Thursday, May 31, 2007

Diggin' in the dirt...

So, as you, my faithful readers may know, I'm a bit of a nutcase and I have THREE gardens. One is a 4 x 8 raised bed at the community garden. One is at my house (in too much shade--LOL!) and is made up of three 4 x 12 foot grids a'la Square Foot Gardening. And the other is a huge expanse that I haven't even measured out at my friend's farm. It's about the size of my house lot, I think. And then, of course, I volunteer in a big plot grown in the community garden where the proceeds go to the food pantry.

The photo above is from my garden here at home. Note the lovely Black-seeded Simpson lettuce interspersed with cilantro volunteers that I have decided to tolerate. The tall stuff is garlic. I planted that last year and it never sprouted. And here it is this year, now that I have given up eating garlic. Isn't that just like life? Oh, well, I'm sure I can sell it. The very back row is endive, but it isn't up very high yet.

Please, pay no attention to the weeds in the path, or my crude grid made of lath (Square-foot Mel with his beautiful white military-precision grids would have a conniption!)

I worked in both the community garden and my big garden out at the farm. At the farm, my husband came and hoed weeds, made squash hills, and mulched with straw. What a nice guy. The girls helped me plant some purple pole beans, scarlett runner beans, Malabar spinach, and two kinds of fennel. I also planted several varieties of summer squash, winter squash, and cucumbers. My daughter planted a couple of replacement peppers for some that got trampled by the cows. All that's left for spring planting is cantaloupes and more cucumbers. And pinto beans are going in where the lettuce is coming out. Tomorrow I harvest the remaining Four Seasons lettuce for the Farmer's Market.

Tonight, I moved a ton of compost from a donor's house into bags in my car. Tomorrow I spread it. What a workout! I was supposed to have help from another garden volunteer, but he works on an ambulance and got a call, so he couldn't make it. I got a very nice workout!

Payday. Woohoo! It always feels nice to have grocery money. For about $100, my husband bought 8 watermelons, the first bing cherries of the season (not ripe enough, darn it!), bananas, cantaloupes, cucumbers, peppers, romaine lettuce, bok choy, grape tomatoes, mangoes, and frozen berries.

Today I ate:

8 a.m. About 1/2 of a large watermelon
12 -1 p.m. 3 bananas, some Four Seasons lettuce, some lamb's quarters
5:30 3 C. of cherries (most weren't ripe enough)
9 p.m. A little over 1/2 of a large watermelon

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Blogging in my brain

Photo from

So every day, I write a blog post in my head. But half the time, I'm not getting a chance to come and type it on the computer. And I promised to do better recording my food. But I'm so busy!

Yesterday I planted okra, green beans, and sweet potatoes. I also worked in the community garden planting more sweet potatoes.

I ate:
8 a.m. 2 C. grapes, 1 large pear
11 a.m. 1/2 banana
12 p.m. Large salad with iceberg, 4 Seasons lettuce, chopped red pepper, green sprouts, 1/2 a large cucumber, and lime juice
5:30 1/2 of a large watermelon
10 p.m. 1/8 of a large watermelon
12 a.m. 1/8 of a large watermelon

Today, I'm on my way to plant corn, cucumbers and winter squash. The only food in the house is bananas and lettuce and we have no money until Thursday. So, guess what I'm eating today?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Cows Gone Wild

Photo by

So my garden has an awful lot of hoofprints in it today. Grrrr. My friends have a small herd of Charolais that has been in the family for over 100 years. Yeah, sounds cool, until they get through the fence and trample your tomatoes. Actually, they didn't do too much damage considering. They only got about a dozen plants.

Today I planted green zebra tomatoes, Dragon Langerie beans, and yellow French Filet beans. I also did some much-needed weeding. I was at it for almost 6 hours. My neck is sore from leaning over the ground. Guess my head is pretty heavy. LOL!

Then I headed for Aldi's dumpster. And went BANANAS! I got about 50 pounds of over-ripe bananas. Of course about 1/4 of them were compost, but the rest went into the freezer for smoothies.
Speaking of smoothies, I was disappointed to read (while drinking my morning smoothie) that bananas and strawberries are not a good combo, since you're not supposed to combine acid fruits and sweet fruits.

I am really struggling with my up and down emotions. The last few days have been heavy on social events centered around food. First off, it was a big step for me to just have fun (at least most of the time). The great thing I can report was that I didn't want to eat junk food! The frustrating part is not wanting other people to eat it. Obviously, I can't and shouldn't be able to make other people's choices. There are some other issues buried there, but I'm too upset to even talk about them right now. Maybe in another post.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fantastic Farmer's Market

I can't tell you how excited I am about being a farmer's market vendor. Thanks to my kool friend Kristi (who says she reads my blog, hi Kristi!), who agreed to let me horn in on her market spot. Today I made, drumroll please.... $38 selling lettuce and rhubarb!!! I also raised $18 selling plants for the Community Garden. (Thanks to my other super-cool friend, Heather.)
Above, you'll see a picture of the Four Seasons Lettuce I had for sale this morning. It is a bit more piquant than I realized and I was a bit nervous about selling it to the general public. Ideally, it would be included in a mix of more tender, sweet lettuces, but I'm not that organized yet. I did offer samples and, low and behold, people still bought it. Whew.

I also did an interesting recipe to get rid of some of my legumes.
Sprouted Salad Crunchies
Sprouted organic lentils, sprouted organic chickpeas, lime juice, onion powder, cumin, sea salt, cayenne
Dehydrate until crispy.
Delicious (but not great for the digestive system). I probably won't do this again, since I ended up eating a bunch while I was making it and got lots of painful GAS.

I only sold one tiny package of them. People didn't seem to like them as much as I did.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Windy Day

Wow, has it ever been windy here! And we could sure use some rain. We were supposed to get it tomorrow, but now the forecast has been changed to say no rain...

I had a full day with gardening, grocery shopping, dumpster diving, and a meeting/ work time at the community garden. And of course, I watched the season finale of LOST!

Today's dumpster haul was unbelievable at first glance--at least 25 quarts of strawberries, 20 packages of mushrooms (that looked perfect, not brown at all), 3 2-lb packages of grapes, 6 4-packs of D 'Anjou pears, 9 lbs. of apples, a small box full of limes and lemons, a bunch of celery, and one lonely package of Roma tomatoes. Of course, after my husband picked through the strawberries and grapes and took out all of the moldy ones, the size was reduced by over half. We gave away the mushrooms and spread the fruit wealth a bit among our friends (but not too much--we gotta eat!)

I then went inside Aldi and spent $38 on 3 large seedless watermelons, bananas, cucumbers, multicolored peppers, more apples, grape tomatoes, a couple of pounds of romaine (still haven't harvested any of my own lettuce), a package of frozen raspberries, and a can of chicken breast for the cat.

As we checked out, the cashier joked with us about how we are "her produce family." "Who eats all of these bananas?" she asked the girls. Of course, they were too shy to answer.

In June, I would like to accurately record how much we spend on food and how much it would cost us factoring in the price of the food we get for free out of the dumpster. Will I get that organized? We shall see.

Today's food:

8 a.m. One medium cantaloupe
9:30 a.m. 1/2 C. fresh pineapple (left from the kids' breakfast and I couldn't resist)
Noon About 2 C. red grapes
1-ish: some lamb's quarters while I was weeding in the garden
1:30 A blender soup made with a large cucumber, some red and yellow pepper, 3 roma tomatoes, a couple of stalks of celery, the juice of one lemon, and my typical mixture of onion powder, Italian seasoning, and salt
6:30 p.m. (on the run between the meeting and the work time at the garden) A green smoothie made with romaine, 3 small bananas, and 12 oz. thawed raspberries
10 p.m. A romaine salad w/ a blended salad dressing of cucumber, roma tomatoes, celery, lime juice and my typical mexican seasoning mixture of onion powder, cumin, and a dash of salt with the unusual addition of sundried tomatoes and cayenne pepper

Total: 1220 calories

Now don't even think it... Why is Greenmama eating a big salad with cayenne at 10 p.m.?!? An excellent question my friends.

Well, I'm worn out, so off to bed I go.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Watermelon Face

Finally, a truly yummy watermelon.
I have been getting lax on reporting my food intake for the day. I do keep track at, but I know it was helpful to me when starting out to get an idea of just what a raw vegan would eat... so I'll try to post my food intake more often. Not that you should take my eating habits as a suggestion! I am still learning.
8 a.m. 4 C. of watermelon
10 a.m. Most of a medium cantaloupe
1 p.m. A large salad with iceberg lettuce and dressing made from blended cucumber, celery, Italian seasoning, onion powder, cumin, and a sprinkle of salt
3:30 A small Hawaiian papaya, 1 mango
5:30 A large salad with iceberg lettuce and a dressing made from banana and raspberries
8:30 Blended bananas and frozen strawberries.
Only about 1,000 calories. I feel hungry and could eat now, but 11 p.m. is not a good time to eat! I will survive until breakfast. I am still working through how much and when and what to eat.
Speaking of which, I am becoming aware that I am not resting enough! On Path to Health, Elchanan recently said something that really made sense... "Food is only one aspect of health. And it's not necessarily the most important." (It's a paraphrase.) So with that, I must be off to my bed.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Photo Courtesy of

Where have I been? Well, I've been job training, gardening, mushroom hunting (no luck), playing with my friends, attending my daughter's preschool graduation, selling at the Farmer's Market (I made $8) and of course, loving my kids, dumpster diving, cleaning my house, and other routine stuff. I planted some really cool stuff--unusual heirloom tomatoes and red okra, among other things.

I have to report that we finally had some good luck this weekend! We got a washing machine off of Freecycle. Ours broke a month ago and it was going to cost more to repair it than it would for a new one. We couldn't afford either. But thanks to a wonderful Freecycler, we're back in the laundry business.

And, even more lucky, I got a free toilet. The same week that our washer broke, our upstairs toilet tank cracked at 3 a.m., scaring the heck out of us and spilling gallons of water on the floor. We hadn't replaced it, again, because of funds. I was driving along and saw a toilet on the side of the road with a cardboard sign that said,


I assume they meant they replaced this toilet because they remodeled, not that the toilet was remodeled. How would you remodel a toilet? :)

I have been firmly following my raw fruit and greens regime. I have rid the house of temptations like nuts and raisins and tahini, so it is easier to stick to. I have had cravings for bean burritoes lately. I really need to up the calories a bit because of my active life, but there's not much great fruit right now and not much money... Can't wait to start eating more out of the garden. I can harvest my Four Seasons lettuce this week!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Gorgeous Day to be Gardening...

We were low on food, so I headed to the store with our last $30. (Luckily, there's a paycheck coming this week). I went across town because Sullivan's supposedly had a case of mangos for $3.99! I don't normally shop there unless there are some big sales like this one.

When I got there, they had about a dozen mangoes on the display. No cases. It took me awhile to track someone down, and they had no idea about the case sale. They showed me a circular that had the 2 for 79 cents sale price, but not the case price. Of course, I hadn't brought my circular with me. So, I bought 4 mangos, a large seedless watermelon, 3 red pears, and 5 lbs. of Red Delicious apples (also on sale) for $15.

Then we headed for Aldi. I took a quick peek in the dumpster and got a cantaloupe. There was a huge pile of white bread, hotdog and hamburger buns. Well, that was real garbage anyway... so I left it. In Aldi, we purchased 2 lbs. of red grapes, 3 cucumbers, a 3-pack of peppers, 3 lbs. of Gala apples, and about 20 lbs. of bananas for $13.

(My husband had to run an errand and he took the sales flier advertising the mango price back to the store. They issued him a raincheck... Something to look forward to!)

After our shopping, we headed to our garden at our friend's farm. Look how tiny my girls look in the picture and it will give you a hint of just how big this garden is. About 15 times bigger than I've ever planted before. The red stuff in the foreground amongst the weeds is our Four Seasons Lettuce. Some for us, some for the Farmer's Market... if I get it weeded.

The girls helped me plant peppers and 5 kinds of tomatoes.

Today's eating included:

Cantaloupe, red grapes, bananas, a smoothie with mixed berries and bananas, mango, and a big salad with romaine, cucumber, tomato, red and yellow pepper, sprouts (French Garden mix), and a little shredded carrot. Oh, and some raisins while watching LOST!

Now, I'm up TOO LATE. I have a big day tomorrow with all-day training for my new job.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Reflecting on my Raw Adventure

sample photo from Microsoft

Looking back, I realized that it has been officially 18 days into my raw adventure, with no non-raw food cheats. I am amazed at how easy it was to go raw, but also at how difficult it was to not abuse my body with food (albeit raw food). I had to give away trigger foods, like cashews. I learned a lot about why grains, high fat foods, and dehydrated foods can be harmful, and I felt the effects of various foods on my own body.

And I learned that if I want to be able to eat this way, some of my food is going to have to come from a dumpster. Luckily, I love the thrill of the hunt! (Did I mention that last week we scored 21 cantaloupes?!?)

How has 18 days of raw food affected me?

  • I have lost 6 pounds, which I attribute to water weight from a decline in salt consumption, since my body fat percentage is still about the same.
  • In the beginning, I did experience some detox symptoms, such as mild headaches, acidic nasal drainage, sore throat, etc. But those passed fairly quickly.
  • My bowel symptoms such as bloating, gas, and constipation go away, as long as I don't eat lots of nuts, dried fruit or dehydrated foods. When I eat those things, however, I am very uncomfortable.
  • I don't crave cooked food, salt, or sugar. However, I don't like watching food commercials on t.v., because I have a combination of revulsion and attraction, almost like the feeling you get when you pass a fatal car accident on the road.
  • My normally sharp sense of smell is even sharper. My friend came over with gum in her mouth and the smell almost bowled me over. Very chemically!
  • My skin is clearer and seems to have a glow about it.
  • I am anxious about other's reaction to my diet. I feel fearful about people's views about my parenting skills. I am also anxious about being able to afford good quality fruit.
  • I feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster, going from ecstasy and joyfulness to frustration and depression.
Thanks to all of my supporters who have helped me on my journey!


Monday, May 14, 2007

Raising Raw Children in the Real World

I have had two chilling experiences in the last two days that have me fearful of raising my children in the lowfat raw vegan lifestyle...

We were all visiting my in-laws on Mother's Day and were enjoying each other's company. We talked about gardening and all of the exploits of the various young children in the extended family. At one point, we had been commiserating about a relative who is a bit wacky (or maybe cranky is a better word) and is in the process of going blind and losing her mobility as a result of diabetes and obesity.

My son came into the room and did something in such a grown up way, that I was just so enamored of him at that moment. He has grown up so much physically as well. I reached over and tousled his hair and said, "What a good-lookin' young man. He's growing up so fast."

"He's too skinny!" my mother-in-law shot back. "He's a healthy weight," I responded. And the matter was dropped. But this isn't the first time she's made such a comment. It is really upsetting, because she truly does not respect me as a parent. The earlier discussion of the chronic suffering of our diabetic relative--doesn't she make the connection between a healthy weight and long-term health?

Later I looked up my son's height and weight at

and received this report:

A 7 year and 7 months old (male) child who is 50 pounds and is 4 feet tall has a body mass index of 15.3,
which is at the 40th percentile,
and would indicate that your child is at a healthy weight.

This doesn't even take into account the problems with the BMI chart and the height and weight percentiles being based on a population of unhealthy and overweight children.

The second experience tonight came when my friend (who is my mother's age) confronted me about our new diet style. She was quite worried that I am starving my children. She was highly concerned that a diet primarily consisting of fruit would cause them to stop growing and not develop healthy brains. She kept saying, "No grains?"

I let her try a cracker made with sprouted grains and flax that I had in my car... which in a way was dishonest, since I am coming to believe that indeed, the best diet for my children does NOT include grains.

When my children were last there about a week ago, they went inside her home to visit while my husband and I were doing some gardening. When I went to retrieve them, I found her feeding them large quantities of rice, beans, eggs, and bread. I didn't say anything. But she used this as evidence that they weren't getting enough to eat. I explained that they have healthy appetites, are very active, and eat large quantities of food all day. (I didn't mention that she uses a lot of salt in her food or bring up words like excito-toxins). The conversation ended with her seeming to accept what I was saying, with reservation and she did apologize for "scolding me." But I left with a sick, fearful feeling in my stomach. Would my friend turn me in to the authorities?

Part of my fear comes from inside. What if my kids aren't getting what they need? Recently, I have become aware that they need to eat much more sweet fruit than I realized. I didn't know that they needed more bananas and mangoes than apples and oranges. My oldest does not like melon or bananas very much and will not eat mangoes at all. He eats a lot of apples, which are his favorite. My daughters are actually a bit overweight and are less picky, so I worry less about them. And of course, the toddler is still nursing quite a bit.

All of you out there, you lovely blog readers, reassure me! Does anyone have wisdom or resources to share?

Learning curve

For Mother's Day, my husband bought me The Vein of Gold: A Journey to Your Creative Heart by Julia Cameron, the author of the Artist's Way. I am ashamed to say that I own the Artist's Way and have not yet read it.

I am absolutely enthused about embarking on a Journey to my creative self! I have felt paralyzed for too long.

Here is an inspiring quote from the introduction:

"This is a book of deep, thorough creative healing--and the tools are creative ones. It is the use of creativitiy which heals the creative wound...Our adult self merely "understands" a wound. Our creative artist, that inner creative child, must actually heal it." Julia Cameron

Wow! I feel like my spiritual and creative awakening will be a perfect compliment to the rejuvenation of my physical and emotional selves. I am ready for WHOLE HEALTH!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

My son wrote this for me for Mother's Day. I kept his spelling as written.

Dear Mom,

I love you because

1) You make my lunch sometimes

2) You make our dinner

3) You made me inside your body

4) You help me be helthy

5) You let us run arond the neaborhood.

Love, .....

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Who's afraid?

Photo by Andy's Diner

For people who have learned that when they feel their best in every conceivable way, they enjoy life the most, this is a prescription for optimal vitality, for we are gaining everything and "giving up" nothing. So first we choose our goal ... how do we wish to live, what do we wish to experience, ... and THEN we choose what will get us there. No one's choices are "right" or "wrong", but different choices do invariably lead us into different outcomes.
So the question is, if I *know* what my goals are, and I *know* what I need to do to reach them, then why am I avoiding doing what I need to do.
The emotional blockage I seem to be feeling is FEAR. But what am I afraid of?
I am giving away my cashews tomorrow. Tomorrow, I go for training at my new job, as well. I can be successful.

Start living

"We're always getting ready to live, but never living." Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don't even want to talk about what I ate yesterday... Too many dates, too many cashews. I crashed out at 8:30 and woke up slowly at 6:30.

I am so dehydrated this morning...

But I'm outta here, 'cuz I got a lotta living to do today.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Greenmama's Green Crackers

1 1/2 C. sprouted buckwheat
1 1/4 C. sprouted wheat
2 C. chopped raw kale
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium tomato, quartered
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. of sea salt (or maybe a bit less... these came out a bit too salty, I think)
1/2 tsp. onion powder (optional)
1/2 C. flaxmeal
1/2 C. raw sunflower seeds
Put sprouts, vegetables, lemon juice and seasonings into a blender and process into a paste. If you have a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix, the paste will be very smooth. If you have a cheap blender, it will be chunkier. Either way, the crackers will taste good.
Remove the paste from the blender and put into a bowl. Mix in flaxmeal and sunflower seeds. Spread thinly and evenly onto teflex sheets and score them into cracker shapes with a butter knife.
Dehydrate for 8-12 hours at 100 degrees. Turn over toward the end to make sure they dry on both sides.
Delicious with guacamole or tomato (or both).
*If you are not that worried about being raw and don't have a dehydrator, you can try this recipe in the oven. Place the crackers on greased cookie sheets and set your oven as low as it will go. Leave the door to the oven open while the crackers dry and watch them carefully so they don't burn.

Transforming the world for our children

"For me personally, there is only one issue worldwide. It is not the war. It is not the economy, or all of these other political distractions. It’s the environment. We are still lucky; we’re young enough to have experienced pristine environments. But if things keep going how they are going, in 300 years our descendents will have never experienced a pristine environment. We can’t allow that to happen. We have all of the technology. We have all of the solutions. There is no problem we have in this world today where there is not a solution. If we implement those solutions, each individually in our own daily lives — just in America — we would transform the planet immediately — instantaneously. It is totally within our power. It basically comes down to “hey, let’s eat organic. Let’s eat more raw food. Let’s grow more of our own food. Let’s have more fun.” That right there will lead to paradise on earth."

David Wolfe

Garden with Gloves!

Me and ma' baby workin' in the community garden this morning. My 5 year-old took this picture. On the right, you can just barely make out my raised bed. Nothing sprouting yet, so you'll have to wait to see what grows.

Notice the hoe in my hand and my lack of gardening gloves. This is a bad combination, as I now have two blisters. They didn't feel so nice when I was juicing lemons and limes to make dinner tonight.

I got in lots of walking today and enjoyed the sunshine and warm weather.

Today's food:

8:30 a.m. About a pound of grapes

Noon A whole bunch of Greenmama's Green Crackers (too many!), 2 plum tomatoes, 1 C. defrosted mangoes

3 p.m. A few slices of red pepper, a cup or so of grapes, a Bartlett pear

6 p.m. A big salad of romaine, green sprouts, red pepper, and chopped tomato with pureed mango and lime juice, some more crackers and Essene bread dipped in guacamole, some asparagus and a little more guacamole

I meant to just eat the salad and feed the guac to everyone else, but...

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Sowing the Seeds

Sorry, a little Tears for Fears reference for everyone who remembers 1989...

Today we spent 6 hours planting in our big garden at our friends' farm. It was super-windy, but we managed to keep our seeds from blowing away. It was nice to have my dear husband's help since it gets lonely out there sometimes. And it makes the work go twice as fast. Our friends were nice enough to entertain the kids all day. They fed chickens and visited the new baby chicks and other farm stuff.

We planted carrots, radishes, onion sets, spinach, endive, fava beans, rainbow chard, broccoli raab, and peas. Our first planting of lettuce is about thumb-sized now. As predicted, my rows of broccoli, cabbage, etc. were very crooked, but this time we used stakes and string and made a garden design around the crooked rows.

Today's eating:

10 a.m. 1 C. seedless watermelon (not sweet at all. Bummer!), 3/4 of a large cantaloupe

Snack in between planting 1 C. grapes

Around 2 p.m. 3/4 banana (I dropped it and didn't eat the dirty parts.) , 1 C. or so of lettuce thinnings from the garden

6 p.m. A huge salad of romaine, sprouts, lentil sprouts, chopped red and yellow peppers, chopped celery, shredded carrot, a tablespoon of hempseed, and dressing made with blended avocado, tomato, celery, cucumber, onion powder, Italian seasoning, sea salt and fresh lemon juice

9:30 Ice cream made with frozen mangoes, cashews, a little frozen banana and water, about 3 oz. of cashews also

And, of course, eating late and eating so many nuts made me feel lethargic and dehydrated.

Well, it is transition...

Instead of going to bed like I should have, I made Essene bread and some crackers and am sitting here blogging.

Well, tomorrow's a new day.


In the raw food world, many things are referred to as "transitional foods." Raw crackers and breads, fancy recipes, rich desserts, and sweeteners such as agave syrup are often lumped into this category. These are foods that are supposed to serve as substitutes for your formerly loved foods until you finally accept the ideal diet: raw fruit and vegetables in their natural state.

Some folks decry the use of "transitional foods" because it's argued that you have to DEAL with your food addictions and emotional eating, rather than simply transferring those habits to a different sort of food.

Yes, yes, yes, I say. I am ready. Intellectually, totally there. Today, my husband gave me a thousand reasons why he couldn't possibly live without corn on the cob or chocolate. (To which I said, then don't live without it... nobody's trying to make you do anything!) But my thought is, what exactly do these foods mean to us? If I eat something that hurts my body and yet I am emotionally attached to that food, what does that mean? Is food really my friend? My lover?

Millions (maybe billions) of people survive on a diet primarily made up of a few simple foods. Are they unhappy because of it? Aren't there hundreds of delicious foods that I love and make me feel great while making me healthy. Of course!

The problem, of course, is transition.

When I hear the word transition, I automatically think of childbirth. Transition is the stage of childbirth in which the cervix finishes dilating. It is the most intense part of childbirth (at least for women who have not been given drugs). Contractions are intense and come one after another with little rest. Intense surges of hormones often cause women to feel drugged or sleepy during this stage. Emotionally, this stage of labor is when most women will experience self-doubt. They will often say things like, "I can't do this." or "I can't be a mother." or "Make this stop." Fortunately, this stage is usually the shortest stage of labor and is soon followed by the empowering pushing stage and the birth of the baby.

Transition is a rite of passage. It prepares a woman for the dark side of parenting, for the crises of faith that can occur and be overcome. A woman who has seen the depths of despair and come through it to the ecstasy of birth is one powerful mama!

So perhaps I can't skip transition as I change my life either. Perhaps I have to face all of the doubt and pain and beat it back before I birth the wonderful new me.

Accepting Responsibility for My Happiness

"You can begin right now to feel healthy. You can begin to feel prosperous. You can begin to feel the love that's surrounding you, even if it's not there. And what will happen is that the universe will correspond to the nature of your song. The universe will correspond to the nature of that inner feeling and manifest, because that's the way you feel."

Michael Bernard Beckwith

I realize that I have been yet again falling into the pattern of focusing on how poor we are (not even true, really, based on objective criteria).

This mindset has gotten me into big trouble in the past.

For example, I convinced myself that I was fundamentally (even genetically) flawed. That I could never be patient or organized or successful at a job. That I couldn't get along with people long-term. As a result, I wasn't patient or organized or successful at a job.

I didn't really believe I could control my weight. I looked at truly healthy eating as too restrictive. I saw it as "scarcity" rather than "wealth." I punished myself with food, while calling it reward. How can a food be a reward when it hurts your stomach, makes you fat, constipates you, causes you to be achey and stiff and nasally in the morning?

Now I see that eating an abundance of fresh raw fruit and vegetables is a reward! It tastes great. It feels great.

I am not fundamentally flawed. I am surrounded by wealth and love. I CAN BE HAPPY!

Catching up on sleep

I did not post yesterday because I fell asleep in the recliner at about 8:30 p.m. and then headed to bed at 9 p.m.

Yesterday was DAY 7 of my all-raw adventure!

Here's what I ate

10 a.m. 1 C. buckwheat sprouts, 1/2 C. mixed berries, 1/2 oz. raisins soaked, 1 sliced banana
From about noon through 4 p.m., I ate a pound of grapes
5 p.m. 1 1/2 C. thawed mango, 6 oz. cashews
6:30 Salad w/3 C. romaine, some chopped red and yellow pepper, shredded carrot and a dressing made of avocado, celery, cucumber, a splash of apple cider vinegar and a dash of sea salt
While cleaning up from dinner, I had a handful of leftover sweetpotato chips.

2,480 calories. Whoa.

So, the question is WHY THE CASHEW BINGE?

I was absorbing my husband's distress yesterday. I need to let go that bad habit. I need to allow him to have his moods (lord knows he puts up with mine) without internalizing them.

I also think that the buckwheat sprouts didn't sit well with me, as I had some loose uncomfortable stools in the afternoon.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Drizzly day

I ate today:
8 a.m.--3/4 of a cantaloupe
12 p.m.--2 1/2 C. romaine lettuce, 1/2 red pepper, chopped, 1/2 C. grated carrot, 1/4 C. broccoli sprouts, 4 or 5 small stalks of raw asparagus, a dressing made with 1/2 avocado (not ripe enough), the juice of a lime, 2 stalks of celery and some water
3:30 p.m.--2 grapefruits, peeled
6 p.m.--3 C. romaine, 1/2 C. sliced cucumber, 1/2 C. orange pepper, chopped, 2 stalks raw asparagus, 1/4 C. chopped celery, some creamy tahini and lemon dressing
9:30 p.m.--a handful of red grapes while I was washing them up
30% fat today... I have to work on this. If only I liked bananas.
Today, my mood matched the weather. Cloudy, with gentle sprinkles here and there and then some drizzle later on.

This morning I had a training session on how to man the Master Gardener Helpline. I took the Master Gardener class this spring and it was fantastic. I don't feel like a "Master" Gardener, though. I am the least experienced gardener in the group. Today, we discussed plant identification (I know very little!) and showed how to use various resources to figure out what plant you're dealing with and what's wrong with it. I brought the girls along with library books, coloring books, scissors and catalogs to cut, and snacks, of course. They were very good during the two hour meeting. I was so proud of them. Many people complimented me on how sweet and well-behaved they were.
The afternoon disappeared quickly in a combination of housecleaning, kid-care, and time online.
After dinner, my husband and I took the kids to see a free band concert at the local community college. It was a bit disappointing. The band was, well, very amateur. The kids enjoyed it... sort-of. They didn't have the patience to sit still for a whole hour (except my 5 year-old, who fell asleep), so we left before the last piece. My son asked lots of questions about the different instruments and really liked all of the percussion equipment. The baby liked the cymbal crashes.
On the way home, we swung into Aldi's parking lot. I swear, I'm addicted to dumpster diving now! I saw that the dumpster was pretty full--they clear out to make way for the new stuff on Friday and Saturday, I think. I grabbed a case of grapes from on top and planned to come back later. I was a bit skittish about getting caught, as the store had closed and the employees were about to leave for the night. I don't think anything bad would happen, except that all the employees recognize me. So what, right? I just don't want to be told, "You're not allowed," because I would of course follow that directive and then, my dumpster fun would be over.
I did go back a little after 10 and most of what I had seen was gone. Who else is diving? Makes me glad I grabbed those grapes! I still got a fair bit. Here's a list:
For us, I got:
16 pounds of grapes (I had to pick through them and throw away about 2 pounds)
5 colored peppers
2 pkgs. portabello mushrooms
18 limes
16 lemons
1 pkg. roma tomatoes
For friends, neighbors and family I got:
12 green peppers
12 pkgs. button mushrooms
10 lbs. of russet potatoes

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Sleep deprived

I normally am a DEMON if I get less than 8 hours, but I only got 4 last night and was just my usual mildly-crabby self.

My son woke up in the middle of the night and threw up everywhere. This morning, he got up later than usual and complained of a headache. So, he had his first sick day of the year. Actually, he was fine once he drank some water, laid around for about an hour and ate some fruit. I should have known he was just dehydrated from the vomitting. But it was probably better that he rested instead of going to school.

I lazed around a bit online in the morning, talked to one of my sisters (her birthday!) on the phone, and then got motivated and did some more cupboard cleaning in the kitchen. I got together 3 huge boxes of stuff to give away to various friends. It feels so great to "detox" my kitchen.

I ate a whole cantaloupe around 9 a.m. Mmm, juicy and good. I'm glad I waited until it was really ripe.

At 11:00, I sampled some of my sweetpotato chips that I spent so long on last night. Well, when the hours that it took to make them is factored in, the verdict is... not worth it! I had trouble getting the chili ones to be coated the right amount with chili powder. I tried dipping them in the lime juice and olive oil and then dipping them in dry powder, but that resulted in way too much powder caked on. Then I tried sprinkling the powder on the wet chip, but that resulted in uneven coverage. I got irritated and dumped the powder into the lime juice and olive oil, but that was a mistake, too. I need one of those shaker thingies that people use to put powdered sugar on their French toast. Or I just need to give up making complicated food. LOL!

Anyway, the plain lime chips were better than the chili ones, although they were a bit too sour. Perhaps diluting the lime juice would have been better.

At around 1:30, I had about 2 cups of romaine, with a few small stalks of chopped celery and 12 ounces of thawed raspberries.

We headed to my friend's house to give her some of our pantry excess. The kids romped in the backyard while we sat in the sun and chatted. I enjoyed the time, but was feeling a bit lethargic and generally down.

After running to drop off more stuff at another friend's house, we headed home around 5 p.m. I threw together some cooked food and started a salad for the family, but was depressed about what I could possibly eat. Also, I was beginning to feel time-crunched. I really wanted to plant more out at the farm before it rains tomorrow.

My husband reminded me that he actually gets paid Thursday night, not Friday, so I ran to Aldi and spent $70 on fruit and veggies. Woohoo.

I then sped out to my friends' farm while eating my dinner--3 apples and way too many raisins and soaked walnuts. My mood instantly improved, though.

I planted lots of lettuce and all of my cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprouts for the spring. It was dark when I finished and I know my rows are going to be quite crooked. My friends' gave me some of their asparagus harvest, which I sampled on the way home. Mmmmm! Nothing like really fresh raw asparagus.

Now, I'm really headed to bed as I am utterly exhausted!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


My husband had a senior awards banquet to attend tonight and so I had the kiddos all to myself.

I was desperate to get some planting done at my big garden out at my friends' farm, so I picked my son up from school and we all headed out there. I brought a huge container of grape tomatoes and a quart of soaked, dehydrated walnuts since I knew the kids would complain of hunger if I didn't have food along. We also brought our brand new library books to read. Unfortunately, they polished off the food and read the books in record time. Bored, they began to systematically demolish the inside of my car. Well, o.k., that's an exaggeration. My car is a glorified compost heap with a failing muffler, leaks in the windows and dashboard, a broken side mirror, an engine badly in need of a tune-up, one working radio speaker, and a great big pile of junk in the back (it's an '85 Celebrity Wagon). So, there isn't much more damage that can be done to it. But they dumped out seed packets, spilled water bottles and walnuts, tore some paper into little confetti bits, turned on the windshield wipers to squeak horribly, adjusted all the speaker levels, moved all of the mirrors out of whack and generally created havoc.

We had to make two bathroom trips and take one extended nursing break and they pretty much whined and complained nonstop, so after less than two hours, I had had it! At least I got 48 square feet more of lettuce planted. I hate wasting the gas and the trip out there, though.

We tried to dumpster dive again at Aldi on the way, we need fruit!...but an employee was out back taking a smoke break, so we were out of luck.

For dinner, I had about 4 cups of romaine, a stalk of celery, 1/2 C. grated carrot, 1/3 C. broccoli sprouts, and more of that creamy nut dressing.

Tonight I started making some dehydrator sweet potato chips marinated in lime and olive oil. To one batch, I also added chili powder and sea salt. I am interested to see how they turn out. I know they probably aren't the greatest--basically raw junk food. But I can't let those sweet potatoes go to waste.

Now it is almost 1 a.m., definitely too late for me to be up! I have to volunteer all day tomorrow at my son's school, so I should be in bed.

Feeling better

Today I woke up with the same ache in my throat that I've had for a week, as well as some nasal blockage. But I felt a bit more energy and not so flu-ish. I have also been coughing up some mucous, which I take to be a good sign. After my shower, I felt about 80% and decided this would be a lovely day.

We are running alarmingly low on fruit. Sigh. No money until Friday, and after we pay the bills, not much left then, either. At least there's celery...

Wednesdays are the day that we go to preschool storytime at the library after dropping my son off at school, so I knew I better eat something before I left or I'd be ready to gnaw someone's head off before we got back at 11 a.m. So I sliced up 2 Bartlett pears before we left the house at 8:15. Unfortunately (for me anyway), I only got to eat one, since all of the kids begged for some.

We walked to the school and then headed downtown toward the library. I was watching a neighbor's son while she got a tooth pulled and he kept complaining about how far it was (not used to walking and he had his healthy breakfast of a PopTart). Then my daughter had to go to the bathroom. So we had to stop at a local business to use the bathroom. I had some fliers to post for my garden club's plant sale, so we made some more stops along the way.

By this time, it was about 9:15 and I was getting quite hungry. Being hungry makes me nervous! I stopped in the little grocery store downtown. I only had about a dollar in change and their produce was horrible and overpriced! I spent 50 cents on an orange, but had to share it with the three kids, so... But a quarter of an orange relaxed me and helped me last the next couple of hours.

We went to the library finally. I had missed last week since we were sick, so I didn't realize that story time was on break until June. Oops. Luckily, none of the kids got upset. They read and played with the library's toys happily for an hour and then we walked home around 10:45.

On the way home, I realized I had a jar of soaked, dried almonds in the bag and so we shared some of those. I only ate about 1/2 an ounce. I certainly overdid the nuts yesterday.

For lunch, I made a big salad with romaine, 12 oz. defrosted raspberries, and chopped celery, but had to share that, too. I was still hungry, so I choked down an overripe banana. Man, I have to find another calorie dense, affordable fruit. Bananas just don't do it for me. I do have 3 cantaloupes ripening on the counter. I wish they'd hurry up already!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Detox continued

I did walk my daughter to preschool, but felt like I was slogging through wet cement. And I also got some planting done at the community garden. And I planted my own 4 x 8 raised bed in the garden with rainbow chard, endive, spinach, and a few onions.

In addition to my morning's green juice, I also ate

2 1/2 C. of thawed mangoes around 11:30
Around 2, I meant to make a salad and a dressing for it, but I ran out of time and just drank the dressing, which was 2/3 of an avocado, 1 large tomato, 2 stalks of celery, 1 Tbs. raw apple cider vinegar
2 oz. soaked and dehydrated walnuts around 3:30
3/4 of a large Bartlett pear around 5:00
A big salad of romaine, red and yellow pepper, grated carrot, a sprinkling of soaked dehydrated sunflower seeds, a sprinkling of lentil sprouts and a bunch more of that creamy nut-based dressing

I know, too many nuts and way too much fat! And I should probably be fasting while sick...

I feel down, but have been reading other's stories of detox and know that this is to be expected. I also believe that my detox will be short because I am YOUNG and STRONG and HEALTHY. I plan to rest and relax this evening and if I feel bad tomorrow, I will definitely go easier on the food intake.

Detox already?

Sigh. I started to feel bad around 11 p.m. last night.

I am sneezing and feeling run down. I have a low fever, which means my body temp is "normal" instead of the 96 degrees I normally am at. I stayed in bed dozing on and off until 9:30... Of course I had to get up to get my boy off to school and get the girls dressed and the toddler nursed over and over, so not any really good sleep to be had there. I got up and took a hot shower, which made me feel a bit better.

The terrible thing is that I just got over an awful flu and I was looking forward to a long stretch of health and high energy.

I wrestled with my cheapie juicer (I got it free so I can't really complain) for 20 minutes and finally got it to work. I made some kale, celery, apple juice and drank it while reading some raw inspiration on the 'net.

It is a beautiful day and I have so much planting I can do. Waaaahhhh.

In an hour, I will walk my preschooler to school and see how I feel.