Confessions

Before there was Gayle and Oprah, there was Tiff and Deb! (Willieth and Whip depending on who was calling us) Uberbestfriends! BFFs in the real sense of the words. I can write a tome on the tenets of friendship. Yesterday I had one of my marathon talks with Tiff, and as we have done for the past 35 years of our bestfriendship we spent the entire talk philosophizing (if that’s a word) on life. I do believe in that hour long talk we solved all of Black America’s problems(lol)!  The talks are so powerful that I take notes.

I was confessing to her how these last four weeks of  80/10/10 have not gone as I expected.  To say the least, it has not been easy transitioning to the livefoods lifestyle. It’s not for lack of resources, but it is purely mental/emotional.  When I set goals and find that I fall short from accomplishing them, it becomes difficult for me not to give in to feelings of hopelessness. Tiff reminded me that it is more the process than the destination. This process of transitioning to 80/10/10 is more a metaphor for life.

The process is teaching me about myself, and how I tend to be an “all or nothing person”. If I can’t do it perfectly then it won’t get done. That mind-set serves me well in many ways because it drives me to put forth my best effort in my endeavors. Where it is a detriment, is when I’m making fundamental changes to my core way of life. These are the moments when patience, perseverance, and a plan are required. Patience and perseverance are those intangibles in life, when the situation arrives that I have to use those virtues I usually do my best to be more patient and persevere. A plan though is a tangible!

So here’s the plan I’ve come up with. Instead of taking this one day at a time, I’ll take it one meal at a time. The short-term goal is to have one raw foods meal a day. Then I’ll build to two meals then lastly three raw meals a day. My belief is to create the habit of eating raw foods everyday. The intent is for rawfoods to become less a chore, and more integrated into the everydayness of my life.

As a side note, I created this blog to serve as a form of accountability to myself. I started this 365 livefoods journey to create a healthier lifestyle for myself. In these few short weeks I have noticed a miracle happening with this blog. It is mushrooming into something more for others that read it. Though my initial intent was focused on me singularly, I open my intent to be a blessing to others on their journey to create healthier lifestyles for themselves. Thanks for being a part of this journey.

Until next Sunday,

lillieth

180 Degree Turn

Food is such a visceral experience. Eating is one of the most basic, primal human activities. My endeavors with raw foods have been a 180 degree turn to my life and lifestyle. Though I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly 18 years, like most Americans convenience is very important to me. I eat out as much as most and cook simple meals. Eating raw foods seem simple enough, but it requires a lot of prep time that I’m not accustomed to. To eat enough food it requires eating  amounts like 16 apples, 12 bananas, 6 cartons of blueberries, half a gallon of tangelo juice, whole watermelons and so on… The volume of food needed for each meal is astounding. I’m still trying to get a handle on eating enough food.

This lifestyle of eating raw foods is very intimidating to me. I’ve spent the last three weeks floundering in the vastness of it. To prove to myself that I was all in I invested in a Vitamix blender. (Emphasis on the word invested because they are not cheap!) I find myself craving fatty foods, and felt that the Vitamix would help me with eating more vegetables, especially greens. Though green is my favorite color, greens have been a challenge for me to eat, especially raw. The 180 degree turn has made me more conscious of how unconsciously I ate. I had rarely given any forethought to my daily meals. I have taken to downloading recipes, and using them as a means to create a weekly menu. Even as I write this I’m craving fatty foods, and feel emotionally all over the place. My goal is to learn ways to deal with these cravings and emotions.

Writing this week has been a struggle as well, so here’s to working through life’s challenges!

lillieth

P.S. This blog has been a vehicle to reconnect with long-lost friends, and for that I am truly grateful.

Crossroads

When is the precise moment when a person gives up on their dreams?

There’s nothing that gives perspective like death! In the past six months I’ve had several events that have given my life focus. I’m an avid newspaper reader, especially the Houston Chronicle, and have taken to reading the obituaries. I’m interested in how people choose to live their lives while on earth. Since Texas is the most active death penalty state, I even read the obituaries of the recently executed. I think subconsciously I read them because I’m looking for crossroad moments in these people’s lives: when did they decide to live as they did!

After my aunt’s death I was given the duty to clean out my deceased uncle’s office/study. A person’s study is almost a timeline of how they lived their life. As I was purging the office of its contents, there was a spiritual moment when I could feel a shift in my uncle’s life from one of hopes and dreams to a resignation of accepting the limitations offered him in the Jim Crow south. It’s an indescribable feeling. Since I was born after the Civil Rights movement many things that I take for granted were not an option for my uncle’s generation. He was born in Texas in the 1930s, and was blessed with being born into a family that became college educated only a generation out of slavery. So I imagine he had the same hopes and dreams of any educated young person, but education was not enough for a Black person.

I also noticed this in the life of one of my high school friend’s mother. I attended her funeral yesterday (July 14, 2012). When reading her obituary, I got that same feeling that I had from cleaning my uncle’s study. I could feel the shift in her life. She too was born in the 1930s to a family that revered education. She graduated from college (Prairie View A&M, also like my uncle), and decided to attend the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Her dream was to become a couture designer. She became a sewing teacher in high school.

This is my crossroad moment, my opportunity to obtain more than just what’s easiest for me to attain. Unlike my uncle and friend’s mother, I have limitless options. This is a time for me to co-create with God, by listening and acting on the voice of God! It’s the reason this blog is very important for and to me. It’s God’s quiet way of holding me accountable to dreams larger than myself.

Until next Sunday,

Lillieth

“Can’t Go It Alone”

My inaugural week of 365livefoods has been rocky at best. Spiritually, what I have learned is when you are trying to make a 180 degree turn in life you need a lot of support. This week was about me unintentionally going it alone. The first four days were good, but on July 4th I just felt soooo famished. Anybody who knows me, knows I’m not very pleasant when I’m hungry:)! I am doing the 80/10/10 eating plan, and it requires that 80% of your daily caloric intake be fruits. That is more than a notion. Fruits are so low in calories that it takes a box full of fruits to fill my daily intake. Instead of restricting your portions, the opposite happens you are trying to eat more.

I think back on my transition to become a vegetarian nearly 18 years ago. It took me 2-1/2 years of unsuccessful starts to actually make the change. It didn’t happen until I was volunteer teaching in Nigeria when one of the other participants had been a vegetarian for six months already, and she became my bridge. She helped me shop for food and gave me vision of what living a vegetarian lifestyle meant.

So this week’s lesson is: SEEK HELP!

That’s what I’ve done. In Houston (yes in cattle country),  we have a vibrant raw food community! I have signed up to get raw food coaching. I need help with visualizing what my daily intake should physically look like, i.e. how many peaches, and grapes should I eat in a day! As my fifth grade teacher used to always say: Knowing is half the battle! (Remember that Tiff?!)

Food for thought, perhaps this journey will be more about the process than the act of just eating 365 days of live, raw foods!

Here’s to embracing life’s unknown unknowns! 🙂

Until next week,

Lillieth

“A journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step!”

Today, I’m committing to 365 days of eating raw foods. Raw foods are uncooked and unprocessed foods. It’s simple food: fruits, vegetables, nuts/ seeds and plenty, plenty water. I decided to go raw after a disheartening doctor’s visit. Years back I went raw for three months, and it was an awe-inspirng experience. Aside from physical health, raw foods help purify the body and gives clarity of spirit. Spiritually, I have stagnant energy that needs to be moved out to allow a new way of life for me.

I step into the unknown with both joy and uncertainty. Joy of the possibilities that lie ahead and the uncertainty that it brings. I have chosen July 1, 2012, because it is the half way mark of 2012; as well, as my sista friend’s birthday (Happy birthday, Tala!).

Who knows how I’ll feel June 30, 2013, 365 days from now. I commit to taking this journey one day at a time, and focus on staying in the moment! The purpose of this blog is to serve as a form of accountability to help me stay committed. What better way to start this! Maybe I can get a few people to join me on this journey. 🙂

See you next Sunday!

Lillieth