A Journal of Transition to a Raw Food Lifestyle

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Can I Survive Life Without Coffee, Steak, Milk, Etc...

Hi.  My name is Stacy, and I am a coffee addict.  This addiction snuck up on me.  Up until 2-3 years ago I always said “I just like the taste of coffee.  It’s not the caffeine that does it for me.”  I still say this, but I’ve come to realize that statement is a BIG FAT LIE!  I am addicted to coffee.  I drink it all day, every day, and if I can’t get to Starbucks, it’s a sad day for me.  And I like my coffee STRONG.  When I make coffee I use twice as many grounds as my office mates do.  I LOVE coffee.
Believe it or not, this blog is not about coffee.  It’s about food.  I am 33 years old.  I’m morbidly obese.  I have polycystic ovarian syndrome.  I suffer with migraines.  Just this week I was diagnosed with super high blood pressure and put on medication.  I have a million different mystery symptoms that make me feel like crap every day.  I’m at the point where I feel like something has to change.
For quite a while now I’ve been leaning towards eating more naturally.  I really and truly believe that processed food is the cause of the world’s health problems.  Who knows what we are really eating?  I can’t pronounce most of the ingredients on a random food label.  We have seen evidence over and over about the risks that we take when we eat processed food.  There’s been e coli outbreaks and food recalls.  There’s a threat of our grocery stores selling us cloned meat without us knowing.  The list of scary food situations goes on and on for me, but I have been unable to convince myself to take the leap into healthier eating.
Here’s my list of major stumbling blocks:
  1. I don’t like veggies.  I was not raised eating vegetables.  I like salad, plain, with only lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots.  Other than that I eat green beans and corn (which is not considered a veggie in most circles).
  2. I love coffee.  This stumbling block has gone through many transformations for me.  It really wasn’t about the coffee in the beginning.  I used to use a TON of Splenda in my coffee.  Then I decided that artificial sweeteners were evil.  So I eliminated all of them and went back to only pure cane sugar.  Except that I’m not REALLY sure that sugar is good for us either.  So, now I go back and forth between splenda and sugar.  This coffee post will be continued in #3.
  3. I love milk.  Cow’s milk to be exact.  Skim or whole makes no difference to me, it’s just good.  I have read study after study proving that humans have no business drinking cow’s milk.  I believe these studies.  But I love milk.  And what about my coffee?  Coffee is not coffee without creamer.
  4. I am lazy.  AND I’m busy.  I’m great at research, but not so good at “get er done”.  Eating healthy takes a lot of effort and time, and reaching for some pre-packaged quick fix meal just seems like the way to go most of the time.
  5. I don’t cook.  Currently my mom stocks my freezer for me.  I can cook, I just like mom’s cooking better.  And it works out great for my family and our busy schedule.  I buy the ingredients, my mom cooks, and we split the food.  It is hard to turn down a freezer of home-cooked meals and switch to diet food.
  6. I love cheese.  Possibly more than milk and coffee.  Need I say more?

So, about a month ago I discovered the raw food movement.  I was immediately horrified at the idea of eating only raw food...visions of raw broccoli and cauliflower (yuck) flooded my head.  But then I started thinking about it...this could be easier than “regular” healthy eating.  So, I became interested.
I have been on a million diets.  I have lost tons of weight (literally I bet) and gained it all back.  I have started something that made me feel better but quit after a week or two.  I have gotten sick of counting carbs, calories, protein, fat grams and given up.  I have created complex recipes, counting and measuring everything to make sure that each 1/2 cup serving has the correct balance of whatever.  I have spent a fortune buying whole grain, organic, “healthy” everything.  None of this was sustainable in my lifestyle.  When I really thought about it, eating raw food sounded easy to me.  Pick up an apple and eat it.  Peel a banana and eat it.  Crack some raw nuts and eat them.  Throw some fruit in a blender and drink a smoothie.  Have a salad, plain, the way I like it.  There’s more to it than that, but all of this sounds so easy to me right now after a lifetime of diet rituals.  I think I’ll try it.
I don’t really feel like I’m ready to start eating this way, but at the same time I feel like I should have started the first day I found out about it.  I am a researcher.  I exhaust every angle of anything that I’m interested in.  There are so many more things that I feel like I need to read before I’m ready.  All kinds of recipes and ways to make deserts and bread and other things that you would never think could be raw.  How do I find these purported superfoods and how can I get enough protein without eating meat or cooked beans, etc, etc, etc?  My questions seem endless.  But my new high blood pressure scare has catapulted me into action.  I’m just going to start eating raw food and see what happens...I’ll learn as I go along.  And if I have a few days where I eat only fruit and salads, well, I’ll be okay.  Surely it’s better than the many days where I had only junk food.    
So, my first goal is to make it 7 days eating raw.  I have no idea how long I’m going to do this for.  I have no doubt that I will slip up, but I hope that I can get back on track quickly when it happens.  I hope that eating raw will make me feel so great that I will not want to go back to cooked food.  If that doesn’t happen I hope that I will at least come away from this with a more healthy diet.
I am not going to make crazy goals like lose 100 pounds in 6 months.  I am going to start this journey and see what happens.  If I can’t sustain the 100% raw diet, then I will try 90% or 75% or whatever will work.  I don’t want to set myself up for failure.  I want to make real lifestyle changes.  I want to be HEALTHY!  Of course I want to lose weight, but this will not be a weight loss diet for me.  So, I’m drinking my last (sob!!!!) cup of coffee and tomorrow it’s off I go on this raw-food adventure.  Bottoms up!

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