Well I'm not normally the type for blogs, but wanted to comment on my status in Hawaii and what my
ideas for myself here are and it also happened to be my two year anniversary so I thought I'd share
on that front as well. This will be long (so long in fact I'm not sure anyone will bother to read
it!), so brace yourself! In two sections, 2 months in Hawaii section and 2 year anniversary section:
Hawaii is beautiful, weather here is awesome and I've developed a nice tan. I love sitting out in
the Sun. Bit me at first as I'm homeless and had to walk around at first putting me in the Sun most
hours of the day when I'd come from a cold winter place so didn't have any real tan. But sitting
outside now is easy and doesn't burn me and feels awesome (also am more inclined to avoid the high
hours to not overdo it). I walked from the airport into town (was offered a ride, but declined).
Didn't quite make it in the first day (carrying two bags, one backpack another gym bag with clothes,
when I wasn't in particular shape was tough!). Luckily it didn't take me long after that to get a
bike and then to get a back rack for it to carry my second bag. And suddenly I could get around
without too much travel. I've been sleeping outside in an un-sheltered place not far out of town (I
stayed in town one night, but the spot was suffocating with its odor so didn't return to that spot).
Gets a little cold at night, but doesn't rain too much luckily so sleeping outside is great!
Still don't have all the supplies I want, but plan on getting a few things soon, like a mat of some
sort to sleep on, a blanket or sleeping bag (been adding on clothes every night and sleeping on
fairly rough ground, but still sleep decent). Also a side rack for my back rack to carry a bit more
which will help me as recently been gorging on papaya. I never ate them before as the ones I
encountered on the mainland smelled bad to me and I wasn't inclined to eat them. But I find myself
enjoying them. Also they're super cheap (got 23 yesterday for just $6). Definitely not as good as
some of the super ripe mangos I had, but mangos are in a bit of a dry spell at the moment and aren't
really in season here yet. I had been buying the imports, of which some were real good, others not
Prior to coming here I had been pretty much entirely organic, short of a few rare meals over the
years that weren't, because of lack of options in a few instances and once or twice simply because I
wasn't careful and accidentally got non-organic. Although coming here and being on a tight budget
that wasn't to last as I now consume lots of non-organic fruit (not sure actually about these
papaya, but guessing probably not organic). That was a large disappointment for me as I hate the
idea of paying to poison the land and myself on top of that... but I guess I decided I'd rather
settle for non-organic then go instant broke (also the organic options are very limited at times..
for now atleast). I hope with Spring underway and then rolling into Summer organic stuff will be
more available and affordable and I'll be able to eat more organic again. I have atleast so far
stayed all organic on my veggies although I eat considerably less of them now than I have in the
past. I expect to pick that back up though and to eat more. I am eating much more fruit on average
though than before.
Also with being homeless and having my bike I've done well to get exercise every day biking into
town and then around town (and up some hills!). Hills at first were real tough and many forced me to
walk up them, but now even the toughest I need to go up in town I can bike (although some still
slowly and having me breathing heavy at the end!). I must say though that these last two months have
been great for consistently getting exercise. I had exercise stints here and there before, but
seemed to struggle to stay working out. I imagine some of that was because for so many years I'd
trashed my body and I think it really needed to do healing before I could really get into exercise.
I think I finally turned the corner and have healed sufficiently that I can now maintain daily
exercise without problem. Biking up some of those hill sections for the first time without walking
or stopping at all felt like a great accomplishment. I look forward to continued improvements that
will allow me to more easily bike farther distances for exploring and adventuring. I hope to be able
to find some places to forage for free and super ripe fruit ready for the picking!
I must say here in Hawaii the place here besides just having great weather has a much better
ambience and friendlier people. First day I did get an offered ride into town and many times since
then I've been offered food by people trying to help out (although it almost inevitably seems to be
junk food so I've yet to accept any). I'm not the sociable type, which is why I haven't said much
prior, but I definitely like the vibe around here.
So what are my goals for here, coming as a raw vegan on an expensive diet with not a whole lot of
money? Risky move for sure, but I wanted to live a better healthier life in a more pleasant place.
Wanted to live in a place that was warmer and could support more of the wonderful fruits that I
enjoy. I hope to eventually get a job working on an organic vegan friendly farm. Would be great to
have direct access to lots of food, a place to stay, learn to grow organic food myself, and help
pick and grow it for others. If I'm lucky I'll find some decent people that I can work with and
before I go totally broke! And make a little money too perhaps so I can live sustainably and have a
sheltered place to sleep too for those times when it does rain. Where exactly on the island that
will take me I don't know, hesitant to go to any place that will be too cloudy for my love for the
Sun, but obviously need a place that rains enough to grow stuff! Failing that I don't know what I'll
do... I haven't looked for work in a long time and not sure I could bring myself to drone in some of
these places or to serve up poison as if I endorse it. Economy is rough which makes it extra tough
(Go Ron Paul!).
I recently got some Hawaii books for biking and guide to the island which will help me when I do get
set for a longer journey. Not sure what extra supplies I should get for my bike, I did put some crap
into the tubes to help seal up leaks after getting two flats. And the stuff seems to work as I
leaked air one day and it seemed to seal it up giving me a partial flat that could just be refilled
and easily fixed versus a total flat that requires repair. Figure before I venture too far I atleast
need a way to refill my tires (mini-pump or compressed air?... don't know) if not extra tubes or
something like that. At the moment for rain protection all I have is a poncho (just covers upper
body pretty much). Had a quite unpleasant night my first week when I got soaked in the middle of the
night and was cold and unable to sleep for many hours. But since then I've managed to stay mostly
dry and cover up well enough to manage during the night (fully folded out poncho mostly covers me
and my bags which I keep at the ready every night now). Until I get a job on a farm, which I haven't
directly inquired about to any farmers yet, I'm just improving my general fitness which was lacking
and keeping myself well fed so that once I do get such a job I'll be more up to the task! Which I
hope has some physical demands because I was kind of looking forward to being outside in the good
company of fruit getting a decent amount of exercise. I worked office jobs for many years and retail
for a few and that's not what I'm looking for now!
Perhaps life will take me in another direction, but that's where I stand on Hawaii now. If you have
any tips on that front or connections for people that might be looking for a worker in a couple
months give or take please hook me up! When I said I wasn't too sociable I just meant outgoing
mostly, I'm pretty friendly, honest, and not a trouble causer.
So two years transforming my life and health with eating raw vegan food! Woot go me! I'd never
smoked and only very rarely had a drink, so I didn't start with those vices atleast. I did enjoy all
my various foods though and I haven't 'gone back' even once since first giving up meat (Feb 2010)
and then cooked food (April 2010). So where did I start and how have things developed for me since
then? Read on and I shall share that info.
So my health and eating prior to February 2010... I grew up eating a fairly standard American diet,
with a bit of an Italian bent. Ate McDonald's occasionally, Pizza Hut, and various other fast foods
from time to time and had fairly simple home made meals also with the occasional. I had a sweet
tooth and grew up eating cookies regularly, would eat M&M's whenever I was offered, on special
occasions I'd even down huge amounts of cake, and on Halloween indulged in huge amounts of candy.
Also had pasta meals regularly. With the less common meals going out for chinese food, steak and
potatoes, and such. During my early teenage years, not being totally clueless about health I largely
stopped eating fast food like McDonalds, but still infrequently had a little Arby's or something. I
was decently active as a kid and had a voracious appetite that occasionally led me to eat crazy
amounts of things like popcorn or mashed potatoes (which I really liked). During my high school
years my diet was a little better and after getting involved in sports I made a little effort to
improve it, but was still largely uneducated and misguided. Certainly didn't do anything that
drastic and for all of my senior year I had unhealthy tacos for lunch. I did give up drinking milk
around 17 though, lost the taste for it and took up Soy Milk which I continued throughout the rest
of high school.
After that my diet didn't really change much, I was still very much eating a typical American diet,
minus most fast foods and gave up Soy Milk as well to settle on no milk. Then I had a period where I
lived with someone who cooked mostly meat meals so for those couple years I ate tons of meat in my
dinners and not a whole lot else. I was also a carrot fiend and would sit and snack on a pound or
two at a time. Additionally I loved watermelon which I enjoyed as much as I could during their brief
summer season. So there were a few healthier foods I was inclined to eat, but I wasn't that health
conscious. Then I moved out on my own where I did many frozen microwave meals and then progressed to
frozen pan top meals. With regular meals of pasta (boiled the pasta and heated up the bottled
sauce). With the less common thing like a fried chicken/potato and chicken cobbler meal or what not.
I wasn't much for anything but simple meals and didn't eat out except with family mostly. I also ate
tons of carrots. Seriously... like 1-2 pounds a day for years. I was pretty frugal too on that front
so didn't spend much on food. This pretty much continued for years. Then I lost my job and because
of some real tight money situations had stints where I ate not much but cheap ramen noodles (which
quickly turned bad, don't eat just that crap!) and also had a period of a month or so where I ate
almost nothing but canned beef ravioli (around Jan 2010) as they were my cheapest calorie option
that didn't require cooking. I was homeless by that point living out of my car.
That pretty much covers what I ate, but let me now discuss my health over those years. I was highly
active my last few years of high school, but I had issues. Some of them obvious issues then, some
didn't really become apparent as things that could have been avoided until I learned much more. I
had gas pains, I under-drank for many many years such that going every few days #2 was common. I was
plagued with sports injuries of sorts. I had large mucus build ups that became troublesome when I
exerted myself a lot. I was super active too. I was fairly active before doing sports in high
school, but then track in high school kicked me into high gear. I developed crippling shin splints,
knee problems, and injured my back. Less obvious problems were mucus, having briefly wearing braces
& retainers, wearing glasses from a young age and having my vision worsen every year. My 'injuries'
were very displeasing and limited me in a large way. During my senior year though I was very fit,
but besides chronic dehydration, I was also consistently under-sleeping and over-working out, with
sometimes 8 workouts a week. Which caused me to sleep through classes all the time to make up some
After high school I stopped with sports, my injuries had largely demoralized me and limited me on
that front such that I couldn't really continue in the way I wanted. I continued to get some
exercise as I loved a good sprint (did them growing up all the time which is why track was a natural
fit for me as living that way also made me pretty fast). So I'd get some running and biking in and
what not here and there, but was significantly reduced from the excessive working out. I did have a
pull-up bar in my first apartment which I used to up my 10-15 pull-ups to being able to do 25+. Then
over the years I slowly worked out less and less an became less and less fit. I went from being able
to do 50+ pushups to watching the number go down the odd times I'd do them. I'd worked out upper and
mid body as well during high school, had a six pack even on my fairly skinny body and could climb a
rope pretty fast. Stopped doing pull-ups once I moved out of my first apartment as well and then
watched those numbers go down on the occasion that I'd do them although I did maintain the ability
to do 20+ for a while. I still had periods of working out more-so because I'd made a promise to
myself I never wanted to be fat. My general fitness continued to decline over the years though and
almost all my jobs were sedentary office ones.
When I continued in unemployment money got tight and I worked out quite infrequently and my eating
habits got worse as I ate even cheaper food. Then I ultimately became homeless, wasn't working out
at all and was eating crap food. Interestingly I'd maintained almost the exact same weight over all
those years. I weighed around 135 or so sophomore year, graduated at around 155 having put on plenty
of muscle and then over the next many years I somehow kept that weight with no particular care to or
effort to. Mid 2009 I weighed in around 160 which was near highest ever. Come beginning of 2010 and
I was strapped, eating crap, lowest fitness and over the years my weight hadn't much changed but
muscle weight had slowly been replaced with roughly equal fat weight. I was much weaker and fatter
although I still seemed a fairly 'normal' size. Certainly most people were more inclined to think me
thin or just normal and none fat. I'm sure there are some other health issues that didn't come to
mind while typing this, but that gives an idea of how things developed.
... Then things changed... I got blessed and saved and set on a new path. Lucky is better than
skilled they say. I feel despite my poor luck in some ways that I'm heavily lucky in others and in
this case I think it truly saved me. I came into a source of money and was then able to not have to
rely on just canned ravioli. Also not long prior I'd met someone who'd already been on a mixed
journey in the health arena. They taught and exposed me to healthier ideas and I decided to go vegan
in mid February 2010. Learning from this friend who also guided me and in the beginning of March I
read The China Study (2-3 weeks after going vegan) and felt further reinforced on not eating meat.
This friend exposed me to the ideas of 80-10-10 and 30bad and had already been experimenting some
with a more raw vegan diet. Then doing my learning via the friend and online I decided to go raw,
eating my last cooked meal beginning of April 2010. For the non-raw, but vegan period I was eating
mostly raw. Then upon going raw I found myself eating a lot of bananas. And more bananas and of
course bananas. They were cheap and dense and most better options weren't quite available yet.
Over the months I continued to do most of my learning through online sources, not reading any other
health books until I finally in the beginning of June read the 80/10/10 diet. I'd been on it already
basically although I shall say (speaking forward a bit) that I did have a few mishaps with over
eating on nuts, although generally didn't eat that many. So I was kind of naturally inclined to low
fat (never cared for avocados for example) before I strictly aimed for it (which I think I was
basically doing even before I'd read the book through online reading.
Continuing on my eating journey I continued to learn, bettering my food combining. Having some
errors of eating too many nuts, but overall was getting along fine without any faultering of the
diet. Still wasn't reading much in the way of books when in late August of 2010 I read 'Born to
Run'. Great book. Up to that point I'd been steadily losing weight while not exercising for the most
part. That book helped to motivate me to start running again and there was a half marathon coming
up. Before that I'd already started working out a little after months of almost complete inactivity,
but that gave me an extra kick along with the decision to join in on the half-marathon at the
beginning of October. I'd never done a half marathon, during my track years I'd only done a mile
race like once... I wasn't a distance runner and never trained for it up to that point. I had
periods during high school years where I had running sessions of light jogging for 20 or so minutes,
but never raced anything over 500m for the most part. I got myself a pair of Vibrams and suddenly
found myself able to jog steady where I'd struggled to do so up to that point and I had a month to
adjust to them before the half marathon. You know what they say, don't buy a new pair of shoes right
before race day! Luckily I already knew that one.
So I began training for for the half-marathon and after reading Born to Run I ran another fitness
book and then beginning of September I began reading health books. Reading just a few that month.
By this point also my nut consumption was infrequent and I was mostly overt free, but did indulge in
nuts on occasion, just wasn't a regular thing so much. So come beginning of October, most I'd done
in training, non-stop, was maybe ~3 miles at most. I had a little bit of watermelon early in the
morning, plenty of time before race. And the race began and I started off with a modest jog. I
started with a friend and it didn't take long before I left them behind. I jogged on... and on..
past mile 1, then 2, then 3, then 4, then 5, farther than I'd ever jogged straight and somewhere
around there I just felt INCREDIBLE. I'd just gone 5-6 miles and I still felt great with energy. A
joy better than I'd felt in a real long time. I continued on and on. I was a bit surprised at how
well I was doing given I hadn't really trained for it to that extent. As I went on though my energy
decreased (I was staying well hydrated with the frequent water areas). Given my lack of doing any
real distance races or running prior short of my partial training the month before I felt I was
holding up well though. I kept on and got past the 12 mile marker, still not having jogged steady
the whole way. Then I made it about another half mile and things were getting tough. That last half
mile or so was pretty tough bunch I managed to keep going. I got through the finish line with having
jogged the whole thing. I was amazed I could do it. I was totally beat, but managed a time of 2:16.
Certainly a far cry from what others can do, but it was a real good performance for me. Naturally I
then got through the finish zone as quickly as I could and had to use the bathroom badly!
(Watermelon you double edged sword!) Then my next goal was to get my bag and banana stash, time for
some recovery eating! Was a great experience overall and although I'd totally overdone it and was
really sore for days I was glad I'd done it.
I'll describe my diet evolution and then describe how my fitness progressed over the months. So I
continued to evolve my eating. In October I read another 8 health related books, Mad Cowboy, one on
B12, Good Calories/Bad Calories and others. And continued to read many health books over the months.
I progressed largely away from nuts. I haven't totally given up the idea of eating them, but I ate
them more rarely and as of now haven't eaten any in many months. I transitioned away from the harder
to digest foods like Spinach and zucchini (which make good noodles) -- switched to cucumbers for
noodles on the infrequent occasion that I had them. Gave up corn, gave up nightshades fully in
November of which I'd been eating sweet peppers and tomatoes. Had grown quite fond of tomatoes
eating them on salads frequently and quite enjoying eating the most delicious tomatoes, heirlooms,
I'd ever eaten. But decided it was time to give them up having come to the conclusion they were
sub-optimal. Continued frequenting 30bad online and reading to keep learning. Then around end of May
I read my last (as of now) health/diet related book and probably around there is when I stopped
frequenting 30bad. Although I still visit on occasion. I finally felt pretty comfortable and
knowledgeable in what I was doing. Had been doing it for around 1.5 years, had read many books and
read lots online and met various others on the diet. I'd progressed to an overt free, night shade
free, corn free, fruits and lettuce and celery diet pretty much (with the infrequent cucumber-I
progressed to deseeding them for best digestion). I was eating 1-2 heads a day, occasionally eating
cucumbers but not often. Later I learned I should probably incorporate more celery for better
nutrient balance (like to bring up sodium) which I think helped. Although currently haven't had
celery lately and can get a good balance from other sources. I ate mostly mono-meals during the day
and when I could I'd make a salad in the evening, but many times I'd just straight eat my lettuce
off the head. So I eat mono meals for almost all my meals now simply because it's the easiest and
least time consuming. Although when I have access to blenders and the like I do enjoy making a salad
(lettuce, celery, perhaps cucumbers, with a blend of fruits poured over).
As for my fitness it was a rocky road of working out more and less. I had trouble keeping up my
running and kept getting sore calves which was rather inhibiting. I eventually realized, upon
getting rid of my normal shoes which I wore all the time except when I jogged in my vibrams, was
causing me problems. I got another pair of minimal shoes. So I wear minimal shoes all the time now
and the calf soreness went away and didn't come back. I was glad to have ditched my old shoes. I had
trouble improving my strength as well and although had a little period of increase it slipped back
down and down further. I think I had some troubles eating enough at times still. I think to some
degree I still struggled with getting enough calories, sometimes moreso than others. But also I
think my digestion system in particular and body in general were still healing.
At the beginning of March I began weighing myself regularly. I started at 155 pounds. By beginning of May, just a couple months later I was down to 143 already. Couple months later I was 133. I held steading going up and down a bit for through about November 2010 then resumed my descent. I hit an all-time low weight beginning of April 2011 of about 116 pounds, but then it luckily stopped going down. And then slowly came back up several pounds where for a while where I sat in the low to mid 120s (high 120s at times after a large melon meal). I haven't weighed myself in a while so I can't say my current weight, but I'd guess it's mid to upper 120s. For another slight comparison my sophomore year of high school (before I started all my training for track) I weighed around 135 (and was decently muscled in the legs in particular already) and was only a little shorter then. Funny thing was when suddenly I stopped fitting into all my newer clothes and suddenly only fit reasonably well into my oldest clothes. Still most clothes (shirts in particular) are too wide as they're made for the average american and I'm lean.
I did track some of my fitness. I shall just rough outline it here for noting periods when I worked out more/less to also show when I managed to work out and when I didn't and also to relate it to the above weight changes. Prior to June 2010 I didn't really work out at all. Then June I began jogging regularly and as of mid-June was doing 1 hour workouts of on-off jogging. Kept that up for a few weeks or so then took a break for around a week, worked out every day for another week or so, then minimal workouts for a couple weeks. Picking back up beginning of August and keeping it up for a few weeks then breaking again for a week or so. And then doing less jogging and more strength training sort of workouts. Then didn't really track September training but might have had some down time before the half-marathon. Then after marathon I didn't do as much for many months or atleast didn't track it. Was active again mid-January 2011 through mid-February and then through mid-March only worked out infrequently. Then I was fairly active and working out regularly through late May 2011. When I got a little injured on my foot and got sick too. Didn't do much for 2-3 weeks then regularly did a little work outs, but less jogging and more strength stuff. Which continued through mid August 2011. At which point I abandoned tracking workouts and only worked out occasionally and had struggled to improve much up to that point. Which is also when I finally ditched my normal shoes and subsequent jogs finally stopped giving me chronically sore calves. I'd work off on and off for the next few months and then very little in December through January. Then I arrived in Hawaii.
As for sleep, there were periods where I consistently got to sleep at a good hour and being homeless generally kept me from staying up too late my sleep schedule wasn't that good. Particularly when visiting friends and friendly and even some other times I stayed up late. So that was a weakness. One which Hawaii has cured as I now have been very good about getting to bed at a decent hour (it's 9:15 here now and that's late for me!) Most nights I'm in bed before 9, many a little after 8. With the infrequent late night of 9:30 or so. Maybe once or twice I pushed past 10. But on the whole my sleep schedule has been pretty good and consistent. First several weeks I was sleeping a lot, going to bed around 8 or even earlier and sleeping 11-14 hours. I sleep less now, but still like getting my 9+ hours sleep. And many mornings I'm up before 7 am. Also ... death to all wake up alarms! Must say I hate those loud buzzers waking me up. One of the best parts of getting to bed early enough to sleep fully before you need to start your day is being alarm free. Those things are horrible!
Which brings me to now, after getting out of a winter climate and coming to Hawaii (Feb 5th arrival) I immediately was forced to work out a fair amount to walk around and then bike around. Additionally I could indulge in lots of fruit (although I must say food is pretty expensive here for the most part). I was able to manage buying lots of some fruits and less than usual eating lettuce. But easily getting more calories than I had been before (although not to say I didn't in previous times have periods of consistently eating 2500+.. prior I just felt it was harder to maintain eating that much. I really am a fairly lean person. But now I'm getting plenty of exercise, eating lots (had 23 papaya yesterday and for just $6 in all -- Kailua-Kona farmer's market for the win! and another 7 today along with 15 mangos).
I must say doing exercise that you can do consistently and having access to plenty of ripe fruit really helps on this diet. That's something that has come more to realization in recent times. I mean I knew I was supposed to eat ripe fruit and had a pretty decent idea of ripe versus not. But really coming to better understand the importance of ripeness where I can understand even a slightly starchy meal of bananas is going to jack me up helps. You really need to let fruit ripen properly or you're going to struggle.
So I can bike around, my ability to bike around has been steadily improving along with general energy levels. I think consistent exercise really helped too. Although depending on where you started and what you're doing it can be rough to do it at first, but the sooner you can really start it and keep at it the better. I'd say that was my biggest struggle, being active. Now that I am though I feel I'm truly in position to be on the up and up. My ability to do pushups is pretty bad (something I'm starting to work on), but my leg muscles have clearly gotten larger off their low and I can see some arm muscles from frequent lifting up and down of my bag most likely (which is stuffed with water and fruits at times and a computer).
I must admit part of me still wants to indulge in old bad foods, but I've come far without any slips and I know too well what that would mean. So while part of me wants it, I don't really feel tempted to actually do it. I really feel like this way of eating has healed me to a very large degree and going back isn't an option. I did get sick some over the first 1.5 years or so (more than usual even), but haven't in a while and feel like this diet has done wonders for my health overall (meaning I had a few stints of obvious sickness but overall health was steadily improving). Even little problems went away, like prior to this diet I'd had some wart or something in the bottom of my foot for a couple of years that at a couple points I'd tried to cut out to no avail and after coming on this diet I suddenly noticed it had disappeared. My back stopped getting sore. I haven't had sore knees and shin pains that had troubled me for many years on and off so much before finally stopping their return even with all my jogging that I did at times over the last 2 years.
So in closing I expect to continue this great journey and hope for many more fruity meals (jackfruit I want thee!). To anyone who's struggling - keep at it. Find some friends to help out. Learn all you can, don't give up and whatever your struggles keep going on and you'll find a solution to them. If you were like me, I didn't have any diagnosed problems, I was certainly in poor health and probably could have been although I never cared for doctors (haven't been to one since I was 18), but I was pretty unhealthy. The healing process can take a while with various
If you made it through all that I'm amazed. I kind of felt at the beginning like perhaps I deserved some type of 2 year coin or something like an AA person would get, but perhaps you deserve one for reading all that. Many thanks to all the books and their authors and the many people on this website who have provided a huge resource of information for myself and others and the friends who helped me (particularly the one who turned me onto it and whom I talked with frequently as we guided each other on this path) and the friendly fruities I've met along the way (even if not so many due to my introverted nature)!!
Cheers mates, take care, now time for sleep...