitchen, except maybe on the weekends when the whole family can get involved?

This blog is supposed to be about a family of four exploring the raw vegan lifestyle for a summer, but today I'd like to explore my weight, health and happiness.

I am humbled by the people who struggle and lose 100 lbs. or more.  They are heroes.  As I write this I only have 40 lbs to lose.  It seems like a lot to me but when putting it in the proper perspective it isn't that much.

At my peak, I was 60 lbs. overweight.  How did I let that happen?  I was thin most of my adult life.  Sixteen years ago, I was skiing, playing tennis, rollerblading, hiking and biking.  I was healed and free from an abusive relationship with an ex husband and newly in love with the man I am married to now.  I had a career, a job and a lifestyle I loved.  I was mostly vegan except for honey.  I felt on top of the world.

So what happened?  Life happened!

We had a few devastating blows in our life.  We weren't expecting them, because we were healthy and strong, taking necessary precautions and playing by the rules.  Since then I have learned that devastation visits everyone in some form at one time or another.  The key is to be ready.  I wasn't.

One of our children was born with a random, life threatening genetic birth defect which caused many complications and will affect him for the rest of his life.  I gave up my career to care for him.  My husband was laid off and we went through all of our savings.  Those were just a few of the challenges.

I think part of our weight challenges had to do with having a baby with failure to thrive and frequent illnesses.  We were always trying to put weight on him.  Our youngest child, my husband and I gained all the weight instead.  Part of it also was that I decided since I wasn't bringing in a paycheck, I would become the Queen of Frugality.  I made sure we ate plenty of cheap food.  I knew several ways to prepare boxed macaroni and cheese.  When my husband was laid off, we ate a lot of instant ramen.  Unfortunately, cheap food is loaded with artificial flavors, preservatives and coloring and with plenty of hydrogenated fat and simple starches, but not a lot of nutrition.  In order to be nourished, it's necessary to eat too much of it.  We were undernourished and overfed.

I must admit that a part of it was allowing SAD food to comfort me in the times of grief that we experienced.  It's easy to do, allowing those heavy doses of calories, fat and MSG to dull feelings of pain.  I am a survivor of many things. Life is certainly not perfect, but I am happier and more blessed than at any time in my life, loved and in love, surrounded by bliss.  I do not need a crutch.

And here we are.  Learning to eat nutrient dense food, and recognizing that we don't need to eat nearly as much as we are accustomed to, if the food is clean and nutritious.      

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So what do you think? Have you tried raw vegan food?