Yes, it's been ages again. I said earlier that this wouldn't be most frequently added-to blog and I wasn't wrong! It's a good sign for me (life is busy, life is good) but some of you have been wondering.
OK, so the most major development of the past fortnight (that's 2 weeks to the uninitiated!) is that I have barely touched nuts at all.
Believe me, this is public announcement material!
I mean, usually me and nuts are virtually joined at the hip (- a good choice of phrase actually as it was eating all those nuts that gave me the hips that looked like a fair few macadamias had been joined to them in the first place!!)
So... how did this happen?
Well, I had already come to the conclusion that my main "stalemate" issue around my weight was indeed nuts but I so loved eating them and wondered if I'd be full or satisfied without them that I planned to simply cut down... something of an experiment to see how many I could get away with!! (- Addicted, moi?)
But what actually happened, and I still am not entirely sure how or why, is that I got to last weekend and realised that I had hardly touched nuts all week (I think just once in a raw nut sauce at a friend's house), and although practically I know it was challenging (all I had left in my cupboards was a few lonely looking almonds) I also know that if the desire had been there then I would have just bought some when I went shopping... but I didn't.
So did I give up the nuts or did they give up me, or what?
I am still not that clear, which is unusual for me, but I am now thinking/feeling from what I know about the way this all works (energetically) that the mindset/frequency I have been embodying these past two weeks just simply wasn't compatible with a diet high in nuts, and so they didn't appear on my radar.
This really is the most convincing conclusion that I can come to, and it does now make a lot of sense.
So what has changed, if anything?
In giving up the nuts I can honestly say:
1) My body has got leaner and I have yet to weigh myself but I feel a pound or two lighter.
2) I have felt and looked younger.
3) I have enjoyed my food more.
4) I have revisited the way I ate and felt when I was 22 and first got seriously into raw. It was good to experience that truly youthful clean feeling again.
5) I don't need to wear deodorant - wow!
6) I have felt that choosing to eat nuts again in any significant amounts would be too high a price to pay compared to the way things are shaping up without them
7) My skin is looking good and I have been glowing : )
As for what I HAVE been eating...
I didn't consciously intend to replace nuts, only to keep eating intuitively and seeing where that led me. As it was I found myself ordering some fresh-frozen bee pollen for the first time in absolutely ages - probably well over a year - and all because it just felt like the right thing to do. A purely instinctual choice and one I made over E3 Live. (Probably an instinctive protein choice more than anything).
Once it arrived I just couldn't wait to eat it, and so it was that I created an awesome frozen pudding using frozen raspberries, passion fruit, mango and bee pollen that was simply beautiful to look at and to eat. I felt very fortified afterwards but in a good way; not the stoic tree-like feeling (interesting, eh?) that I used to get after eating a handful of cashews or macadamias. Just nicely satiated and "complete".
On the greens front, I found that I have been eating Nori Rolls virtually every day of the week (and never getting bored), and have usually made some kind of fruit based smoothie for afterwards - with no gas issues! This is surprising considering that fruit isn't supposed to come after a main course, but it worked like a dream for me and I had no cravings for anything after that little lot.
I have also drunk at least one pint of a green based juice almost every day for the past two weeks and am LOVING the cucumber and celery base and all the great recipes I have created around that.
I have veered away from fruit-based juices naturally and the only fats I am really eating at the moment are Cool oil (tiny amount - only had it once), avocados (usually two small ones per day in a salad recipe or the nori rolls), black raw olives and de-shelled hemp seeds. And that really has been about it fat-wise.
So, to make it clear, my average day has looked something along the lines of...
9am: 1 pint of water with another pint on my desk for drinking throughout the morning.
12 noon/1pm: Fresh fruit or a frozen raspberry pollen pudding followed by Nori Rolls an hour or two later or straight into nori rolls
2pm (or after Nori rolls): Banana smoothie with either dates and water, strawberries, or Nature's Living Superfood.
4:30pm: 3 or 4 Medjool dates as a snack. More water.
7pm: A large fresh green salad with avocado, olives, tomato and bell pepper sprinkled with lemon juice dressing, or a Kale and Avocado salad or more Nori Rolls.
9pm: One pint or more of celery, cucumber and spinach based juice.
Later: Maybe some more fruit depending on how late I am to bed.
Pretty impressive I think on closer inspection. No wonder I have de-aged these past 2 weeks.
Other changes have been that I have looked noticeably better in my summer clothes and swimming costume (I swim every weekday morning and my silhouette is sharper and more toned than before) and my legs look younger and more defined.
I've also just realised that I've not added any additional salt to my recipes (apart from the kale and avocado salads) for the past two weeks either (usually I add some Himalayan Crystal Salt as part of my nut sauces or whatnot).
I am liking what I have been doing and I am liking what I have been seeing. And I shall simply carry on as, just to test myself today I ate some macadamia nuts for the first time in at least 2 weeks. And what happened? I felt heavy, greasy and bleugh.
Yuck. Goodbye Maccy-D's. (That's raw-speak for macadamias btw!)
All I will add is that my libido has shot through the roof which is apparently a good thing, but .... oh, that's a whole other blog!
I just had an interesting email from a friend who I actually have not yet met in person. She wondered if I might not be taking things a little too far, being already a size 8/4 etc. And perhaps my body doesn't want more greens and that's why I haven't stuck to it?
Good questions and I am very glad that she asked as it dawned on me then, that from the outside looking in, it might appear that I was on some kind of hardcore weight loss programme that was all about wanting to look a certain way and all about weight loss and nothing else. (M: Do you not know me well enough, and where I am coming from, by now?!)
It was also great timing as just earlier this evening I was pondering on my deeper motivations for going green and realised that for me, although I would like to lose a little weight, really it is not so much about the weight per se - more specifically it's about the "excess" that really is excess (!) and cleaning out - after all, it's not fairy dust swirling around in there!
See, the thing about this is that when you become slim and "refined" in certain parts of your body, the bits that aren't so slim/clean/detoxed really do stand out!
But more than that, the bottom line is: I have been eating too much fat - for me, and that shows... a bit!
I have never been weight obsessed, although I certainly have been unhappy about my weight at various junctures, but there is a big difference. I have totally accepted my body and actually am very happy with it, but this whole journey for me has, for the more recent years since I experienced the powers of purification/detoxification, been about SOOO much more than what the scales say.
For me this is about being in integrity and purity as much as anything. I want to once again know how it feels to eat and drink the way I did in my "early years" when I ate a much purer raw food diet - and no, not just for weight loss reasons, but mostly for that amazing feeling of cleanliness, to feel "sparkly" inside (it really can happen) and to wean myself off the "nut-snacking habit" I seem to have slowly but surely acquired over the past few years.
So, in actual fact, to be clear, although it would be nice to drop a few pounds, what is much higher up my agenda is simply to clean up my food act and for it to be as pure as it was a decade or so ago. I'd like to see if I can feel the way I did then at the age I am now, because I just love to put theories to the test and also love to see what's possible - for me and for my clients and readers. But I have to put myself through it first!
If I don't lose weight but do lose wodgy bits then that will be very satisfying. (But yes, I am happy anyway!)
And I don't think losing those bits will necessarily make me drop to the next dress size down; in fact I hope they don't, as this size works well for me... (And I am not the kind of build that will ever look skinny)
Yes, this is about so much more than the stereotypical weight loss jaunts; this is about addressing "raw habits", "high fat dependency", "being more prepared" and seeing how green I can go, and how much suits me.
So far, so good these past 2 days, although those cashews do keep finding their way into my hand on the way in and out the door!! Just a sign that I need more than fruits and greens to keep me happy and also that I am going to have to hide them away so that they are not staring at me every time I walk in the kitchen!
Finally, yes, I know that someone will love me for who I am regardless (maybe!??!! Perhaps there are limits?!), but this really isn't about anyone else; this is about me knowing what's possible and going after it - just like I do with everything in life. That's all part of the fun and adventure for me : )
So this is a jolly jaunt into green-ness for so much more than a few pounds off...
And it's this I shall write about as much as I do the actual scales stuff.
PS: I should also mention, this is by no means an isolated activity. Just as I am cleaning out body stuff I am also going through a massive purge around paperwork, house stuff, garage, lifestyle, business-related activities - the whole shebang. As within, so without. Always.
And then I got emailed by someone asking for an update.
Bring on the guilt : )
OK, so the update is this...
First of all I have kept on a good amount of greens but not as many as I originally planned to or hoped to (although my eating overall has been cleaner, although still quite fruit and nut-orientated).
Now you know as well as I do that "planning" (in the loosest sense of the word) and hoping are not really the ideal recipe for success - so we have to look a little at this:
Why haven't I been doing greens to the degree I wanted to?
Some of it has been lack of planning
Some of it has been just being super busy and putting work before my eating
Some of it has been emotionally related (not wanting to FEEL as much as I would if I were on the greens)
And some of it has been - believe it or not - a reluctance to lose weight.
Now, all of the above are interesting to me, but none moreso than the last one.
Considering I thought I was ready to shed a couple of pounds (or more), I realise that even though I am by no means overweight (still in size 8 trousers ~ US size 4), I do have a little wodge to lose and I DO have some of the same fears that I had eons ago when I first held onto weight, it's just that now my threshold is a little different.
So yes, my main fears do tie in with the weight loss/ attraction issue, and this is further compounded by the fear that if I lose weight and feel even better in my own skin I will scare myself (!) with how much energy I feel and how much of that will be (now we're getting really personal)... sexual.
This is because I know myself well enough to know that I have always been a very physical person (sporty, don't sit still for long, love to move, dance, run etc.) and there's only so many hours I can spend up the gym each day!! Need I say more?!
This all ties in to a much bigger issue for me which is, of course, relationships. I haven't yet found the right person for me and all this energy can do a person damage (I fear... but is it really true?).
So I'm re-engaging this week in order to "feel the fear and do it anyway" with a green smoothie based diet for speed and simplicity, and I have no excuses as I have a lot of fruit and greens left over from my class which took place on Saturday.
If all this sounds a bit OTT, let me assure you it's not. The energy I already have is scary (scary to me and maybe even scary to others), but to allow myself to feel more of it and come face to face with various issues surrounding it. Well, I'm just going to have to throw down the gauntlet to myself as I would when I coach others, and just see what happens. Yes, I am a bit scared, and yes I wish I were doing this privately, but I know that many of you reading will appreciate my doing it publicly and openly, and I know that I'm not the only one that's afraid of "going there" (and if I can't do it then how can I expect others to?). I suspect the only way I can do it is through meditation and "transmuting" the energy (I don't think I can work any harder or longer than I do or move into the gym), but I'm not sure if that's what I want to do with it... hmmm... we shall see.
Once again I promise you nothing but honesty.
I shall be back!
Truth is, there is just so much going on here that to write daily about what I'm eating actually takes longer than doing the actual eating : )
So I've decided to update every week, minimum, and that's the best I can promise for now...
So yes, I am still on the greens but I have to say that I have found myself veering more towards the sweet stuff since I ate a piece of (close your eyes) raw chocolate torte last weekend at a group event. I haven't been the same ever since!
What I have re-learned is that to do this Green Thing you really have to be pretty single minded. I have done myself the "favour" of allowing myself to wobble for a week to just feel the difference while remaining conscious and aware of what's going on, and what I have learned is the following:
* Fruit tends to make me puff up a bit, as if I retain water immediately (not new news, but I have witnessed it again).. and no I don't have candida : )
* Nothing makes me feel as fabulous as 2 large salad-based meals per day with plenty of sprouts in them. Frustrating (!) but true. Although saying that, just as with the way cooked food starts to taste after you've been raw for while (synthetic, greasy, man-made, dissatisfying, a bit odd, dead) the other foods - the non-greens, non-simple stuff, just seem so unnecessary to me right now. I don't look at my assortment of sweetening foods (agave, mesquite, honey etc) and flavourings (choc powder, vanilla extract, etc. all raw of course) in the same way as before. Now they look odd and totally superfluous.
* Nuts! What a rocky road they can be! I found myself going back to the "just grab a few nuts to keep me going" mentality most of this week and subsequently felt my body start to pad back out again slowly but surely over the past few days.
As a result of all of the above, as from tomorrow I am back on the comparatively "hardcore" programme, not just for my benefit but so that I can create a weight loss and vibrant health programme from what I create to share with other people, because I DO know that I dropped 2lbs in 3 days having bought some weighing scales the week I started. Not just that but my eyes really gleamed.
Besides all the external body stuff I felt so much cleaner inside and super-calm. As I said before, I am usually already very calm 99% of the time, but this way of eating just brought about a stillness the likes of which I haven't touched for a long time.
Bring on the spinach!
I started off the day around 11am with 2 pints of veggie juice made from:
Apple, Carrot, Beetroot, Celery, Cucumber, Parsley, Broccoli and Lemon.
It was good, palatable and made me feel very virtuous, healthy and "I can do this!".. it even got me thinking, "Why on earth did I stray from this over 10 years ago?", as on the simple low fat stuff was exactly where my journey began... and incredibly vibrantly so, too.
At lunchtime I was loathed to eat more apples (as per yesterday) and, short on time, and phone ringing, I quickly grabbed some celery sticks and found myself very much thinking in "diet" mode, which was very interesting, and I have plenty more to say on that in a moment!
It’s been ages – and I do mean ages – since I actively tried to refine my diet within the raw foods realm, and many things have come to the surface in doing so.
The first is the importance of mindset. I’ve realised that I have needed to think different thoughts and view the experience differently in order for it to be perceived as a joyful event! This is not new news, but it is a remembering first-hand of something very fundamental, and that’s the importance of feeling fully aligned with the mission in hand, and not to have any one part (mind, body, spirit or emotions) refusing to play ball. This point cannot be overemphasised, both within my story and yours!
And this is the reason why two weeks ago would not have been the right time; emotionally I wasn’t ready. Today, all parts are aligned and wanting the same outcome and that is essentially some weight loss, some “wodge” loss and feeling leaner, cleaner and generally more sparkly overall. And, as I said previously, I do suspect some much deeper shifts will occur as well, and I don’t doubt that the ensuing growth will be pretty significant.
So here’s how today went for me, day 1 and also the day that I wasn’t perfectly prepared food-wise but hey-ho…
And if we haven't already had the pleasure of meeting, then briefly, my name is Karen Knowler and I'm also known as "The Raw Food Coach". I've been into raw foods for 14 years, have been teaching and coaching raw and living foods for the last eight of those, and this year I'll be training up to 25 others in how to live and love being a raw food coach too.
So what's this "Karen Goes Green" thing all about?
Well, it's really all about this:
As mentioned earlier, it's been 14 years now since I first got into raw foods. Along the way I have juiced, cleansed, detoxed, fasted, sprouted, mono-mealed, meditated and goodness knows what else on my path to vibrant health, but as with all stories, sooner or later we reach some kind of comfort zone and get a little... stuck, complacent, plateau-like.
Having been through just about every raw food scenario imaginable, and having hosted, learned and hung-out with some of the world's leading raw food educators (in my former incarnation as MD of The Fresh Network), I think I really have just about seen and heard it all - and as such I know what needs to come next.
Now about to make some big moves in my personal and professional life, it's time for something radical; and as far as food, or specifically raw food is concerned, then radical can only equal GREEN.
Now, to put this into perspective, although I do eat my fair share of green foods, there is definitely room for improvement. I have found green juices a bind, always thinking about how long my Green Star would take to clean up rather than focusing on the benefits I would feel from "just doing it". I have got in and out of the "green smoothie groove" more often than I care to consider. I have even, of late, not made so many green-rich and sumptuous salads as I have done previously. And I tell you this: It's over!
It's most definitely time to go green.
This project is one I am especially looking forward to, even though only as recently as two weeks ago it would have freaked me out to consider going "hardcore". Yes, I have a million reasons why going green is "too extreme" for me - the fun, eat-whatever-raw-foods-you-want-if-you-enjoy-them-and-it-keeps-you-on-track girl.
Well, as before, I've been in this comfort zone now for quite some time and for reasons that will be divulged as we go along, it's time now to up the ante and see where the green trail leads me...
I look forward to sharing my journey with you :)