I’ve been ruined.
Or saved, depending on how you look at it.
The enjoyment I got from most of the food I ate pre-raw has been spoiled. What I have eaten still tastes good, but the guilt and obsession that I now choke down with it overwhelms most of the gratification.
Sugar is out of the question. The only white sugar I’ve swallowed in the two weeks since we stopped being totally raw is in the one bite of cake I had at a colleague’s going away party. I want the homemade oatmeal cookies sitting on the office file cabinet, but I don’t dare. Blue raw agave and raw honey are the only sweeteners I allow myself.
Red meat appears to be a definite no-no. I haven’t had one bite in more than two months now, and although it was never a regular thing for me, I used to enjoy an occasional grilled cheeseburger or steak. The thought now makes me ill.
Meat in general gives me the heebies. I’ve had one or two bites of chicken. It seems the only flesh I can stomach is grilled salmon and shrimp, which I’m craving. And what’s that about? I never even liked salmon. Maybe it’s the iodine I need.
Dairy seems verboten. I have enjoyed a little cheese, some my boss brought back from Madeira, and some yummy horseradish cheddar. But I can’t bring myself to eat more than a bite or two every couple of days. So far, no eggs (a former favorite), no milk or plain yogurt, all pre-raw staples.
The exception to my feelings of guilt: 1/2 cup of coffee, with almond milk as a creamer and sweetened with agave. I had planned to wait for winter to go back to caffeine, but it’s been so damn cold for May, that I gave in on Mother’s Day. It was good. I could feel it coursing through my veins, strengthening my every fiber.
What am I eating? Generally, green smoothies for breakfast, or chia seed pudding and fresh squeezed OJ (I’ve had toast twice.) A salad or second smoothie for lunch, or an organic apple with almond butter. For dinner, I’ve been eating another salad, or cooked veggies, lots of them — another craving I don’t understand. I have this need to throw a little olive oil, onion and garlic in a skillet and stir-fry zucchini, mushooms, spinach, peppers, any veggie I can find. Sometimes I wrap a whole-wheat tortilla around them and add some salsa, other times I eat them straight from the pan. I can’t get enough of them.
Just the fact that I can remember most of the cooked food I’ve eaten since April 30 is an indication of how little I have had — or how mentally ill I’ve become: spicy black bean soup, veggie Panang curry, a few organic corn tortilla chips with mashed avocado, the above-mentioned seafood and sauteed veggie burritos.
I don’t feel sick or tired when I eat cooked food, just guilty. My energy level is still high, I haven’t regained any weight, and apparently I haven’t lost the previously blogged about “glow.”
An example of how far around the bend I’ve gone:
It’s Mother’s Day. I get up before my family and decide to forgo my smoothie for a single slice of whole-wheat raisin pecan bread. Not toasted, no butter. I work in the yard the rest of the day and forget to eat until we’re at my new favorite Thai restaurant. I order the Panang curry, no meat, no tofu. I eat one quarter of the rice with it, and maybe 1/2 of the veggies and curry broth.
When we get home, I start obsessing about the ingredients. I go on the Web. I find out it has coconut milk. Then I find out coconut milk has a whopping 50 grams of SATURATED fat per cup.
There must be some mistake. I keep looking on the Internet. Wait. Light coconut milk drops to 12 grams of fat per cup. Surely that’s what I ate.
It’s too late to call the restaurant.
You see what I mean. Even if I drank an entire cup of the thick coconut milk, I would have still consumed less than 1,000 calories that day. And I worked in the garden for more than nine solid hours.
I really need to get a grip — or a therapist.
I haven’t obsessed about food like this since I was a college student. For more than 25 years I have railed against women who are obsessed about their appearance and their weight. I don’t think that is what this is about, although I’m forced to admit I don’t want to regain the weight I’ve lost. It has made exercise and dressing so much easier.
So what the hell is going on?
My best friend says she is not surprised. For more than 30 days, we micromanaged and monitored every morsel that went into our mouths. Hundreds of people were watching us, and still are. There is this blog post, and one more. We’ve been asked to do another television interview. People still want to talk about it. It’s almost like they are waiting for us to start looking and feeling like our pathetic, pre-raw selves.
But the aftershock isn’t all bad. Some positives:
I am successfully spreading the word on the miracle of chia seeds. I have two (maybe three) of my co-workers eating them, and one of my neighbors, who recently underwent cancer surgery, is extremely grateful for the chia-seed pudding I whipped up for her to help her eliminate (pun intented) the effects of the pain medication she was on.
My food bill is a bit lower, even though I am buying as much organic as I can. I think it’s because I’m not buying processed foods (bread and canned items don’t count, although even with those I am buying organic and preservative-free.)
Even though they are complaining a bit, my kids are eating better, because the fruits and veggies in the house are the only choice they have. And they don’t mind the homemade cookies, fruit breads and muffins (sweetened with agave) I’m making to feel the void of the processed alternatives.
Will I ever revert to my poisonous, pre-raw ways? I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before I get a healthier perspective. Because those oatmeal cookies are still calling to me.