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. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I want to be a blogger again.

Well well well, she returns. Who am I today, you ask?

Actually, that's what I ask myself on a daily basis. Since the last time I wrote in this blog, I've gone raw. It started with an attempt to lose weight, since I remember last time I did the raw thing, weight just flew off me. I started off not just making green smoothies but making my favorite recipes that I mentally amassed on a list that should've been entitled "the highest fat recipes Lori has made -- raw style." I pulled out all my Ani Phyo books and got going with cashew everything. Kale chips, nut pates and spreads, blended raw soups with avocado, raw hummus with lovely olive oil. Two weeks later... I was fatter. And still not feeling great. I know my energy was supposed to skyrocket and my skin was supposed to glisten and glow, and those things did not come to fruition. Pun intended, but only to me, who knows where this is going. I knew that this was not right and I needed to do it right.

Eventually, I stumbled back upon 80/10/10, a "diet" that my friend Tom from high school avidly (at least at one point) followed and raved about. He would tweet and 'book about eating ten bananas and feeling amazing, not gaining weight but gaining energy to fuel his runs. In typical fashion, I ravenously read all materials involved in raw veganism of the 80/10/10 variety. It truly made, and still makes sense to me, and I'd encourage every single person who might stumble upon this blog to read the crap out of it. It's how we humans are naturally supposed to feed our bodies and goes in to precisely why this is.

80/10/10 made me (maybe literally) smack myself in the forehead. We are not supposed to eat avocado after avocado or need to replenish our cashew supply every three days. Fat is fat ( the book), and too much is too much. 80/10/10 was the way I would clean my body from the inside out and would ultimately be the way that I can eat and stay thin and have energy and be happy. Still, this is all I want in the end. It just so happens that in our society and in my eating disorder-riddled life, happy equates to feeling good about the way I look first and then feeling good about other stuff later.

The diet, or lifestyle, has been a struggle. At the top of the list is eating a lot. For one, I love to eat. I became anorexic because I loved to eat so much that it made me slightly fatter than my friends that I felt the need to not eat anymore and get skinny. When finally given the allowance to eat tons of fruit, I was thrilled. The gurus on 30bananasaday say you can't get fat on fruit. Your body burns the carbs off  via dietary thermogenesis. It's science! What I cleverly did not let register was that if you have a calorie-restricting past, of course you will gain weight when you're eating thousands upon thousands of calories for the first time since god knows when. I started eating minimally when my stomach would just. not. fit. 10 bananas. But once I started cramming them down, I learned that hey, I do feel a little better eating more. Oddly enough it's usually the next day AFTER cramming em in that I feel better.

Lately, I've felt that I've required a lot more calories to feel good that next day. Working long 12-hour days has been breezier and I'm more chatty with my patients, adding new exercises left and right, being more on top of my paperwork and feeling less I-hate-life and more I-like-raw. I've also not been eating enough a lot of days and feeling depressed and lethargic. This is not with 1500 calories.. it's with more like 2500-3000. One day when all I ate was like seven massive blender-filled smoothies of bananas, the next day ended up being SUPERB. Where does this leave me? FATTER. They say it will take a year for me to end up at a weight I am healthy and happy at and for my body to adapt to eating more, but I should continue to pack in the calories in order to fuel my active, healthy lifestyle and get the nutrients I need. Funny thing is, I truly still do believe this. But I am always full, in a kinda depressing place in my life which I'm trying to turn around (per usual), and fairly inactive, and I'm getting down about being fatter. I also feel like I'm losing touch with my hunger signals.

New plan...listen to body, still eat a decent amount, see how this week goes. I'm off from work and have seriously minimal obligations. If I'm under-carbed and lethargic, I will watch movies and eat a lot. Funny enough, the only way I was able to get out of the house and make this blog comeback was to drive to Barnes & Noble, get an iced coffee which I painstakingly gave up, and seriously cheat. Tomorrow's a new day. No baked potato, dulse (read: salt), no caffeine. By the end of this week, I want to be tan, exercised, happier, and maybe slightly slightly less fat. Or less concerned about fat and more concerned about "getting the calories and carbs I need to fuel my healthy active lifestyle."

This was LONG and I didn't even address all the points I wanted to, but I'm glad I'm back.