Thursday, June 26, 2008


I think I'm feeling so down because I can no longer drown my sorrows in food and caffeine. But what's with the lethargy?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Its wrong to go to bed when the sun's still shining, right?

Sent from my iPhone

Week 2 and I'm All Thai-ed Out

Anyone who knows me knows I have a seriously love affair with Thai food. I could eat it every day, possibly for every meal (with a Thai iced coffee and mango with sticky rice for breakfast). I have made it my mission to explore and rate every Thai restaurant in the Philadelphia area. And one of the great things about Thai food is that it's hard to mess up. Even the worse Thai is usually good Thai. So when N suggested we try a place in Ardmore for lunch, I happily grabbed my bag, raw diet and all.

My first sign that something was wrong should have came when I looked over the appetizer selection and saw no vegetarian options. Same goes for the soup. And only one meatless salad. Most Thai places have so many vegetarian options, they need their own separate menu. I ordered the $7 lunch special: a cabbage and peanut salad, a vegetable roll, and something called Siam Yam Noodles (supposedly mixed veggies and sautéed rice noodles). My next sign: while eating the cabbage salad, I had no inclination to touch the veggie roll, my only thought was "I should have just ordered the cabbage salad".

When my main course came, a smell wafted up that made me slightly nauseous (another sign) and the first bite wasn't very appealing. I had a few more bites before I decided that it was best to chalk this one up as a loss. Oh, and did I mention there was egg mixed in. Bummer. I'm a pretty dedicated member of the clean plate club, so when N saw me give up not even a third of the way through, she got suspicious. I haven't clued anyone at work in on my raw quest, though you'd think the abundance of bananas on my desk would give me away. They're just too far from any type of healthy diet, more interested in indulging in what the culinary world has to offer. So, I probably won't say anything unless I have to.

I don't know if it's too soon to be having such strong reactions when I vary my diet, but between the sugar rush Sunday night and the nausea today, I'm considering going 100% raw. I just don't like the way other food makes me feel. Some people say that our environment is too polluted to be 100% raw, and that makes sense. But I think I'll do maybe one non-raw meal a week, when I go out or something.

Now back to reading the blogs of my fellow raw foodies...

Monday, June 23, 2008


America's Best Dog? Have we really sunk that low, America? Really, I
have no words...

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Joie de vivre, or lack there of...

Has it really been only a week of living raw? It feels like I've been doing it forever. This weekend was especially tough, as I had to endure a brunch invitation, a game night, and not one, but two graduation parties. I've learned that when people get together, they eat. And more often than not, they use the event as an excuse to eat even more than they normally do. I've never been one to stuff myself then possibly take a plate home. My bad eating happened at restaurants, where I want to try several courses and can't control the portion size. This weekend, since I was eating more sparingly, I found myself analyzing the eating habits of others, and I was horrified by the amount of food and speed that it was eaten. At one event, I don't know if it was the presentation of the food or the sight of others eating said food that left me unable to stomach more than a slice of watermelon.

The rest of the weekend went pretty well, diet wise. Saturday, my sister had a swim meet in Allentown, and the toughest part was the 5:30am wakeup call, not the raw fooding. I'm really glad I clued my mom and my sister (by default, she was in the room when I told my mom) in on my raw quest. They've been really supportive, regularly making sure I have raw foods or alerting me when they think I won't have any options. That morning, my mom packed enough fruit to last me until that afternoon, then I had a small salad before heading out to game night with the crew. I felt bad for not partaking in the hostess's serious BBQ spread, just having green salad and a little pasta salad. Not that I would have anyway, I don't think the meat was halal. I have to say, I didn't expect Sunday to be so rough after surviving my trip to San Fran. But, that morning, I texted M in a frenzy, not sure if I could give up the pleasure of eggs and stuffed French toast at Sabrina's for brunch. She challenged me to make the right decisions and reminded me that it's a lifestyle, not a diet. I decided to just focus on being vegan for the day, and started my morning with some green lemonade.

At the twins' graduation party, I gave myself a pass and had a small piece of cake, a canned iced tea (no caffeine), and like 2 potato chips. And I think the sugar rush gave me a headache and insomnia. My heart was racing for hours after I tried to fall asleep. I was so miserable, I came into work late and have been sluggish all day. I don't know why I ate it, I don't really have a taste for non raw/non vegan food. I can see that a lot of my desire for certain things is emotional, not physical. I don't need coffee anymore, I just love going into Starbucks. When I'm done with a hard day's work, I can't get high, but I can get takeout from a fabulous restaurant. As a good Muslim girl, food is the one indulgence no one will sneer at. Yeah, as I type it, it sounds sad, but I still haven't figured out how to fill the void left by healthy eating. But, this week I'm going to try working out, something I didn't do at all last week. Because I don't want to just lose fat, I want to gain muscle. But not today, tomorrow, I'm tired...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Raw Life, Days 2 and 3

So, yesterday I flew into San Fran. And the raw offerings in the airports, Philly and ATL, were very few. I had a larabar on the plane, then a smoothie in Atlanta. It was supposed to be all fruit, but who knows what they added, at the least sugar. I had one of my grapefruits from home when I got to my hotel, then waited 2 hours for my dinner company. I'd say I had a headache by 2 or 3pm, East coast time. And it stayed with me until I fell asleep last night.

Today, after a $12 room service fruit plate, I survived the ultimate test: a trip to Starbucks. But I rose above the coffee fumes and just got a Naked Superfood drink. Lunch was salad, although there was probably dairy in the dressing. My stomach was killing me during our volunteering on Baker Beach. I don't know what set it off, but I do know that since going raw, not only is my nose more sensitive, so is my stomach. I felt so bad, it wasn't until I was back in my room tonight that I realized that I didn't have a caffeine headache today. Yay! I feel like I conquered a demon. I can only imagine what a heroine addict feels like. Because I know there will be people and situations encouraging me to go back to my caffeine drinking ways.

I hope, insha Allah, that the freedom I feel not being motivated by food continues and truly becomes my lifestyle.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Detoxing is a motherfucker...

It's day one of my 30 day raw food challenge and boy, its been a doozy. I did laundry at my mom's house and suffered part sensory overload, part food deprivation. I still have a killer headache, though the nausea seems to have gone away. I knew my mom's well stocked home would be a big challenge, so I went against my secretive nature and told her what I was trying to do: 75-80% raw, 100% vegan. I think she's supportive. Anyway, the sight and smell of the food in her house really did me in. I felt bombarded by every little thing. By the end of the night, I couldn't stomach watching them eat. Isn't it a little early to have such a strong reaction?

I can only imagine what the rest of the week holds for me. I'm off to San Fran until Thursday morning. Then its graduation time. Now, I'll try to get 3 hours sleep before packing and catching my very early flight.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Gold star for me!

Yes! I did it! I got my ass moving. This morning, when my alarm went off at 5:30, I got a little defensive, but then my disappointment from the day before came back to me and I said, failure is not an option, but snoozing is. So I gave myself another 30 minutes of sleep and the option of doing yoga with the TV. When 6am came and I turned on Awake (with Steve Ross, yeah), I realized that I wanted to get moving. I cut the TV off, put on my clothes, and was out the door in 10 minutes.

Side note: In the car, I realized I should probably have added a little brushing of the teeth and washing of the face to my morning routine, as evidenced by the dried drool on my face.

Because of my indecisiveness, I only had time for a 20 minute run. But so what. The point is that I got out there and it felt great. It did wonders for my work day. And I was able to get my hair and nails done with the freedom of knowing that my workout is out of the way.

Tomorrow, I have a raw foods thing with M and it starts at 8:15. At first, I tried to decided if I'd substitute yoga for a run. But then I admitted to myself what I knew was the right thing to do. Even though its Saturday, I'll be getting up at 5:30am, insha Allah, and doing my run before meeting M. And if all goes well, I'll go to yoga, too.

Optimism must be in the air early in the morning...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Weight Loss and Money Gain

Earlier this year, I spent a lot of time (and money) getting myself financially fit. I paid off a LOT of debt and tried to be more conscious of paying my bills on time and keeping an eye on my spending. Lately, call it my summer break out but, I've been a little lax. I added a bunch of pieces to my summer wardrobe, I went out whenever I was invited, and I treated myself to a few tech items. All of this added to the normal summer events, like graduations, weddings, festivals, has me back in the financial crunch.

Meanwhile, I've been struggling with my health and fitness. It's too hot to run in the evenings and its no secret how much I hate early mornings. My diet has hit a mental block; I know I need to cut portions, add fresh stuff, and prepare my own meals, but the thought of denying myself one of my last pleasures is painful. Yoga seems daunting again and I can't even fathom a new fitness goal. Maybe it's the thought of being that friend again, the one who's late because of a workout and even then, only has a salad. Being healthy is a lonely place in Philly.

Suddenly, the parallels between my financial and physical health are glaring at me. In both cases, I have to be constantly diligent. Whether I have plenty of money in the bank or have taken off lots of pounds, I have to keep that same early stage hunger. Because any gains that I have made can be quickly lost with complacency. I have to remind myself, that as much as I hate to be that friend, I hate to be a statistic even more. One of the many overweight Americans, or just another person in debt. And when I don't do what I know is right be it health or finances, I feel guilty. This morning, although my alarm went off at 5:30 am, I pondered, then went back to bed for another 2 hours. And the sleep was good, but as soon as I walked into the office this morning, N reminded me of my laziness. I had to tell her, no, I couldn't get my fat ass out of bed, so it would continue to be just that.

Like Madonna (one of my fitness heroes) says, "Tricks don't work, discipline does." I vow to have that discipline.

My first attempt at a caprese salad

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Illusion of Success

This is what I've been dealing with for the past couple of weeks in various incarnations. I feel like I'm doing better, only to have the hard facts tell me otherwise. For instance, last week I decided I'd have a salad at least once a day. And no not a fat laden, protein heavy salad, either. These were good, wholesome numbers. Even my clothes were feeling pretty good. So when I got on the scale on Saturday, I was expecting the numbers to have decreased. Instead, they went up! Being a girl, there's always the possibility that the increase is hormonal, but still. The same thing happened the week before when I increased my running times. The scale crept up, not down.

So two things have come from this. First, I'm so frustrated! What else can I do? Change my diet, nothing happens. Change my workouts, nothing happens. I think I need professional help. Second, hormones or not, I've reached my breaking point. In other words, the point on the scale where I go hardcore because the number is too high. Where I stop being lazy and do double workouts and whatnot. Should be a fun summer, huh?