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Shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half a sorrow.
(Swedish proverb)
Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.
(Sicilian proverb)
Your friend is that man who knows all about you, and still likes you.
(Elbert Hubbard)
You can always tell a real friend; when you've made a fool of yourself he doesn't feel you've done a permanent job.
(Laurence J. Peter)
Friends are family you choose for yourself.

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7th July, 2008
Here is a little story I recently shared on the rawpleasure forum:

Fly High!!!
<> 5 years ago, out of sheer curiosity, I decided to go raw. No books, no guidance, just doing it as felt right. Then, after about 3 months of blissfully enjoying the raw foods and experiencing some wondrous transformations, I discovered that there actually existed a raw community on-line and a joy-ride began. I was ecstatic about being able to communicate with other like-minded people, learn from others and share my experience with them. Some not too long time later, a painful realization kicked in. I was not perfect. For there were the right and the wrong ways of experiencing raw. I shrugged this feeling off, buried it inside me somewhere, pretending it wasn't there. Yet, the invisible, silent, destructive background mechanism began to operate. A struggle was born. The life force from the fresh, juicy foods I ate was strong nevertheless, and I let my awakening instincts guide me, rather than the fear of not being perfect. Several months later I discovered that I was spontaneously drawn towards the fresh foods, and then made an intellectual connection why this was happening. I did some reading, some analyzing, some observing, and some thinking, this was my non-mathematical research project that although did not led to any in-journal publications, I considered to be as important and as breakthrough as any of my articles published in international acclaimed journals. And then, I understood how spontaneous and effortless my experience with raw can be when I let my natural instincts guide me. A huge stone was lifted off my shoulders, the very stone that I had laid there myself months earlier. The destructive processes were deeply embedded in me by then however, and it seemed hard to overcome them. I kept going though, and the awareness of my body and my self kept growing. And then, a disaster occurred. I injured my disc. I was keeping my spirits high, but after several weeks of pain, could no more. I started taking painkillers and kept working, because I could not leave my students, could not let my units which I developed with such love and passion, crumble into non-existence. After some months later, the pain weaker but still there, I began getting desperate. By then, I looked like a zombie. I felt like one too. Somehow, miraculously, raw foods have not left me. Despite questioning the raw, having moments of wanting to give up or even trying to do so, I could not turn away. My awakened instincts were not going to turn away ha ha! Yes, I am laughing now. From the place of finally feeling better, so that I can walk and stand and lecture without pain, somehow, ridiculously, I am grateful for the painful experience that I thought was going to shatter me at the time. I am grateful, because my appreciation for being alive skyrocketed since then! I am so grateful for being alive. I am so grateful for being able to experience the world around me. And, of course, I am so grateful for being able to experience all these wonderful, colorful, tasty, juicy, sweet, delicious foods that the nature so abundantly offers. And, the best of all, I do not try to be anything. I simply am. I do not feel that I must eat healthily, yet I am spontaneously drawn to fresh, juicy foods. I do not feel that I mustn’t eat cooked, yet I am not particularly drawn to it. Only fresh fruit and veggies taste like the gods’ food to me. I do not feel that I must exercise, yet I feel that my body wants to move. I am turning 45 this year, yet I feel like a teenager. And each day I feel that my body and soul are blossoming more and more. I want to do it all. Researching maths, composing music, swimming, jumping on the trampoline, gardening, playing with the recipes, stuffing myself with sweet juicy foods, enjoying the company of my friends, spending time with my family. I truly have the wings now!

Fly high, dear friend. My beautiful friend. So unbelievably beautiful.
18th July, 2008
I would like to preserve some interesting titbits before they vanish into non-existence on the discussion boards. For example this one, a little bit of factual information which I searched for, found and collected, after failing to get the hard-core answers from others:

I know where the 2000cal figure is coming from! Are you interested? I did some searching and reading and finally learned that this is based on so called Harris-Benedict equation used to estimate so called basal metabolic rate (BMR).

BMR is defined as the amount of energy expended while at rest in a neutrally temperate environment, in the post-absorptive state (meaning that the digestive system is inactive, which requires about twelve hours of fasting in humans). BMR is measured under very restrictive circumstances when a person is awake, but at complete rest. An accurate BMR measurement requires that the person's sympathetic nervous system not be stimulated. BMR is measured by gas analysis through either direct or indirect calorimetry.

Now, the Harris-Benedict equation is an equation that one can use to estimate their BMR. How was this equation obtained? Well, measurements on 136 men, 103 women and 94 new-born infants have been
analyzed biometrically with the purpose of determining the statistical constants (means, standard deviations, etc)
(see ref: A BIOMETRIC STUDY OF HUMAN BASAL METABOLISM, BY J. ARTHUR HARRIS AND FRANCIS G. BENEDICT). The authors of the method emphasize (and from my background in probability and statistics I understand why):

"In carrying out this analysis we have proceeded on the conviction that the widest possible usefulness of laboratory investigations of human metabolism will result from basing measurements upon individuals who are in presumably good health, but who are otherwise typical of the population at large. It is only when the subjects used for experimentation are representative of the general population in type, variability and correlation that results of laboratory research upon limited series of individuals may be safely generalized for rationing or for other practical social applications."

So, from the authors of the very method, we hear that the method is only suitable when used to individuals similar to those that they studied! And, clearly they formula is only an average from the sample they studied, in which they obtained different measurements for each individual they looked at.

And, hear this: In the studies of BMR, it has been shown that illness, previously consumed food and beverages, environmental temperature, and stress levels can affect one's overall energy expenditure as well as one's BMR.

And the formula?
* for men, P = 13.7516m + 5.0033h + 6.7550a + 66.4730
* for women, P = 9.6354m + 1.8496h - 4.6756a + 655.0955
where P is total heat production at complete rest, m is the weight (in kg), h is the stature (height, in cm), and a is the age (in years), and with the difference in BMR for men and women being mainly due to differences in body weight. For example, a 55 year old woman weighing 130 lb (59 kg) and 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm) tall would have a BMR of 1266 (aha!)  kcal per day or 52.8 kcal/h (61.3 watts). Or, a 25 year old man weighing 70 kg and 180 cm tall would have a BMR of 2098 kcal per day (hence the popular 2000 figure).

It was the best prediction equation until recently, when MD Mifflin and ST St Jeor in 1990 created new equation:
* for men, P = 9.99m + 6.25h - 4.92a +5 -161
* for women, P = 9.99m + 6.25h - 4.92a -161
According to this formula, the woman in the example above has a BMR of 1208 kcal per day. During the last 100 years, lifestyles have changed and a survey in 2005 showed it to be about 5% more accurate.

In conclusion, to obtain a formula useful for raw foodists, a study is required to be done on a sample representative of raw foodists.

Sharing some fine Polish music with you, dear reader (I can hear elements of Polish folk in this piece,
my Polish-Aboriginal ancestors calling my soul, the echoing music of the mountains):

22nd July 2008
I do not ever seem to get tempted by the taste or smell etc of cooked foods anymore. After 5 years of raw, my tastebuds demand juicy and fresh things all the time. However, the emotional stuff still gets me sometimes. These videos (link to part 1 given below) on the topic of emotional eating seems interesting enough to have caught my attention:

Interesting enough? This is superb!!! :)))


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Acknowledgements: Maura (logo).
Quotes on raw foods by fellow raw foodists.
Other quotes from The Quote Garden.
Photos: Geek Philosopher