Thursday, January 31, 2008
Think about it....what is more seductive than a fresh start? A clean slate, a brand spanking new calendar, or even a newly budding leaf in spring? Stoked and hopeful, one becomes enthralled in the beginnings of potential weight loss, a new and inspiring exercise routine, and the glorious prospects of a new and improved healthier diet. When we feel this way, we ALWAYS think, this is the start of something really big. And it's all going to be fabulous! When we are in this euphoric state, nothing can or will stop us from reaching our goals, right? Ever been there? Are you there now?
I think most of us can relate to a time when we had a passionate start. Whether it was the rush of a new romance, an exciting new career move or a fantastic personal health/fitness program....those early days can feel vibrant and it seems like the adrenaline supply is endless! Alas, most of us can also recall a time when once well plugged into into our "new life," something happens and the flame dies. This something either happens to us or inside of us, but whatever it is we lose our enthusiasm and this is the point where things get derailed. Sometimes it's slow and gradual and other times it seems like everything gets blown entirely. Believe me, I speak from personal experience and regardless how it happens, one's whole life can suddenly seem like a disappointment. These situations have a way of wrecking havoc on our self-esteem and they blow the confidence in our ability to ever really make a difference in our own reality.
So, here we are at 31 days into 2008 and somehow I'm still going strong. I am just as happy as a newly wed with my lifestyle and all of the changes that go along with it. You may be laughing at me and thinking, "For God's sake, woman, it's ONLY been 4 weeks!" Well, I don't mean to be cocky, but this is the longest I've been able to stay with a change like this with no real screw ups. So, it's a pretty big deal to me and I'm proud that I've been focused and now I'm really starting to see the results I have been hoping for. This morning, as I was listening to the report on TV, I asked myself, "What has been different about this time? How have I kept my vision, my enthusiasm and my commitment level consistent for 31 days?" I think there are a couple of things that have made the difference and they are important. I feel that they are significant enough to share and maybe they can help you too.
First.....actually writing down my personal plan in its entirety. Not just what I wanted to happen and how I plan to get there, but I wrote down what I DON'T want as well. That may seem negative, but knowing what I don't want anymore has helped me to do things differently. People who don't want to be an alcoholic don't hang out in bars, do they? People who want to be thin and fit don't lay around on the couch eating greasy potato chips, do they? You following me?
Second.....I started getting the right resources to help me meet my goals. Resources like a folder with a collection of easy to make, delicious raw recipes that I can fall back on when my days get busy. Resources like arranging my schedule for success. I actually write in my workouts and trips to the grocery store on my daily planner, just like I would if I were seeing a client or going to a business meeting. This way I don't make other plans. I also keep a daily journal of what I eat, what exercise I am getting, how my emotions are and any other information I feel might be of interest to me later. Keeping a documentation of progress is turning out to be so helpful as I weekly record my weight and twice a month, my measurements. One week I lost nothing on the scale, but saw three inches somehow melt away.
And lastly.....having a list of websites or blogs that you can go to when you need inspiration or a fresh shot of enthusiasm when yours feels like it's all dried up. You already know that we aren't just what we eat, but also what we feed our eyes, ears and spirits. Making the choice to fill our mind with positive sources of information that work with us to help reach our goals is key. If what you are surrounding yourself with is in conflict with what you want to become, the journey will not flow easily and you most likely won't reach your goal. Also, along this same vein, build a network of support with others who have already been successful at what you are wanting to achieve or those who are walking a similar path with kindred goals. That's what as been so fantastic about GiveItToMeRaw.com, Twitter and a number of blog sites that I frequent. I have my very own support group without ever leaving my own home. These sites can be valuable tools that can work for you in a tremendous way if you'll access and let them. I get a heaping dose of daily motivation when I see what others are whipping up in their raw kitchens or when I view a YouTube by someone motivational like Philip at LovingRaw.com or Neens from ThePowerOfRaw.com Inspiration and fresh enthusiasm is just a click away everyday.
In closing, I think it is deeply important to listen to your own intuition and trust your gut instincts. I believe success happens when you consider more than yourself, your dreams and your own ego in the equation. If you can genuinely find a way to include other people in your journey, it can make it all the more meaningful and long lasting. Within all of us, there is an agent for change. Are you allowing yours to come forth? If not, now is a perfect time to
get back in touch with your own personal desires for your life. It is never too late to become the person you were created to be.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Please imagine with me for a moment....Rubyvroom slides out from the back seat of a black stretch limo in a clingy little chartruese designer number from Richard Tyler, shoes from Christian Louboutin and glittering baubles from Harry Winston. Trying to make her way through the paparazzi, she slinks down the red carpet, being stopping only for a brief interview with Mary Hart and Ryan Seacrest before she make her way into the theater to receive the coveted.........
I couldn't resist the opportunity to savor the moment in my own little way. Yes, I have been given this exciting recognition by two of my favorite people; first I would like to thank Jenny Nelson of wlydeandraw.blogspot.com and then Bob Bush of legallyraw.blogspot.com. (and of course the Academy) for this award. I am truly grateful, and humbled to be chosen as an inspirational blogger by two people who have been such a big inspiration to me!
I would like to share a bit of history about this award before I pass the honor on to five other of my personal favorite inspirational bloggers. (Thank you to Keely Bush for the background). This award (and three others) is the brainchild of Christy Z of WritersReview.com. You can read the full rules, the meaning of the award and get your award badge at her post under blogger awards on her site. Basically, if you are tagged for the award, you go her site, get the badge for your site, then tag 5 others.
So without further hesitation..... the envelope please! My five winners of the Inspirational Blogger Award are...
My friend, Blaqberry, of Hi-Rawkus.com. and Twitter. Her quirky artistic charm, spunkiness and deliciously creative recipes have help to motivate me to stay raw at times when I thought I might shrink back into my old ways. She has helped me to stay the course and be the raw girl I have become today. (I bet you didn't even know that, did you, Blaqberry?) I want to send out big LOVE to my girl!
Then there is Chadd Biehler from Atlanta and Vegannosaurus.com. This fellow is not only terribly creative in the raw kitchen but he has a wicked sense of humor that I just love. He is a true talent and I am pretty sure he is a name we'll be hearing more from in raw circles in days and months to come. Thanks to Chadd for keeping it real and helping me along on my path. Check him out as Chaddb on Twitter.
Then there is a new kid on the block, Raw Allison, who I am just really getting to know through Twitter, but she has a great new blog you can find at blog.rawodyssey.com This Vegas girl has got it going on and I believe she deserves this award for all of her inspirational musings! Those of us who follow her are waiting with eager anticipation as she paces the floor for her new and glorious Vita-Mix! Congradulations, Allison.
And then last, but certainly not least is the beautiful and exotic Linda Salas of Twitter and her blog cocoymango.blogspot.com. Linda is from Mexico, thus her blog is in Espanol, but she is so filled with love, light and daily inspirations. Linda is currently expecting her first child and those of us who have been following her are so excited and eager as she is bringing forth a new member to the raw community. Linda is always there with cute and encouraging comments. Keep up the impressive work, Linda!
Before I exit the podium, I must recognize one more person....
Although this particular person doesn't have a blog (unless she has been hiding it from me), she is a true source of my daily raw inspiration, Dea - or DeaLivingLotus on Twitter, as she is known. Dea currently lives in Sicily, but it feels like she is just next door to me. Offering words of strength, love and encouragement....she keeps me motivated and inspired everyday. I feel blessed to have made such a true friend in Dea. So, she gets my Most Honorable Mention, even if she doesn't have a blog, yet.
In closing, I want to recognize that there are so many others who have helped to bring me to and continued to help keep me on this amazing journey for the past three years. The beautiful Carol Alt, Dhrumil of WeLikeItRaw.com and GiveItToMeRaw.com, Sarma of Pure Food & Wine and OneLuckyDuck.com, Heidi & JS Ohlander of RawFoodRealWorld, Philip McCluskey of Lovingraw.com, Cynthia Beavers of Pure Raw Cafe, Tanja Andrews & Oscar Grimm of Freshtopia.net. Goodness, there are so many others that I cherish, as well. A great big THANK YOU to all for reading my blog and commenting on my ramblings. It is a real pleasure to be all about REAL FOOD in TULSA!
Friday, January 25, 2008
So, as December came to a close, I took a period of time to reflect and evaluate what seemed to be missing in my equation. The first thing I listed was the lack of exercise. Having never been a real mover or shaker, physically speaking, I realized that I had just not given bodily activity a real priority in my daily life. The second thing that popped into my thinking - I was still holding onto a few items in my diet that could be keeping me from that proverbial raw glow....items like raw dairy, the occasional sashimi and the daily sneak of morning coffee with its addictive caffeine blast. In my last post I detailed my open affair with alcohol, so that was an obvious player that surfaced during this self-evaluation. And then the subject of hydration came to mind. This raw girl always drank her juicy juice, but how much pure water was I taking into this gloriously curvaceous temple everyday? Certainly not enough to be properly hydrated and to promote weight loss.
Whew, it turned out to be quite a list of possible offenders. Fighting back the urge to go misty eyed over the prospect of giving up all of these close chums, I chose to not get emotional but to get a game plan of how I was going to make the positive changes I felt necessary and cross that unknown abyss into the raw promised land. So, that is exactly what I did. For once in my life, I made a plan and am now working it. I am finding it to be empowering and exhilarating instead of difficult and limiting. What's different this time is nothing more than in the details and in my thinking. Choosing to focus only on the positives and what works has been simple yet such a paradigm shift to me. Instead of being sad about what I'm "giving up," I am excited and motivated by what I am adding and how it's impacting my overall sense of self worth and personal value.
So here I am, into the fourth week of January, and I have already developed a new lifestyle. I go to the gym or walk/run outside 5 or 6 mornings a week. I have my little rebounder that I jump on daily (only about 10-20 minutes) and I have a couple of Rainbeau Mars yoga tapes that I occasionally pop into the DVD player (about twice a week). I drink roughly 85 ounces of pure water each day, along with about a gallon of green shake and/or green juice daily, which generally ends up getting me through breakfast and lunch. At happy hour I enjoy a kombucha or rejuvelac cocktail with my husband and then we indulge in a beautiful high raw, *beegan* dinner each night. Now how hard is that?
Here comes the real stats....what you've been wanting to know:
Since January 1st, I have lost 11 pounds. My skin is softer and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles have noticeably improved on my face and hands. I no longer have the darkness and puffiness under my eyes upon awakening. My cankles are showing signs of dainty definition. My hips are starting to draw inward and my lady lumps are losing their bootyliciousness. I rejoice and I grow increasingly more inspired each day. It is true that I still have about 30 pounds that need to find release, but all in due time. Ultimately, I am not as much about the number on the scale as I am about how I feel on the inside. And right now, it feels like Rubyvroom is getting her groove back.
*beegan - the newish term for vegans who occasionally indulge in honey or bee pollen.*
Friday, January 18, 2008
I knew the day was coming. My body and my complexion told me the time was fast approaching that I needed to relinquish my daily companion of spirits. Once over 40, the "mornings after" weren't cute anymore. Once high raw, my system grew more and more sensitive to the effects of alcohol, yet my beverage of choice was my friend, my comfort and my fun. So I believed.
Recently I had a routine blood test. The findings were disturbing. My liver enzymes were actually good, yet I had a condition called Macrocytosis, which is the appearance of enlarged red blood cells. My doctor told me that it was most likely my diet....the number one cause of this condition is anemia. The only other cause would generally be alcoholism. As she told me this, my heart sunk within me. Could it be that I was actually an alcoholic? She went ahead and ordered further testing.
Two weeks went by. My doctor was baffled by the second set of results. No real sign of anemia. Liver was in decent condition....so what's going on? She told me that she was pretty sure it was my diet and that I should probably not do "the raw thing." "Most vegetarians suffer from anemia," she said. I came back with, "But you say I'm not anemic?" "Well, no, but you're probably not getting enough protein. So just add meat back into your diet and we'll recheck you in a few months." I left her office that day, and I have not been back.
Intuitively, I knew what the problem was. It had to be my evening past time. I researched everything I could find on macrocytosis....everything pointed to the booze. I went ahead and started a B complex and folic acid supplementation program for good measure, but I was face to face with the fact that the time was now to put down the champagne glass and get on with my true goal of getting completely healthy.
I decided to set a realistic goal. Get through the holidays and give up the sauce on January 1st, 2008. So, that's what I have done. I haven't looked back and I very honestly haven't missed it a drop. I don't miss the headaches, the sinus drainage nor do I miss the feeling of something having control over me. I hadn't looked at it like that before I quit, but I now see that it had me in it's seductive little clutches.
I do have a powerful secret on how I've made this transition so smoothly, which is the main reason I've even gone into this saga. I have been experimenting with kombucha and rejulevac and making my own raw cocktails at happy hour. My husband and I have been loving the flavors and the way we feel. Drinking a raw concoction about 30 minutes to an hour prior to dinner really aids in the digestion and assimilation of meals. These drinks are completely satisfying and the perfect transition away from traditional cocktails and away from alcohol of any kind.
Here is an example of one of our favorites:
Blood Orange Raw Mojito
the juice of two blood oranges
the juice of two limes
a bunch of muddled fresh mint
a good squeeze of agave nectar
16 ounces of rejuvelac or kombucha
Place all ingredients into a martini shaker and gently mix. Pour into chilled martini or wine glasses. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Savor and allow the tensions of the day fall away.
Friday, January 11, 2008
At the end of last year, I quit the work I had been doing for 15 years to stay home and refocus. Although I wasn't burnt out, I just simply felt that I was done. Time for a new chapter in life and my husband and family felt it too. My clients, however, did not feel it, which has been difficult....but everything all works out in the end. I am very fortunate to be in a situation where taking this sabbatical is possible and I have a true awareness that this window of time is a gift as well as an assignment.
So, what am I doing with my time? Lots of people have asked and the words haven't been coming easy. I haven't even blogged it because I don't know how to articulate but I will try to do so here and see how it turns out.
First and foremost, this is a time for spiritual awakening. Taking the time to tune into the stillness and quiet and reflecting upon what I am hearing. My life has been filled with such clamor... I long for rest from the noise and the voices, voices including my own. I have a knowing of a greater purpose, but I don't want to be the one to write it in my own strength, by my own will or ego. I want it to unfold as I go deeper into this process of just being.
Of course there are goals and dreams that I have. Some are new and some have been with me for many years. As I was working through a goal setting session online (thanks Dhrumil), I realized that a number of the dreams/goals on my list have been part of me since I was a young girl or teen. Why in the world would they still be lingering around and eluding me 20+ years later? That's a real question and I wanted to learn the real answer. As I meditated on it, it came to me that I had been believing, on a very subconscious level, that I either wasn't worthy or that I didn't have the courage it takes to achieve these goals. What a realization! And how very sad it is that I was holding onto that type of belief after all I've learned and after all the other people I have helped motivate and support through the years to reach their personal goals. Breathe. So, it is just a mind set...that's all. Old thought patterns are programmed in, very deeply at our core sometimes, yet I know they can also be programmed out as well.
Over time, I will likely share what some of my goals are, but for now, I just wanted to put this down for the record. I am in a reprogramming mode. A mental, spiritual and physical detox, if you will. I am so thankful to have an immediate family that "gets me" and that allows me to evolve and grow as a person without fear. I am also aware that my new friends, many of whom I've met since I have been on the raw food path, are such a gift. The inspiration and the enlightenment I receive on a daily basis is priceless. Many of you aren't even aware how your tiny little blurbs coming through on the computer or through text message, envelope me in support and raise my energy and vibration to higher levels. I feel community with you, even though a few of you are physically on the other side of the planet. From my heart, I cherish you all.
So, moving ahead...what does this year hold for us all? I live in wonder and excitement to see. I have this phrase I keep thinking in my head, "Something wonderful is happening." Do you feel it bubbling inside of you? Even if its just the tiniest of nudgings, allow it come forth and manifest. As Henry David Thoreau says, " Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler." Won't you let me know what's bubbling up on the inside of you?