Tasty & Simple

I've had 3 days of eating high raw, and I've developed some animosity toward bananas right now. But I know they love me so I'm trying to enjoy the times I am spending with them despite my angst toward their being so healthy for me. Sometimes a bar of chocolate, or some fried tofu just sounds SO good that it's hard to get my attachment-oriented, addicted mind away from the concept that nothing but chocolate or fried tofu will satisfy it.

There's a small child inside me who has a little temper tantrum at the idea of eating a meal of bananas. Thankfully, there is also a responsible adult who reasons with the child, and explains that the child is cranky and irritable because they are low on calories, and the bananas are the perfect way to make her feel better. The child knows that chocolate and fried tofu are void of the juicy, sweet carbs that her body is craving, but she WANTS them anyway. Waahhh. The child submits and eats the stupid bananas… then she feels so much better—physically and emotionally. She feels lighter than air and ready to run a marathon, or clean the entire house top to bottom. What happened to that cranky devil who couldn't let go of chocolate and fried tofu an hour earlier?

I've been trying to figure out what I could possibly give myself tonight for dinner that might help satisfy that cranky child. The fruit is great during the day, but I feel like I need to give that cranky child something satisfying at night. Without doing so the resentment toward the bananas just grows and grows… James and I wandered to the nearest HEB tonight, and I totally fell in love with their produce department.

I picked up a 15 lb bag of grapefruits for $6.77. That totally amazed me. I also grabbed a few other things that randomly sounded good, and that I might be able to put into a salad. There was an avocado sitting in our cabinet for the past few days, and I've been really wanting to eat it, but I only really enjoy it in guacamole. So I picked up a tiny onion and lime to make some simple guac. When I got home the cranky child was beginning to wake up, so I figured I'd better make something up quick before she got so cranky that I just crawled into bed without eating anything…

James commented about how he wished there was something savory that he could enjoy too. He isn't a big avocado fan, and really dislikes onions. But I offered him some of the guac, and left the onion out of the mix so he could have some too if he wanted. This act of gratitude actually struck me off guard, as usually I'm pretty selfish about the guac I make—like it's something I'll never have again or something… There was absolutely no selfishness noted this time. Perhaps there's some work being done on the attachments I've had in the past toward foods? Who knows? I divided the guac in half and spooned my half onto my salad and mixed it in—added a little sesame seed and sat down with my cat and some chopsticks to enjoy my savory dinner.

It was phenomenal—the perfect balance of everything. I couldn't have asked for a better meal. It totally satisfied the cranky little kid inside me. I felt it fall to sleep afterwards, peaceful and content.

The salad:
Spring Greens
.5 cucumber
1 zucchini
half of the guacamole (whole guac: 1 organic avocado & the juice of .5 a lime)
very small amount of onion (chopped & piled into the size of a quarter)
sesame seeds

What will 2010 bring?

Each year around this time I ask myself what I'd like to see for the following year. I used to set goals and strive toward bringing them to fruition. I'd work hard, listening to my head rather than to my heart.Over the years however, I've learned that my life has its own path—it's beyond my control, and there are things planned that are bigger than I could ever imagine. I've learned that pushing for something to happen just because *I* want it to happen can often lead to struggle and disappointment.

This year I'm trying something a little different—I'm planting seeds—throwing ideas out into the universe without expectations. These are things I'd like to see grow in my life—things that will make me feel more whole and at peace with the way things are. My hopes are that the universe will find some things in this list that it agrees with, and help water them so they bloom into something beautiful.

• eating raw foods
• doing reiki for myself, loved ones and animals
• doing yoga
• caring for my body as the beloved temple it is
• seeing others as divine creatures
• being in the present moment
• bringing loving presence to life
• acceptance of the way things are
• openness to new life experiences
• choosing love over fear
• generosity and thankfulness
• ______ being open to whatever the universe brings my way.

What seeds will you be planting this year?


I've had 2 days of eating VERY high raw—the only things I've eaten that aren't raw have been some roasted nuts and some banana chips in a salad. I'm really proud of James and I for being so raw these past 2 days. Today is day 3.

I've heard of the book 12 Steps to Raw Food by Victoria Boutenko, but I haven't had much interest in reading it until now. I found this blog post which listed the 12 steps, without much detail. I'd imagine the book dives deeper into what is involved in each step.

Yesterday, our friend Moth came over and I joined her in making some inspirational artwork. There is some wall space above my laptop that I keep finding myself looking at blankly—so I decided to put a little piece of inspiration there to keep me focused on eating healthy.

From the 12 steps, I took the ones that I feel I most need help with, and wrote them out so I can read them over and over again… I'm glad I did. I've found it to be really helpful, even for just the few hours that it's been hanging up.

The new year

Whenever I have alcohol, the first place my body feels it is the back of my neck, right where my skull meets my neck. It aches… then eventually goes away and I can relax. I tend to avoid alcohol because I dislike this feeling.

Last night James and I decided to give in to our cooked food cravings, as we've been tending to do each night. We drove to the nearest Chipotle and indulged in some veggie burritos. While I ate I enjoyed, but on the drive home, I noticed that feeling in the back of my neck, as if I had just consumed some intoxicating substance. However, instead of the feeling subsiding and my body relaxing, as what happens with alcohol, instead my body continued to tense up and a rather unpleasant headache formed… and remained throughout the night.

James also had a pretty rough time dealing with his burrito.

So, why do I continue to make myself suffer to just enjoy a short period of time where I enjoy the taste of something? It just doesn't make sense to continue doing things like this. So, it tastes good… but is it worth the physical and sometimes emotional suffering that comes along with it? Nah, I don't think so. At least not right now. Last night was pretty unpleasant, and I think I'd like to avoid another instance of cooked food induced headache if possible.

On Ravelry (an online knit and crochet community that I'm part of), there is a group of yarny-folk who are all planning on eating 100% raw for 2010. There's a group, and they're encouraging. So are the people at Raw Natural Hygiene. Not to mention the people in real life who are supportive and on a similar path as I am—James and Moth.

I've asked Reiki, and our spirit guide friends to help James and I release our cravings for cooked food… to help us do what's healthiest for our bodies, minds and spirits, and to bring us closer to eating the best foods possible. I'm ready for change. I want to be as healthy as I was for those 2 months when it was possible for me to eat a high raw diet. I've worked with this middle ground—going back and forth between cooked and raw—enough to know it's not ideal, and that what works best is eating LOTS of fruit and veggies, and I mean LOTS.

I need the encouragement and positive influence of others on this path, and not the negative, doubtful skepticism of so many people in my life. I know this is the diet that works best for my body. So, please if you have anything negative to say please keep it to yourself. I'm weak enough about this process as it is, and I don't need any additional negative pressure coming from anyone outside of myself. This is challenging, but worth the struggle—SO worth the struggle.

Today's Consumption Log
• 5 large Clementines
• 8 bananas

Green Smoothie: 1 apple, 2 bananas, 1 cup chopped kale
• Salad: 1 apple, 1 green pepper, a third of a cucumber, spring greens, mixed nuts, some banana chips and raisins


A lot of things have been changing in my life lately. I think I'm dealing with it pretty well—as long as I just take it one day at a time. I can't think too far ahead about what *could* happen, and I can't dwell on the past. When I'm concentrating on the *NOW*, things seem fine.

James and I moved into our tiny house on wheels, then drove it from Massachusetts to Texas, and now we're beginning to recalibrate. It's nice to feel somewhat settled. During the transition there were no yoga nor knitting happening, and I was eating a lot of take out—oriental mostly. Can we say MSG. Blech.

Since we've arrived in Texas my diet has slowly been improving. There aren't many (dare I say any?) places for us to get take out from, so we've been relying more on what we have in the house. We're stocked up on ripe organic bananas right now, so that's what I'm trying to eat first. I am actually thankful to be far away from any familiar source of junk food. Chipotle is about a 45 minute drive, and I'm not aware of the location of any Chinese food restaurants nearby. I've been told there's one, but I'd rather not know about it. Pretending it doesn't exist makes it easier for me to look at the box of bananas and consider eating them before picking up a take out menu.

The fruit around here seems to be easy to come by. I'm loving grapefruit right now too - because it grows in Texas. I wasn't aware of that until we arrived. I'd like to eat as much local produce as possible—it's fresher, cheaper, and better for the environment. Win-win.

My friend Moth found a yoga studio nearby that we're planning on attending soon—tonight maybe? It'll be nice to feel the warm studio, with the hard floor, and to be instructed by a teacher. I've been missing that. My body's been missing yoga. I just did a few sun salutations, but that's about all the ambition I've been having lately toward doing any yoga. Being near a studio again will surely help me stay motivated, and keep my body asking for exercise.

Denial vs Acceptance

Lately, I've been working on being more aware of what I'm accepting, and what I'm denying and ignoring. I've become aware that I shove things under the rug, often burying them with heavy foods that make my body feel busy—giving it something to do and feel to avoid experiencing whatever it is that may be bothering me. That is most certainly denial. So, how do I get to know what it is I'm denying, and what do I do to accept it?

This morning I listened to this podcast, by Tara Brach, on my way into work. It was pretty useful in helping me understand what it is I can accept, without feeling like I'm helpless. I'm not sure it all sunk in, so I want to listen to it again and again. Here are just a few thoughts I've had from what I can remember from my first listen.

I'm beginning to become more aware of when I'm leaning toward heavy foods for emotional comforting, and before I lean to the food, I do some questioning. I'm not always finding answers, and I'm often eating the heavy foods anyway, but I feel that questioning what is happening is a step in the right direction.

I have learned that I easily adopt the emotional states of those around me as my own emotions, then try to "fix" them by wishing the other person to change his/her state of being. This doesn't work. It's impossible to wish anything on, or for, another person to effectively adjust the way you feel inside yourself. I'm learning to focus my attention inwardly, on learning what it is inside me that I can learn about and *accept* in order to be at peace with what is happening in the moment. I'm learning that things don't have to be *fixed* in order for me to accept it.

Tara talks about the Fight/Flight/Freeze reflex that we inherently have ingrained into ourselves. Denial is a type of flight—a way to get away from the issue, as to avoid confronting it. Thinking of it in that way is helpful to me—it makes it easier to identify. In the past, I've tried to identify my denial by identifying what it was I was denying. That doesn't work—as I'm denying something to avoid knowing what it is, therefore, it's not possible to identify the act of denying by finding the cause.

However, I can sense my flight reflex. So, when I notice it come into awareness I can explore, to see if denial is present, and if so, work with it to figure out what is being denied, and accept the feelings, both emotional and physical, that I'm experiencing in that moment. It's all about the moment.

These are just a few thoughts—not entirely well-thought-out ones... just ones that have come to mind. If you have any additional comments, please share them, but I ask that you take a little time to hear what Tara has to say before doing so. Just so we're on the same page. NamastĂ©.

What am I looking for?

This blog post about what food is not is exactly what I needed to hear.

I've been giving food a lot of credit lately for lots of different things, mainly hiding emotions, or causing me to be one way or another.

After reading that post, however I'm reminded that food is nourishment. That's it! It's the fuel my body needs to run on. Any resulting emotion that seemingly comes *from* the food is purely psychological. Food can't do that, only I can.

I know I have an addiction to food, and it's something that tortures me left and right—when I allow it. I'm hoping to be able to ask myself "what am I looking for" before stuffing my face with anything I know to lack the nutrients and health by body needs from a food.

Food = fuel.

I've been eating a lot more heavy, grainy, nutty foods lately and I've convinced myself that it has to do with the changing seasons, and changing life. I've allowed it, because it seems to be the way it is, and whenever I resist I get cranky and crazy and unpleasant to be around. Plus, resisting food has never been easy for me.

That post on Choosing Raw was really inspiring to me. It made me WANT to eat healthier. It made me WANT to eat pears for lunch. It helped me realize how much power I was letting food have over me. I want to take that power back.

My body needs carbohydrate calories from fresh fruits, and enzymes from raw foods, and water, and love.

A bagel with peanut butter doesn't give me any of that. What does a bagel and peanut butter give me? A heavy stomach, a foggy mind, a general feeling of slug that seems to drain the energy from my body while digesting. Where's the fuel there? There is none. NONE I SAY!

kansha shite

I've been working on incorporating the five Reiki principles more into my daily life. Right now, gratitude seems to be the most prominent of the five. Perhaps because it needed the most work.

On the drive into work this morning, I turned on my i-pod, and it just began playing whatever it wanted. Sometimes it does this. I accept it and just think of it as the universe telling me what it wants me to hear, rather than my selecting what to listen too. This morning it wanted me to listen to a zencast podcast by Gil Fronsdal about Gratitude.

I have a lot to be grateful for each day—I believe we all do. There are the obvious things like the food we eat, our friends, family and pets, and the roof we have over our heads. It's important to acknowledge these things, and express our thanks for them, even if it's only to ourselves. The act of thankfulness can bring inner peace and calmness while allowing us to be with the act of thanking while it's happening. I'm learning to practice this more and more each day. Every moment brings something to be thankful for.

But what about the less pleasant aspects of our lives like, having to work a 9-5 job, or an argument, or when something doesn't go the way we anticipate, or a tragedy? It's often easy to be so wrapped up in the drama of something, that we forget to take a step back and view the situation from the larger point of view. Many times an unpleasant event can open doors to something new and wonderful. We may not always see that right away, especially if we're wrapped up in the drama. But if we can pull ourselves away from the drama for long enough to think of the situation as a gift, with its wonder and beauty yet to unfold, we can bring more peace and acceptance to what has happened.

How do we pull ourselves away from the drama?
I tend to bring myself into the moment by breathing and witnessing where there is tension in my body. Our bodies are always in the moment—here and now. They can never be in the past or future. This makes them the perfect tool for bringing ourselves into the truth of what is happening right now, and can allow us to experience what-is rather than the what-if thoughts that may be flowing through our minds.

The tension that can arise in our bodies can often be a distracting way to deny or reject what's happening. By watching the responses and reactions in our bodies, it's often easier to relax and accept more of what we're experiencing.

Today I'm thankful for:
• the fresh fruits and veggies provided with love by the earth
• clean drinking water
• warm clothes and heat
• the changing leaves and cool autumn weather
• the emotional challenges presented by friends and family
• Reiki
• the ability to see, hear, taste, smell, touch and feel
• intuition and faith

What are you thankful for?

Life's funny way

What do I want to do with Reiki? I've asked myself this question a few times since my attunement, and I keep coming back to animals. Animals are so innocent, pure-hearted, and don't force expectations and attachments like people do.

I'm really hesitant to work with people, because so many of us subconsciously concentrate on the messenger rather than the message—an "I point at the moon, they look at my finger" sort of thing. Throughout my life I have been hesitant about being too open with people, because they always seem to attach themselves to me, then form expectations. And that stresses me out. So, animals seem to be a better match for me.

In reading more and more about animals and reiki, I've been seeing a lot of information about animal communicators. Wouldn't that be great—to be able to communicate to our furry friends? I've been looking into how one can improve one's ability to do this. Supposedly, we're all born with the ability, but it is suppressed when we're young.

During my Reiki attunement class, Starr mentioned something to me, that I've been keeping in the back of my mind. I'm unsure what it means, and I'm trying not to set any meaning in stone. Because how would I ever really know if it was true? I'm keeping open about it. She said that there is a collie-looking dog around me, a spirit dog—brown, black and white. I can think of two dogs who may fit that description. One is my mom's dog, a Sheltie named Shellie. The other is my friend's dog Icarus. He's a German Shepard, Collie mix. Both are brown, black and white. Or maybe it's neither of them... Who knows.

Anyway. I had been stuck on the idea that I wouldn't be able to work with animals until I received my level 2 attunement. That may be true, as many animals are uncomfortable with hands-on healing, so distance healing may be ideal for those animals. But I'm not sure I still need Level 2 to be able to hone my animal talking abilities. I'm sure I can begin to work on that where I am now.

I have to admit, there's been a little grieving since I decided to hold off on going to Level 2. It was something I had really been looking forward to, and I am a little sad that it won't be as soon as I was anticipating. I went through a phase yesterday wondering if I should just let go of Reiki all-together. But I am now appreciating Level 1 more for what it is, rather than just a stepping stone to Level 2.

Around 4AM I awoke with a terrible, and I mean TERRIBLE ache in my abdomen, near my third chakra. I'm calling it a gas bubble, for lack of any other understanding of what it might have been. I was in and out of the restroom for hours. Each time I stood up, and wandered away from the bed, it hurt and hurt until I laid back into bed. Reiki brought me momentary feelings of peace throughout the morning. I held my hands over the area that hurt, sometimes the gas bubble felt as if it was shifting. I'd follow it with my hands, following the painful feelings. After a little while, the pain would subside and I'd fall back to sleep. About an hour later I'd awaken from the pain again and the cycle would continue. Around 10AM I was able to fall asleep and STAY asleep until about 2PM. I feel as though I got through this pretty quickly, and relatively painlessly compared to a similar experience I had months ago. I'm really thankful to have the Reiki to have helped me through it.

So, what inspired me to write this blog post?
I'm feeling a bit better, so I thought to check one of my e-mail accounts. I get these daily e-mails from Care2, and sometimes I read them, sometimes I don't. This morning's subject line read: "Sex and Alzheimer's, Fermenting Vegetables at Home, If Animals Could Talk -- your custom newsletter". While the first 2 topics aren't of much interest to me, when I read "If Animals Could Talk" I was intrigued.

I scrolled down the page to find it, and opened it up. Look what I saw. 

Did that give you chills? I got them. After reading through the article, I really began thinking of how the universe speaks to us. It's through messages like these. I really feel that this is a sort of inspiring message that I'm thinking down the right path, and that I should pursue learning how to speak with animals, and share Reiki with them.

Exploring horizontally.

James has been having a little bit of a hard time adjusting to my venturing into Reiki. I understand how something spiritually new can be frightening and daunting to some.

He often speaks of a spiritually metaphorical fence. There are two sides to this fence, and on each side we can be close to or far away from the fence. On either side, the further we are from the fence, the less we can relate to the people on the other side. He tends to stay near the fence once he's on a new side of it, in order to relate his new experiences to those on the other side… to help them to understand how to continue moving forward.

I however, don't often think to stay near the fence, and often notice myself wandering further and further away from the fence out of curiosity without really being aware of how my wandering may hurt or confuse those by the fence, especially those who want to stay near me and relate to my experiences.

I think I do this because of my faith, and trust in spirituality. I know deep down in my heart that Spirit and the spirit world won't harm me in any way that I can't deal with—that all things handed to me are working toward the highest goal for mySelf. If I become hurt, it's because I get stuck someplace, and I need to wiggle and move around, figuring out what it is that's sticking me until I understand it and break free from its grasp. But that that doesn't hurt me. It's a lesson learned, not something I resent or am bitter about.

So, because of this trust, I feel I can wander freely, deeper and deeper away from the fence. But for the sake of those I love, who aren't yet on this side of the metaphorical fence, or are not in a place where they're ready to venture far from it, I'm choosing to linger where I am for longer to more deeply understand where I'm at, and to help James to understand it also. I feel we will both grow from my staying put. Well, "staying put" isn't really the right term... it's more like staying vertically where I am, but maintaining exploration horizontally—giving myself the opportunity to see things I may miss if I progress too quickly.

I decided to become attuned to Reiki to help people—mainly the people I love. If my choosing to advance and change too quickly does just the opposite of help, then I'd better re-evaluate my plan. For now, I'll enjoy all that Level 1 Usui has blessed me with, and be patient for another, more perfect time when Level 2 calls my name.

yoga and reiki

I went to yoga this morning for the first time since Reiki entered my life, and I was amazed at what it felt like. I arrived to class 10 minutes earlier and gave myself a mini chakra cleansing before going into class. I sat in meditation until Lorraine entered. I asked my guides to be with me and help to make today's practice perfect for what I need right now, and I blessed each of the other students.

During the class I felt light and joyful—playful and mischievous. Such a difference from the heavy, serious me who's been practicing recently.

With each passing day, the reiki seems to become more noticeable and stronger—more easily recognized and usable. I was listening to a Sons of the Law of One podcast this morning, and I became inspired to eventually get to Master/Teacher to help Reiki spread throughout the world. There are many people who I know who would benefit greatly from an attunement, but who cannot afford it, or are in fear of working with a stranger. My MOM wants to learn how to do it. Can you believe that? When I was working on my sister, she FELT the energy and it totally blew her mind. She was so excited about the idea of using something like that to help heal my step-father. We all know he could use it, and my mom and sister would all benefit too.

I just love the idea of being able to attune others—to bring this gift into other peoples lives. It really is a gift. I feel humbled and honored for having received it. I'm more aware, more open, more at peace than I've ever been with myself.

Anyway... I'm rambling about Reiki. It's all I can think about these days.
I hope you have a fantastically, glowing, beautiful day.


Day 3 of Reiki was interesting. I was a water consuming machine! I have this water bottle I carry around with me, and each day I try to drink at least 2, ideally 3 bottles full of water. Yesterday I couldn't get enough of it! I drank 5 of them, and I still felt thirsty and dehydrated when I went to bed.

I shared some reiki with my little sister, who's 12 and really looks up to me. She was very eager to try it without even knowing much about it. All I basically told her was that it was healing energy that flows through my hands and into her. She seemed to feel very calm and relaxed afterward and reported feeling warm and tingly. It was really interesting to experience the difference between her and James. She was very twitchy. I figured that was just her body relaxing—releasing tension and what-not.

I also shared some reiki with my step-dad, who generally is someone who doesn't really believe in things he can't see. He recently had his knee operated on, and is now in the recovery process. He seemed very eager to see what this stuff was all about.

I gave him a relatively short healing session—longer than my sister, but shorter than a *full* session—because I had just finished with my sister, and my back was aching. I guess my body will get used to giving the sessions the more I practice them.

At the end of the session, I form my hands into a rake, and sweep over the body, removing any unwanted, unnecessary leftover energy, then release it back into the universe to be transmuted into something else. My step-dad reported that he visualized a black cloud over him, and when I did the sweeping, he felt a white cloud roll in and dissipate the black cloud. He seemed really amazed by the whole thing & seemed very grateful. From the outside, it appeared as though a thick wall that he generally has around him had been broken down a little. He seemed softer and more accepting of himself and others. Truly a beautiful sight to see.

He and my mom were aware that Reiki existed, but were uncomfortable with the idea of some stranger touching them, and unaware of what it really did. When it was requested that my mom try reiki treatments for her cancer, she was very unsure about it, and so avoided it at the time. I believe my mom has always been psychically sensitive, and has the innate ability to pick up on things, but she's never really learned anything about it, and doesn't know how to recognize when she's experiencing something on that level. I was so happy to hear from her, that when I began working on my sister that my mom FELT something. She was sincerely overwhelmed by the concept that she felt it. She even now has an interest in learning how to do reiki herself. Wouldn't that be awesome? I think she'd be a natural!

This morning (day 4) I awoke around 5:30, laid in bed for a bit to decide whether I was really awake for the day or if I could fall back to sleep for another hour or so... I was indeed awake, so I decided I'd use the time for some meditation and reiki. Since I had the time, I decided to give myself a full session, during which I tried to stay as focused as possible on the moment, without drifting into thoughts of yesterday and later today. It was a challenge, but something happened that seemed to be helpful. My body began swaying side to side. Occasionally it would pull one direction more than the other. I could only relate it to the swing I've experienced from a pendulum. It intrigued me, so I began asking questions, like should I water fast today, and should I eat only fruit today. I established that pulling to the right meant yes, and pulling to the left meant no. It was really interesting to witness this phenomenon.

So begins my life with Reiki

Saturday I was attuned to Level 1 Usui by a very experienced and knowledgable, intuitive master. I'm honored to have had the experience with her. It was an all day class. She taught us about the fundamentals and history of Usui Reiki, taught us the principles in Japanese and then attuned us. We practiced self healing, then after lunch had a second attunement.

There were 4 of us in the class—we were taught how to do a reiki session on another person, then there was time for a third attunement. With each attunement the energy flowed more and more strongly through me.

During the attunements, I felt as though my hands were cupping energy—it was a really beautiful experience. It was a gift. I felt honored.

I also noticed the area around my kidneys would ache as I was being attuned. With each attunement the ache was more painful. I asked Starr (the reiki master) about this, and she said the kidneys are the power-house of our cleansing system, and they may be in heavy detox, causing the pain. I've been drinking lots of water to help flush them, and thankfully the pain in that area has subsided.

In the last self healing session we had, I noticed that when I was giving reiki to my crown chakra my head began aching. I read someplace, that during the first 21 days after an attunement that it's possible for our bodies to experience pains such as headaches from detox.

Today is day 3 since the attunement. On Day 1 (Sunday), the headache kept me from doing much except relaxing and Reiki. I did a full self-healing session that night that really helped the headache to lessen. On Day 2 I did a quick self healing in the evening, and gave lots of reiki to my plants and food throughout the day. I woke up about 45 minutes early this morning to do some meditating and reiki before beginning my day. I’m so happy that I did, I feel very centered and peaceful—much more so than I did when I crawled out of bed.

I’m so excited that this process has begun. It’s the first thing I think of in the morning when I get up. To me, that’s a sure-fire sign that I’m heading in the right direction. I’ve memorized the 5 principles in Japanese, and often wake up at night to find them repeating in my head.

I’ve scheduled my Level 2 Usui training to happen mid-October with Starr. It’s about a month from Level 1, so I feel that should be about enough time.

Reiki Reading material

I've become really excited about my Reiki attunement. So much so that I can't find enough information online to read—in an attempt to prepare... It's slightly frustrating to *think* about reiki and not really understand its potential. A lot of what I read explains that reiki cannot be described with words, and it's through experience that we learn the most.

So I realize that this is a test of my patience and a tool through which I can learn how to be patient and accept the moment as it is. Though, it's a challenge when I'm filled with so much excitement and anticipation for something I *know* so little about, yet trust so fully in my heart.

Anyway, here is a collection of some things I have found useful.

Doven Star (the whole website)
Preparing for an attunement
The attunement ceremony
The first 21 days.
Reiki Self-Treatment
A reiki forum

My Second Reiki Healing Session

Wow. Last night's reiki session was pretty amazing.

Moments after Starr put her hands on my head my eyelids began vibrating—similar to what I've seen of people during REM sleep, but I was awake. Afterward I mentioned this to Starr, and she said she'd heard of that happening before, and said it may have something to do with the third eye opening. That makes sense to me, because it felt as though my 2 regular eyes were turning themselves off. I was resistant at first because it was so sudden, and the resistance is what caused the vibrations. But as I relaxed and allowed my body to do what it wanted with the energy, my eyes slowly stopped vibrating and calmly closed.

It lasted about an hour, and each time Starr moved her hands I had to readjust. She'd place her hands, I'd feel a moment of resistance, my mind would wander then I'd come back, breathe and let go. This happened over and over again. I enjoyed the process of sitting back and watching. Whenever I began having expectations of how something should be happening, I'd remind myself to just relax and let things happen as they willed.

There were lots of really interesting moments, like when she was near my left shoulder, I felt something in there DEEP—something emotional that was trying to remain hidden. It did a pretty good job at staying hidden, but it was wiggled loose. Later, when I was back at home unloading groceries, etc… from my car, I loaded everything up onto my left shoulder, and noticed a correlation—my left shoulder carries heavy things for me. So it only makes sense that that might be where I subconsciously carry heavy emotions. I'm really interested in watching this further.

When Star had her hands on my left foot, I felt energy slowly slipping up my body, in what I can only describe as Kundalini. I can't say I'd ever felt it like this before, but now I can understand why Kundalini is described as snake-like—the energy slowly crept along, weaving around my chakras like a snake—. A very cool sensation.

Afterward I felt light and airy, but also slightly dizzy, dehydrated and ravenously hungry. The dizziness went away pretty quickly, and the dehydration and hunger were easily fixed—the lightness and airiness are still lingering.

I was able to avoid eating any bad-for-me foods yesterday! At the beginning of the session, Starr asked for any spirit guides who work with me to help me to eat the foods that are best for me. I'm hoping someone was listening, I could really use any help I can get!

Starr said that there's nothing I *have* to do to prepare for the attunement, but she said that if I wanted to, I could work on lightening by avoiding red meats (which I do anyway), and eating lots of fruits & veggies, drinking lots of water, meditating, doing yoga... so basically the things I strive toward doing on a regular basis. I'm happy she told me these things—it's motivating for me to eat well and really take care of myself until the attunement. Baby steps.

Just for today, don't get angry, don't worry, be grateful, work hard, and be kind to others.

Letting go

I've realized that in the long term… (I guess 2 weeks seems long term) keeping track of daily goals just doesn't work for me. I get antsy, resistant and irritated with myself whenever I don't meet one of them, and that sends me into a downward spiral until none of the goals are met and I'm just not caring about any of it anymore—enter self-destructive eating habits!

This lead me toward letting go of my daily goals, and concentrating more on the long term goal of being the healthiest I can be, in my entirety. There are always hills and valleys on the road toward any long-term goal, so when concentrating on each day, I would get stuck in the valleys, dwelling there, unable to move up toward the peak.

I'm letting it all go, and just allowing myself to be as I am—to listen to my body, respect it in each moment and to be okay with whatever choices I decide to make.

I have a private reiki session scheduled for tonight with Starr. I'm eager to experience the reiki energy as it comes through her before the attunement (which will be happening soon!)

I feel like the reiki attunement is happening at the perfect time. It's the time of year that I've always felt closest to the spirit world, and this year the spirit world is really strongly directing me toward reiki… I'm sorry if that's all I seem to be able to talk about lately—but it's something really exciting to me. I'm trying not to have many expectations for what I'll be able to do after the attunement… as it's relatively uncharted territory for me, and everything I've read is only words, and descriptions, and completely unfathomable to me. I've almost been feeling like I can already heal with energy through my hands, and that since I've become more interested in Reiki, that I've been more consciously aware of this ability… but I'm also not sure if it's just in my head, or if it's actually doing anything… I guess if I believe it's doing something than it is, but I'm glad to have the opportunity to go to the attunement class in order to understand it better, be more efficient and protected while practicing.

Something Starr said last week at my reiki session has had me wondering—she was talking with me about the spiritual benefits of learning reiki, and she popped out something about past lives... just casually mentioning it. At the time I didn't think much of it, but as I was reading through her website, I've learned that she's a medium, and knows a lot more than she may say. So, I'm wondering just how casual the mentioning of past lives is… since it's the only thing she mentioned, and there are MANY other benefits of opening up to the spirit world in addition to that. Like, might she know something about a past life instance that may be leading me into reiki… I dunno if she does or not, but I feel like there is.

I really hate the term past life, because I see it more as just another life that has a similar energetic pattern to mine, that I can identify with… and that time really has nothing to do with it, since time doesn't exist on the spiritual plane and since we're all one, and we've all experienced everything… and what-not. Similar to yoga, I've always felt drawn toward being able to heal with my hands. When I was little I pretended that I could. Until I really started looking into Reiki and understanding that it's actually possible, I never imagined really being able to do it… that it was all make-believe. Ever since James & I have been together, I've tried using touch to help heal his stomach upsets… and it seemed to help. It excites me to think of being able to help things heal themselves in this way—plants, animals, people, everything.

One of the things I absolutely love about reiki is that it can NEVER do any harm. Reiki energy is always pure, unconditional loving energy, and a healer doesn't receive any backwash from the people they work with, nor does the "patient" ever receive any energy directly from the healer. The healer is just used as a conduit through which the energy flows. It heals the healer, then heals the patient—so to speak. So for that reason, Reiki itself feels entirely safe. However, I understand that opening myself up to different energy levels also leaves me open to more psychic attack by beings who reside on other planes, and I'll need to become more adept at psychic protection.

Lately I've been imagining myself stepping into a bag of brilliant white light, pulling it up over myself and tying it at the top, from the inside. I may need to knit something like this... hmmm...

My First Reiki Healing Session

Reiki seems to be continuously on my mind lately.

I went to a healing session locally, performed by students of the reiki master Starr. Carol and Dawn were the practitioners who worked with my energies. I noticed that Carol seemed to be the more experienced one, as she seemed to take the lead. I also noticed that I could feel more heat and pulsing from her hands than from Dawns. Both however, were very professional, peaceful and comforting. I would definitely work with both, or either of them again.

After the healing, Starr talked with me a bit about the healing session, and I found out that Carol is indeed more experienced. She is attuned to Usui Level 3 and Jikiden level 1. Dawn is attuned to Usui Level 2 and Jikiden Level 1.

From what I understood from our conversation, Usui Reiki is more of a universal energy healing, that works on the over-all body, while Jikiden is more generalized, concentrating more on one part of the body or another. Starr recommends that people learn Usui Reiki first, which makes sense.

When I arrived, I had felt very, and I mean VERY anxious... it was more anxiety than I usually allow myself to have in situations... and it's only a more-sure sign to me showing that I'm really meant to head down this path since I went despite the anxiety. I'll usually freak out and not do it whenever anxiety gets to be so high.

So, why was I so nervous? I think it had a lot to do with the uncertainty of what was actually going to happen during the healing, and that I was going to allow people I'd never met before to futz around with my delicate energy.

When they called me in, I removed my shoes and got onto the massage table. Dawn covered me with a blanket. I lay on my back, closed my eyes and breathed. In addition to the energy work that was being done, the time was a great meditation session—lots of breathing.

Afterwards, when I sat up I felt light and airy—calm, peaceful and soft. Soft was the best word I could come up with at the time to describe the way I felt. Everything was soft—inside and out. The back pain I had from moving recently was gone and the anxiety was absolutely no where to be found. A great experience all around. I'm definitely confident that it's a healthy path for me.

I just clicked a link I found on Twitter, and found a few questions that are commonly asked to new Reiki students. I figured I'd take a few minutes to figure out how I answer them:

Are you ready?
Yes! More than ever.

Do you have a working knowledge?
I was hoping I'd learn how it works exactly during the attunement class, but I think I have an idea of what happens.

What are your expectations?
I'm expecting to feel similar to how I felt after the reiki session, and have the ability to help ease physical ailments by touch.

What is your motivation?
I want to help heal myself and the world. I want to tell people that I'm sending them healing thoughts and actually be able to send something. I want to feel as though my intentions can help the world be a more peaceful place.


Ever since the chakra class I attended months ago, I've been considering getting myself Level 1 attuned... and various opportunities have been presenting themselves to me lately.

My yoga instructor, Lorraine was attuned by someone here in Massachusetts—Pat Iyer—at Open Doors in Braintree. At the time, when she first told me of this, I was eager and willing to do almost anything to become attuned. However, life's circumstances didn't allow it to happen then. Then time passed and the desire for reiki attunement faded to the background.

Today, I was hanging out with my Twitter friends, and came across a post by@ReikiAwakening. She linked to her blog, where she talked about her first experiences with Reiki, and how she and Reiki became introduced. It reminded me of my first experience with Reiki, and how it made me feel. Then I became overwhelmed with peace and my body began tingling, similar to how it did at the beginning of the chakra class. I was inspired to talk with Alice (ReikiAwakening) if she knew anyone who did attunements in Massachusetts.

She then informed me that she can do attunements remotely... but I'm not sure how I feel about never really meeting the person who does something as intimate as an attunement. When it comes to people, I generally need to take time to get to know and trust them—this happens much easier when I know them in person, but perhaps an online relationship could form... None-the-less, I'm hesitant about requesting anyone I don't know and trust to perform my Level 1 attunement.

I suppose I should just trust that I've sent the request for a reiki teacher out into the universe, and when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Accepting where I'm at

Life's been challenging lately, and I have to admit that maintaining the food-lifestyle that I aspire to has not been one of my priorities. At the time, I didn't feel like I had the energy to let it be... ironically, if I really think about that though... eating a low-fat, raw vegan (LFRV) diet probably would have given me more energy to deal with everything, than not doing so... but that's in the past.

Eating LFRV often leaves me airy and in-touch with the ethereal side of my reality. Lately I've been so in-touch with the physical reality—trying to get stuff done—that the idea of eating LFRV seemed like it would put speed bumps in the way of what I wanted to get done... whether or not that's true, I don't know... but that's how I was feeling at the time, and it seemed valid.

Yesterday a lot was accomplished, and I now feel like I have the clarity and stillness available to me to allow myself to let go (slightly) of the physical reality I've been grasping onto the past few weeks. James is feeling the same draw back toward a LFRV lifestyle, which makes it much easier for me. The temptation of take-out lately has just been too hard to resist.

Things still need to get done—lots of things. Perhaps now more than before... but it just feels different... I know... you're wondering, what on earth has been going on?

Well, here is a link to the joint blog that James and I have going about our journey away from density and toward light; and another link to a post I put onto my knitting blog. I'm not sure the whole story is explained through those two resources, but it gives a general idea of what it is we're hoping for... at least short term. Our long term goals are much more undecided—there are SO many different possibilities, so I'm not sure they're really worth mentioning yet.

Now is all there is, so right now, we know that our landlord is expecting us to move out on Aug 31st, and we need to figure out what we'll be moving into... and fruit is my fuel!

Cleansing chakras through yoga

I attended a workshop on Saturday for cleansing the chakras using a vinyasa flow. I’m in total awe of what happened to me during that class. It was entirely a mind-altering experience that seems to have adjusted the flow of my life. At least for now.

The instructor, Jacqui Bonwell, was amazingly peaceful and had a beautiful, powerful energy around her.

She walked us through each of the 7 main chakras explaining which poses help to balance each of them, and asked us to concentrate on a particular color while working with the poses.

For example, the Root Chakra benefits from downward dog and warrior 1. Concentrating on the lower portion of the body—legs, ankles and feet. The element for this chakra is earth. Involvement with the earth helps balance the energies in this chakra. We concentrated on red.

The Sacral Chakra benefits from hip-opening poses such as warrior 2, horse, malasana and half-pidgeon. The element for this chakra is water. We concentrated on orange.

The Solar Plexus chakra benefits from poses I consider to bring fire into my body—poses that burn. Crescent lunge, various twisting poses and runners lunge. The element for this chakra is fire. We concentrated on yellow.

We were told that with a healthy Heart Chakra, all can be healed. Back bending poses helped balance energies in this chakra—bridge, wheel, fish and bow. We concentrated on green. I do not recall what the element for this chakra is.

Chakras 5-7 are less involved than the first 4, and the poses we worked for each of them were more subtle and concentrated more on meditation than the physical aspects—at least, that’s how I experienced them.

For the throat chakra, we concentrated on a light blue color. The element is air, and we worked with inversions.

For the Third Eye Chakra we sat in meditation, exercised our eyes by keeping our heads still, but moving our eyes as far to one side as possible, resting there, moving them back to center, then to the other side, resting there, moving back to center, then looking up. We then closed our eyes very tightly for a brief moment, and opened them abruptly allowing in much light. The element for this chakra is light, and the color is a sapphire blue. Child’s pose was also worked.

For the Crown Chakra, she asked us to concentrate on either white or violet. We rested in savasanah and breathed.

If anyone ever gets an opportunity to work with Jacqui or any other chakra yoga instructor, I highly recommend giving it a try. After class I felt like an entirely new, fresh being, completely reborn and ready to slowly adventure out into the world—a very emotional experience.

Old emotions were brought to the surface. I couldn’t tell you exactly what they were, but I was sobbing after class. It took me a little while to readjust to being in society. As I walked into the parking lot, everything seemed so foreign, and I was amazed how we humans can live in a world of sidewalks, buildings and cars.

As I sat in my car and cried, and “pulled myself together” I wondered why I had to do such a thing to function. I felt as though I had to close something down, that had just been opened during the class, in order to continue my day in society. I can’t help but wonder about that.

How can I eat so many bananas?

Recently, I was asked: "How do you keep eating the bananas without getting sick of them? Right now, I don't think I can look a spinach leaf in the eye and am longing for something cooked…"

I began a short response, but it became really long… so, I figured I'd better make a whole post about it. Here's my response:

Oh, I hear ya! I'm still considering myself in transition, so after 6pm, I'm allowing myself to eat without restriction. Prior to 6pm I eat as many calories as possible from fruit. I've noticed that if I'm low on calories come 6pm, that I CRAVE anything starchy, cooked, greasy and otherwise unhealthy for me. I am slowly learning that eating at least 1700+ calories from fruit before 6pm prevents me from caving into eating cooked foods. Even after 6pm, I do try to stay as raw as possible, but I allow myself the opportunity to eat cooked if I truly feel that it's what my body really wants at the time... even then, I'm very selective about what cooked foods I'll allow into my body.

I choose to eat bananas because they're the most calorie dense fruit available in my area (about 130 calories per 7.5" banana). And yes, I do occasionally get sick of eating them. So, I'll take a day or two off and eat mostly mangos, or watermelon… but during those days, I don't have as much energy and life, and I crave cooked foods in the evening more. So I go back to the bananas shortly after.

I very rarely eat greens. I can totally understand what you're saying about the spinach. Greens are VERY low in calories, and won't fill me up, or leave me feeling very satisfied. Every once in awhile I'll have a big salad for dinner. But I often don't like eating greens. I know that when my body is craving the nutrients that only greens can provide, then I'll begin to get cravings for romaine or spinach. That's when I'll eat them. But I don't rely on greens as a staple in my diet. They just don't do it for me.

I've heard many raw *guru's* say that it's not necessary to count calories when eating a raw diet. And I agree, somewhat—I think that once you've established a comfortable routine eating a raw diet, that you don't need to count calories. But during the transition into eating a raw diet it's important to know exactly what it is you're putting into your body. I'm learning to know what 1700+ calories feels like, and I definitely can FEEL when I'm low on calories.

Before I began tracking my food intake on nutridiary.com, I never realized what low calories felt like... But if 6pm comes around and I'm only around 900 calories, I feel weak, tired, CRANKY, irritable and crave absolutely any food that will give me lots of calories FAST. So, that's when I think of cooked, fatty foods. Yes, FAT. Fat gives us 9 calories per gram, while protein and carbs only give us 4 calories per gram. So, when I find myself craving something fatty, I know I'm low on carbs.

Because I eat a LOT of fruit, it's important for me not to eat much fat. Fat can sometimes take up to 48 hours so leave the blood stream. While it's in there, it prevents insulin from doing its job to its full capacity, thus resulting in high blood sugar if I eat lots of sweet things, which fruits are. So, it's very important for me not to get to the point in the evening I may cave into eating fatty foods. Not to mention how eating fat the night before a yoga class effects my class the next morning. Oy.

So, that's why I eat so many bananas... and why I can get myself to continue eating them without getting sick of them. They're the fuel my body needs.

About a year

Wow. Just for fun, I went through some of the photos I have of myself from the past year and created a little timeline for myself.

However, these two photos stood out to me so much, that I just have to post them.

This was taken in July of last year.

This I just took of myself.

My friends and family have said I've been loosing weight. But OMG. It's hard to really know how we're perceived from the outside.

Human Design

This is really fascinating to me! Here's what it says I am:

Type: Manifestor
Profile: 6 / 2
Definition: Split Definition
Authority: Emotional - Solar Plexus
Not Self Theme: Anger
Strategy: To Inform
Incarnation Cross: Left Angle Cross of Informing (22/47 | 11/12)

I've looked around online to find out what exactly, that means. I found this website: http://www.humandesignnw.com, which has helped me grasp it a little more.
Here are some of the things my chart shows:

My *defined center's* are the throat, solar plexus, root and spleen.

The Throat Center
The Throat is the Center of communication and action. In order for anything to happen, it must pass through the Throat to become a reality. Biologically, the Throat is the Center of our metabolism. It is the Center for manifestation.

If a Center is connected to the Throat by a defined channel, then the qualities of that Center can be easily manifested in the world. If your Throat is defined, you are here to verbally share with others what it is to be you.

The Splenic Center
The Spleen controls our immune system. It is the Center for well-being, instinct, intuition and taste. The Spleen is the Center for knowing "in the now." If you have a defined Splenic Center, trust your initial "gut feel." This intuition is reliable, but it only speaks once. If you ignore it, this timely insight will not speak again.

The Solar Plexus Center
The Solar Plexus Center is another powerful motor that is the Center for emotions and feelings. This Center has a major effect on all of us regardless of whether it is defined or open. It is the Center of pleasure, romance, sexiness, passion and desire.

If you have a defined Solar Plexus, you are an emotional being. This Center operates in a wave moving you through emotional cycles from highs to lows in a two- or three-day cycle.

The most important thing to know, if you have a defined Solar Plexus, is to never be spontaneous. Never make a decision without "sleeping on it." You need to contemplate proposals through all phases of your emotional cycle before making a decision. Emotional people feel that they are indecisive. They often change their minds the next day. This happens because they do not wait for the emotional wave to complete before making the decision. Emotional beings need time.

The Root Center
The Root Center is a motor and is the Center of stress, adrenalin, pressure and depression. If you have a defined Root, stress and pressure are a natural part of your life. This pressure is meant to be fuel for your life, not to cause depression.

My *undefined center's* are the head, Ajina, G center, heart and sacral:

The Head Center
The top Center, the Head, is the source of inspiration, anxiety and mental pressure.
If the Head is undefined, your inspiration is always coming from outside of you. If you are with someone whose Head is defined, you will be filled with inspiration that vanishes when you are alone.

The Ajna Center
The Ajna Center is the Center of conceptualization. It measures and categorizes. If the Ajna Center is undefined, you do not have a consistent thinking process. Your thinking will be influenced by the people you are with. With an undefined Ajna, you should have important conversations in a public place so that your thinking will not be completely influenced by the person with whom you are speaking.

With an undefined Ajna, you cannot filter the thoughts that enter your mind, and you will have trouble holding on to them. You may not say the things you intend, and you may not sound intelligent if you try to initiate discussions without being asked.

The G Center
The G Center is the Center of Self. It is our identity and is the Center of Love and Direction in life. We have been taught that the Heart is the Center of Love, but this isn't true.

If your G Center is undefined, you will be on a lifelong quest to know who you really are, and it is easy to let others shape your identity for you. Just as some great singers have an undefined Throat, many treasured spiritual leaders have an undefined G Center, and as a result, are great searchers for spiritual truth.

An open G Center also causes uncertainty about love. Wondering if they will ever be loved is one of the most profound questions for people with an open G Center. These people will also constantly question their direction in life. Because of their journey to discover love, people with undefined G Centers have much wisdom to share about the nature of love.

The Heart Center
The Heart Center is the Center of Ego, Willpower and Courage - not the Center of Love.
The Heart Center is one of the four motors and is a powerful source of energy. It is the driving force for business and competition. The Ego is about material survival, money, the family and the tribe. It is a warrior and an exaggerator. It is possessive and insures the survival of the community.

Having an undefined Heart Center means that you should not make promises. You should not be willful or competitive. An open Heart Center makes you susceptible to diseases of the heart, gall bladder and stomach when you act willfully. Making promises places extreme pressure on these organs if your Heart Center is undefined. Do not try to use willpower to bulldoze your way through life.

The Sacral Center
The Sacral is the most powerful motor and is the major source of energy for us. It is responsible for sexuality, reproduction, nurture and the life force.

If you have an undefined Sacral Center, your sexuality is always conditioned by the person you are with. You can be everything from a nun to a tramp depending on your partner. If you change partners, you will not have the same sexual experiences. You are very vulnerable at the sexual level.

An undefined Sacral also makes you vulnerable to working too hard. Generators (defined Sacral) are designed for work, but people with an undefined Sacral can end up working twice as hard trying to do the work of Generators. Working too hard is unhealthy for people with an open Sacral Center.

The 6/2 profile suggests that I'm a *Role Model Hermit*

These people are here to be living examples of what they have learned in the three phases of their lives. In the first phase, they experience great challenges and trials. In the second phase, they withdraw and become objective observers of how to deal with those challenges. In the third phase of their lives, they walk in the world as natural, living examples what they have learned.


This couldn't be said better:
Here is a great article on protein as a 811 raw vegan:

So much misinformation about protein needs is floating around that it's hard to figure out what to do. If you're interested in the healthiest way to get enough protein, keep reading.

What Protein Does

Vegetable protein, or any kind of protein, is used by the body for enzymes, structural tissue, hormones, and transplant molecules. Protein wears out relatively quickly and must be replaced, and the source of those replacement proteins is our food. After being digested, proteins give us a new supply of amino acids from which the body continuously rebuilds itself.

How Much Protein Do We Need?

Around 10 percent of calories from protein is the figure you most commonly hear listed by health organizations as optimal. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) on food packages also lists protein requirements at 10 percent. Americans, however, average around 15-16 percent of calories from protein.

So what's a good amount? According to respected nutrition researcher Professor T. Colin Campbell, "...Only 5-6 percent of dietary protein is required to replace the protein regularly excreted by the body (as amino acids). About 9-10 percent protein, however, is the amount that has been recommended for the past fifty years...The relatively few people consuming more than 21 percent protein mostly are those who "pump iron," recently joined by those on high protein diets." (1) This makes a lot of sense if you stop to think about it. The greatest period of growth that the human body goes through is just after birth, and yet the sole food of this period is mothers milk, which happens to have six percent of its calories from protein.

Protein does not start having a detrimental effect on health until it rises above 10 percent of calories, so you should view that as a safe maximum.

What About Protein Deficiency?

If you're eating fruits and vegetables and getting enough calories, protein deficiency is virtually an impossibility. In developed countries, protein deficiency is unknown. In cases of starvation, the body will start digesting muscle for energy, but this can be corrected by simply feeding a person simple vegetable matter, with will supply enough vegetable protein for all of the body's needs.

More Protein For Muscles?

Body builders and those interested in putting on more muscle often eat protein far in advance of what is considered optimal. The question is whether all those whey protein shakes do them any good. No scientific study has ever shown the consumption of protein beyond 10 percent of calories to have any affect whatsoever on muscle growth. That's because no food will ever "build muscle."

According to athletic trainer Dr. Douglas Graham (80/10/10), "In reality only weight-bearing exercise builds muscle. When insufficient carbohydrates are supplied, it is true that protein requirements go up, as the body transforms the protein into carbohydrate (an energy-expensive process) and utilizes it for fuel. This does not, however bring about the result (body builders) desire." (2)

So what is happening to all that protein? What the body can't use it stores as fat, meaning those protein shakes are layering fat on top of the muscle weightlifters are trying to accentuate.

So should you be supplementing your protein intake? Besides making you fat, excess protein puts acidifies the body and brings on various diseases, as mentioned below. No body builder should supplement.

Check out Charlie Abel, a raw body builder who does not supplement and uses only raw vegetable protein, for more info.

What Type of Protein

An interesting argument over vegetable protein, (aka plant protein, or protein found in fruits and vegetables) has raged for years. Some say that it's incomplete. Here's what they mean:

There are nine essential amino acids. Those nine cannot be synthesized by the body, and so must be taken in through what we eat. No one fruit or vegetable contains all nine, though protein taken from animals does. Therefore, some have concluded that vegetable protein doesn't meet the body's requirements for protein, and that animal protein is necessary.

This is something that was dismissed by nutrition experts years ago. The author of the 1970s-era "incomplete protein theory," Frances Moore Lappe, admitted in the 1990s that she had been completely mistaken in her assertion that combining protein is necessary. We now know that while we need to get all of those nine amino acids, we don't need to get them together, or even in the same day.

So where can we get protein?
All plant matter contains protein. By eating a variety, we meet out needs.

Protein Comparison:
Bananas- 4 percent
Cucumbers- 11 percent
Oranges- 7 percent
Green Leaf Lettuce- 22 percent
Watermelon- 7 percent
Eggs- 37 percent
Whole Milk - 23 percent
Beef - 50 percent.

No one questions the speed and strength of a monkey, or the overwhelming force of a charging Rhino, but people can't imagine muscle building from fruits and vegetables. These creatures eat only raw fruits and vegetables, and it has served them well.

Vegetable Protein Better Than Animal Protein?

But if you can get all of your amino acids from animal protein, and have to worry about variety for vegetables, why shouldn't you go with animal protein?

The protein found in other animals is very similar to our protein needs because they mostly have the right amount of each amino acid. They can be synthesized very efficiently by our bodies. However, efficiency isn't best, in this case.

According to Dr. Campbell, "The concept of quality really means the efficiency with which food proteins are used to promote growth. This would be well and good if the greatest efficiency equaled the greatest health, but it doesn't and that's why the terms efficiency and quality are misleading. In fact...there is a mountain of compelling research showing that "low-quality plant protein, which allows for slow but steads synthesis of new proteins, is the healthiest type of protein...Plant proteins may be lacking in one or more of the essential amino acids, as a group they do contain all of them." (3)

The problem with animal protein is that it's a known carcinogen. In studies, rats exposed to carcinogens and then fed a diet of whey protein developed cancers and died quickly.

"So the next logical question was whether plant protein, tested in the same way, has the same effect on cancer promotion as casein," writes Campbell. "The answer is an astonishing No. In these experiments the plant protein did not promote cancer growth, even at higher levels of intake.".(4)

Vegetable protein does not cause cancer, unlike animal protein, and so should be the source of all your protein requirements.

Animal protein is also far too high in fat and cholesterol for optimum nutrition. Eggs are 60 percent fat, as is ground beef. Cheddar cheese is 72 percent fat.

Extra protein is also extremely acidifying for the body, which must strip calcium from the bones to counteract the acid. Above 10 percent of calories from animal protein, autoimmune disease, cancer, and impaired liver and kidney function are often the result, according to the China Study. (the most comprehensive study on nutrition ever conducted)

Vegetable Protein For Health and Fitness

If you eat meals of just raw fruits and vegetables, as I suggest on a healthy raw food diet, then you'll likely average about 5 percent of calories from protein.

If you add a small quantity of nuts and seeds. this will boost your number a percentage point or two, but you'll still be safely within the limits of 10 percent of calories from protein, and won't need to fear the many debilitating diseases that an excess can bring on.

The bat.

I'm not sure where to write this, so it's going here. I need to get this out of me and into writing... for me.

On Friday, I got up from my desk for some reason or another and began walking across the office. All of a sudden I see this thing with wings flying around the office. I thought it was a bird... I said quietly to my coworkers: "There's a bird in here." They didn't respond. The flying creature heard me though, it turned and started flying straight toward me. As I ducked, I saw that it was in fact a bat. It flew over my head, made a U-turn then found a hiding place on the wall.

At this time my coworkers had recognized that there was a flying creature in the office with us. I instinctively looked to the person who usually handles these sort of things for what to do. He shrugged.

I wandered back to my desk and continued to work, figuring someone would call animal control to do something about the bat. A few minutes later, our shippers son just happened to be here... and came into the office with a broom. He shook the bat loose from its hiding place and began beating it with the broom. As I sat in my office listening to the THUMP, THUMP, THUD of the broom beating the little bat, I was stunned, shocked and mortified that killing it with a broom was their solution to removing the bat.

Now, I'm the type of person who would catch a spider and bring it outside to let it continue to live... I'm not a killer. This is so far from my way of living that it has really traumatized me. It's been difficult for me to get over how different I am from the majority of my coworkers in this way.

On Saturday I asked a friend if she would look in her Animal Speaks book what it says about a bat totem animal. She immediately went to my computer and pulled up a few links. Here's one of them: http://www.linsdomain.com/totems/pages/bat.htm

Let me back up a little... I've been planting seeds into the universe in hopes of aligning things in a way that allows me to move on from my 40 hour work week—becoming self employed, freelancing. It's something I'm pretty scared to do, and I've been putting it off for quite awhile because of that fear.

But I really feel like the time to move on is lurking closer and closer. My encounter with the bat has really opened my eyes to a lot of things, and I feel empowered and supported by the universe in moving forward—away from those who are unlike me—and into the realm of uncertainty, where I am creating my own destiny. I'm done with being someones lacky.

None-the-less. I'm still scared. I've never been one to create waves in my own life. I would generally need to get to a snapping point before doing so.

So, that's where I'm at. And I'm frustrated and scared.

Yoga and Raw Tuesday

10:18 AM:
I've decided to make my Raw day-of-the-week the day that I do yoga with my favorite yoga teacher. I leave class feeling SO refreshed and clean. Certainly not feeling like I need any sort of comfort foods—the perfect time for Raw! (IMO)

So, today's yoga class was phenomenal! I went into class feeling angry at the boss of a friend of mine. But after realizing that anger only produces more anger, I began repeating the phrase "Breathe in" (as I breathed in) and "Let go" as I breathed out. I'm amazed at how helpful that actually was. I kept it with me throughout the class, and it really helped me let go and just be there physically with the teachers words. I felt balanced and supported by something other than myself. In downward-facing-dog, there was an invisible triangle supporting my core. I swear, I was not holding myself up; my muscles were all relaxed and something else was doing it. I've never experienced that before.

My teacher, Lorraine, had us do a bunch of balancing poses one after the other. On my left foot I flowed easily from on to the other with minimal wobble. My right foot tends to be more difficult, for some reason my outside edge wants to hold all the weight, and the big toe edge is always lifting up. But that didn't happen as much today. I did wheel for the first time in class—twice. I've always been afraid, but today I felt extra strong and confident. I didn't drop my leg in side-plank and I felt supported again. It was really an amazing phenomenon.

As for my diet today, I've had 1 apple and I'm eating half a grapefruit.
I keep forgetting that I need to eat more raw to feel satisfied. I have plenty of apples and a banana with me for fruit, and I've made a salad for lunch, and have some zuccaroni and cheeze with me too if I want it. As long as that chocolate on the main table stays put (or gets eaten by coworkers) I should be fine.

My goal is to make it longer than I did last Tuesday—3:30 PM
We'll see!

2:56 PM

I can feel the urge to enjoy chocolates haunting me. I have the feeling, that if I just eat some dates, that I'll totally just give in and eat the chocolates...

3:09 PM

It worked! I crave no chocolate! Maybe I'll actually make it until 5. Wouldn't that be nice?
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