My Life for the Next Decade

Me in Margaret River, Australia, 2005

 

I am about to turn 40. Regardless of how I look and feel, this is a lengthy amount of time in life, and I don’t want to waste any more of it. I am motivated by dying.

My 30s were a definite joy. This came with overhauling my health and lifestyle practices – nothing is more important to me than that, but it is first nature to me now, and though I have found that my dharma is to be a health advocate, my passions in life still need tending to, and a couple of them have been neglected for far too long.

My 40s are going to be all about surfing and writing, wellness and survival. Most of my life, I have wanted to be a surfer. I did have a stint of time living on the coast, and partaking often, but I never really improved, never fully dedicated myself to it. I was distracted by boys, I was curtailed by low self-esteem, and plagued by self-doubt and ill-health, mostly mental. I wish I had really focused, gotten private lessons, had the proper gear for my level, been fit and healthy in general – but I wasn’t, and I didn’t. The best I got was at paddling and I could do only the very basics.

This isn’t good enough for me, as I don’t want to get to the end of my life and say, “Wow, I really wish I had spent more time surfing, I never really gave it a good shot, even though I love it more than almost anything else.”

I don’t ever want to be that person. “I wish I had done that. I wish I had eaten better. I wish I had loved more. I wish I was kinder. I wish I had seen more of the world. I wish I had wasted less time.” I never want to say those things. I want to live fully and never miss beautiful opportunities when I have them, because life is precious and rare. LIVING is precious and rare. Most people merely exist. Not me. No. I have a wild heart and I will battle my way through anything to achieve what I want.

It isn’t to impress anyone, it is only for myself, to fill my soul and to see what I am capable of, because I know it is so much. We all have the capacity, we just need to tap in and believe it.

I never believed it when I was younger. I do now.

I want to share my journey because the journeys of others inspire me. I want to share triumphs and failures, because that is what life is. I hope to inspire you to be healthier and to never limit yourself for any reason, particularly age. It is not too late, there is always a way.

Life is NOT about giving up and zoning out. It’s not about avoidance. It’s emotional and vulnerable. I am not myself unless I am healthy and free. I am not myself unless I indulge in the things I love, and help others do the same. All I want is freedom, love, and health, and to help others have the same.

Finding Passion and Freedom in All Forms

I go through long phases of hard-core dedication to blogging. Schedules work for a while, but then I just want to rebel.

I have a different perspective on what I want this place to be. I don’t want to make it completely about advice or inspiration from a “Do this” sort of perspective.

I want it more to be about how I am going about living my life and living in a way that is free, passionate, and bold.

Share how I’m doing it. How I’m making my way through muck and bullshit and money problems and still paving a way, in whatever way I can dream up.

Yeah I’ll still write some inspirational stuff, too, but not because I have a weekly schedule, but because I really feel like writing it.

You know? I don’t like anything to feel forced. Feeling forced feels disgusting. Forced, or fake, or whatever – no. I believe in everything I say and suggest, but I don’t want to plop myself down and say “Okay inspire people.”
People will be inspired or not – it’s not something I can predict.

I’d rather people be inspired by what I do – not what I say.

And sometimes, honestly, I want to lie around and read. I want to go for a dip in the lake. I want to laugh at stupid videos. Sometimes I just want to daydream, or float in the river, or draw elaborate drawings while listening to music or podcasts.

For the last few months I have been overwhelming myself with information, and while I love doing that I eventually need some time to EMPTY myself. I get too full. I need space. And so, while I am dedicated, I can only do that for so long before I need a break to actually integrate that info and then make room for new stuff.

If we get too full of outside information, it doesn’t leave room for our own thoughts and ideas. And that’s where I am at right now. The emptying phase. The time where I cultivate. And the ideas and creativity are alarming. I can’t keep up. I write it all down and want to do it all. It’s crazy – and so much of me is like AGHHH because I just like to chill out in nature and read books. I’m easy to please. I want to eat delicious plant food and write.  I want to go on road trips and dip into swimming holes and go surfing on the coast.

That’s all I really want. Freedom.

Freedom is my #1, it’s my only real goal in life. To do whatever I want – because this is how we are meant to be. We aren’t meant to be tied to anything, we aren’t meant to slave away and grind.
And so this blog is going to be about passion, yes, but really, it’s about finding freedom in all forms.

Lovingly,

Lorra

Save

How I Found My Inner Strength and How I Plan to Keep It

In 7th grade I had 2 friends: one who stabbed me in the back repeatedly, and the other who did homework during recess.

Even earlier, in grade 4, I had no friends. Everyone just teased me relentlessly. I was an easy target. I never stuck up for myself.

Both times, my mother considered switching my schools, though it really would have made no difference – I was the bullseye for any bully.

I cried easily. I still do. I never retaliated in words as I felt they would just fall flat and I’d be laughed at more.

Thank god I didn’t grow up with the internet. This was bad enough. I got nasty phone calls, I got dogshit on my doormat, I got evil letters in the mailbox, I had rocks thrown at my house.

I lived one block away from my elementary school, and rode my bike back and forth, especially at lunch time, to escape the other kids more quickly because once we were out of the classroom, I had no safety from the teacher.

I felt like the most pathetic girl on the face of the planet. I was a nice, creative kid, yet no one seemed to want to be around me, and I could never figure out why. I wasn’t that weird early on – or maybe I was? Maybe I just had more imagination. Maybe I just didn’t follow the popular kids, though I tried for a brief time, not that it did me any good. The popular girl was my friend in grade 6, only to turn everyone against me the next year, one of the worst times of my life.

Being 12 is hard. But then there is high school.

I know I’m not alone, and things could have been much worse. I don’t envy kids today and the bullshit they have to deal with in terms of the internet and phones and all that- but it still destroyed me, and it still impacts me. It shaped me.

I’m glad it happened.

High school was way worse. It seemed to have potential at first. No one bothered me but that didn’t last long. Everyone was just finding their way, and then of course all the rumours spread from the old school to the new, except now there were 10 times as many people, and way more free time between classes, there were lockers to deface, and people were much more bold in class and now I had to deal with it IN class as well as outside of it. So I simply started to skip my classes and do what I wanted, which was listen to crazy music and write stories.

Any stories I’ve ever really been into have been about bold, fierce, strong women, or rebels, or survivalists. Everything I was not.

This NEVER changed. I still obsess over these things. But unlike back then, when I couldn’t even punch someone in my IMAGINATION (I always missed), I now believe I can do anything I want. I now believe I am strong, capable, and ferocious.

It started percolating in grade 10, when I simply snapped and began looking darker, being weirder, and actually raising my voice. Actually, once in grade 8 I slapped a guy who was about to tell my guy friend that I wanted to fuck him – in the middle of class! Not only a lie, but I was 12! So I hit him, and everyone was aghast – “Did she SLAP you?!” And then he slapped me back. The teacher clearly had not arrived yet. I didn’t cry, and I felt so proud of myself because I didn’t – he even slapped me twice! My guy friend looked disturbed, but he never found out what happened as far as I know.

But in grade 10, I became a bitch. I had to. I had no choice unless I wanted to be harrassed and pushed around for the rest of my life. It wasn’t a conscious decision, I just started to be drawn to harsher things – maybe this was my way of putting up a wall, I don’t know, but it worked. People started to leave me alone. I cultivated a fantastic bitchface that I’ve never been able to get rid of. It has caused me a lot of problems in my life, but I’d prefer that over people taking advantage of me, or picking on me, or seeing me as an easy target.

I always wanted to be a warrior, or at least someone people wouldn’t fuck with. I never wanted to feel weak again – but I still did, for a long time. I still felt it deeply, though on the surface I intimidated people. I was still mushy in the center. I was like a dog who barks ferociously but that could never bite and would just cower in a puddle if something truly bad happened.

This lasted until I was about 30.

When I was 26 I saw Kill Bill and wanted so desperately to be that badass. But pfft, I was 26! That’s too old to start martial arts! And I lived in buttfuck nowhere, a Canadian surf town, where the hell would I learn Kung Fu, let alone anything else?

I didn’t even check to see if there was anything nearby where I could learn. My belief was that I was just not cut out for it, that it was too late, that I was too old – that it was something I’d never be able to do, unless I trained for a decade and then maybe I’d be half-decent and that wasn’t good enough.

Okay so then a decade went by. If I’d actually started back then I’d be fantastic at Kung Fu by now – but I’m not, and it’s all because I didn’t believe I could do it. I was still the little girl who couldn’t picture myself throwing a punch.

I also was super identified with being a victim. Poor me.

In my 30s that all changed when I focused on getting truly healthy, which in turn raised my confidence so much that I was like a different human being. I realized I could choose any other label other than “victim.” I didn’t ever have to be the little girl with no friends who got picked on, I didn’t have to be the reactive bitch from high school who felt so damn alone that I just got used to it – so used to it that now I prefer it but still envy people with really close friends – I realized I could do anything I truly wanted to do, if I only believed I could do it.

And so I started martial arts when I was 35. I don’t care that I started so late – I am getting older no matter what, so I might as well learn something substantial in that time. And not just for MY OWN sake. YES, I want to be able to defend myself if necessary. But I also want to inspire and teach other girls that they can stand up for themselves too.

Not just physically, though that is so important. You’d think such horrible violence against women would be rare these days but it sure as hell isn’t, and while it is NEVER the woman’s fault, we need to learn some basic, effective, sneaky, nasty techniques to ensure we SURVIVE, because these are our LIVES at stake. We want to LIVE. I sure as hell do – I lived in a state of angst, despair, and horror most of my life. I’m so fortunate I never had to deal with much physical harrassment, though I’ve had a taste, and I can’t even fathom any more than that. I don’t want ANY woman to deal with that. Or any man, girl, boy, or transgender person. NO ONE.

The amazing thing about martial arts is that I felt like I couldn’t do it, that I would just suck. Almost everything I’ve ever attempted, I just thought I sucked and soon gave up. The only things I’ve ever stuck with for life are writing and drawing.

And now this. Ninjutsu has consumed me in a way I never thought it would. I think about it all the time.

I didn’t need confidence to start. DOING IT GAVE ME CONFIDENCE. Even when I feel like I’m doing terribly, I keep going because I have the motivation to get better, and it’s not just all about ME.

There is an event every few years where women in this art teach other women their skills, and these will be skills we can’t really learn from men – there are things we have to deal with than men don’t – in general we don’t have as much physical strength, we are more targeted for sexual violence, and we are subject to harrassment on a regular basis.

Ninjutsu and martial arts in general tends to attract mostly men, which is why this event is special.

I implore you to help me with whatever you can spare, so I can learn more skills from these women, and so I can raise up OTHER women in the future by helping them become fierce and capable as well, because damn does this world need more fierce, amazing women.

Please help me become one of them.

http://www.gofundme.com/ninjagirl

or

Paypal to lorrafae@gmail.com

Thank you!!

New Home, New Life

It’s been a while since I’ve written, but that’s because I had other focuses – like getting my shit together.

Winter is always rough for me, but the beginning of this year really strangled me. There was a sudden need to leave my boyfriend’s place (because of my dog and the fact she wasn’t supposed to be there – I had to drive her to my parents’ place 4 hours away, for now), a sudden pay cut right after finding the place I wanted to live, and just general fuckery within Mercury Retrograde, whether you believe in it or not – a lot of miscommunication, misunderstandings, and turmoil in my brain. So, I just got myself together and did what I had to do.

I found a new job – very part time, at a raw food cafe – just enough work to pay for rent on my new place, or most of it. Still, I am having to be a lot more frugal than before, but that’s okay. I cherish my freedom more than a big paycheck. I am lucky and grateful to have so many weird little jobs that allow me to work when I want (mostly) and live a life of leisure and to just do what I please (unfortunately a lot of what I want to do takes money, like it does for most people – so I am still working on more ways to make some of that cash!) Mostly I want the free time and the solitude to write, explore, and create.

The most bright thing in my life came to me because I asked the universe for it. Merely wishing for something doesn’t really work when it comes to the Law of Attraction – you have to put it out there, somehow. For instance, I have always said I want to live in the woods near the city. In a cabin or something. But I wasn’t looking for that. Ever. It was only a thought, a wish. I kept scrolling the ads on Craigslist, looking at the meager choices of places I could afford that allow dogs – either they were too expensive or I would have to share with a lot of very young people, and either choice was not what I wanted. One day, on a whim, I put an ad in the “Housing Wanted” section, and right in the subject I said “Woman and quiet dog seek tiny home/cabin.” My ad was short and within a few days I had a response. A tiny house. CHEAP. In the woods. Near the city. I went to see it, and fell in love. I had trepidations that it would be too small, but when I actually went inside it, it was perfect.

A month later, I moved in. My dog will be here in a couple of weeks. There are chickens, and a big foster dog, and the owners are lovely people. It’s quiet, and for the first time in years I don’t need earplugs. When it rains at night, I am lulled to sleep in a little rain cocoon.

Here’s a little video I made of my home. More videos of my life to come.

Like I say in the video, this has felt more like my home than anywhere I’ve lived, other than where I grew up as a kid. And I felt this way after a day or two! I want to live in the woods forever – crazy weather, cougars, bears, ticks, whatever. There are deer and trees and fog and rain and owls and that air that just clears your lungs as if the rain just got into your pores. I am always exclaiming “I love my house” out loud, and I don’t think I’ve ever said those words in my life.

Video Post: My Raw Food Journey and 80/10/10 Probs

My first youtube video in a LONG time – all about my raw food journey and struggles/triumphs on a low fat high/fully raw vegan diet.

Please subscribe to my channel, as I do plan to make more videos 🙂 Thanks!

Why Freedom is my Highest Value


Image by Sarah Lee

In 2000, I was taking an youth entrepreneurship course. I took it because I was on EI before that and the classes were subsidized, so I actually got paid a bit of money to attend – it was pretty cool, actually. At the end of this course we had this motivational type person come in, and he got us to break boards with our hands.

This was pretty daunting to me, who had zero self confidence at the time.

Before all this, though, we had to come up with a WORD to write on the board, something that represented the thing most important to us, what we most wanted from life – and we had to keep asking why we wanted those things.

I want money! Why? So I can have comfort and nice stuff! Why? So…I can live the good life! Why? Uh…stability! Why do you want stability?

That sort of thing.

My word ended up being freedom. Why do I want freedom? Well duh, to be free. I couldn’t go further than that, and I wrote it on my board. And, with  a lot of trepidation, I did break it. I had a feeling of power after that, like I could do anything. I was astounded that I was able to break a piece of wood with my palm! I kept those boards in my possession for probably a decade.

Freedom to me means living a FULL LIFE. Being able to do the things I LOVE, and not to have huge restrictions. If it feels restrictive to me, I know it has to change. This is why I left my last relationship. This is why I dropped my dogma about my diet (it may seem restrictive to others how I do eat, but it doesn’t to me, and that’s what matters). It’s why I won’t stay in a job I loathe. It’s why I abhor debt and will do anything to stay out of it. It’s why I decided not to go back to school and just learn from other sources and teach myself things that are VERY important to me.

I want the ability to explore, have experiences, and not live conventionally – not because I think it’s wrong, but because it doesn’t feel right in my heart. If I am free, I am never bored. If I’m bored, I know that something is repressing me way, way too much and I must get out, or I will EXPLODE, in some way or another. Life is too short for that. I constantly look for ways around typical lifestyles and there are so, so many if you really dig deep!! This may not be the case all around the world, and that sucks, but if you are living in a 1st world country, you have options and lots of them, you just gotta delve as far you can into your creative mind. Come up with your Plan Z – sometimes when you do this, you realize that a more minimalist life can be the most freeing.

Is freedom important to you? It should be. You should not let anyone repress you. It’s your life. Repression is for control freaks. It’s okay to have boundaries and some leeway, but if you are feeling depressed, sad for “no reason,” or that you are trapped…do whatever you can to get OUT.

Is your BODY holding you back (are you unhealthy, sedentary, immobile, etc)? Is your partner holding you back (are they truly your “partner”)? Your job? Your home? Your country? Your city?

Usually it is just your MIND.

Your own mind is the biggest thing holding you back. Your own beliefs. Question them. When you think you’ve done everything…look harder. There are millions of ways to get through anything – I cannot stress this enough! The mind is the thing holding you back more than ANYTHING. If you think you are incapable of something, because of physical or financial circumstances…you are not being creative enough.

Creativity is the key to life, the key to freedom, just as health is. Health + creativity will take you everywhere, along with a positive attitude. If you have those three things, you are on your way to living the life you’re meant to live!

Photos of My Favourite Adventures

I’ve had a pretty full life so far and it is continuously getting more and more adventurous as I get older and more confident.

Even when I have been self-doubting and fearful, I have pressed forward, traveled alone, moved to new places, and taken daily opportunities for adventures. I’ve always had this need to explore and experience – to LIVE and not just exist. Something as simple as dancing naked in the rain on New Years Eve (done it), or hiking in the dark, or attempting something new – these are prescriptions for a non- typical existence.

Here are just a sampling of exciting times in my life!

Tofino BC, 2001 – this is the first time I ever went surfing, though I’d wanted to since I was 12 (so it took me 10 years to do so).

Raglan, New Zealand, 2005 – that is not me surfing, but it was somewhere I wanted to visit ever since seeing it in Endless Summer.

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, 2010 – Pipeline – a dream to see this crazy place in person. It sounded like thunder!

Port Moody, BC, 2008 – there was a sign saying there was a cougar spotted in the area, so I pretended to be the cougar.

Coral Bay, Western Australia, 2005 – this is where I went on a swim with whale sharks – still the coolest thing I’ve ever done.

Phuket, Thailand, 2013 – me and one of many beach dogs. Such a fantastic island. Solo trip.

Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2013 – part of my month-long solo trip last year.

Paris, France, 2011 – family trip with my Dad, Uncle, and his wife.

Gabriola Island, BC, 2007 – my dog Leya, and my friend Amy, on a jaunt through the woods.

Squamish, BC, 2008 – on the Chief mountain, with Leya – the first time I’d ever hiked up a mountain. My dog slept for 2 days after and I had a hard time walking for a week.

Lollapalooza, Vancouver, BC, 1993 – this was probably my pinnacle year. It defined who I’d become.

Whistler, BC, 1993 – I’d go here in summer with my mom. Went white-water rafting. Mostly checked out skater boys.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1992 – the first time I ever caught a wave was here, on a boogie board. Hooked. Warmest water I’ve ever been in.

Mission, BC, 1990 –  me and my dad at a swimming hole – I was 12.

What are some of your favourite adventures?? Please share with me!

Being a Badass

Me and my ninja man, 2014

I was born to be a badass.

Maybe that sounds arrogant or whatever, but listen to me. This is not me regaling you with tales of awesomeness, it is a story to relate to in whatever way you can. Try and see yourself in this – what were you born to be?

Ever since I was a little girl, the FIERCE FEMALE has called to me. I have been entranced by warriors, enraptured by banshees, and just sucked in by any woman who is Amazonian in nature – femme fatale, vagabond, or fighter. Even when I was interested in modeling, the model who I most wanted to be like was a 6’3 giantess with muscles, not a waif (though I found them beautiful, too – just in a different way).

I preferred She-ra over Barbie, by far.

Why did this come about? I was a weak, sensitive kid, a loner, an only child. I cried all the time – I still do. So how is it possible that I was “born to be a badass?” I WANTED to be tough, because I wasn’t. My path has always been towards strength and wildness, even though I was unaware. Everything thrown in my way has made me more formidable. I have slowly become more and more confident and bold because of conquering all the bullshit in my life – I have never let it DEFEAT me. I never wanted to be rescued, not really. Helped, sure, when necessary – but all the worst hurdles I’ve had were overcome by sheer will to survive. Being a victim was not an option. No princess attitude here.

The path I’ve taken has been slow-moving, but it was all because I was afraid, insecure, and part of me still identifies with my small self, even though my big self is so wildly different. I am still sensitive, but I am not insecure. If I do get that way I find ways to get past it. I am afraid, but still, I always push forward. I challenge myself. I tell myself I am brave and tenacious. I am sometimes anxious, but I trust my intuition. I know when it’s just fear and when it’s my gut telling me to actually STOP. I am at a point where I know what I can do, am willing to do, and I am willing to push through any bullshit to get there.

“We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become.”

“Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.” – Steven Pressfield, The War of Art.

I don’t need to prove to anyone that I am a badass. I know I am, because I go for what I want. I strengthen myself daily – either by pushing through my personal fears, or not allowing myself to do things I know would make me miserable. I would rather live in my car or in a tent than live a cushy life being someone who isn’t true to herself. I would rather write a blog to 10 people reading and RESONATE with them, than do something just to gather readers, money, and “likes” – fuck that.

I would rather learn skills that mean something to ME than to please someone else. I know what makes me feel strong. I don’t have to prove myself to anyone but ME. I do things to prove to myself I can do them. If anyone says I can’t do something, I will prove them wrong (if I WANT to). If something is important enough to me, I fucking do it, even if it takes me years.

You know when you do something and you think, “Oh my god, why didn’t I do this 10, 20 years ago?” I get that once in a while, but I also realize that on our personal life journeys, things happen when they are meant to, when you are ready for them. The right teacher comes to you when you’re ready. So does the right partner, the right book, the right moment – the epiphanies you need SHOW UP when you are READY and OPEN. Pay attention!

I made a sort-of joke to myself not long ago that I’d like to be a badass for a living. And then I realized I wasn’t joking at all.

Recommended Reading:
Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously
Feel the Fear . . . and Do It Anyway

My Personal List of Dreams and Goals

Me in Hawaii, 2010

I love reading other people’s goals and fantasies, especially if they are taking steps to achieve them. Why have dreams and aspirations at all, if not to have something to strive for, to live for?

Here is an incomplete list of things I want to do and accomplish while I am alive.  I am taking steps to do all of them, these are not just fantasies.

I’d love to hear yours, too.

+ Travel to every continent, and every country possible
+ Write my series of novels (and more books)
+ Have a great community of friends around the world who I connect with via this blog and elsewhere
+ Have several rescued dogs
+ Learn to ride a motorcycle
+ Age beautifully
+ Be in a band and make music
+ Stay healthy until I am old and rainbow (not grey! When my hair is white you better believe it’s getting dyed crazy colours – I would do it now if it wasn’t so damaged – though white hair is pretty bad-ass, too – no short grey hair for me).
+ Help other people become healthier
+ Get my black belt (and higher) in Ninjutsu
+ Later when this happens, I want to teach other people to defend themselves, especially girls, and have a dojo with my partner
+ Get so fit it baffles people (and myself)
+ Ride barrels on my surfboard (this one is gonna be tricky but it’s still really my #1 desire)
+ Work for myself forever and be financially independent and successful on my own terms
+ Inspire others to get truly healthy and make the most of their lives
+ Write and draw my graphic memoir from my 90s teenage years
+ Continually become more and more awesome
+ Have my own home and land with mega gardens
+ Travel across Canada
+ Watch a surf contest at Pipeline, in person
+ Various naughty things I’m not going to elaborate on
+ Read thousands of books
+ Hike many long trails
+ Liberate some helpless creatures
+ Go to Burning Mam
+ Connect with the people who inspire me the most
+ Only spend time with people who add positivity and joy to my life
+ Be kind and loving, but fierce and relentless
+ Give a shit about things that MATTER, and ignore the bullshit

I have been working for many years on crafting a life that allows me to do what I want.

If you don’t have a list you refer to often, you will melt into the mediocrity of basic existence. Don’t just exist. LIVE.

Please share yours in the comments or on Facebook 🙂

 

Recommended Reading:

The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul
Be a Free Range Human: Escape the 9-5, Create a Life You Love and Still Pay the Bills
The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World
Do the Work

Dogmatic Diet Guidelines and My Typical Daily Raw Vegan Meals

I’ve been on the raw food path for six and a half years now. Do I follow 80/10/10 low fat raw vegan diet? Sort of.

I have followed it strictly in the past. At times I have adhered to many people’s “instructions” even if they made little sense to me.

I like Bruce Lee’s advice (and it applies to everything) – Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own. Eliminate the non-essential.

Do you need 3000 calories a day just because someone says so? Unlimited calories! It makes SO much sense, right? Come on. Eat what you USE. Figure out what is absolutely necessary for you to function at your best and fuel you through the activities you love. Otherwise you are taking in calories you do not need, and you are spending money on food which you could spend on other things you enjoy doing. Don’t make your whole life about food.

A lot of people who come to raw foods are so transformed that they want to make every aspect of their life about it (myself included – I was a zealot at first)! They want to be gurus, open a restaurant, coach people, or be youtube celebrities – and that’s fine if it is not making you forget other things you were previously passionate about.

Being healthy is the catalyst to help propel you towards the things you love with ENERGY and INTENSITY. The healthier you are, the more you will be able to go after your dreams. Health and nutrition are far more important than a set of rules or dogma.

I’ve read so much about different ways to be raw over the last 6.5 years. I continue to experiment but also stick to what I know works as my base and I advise you to do the same. Nutrition is fascinating, and also confusing. This is why you have to try things for yourself and see what happens. You should be energized, strong, clear headed, slim, satisfied, hydrated, and with great digestion.

So what have I learned? No one knows everything, and if they claim to, take what makes sense and then THINK FOR YOURSELF. Remember, things like 80/10/10 are “more like guidelines than actual rules.

Don’t let anyone dictate to you what is right or not right for you. Ethics are always important to keep in mind, and there are set beliefs I have that will not change, but they make SENSE to me. If something does not ring true to you on a DEEP level, then question it. Research. Keep open. Do not take what anyone says to you as gospel. When this sort of thing happens it is dogma, and it is cultish and extremist. Being rigid allows you to easily break and be taken advantage of.

Every time I had issues with something I learned from a raw food “leader” I tried something else to tweak what made sense.

When I had awful dandruff, skin rashes and dryness on 80/10/10 I was convinced it was an allergy, or that I was not drinking enough water, or that it was the overdose of sugar causing it even though I felt good otherwise. What was it? I found out it was LACK of sodium – this took me about 2 years to discover on my own by eating some cooked food over the winter and having my skin miraculously turn soft and beautiful again. Lack of sodium probably causes a lot of people on low fat raw vegan to turn to cooked foods as they may demonize salt as I used to do (and many people do not eat nearly enough vegetables or greens on a low fat raw vegan diet). It is not failure, it is lack of knowledge and listening to people who claim to know EVERYTHING, when they do not.

So what do I eat these days? I am not as rigid as I once was, and I will have something cooked once in a while (usually hummus) but I accept the consequences (headache, runny nose) and try to keep it rare. It is a CHOICE for me, and not a failure or a binge.

I am 100% raw most of the time, and that’s what matters (to ME).

Typical Daily Food:

1. I start out with a glass or two of water, depending on how thirsty I am. I usually wake up once to pee in the night because I hate being dehydrated. Usually it’s just plain water, and I have more throughout the day.

2. I have a smoothie. It is usually 1-2 bananas with 2-3 ataulfo mangoes. I might put a date or two in there. Sometimes I use berries, sometimes I now use a tsp of acai powder. I add in 2 tbsp of Warrior Force protein powder (raw vegan) – I am doing this as an experiment because I am wanting to gain more muscle. If you are not trying to gain any muscle mass, you definitely do not need more protein. But if you do want more, then a raw vegan protein is better than anything else. I also add in 1 tbsp of Vitamineral Green.

3. Sometimes, but not every day, I will have a piece or two of raw chocolate. Why? First of all, I really like it, and a small amount of fat after breakfast keeps me going longer without getting hungry. It also gives me magnesium which alleviates my awful menstrual cramps. When I have this almost daily, I get no cramps. Nix it and they come back – doesn’t matter what else I do, this has worked, and I’d rather eat this than take a mineral supplement. Plus it makes me a little extra happy through the day!

4. For a snack I might have dried mulberries or other berries since it’s the season!

5. Lunch I will have a bunch of grapes or another smoothie 🙂 Or sometimes I will gorge on berries. Another snack I have been having is blackberries – I go out and forage for them because they are everywhere right now.

6. For dinner I will sometimes have some fruit (not always) and then a big salad, which generally has a head of greens (arugula, kale, spinach, spring mix), 6-10 campari tomatoes, kelp noodles, some kelp and dulse, cucumber (1/2), zucchini noodles (1), and then a dressing made of tahini (about 1/4 cup), 2 oranges juiced, 1 lemon juiced, a few green onions, and either rosemary or dill. I also add a small amount of cumin and Himalayan salt (very little, only for sodium – I can’t afford to juice tons of celery every day). THE BEST. Once in a while I make guacamole and have that with cucumber slices (instead of the big salad). Sometimes I will have some kombucha.

Other supplements I now take are: cranberry/D-mannose (I am prone to UTIs and this has worked well – it’s the only thing I take daily), probiotics (I was on antibiotics for a UTI early this year and continue to replenish my natural bacteria), B12 sublinguals, D3 (mostly in winter), K2, vegan DHA, zinc. Having the right nutrients is far more important to me than following an extremist diet, and if I can get it through food or sunshine, I do.

So far, out of the last 6.5 years, this is what has made me feel and look the best. I am becoming much more lean and less bloated since doing this. I feel good. If you are miserable on 80/10/10, Raw til 4, or 90/5/5, then TWEAK it. Don’t go overboard with sodium and fat but add some back in! Don’t be scared of it because some OTHER person says to be. Don’t SMASH the calories because someone else does. How do YOU feel? If you only need 2000 cals, then eat that much! Don’t restrict either! Restriction means DEPRIVING yourself. You also don’t need to STUFF yourself. Eating what satisfies you and provides you with the nutrition you need is ENOUGH.

I would say my ratios are about 70/10/20 (carbs, protein, fat) right now and I feel awesome this way. But I am open to changing things again, because I have lost my dogma. Remember – you are a smart individual with INSTINCTS and INTUITION. USE them.

Recommended Reading:

Raw food and health books