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Monday, June 8, 2009

The 29-Hour Raw Food Diet

If I were visiting this blog and not its proud mama, I would read the title of this post and my heart rate would quicken and I would get a mini-surge of excitement. A 29-hour diet? I can do anything for 29-hours! I would begin to salivate for details and then I would begin reading... and then I would feel stupid and realize that this is the story of someone who could only last on a diet for a pathetic 29 hours. Bummer. 

Last week, I met a friend for lunch. As we perused the menu, she said in a whisper: Let me just tell you, I'm doing the raw food thing. Presumably, she told me this so that I wouldn't mock her for munching on plain lettuce leaves. But her pre-meal confession had another effect on me: it piqued my interest. What is a raw food diet?

So, over lunch, I enjoyed a savory seminar on the raw food diet. And as my friend explained how she makes smoothies and delectable "green juice," I noticed how fantastic and healthy she looks. Sure, she looked skinny and I love skinny, but she always looks skinny. But her skin was good and glowing. She was invigorated, smiling, seemingly high on life. (Or maybe on green juice?)

Hmmm. So what did I do after lunch? I went across the street to the grocery store and bought me a boatload of raw foods. Nuts. Avacados (or "Cados" as Toddler calls them). Veggies. And right then and there, I went on a raw diet. 

The next morning, I was down .5 pounds! A miracle. Now, we all know that it's more likely that I was down a half pound because of all the scrambling I did to learn about this raw food diet, but whatever. So, I decided to stick with the diet. But by evening, after a long day with my little cowgirls, I was starting to dream of cooked vegetables. Of course you are going to lose weight on a diet where it is a treat to have a steamed piece of broccoli! 

Anyway, the next morning, I stood there on line at Starbucks talking to myself. This diet is not for me. Diets aren't for me. Moderation is the key. Life is too short. She did look positively gazelle-like though. No, not for me. And when it was my turn to order, I asked for my beloved and opposite-of-raw Venti Pike Place coffee. And then I added an egg sandwich. And then I scarfed said steaming-hot sandwich in record time, gaining back that piddly half pound. Yum.

Why is it that I am such a sucker for diets? Of course, like 99% of you out there, I would love to drop those five pounds. Of course. But is our societal obsession with diets and weight-loss and before-and-after stories perhaps prime evidence of our shared insecurities? Of our preoccupation with perfection? Of our insatiable hunger for control? Is my brief fling with the raw food diet another sad manifestation of that collective fantasy and fallacy that if we just lose the weight, it will be happily-ever-after? 


  1. A, you look so great I can't believe you would even think of going on a diet...now me on the other hand, Uff-Da, I have a lot of work to do!

  2. I'm not sure how I found your blog and I am a little uncertain what I think of it... but I keep coming back to see what you've written so that must mean something. :)

    At any rate, in my own learning around how to give up the "if I could just lose last five pounds" nonsense that is nothing but corrosive to a woman's well-being (also a view that has evolved over time), I have read a lot of "fat acceptance" blogs. You might consider googling and reading some yourself - at minimum it might give you a different perspective on diets, dieting, and the need/wish/desire to look "gazelle-like".

  3. Slapdash -

    Thank you for your honest comment and for continuing to stop by ILI even though the jury is still out as to whether you like the blog :) The truth is that I do not spend my days panicking about weight or even those pesky universal five pounds, but I do (like most of us) have moments (like my run-in with raw food) where I think about this stuff and I know very well that these moments have very little to do with weight. I'm not sure what the culprit is - a collective quest for control that will forever elude? A desire to keep appearances up for the critical outside eye? An attempt to polish the exterior as a means to nourish the inner self? I'm not sure what the answer is, but I am very interested in these questions insofar as I think they affect so many of us. So, I am not going to stop asking these questions and others - however serious or silly or superficial or controversial - here on the blog. Even if that means ruffling a few anonymous feathers along the way...

    But thank you for your comment. While I do not spend my waking hours dreaming that I looked like a gazelle (most of the time), I DO dream that this blog will evolve into a platform for honest, even heated, discussion and debate.

  4. I read your blog on diets and did want to point out that while many of us New York women think "diet" means something one does to lose wight, "diet" also means what animals feed themselves to remain nourished and healthy. I enjoyed reading the China Study by Dr. Colin Campbell (http://www.thechinastudy.com/) and learned to alter my diet to feel better--- this was important to me as I have a colorful background of cancer, diabetes and Alzheimers in my family. Looking gazelle-like, well, that's good too, if you like gazelles. If someone can figure out how to be a human that looks like an elephant AND is healthy, more power to them.


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