May 15, 2007

Eat, Read, Ferment

SO the day after SAM’S PLAY, I had crack-smoke-fully agreed to go do a library lunch in Huntsville.

It seemed NOT insane because I had gone to the library BEFORE, remembered really liking the people, remembered that they had done a GREAT job with the publicity and gathered a nice crowd for me, remembered the venue as being lovely.

All those things were true, but I ALSO remembered it as being two hours away. This is EMPHATICALLY not true, and ample proof that the crack, she is bad. That library IS two hours away….from my parents' house. Which was WHERE I WAS STAYING the last time I agreed to go. HEH.

It is FOUR hours away from MY house, and while I WILL drive four hours for a good venue of nice people who rock the publicity, I HAVE to stay over. I can’t drive more than an hour, two at the outside, after doing a book talk. Post-public speaking, I am generally very drained and sleepy and four hours of driving + drained and sleepy = suicide by truck.

Well. I could not stay over even though I have family in Huntsville because I had SAM’S PLAY on Thursday night, and Maisy’s dance recital was Saturday in the MORNING. So. I had to go up and back. In one day.


Luckily my wonderful Dad has seen me get into the passenger seat and drop into immediate REM sleep after public speaking, so he decided to go to Huntsville WITH me and drive me back after.

Let me tell you how NICE these folks were. They looked on my website and saw I had caught granola-fever, and put the chocolates they had bought me aside and went right out and got me UNSWEETENED Carob almonds (surprisingly great!) and dried apricots. THEN! To add fermented bean curd to an already perfect day, alert FTK reader Tami showed up with LITTLE SOUP PACKES OF MISO PASTE. *weep* Ya’ll FTK’ers are so NICE.

Anyway, I say all this because I am getting a lot of emails and comments asking
WHAT ARE YOU EATING, EXACTLY, YOU BIG FREAK? Some go on to say, BECAUSE I WANT TO BE A BIG FREAK TOO and some just want to know.

The only question I have been asked more in the last two weeks is WHAT ARE YOU READING. SO! Here we go!


Just finished: The Monk Downstairs
In the middle of Blood and Circumstance
Up next is Queen of Broken Hearts

I also generally have an audio book going, and I am delighted to report that Lee Child’s new REACHER book launches today , and I am going to buy it on audio AS SOON AS EVER the closest bookstore unlocks. BEEN WAITING FOR THIS ONE. REACHEREACHEREACHER! Viva la Reacher! Reacher forever!

Now, as for what I am eating (I big freak) here is HOW TO DO A 14 DAY SIMPLE INNER CHILD CLEANSE. Which, by the way? I am done. Lost about six and a half pounds, got back in my old jeans, and yes, Virginia, my skin IS glowing like the dewy butt cheeks of 1000 babies, if I DO say so myself.

Morning: Get up and drink a quart of boiling hot salt water. SEA salt, please, as Morton’s or any other iodized type of salt will make you vomit. We are CLEANSING, not trying to contract bulimia. Try to think of it as BROTH, and you are less likely to gag. FOR THE RECORD, I am an EASY gagger, and I absolutely could NOT manage this. Supposedly, salt is a scouring agent and is very cleansy, but, ugh. No.

I drank a quart of boiling hot lemon water instead, under the theory that lemon must be a cleansy sort of thing, too, or else why would Pledge come in lemon flavor? <---logic!

Week one
Protein: Crazy Bible Pasta
WILD CAUGHT fish/shellfish (Eat farmed fish as your sole source of protein and you will have so much mercury in you, you would be able to act as a viable thermometer. Also, you might contract brain cancer. Mercury = bad.)

Fat: Olive Oil. No butter or lard and NO! hydrogenated oils

Carbs: Whole oats (I ate em raw, but if you must eat em cooked, use water and NO quick cook kinds or flavored kinds. You want old fashioned WHOLE GRAIN oats)
Crazy Fiber brown rice blends
Whole grain couscous
Kashi Go Lean Cereal (no milk, no CRUNCH variety, the PLAIN go lean that looks like cat kibbles and is NOT sweet)
*With carbs, you are looking for a BARE minimum of 4 grams of fiber per serving, where a serving is 150 – 200 calories. Except the oats, I actually did not eat anything with less than 7 grams of fiber per serving that first week,choosing courcous with milled flax is also a smart choice.*

ANY AND ALL raw fruits and veggies and blanched veggies. I also ate a TON of sautéed spinach. Avoid starchy veggies---no potatoes, corn, peas. If you have to COOK it to eat it, it is probably not good. Juice is fiberless and sugar high and to be avoided. I used dribbles of it to flavor my sparkling water.

Something fermented – Miso is best as you are off dairy this week. Or you can take acido-dolphins in pill form, which is what I did.

Drink another quart of cold water by the day’s end, and you may have black coffee and or unsweetened tea if you are a caffeine junky like me.

At bedtime: Last thing you do is drink a 6 ounce cup of Senna Tea with 1.5 teaspoons of honey. ONLY use for 14 days.

WEEK TWO: I added a little milk for coffee, red wine for mental health, and black beans and other bean-type things for protein/carbs and unsweetened carob almonds for a dessert-like substance.

THAT’S IT. It seems very restricted, but…it’s 14 days. You can do ANYTHING for 14 days.

On Mother’s day (Day 15! DONE!) I ravaged a platter of SOUTHWESTERN EGGROLLS!!!! FRIED OH LORDY! YUM! And bogarted a small bag of POPPYCOCK (I got so HIGH on the sugar I was bouncing into walls) BUT Now I am back on the narrow path to narrower jeans again. I want the jeans I am fitting into to be NOT QUITE SO TIGHT by the time I leave for NYC in 2 weeks. Here on day 16, I am keeping the same eating plan but am off the tea and the Acido-dendrons. I am considering allowing myself to eat chicken and meat again but so far have not.

Also? White bread and pasta now tastes like Elmer’s glue to me – vile and sticky and white in my mouth. Can’t stand it.

ALSO? Except for Easter and Mother’s day I have had no dessert or processed sugar since ASH WEDNESDAY (February 21). At this point, I don’t crave it like I used to, and I have gone off artificial sweeteners as well.

The thing about this “Life plan” is, it is complicated and fussy enough to be INTERESTING---I am ENJOYING obsessing about it and finding WEIRD THINGS I can put experimentally into my stomach in the name of health. It’s become entertainment, and I only hope I don’t find myself in a hemp dress and rubber sandals, scrabbling around with dirty nails near my compost pile in the back yard so I can bury my home-strained tofu to ferment naturally in the earth…. but it is not INCONCEIVABLE, you know?

Posted by joshilyn at May 15, 2007 9:38 AM

14 days is not so bad. Perhaps I shall become a big freak, too. GOOD ON YOU for fitting into the old jeans.

Posted by: Aimee at May 15, 2007 10:26 AM

I would LOVE to be a BIG FREAK, but I just don't think I have the willpower right now. It's hard enough to make one dinner every night and if I started this plan I'd have to make two. There's no way my 2 and 4 year old would eat crazy bible pasta. I AM jealous,though. About the jeans, thing. And the baby-butt smoothness.

Posted by: Leandra at May 15, 2007 11:38 AM

I refuse to believe you would ever wear rubber sandals. EVER!

But I'm glad you're having a good time with the Life Plan. :-)

Posted by: DebR at May 15, 2007 11:56 AM

I am not feeling nearly as sorry for myself, suffering along on the Weight Watchers Wagon. Thank you for that.

Posted by: jennielynn at May 15, 2007 12:54 PM

I think I could do the BIG FREAK diet if I only had to cook for myself . . . but if I lived alone, there is no question I'd be the woman you fear becoming in your last paragraph (hey, I have graying hair that's never been cut, I'm on my way).

Posted by: Brigitte at May 15, 2007 2:00 PM

No wonder your books are such a hoot - I love coming here. I promise if you ever make it up yonder to the NW, I will bring whatever crazy food you require. We have hemp dresses a plenty here. You'd fit right in.

Posted by: Lisa Milton at May 15, 2007 2:54 PM

Oh my. That diet would not fit in with our lifestyle. When do you eat the fried fat back, (cooked in a cast iron skillet loaded with iron and lead) and buttermilk and cornbread? I know - - typical southern staples will kill you. It killed my husband's grandfather - - at age 102! Shrug.

Posted by: Rhonda at May 15, 2007 3:35 PM

Ok, just saying, everyone should have a compost pile. And I admire your tenacity.

Posted by: amy at May 15, 2007 7:22 PM

OK, let me just be the voice of reason and say, um, FUH-reak. And not in a good way. You've been listening to the wheat-grass people again, haven't you? Back Away from the tofu! Was it not you, oh Beautiful Tulip, who introduced me to the South Beach diet? Which is so sane? And reasonable? And healthy without being nuts? Clearly I've been away too long. Only a month till I visit, BT, try not to starve to death before I get there, k? ;) Miss You!

Posted by: Amy-Go at May 15, 2007 10:30 PM

I'm so inspired by your Discipline and this Method! The idea of thinking of the process as an experiment is so intriguing :)

Posted by: Stephanie at May 15, 2007 10:52 PM

I'm sayin' nothing about the diet. Couldn't do it, don't wanna, I don't mind being the size I am, which is unfashionable but comfy.

However, I read the advance of the new Lee Child ages ago, and Peach? Don't wait. Get it RIGHT AWAY and RIGHT NOW!

Oh my.

He's here at the shop on the 24th. I can't wait. It's so good!

When Nicola Griffith was in to sign her new one, we got to talking, and we all figured it'd be great fun to walk into a bar where Jack Reacher, John Rain, Kathy Mallory and Aud Torvingen were having a drink. Of course it'd be tough, since there'd be serious discussion about who got to sit with his/her back to the wall!

Posted by: Fran at May 15, 2007 10:58 PM

Congrats!!!! Now you're a big THIN FREAK! Hurrah!

Ummm, pretty much EVERYONE in Asheville wears hemp clothing and rubber sandals and makes their own tofu and prides themselves on the rate of their compost turnover. Got a problem with that?

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