Today’s Observations
My yoga teacher (Kori Stroble) is celebrating her 34th birthday and invited her students to join her tonight for a special yoga practice.  The core of the practice was 34 sun salutations in honor of each year of her life. It had been a looong time since I had been in a yoga class and I have to admit that I was a bit nervous going into this one.  As we sat in meditation at the beginning of the class, and I thought about my intention for the two hours that lie ahead, I realized that this was also my 34th day of being 100% raw.  Wow! The Universe blows me away with this stuff.  And how appropriate it was that I was celebrating it doing yoga with Kori because it was in January 2008, when I participated in a small intention group with Kori and a few of her students, that I first went raw and set an intention for my journey…

I honor the Divine within me
By making extraordinary decisions every single day
That support the exquisite care of my body, mind, and soul
In such a way that it’s contagious.

By way of reflection, I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at this intention and see how it has manifested in the past 34 days.

ex-traor-din-ar-y – beyond what is usual, ordinary, regular or established, as in extraordinary decisions.
People talk about how long it takes to form a new habit or make a shift in behavior – 3 weeks? 30 days? 3 months?  I suppose that’s why I set out for 30 days raw… to give myself enough time to build a new way of being.  But what I realize is that the shift that happened in me didn’t take 30 days… it took a moment.   The moment I made the decision to eat 100% raw for 30 days, a shift happened in my mind and my heart and my being… and everything changed.  Of course it is true that with time, eating raw has become easier and more of a habit, but that is secondary to the shift that happened when I made a decision to do things differently.  The moment of that decision opened up a whole new universe of possibilities.  If there was just one lesson I could take away from this experience, this would be it – be bold, be fearless, don’t be so ‘mayo’, make extraordinary decisions… every single day.

ex-quis-ite – of rare excellence of production or execution, as works of art or workmanship, as in exquisite care.
I love this idea of treating my body, mind and soul as a precious work of art.  I think the thing that has surprised me the most in this 34 day journey, has been the impact on my mind and soul.  Not to minimize the changes to my body – I’ve lost weight, my joints flow more freely, my hot flashes have been significantly reduced, my skin is softer and brighter, and my energy continues to skyrocket.  But it is the changes to my mind and soul that took me by surprise.  I feel incredible clarity of mind.  It’s difficult to describe this, as one almost has to experience it juxtapose to not having clarity of mind.  In any case,  with that, I am able to think more clearly and have been able to make decisions about my life and my business that have expanded both in new and exciting directions.  Also unexpected have been the changes in my spiritual life.  Implementing a 5:30 morning routine of yoga, meditation, gratitude, and intention has deepened my spiritual connection and I feel  it has opened a channel for Spirit to flow more freely.   I’ve come to understand and experience that everything starts with energy, and when I infuse my body with living energy, my mind and my soul are also more alive.  Bottom line,  BIG energy = BIG life.

con-ta-gious – tending to spread from person to person, as in in such a way that it’s contagious.
I love educating people about raw foods, and I love preparing it for my friends, but it has never been my style to try to convert people to raw.  And yet, in the past 34 days, my mom and brother asked for seconds of my watermelon gazpacho, my nephew’s wife started her own 30 day raw challenge, my friends from Texas hosted their own raw dinner party, and my colleagues with whom I serve on a non-profit board, decided that our next meeting will be a raw potluck.  I’m blown away by how contagious this stuff is and it’s fun to see how the deliciousness of the food, and the energy you get from it, and the joy it brings all speak for themselves.

So lets run the numbers…
days raw – 34
pounds lost – 8
recipes tried – 23
energy found – immeasurable :)

My intention is to continue 100% raw as long as it feels right.  I’ve had so much fun discovering new recipes and writing this blog, that I plan to continue trying new recipes, revisiting my old favorites, and writing at least twice a week.  I’ve also been thinking about my next 30 day challenge – perhaps 30 days of yoga classes, or 30 days of waste reduction…  I’m still thinking on this one, but whatever it turns out to be, i hope you will join me for the journey.  By the way, I made it through the 34 sun salutations, and like going 100% raw, the more I did, the easier it got. :)

Today’s Recipe – Orange Cilantro Green Smoothie
This recipe is a favorite of mine. I like it because it is simple and delicious, and I usually have the ingredients in my fridge.  I typically have it as a morning or lunch smoothie.  If you want, you can leave the avocado out to make it less thick or you can add another avocado to it to make it into more of a soup.  I just made this smoothie for The Green Chick.  You can check out the video blog here.

Orange Cilantro Green Smoothie (4+ Yums)
2 cups orange juice – fresh squeezed is best if possible
1 english cucumber, unpeeled
1 healthy handful Cilantro
1 avocado

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

Today’s Affirmation
I breath in all the Universe has to offer me today, I breath out gratitude.