Friday, June 29, 2007

In Cooked Food and In Raw

Last weekend we took our shopping dollars to a couple of farmer’s markets. The cherries are delicious. We also picked up some spinach, lettuce, peas, and carrots. Strawberry season is pretty much finished. The last pint Christa brought home from Whole Foods were moldy. I can see the winter months becoming pretty bleak for raw food choices. But now it’s perfect.

The best part about this month’s challenge was that I didn’t do it alone. It has been a joy to walk this path with my wife. Throughout the month we’ve been able to uniquely encourage each other. When she ate the last banana on day 8, I understood the importance of her text-message that simply said, “We need more bananas”. When I was on day 15 wondering if I could ever eat another banana, she was right there with me.

I’ve undertaken plenty of solo challenges, but this one seems more satisfying because I shared it with her.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Something Smells Funny

Funny thing I’ve noticed about folks that eat cooked food—they have an odor. Kindof like bad breath but not as nasty. Just a little bit of a funk. And the longer I go without cooked food, the more I notice it. I wonder if my sense of smell is becoming re-sensitized; or if in the absence of smelling that way myself I notice it in others.

When it first started happening I thought it was me that stunk. But, I asked a few friends and they couldn’t pick up my scent. So I asked my wife and she confided that food cookers were starting to smell a little to her as well. She also said, to her, everyone now smells the way I do after eating Indian food.

We were both getting whiffs of it while sitting in the theater tonight, weird.

(Mmm, Indian food….)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Got Bananas?

I'm starting to feel the groove of this raw fruit thing. After my last post I decided I would stop eating just to reach a certain number of calories. Instead, I've been eating to satisfaction. This has resulted in about 1400 calories a day and no more mid-meal stomach aches. I dropped about 10 pounds, but have been at the same weight for the last 4 days.

Our current challenge is finding ripe bananas. It seems that all anyone carries is green bananas, which is fine, but we already have 2 boxes of green bananas from Costco that we are waiting to ripen. What we need now is yellow! Christa and I stopped at 5 stores the other night until we finally found some. Delighted with our bounty, we rushed home and made smoothies. (4 bananas, 2 peaches and a handful of strawberries is my favorite.) We picked up enough to last a couple of days. When we went to work today we left our calorie-filled treasures on the counter. I guess the dog is jealous of our new found diet, because when Christa came home she found peels on the living room floor.

Christa emailed her friend Sarah P, and told her about my little postings. Sarah has made some great comments on my previous posts that I'd encourage you to go back and read.

One thing I hear a lot from people who are educated in the ways of eating healthy is, "O, you are on a cleanse." To that I say: "yes and no." Most "cleanses" are undertaken for the express purpose of de-toxing the body. They usually involve a strict diet that may not be healthy if continued for a long period of time. One in particular, the Master Cleanse, is all about lemon juice and fasting. During these ordeals people are rapidly attempting to flush toxins and in some cases parasites from the body. That is not what the 80/10/10 diet is about. We purposefully chose this diet because it is a healthy lifestyle, not a short-term treatment. While it is true, we have only committed to 30 days and we are certainly flushing out some toxins, this diet could easily become permanent. We are not on a cleanse.

Monday, June 11, 2007


This weekend was wretched for treehousing. (A verbization which I take credit for; although each time I say it, it reminds me of that kid with the video and the puppets in The Sixth Sense.) It rained all day Saturday. I only got out for a couple of hours on Sunday. On Sunday I did manage to get one hole drilled and a new and improved piece of threaded-rod into it.

Tonight, the weather was perfect. Greg heard that I was climbing the trees and came over. He can be seen here wrenching one of the rods into place. Also clearly visible is the other attachment point for that tree. I came across these cool hillside washers in my quest to find stronger threaded-rod and they are sweet.

While Greg worked on that socket I drilled two holes in the other tree. One of them was unreachable from any branches so I had to get out the old climbing harness. Man its good to be back in the trees. Tonight it felt like we were making some real progress. If we can get the beams hanging from the actual attachment points by ropes, I can take measurements for the cables. And if the cables get done this week I could be hanging joists this weekend!

Also, the other night Christa brought Molly Steele over while her mommy had an appendectomy. I took that opportunity to give Molly a few choices and wouldn't ya know it? She went right for the apple.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Melon Blues

I'm certainly enjoying raw fruits. And I get the argument for eating stuff that our bodies seem predisposed for. However, if this is the stuff that I'm supposed to be eating, why is it a chore to eat so much? It seems that I'm in a constant battle to shovel fruit into my mouth. I don't eat when I'm hungry, because I never get hungry. As soon as I'm not full, I eat. Yet, I haven't topped 1513 calories in a day since we started.

It's too bad there has to be a catch.

"We have this wonderful diet of foods that you will love and your body can use. Oh, but you have to eat buckets full (bucketfulls?) of it."

Dr. Graham promises that my stomach will "stretch quickly to allow you to consume normal/health quantities of fruit." That may be true, but it hasn't happened yet.

I guess if it were easy, we wouldn't call it a challenge.

Drink Your Calories

I made a new friend to day. His name is OJ. He was hanging out a Jamba Juice and for only $4.85 he gave me 450 calories. Which is crazy since on my first 3 days of this raw food diet I averaged 900 calories.

Here's what I ate today:
Item Grams Calories
Jamba Juice Orange Juice, freshly squeezed, Power Size 992 450
Bananas (3) 354315
Apples - Granny Smith (1) 241 121
Bananas (2) 236 210
Peaches (1)157 61
Spinach, Baby (about 3 cups)59 14
Lettuce, Looseleaf - Raw (about 2 cups) 112 17
Cucumber - With Peel, Raw (1 cup) 10416
Tomatoes, Red, Ripe - Raw (1.5)185 33
Carrots, Baby - Raw (10) 10035
Raw Whole Almonds (1/4 cup) 30 180
Peaches (1)157 61
Total Calories Consumed   1,513

It breaks down like this:

  • Carbs: 81.3%

  • Protein: 7%

  • Fat: 11.6%

Right on target as far as the percentages go. Still a little short on calories. I wonder if OJ has any friends?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

What Should I Eat?

I’m sure Allan is not the only one with questions about this crazy 80/10/10 diet we are on, so while sit here sipping a tasty banana/strawberry/peach smoothie, I’ll see if I can sort some of this out.

I, for one, am not mortgaging the family farm to buy Dr. Graham’s snake oil—just yet. I am willing to give it a try for a month and see if I can figure out where he is coming from.

As far as my comments yesterday about eating fruits because they make our mouths water, let me see if I can develop that idea by quoting Dr Graham in The 80/10/10 Diet.

How does one determine the correct food for any given creature? Let us suppose that you were given a baby animal and you had no idea what it was or what it was supposed to eat. Perhaps it was a gift from a foreign land. How would you know what to feed it?

The answer is relatively simple. All you would have to do is offer the creature different types of foods in their whole, natural state. That which it was designed for, it would eat. It would likely ignore all the other items, not even considering them as food. I have done this successfully with orphaned animals that I have saved.

The same technique would work with a human child. Put the child in a room with a lamb and a banana. Sit back and watch to see which he plays with and which he eats. We can be fairly sure of the outcome. Try again with fats versus fruits by offering a choice of (natural, raw, unsalted) nuts, seeds, avocadoes or olives on the one hand and any fresh sweet fruit on the other. Again we can safely predict that the child will choose the sweet fruit.

Crazy? Or, brilliant? He continues…

Our premise is that Nature served us correctly to start with. We recognize that we thrived and attained our high station, and that what was right for us then is still right for us now, as we are structurally and physiologically the same as we were during most of our sojourn as humans in nature. It is logical that, within our modern context, we can supply ourselves with natural foods.

If you can stomach that premise, then his nature-based, if-the-shoe-tastes-right-wear-it theory will lead you to the conclusion that we should be eating fruit.

(Not only that, he gives scientific evidence against eating just about every food that is not a fruit. But, I’ll save those topics for another day.)

Can we figure out what we should eat based on what we would forage for in the forest? It seems logical to do that with animals. I don’t give my dog the same food I would give a horse. Not only would she refuse it, but it would not work in her system.

I can’t argue with Allan’s comment that we are highly adaptable as a species. We are certainly capable of surviving on a huge range of foods, from natural to synthetic. But, what if we wanted to determine the correct food for us? Not just food that would help us survive, but food on which we can thrive? To me, natural seems the way to go, and Dr. Graham might be on to something. If we went back to simple, whole, natural foods, what would our health be like? What would our lives be like?

June Challenge - Raw Food

Christa came up with this months challenge and she is journeying with me on it. She has been keeping up with the trek of her friend Sarah P., who eats an all raw food (80/10/10) diet. For a challenge we have decided to eat that way for a month.

At first I thought we'd be eating vegan, but that isn't restrictive enough. No, this diet, outlined by Dr. Douglas N. Graham in The 80/10/10 Diet, includes only raw fruits and vegetables and requires that your calories divide into 80% carbs, 10% protein, and 10% fat. Which means mostly high carb fruits and some tender greens. I haven't yet decided if Dr Graham is a genius or a quack. Some of his assertions do make sense.

Consider this: if you picture holding a piece of fruit such as an apple, or peach, or grape in your hand, and you imagine what it would smell like it, it practically makes your mouth water. God designed fruit to be appealing to us in its raw, complete form. Now consider a stalk of grain, or a herd of cattle, or an uncooked egg--does that image make your mouth water? From the perspective of what we are designed to forage for naturally, it is clear, to Dr. Graham at least, that fruit is the perfect food.

The biggest challenge, so far has been eating enough food. Fruits are a low caloric food by volume. So to reach a healthy daily caloric intake you have to eat a lot. Like 4 pounds of watermelon for breakfast and 8 bananas for lunch. Even though it tastes good, that is a lot of food and I have yet to consume the quantities that Dr. Graham recommends. So, my daily calories were under 1000 for the first 3 days. On days 4 and 5 I got up to 1400. The Doc claims that it is a transition for our systems to go from high calorie foods where we don't need to eat as much to a fruit diet where large quantities should be eaten. He says that my stomach will adapt and I should be able to eat 4 pounds of watermelon, so I am optimistic.

On the positive side, I'm not hungry. I don't feel any cravings. Probably because the fresh strawberries, peaches, and watermelon are so good.

Today I ate a watermelon, banana, and strawberry smoothie for breakfast (4 cups watermelon, 1 banana, and 10 small strawberries). For lunch I had 4 peaches and 4 bananas. As a snack I had an apple, 4 baby carrots, and 2 stalks of celery. At dinner time I made a banana/strawberry smoothie with 3 bananas and 25 strawberries. This works out to 1400 calories, 91.2% carbs, 5.3% protein, and 3.5% fat. (I'm using calorie-count to track everything.)

The morning smoothie took about an hour to drink. It wouldn't fit in any glass we have in the house so I put it in a pitcher and nursed it with a straw on my commute. Lunch was spread over a couple of hours. I should have made a salad for dinner, but I worked in the yard until 9:30 and I wanted something I could eat that wouldn't get in the way of DTD.

I'm interested to see what changes occur throughout the month.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Matthew 5

I am still pursuing monthly challenges.

In May, I set out to memorize the Sermon on the Mount. Near the end of the month I re-wrote the challenge to just memorizing chapter 5.

I am amazed at how much the process of memorizing these words has affected me. I've read them dozens of times, but something about memorizing them got them into my heart. I am awe-struck that the Creator sent us His son, in person, to give us this message. I should have committed it to memory long ago.

Warning: these teachings were radical when Jesus spoke them and are still radical today. View with caution.

(A big thanks to Ike for following me with his camera as I stumbled around Mt Tabor.)
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