Yes, You Can Live Without Cheese

I don’t know how many people are gonna like me after this post, as I now see that cheese is a damn touchy subject. Before we get into it, I have to lead off with the picture that caused such an uproar. 

No Cheese

I saw this picture floating around Facebook and decided to post it on the Raw Raw Life page. Well…who knew? WHO KNEW PEOPLE WERE SO ATTACHED TO CHEESE?

A little background on me: anyone who knows me knows that I hate cheese. Hate it. With a passion. Always have. Since BIRTH. I don’t really know why – it’s the smell, the texture, the fact that it’s MOLD – any of those things that set my gag reflex on high. And before you ask…yes I eat (or ate, as it were) pizza, but with as little cheese as possible. So whenever the subject of cheese comes up, I’m the first one to cop to a lack of understanding. I mean, if we were talking French fries…

I digress. Back to the subject at hand. 

I posted the picture, and folks lost their minds. Lost. Their. Minds. People. 

“Noooooooooooooooooooo!”
“Blasphemy!”
“I looooooooooooove cheese! How can I give it up?!?!”
“I can’t LIVE without cheese!”
“Not yet!!!!!!”
“Not me.”
“No way never!”
“Every moment of my life is cheese, man…”
“NO I CANNOT NEVER!”

And even though I cracked up at the “BLASPHEMY” comment, another side of me was actually kinda sad at the resistance to the mere thought of releasing this one ingredient from someone’s diet. The picture is amusing on one hand, and drop dead serious on the other. Basically, the shirt is asking you this simple question: what are you willing to give up for your health?

And before we get to it, let’s take away the argument that I know is about to get thrown at me…”Carla! What about the saying, ‘everything in moderation’?!?!? Why do I have to GIVE UP anything?!?!?” 

See, that’s not the real question. The ACTUAL question is, what are you willing to sacrifice to fully embody your vision of your healthiest self? And if you’re one of those “Noooooooooo!” folks who are loathe to give up cheese…what are you saying about your attachment to food? 

The truth is that you have to do something different. You know the saying…”to get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” Well, if CHEESE is what you’ve always done…maybe it’s time to consider letting it go. 

We all have that food that we absolutely love, and y’all know with a capital K that mine is French fries. I have written blog posts and done numerous videos how much I love, love, LUUUUUURVE them…but, to quote Ms. Jackson, what have they done for me lately? Not a frickin’ frackin’ thing. You see, I understand that in order to live into the ultimate vision of Carla that I hold to, I HAVE TO LET THEM GO. And when I say that, people counter with, “But Carla! You can have a few! You can have sweet potato fries! You can have the baked ones!” My answer? 

NO, I CAN’T. PERIOD. 

I know myself. I know my trigger foods. I’m not about to delude Carla Douglin by saying I can have just a little bit of fries, because that dog won’t hunt. There ain’t no such thing as “little bitta fries” for this chick. I know I cannot have them because they are a trigger for me and I WILL overeat. I’m not willing to set myself up for failure like that anymore…and I am willing to make that sacrifice in order to fully experience the life, the health, the BODY I have always wanted. 

(And a quick #365Raw update…I am realizing I’m going to have to move away from nuts, as well. I overeat those, too. More on that in a sec.)

So, whether it’s cake or pie or cookies or bread or chips or CHEESE (vomit), you have a decision to make. The truth is, you CAN live without whatever it is you think you can’t. Actually, you’ll probably THRIVE without it. 

No Cheese 2

On another note…I announced the other day on the FB page that I was thinking about juicing for the month of February. To be more specific, I am going to lead a 28-day GROUP juice cleanse! Daily check-ins, a private, closed Facebook group (for those who don’t want to put all their biz out there for the world to see)…the whole nine yards. I was inspired to do it by a friend, and then realized it was a necessity for me at the beginning of my #365Raw journey. I mean, I’m doing really well and all, but I feel like I’m a little too dependent on the healthy fats (avos, nuts, olive oil), so this is the perfect opportunity for me to get them out of my system and cut back drastically after the cleanse. 

Wanna join? Come on in! The group (Raw Raw Life’s February Juice Cleanse) will be Open until February 2nd. 

JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE!

Your Grandest Vision Of Yourself

I’m late, I know! Yesterday came and went in a flurry, and this is going to be a quick but very important post. 

What a crazy couple of days this has been. Family obligations, getting my new routine in place, the baby in full motion, new moon energy and recommitment…it’s been a bit busy, to say the least. In all of this hubbub, however, I saw this picture on Facebook.

After I saw it, the world stopped and I got really, really clear.

Vision

In addition to seeing this awesome photo, Chris Brogan sent a blog post out on Sunday that echoed this sentiment. In it, he asked these three key questions:

1. What’s my vision of myself and how will I make that real today?

2. If I say I am ____ (this kind of person), then what does that look like in action DAILY?

3. What can I do to change reality towards what I want it to be? What, specifically, can I change to make the world come closer to matching my vision?

I tell ya, these questions and that picture were a sign from the Universe for me. It made me get very, very clear about my path and the person I am becoming. All I can say is, #365Raw.

(Notice how I didn’t say, “the person I want to become.” Wanting is a wish. Becoming is an action.)

Here’s the message for you: It’s not just about January 1st and a resolution that may be abandoned by the end of the month. It’s about YOU. The REAL you. The grandest VERSION of you. What does that look like? What does s/he do? How does s/he feel? How does s/he breathe through challenges or cravings or opposition to the path of their choice? And, most importantly, what ACTIONS does s/he take on the daily to support, enhance and downright conquer that path?

Take some time and answer those three questions…and understand that you can become the person you truly want to be. You don’t need permission, a specific time of year or a new moon to make it happen. 

All you have to do is step into it. Right now.

My Raw Food Diet Rules of the Road

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. 

20140106-124710.jpg

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.

The Optimum Omega salad! Kale, parsley, orange peppers, shredded carrots, red cabbage, golden raisins, dried cranberries, flax seeds, chia seeds, sliced raw almonds, walnuts and avocados. Yummo!

The Optimum Omega salad! Kale, parsley, orange peppers, shredded carrots, red cabbage, golden raisins, dried cranberries, flax seeds, chia seeds, sliced raw almonds, walnuts and avocados. Yummo!

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?