i'm porter. musician, raw foodist...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Enlightenings and such


i have been eating too much fruit. starting at the beginning of the summer, overwhelmed by the variety of delicious fruit, i've been starting my days with watermelon, or some other melon, continuing with a green smoothie or some juicy fruit for lunch. fruit for snack. big green salad for dinner. maybe some nuts here and there. i guess i never REALLY came off 8/1/1, which i think was a mistake. my skin definitely doesn't look as "glowy" as it did before.

i notice that when i eat too much sugar in the form of fruit, i start to feel almost immediately tired, not fueled. it also makes me eat a lot more than i would usually.

anyway, i think these are all interesting findings. and they go to show that there is much discovery to be had. it's important to acknowledge what isn't working. and i think chronicling it is a great way to chart my progress--sometimes that means a little dip first to get up the hill.

when i first started this diet i felt AMAZINGLY wow. i still feel great--much better than i used to by far--but i've been feeling a little sugary of late. so, i am taking notice and having more green juices, more greens, a greater variety of vegetables and non-sweet fruits, seaweeds and spirulina, and a little more nuts, seeds, and oils.

the good news is how quickly repair happens on this diet/lifestyle. i am already noticing improvement in my complexion, and MOST NOTABLY in my energy level... especially with the juices.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008


i have come to realize that what is more important than being "raw" is being unattached to what you eat. eating midfulling and consciously. eating to nourish your body, not to appease your mind.

at each step of the way, it seems i give up one attachment--say, to pasta--only to pick up another one--say, to raw seed cheese & kale. i notice that the new attachment is never quite as strong though, which makes me think that i must be doing this to slowly ween myself off of attachment.

i decided to challenge myself to eat very simply this month, eating mostly "one food indulgences" (aka mono-meals) and virtually no concentrated plant fat. i am feeling only slightly better than before. i notice that i have a little more energy in physical activities. other than that, i'm feeling pretty much the same. but, mentally, i am feeling very differently.

some days eating simply seems natural and delicious. all i want by the end of the day is a big green salad with a squeeze of orange juice and some tomatoes. but some days i do the mind thing:

-"why am i depriving myself of healthy fat?"
-"what harm would one avocado do?"

and it's interesting, because it's not as if avocados are going extinct and i am sworn off them for life. i am only doing this for A MONTH! but what is at play when i cannot separate my mental conceptions of food from my body's needs*?

anyway, i realized that this whole exercise of simplification and (almost) an imposed scarcity, is forcing me to reevalute the emotional importance i place on food.

it is something that runs so deep we seldom think to question it.
-but, what would you be without the food you ate?
-how would you define yourself without the foods you "love," the foods you "hate,"?
-how would you define the cultures you've experienced without describing how they cook and prepare their foods, the flavors, the spices, the presentation?
-how would you center social activities if not around meals, restaurants, and bars?

though we are becoming increasingly conscious of (and in some cases horrified by) the materialistic and superficial nature of western culture, have we considered how the role of food in our daily lives contributes to that same culture? is food another way in which we constrain our awareness, limiting ourselves to the mere physical manifestations of reality?

it has taken the removal of something i thought i "was," to realize how little of me there is in ANYTHING i do, or eat for that matter.

it seems i am in a constant state of disorientation because of the changes in the my diet that i feel i NEED to make, because on this raw "diet" my body's needs just keep changing as my body becomes cleaner. i am forever stripping myself of certain "staples," replacing them with others, which are temporary too.

no structures are stable. this is a basic fact. and i think this raw path is preparing me for the deeper understanding of that truth.

*a note on fat needs: i know that i am getting enough dietary fat, because fat exists in almost all plant life. i couldn't believe it when i was taking daily accounts of my food intake for a couple of days, finding the fat percentage go up steadily, even though i hadn't eaten any "fat." but this is so obvious if you pay attention to nature. that is why it is possible for herbivores to be perfectly healthy and grow to huge proportions on greens alone. if you ate greens all day you would be eating PLENTY of fat. but if i ate greens all day till i met my fill i probably wouldn't have time to do anything else! let's not go there...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

3rd day 80/10/10 (or so)

yesterday's menu:

another entire watermelon
2 oranges
1 grapefruit
a few tomatoes
4 bananas
1 huge dinner salad: lettuce, kale, spinach, cukes, zucchini, yellow pepper with lemon and orange juice as dressing
1 small avocado

i got 101% of my needed calories according to this calorie-counter gadget i used. i was stunned because, i really felt satiated and that's because i ate almost exactly what i needed. interesting...

i realize the one thing that i have really gained from this whole "raw experience" is my lack of attachment to food. i mean, the fact that i could be fine with just eating watermelon is a pretty far leap from where i was 2 years ago, even last year...

i think it's important to give up attachments. it challenges us on a very deep level. it diminishes the importance of our mind. it grows the confidence that we have intuitive knowledge of our true self.

yes, all that depth from a watermelon. ;)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Fruit, Watermelon

i have had this theory about fruit. natalia rose wrote in "raw food life force energy" that some people weren't clean enough for fruit. i didn't really understand it at the time, beyond the basic idea that fruit is cleansing and you should save the deepest for last.

there are so many opinions in the raw food community about fruit. gabriel cousens believes certain sweet fruits (mangos, pineapples, dates etc.) are best left out of the raw diet COMPLETELY as they cause fungus around the cells. doug graham thinks you should eat mostly fruit, and not very much fat. the man who wrote "the pH miracle" thinks you should eat all the fat you want and leave out ALL fruit (except lemons, grapefruit, and pseudo-fruits like tomatoes, etc.).

do you sense a pattern here?

i did.

it occurred to me that each of these individuals are RIGHT. but for different stages.

the pH miracle is focused on a particular audience of VERY unhealthy individuals. for them, they are transitioning from a highly toxic diet. it would be out of the question to look to fruit. all the cells would simply clean out too fast and could even cause harm. switching to "something better" like raw fats, is a step up, without being too drastic.

gabriel cousens sets his heights a little higher. most of his research was done on individuals who were already raw to begin with. they were "anything as long as its raw" diets, which include dates, lots of fats, poor food combinations, dehydrated foods, etc. for them, an intermediate diet of less fruit. it's interesting (and predictable) that cousens decided all melons caused acidity. they are the fruits highest in water and digest almost immediately after consumption.

from what i learned about cells, gas, and fermentation, it is logical that someone eating a cleanER, but not completely pure, diet would want to stay away from extreme cleansing until they had looked at the integrity of their entire diet a little closer. eliminating dehydrated foods first, for example. not going straight to the most extreme: FRUIT.

then, comes doug graham. he is interested in ATHLETES. what do they have in common? they burn a lot of calories and they are moving constantly. this would certainly help them detox faster and safer. not to mention, his diet virtually eliminates fat (to 10% or less). without fat "clogging" things up, there are very few obstacles for fruit sugar to come up against in the body...

anyway, it just HAPPENED that this morning i felt like nothing but watermelon. since summer, i've been getting a little nauseated from my modest amount of dehydrated food. and then i started having a distaste for seeds. (i don't eat nuts regularly).

today i ate:
1 entire watermelon (spread over a 5 hour period)
4 mangos
1 big green salad with a squeeze of lemon and a squeeze of orange.

this was the most amazing day EVER! and i'll tell you i REALLY wanted that salad by the end of it (but not before).

lo and behold, the "eat your greens till you turn green" girl was satisfied with just a big bowl at night. usually, i'll have at least 9 cups of greens a day! this was a big breakthrough for me...

i'll check in tomorrow to see what i feel like. it may be a phase, a seasonal thing, or maybe doug graham really has something going. hmmmm...

all i know is i wasn't ready for this last winter and i certainly don't feel deprived! (all the watermelon i can eat, are you kidding me???)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

infinite potential

so how about that for something esoteric? i have of late been writing a lot of music dealing with BIG things like LIFE, GROWTH, and other below-the-surface matters.

i am currently in yoga teacher training, finding myself in poses, thinking "wow, who knew i could do that?!" i was in one of those the other day, when i started to think: my body has a limit. there's only so much more flexibility i can attain before i'm "grown" as a yogini. the body is quite obviously FINITE. it has limits. it has a beginning and an end. a start and a decay. but space is infinite, the mind is infinite, the soul is infinite... because they are one in the same i suppose.

in any event, i started to think of the things in my life that had the potential to foster infinite growth. i realized that my raw food journey was one them.

i think when i started i assumed that one day i would be the "perfect" model of health. i would never get tired, i would be in a constant good mood, never smell, eat very little food, live to be 400 years old (hey, it could happen!)... you know, the usual stuff.

the more i go through this though, the more i realize that i have, yet again, complicated my life by choosing the self-reflective path, rather than blindly following societal norms, which make it possible for most humans to surf the wave of precedent.

on the upside, i no longer feel disconnected from my body. if i have a stomach ache now, i know what caused it, what will make it worse, and i have faith that if i take the right action it will just go away. i have faith that the body heals. it's what it does. i know because i choose to notice.

when i had horrible acne in college and i was eating cupcakes, salami, and packets of refined sugar (ok, not exclusively!), i felt that i was not IN COMMUNICATION with my body. it seemed that an alien force had conspired to make me ugly, and it made me upset with myself. in reality, i was not paying attention to what i was eating, to how much i was eating, and what effect it was having on me.

how could i have known about cause and effect, when i remained clouded in the BAND-AID world view? to tackle a problem we cover it up. we treat the cough, but we don't prevent it. we electrocute the murderers, but we don't clean up the environment that created them.

it is amazing for me that i could go from someone who had lost total connection with her body, to someone who wonders how she could disassociate herself from herself. how can I hate MYSELF? i AM myself!

all this to say, that i know what it is to be raw. it is a base assumption (we are naturally built to eat living, growing food). it is not a great height. it is not a ladder to perfection, because that doesn't exist. raw doesn't shield me from infection, worry, sadness, death... it doesn't END somewhere when i become 100%, or fruitarian, or breatharian even. there is always room for growth.

i think the challenge of this journey is NOT that i had to give up so many attachments to food, or that i had to deal with people's reactions, or my own cravings for pasta (for example), it is that the process NEVER ENDS.

eastern philosophies (older world philosophies) are a lot more comfortable with the concept of infinite growth, which is probably why this conversation started with yoga.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008


-1 cup buckwheat groats, covered in water, soaked for about 30 mins
-1 golden apple, roughly chopped and cored
-1 tablespoon date paste (or one large date, or 2 small dates)
-cinnamon to taste
-sea salt (optional, to taste)
-4 large mint or spearmint leaves, more if smaller
-1 teaspoon slivered ginger, skin peeled
-filtered water, to blend

breakfast usually looks like this for me: a fresh green juice with lemon, then sometimes a piece of fruit or a green smoothie. pretty light.

i've been experiencing some pretty heavy feelings of detox of late though (cloudy thinking, tiredness, slight moodiness), and i woke up wanting something a little heavier to start my day. it was delicious! all minty and sweet and sort of "cozy" feeling.

detox is an interesting thing. sometimes i push myself to go a little faster than my body is willing to go i think and then i have to pay for it. until yesterday i was pretty much subsisting on fresh juice, fruits, and light salads. i was all very proud of my progress and how i thought this was a sign that i needed less food.

well, i was doing great on less food (which is a step up from before i must admit, where i would have been fainting). but the transitioning body is a storage house of pent-up junk. i forgot about that attic full of 23 years of cooked, non-vegan food! and all of a sudden i expected to be able to thrive on fruit and juice. a little naive... but we learn. ;)

it will take years to gradually clean out my body, and sometimes i get a little frustrated with the mountain of work ahead... then i remember i have to enjoy the process. and that i'm never going to achieve PERFECTION. but i can allow space for infinite growth.

that's something i've been contemplating a lot lately: infinite growth. what parts of my life have a binding "end point" and which ones will grow and develop with me, always challenging me, and always teaching me something new?


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

thoughts on pasta ("food"?)

i have been having thoughts of late about how we take certain things for granted.

take pasta.

not many would question whether or not pasta was food. but let's examine this a little:
-you take wheat, which no one would eat in its natural state unless they were starving. it is tasteless, brittle, and dry.
-then you grind it down, refine it, add water to it, mix it, shape it like play-do, and dry it.
...the product itself is inedible, so you have to...
-heat it AGAIN.
-before finally it is called "a meal."

i was reading this fabulous book by matt monarch yesterday called raw success. in one part, he makes the case that any "poison" taken in small does, over a long period of time will not result in death. rather, it will create something like our population today: people struggling with things they shouldn't be: disease, weight, depression, eating disorders... it is a S.A.D. (standard american diet) picture indeed.

basically, ANY food is a hinderance to the system. it's a balancing game. you get nutrients, but you give your body undue work. in order for the scales to balance out somewhat (or lean slightly in favor of your body), you need to be eating food that is the LEAST difficult to assimilate. this will depend on your current diet. any modification you make towards a diet that is easier to assimilate (i.e. nutrient & water dense foods: fruits and veggies in their raw state) will start to improve your health.

to start consuming ONLY raw foods overnight might have the opposite effect. it would be similar to taking a huge dose of poison. detoxification must go at the same comfortable rate as "toxification"... small doses over time. otherwise, your cells will be unleashing "debris" at a faster pace than your elimination organs (colon, skin) can deal with and you will have horrible symptoms.

slow detox makes you feel invigorated, cleaned, and renewed and is definitely preferable.

so does this mean that if you are eating pasta you should stop? well, there are greater evils is what i'm saying, and eliminating "carbs" or "fats" or "proteins" is just too myopic of a plan. i recommend slowly eliminating processed foods. simplification of your diet. eating more vegetables and fruits in their raw state, and moderating (or eliminating completely) "complex un-foods."

-mysteriously processed meat patties (i.e. hamburgers, sausages),
-supposed "whole grain" breads with their endless list of useless and damaging ingredients
-any animal product or bi-product (essentially a "processed food" given their unnatural diet, the excruciating pain and stress that becomes the flesh you eat!)
basically, anything that comes sold in a package. because if nature didn't make it edible in the first place, then it isn't FOOD! it is something designed by man to trick our taste buds into thinking it is suitable for our body. see: michael pollan, in defense of food.

anyway, baby steps...