I love new beginnings. They are always so hopeful, bright, and happy. I seem to always be creating new beginnings, even though I sometimes don't complete the previous journey. Maybe they aren't new beginnings at all, but more like changing routes and walking down a different road to the same destination. It's all in the journey, really.

So, this month I started my serious transitioning to raw foods. I haven't had any soy, dairy, wheat, or sugar--and won't have any unless I choose to consume it after December 31, 2007. I hope that's not the case, though. I'd love to think that this raw food journey will bring me such clarity, health, and peace that I would never consider going back to cooked foods.

Over the weekend, I created a menu for the week, including one snack a day since I get a bit peckish around 3pm. I've also created a schedule for the week that I'll try to keep updating as the weeks go by. I've scheduled one day a week to write a longer update here (Mondays) and the rest of the week will just be about the facts of what's going on as I transition.

I'm so pleased with the amount of information that is available about raw foods this time around. The last time I went raw there wasn't even half the information available. And the food preparation books are just amazing! I think everyone involved with raw foods must be coming out with his/her own book, Web site, instructions, guides, etc., to help the newcomers and also make some money while doing that. For me, I think if I become successfully raw and I am inspired to help others who want to take the same journey, I'll offer the information up for free if it doesn't cost me anything to share it.

This past week I was sick, but I still managed to eat nearly all raw on most days. Some days I went to bed realizing I had 100% raw days, and that was a great feeling. I'm wondering why my cold lasted so long (it's still lingering) with all the raw, healthy foods I'm eating. Just this morning, however, I realized that I'm probably going through some mild detoxing along with the cold. As I was stretching, I noticed the familiar feeling in my joints and neck that I experience whenever I'm detoxing. Things are all stiff and sore, joints creaking and tender. Last week I ate some cooked veggies because I wasn't feeling like raw food would make my system feel very good. That was probably my instinct to slow the detox down a bit. I'm really not into going through extreme pain and discomfort if I don't have to do it. Last time I jumped right in and went through the detoxing full force, this time I'm being gentle with myself.

Last night was a difficult one as far as food cravings. Up until then, I wasn't craving anything or wishing I could just take a bite of something. However, after seeing so many yummy wheat/dairy/sugar foods at a party and then coming home with a piece of cake for my husband, it really just made me want to eat something junky. I was actually thinking I wanted a slice of pizza. The first thing I did was to think of something I could eat or drink to feel like I was having something junky. Then I went directly to the VitaMix and blended up some raw cashews, dates, carob powder, water, and ice. I put a dash of salt into it, too. It was thick and creamy and sweet. I felt satisfied after drinking it and I was so glad that I didn't give into the desire to eat something that I knew I really didn't want to eat.

I was also wishing I would have completed the list I am going to make for myself, so that I could read it. My plan is to make a list of reasons I want to stick to my plan for review in times like last night. I also want to have a smaller, condensed version of it to carry with me while I'm out. I really think something like that will help me. It will be almost like I'm reaching out to my inner self, here in the physical world, and gaining some help. It's hard to explain what I mean with this, but I just know it will be helpful. After last night, I also see that I need to create that list soon!

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FEELING:

I'm feeling motivated, most of all. I feel very motivated to see this goal through, to see whether raw foods can bring new life back into this body, mind, and spirit of mine. Two different professionals (one psychologist and one holistic doctor) have said things in a way that make me feel like raw foods and healthy eating is almost like my religion. I guess it's true, in a way. I do believe, with all my heart, that this is the way, the path, to whatever it is I'm searching for. I know the search is about so much more than just my physical health. I believe everything is connected, so it makes sense that consuming live foods will help me feel that connection even more strongly.

Physically, I'm feeling okay. I'm not overflowing with energy, but I'm also not tired. I think this cold and mild detoxing is what is keeping me from flying through the days. That's okay, though. The slowness has given me a lot of time to think about things, to formulate plans, to feed my inner desires. My shoulder has been aching a lot, and I'm wondering, again, if it's connected with the times when I have my period. My eyes are a bit dry, too. I was increasing the flax oil, but then stopped. I'll have to start that again today when I have a salad--it's supposed to help with my shoulder, too, the holistic doctor said.

I started a 30-day experiment for the skin on my face. I'm massaging quality coconut oil onto my face once a day before my shower. I want to see if my skin gets smoother, clearer, less dry. So far, it seems to be making my skin a bit more red. It doesn't hurt or burn, though, so I'll keep trying it. If this doesn't work, I'll try another 30-day experiment with olive oil (this was my original oil of choice, but I've completely fallen in love with coconuts and decided to try the coconut oil, instead).

My weight has gone back to what it was before the vacation. I've lost a little over 40 pounds since my highest weight. I don't remember how long ago I was the highest weight, but I can see the difference when I look at old photos. I don't think many other people notice much, because it's so gradual. I also don't buy smaller clothes. I think I'll continue wearing these old, big clothes until it just won't work anymore. I have to wear belts now to hold up my jeans, and that feels really awesome!

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LEARNING:

* Reading a whole lot of Web pages about raw foods.

* Feeling drawn to Karen Knowler's site, most of all. I like the way she organizes things and her energy with which she approaches all of her projects. I love that she takes on so many things, too.

* Rawvolution Uncook book

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EATING:

* Coconut shake (young coconut water and flesh, handful almonds, one banana, one date)

* Salad (romaine, mixed greens from a friend's garden) topped with chopped tomatoes, flax oil, parsley, lemon, garlic

* Rawvioli!!! YUM!!!!!!!!!