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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…




Hi Sarma. I had the pleasure of meeting you at the beginning of summer at Pure. You are the most beautiful woman who is caring and inspirational. I know that it may not always seem that way, but it is amazing what stress will do to a body. You are living with alot of stress, high expectations, and high demand for your time. It is no wonder you are turning to food for comfort. Food is a way of escaping...a way of telling ourselves that it is okay to take a break. Next time you want to eat when you are not hungry, ask yourself what is really going on? Do you need a walk? Do you need to talk to your parents? Do you need a hug? Trust me I am an expert at using food as my everything. A cleanse is a good idea, but so is some much needed rest. You may find if you just get some sleep and learn how to relax...the weight may just fall off on its own.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

love, Dawn


This is for Debbie the Mom of twins~

I absolutely LOVE your response to this post! As women we often put unrealistic and unhealthy goals on ourselves and at what price? Everytime I get into a bad state of mind I am reminded "what would my girls say?"
I love what you said here: " Are my priorities so off that striving for my ideal body or being upset when it's not so ideal makes me depressed?!"

I really dont think it's until you become a Mother and the focus is finally taken off of yourself that you can start to really change yourself. You realize those 10 pounds arent the end of the world, that your job is not to look like a model or trying to win "the skinny race".....which you will always loose.

It's refeshing and wonderful to see that there are other women out there like you who have decided to find balance in their lives and live beyond their ideal body.

Peace and love to you Debbie and your family.


Hi Sarma,

I think that you are truly awesome and very inspirational to all. You are human!!!



dear sarma. i really admire your honesty and reaching out. i have recently gone through the same thing. my problem, i realized is that i was eating a large amount of superfoods, and while i know that superfoods have changed many people's lives and many eat them and stay "raw-thin", my body just can't handle them. i recently went off all of them, got on a supplement that nourishes my thyroid with very very small amounts of algaes, sea greens, and vegetables..., vitmin a, c, e and selinium, and good b vitamin and small amounts of beauty enzymes....and i'm dropping that weight rapidly. i guess i have a food allergy to superfoods.....anyway, thought this might help. also, as you probably know, when we are eating when we aren't hungry we are lacking minerals....we eat and eat, but nothing can get through to the cells....my hunger levels have also gone away. i've struggled with this for 2 years since seriously on the raw path, and now, i feel like i figured it out. maybe this is also why you are struggling.... i hope this helps. jennifer


sarma, i just want to reiterate, i heard you on an interview say that you take crystal manna every morning in your juice...and while crystal manna makes my skin glow, it makes me hold weight, as does spirulina, chlorella, barley grass...all of it. 25 pounds of extra weight that has just boggled me for so long..... the supplement that i'm taking has only 5mg of a mixture of algaes sea greens and vegetables per tablet...there's probably only a few sprinkles of alage per tablet....also, tocotrienols, goji berries...all of these foods and super supplements seem to have the same effect. it's water mostly i guess...but water looks like fat! so...anyway, you might try this.


Hey nice letter putting yourself out there, but it brought up a question for me and one thing i noticed with allot of raw foodists, they talk about this fast or or so obsessed and focused on food (and yes changing your diet and doing excercise helps allot) they forget to address what is in their heads and there souls and don't do things to directly confront and pull out and release them selves from it. It seems like your still confronting body issues and emotions attached to that or some other set of hidden ways of thinking and acting and reponding to stimulas in your enviroment. WHy? have your ever thought of stoping (and I don't mean not working or anything)but a break could be helpful) stoping for a moment and really looking and seeing what is there. Why? how ?what.? I seen many people repalce obsession with another and eat better and they still can't mangage ther lives, eat healthier than anybody and are a mess emotionally, and still feell empty. the pysical is only one aspect, if you ignore you mental spritual side and do not feed that you can forever pound along and find another diet another push up to do another avocado to eat another pint of icecream and you still wake up not feeling good emty and lost. there are many tools out there to develope those sides ever think of using them.


right on.....but how about you and some spell check there, partner?


I'm probably going to make a few enemies here - but I'd say most raw foodists have some degree of disordered eating habits. Most extreme diets stem from disorder. I think everyone can benefit from eating whole, minimally processed "real" food and avoiding snacking. It's amazing how simple it is & how good you can feel when you're off "fake food." Thanks for your honesty, Sarma, & obviously it's a very common issue among your readers. Take care.


Glad I am not the only one who struggles with 100% raw and having a little extra insulation around the edges. Would be nice to eat raw, sit on a couch, and get ripped! I am not fat by any means but that whole feeling SEXY thing has been so distorted by the media/world it can often make feeling like a sexy female a tough thing to come by! I wish I lived closer to your restaurant. Loved my visit! Thanks for being honest. It help :) God Bless


Sarma! Look at everyone who you have inspired!!! You are such a stong woman..thanks for being such an inspiration to everyone. Even when time gets hard, I am sure you will always find a way back. Good luck with your cleanse!!!!


Sarma! Look at everyone who you have inspired!!! You are such a stong woman..thanks for being such an inspiration to everyone. Even when time gets hard, I am sure you will always find a way back. Good luck with your cleanse!!!!


You mentioned going on a cleanse. I am also interested in a cleanse. Would you share what you are planning to do? I would like some ideas. Thank you.


Interesting comments - but isn't overeating just overeating? - be it raw or cooked and insn't overindulging - overindulging? One too many drinks be in Organic Sake or Belevedere is one too many drinks. Isn't learning moderation and how to truly nourish ourselves and not be gluttons in any aspect of our lives a life long lesson and doesn't striving for those attributes create harmony on every level.

Would love to hear anyone's thoughts with respect to the staement.


Hiya Sarma,

I've written to you once before at "Ask Sarma" on oneluckyduck, and you were kind enough to reply. I'm much obliged to you for taking the time to do that. And this is a reply to your recent blog about feeling fat and yucky ducky....
If I may be so bold, I have a recommendation for you. I know it will be just another thing to add to your long "to do" list, but I think it might be worth it. It's a book you should read called "When Women Stop Hating Their Bodies" by Jane Hirschmann and Carol Munter. Ok, I know...it may sound cheesy and not for the usually-thin, modern and confident woman, but it really is loaded with great information. I challenge you to find a women who do not sometimes compulsively overeat or sometimes/continuely struggle with their relationship with food/their body. That's what this book is really about. It may not appear to go along with a raw food diet, but I contend that it does. It will also make you feel like you are in good company with many other women. I know feeling good is a struggle for me and if you happen to be an american girl I can pretty much guarantee it's a struggle. Also, I always thought that all the body image crap went away when women found the man of their dreams (after all, isn't male approval what body image is all about?), but I have discovered that this is apparantly not so. Personally, I think women are so much sexier with curves, like Salma Hayek, Scarlett Johannsen, pre-eating-disorder Lindsay Lohen, or pre-marathon-runner Jennifer Connely. I, too, would love to feel physically capable of any test of strength or stamina, but I believe that most of us are not meant for the extreme and that we must come to love and accept our bodies as they are in any stage of the game. Have you ever wondered how people still get up in the morning and love themselves when they lose a limb, or their hair, or become disfigured or wheel-chair bound? How do these people do it? I figure if they can, all us average and normal women can. It's not as if being fat is a crime or even a misdemenor, but women treat it like it's a death sentence. Well, I'm here to tell you it's not.
At any rate, I hope this helps you. You seem to give alot to others, and consequently are at a stage of burn-out. So I figured maybe I could give back to you a little with some advice and support.

All my best,


that sucks you're feeling or maybe were feeling, maybe it's changed now, pretty bad physically.
You are a very sexy woman (I mean that as a compliment) and a very saavy woman.
whenever i get stressed, i look to the adrenals, they take a big hit.
pay attention to the adrenals and feeding your kidney's and nourishing yourself with lots of love and mushy foods and in no time, you will be back on track. You might even have the urge to organize.
I can tell you it makes a huge difference nourishing your insides.

anyway! I loved your book .
i'm going to culinary school right now and hope to feed people healthful foods.

take care!


Sarma take time out for yourself. My heart ached when I read your post. It's the most real admission I've ever read!



We all go through times when we are uncomfortable with our bodies. As a perfectionist it is difficult to except anything less than perfect. When I feel this way I will go for a couple of colonics to help detox the body (physically and emotionally). Keep us posted on what works for you.
All the best,


Hi Sarma,

Thank you for sharing in your wonderfully refreshing and articulate manner!

I know this one! I have been there and have just lost the final few lbs.- of the 20 that I gained! I feel quite trim and very sexy - my husband follows me from room to room and watches me while I make dinner though I repeatedly scoot him out of the kitchen. (How can it be a surprise if he is staring the entire time?!)
Let me tell you a trim raw secret.....starting with it's not "how" you exercise. You will. (like before going into the restaurant, so you have your post workout glow and after exercise you don't get tempted by food for hours)

But more importantly Sarma....it's the NUTS!!! I did the same exact thing last winter and was having so much fun eating pinenut parmesean cheese (like you are with the icecream - cashews!) from the dehydrator and then on everything. I gained, gained, gained. I still looked good - But I FELT bad, heavy, puffy, slow, clothes didn't fit.
It's the nuts. Too much dense fat just clogs up the body. A little is great for us, our skin, hair, need it and there's nothing better out there. But too much, as in feeding our cravings, just puts on the slothy pounds that FEEL so cloggy!!! Then we don't want to move around physically so much.

So, don't worry, you're gorgeous....just lay off the nuts for a while and then just eat bits with greens and you'll be back wanting to workout very soon!!!!

Thanks for everything that you do - quite an awesome lady indeed!!!

Best Regards,


I just read "Raw Food, Real World" and though it was lovely (as are you) I like your blog much better, as it is much less processed and polished than your cookbook.

I came to raw foods from the opposite direction that you did: I had been a dedicated yogini for seven years and after one of my morning sessions, I had a food epiphany. I started thinking about all the chemicals I was consuming through "diet" foods and all of the power the food industry had over me. I was suddenly and ultimately fed up with all the lies and decided to eat only pure food that Adam and Eve would have recognized. It was like flipping a switch, and I have never looked back.

From your writing, it seems that you came to the raw foods lifestyle for its physical effects, and now that the honeymoon period is over and the physical effects are not what they once were, you are seeking that enlightenment period again--that epiphany.

But I don't think you're going to find your fix through a detox. I think the next, deeper level for you will be going raw in your mental and spiritual life as well. From your musings about food, it seems like the problem lies in your mind and in your thinking about food--something that only yoga, meditation and deep personal reflection can truly address.

Thank you for helping me with my journey and I hope that my experience might aid in your journey as well.



Thank you for posting this; hope all is going well.




I love how you write. Thank you for saying all that you said and for telling the truth about how you're feeling right now. We all have "those kind of days"...that turn into "those kind of weeks", and so on. BUT you are doing the right thing. When you get to those points its good to take a step back and focus again. As you are doing. Please do keep us on the up and up about how things are going. BUT try to remember to get some sleep. Really try. You know how a lack of sleep will get to anyone (those who eat superfoods or not!=D ).
Now on a totally different subject. I've got some questions for you. Take all the time you need to answer them. Since I can see how busy you are. Any reply is worth the waiting.
You have the MOST beautiful, healthy, vibrant skin that I have EVER seen. And I mean it. There is no one else that I've seen (even the movie stars have nothing on you) that has more beautiful, glowing, healthy looking skin as you. So what's your secret? Besides what you eat which I know has a LOT to do with it. I was wondering what your every daily beauty regimen looks like. (If you have one) Do you cleanse with a special cleanser then tone, then moisturize...what exactly do you do to your face on a daily basis? Can't wait for your reply.
Keep glowing, :)


Thank you for the line about the Olsen twins and Stick Ritchie. I have been trying to convince my self of the same thing for a while now...


Hi Sarma!
I visited Pure Food and Wine in October and it changed my life! I love your book and just today made the vanilla ice cream and am having the sushi for dinner. Thank you for such a wonderful book and restaraunt. You are a great inspiration to so many people!! I have a One Lucky Duck sticker on my flute case and lots of people ask about it. I'm happy to tell them about eating raw and how great it makes you feel. BTW-I recently placed an order with One Lucky Duck and thought the service was really really good.
Yay Sarma!


Dear Serma,
Thank you for sharing a piece of your life. I feel so much better to know that even your life can be a little out of control and you can be 20 pounds heavier than you want. You have been my inspiration.
Tell you the truth I cannot have a RAW food only life style but except for dinner what I eat is mostly RAW. I enjoy your book and hope to visit Pure Food and Wine sometime soon.


Dear Serma

I would first like to say that your book was te thing that kicked off my journy into the raw foods lifestyle last summer. It was so beautiful and romantic, I could not resist participateing in the lifestlye you boasted in those pages!

It has been an interesting ride for me, and I would like to share some of what I have learned with you.

From my own expreience, I truly do not believe that weight has much to do with what we are eating. The body is an amazing machine, and it has the capability to process anything that we put into it, and do to it. There are stories of prisoners of war that lived on 200 calories and day,for years, and barely had anything to show for it when they were rescued, except for being underwieght, they had healthy gums, they had healthy hair growth, and on and on.

I believe that our bodies are a physical representation of what is going on with us on a deeper level. You stated that when you first went raw you could eat ice cream for breakfast and were as thin as a been pole. So what has changed since then? I believe that weight gain is a physical manifestation of self preservation. The body is putting on a layer of protection. When we are stressed, when there is alot of pressure on us (from others or from ourselves) to be better, faster, stronger, more perfect, what have you, doesnt it seem only fitting that we would try to protect ourselves?

It is just like when we are ill. The runny nose that we experience when we catch cold is not the illness, it is the bodys physical manifestation of detoxing, and killing the virus. I think it is the same for weight, it is just our bodies way of telling us that somthing is off in other places of our lives, that we need to turn our attention to.

I dont know if this struck a corde with you, all I know is this is what has been true or me. The body is a miraculus machine, and we to often take it for granted, or we get distracted thinking it is the problem, when really it is the symptom.

I hope that helps.

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