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Sexyback: Sarma’s Raw Confessions


It seems forever that every Friday I have been telling myself, “OK, this is the weekend that I’m going to catch up on sleep, finally clean up the colossal disaster that is my desk at the One Lucky Duck office, deal with ridiculously important and long neglected paperwork, finish outlining those business plans, complete the budgets to go with them; I will go to the gym, run those errands only I can run for myself, call my parents, finish painting my bathroom, return all the emails I’ve been ignoring, stop to smell the (organic) coffee… I will also conquer the world, and… yes, for sure before this weekend is over I’m finally going to spit out a long overdue blog for welikeitraw.com!

The reality is that my desk still exists under a sea of chaos, my errands undone, parents neglected, budgets not completed, world not yet conquered (though I’m getting there), emails piling up like mad, and I’ve not seen the gym in months.  However, here I am writing a blog post.  I decided the only way I could do it would be to do it in a way that helps me too… sorry, I’m totally being selfish.  I get so many e-mails telling me that our book has been a life-changing inspiration, which is a humbling honor, and here I am feeling like I’ve fallen off the very happy wagon around which my life now happily revolves.  But now I could use some help (and that’s not something easy to admit). 

It seems I’m not really taking care of myself as I bury my head in sand dunes of work.  And the silly part is that so much of what I do essentially revolves around taking care of others, with my time and often with my advice, which I’m in effect dispensing but now not following.  As a result, I’m feeling quite… crappy.  Just last summer I was twenty pounds (yes, twenty!) lighter than I am today.  I do admit… everyone at the time was telling me I was way too skinny - and as gratifying as I most often found those comments (in the most dysfunctional female sort of way, lapping up everyone’s concern as well as the envy of other equally vain and dysfunctional females), I did realize that I was in fact too thin (yes, it’s possible). 

Here’s the thing… Nicole Richie, the Olsen twins… sexy?  Not really.  Scarlett Johanssen?  YES!!  And if you adjust for height, their weight difference is significant, which is something people like me need to keep reminding themselves.  Yet why do I still feel the need shed pounds so that people will start calling me skinny again? 

Despite the happy medium that I know exists, somewhere over this past winter and early summer I managed to ride the fat train way past the Happy Medium stop.  So now I find myself in that zone where, even though I hide it reasonably well, I just don’t like the extra luggage I’m toting around.  I could probably write pages and pages about all of this, particularly about all the emotional reasons why these things happen (why do we sometimes so deliberately sabotage ourselves??).  The point is, that even while consuming (almost entirely) all raw foods, I’ve managed to find my way back to a place where I’m once again stressing about what I eat, even when it’s mostly raw, organic and good for me.  ARGH!!  What I really want is to be strong.  I’d like to be able to feel like I can kick anyone’s ass.  Run a marathon.  Swim the English Channel.  Leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Eating organic food, raw food, fresh food… it makes you feel so much better in your skin.  But still… I’ve felt really good for so long that my standards have shifted, to where these days I just feel, as David Jubb would say, less than excellent.

As I practically live at Pure Food and Wine, I’m in an entirely food-oriented environment all day every day.  We have the most delicious all-raw ice cream (in flavors like almond butter cup, chocolate brownie and more) sitting in pints in the freezer case.  I hear them calling my name, I swear.  These pints have voices that carry.  So I guess it’s not so shocking I could pack on an extra layer of insulation.  Though there has to be more, since at times I’ve eaten a pint of chocolate ice cream for breakfast day after day, and been lean like a string bean.  What else?  Too many business dinners out at lovely (not raw) restaurants where I am compelled (by culinary curiosity, of course) to try different foods.  And more?  Since everything at the restaurant is made fresh each morning, whatever is left at the end of dinner service ends up as the Midnight HungryStaff Buffet… so with stress and maybe a few too many sake-tinis, I often find my way to the trough with the rest of the staff to nosh, like a deprived little piglet, even though I’m not truly hungry at all.  At least not in my stomach, which is exactly the issue:  I’m much less hungry on raw foods, but that’s not the point when there seem to be other things going on in my head that make the distraction of eating appealing.  Figuring out what those are would be helpful.  But the biggest problem is exercise and I know this.  I seem to tire myself out with work so that I feel too tired to exercise.  There always seems to be something urgent needing attention, so while I might plan to work out for an hour before getting in the shower in the morning, it just doesn’t happen because I find myself racing to my office or the restaurant (where, did I mention, we have tons of yummy yum yum food everywhere?!).   

The upside of all this is that I feel like at least it’s a learning process… and maybe baring all in writing could be helpful to someone else too.  Here I am looking for something good about feeling like a stuffed kielbasa.  I don’t know what is going on exactly… personal crisis?  Pressure?  Looking for love in the refrigerator?  Contrary to what (I think) Juliano was once quoted as saying, we can’t all eat ALL the raw food we want, sit on a couch and “get ripped”.  I’m proof.  And before someone yells at me for calling myself “fat”, I am fully aware that I’m not FAT by most standards.  I just don’t feel good right now.  Not good, not strong, not hot, not sexy.  At least not too much of the time.  At least not like I did after I first went raw and for the next couple of years.  And that’s how I want to feel again.

SO, tomorrow (or today, as I’m writing this at 4:30am, don’t ask!!) I’m going to start a ‘cleanse’ of sorts.  Nothing dramatic or scary in the least, so if you’re hoping for more personal tales of a very graphic nature as those I previously shared, (which mortified my father when he read them), I’m not expecting to have any this time.  But who knows what will happen, that’s the fun part.  So… once this is posted, that’s it, I’m committed.  Hopefully when I come out of the delirium that has set in from still being awake now at the buttcrack of dawn, I will not regret having sent this along to Dhru and now being on the hook to document my progress, or lack thereof.  But as I often like to do, I’ll just dive into the deep end with no life raft and hope for the best.

Stay tuned… I’ll do my best to write about what’s working, what’s not, what I’m eating, what I’m not and when I’m cheating (if I do).  And hopefully I’ll figure out a way to get myself inspired all over again.  We’ll see. I want Sexy Back.  I want to learn how to dance like Justin Timberlake too.  Did I just write that?  Oh dear…




Sweet Sarma.....your candid writing is a delight and a sight for sore eyes. I am the only other person I know who recently referred to myself as feeling a bit like a juicy little kielbasa! I suspect you are your own hardest taskmaster, a perfectionist, a bit overly self-critical, etc. all of which I can totally relate. Life just ebbs and flows like this for most of us and no one can maintain the world's standards of perfection anyway. Regardless of the openness of your blogging at the vulnerable hours before dawn, I am quite certain that you WILL bring sexy back.....better, hotter and wiser than ever. Please do keep us all posted....we'll be here to cheer you on!


Sarma, my dear, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so REAL. It's an elusive trait these days, but I know I can always count on you to deliver your unrefined thoughts and feelings. Like Penni, I can totally identify with that inner evil twin whose only goal is to help you rip yourself apart. Unfortunately, I don't have any other advice than what Penni said, but I can say that I believe in you, Sarma!! You helped transform many people with your restaurant (which I went to for the first time recently - AMAZING!), book, website, etc....I know you have the strength to bring the sexy back in yourself, too! I look forward to reading about your journey!

Luv Vanessa


Yeah, is it a surprise that I agree with the last two authors!? Way to go! Sarma, being real is a lot more "sexy/attractive" then perfection. "Perfection" is unattainable and frustrating, but "realness" is freeing and encouraging. thanks for being open and honest!!


Thank you so much for coming back. It has been way too long!!!! I enjoy this site tremendously but I must admit that your posts are my highlight. Thank you for inspiring me.


I like johnstonefitness.com

It's 23 minutes every day - it's easy yet it's HIIT training (high intensity something) - except I promise it does not feel like it .. You do one minute each of
60% Maximum Heart Rate 70 80 90
60 70 80 90
60 70 80 90
60 70 80 90 100

I find really I'm only shifting myself for 15-20 seconds of each segment because my heart rate stays in the zone and after the 90 segment which really isn't hard, I don't have to do anything for the next 60 as my hr comes down (I do have a heart rate monitor which I think you need to do it. He says he does it with out but with it's more enjoyable and easier because you don't do way more than is necessary and feel knackered.) I love this workout and you can do it anyway you like, even with a skipping rope or hooning round the garden.

I was just reading in Oprah's magazine today that Condoleeza Rice rises at 4.30am and is at her desk at 6.30am. She does 40mins of cardio and works out with a trainer for an hour twice a week. She also takes a day to play tennis or other sport. I'm liking her style -- so rise 2 hours before you're due in and do the HIIT training detailed above.

Then do twice a week one of David Hirsh or Kirsch's brilliant routines which are a real blast/ers - I love, they too only last 23 minutes but my heart rate is always at 180 (I'm 25).

All the best (::::::::

I love your work.


The first 60 lasts 3 minutes and the last 60 after the 100 lasts 3-4.


Sarma, your post was really inspirational to me. I've been raw for over a year, and am feeling very similar to what you describe! Somehow, on ALL RAW FOOD, I have gained weight. And I know I'm not "fat".. but i'm also not the picture of health that I want to be. Thank you for your honesty. I feel that so many of the leaders in the raw food movement are so occupied with their own approach and ideas, they are fearful to admit that something isn't working. I'm cleansing too :) Sending many lovely cleansing thoughts your way... Just remember- you brought SEXY into RAW. Before you, raw was just.. cold food. Soggy soaked almonds.

I like what you said: "I’m much less hungry on raw foods, but that’s not the point when there seem to be other things going on in my head that make the distraction of eating appealing." The distraction of eating being appealing, yes! That's it! I completely know what you mean! I love being raw, I need so much less food on raw, and yet....I can't explain it. I eat more than I should, than I need, than I really even want if I'm honest with myself. It has to do with that "distraction." Thanks for putting it into words. I only just found your website...wandered over from shazzie.com, and I'm excited to look it all over. However, I'm just curious, are all the pics of you here from last summer, when you were 20lbs lighter? Because you are very skinny in these pictures. I understand if you don't feel that you are at your healthiest, but you look "lean as a string bean" to me. I'm not snapping at you for calling yourself fat, as you predicted might happen, I'm just a begining raw foodist and I am wondering if on raw foods you were actually 20lbs lighter than the pics I see, because that would mean you were tremendously skinny. Good luck on your cleans, and I hope you are not getting too down on yourself. You are lovely!


Sarma, Sarma... I've been there before, and quite recently as well! And like you, it has been hard to live up to a certain picture of health one feels compelled to project in our careers ( I am a Pilates teacher ); that alone can be quite the stress factor! Be gentle with yourself - we are all but humans...
What worked for me: I committed to just four days of green juice fasting, and that got me back on track to a balanced raw meal plan, and a happy return to the gym and my Pilates studio. Sometimes all you need is the feeling of a "clean slate" a few days of green juices provides... and I've made numerous stops at Pure Juice to help me along the way!
Just as you restaurant and cookbook turned me on to becoming raw, I'd be happy to offer you a few Pilates sessions at the studio round the corner on 3rd if that can help you get back on track. Let me know...
Best of luck, and keep us posted!



Whenever people talk about raw food and weight, they normally talk about how you can eat as much as you want and not gain weight. It is so nice to hear someone(you) say that you still have to make good choices, even on raw! Thankyou for your more realistic aproach, it has helped me view my struggles in a more realistic manner, I dont feel so alone. Also, since you sort of asked, at least for me, I know that eating a lot late at night makes me gain weight, no matter what I eat for the most part, unless its greens. Well much luck, and if its any constilation, I happen to think you are the prettiest women I have ever seen, really!


Hey Sarma ,
I loved reading you're writting. I think it's wonderful how candid and honest you are. Please keep us informed of your progress.


You look gorgeous in that photo! I love the new hairstyle. Of course you would look good even bald.

I don't know some raw people say that you can eat anything you want of raw food and as much of it as you want. Like any food, if you eat too many calories and too much fat or sugar and don't burn it off it's going to get stored period. Food is food.

I'm totally jealous that you get to eat whatever raw food you want and have access to that delicious Pure Food and Wine food all prepared for you. I would be doing the same thing if I had that opportunity. Temptation is hard to pass up. And that food is SO good! :)

Of course on the opposite side I don't have access to anything like that and am too lazy to make any of those recipes except on special occasion. So I just snack all day on simpler raw foods and ingredients and some cooked foods. Like oranges, bananas, raisons, avocados, oatmeal, some raw bars, salads, water etc. I'm so skinny I need to figure out how to pack on some more weight and muscle. I wouldn't say that Scarlett Johanssen is really my idea of sexy. She could use some muscle and a gym membership really. But yeah, anorexic Nicole Ritchie is just disgusting. Ribs showing and not being able to walk without falling, that's not sexy. I'd rather look like Evangeline Lilly or Kate Beckinsale.


Thanx fr yr long-awaited blog. I want to comment on something you mentioned other than the weight issue: yr time management issue. You are a sucessful business person, yet you sound totally overwhelmed. Why don't you try to assign some of your tasks to a trusted assistant/ biz partner? Certainly not everything needs your personal attention (as much as you may wish to give it). Delegate delelgate delegate! This way you'll have time for the things that matter (gym, meditation, and focusing on those aspects of yr life & work that do need your undivided personal attention). Just a thought...


Hello Sarma
My friends Traci and Vanessa from somelikeitraw.net in Chicago turned me on to your blog yesterday. Because of them, I've begun to incorporate raw foods into my diet and I've noticed a huge difference in my energy level.

Like you I have the tendency to be overly skinny. This wasn’t always the case; in my late teens and twenties I had difficulty losing that extra 15lbs. I was modeling in my late teens and was told constantly to lose weight; I starved myself, which destroyed my metabolism as well as my self-esteem. This spurred a mind set that was extremely unhealthy; I was obsessed with food and being skinny. This lasted for many years.

Once I started eating for my health and not my looks is when I started to normalize my body weight. That is what is so great about raw food eating; it's about feeding your body healthy foods that will make you feel wonderful, so you have a better quality of life.

One last note- Skinny isn't sexy!! Most men do not like the overly skinny model body type. My last two boyfriends kept asking me to gain weight. As women we are brainwashed to think the overly emaciated body is what's sexy. Happy is healthy! Overly skinny starved girls and women are not happy people. I have a company dedicated to empowering young girls and women and helping to improve their self-esteem. I receive so many emails and phone calls from girls and women distressed at their unhappiness about their body image. I think incorporating raw food into your diet is a great way to take the focus off dieting and turning it into a healthy way of eating. Shoot me an email Sarma, I would love to send you a Mirror Me tee mirrormeteez.com. Thanks for all you do!


This is to Jennifer from the post above mine at Mirror Me tee....

Thank you so much for saying this to Sarma and to all of us. I know that everyone no matter their size has "fat days" but this attitude and mind set is damaging to ourselves, our daughters and our future generations. We need to realize our own beauty and also realize that we are NOT as fat as we think we are....especially someone as slime as Sarma.

And you are right, men do NOT like skinny women. My husband thinks Renee Zelwegger is disgustingly thin but when she was in "Bridget Jones' Diary" she looked good. He also prefers me when I'm pregnant and more round.


I think going raw will mold the body into the shape it is supposed to be. Not everyone can be Paris Hilton or another FHM model. Not everyone can be a Gabriella Reese either. We can only be OURSELVES.


Hi Sarma,

Just wanted to say I understand and I hear you. It can sometimes seem the days are getting shorter or that we have so much stuff that vies for our attention in ourlives.. Ah, cluttered desks, mountains of paperwork, the kitchen beckons, the computer enslaves our minds as our body sits motionless in front of it meanwhile what happened to my yoga class, my walk, my bath, what happened to ME???
Body image. Personally I have been fixated on mine for many years having spent time in my youth in the fashion industry (some modelling) and throughoutthe rest of my life in the beauty and health industry. have had long periods of low weight and just over low weight?? Now at 50, I am finding that raw and being reed thin (I have been raw for 6 years) is not a particularly sexy look. I stopped drinking wine several years ago, organic included,purely because it sets my past addictions into play and next I'm craving all sorts of acid food. Sure in winter I put on extra weight but I figured that's how its supposed to be. In summer it comes off.

Get into oranges over winter and greens in a green shake. Nature gives us foods in season for a purpose, I eat seasonally and encourage everyone to do so. the green shakes have filled my body out and I feel sexier than ever before.

How is the love in your life? Is there a feeling something is missing?
Emotional eating is sometimes rooted in this question. What about a (raw) puppy to get you out walking? It seemed another responsibility, for me recently but I succumbedto getting this beautiful natured toy poodle. bischon pup and it has got me walking daily. Hey the body image thing is so in our faces and the pressure to look a certain way. It's getting the happy medium flowing with the seasons and remembering NOTHING IS PERMANENT, your weight, how you are feeling today . As is said, This too will pass

Raw Blessings and all will be well. xx Katya


Hey Sarma Please email me or pop into our forum for a chat.

I have a raw and livng foods educational business in Oz, since 2002. Have had 32 years in the natural Health and Beauty field been 100% raw 6 years with a history of eating disorders and addictions that I've freed myself from through a raw food lifestyle.
I also had a Raw cafe in 2002 for several months and know how burnout and grabbing food at late hours can become habitual, throwing your life out of balance.
At 50 I am raw and sexy.
One thing I'd mention is I see you are similiar to myself in that you take it all on yourself -trying to do it all.

Love to help you as a woman whose been where you are, and has come through.
katya wwww. rawjuvenate.com.au


I went raw more than a year ago and got down to my goal weight. This summer my weight crept up five pounds, even though I have never strayed too far from a good diet. It's gotten me down. A lousy five pounds and I am near depresed about it. What's wrong with me?! It's SO nice to know I'm not alone! I'm not fat either, but I feel like I am just because of five pounds. It's crazy. If I'm eating well and I feel good, what does it matter what the scale says? I should throw that thing away.

I too have a night-snacking problem sometimes. This is the worst time to eat, but it's the only time I slow down during the day. Most of the time I'm not hungry, but I think I should be. Is that weird? I feel like I'm missing out. Missing out on what? Is it because people around me think I'm suffering? I'm not, but they can really make me feel like I am because they don't "get" raw. I think our environment has a lot to do with how well we do. I wish the whole world was raw, or at least vegan or vegetarian, so WE were the majority!

I have thought often that we raw foodists need a support group of some kind, even a social group. A lot of us are in NYC, right? We should think about it. We could always meet at Pure. Yum.


Hi Sarma,

I loved your blog...Thank you for taking some time to share your thoughts.

You're my inspiration...I wish that I could learn from you & help to spread the raw words over the world...

Hmmm....How do you manage to lose such weights??? Care to share...

Oh, I missed the foods @ Pure Food & Wine...as well as raw ice creams. I had that e'ryday when I was in NY...Sadly, it cant be ship to Singapore... But still, manage to get some snacks to be send over to me...

Looking forward to it.

Greetings to you from S'pore....I wanna be back in NY for tiramisu...



Hi Sarma- I love your blog! I have a little theory about weight gain on raw: I've read of many people who lose a lot of weight as their body releases toxins trapped in fat and muscle tissue-this may take a few years even. Sometimes they lose too much muscle and then suddenly, without doing anything different, they fill back out with new muscle. Their body has found balance and that part of the cleansing is over. They're not in "Burn" mode anymore. At this point, calories start to count for something again, as does fat! Bummer! Most long term living foods folks seem to eat less and less and stay a stable weight. They just need lighter fuel. Your body may be at that point where it's evolved past needing the heavier fats. BTW- Manhattan has a great place called Lotte Berk Studio- it will get you fit so quickly and you can do it every other day- or get some of their DVD's. I love them and I HATE working out! Good luck!

Nicole Warrick

You go girl. I recently went through the very same thing. After a few years of being a totally hot raw mamma I found my self feeling just...OK. I am not OK. I am a totally intense, extremely passionate, lover of life and everything around me. I can put on a tee shirt and blue jeans and feel hot and sexy, yet grounded and wise. I love the few little strech marks on my tummy, they are like little stripes of courage. I just hate to settle at OK. Is a little of it vanity? Maybe. Maybe like you i have always been told how beautiful and thin I am. (Most believed too thin) After a summer full of teaching raw food classes and trying out new recipes I quickly realized that all those yummy nut based recipes and overindulgence had now taken its toll. Like you said, not fat to others but i had lost that ZING, my frequency was not vibrating at the same rate. So I did what you did.. I fast. I did a juice fast for a week and that was all I needed to feel my frequency rise again. Afterwards I also began to eat more sprouts. They seem to be filling in a non heavy way but give me a great buzz. I know you can do it. You have so many who love you and are supporting you.
Lots of love from St. Louis


It seems that what you mention happens to so many of us. By design, that must be how we learn and grow. I have heard that although one may eat well we often fail to nourish our spiritual and emotional bodies which can often drive the rest of us to places we would rather not be (the kitchen). Although I have not yet had the opportunity to do their work - people that I admire and respect have talked a good bit about the folks at total integration www.totalintegrationinstitute.com


This is the first raw blog/site I've visited in almost two months. I ate raw for over a year striving for the perfect body. And I was never happy, though I looked "good". But what really was looking good? I am a Mom of twin toddlers! Are my priorities so off that striving for my ideal body or being upset when it's not so ideal makes me depressed?! What would my children think.

I've gained back about 10lbs., still in a normal weight range for my height and learning to enjoy a little roll around my stomach. It's not that bad, really.

Most important for you....is sleep. I'm sorry to say I dont think it's exercise. Sleep and rest your body. It needs it. I am speaking from experience. When you are rested, you will make the best decisions and know what you truely need.

Sending you much, much love,
Debbie from Cleveland


hey sarma, this candid entry you recently wrote is actually the first time ive ever read your blog. but, its great. i love your honesty and really can relate to prettyy much everything you wrote, even though im a man. anyhow, i think you nailed it when you said that eating can be a distraction, i.e. just something to do. i mean, i am very busy, working around 50-60 hours a week at an intencse and physical job (in the pastry kitchen of a new, large italian joint) but STILL at times when i have off and nothing in particular to do i turn to food for somehting. even if its not eating in and of itself, the thing i choose to do will be focused on food. like, say, taking the long subway ride to get a pint of your ice cream which i know will eat up a couple hours and get me that much closer to the next time i can eat (without feeling guilty like im snacking or something). i can relate is all im saying.
oh, and about gettin gback on the wagon, its as simple as making a choice. really. when i started at my current job, i completely 'fell' as it were, tasting all the traditional desserts, etc. got totally into heavy creams, sugars, etc. this lasted for about one month or so id say and low and behold a 5-6 lb weight gain. it all came to a breaking point on the scale in my bathroom (numbers dont lie) and boom, i made the choise only about two weeks ago and have been around 85% raw id say since then. what happened? right back down to 151 ibs. make the choice, stick to it and be strong. you CAN do it.

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