May 7, 2016 was the day it began. My 20 year class reunion loomed and I was excited to see everyone, but I had just come out of the worst 6 months of my life. Going back, last year in May and June I was preparing for and on a Bicycle Trip down the coast, which I wrote about in several previous blogs. I was in the best shape of my life, then coming home to Washington the heat, which I don’t handle well, derailed my workouts, then the fire season happened and through government agency foul up (imagine that) the worst fires in Washington history resulted. With the air quality going to black (to poor to register on the air quality scale) and being evacuated from our home it was definitely eventful. That was difficult, as well as, several poor choices made by others created a stressful situation for me. I did the best I could to stop the bleeding, but I also ate a lot and watched a lot of Netflix. I gained 30 lbs over the course of six or so months. I put so much sugar into my body that if continued I probably would have caused myself permanent damage. Then on May 7th, I changed. I decided to live a (mostly) raw lifestyle.
Funny thing about change, it doesn’t really have to be that hard. (Philippians 4:13) My biggest fear was finances. We are on a fairly small budget and I was afraid eating raw would break the bank. I decided that I would eat raw until I ran out of money and then I’d eat PB or whatever was cheap until we got paid again if I had to. Fortunately that didn’t happen, but walking home from that first shopping trip, my husband said “The good news is if you spend this much money every day, going raw will only cost us about $1000.00 a month.” He’s always making jokes and we both laughed (it still makes me laugh actually), but in the back of my mind I was also a little worried. I decided to try to keep track of how much I spent in May, but we did some traveling and house sitting and I got a little off track, so I wasn’t able to. I still ate fairly well, but I had some processed sugar and ate out some , but when I got home I went right back to raw.
In June, I kept records and I spent $341.77 for only my food that month. That is a bit high, but since we live in a town with literally nothing to do, we could handle it. My goal for July was to beat that number, and I ended up spending $275.76. That is $66.01 less than June, which I was very proud of! I will note I am not good at buying on sale and due to past lack of caring, I never know what’s in season. We only have two stores, Walmart and Safeway in our town, so we are very limited. Fortunately, I do have some orchardist friends and I have found some local fruit and I’m learning what’s in season and how to shop smart so I’m looking forward to this number going down even more.
Physical changes have occurred as well. I’m starting to drop weight, with basically no exercise. It’s a long story, but I’m having my bicycle repaired and it’s taking longer than it should, because did I mention I live in the middle of nowhere? The point is basically with unrestricted raw eating and no exercise I’ve started losing weight.
Another physical change, before eating raw I started seeing gray hairs a lot. Like 5 or so a week and I began obsessing about them (and pulling them out), each time I looked in the mirror and saw more I felt so old. By month two, I found only one gray hair every other week or so. Now after three months, I found one gray hair a few days ago, but hadn’t seen any for weeks. (and I’ve been looking). 🙂
My involuntary mood swings have stabilized quite a bit. I know, involuntary is a joke, but here’s what I mean. I’ve been doing a job I don’t like for quite a while (why is a long story), but basically I have to work really hard sometimes not to dread tomorrow’s work. Doing this for several years resulted in a pattern where I would feel sad each Sunday evening. I’d tell my husband, I feel sad and he’s say, “What day is it, oh that’s because it’s Sunday evening.” I still hate and dread my job sometimes, but this pattern has pretty much been eliminated and while I am still craving major life changes, I am finding some joy in the journey.
A good habit I’ve developed is to make a green shake for breakfast each morning and lately I wake up and I feel so grateful that I get to eat a raw food diet. I drink my green shake and read my bible and pray and it’s a wonderful way to start the day. I thoroughly enjoy it, even today when I put too many broccoli stems into it and it didn’t taste very good. Ha!
More to come on the challenges and blessings of a (mostly) raw food lifestyle. Please stay tuned!