What Are You Willing to Give Up? (a.k.a. Farewell to French Fries)

Ah, french fries. How I love you so.

I adore french fries. Always have. They are a MAJOR trigger food for me, y’all, and I know they are no good…but I can’t get enough of them and they always send me down the spiral. Recently, I read an interesting post on SparkPeople.com that made me see that I had to give up my love affair with french fries and all things potato. Yeah – I said “give up”. Not “moderate”. Not “temper”. GIVE UP. For good. 

Another gauntlet thrown down. 

Raw Raw Life: Crawl Walk Run

Are you as guilty of this as I am?

You watch a video about juicing. You decide, “OH MY GOSH! THIS IS IT! I’m gonna JOOOOOOOOOOOSE!!! YIPPEE!” You start out thinking you’re going to do a 60-day juice fast. Now, the fact that you’ve never done one before doesn’t sway you… you’re fired up, and nothing will derail you! You jump on Facebook, join some forums, see some “before & after” pics, and then decide that you’ll increase your fast to 100 days (of course, you’re only on Day 3, but you KNOW this is what’s right, right?). Then, you hear about someone who’s doing a P90X/Insanity hybrid while they’re juicing and had amazing results. They also ran a half marathon in their spare time because they had so much extra energy from their kale juice, and lost 180 pounds in 6 months. You think, “Wow! That’s perfect for me! Lemme pull out my credit card and get with some Tony Horton real quick… while I’m at it, Amazon is having a sale on running shoes, aren’t they?”

Sound familiar?  As my grandmother used to say, “You’re trying to fit New York into Boston.” In other words, you’re trying to do way too much. 

Many of you have noticed that I took a few days off. Okay, okay… it was more like 3-4 WEEKS off. Think of it, though – the Bikram challenge, the #Juice60 challenge, running the business, launching the app, videos, marketing the books, requests from this one and that one to do this and that thing… I don’t want to say I was “burnt out”, but is it any wonder that I was feeling a little crispy around the edges? It got to the point where I realized I was doing WAY too much on very little brainpower. I’m no good to anyone that way (most of all myself), so I decided to stop it all and regroup. When I say “stop”, I mean STOP. No emails, no Facebook, no phone calls, no texting… no nothing. 

For the first week, it was bliss. BLISS, I tell you! However, after my brain finally got some rest, it wanted to run and churn and think and work. It was hard (especially for a person like me) to suppress the urge to pull out the laptop and get moving, but I kept hearing my grandmother’s voice in my head and the old “New York into Boston” adage kept me from it. I realized that I am a runner. Not in the physical sense of the word, but the metaphorical sense. I run full speed into everything I do with full unadulterated gusto, but during this hiatus, I see that I need to learn how to crawl. This “crawling” thing is a brand new concept for me, but an important one to master if I want the changes I make in my life to stick long term. 

So, to bring it back to those of you who run like I do, let’s figure out a way to “crawl” into long-term success with our health. Here are a couple of suggestions for us all:

  1. If you are attracted to juicing, consider adding one juice a day to your current meal plan. This will help to understand how much juice a recipe yields, how much time it takes to make juice and clean up the equipment, and which recipes you like. 
  2. Thinking about an exercise challenge? Before jumping in whole hog, create a simple routine that you know you can stick to first. Can you commit to walking 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week? Can you commit to 2-3 days of Bikram (or another yoga practice)? Master that first. 
  3. Love all the talk about becoming vegan or raw? Begin with one meal a day. You don’t have to cut out meat right away; just increase the amount of fruits and veggies you add to your plate and make one meal vegan. See how it fits into your lifestyle before committing. 

Let’s all agree to take our time, shall we? That way, we’ll all be around for the long term. 

The Simple Truth About Alkaline vs. Acidity

So, tell me the truth… when you hear people begin to spout terms like “alkalinity” and “acidosis”, do you begin to glaze over and mentally replay last night’s episode of American Idol? Yeah, I used to as well. Well, not American Idol… maybe Breaking Bad or Mad Men. Ooooh, Jon Hamm!

Wait, what was I saying? Oh yeah! ALKALINITY! Sorry about that. Back to the subject at hand!

Like I said… I USED to. But now that I understand how important alkaline foods are to the body and how damaging acidic foods are, my ears perk up every time I hear the terminology and I have the urge to reach for the nearest bunch of kale. 

The video below is one of the simplest, most entertaining explanations I’ve seen on the topic. The video is about 9 minutes long and worth every second! I promise that you won’t glaze over:

Fascinating, huh? 

Here are two great resources on alkaline foods and how acidic foods are harmful to the body (click the underlined links to see the full articles):

12 Reasons to Avoid Acids and Stay Alkaline: Some of the harmful effects of acidic foods in the body are allergies, excess mucous, high blood pressure and excess fat. Yep… FAT! Adding more alkaline foods to your system can decrease your weight. See? A perfect reason to be chompin’ on some spinach! 

The 7 Most Alkaline Foods: I LOVE this list! Why? Because they are all ingredients I can throw in my juicer or blender! Imagine… you could have ONE juice with spinach, broccoli, kale, bell pepper, cucumber and celery (and throw a little apple, lemon and ginger in there for taste) for breakfast. That would give you HUGE antioxidants, HUGE alkalinity, HUGE chlorophyll, HUGE detoxification nutrients, AND the recommended “5 Veggies a Day” before 9am! You cannot beat that! 

I hope this simplifies the topic a bit for you. Get yo’ alkaline on!