So far, so good, with the mono-meal fasting for Navratri! I mentioned that I'll be sharing an almost diary-like blog entry at the end of each day, to share things with all of you. Well, today's diary entry is quite long. I do share a lot about what was going on with me before the fast, and why I haven't been around much online to connect with all of you.
How's everyone else doing? Are you enjoying your raw food journey? What have you been learning about yourselves, your bodies, and your overall health?
Evening, Day 1
7:55... feeling a bit of a headache and some heartburn. Had some chamomile tea, which felt nice. Really wanting to just get into bed and sleep, so that day one can be over! I'll wait a bit longer, though, since Bailey is out with a friend and will be back in a bit.
7:17... I was clenching my teeth all night, which gave me a headache (or I had a headache all night, which caused the teeth clenching). I woke a few times toward the morning and didn't feel great because of the teeth and headache. However, now that I'm fully awake I feel okay (but hungry).
I dreamed I ate an apple and then I was disappointed because then it meant I had to eat apples for the rest of the day and that wasn't something I wanted to do. Then I had another dream where I was at some sort of celebration where a lot of food was being served to people. I was helping to clean up afterward with my friend, Mamta, and I couldn't believe how much chocolate pudding was wasted. We were scraping it into the trash and talking about our thoughts on how we could manage all the dirty dishes. We joked that it was Wendi and Mamta's Big Dishwashing Adventure. My friend, Pavan, told someone to help me with the dishes and I couldn't stop laughing in the dream, because his way of helping was to tell someone else to help. I was laughing so hard in the dream. Mamta knew my head was hurting, so she was peeling a cucumber for me to eat, to help me feel better. In another dream my friend, Deborah, was visiting with another friend, Mohtarama, and Deborah was confiding in us that she wanted to sing in a restaurant and wondered if we could help her figure out a way to get that kind of job. I knew she'd have the most lovely voice and would do well.
Funny that I had many dreams and a lot of dream recall upon waking. I woke with my teeth feeling a bit achey from the clenching, but noticed my skin is smoother/softer today. My tummy was nice and flat upon waking, as well. My eyes are feeling a bit dry, my tongue feels a bit coated, and I didn't wake up full of energy or overly refreshed.
Now I have to figure out what my body wants to eat. I don't have a lot of food in the house, but an amazing bonus to buying this particular home in Portland is that there are many grocery stores within walking distance (and they all sell organic produce)! So, we'll see what I end up eating for the day. I'm not going to hold myself to a full 24 hours of one fruit/veggie if that's not what my body wants--if I want to switch to a different food for each meal, that will be okay, as well.
8:19... I can't figure out what my body wants today. Greens sound good if I use oil and salt, but I don't feel like eating them plain. I'm thinking of eating the cantaloupe from the farmer's market and then going out to buy more later this morning for the rest of the day.
I'm realizing that I don't normally get very hungry between meals. I am truly feeling hunger now, which I don't like all that much. I think because I grew up poor, I've always felt a bit stressed out if I get hungry...worried about my next meal or something. It's a learned response that I need to overcome. I won't die if I don't have food right away.
I think all young children should be schooled in wild edibles. My friend Melissa (foodunderfoot.com) has taught her daughter all about the foods she can easily eat by foraging. It's a skill we should all have from childhood, so we never have to face the fear of starvation (not that I was ever starving as a child, but there were times when we didn't have enough food and we had to go hungry for periods of time). Melissa's daughter will never have that fear--she is in touch with her inner Goddess qualities of strength and self-sufficiency, among other things.
9:27... Finally made a decision and blended up the cantaloupe I had in the fridge. Am I the only person who doesn't like cold fruits?
Jim has the VitaMix, so I'm left with a cheaper blender here in Portland. He *was* kind enough to ship the food processor to me, however. But, I probably won't be using that during Navratri.
Have you ever had blended cantaloupe? If the fruit is a sweet, ripe one it makes a delicious drink. It's very refreshing, but for me it tends to give me the jitters with all the sugar from the fruit. The whole sugar issue, with how it makes me feel spacey and a bit jittery, went away when I was 100% raw. It all came back, however, when I had lyme disease last year (even though I was 100% raw at that time, as well). My entire digestion changed and old issues, pre-raw, came back when I became infected with lyme disease.
After some time of suffering with all of the issues that were coming from the lyme, I decided to listen to my body and steam some vegetables to see how it made me feel. I wrote a bit about that at the time, here on the blog. The biggest issue with eating cooked veggies after being 100% raw was that my body didn't register satiation after eating. Because of that I tended to overeat and end up wth a bit of a belly ache. That experiment ended, because I didn't feel it was helping me, overall, regain my health.
However, my body continued to let me know it was wanting specific foods, cooked. I continually pushed the idea of eating cooked foods out of my head, sticking my my 100% raw diet. However, my digestion kept getting worse. Raw foods would sit in my stomach for long periods of time, not digesting. It felt like the raw foods were rotting in my stomach, rather than being broken down. I continued to research about health and how the body works, as well as continued to monitor what was going on with my body through the various testing methods we used to cure me from lyme. The results kept showing that I was low in iron and protein.
One day my desire for a certain cooked food just wouldn't leave me. I felt an inner push to consume it, a push that was coming from deep within that wouldn't allow me to ignore it any longer. The food is called Idli--it's a fermented mixture of rice and lentil that is steamed and eaten with a lentil soup. I searched for nutritional qualities of the Idli, as well as the saambar soup, and guess what? They were both loaded with iron and protein! No matter how much I tried to increase the protein and iron through raw foods, my digestion had been compromised in some way from the lyme disease and I wasn't getting what my body needed. So, I made the decision to go ahead and eat the Idli with the lentil soup.
Guess what ! It felt great! I thought for sure that being 100% raw for so many years would mean that my body rejected the idli and saambar soup, but instead it was as though I was consuming healing food. So, I've continued to listen to my body and I've been eating Idli and also a similar food called Uthappam (fermented rice and lentil that's gently cooked like a pancake). My energy has been slowly returning, but most of all I am fully able to digest the food (most likely because it's in a fermented form, even though fermented raw foods are something my body wants no part of). When I have a 100% raw food day, my stomach isn't happy. When I consume at least one meal with the cooked idli or uthhappam, I feel so much better.
I don't have my testing equipment here in Portland with me to see how well my body is adjusting to the changes in my diet, but overall I feel better having some of the cooked foods every day. I was surprised that my digestion seemed to be okay yesterday with consuming only bananas. Maybe the simple, mono meal eating of raw foods will be helpful for my body. We'll see how things feel today with the cantaloupe!
So, there you have it...I've been consuming, on an almost daily basis, some cooked, fermented rice and lentils in either the form of steamed idli or the uthappam pancakes (which normally are made with onions, spicy chili peppers, and peas). That's part of the reason you haven't been seeing me around. I've been dealing with low energy, recovering from the damage that lyme disease left behind in my body, and the issue of not being ready to explain the change in my diet right away. On top of all that there was the huge life change shift we've been working on of selling off things and preparing for our cross-country move.
Now you may understand my cravings last night for some cooked food. It was uthappam that I was wanting to eat. I am grown accustomed to that heavier feeling in my tummy when I eat and the bananas just weren't giving it to me. On a plus side, my tummy felt so light and flat this morning upon waking. ;-)
I'll continue with my nine-day mono meal fast and documenting what I am feeling and observing. Who knows, maybe it will help or inspire others in some way. *blows kisses*
10:52... I drank about 2/3 of the blended cantaloupe and my belly isn't happy. It's bloated and tender, which is what I've been experiencing most of the time when I eat raw foods. I'm not sure what the lyme disease has done to my body, but there are a lot of things that need to heal. I developed Hoshimoto's thyroid disease from the lyme, but that is healing. A byproduct of the Hoshimoto's, however, is that my metabolism slowed down so much that I gained about 20 pounds. That probably messed with my digestion, also. My body also started signs of PCOS again, which had fully cleared up on 100% raw. All of these things--the Hoshimoto's and PCOS symptoms--came back before I started experimenting with some cooked foods in my diet. I was 100% raw for years when I was bitten by the tick that gave me the lyme, and 100% raw for over half a year with the lyme.
It's not an easy thing to understand the body and know how to rebalance what has gone unbalanced. It's still fascinating to me that consuming ghee (clarified butter) for less than a month was able to heal my body enough for the debilitating pain to disappear within three days of first consuming it. I understand why it worked, and Jim and I are working on figuring out exactly why my body was out of balance in the first place on a 100% raw diet. We're pretty sure we understand it, but it's going to take some testing of other individuals to see if our theory is correct. All of that testing and research will happen in the future, once we are all together and settled into this new home in Portland.
11:49... Hungry, so I finished the rest of the blended cantaloupe. Bad news, though ... the grocery store didn't have organic cantaloupe (and there's no way I'm eating a pesticide one). So, looks like it will be cucumbers for the rest of the day. I chose cucumber not because I was feeling like eating it all that much, but because it was in my dream last night. Who knows how it will make me feel...we'll see later, I guess! :-)
12:43... I peeled and ate one medium cucumber, but now my belly is totally bloated and uncomfortable. I'm getting a tiny bit of a headache, I'm pretty sure it's related to the cucumber. My tummy is definitely not able to digest cucumbers right now. :-( ?So, what to do for my next meal when I get hungry in a little while?
12:53... Now my sinuses are feeling weird and things smell strange, and my nose is beginning to run a bit and my ears are feeling all stuffed up. Definitely seems like a reaction to the cucumber -- some might call it detox, but I'm pretty certain it's a reaction. Cucumbers have always been difficult for me to digest and sometimes they caused headaches before I was 100% raw. Maybe I'm sensitive to them again.
1:17... Feeling *hungry* and headachey. Guess I'll eat the last two bananas, since they didn't make me feel unwell yesterday.
1:48... Thinking maybe I should have made this a banana fast, since so far it's the only thing that isn't making me feel totally unwell. It does make me feel jittery, but other than that it's okay. No more bananas in the house right now and it's rainy and chilly, so not sure I feel like walking to the grocery store. Will decide later when I'm hungry again. Today has really been a mixed day of things I've eaten ... cantaloupe, cucumber, banana. I don't think I really want to mix in another veggie or fruit, so I probably should just head out to get some more bananas and maybe see if something else calls to me for tomorrow's mono meal.
2:27... Decided it's best to just head out and get lots of organic bananas to tide me over for a few days. If I desire something else for mono mealing, then I'll head out another day to get something different. For now, only the bananas feel okay in my body. Well, the uthappam would feel great, too, but that's not really giving my body a fasting-type break. I have noticed that I am less puffy all over today, especially my face and neck, hands, feet, and the area where a bra band goes around the ribs ... that part of my ribs isn't retaining any water at all, which means the foods I've been eating (most likely the cooked foods) have been causing me to retain water. It's good to give the body a break (the longer the better), so I'll continue for the nine days to see how much my body responds to the time of digestive resting.
4:00... Bananas were all underripe, but that's all they had for organics. So, I ate two right away and now I'm having another two. So far, no tummy ache although there is that astringent feeling in my mouth since they're under-ripe. Interesting thing about the underripe bananas (they're yellow with a bit of green, not the normally speckled brown ones I eat) -- they aren't making me feel jittery and they feel more satisfying/filling. Maybe it's because all of the starch hasn't converted to sugar in them, yet?
5:04... Well, I'm starting to feel pretty good again .. .getting a bit more energy and my tummy is feeling okay. :-) Bailey just went out to meet a friend, so I'm doing some more work around this fixer-upper home of ours. :-)
6:36... Three more small, underripe bananas and I think I'm done eating for the day. Definitely feel better with underripe rather than fully spotted ripe bananas.
How's everyone else doing? Are you enjoying your raw food journey? What have you been learning about yourselves, your bodies, and your overall health