First thing…notice how the subject reads MY raw food rules of the road? That’s the key element of today’s post, kids. Read on…
As per usual, the start of 2014 brings on the onslaught of diet programs. Eat this, don’t eat that, come over here and shed a million pounds, look at how I’ve lost 100 pounds in the last month and let me show YOU how to do it, too…all that noise. I’m not saying that some of these programs don’t work and haven’t worked for a great deal of people. I’m saying NOISE because of the cacophony of commercials and (now) online ads that get thrown at you during the month of January. It’s a lot to take in…how are you supposed to know the EXACT thing that’s going to work for you?
This is what I had to ask myself when I decided to go raw. I had to figure out what was going to work for CARLA – not for Susie, Susie’s boyfriend Tim, Tim’s brother’s girlfriend, or Tim’s brother’s girlfriend’s dogwalker’s cousin. You gotta look deep within yourself and understand HOW you eat. WHAT you like. HOW you felt when you ate this or that. What your schedule will allow. What your motivation is. What your expectations are. Your level of patience. And, most of all, what you are willing to do to succeed.
For me, raw made the most sense. This motherhood thing (while wonderful and special and hilarious and a total blessing) has taken a minute to get used to. My schedule has been totally flipped upside down, and the most important element to consider when creating an eating plan has been time. The question of what I have TIME to do is at the top of the list for me, and I have discovered that raw food is it.
So, that’s the first decision made. Raw. Cool! ….now what?
Herein lies the process of looking deeper to answer the other questions on the list. Yes, lots of people have raw programs that have meal plans and requirements, but is that going to work for moi? For example, there’s a woman who has a really successful online raw food bootcamp. Her participants typically can lose 100 pounds in about 7-8 months. Great stuff, right? Absolutely…but not for Carla “Raw Raw Life” Douglin. Her successful, structured program has requirements that I know fo’ sho’ my schedule can’t accommodate – 2 hours of walking per day, logging every meal, daily participation in the online chat. Uh…no. Nope. Not gonna work. Is there anything wrong with any of those requirements in and of themselves? Of course not! But, for ME, that ain’t gonna shake it loose. I barely have time to take a decent SHOWER, people…two HOURS of walking? WHEN? Shoot…I BARELY have time to talk to y’all again! I’m writing this post as quickly as I can during the Bean’s morning nap! I’m not even shooting videos until February or March! And I’d have to get online and log meals? Chat every night? Again I say…WHEN??? Ah, motherhood. :)
See what I mean? When you’re considering a program, you have to dissect it to understand all the facets and requirements. Then, you gotta be honest with yourself to see if it works for you. If not, you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
So, I needed to make my OWN rules. Raw? Yup. Great. And what does that mean to you, Carla? What are the boundaries you’re setting up so that you’re successfully realizing your best health?
So glad you asked!
1. RAW: Lemme tell ya – Carla eats WHATEVER she wants…as long as it ain’t cooked. And when I say “whatever I want”, I mean produce. Fruits, veggies, nuts (roasted/salted nuts only for those beloved PMS moments, raw the rest of the time), seeds, spices, beans/legumes (sprouted), salads, juices, smoothies…ANYTHING.
2. NIX THE “COUNTERS”: No counting calories. No counting fat grams. No counting ounces. No half-cups of anything. JUST EAT. Thinking this way makes me feel (know) that it’s not about “deprivation”… I can have whatever I want. A lot of raw food programs focus on low fat or low sugar. You can’t have more than one banana a day. Only one tablespoon of olive oil. No oil-based dressings. No avocados. BUMP THAT! I’m exploring. If I want to have 10 bananas in one sitting, I do. If I want to add avocado to my salad, I do.
3. SUPPLEMENTS: I take Amazing Greens tablets, a vegan multi-vitamin, an MSM tablet, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and a vegan Essential Fatty Acids pill every morning. Just because you’re raw doesn’t mean you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need.
4. WATER: Same rule as I always have…water, and lots of it. An intake of solely raw food brings on the detox, and ya gotta keep flushing!
5. BE SOCIAL!: Let me be honest – I used to think that I couldn’t go out with friends when I was “dieting”. Most of my social events revolved around food, and I didn’t want to be tempted or give myself an opportunity to backslide. But, guess what? 1) This isn’t a “diet”, and 2) EVERY RESTAURANT SELLS SALAD. There you have it – excuses removed.
6. MAKE IT EASY: This is the most important rule for me. So many people think that raw is so damned hard…when it just AIN’T. How hard is it to sit down and eat 4-5 apples? Some bananas? A salad? A big ass bowl full of grapes? Raw doesn’t have to be “gourmet”. Raw can just be cucumbers. It can just be persimmons. Peaches. Plums. Kale salad. Avocados. It doesn’t have to be complicated. For me, easy is “grab-and-go”. Easy is juicing. I mean, I know juicing like the back of my hand! So, to start, it’s juice all day (about three 32-ounce mason jars) and a huge, gorgeous salad for dinner.
If I get hungry in between, I grab something else! And speaking of something else…
7. ALWAYS HAVE FOOD ON HAND: I ain’t crazy, lovies. I’m going from a period of cooked and junk food (ah, stress eating…) to raw. I need to have PLENTY of fruits and veggies on hand! Grapes are my go-to fruit, followed closely by apples (Golden Delicious or Gala) and bananas. I always make a magnum of salad – big enough to last for about 3 days. Juice I make at night after the baby goes to sleep, and I buy groceries enough for 3-4 juicing days. Point being, there’s always something to grab if I need it.
8. BE EASY ON YOU: Again, it’s about allowance. I have made the choice and I am allowing myself to explore all that raw has to offer. As I get my feet under me with this new/easy/familiar way of eating, I remember why I’m doing it and feel wonderful. I welcome the detox, because it’s a sign that that crap is leaving the machine. I revel in every chop.
Those are my only rules. Exercise? Sure… in February/March. I know me. I’m a “go all out and HARD” kinda girl, and this year isn’t about that. This year is about graciously moving through my commitment to myself, my commitment to raw. So I’ll exercise, but only after I’ve gotten the hang of raw first. One thing at a time.
So what are your rules for the change you’re making in your life?