Sunday, August 19, 2012

Reclined for the day

What a rollercoaster.

On the job front, my stress about the uncertainty of the whole situation got the best of me. I decided to forgo the opportunity at the chiropractic clinic in favor of something that I could be sure of and comfortable with. This meant calling all parties and telling them of my decision during a particularly panic-attacked day. I actually called off work that day due to panic, something I haven't done in at least a year. More on that later. With the home care position, I don't have to worry about not getting enough patients to have a full day. If someone doesn't show, I still get paid. (Thank god for being salaried.) I will have a max of six patients a day compared to the 20 I have now. I'll be able to retreat to my car and listen to my Pandora and run errands during the day. I'll get to be out in the word and not under the roof of an office building for eternity. I won't be paid six figures, but I'll be paid 10k+ more than I'm making now, and doing less work to get it.

The only issue currently is that all I want to do is put in my two weeks' notice at my current position, but I can't until I get the official offer letter. I spoke with the Director over a week ago, but upon following up, was told that they're working on putting it together and that they were sorry for the delay. In any case, I know the offer already, and maybe it just does take time.

On the health front, I recently took a step back and realized that my health was suffering. I don't use the term suffering lightly. I truly was panic-ridden, void of any energy to do much else besides sleep and work, and was without any appetite. My skin has looked progressively worse, I'd gotten MUCH fatter (near my highest weight ever, in fact), and so my self esteem plummeted. I resorted to wearing and buying all of my baggiest and/or stretchiest clothes. I truly believe, now that I've reached out to a few people, that the 30 Bananas a Day website has some fundamental flaws. Clearly the diet wasn't working for me. In fact, it was making me ill. When I posted a discussion on the website's forum, the responses were both helpful and truly horrific. Some people wrote that they related to me. A number of others told me I was doing it wrong and had nothing supportive to say. I was doing everything "right," but had such severe symptoms from it that I could barely function, yet I needed to try harder. In the end, my cry-for-help thread was shut down because it went against the cultish guidelines of the community.

One comment from a non-moderator really stuck out in my head. They asked if I had any hunger, and if I didn't, that fasting might be necessary. I researched fasting to the extreme, and realized that whatever the reason for my symptoms, my body needed to heal with the energy normally spent on digestion. The day I started my fast, and even into the second, I felt amazing. This was what I needed, to feel that fog and fatigue lift away from me. I've been fasting for technically almost four days, but longer if you count the days that I didn't eat anything all day but had a small watermelon or a couple apples in the early morning or evening.

I've never fasted before and am still a little wary, but I plan on breaking it as soon as my body tells me to, or if I start to feel unwell. I have to do what feels right, and this feels right at the moment. When I do break the fast, the high-carb raw vegan cult mentality will be thrown out the window, and I plan on using my intuition and the signals my body sends to come up with a diet that works for me. I feel foolish for not realizing this before, but much more confident now that I can be healthy and in tune with my body when this is all over.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tired day.

I've mentioned here and there about adding cooked food back into my diet. I think a large part of why I made that choice was because I was just getting fed up with being tired and depressed and literally not willing to eat all the fruit required to healthily stay raw. The alternative? Joint pain, abdominal discomfort, eye infection, histamine reactions, constipation, acne. This is the myriad of symptoms just from adding things like Fresh salsa (with salt, onion, peppers), yams, canned beans, and grains like rice and wheat. In truth I just want this to be easy, because I have so many other things I want to focus on in my life.

I've learned a couple things throughout this process.

1) Vary your fruits. I'm still not convinced that I'm completely unable to eat bananas, but I know that a diet that was based upon a potentially poor-quality fruit did me no favors.

2) Do your homework. In theory I have all the tools at my disposal to succeed on this diet. I know I need fruit, greens, sunshine, sleep, and exercise. I also know I am not getting these things. Writing that list out actually even brought it into a clearer light. If I do nothing else tonight, I am getting some greens in.

3) Do not let others' negative attitudes affect you. This is one I also haven't mastered. My mother is negative to the core. She's sweet, but she does not make me feel good about what I'm doing. Every time I try to tell her something I've realized on this diet, she finds a way to politely argue. Aside from fatigue (and weight gain from upping my calories to try to combat the fatigue), I had no issues on this diet. All of a sudden, I feel like my health is struggling under the impact of cooked food. I actually just wrote this to my mom:

Hi mom, was on my laptop and thought I'd write you a message. I am not feeling good about something and I just want to get it written down.

I feel like whenever I talk to you about my diet, you [politely] argue with it. Since I added cooked food back, I know you appreciated that I could be like a "normal person." Truth is, as soon as I added cooked food on, a lot of things happened: my face broke out with acne again when it'd finally started to clear up, I started having constipation and digestive discomfort, my spine started giving me problems when I had not even a micro amount of pain when raw, my skin got dry again, and my eye got infected. After eating potatoes, I would have trouble breathing and my eyes would get dry. After eating salsa, I would sneeze and my eyes would water and my nose would run. After eating beans, I would have a lot of gas. None of these problems were there before, not even at all. Going raw has made me "not normal" in your eyes, but going back to cooked is clearly worse for my body.

I am totally alone in this vegan thing, and don't even get me started on raw. I have the internet and that's all. I research this and know more about it than I know about what's going on in our country, but I have no friends to talk to about it. I feel even more alone when I talk to you about it and you instantly give me an argument about why I'm clearly mistaken about whatever I happened to say about it, good or bad. If I tell you something it's to try to feel less alone and just discuss it with someone else, but you tend to make me feel bad about it, and wrong. Either I won't tell you anything about what's going on with me, or you start to support me. I would rather the latter because again it's just me doing this; I don't have anyone around me to help. 

Ok, that's all. Talk to you soon. 


I have blogging to thank for allowing me to realize the affect she has on me. I do feel totally alone doing the raw food thing. Feeling alone is always a factor in the depressions that I sink into, and I really can't stand to hear another comment from her putting my beliefs down. I never force my views on her or make her feel bad for not eating raw. I do my own thing and occasionally want to talk about it.

Today I have eaten 100% raw until about an hour ago when I got a coffee with soymilk from the Starbucks in Barnes & Noble. I was so tired today and just have to have some faith that it was because I've been eating pasta and polenta and ketchup and tortillas, with so much less emphasis on raw fruit and greens.  Yesterday I had pasta for multiple meals. Yes it tasted good, yes I would love to be "normal," if it meant feeling great, but if that's normal, I don't want to be it. I'm trying to save my body from whatever it is that it would turn into if I continue to abuse it. Coffee will have to be the final frontier.

Finally I have a blog that I think is going to stick. I do just want to be happy! That's it!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Baby let's just go with it

I know when things feel right. 

Starting up my raw food bakery, though was right up my alley, wasn't right. I didn't have the money to pay for all the legal stuff and find a commercial kitchen space to rent. I didn't have the time away from my full time job to dedicate what was necessary to actually make it work. If I decided to quit my full time job as a PT, I certainly would not be able to make enough to pay for my credit cards, student loans, rent, and all the other real world elements that are working against me. When I do things like that, they have to be done perfect, I can't half-ass them, and I can't concentrate fully on them when I've got other things going on. Maybe I'll come back to Little Bites, but maybe not. 

This new job thing just sprang up out of nowhere. I've been unhappy with my current job for so long, but I haven't done anything about it. I let myself sink into a fairly depressed state, which overcomes my life in waves. In June, I requested a few days off in July. Thinking more and more about how much this job is not where I'm supposed to be, I requested a whole week off one week after that. I figured, I've got to set something up so, again, I can concentrate 100% on changing up the situation. Scheduling interviews during my work week is so conflicting in my mind. I cannot focus. It just so happened that leading up to and during that week off, I was so unbelievably fatigued, so much so that I had to stay in bed; there was no other option unless I forced myself to stumble about like a zombie. This was the banana fiasco as recently discussed, the mango fiasco only narrowly preceding. If I ever run into a date fiasco, I will have major, major problems. Anyhow, either the poor quality bananas or the possibly too-much-potassium situation was in full effect and I could barely function. Knowing that on my week off and that I had to get my hair cut now or never, I went to get my hair cut. I was nearly falling asleep in the chair, but not unconscious enough to bitch about my job! The very next day, I got a call from the hair salon owner's husband, who is the owner of the chiropractic practice I also mentioned recently. One thing leading to another, it looks as though I will truly be taking on the endeavor of starting up a practice within his clinic. Head therapist! 

This is the opportunity that I'm just going with because it feels right. When there's too much of a risk or I feel too out of my comfort zone, I just won't do it. With this, I'm just effortlessly taking the steps to get it done. I am putting in my two weeks' notice next week. When I'm not sure of something, the opinions of others weigh so heavily on my mind. Now, if I don't get an excited reaction from whomever I'm telling about my plans, I just let it bounce off me. Uncharacteristic, I think, but why question it? 

I used to say that it's not a question of if I win the lottery -- it's when. I'm spontaneous at odd times, and utterly conservative in my actions at others. Regardless, I follow my gut. In this case I think it might be life-changing. (happy-face!)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Case of Bad Bananas

There is a place called Produce Junction. They sell the wholesale fruit, and I buy it, cheap. A case of 40 pounds of bananas costs $15 -- on occasion, $15.50. As I started losing enthusiasm for raw food, I opted to get through each day eating the minimum amount possible. But, as the religion states, one must always get enough calories. If you're tired, you're not getting enough calories (or water, or greens, or sleep, of course). Because I decided that a supreme level of fatigue could not be sleep-induced (I know that kind of tired, and I was sleeping) or greens (I'm already eating  a lot of greens; if not a whole pound a day, more than my friends who are out and about boasting healthy amounts of energy). Note my unscientific guessing methods. I trust my intuition, dammit. Bananas, being the fairly calorie-dense fruits that they are and cheap to boot, became a staple of mine as I started to sink into sublime fatigue. It was like all the calories I was eating were leaving my body bloated and my neurons unable to fire. Lifting a finger or devoting any brain energy to anything at times seemed disturbingly difficult, let alone a 12 to 13-hour work day involving very little sitting and recuperating. I was starting to feel completely helpless. Walking into my kitchen one day wondering if I was going to cram some extra bananas into my face or just sleep off my fatigue that sleep doesn't even cure, I looked at the fruit. Spotty indicating "ready to eat," but at the same time, still greenish. Out of frustration, I froze the fruit, thinking that I wasn't going to eat these, but just in case I changed my mind or realized that something else was causing my fatigue, they'd be in the freezer.

A couple weeks later, no longer buying cases of bananas from the Junction, I was there for some other stuff and decided to get a couple 2-pound bags of them. Same deal, although not as creepy looking. I've been eating banana meals of them here and there and noticing some sporadic fatigue. To be honest, I can't say I've been as diligently keeping track of my intake and my energy. Hell, I've been eating cooked food and (gasp) salt, and feeling more bloated than I've felt in a WHILE. I hate food and would rather just take a pill every day and be healthy/energetic. Hellooo new species of eating disorder that evolves as each year passes.

Jump to yesterday when I make a late night banana and cacao smoothie with the frozen bananas in effort to have something cool and get [somewhat] artificially energized before a date. I ended up feeling fairly tired after eating it and definitely not caffeinated. I also felt super bloated. I woke up and immediately thought that the best smoothie to start my morning would be that same chocolatey frozen concoction, just totally putting out of my head the possibility of being poisoned (I'm dramatic) yet again. Truly unconquerable fatigue ensued. I missed my good friend's bridal shower.

As much as I can Google the topic, I cannot find any one statement that says "this weird type of banana is toxic to the body" or "fruit that ripens in this way produces x reaction in the body" etc. There are lots of people that run into this problem though and end up tossing their fruit away.

I really have rambled on and on about a goddamn banana situation, and it only has deserved this much of my time and energy due to how much time and energy it has zapped from my life. I'm finally crawling out of this remarkable fatigue and getting myself back to reality, which includes 1) throwing out the bananas for jesusfuckingchrist's sake and getting a great offer for a full time position with the home care agency I interviewed with. It would be easy to accept that offer. EASY. I'd make over 10k more than I'm making now and have to do considerably less work. Instead, I'm inquiring about working per diem with this company, details still unknown, in order to start a couple days a week with the chiropractic company. You know, the one that may make me a businesswoman of the wealthy sort. I like my spontaneity and ambition that has sprouted out of nowhere, even out of the cloud of rotten bananas and cooked food.

Til next time, blog.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

As it stands, I'm pretty sure it's me talking to myself here. With previous blogs, I'd "advertise," making well-thought-out or not-so-much comments on other people's healthy living blogs with hopes that they'd click on over to me and give me lots of comments. It's all about the comments. Well, fuck comments. Something about just chillin here with my own thoughts is soothing to my psyche, and so I shall continue.

The raw thing is out the window. I mean I truly believe in raw foods, I really do. Everything Doug Graham has to say my brain buys 100%. It just MAKES. SENSE. I'll talk up raw foods to everyone, or at least I would when I was starting up. The reason my dinner tonight was a massive spinach salad with sweet peppers, lime juice, rice (gasp) beans (gasp) and brown rice tortillas (yeah, again) to make mini wraps as I went along? 1. I'm sick of stuffing my face all day with fruit until I've had enough calories for a football quarterback, and 2. I want to be not fat anymore. What can I say. I'm not down with being chubby in the name of raw foods. Oh, and 3. My energy and mood were just plain awful. I felt like I was moving slow as molasses.

I've begun, as I've recently learned, to eat McDougall style, per Dr. McDougall of The Starch Solution. Essentially, I still believe 80/10/10 is what's up. From all the research I've read on the effect of fat in our diet, I'm a believer that a very low fat diet is really the way to go, and excess fat will only do harm to us when consumed in excess. So, I've added on starchy vegetables and grains including rice, sweet potato, and beans. I'm leery of grains as well as  legumes, but in the last week or so I've pretty much thrown caution to the wind and have been eating them all. I can't not continue to research this topic, so that may evolve. Ultimately I would like to do a better job of avoiding salt as well as keeping an eye on how these foods affect me. So far since moving away from raw I've had acne sprouting up and have continued to have fairly low energy, feeling like I'm "undercarbed" from not eating the massive amount of calories my body's been used to. I'm trying to be consistent with the vitamins I know I don't get from my diet, so I hope the energy starts to be regulated soon. I'm not proud of my coffee drinking.

In the end, I worry about the energy and weight mostly. I just want to look and feel good, particularly because this new job thing is really getting out of hand in what I think is a good way. I may be spear-heading a start-a-physical-therapy-clinic-in-a-chiropractor's-office operation; it's something that if you told me about this two weeks ago I'd laugh and say GTFO. There is a LOT of potential in this venture, and here's the kicker -- I need to be awake to do it. More than awake. I need to be on my A-game. No more of this eyes glazing over/I want to go to my car to take a nap bullshit. I have to find out if consuming the mass amounts of calories thing is still at all applicable if I'm keeping 80/10/10 but adding cooked. I really couldn't say. Like I said, I felt that undercarbed feeling earlier today when eating a normal person's amount of calories. I wasn't letting myself go hungry. Who knows if it was iron, D, B12, or just not enough sleep.

Speaking of which, it's nearly 10pm and I'm going to try to do a good job of getting enough sleep in these coming weeks. I bought a very low dose of melatonin if needed, because I'd rather artificially (sort of) get knocked out if it means getting enough sleep than the alternative of not getting enough sleep and just wafting through the following day of work.

Goodnight, internet.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Maybe I'm just dramatic, but life always feels like a never-ending rollercoaster than a just a ride. Even when things are coasting along do I incessantly worry about what's next, what am I doing wrong, what am I dissatisfied with. Sometimes I feel like if I could just let go, maybe I would experience life happening around me. I did that for certain periods of my life, and it was when I was around people who would make things happen. 

My dad was (and is) always about showing me and my brother so many facets of life. He would plan vacations to historical places, take us hiking, camping, biking, show us thunderstorms and teach us about clouds, buy my brother a planetarium, teach me piano. When I lived in Boston with some of my most favorite, random, Craigslist roommates, I experienced the best times of my young life. Bowls passed around every day, concerts with the band I lived with, parties with everyone we knew, games that made me laugh until my face hurt. But it was my friends who put together those events, that orchestrated our fun. I was blessed to be able to go along with them. Now they are continuing to live rich lives. Where am I? Living essentially alone with people who are not providing me with this entertainment.

When I lived at home after college, I was not in my own environment anymore. I adapted to living at home and becoming less and less of my own person. My dad was no longer teaching us like his children, because we were adults. I was plagued with depression (per usual), but I was not developing a life of my own. Finally, seeing the chance to move out, I snatched it up, imagining an infinitely fun roommate situation like I had back in Boston. As it turned out, the roommates don't even like the common areas, we don't hang out together; we're isolated. Slowly I've developed hobbies that I thought I'd lost interest and all skill in. I started going on bike rides again, I picked up drawing, I play piano nearly every day. I continued my quest of finding the optimal diet and delved into raw food. It's amazing how much you can be interested in and do and still not have the satisfaction of living a full life. Social interaction is everything.

I've struggled with raw. Despite my best efforts I have not succeeded yet. My energy has been lower than ever. Granted, I'm not exercising. I also believe that without much fat and protein in my diet, I require a fairly significant amount of calories. If they're raw, I end up uncomfortably full trying to cram everything in. It's hard to believe that when I used to restrict to 1200 calories a day, I may have required 2000-3000+. I added in cooked foods (carbs) this week, and for the most part made an effort to really eat what I believe to consider "enough." Enough scares me, and I am fatter. I'm fairly uncomfortable in my own skin. I'm not obese, I don't even think I'm necessarily overweight, but I am comfortable when I'm skinny and that's it. I spent the first half of the week truly doubting how successful I could be in ANYTHING (relationships, work, play) looking like I look. Knowing I can't go back to starving my body, I've kept up with the eating, but it's almost been against my will. 

On Thursday, I had a great interview for a position that I know I could do well and that would give me the flexibility that I have been craving. I anticipate an offer to be more than I am making now and I was thinking that I would accept. On Thursday evening I got a call from the husband of the owner of the hair salon I go to (and went to on Wednesday). He owns a chiropractic clinic and would like to add a PT to his practice. I agreed to meet him over lunch, having no idea that a simple meeting would essentially turn into an offer to head the therapy portion of the company, build a clinic and a caseload, and eventually hire support staff and possibly double the salary I'm currently making. It's a crazy opportunity that I am seriously considering, despite how much it scares me. Talking with people that view me as having the potential and capacity for management of such immense responsibility was refreshing and exciting. 

My middle school crush has been texting me for the last couple of weeks, suddenly interested in hanging out, remembering something that he missed I guess. This happens sometimes. Guys realize years down the line after meeting me or dating me that I'm someone they want to see again. Knowing that this week was so self-deprecating, but despite my serious insecurities, I invited him to come visit. We ended up having an awesome time. He left today leaving me much more confident about my entire self. 

I find it really difficult to make a rewarding life for myself without the company of others. I watched This Emotional Life this week, which hammered home the point that without flourishing social relationships, we are doomed. Relationships are what make us human and happy. I'm such a solitary person when I'm alone, hobbies and all. It's so difficult for me to reach out. I can do so much, but without people around me keeping me company, it can feel worthless. This week I took risks, was spontaneous, and found novel people who could really make a difference in my life, and people who saw something in me that I tend not to see in myself. I wouldn't consider this week vacation at all, but a learning experience, and hopefully a turning point. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I hate days like yesterday. Reminds me of when I would go to the hospital randomly for what I didn't realize were panic attacks until that's the last conclusion they came to when testing came back negative. I wonder if "undercarbed " was the ultimate actual diagnosis, because that's what the 80/10/10 people lead you to believe.

To sum up yesterday:

  • I was still reacting to my mango allergy after I performed an experiment. Can I wash the skins with soap and water, remove all residue of that urushiol, and still enjoy the fruit that makes me want to eat fruit and only fruit forever? It turns out, no. I was on mango island for a good day and a half before my lips chapped and swelled and every pore on my face decided to have acne. It was a less severe reaction than the last time, but I still will never be touching a fresh mango again. 
  • I was panicked about my job search, which is being partly mediated by recruiters, who are people I am not a big fan of. They're pushy. And this one in particular made me feel like a sub par human being that should take any job offered despite the pay (which did still turn out to be way more than I normally make) because I haven't worked in that setting since clinical. I e-mail my friends to get a crash course on working in a SNF and they send me back all this information on stuff I did indeed forget or possibly never learned. Freak out continues.
  • I have a boy visiting on Friday, one that I haven't seen since possibly middle school. Maybe I saw him after middle school, but my mind always goes back to a middle school dance when he made me melt. I was nervous about seeing him 1) because I am not eating-disordered (well, I still probably am but I am actively trying to overcome this - read - because I feel/am fat) and 2) because of the mango allergy that is making me look even more hideous. Not going to lie, I am going to be drinking with this one. I've already let a lot of 80/10/10 things fly out the window this week.
  • I felt intense guilt for my cat, who I think because of the heat in my house developed a bunch of sores on her belly. I fear for her health and life and feel like I should have watched her closer, should have pet her more, should have brushed her more, and shouldn't have made her deal with this heat. This made me bawl more than anything. She is a tough kitty to love because she has issues from her past breeder-kitty life, but I do love her and want her to be healthy. She has since been eating her antibiotics mixed with wet food that both cats are enjoying (the new food, not the antibiotics). There is no way in hell she's letting me put antibiotic cream on her, so I'm praying that the medication alone will be enough. Everyone's saying that it's not my fault, but I will forever be hard on myself until something fundamentally changes within me.
I have an interview today, actually in less than an hour, and am at Starbucks again fueling up. I am angry at myself for letting coffee back into my life, but I can see that my body still is healing from the past damage I did to it. Why else do I feel myself with coffee after feeling so drained and lifeless since leaving it? I am hoping I get this job because honestly I'd take it assuming it pays more than my existing position. I am in desperate need of a change no matter how much it scares me.