Posts from — June 2010
A few weeks ago my friend took me to see a truly inspiring movie called, May I Be Frank, about a man who goes through a Raw Transformation.
Movie Synopsis from The May I Be Frank Website:
May I Be Frank chronicles the transformation of Frank Ferrante’s life. Frank is 54 years old, obese, depressed, and addicted. He stumbles into a local raw, organic and vegan restaurant in San Francisco, Café Gratitude. When Ryland, a server at Café Gratitude asks Frank “What is one thing you want to do before you die?” Frank replies, “I want to fall in love one more time, but no one will love me looking the way I do”.
Ryland, his brother Cary, and Conor, his best friend, are inspired by the possibility of helping Frank. For the next 42 days, Frank will eat only raw food, practice gratitude, visit local holistic practitioners, and get a weekly colonic. Ryland, Conor, and Cary get to support Frank’s miraculous transformation. Frank gets a new body, a clearer mind, and most importantly, a soaring spirit. May I Be Frank documents the essence of the human condition and what it truly means to fall in love again.
I was deeply inspired by the movie, May I Be Frank, and I decided to write a blog post about what we can learn from Frank Ferrante.
7 Things We Can Learn From Frank Ferrante’s Raw Transformation
1. Transformation Takes Commitment
One of the first scenes in the movie is when Frank signs a contract to eat all raw everyday, get regular colonics, drink 4 ounces of wheatgrass daily, do daily affirmations as well as many other lifestyle changes for 42 days.
Frank shows a strong commitment by being willing to hold himself accountable to making huge changes in his way of living for the next 42 days. Saying that you’re going to complete something and then following through takes a strong commitment.
How about writing a contract with yourself about what changes you would like to make in your life. Exercising everyday for a month, juicing everyday for a week, or saying affirmations everyday in the mirror . . . (etc.) Write a contract for yourself, sign and date it, and then follow through, you’ll be glad you did.
2. Transformation Takes Courage
Frank shows tremendous courage by stepping into the unknown. He doesn’t really have any idea what he is signing up for, he just knows that he wants his life to change. He never had wheatgrass before or a colonic before and at first they seem foreign, almost scary to him, but by the end of 42 days he is an old pro:)
Dysfunction can be comfortable, safe, and familiar. Any change is scary even if it leads to bigger and better things.
Allow yourself to be scared, allow yourself to feel uncomfortable. Remember the Martin Luther King, Jr. Quote, You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.
3. Transformation is Messy
Halfway through the movie Frank is bubbling up with old anger which is demonstrated by a bitter fight he has with his ex-wife. He feels hopeless, like he wants to give up on the whole transformation thing, because it seems as if old patterns are remerging and nothing seems to be changing. For me, the best part in the movie was when one of Frank’s coaches reassures him, in his moment of desperation, that the universe is perfect and maybe he had just the perfect interaction in that exact perfect moment that he needed.
Transformation is never smooth. Old ugly patterns will rear their heads. A more accurate interpretation would be that you will become conscious of old patterns that have stopped you in the past so that you can change them.
Don’t expect transformation to be a smooth ride; it’s ugly, emotional, vulnerable, and sometimes you will want to give up. Just know that everyone falls down, the trick is, getting back up.
4. Transformation Takes Authenticity
Frank’s team wouldn’t have been able to help him if he didn’t have the courage to be completely open. Frank risked showing his feelings and in the end, he gained deeper relationships with people that were able to accept him for who he was. He didn’t have to pretend anymore. With Frank’s willingness to be vulnerable he was able to heal some very deep family wounds and strengthen his relationship with his family.
How can you change if you can’t admit that anything is wrong? Transformation takes honesty, not just with the world but more importantly, with yourself. Are you in denial or lying to yourself about how bad things are? Are you afraid of what people might think if they knew the real you? Take that chance, maybe you will give someone the opportunity to love you and accept you more than you ever thought possible.
5. Transformation is From the Inside Out
Even though Frank’s physical transformation is notable, it wouldn’t have been possible if he didn’t work on the inner transformation. Through support and daily affirmations Frank is able to learn to love and accept himself. This new relationship with himself is what helped him to make intelligent food choices.
When embarking on any physical transformation remember that at the core, is learning to love and accept yourself. The more you love and accept yourself the more likely you are to eat a healthy diet that nourishes your body instead of harming it.
What can you do today to love yourself a little more? Can you be gentle with yourself if you make a mistake?, can you believe in yourself a little more?, can you tell yourself you love yourself? Simple acts of love can be the most powerful.
6. Transformation Never Ends
I was lucky enough that I got to speak with Frank and he was very open about his life. He admitted that he had just broken up with his girlfriend and was having a tough time. He said he was a work in progress and that he was still learning how to be authentic.
I loved his message because it is easy to think that transformation has a final destination and the truth is, is that we are always evolving, some would even say eternally. So if transformation is a never ending process, that should take the pressure off a little bit right? Next time we are impatient with our progress we just have to remember that we have an eternity to get it right, or at least a lifetime
7. Transformation Requires a Support Team
I asked Frank what advice he would give to people wanting to transform their lives. And you know what he said? He said that seeking support was the most important thing you could do! Frank was lucky that he had three coaches and we may not be so lucky to have three coaches but we can always go to a raw food potluck, find an accountability partner, or work with a raw food coach such as myself.
I would be happy to support you on your next committed, courageous, authentic, messy, never ending, wonderful, beautiful, delicious raw transformation!
June 25, 2010 3 Comments
In the raw food community I hear a lot of people talk about how they’ve gotten off track with their diet and that they need to get back on track. If a stranger was listening to some of the conversations I’ve heard I’m sure they’d think they were a little strange. For example, I remember a conversation that one of my close friends and I were having about how bad and unhealthy we had eaten that day because we had eaten *gasp* a puffed rice cake! We both starting laughing realizing that if someone was overhearing our conversation they’d probably think we were a little nuts!
So what do you do when you get off track with your healthy diet and lifestyle and how do you get back on track?
And I’m not talking about eating a healthy cooked option like steamed vegetables and quinoa, or going out with your friends once an awhile and enjoying a cooked meal at restaurant. I’m talking about what happens when you can’t stop eating foods that don’t make you feel good and you feel guilty, ashamed, and all around awful about it.
Of course, food issues are not unique to the raw food community but what I’ve noticed is that people in the raw food community seem to be the most hard on themselves about what they perceive to be unhealthy food choices. Knowledge about nutrition is power, but when you use that knowledge to abuse yourself it can become a weapon.
Tip#1 Find Some Awareness Around Your Food Choices, it Will Empower You.
My old meditation teacher used to say it’s not about perfection, it’s about awareness. He was talking about meditating, but I’ve found that it can apply to almost every facet of your life. When you are aware of something you have the power to change it. Being conscious of why you are making certain food choices is key. It’s important to know your triggers. One way to do this is by keeping a food diary for a few weeks and write down what you ate, where you ate it, and how you were feeling in the moment or you can just make a mental note (without judgement), whatever it takes for you to start noticing your patterns.
For example, I’ve noticed that one of my triggers is the Holidays or when friends and family are visiting from out of town. I tend not to make the healthiest choices in these circumstances because I start to feel left out when I see everyone sharing in an abundant gourmet feast and I’m sitting there with a dinky salad. With this knowledge in hand I’ve been able to prepare ahead of time to make sure I have plenty of healthy options during the holidays. (Whether it’s enlisting my family to make me some vegan options, or ordering a holiday box from a local raw food restaurant, or preparing a lot of the food myself).
Once you know your triggers you can be prepared. When you don’t know your triggers you are powerless.
For example May tends to be a tough month for me as many of you know if you’ve read my story I lost my mom to suicide when I was a teenager. May is tough because both Mother’s day and my Mom’s Birthday happen in the same month. This year I thought I was happy on my mother’s birthday. I told people it’s been 16 years and I’m at peace and I really thought that I was! The next day I had this huge craving for home baked zucchini bread that I decided to indulge. My husband loves to bake, so I asked him to make me a healthier organic version of it with coconut oil and oatmeal. After a few days of eating it, it really didn’t feel good in my body, but the weird thing was is that I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to keep eating it, but I couldn’t stop. I usually don’t struggle much with cravings so I decided to check in with myself and take inventory of what I was feeling.
What I realized is, is that my mom’s birthday had affected me much more than I thought. I made the connection that my mom used to bake the best zuccinni bread and that by eating it; it was my way to feel connected to her again. So instead of eating more bread, which I didn’t want to do, I instead started journaling my feelings. I cried, I wrote, I prayed and guess what? After an emotional release my cravings were completely gone and I never touched the bread again.
I’m so glad this happend because I had an epiphany; I realized that I was putting off feeling my feelings by eating something like zucchini bread that would numb me temporarily. I realized that emotional eating (eating not when hungry but when sad or angry with the purpose of feeling better) is a form of procrastination. By overeating you are procrastinating or putting off feeling your feelings that need to be expressed. I’ve found time and time again that feeling the negative feeling and letting it go is 100 times better and less scary than all the behaviors we do to avoid our feelings!
Sometimes you may not be aware of what is triggering your food choices but if you stop and check in with yourself you might find that there is something much deeper going on that just a sugar, chocolate, junk food . . .(fill in the blank) craving. I find that talking to someone, journaling, or even meditating is the quickest way to release negative emotion. Just sit with you body and allow it to feel, don’t tell it how to feel but just let it be, relax into your feelings, and let it be okay to be where you are. Choose to nurture yourself with love and acceptance instead of cookies:)
Tip #2 Even if You Slip Up, Stay Positive.
Don’t underestimate the power of your mental attitude! For example lets compare person A to person B. Person A eats a healthy high raw diet most of the time but occasionally indulges at her favorite restaurant. She enjoys her meal, doesn’t feel guilty about it and the next day is happy to go back to her raw routine. She goes to her local raw food potluck and doesn’t even mention it because it’s really not a big deal and frankly no one’s business but her own. Person A feels good about her food choices, she knows she is not perfect all the time but is proud of herself for consistently eating right the majority of the time.
Now take Person B. Just like Person A Person B eats a healthy high raw diet most of the time but occasionally indulges at her favorite restaurant. But unlike person A she feels awful about it, she feels like she cheated, she obsesses over the perceived damage the food is doing to her body, she feels like she’s blown her diet for good (and thinks so what’s the point?) and therefore continues to make unhealthy food choices. She feels so bad and embarrassed that she can’t even go to her local raw food potluck because she fears that other people will be able to tell that she’s eaten unhealthy foods and according to her, she’s blown it and is no longer a member of the raw community.
I really wish I was making this stuff up, but unfortunately I’ve seen similar and very real situations just like person B. So who do you think is going to have more trouble maintaining a healthy lifestyle? The message is: if you “get off track” the quickest way to getting back on track is to lighten up, go easy on yourself, and above all love yourself. Don’t make it a big a deal, after all it’s just one meal!
Tip #3 Remember No One is Perfect
In the raw food community I get the feeling that everyone just assumes that everyone else is eating 100% raw and that they are the only ones who struggle, it’s their dirty little secret. Well guess what, the real secret is that no one eats perfect all of the time. I’m not here to out or embarrass anyone but I know from personal experience from being in the raw community for awhile that everyone struggles from time to time. Hey, I’ve dedicated my life to educating people about the power of raw foods and I just admitted earlier that I emotionally ate some zucchini bread! Now, am I encouraging you to eat junk food? no absolutely not, but I am letting you know that you are not alone if you do slip up from time to time. Can we all just lighten up a little and stop pretending we’re perfect? There are no raw food god’s condemning us, no one is judging us besides ourselves.
How to Get Back on Track
If you’ve gotten a little off track I’ve found that the quickest way to get back on track is to start your day off with a green juice or a green smoothie. For some it might take a few days or even a few weeks to get back to their normal routine, but just start with a green smoothie in the morning and progressively keep adding more raw food to each meal until you’re back to where you want to be. For extra motivation give yourself a challenge, such as the Green Smoothie Challenge where you drink one green smoothie a day for thirty days. Chances are that the start of your day, will set the tone for the rest of the day.
Seek out raw food community. When people slip up it is when they tend to shy away from raw food potlucks and events and that is when they need to go to them the most! If there is no raw food event in your town seek a raw food coach like myself to give you some ideas and motivation for getting on track.
If neither of those options work for you watch an online raw food video of one of your favorite raw food speakers like the videos you will have access to when you’re a member of Monday Night Live All Access Pass. I listen to the videos while working on the computer or you can even download the audio to your ipod. Don’t underestimate how important it is to keep learning about all the reasons why it’s good to eat raw food and just hearing people’s inspirational stories can be a real motivator as well.
And lastly, I recommend buying a new raw food recipe book or raw food e-book to get the creative juices flowing, you should not just be learning the Why of raw foods, but also the How, like how to make really yummy raw food recipes so you’re less likely to be tempted. My latest favorite raw food e-books are, The How The Top Raw Chef’s Really Eat E-books. I was a contributor to these e-books and I think they are some of the most useful raw food e-books out there because of the honesty of the raw chefs who contributed. They talk about what they eat everyday, their struggles with staying on track and how they’ve overcome them, and their favorite simple everyday raw food recipes. (80 recipes total!)
Overall the biggest motivator to get back to your healthy routine will be how much better you start to feel and look with shiny hair, clear skin, mental clarity, more energy . . .that you’ll forget how you ever managed to get off track in the first place!
Resources to Stay on Track Mentioned in the Article
To join the green smoothie challenge all you need to commit to is: Adding at least one 16 ounce green smoothie to your diet everyday for at least 30 days! 30 days is the perfect amount of time to incorporate a healthy habit into your lifestyle. The Green Smoothie Challenge Recipe Booklet should give you all the tools you need to be successful. Are you up for the Challenge?
Raw Food Phone Consultation by Cecilia
For an affordable hourly fee, I give people the tools they need to easily add more fresh raw fruits and vegetables into their diet so that they feel better, experience more energy, look years younger, and radiate a happy healthy “raw” glow.
Monday Night LIVE! ALL ACCESS PASS is a collection of online video recordings and downloadable audio sessions from the 2009 and 2010 seasons of Monday Night LIVE!! @ Café Gratitude. It’s an ongoing, dynamic collection of the most up-to-date expert information on raw food living. Over 50 plus hours of important raw food information at your fingertips to keep you motivated and on track for a very reasonable price!
In the E-books you will find out how 15 raw chef’s eat everyday and their favorite everyday raw recipes. Both e-books contain over 80 everyday raw recipes from top raw food chef’s including Matt Samuelson, Melissa Mango, Abeba Wright, Chaya-Ryvka, Cherie Soria, and many more including yours truly:)
June 6, 2010 6 Comments