Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Healthy living as a family

My husband decided last week that he has had it with feeling fat. After his terrible health struggles of the past year, he is finally feeling somewhat better. His neuropathy has improved to the point that he is able to digest food without pain, sleep through the night, and walk and stand and wear shoes for a couple of hours at a time without seering pain. He still has swollen feet every day, and though the doctor assures him his circulation is fine, his feet alternate between a dusky blue color and a reddish hue, with a spiderweb of bruised-looking little red veins. He hopes that his feet will continue to get better, and that he can resume some physical activity.

When he was ill, he lost a lot of weight, partly because his pancreas was unable to function properly and his cells were starved for nutrition, and partly because he could barely eat. At one point he was down to 140 lbs. (he is 5' 10"), a weight he had not seen since grade school. His weight has crept back up around 200 in the past year, a combination of insulin injections, improved digestion, lack of physical activity, and emotional eating.

One of the gifts that I have received from my husband's illness is that I found the low fat raw vegan path. But it is so sad to me to see how he suffers from a painful disease that is 100% preventable (and I believe, 100% curable). I know that there are so many more children now who will be facing the devastating effects of Type 2 diabetes in their 20s and 30s as he has done, and it breaks my heart.

And so I find it frustrating (infuriating?) and somewhat amusing that my husband's primary motivation to change his diet to improve his looks. Of course, I know that he has some very powerful and painful emotional issues surrounding eating, and in a way, feels overwhelmed at the thought of facing them. It's easier to just go on a little juice detox so his pants can fit again.

He feels overwhelmed by the chewing and the high water content of the LFRV diet, and prefers to drink cold beverages and have a salad with dinner. He has no idea of his hunger signals (he thinks that stomach growling is hunger, and since it almost never growls with a lowfat diet, he has no idea). He doesn't really want to believe in the whole premise of the raw foods idea, and is petrified that following this diet will alienate him from his family and friends. He resists tracking his food intake and massively undereats. In fact, he resists joining the LFRV community or educating himself about it (and for sure, resists my lecturing ;). Which is why I can get away with this very revealing post, since I know he won't read it. Sigh.

But, there is HOPE! He came up with this idea on his own, long after I had given up on any dream that he would change his eating habits. He has stuck to it now for several days in a row and has already had some good cleansing occuring. So I am giving myself a little empathy about my fears. I am realizing that I need to work my own program and not try to micromanage his. I am supporting him in the best way that I can. And I can only hope that as he experiences improved health (and increased hunger), he will gradually educate himself on his own terms and choose to continue on a path towards health.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Photo found at The Hungry Ghost Kid

I am doing a happy dance today because I have manifested myself some terrific produce deals today. I have been finding good deals at small independently-owned ethnic markets for years. One of the great things about these markets is that the owners are typically hands-on and accessible. If you want to buy things by the case, they are often happy to oblige, often at a discount. And, of course, they often sell tropical fruits that are either not available or highly expensive at grocery stores.

Last week, I got a case of 50 lbs. of Maradol papaya at my favorite Mexican tienda for $26 and was absolutely ecstatic. They were the ripest papayas I have ever purchased, all a beautiful golden color, and deliciously sweet and juicy.

This week I went back to the store with the intention of finding out what other goodies they can order for me by the case. They had received a huge delivery only moments before, and there were crates of produce and foodstuffs stacked up outside the doors and in all of the aisles of the market. They run a bustling restaurant next door, so they purchase a much larger quantity than your typical tiendita. As I maneauvered around skids of tortillas, my eye landed on a lone box right next to the front door. In the box were various heirloom tomatoes in a striking rainbow of hues. I asked the cashier, who is the wife of the owner, how much she wanted per pound, since I had never seen these carried by this store. Oh, she said, those were sent to us by mistake; we were going to send them back. Can I buy some, I asked. She went and found her husband, who offered me the entire case (probably 25 lbs or more) for $6!

We also discussed ordering mandarinas and oranges by the case. He told me that he will sell me a 50 lb. case of oranges for $20. But they're juicing oranges, he told me, I hope that's o.k. Um, YEAH!

Next week, I am going to talk to him about what else I can order by the case. Perhaps there are things he doesn't typically carry inside the store, but that his supplier has available. I mean, his prices are unbelievable!
I gave the owner and his wife some of the heirloom tomatoes to try, and talked to them a little about gardening, since the varieties look like some that I have grown in my own garden. I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!