My Way: Courtney Pool
Greetings We Like It Raw readers! I am grateful and excited to share in this week’s My Way series. Some of you know me from my own blog, which I started in 2007 during my first 60 day Juice Feast. For the past two years I have been a member of the community and staff at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Arizona, founded by Dr. Gabriel Cousens. I have been a student of natural health for 4 years and have been eating living and raw foods since 2005.
At 6:30 am, I’m out of bed! I get up for my morning jog. Usually I take my iPod because music pumps me up, but this morning I am feeling extra inward and quiet, so I go without it. I always run in the same beautiful place – on the ‘Mesa’, an area of high rolling hills. At the top, I can see miles of mountains. Filling my lungs with fresh morning, mountain air feels amazing. I find a few early pecans under the local pecan trees – yum! I return home, shower and get ready for work, drink a glass of water, and head up to the Tree of Life Sprout House. The Tree is about a mile from my house. First thing? Wheatgrass shot! Truthfully, I don’t like wheatgrass at all… but it does feel fantastic after I take it. Next, to the Tree of Life Café – breakfast. I choose to have a spirulina salad this morning – greens, sprouts, a little olive oil, a little salt, and spirulina. I sit in the sun outside for a few minutes, then venture down to ‘work.’ Yes, I work a 9-5 ‘job’. But I love it! Busy morning, later in the morning I have a little bowl of ¼ c raw rolled oats with honey, xylitol, stevia and cacao powder. Lunchtime, I head up to the Café, grab a bowl of sprouts/greens (for a spirulina salad), with guacamole and bell pepper sticks for dipping. I put some digestive enzymes on my salad, and sit with friends. It’s sunny and 82 degrees. I return to work, and have an apple in the late afternoon. After work, the sun has already set. I head into Nogales, a border town about 19 miles south, with a friend to run errands. Back to Patagonia, another friend comes over and we enjoy an aloe/mesquite/lucuma/carob smoothie and relax to music. After he leaves, I speak with my mother on the phone for a while, and then it’s off to bed by 10pm.
I wake up, drink water w/ lemon & MSM, and up to the Sprout House for wheatgrass. I choose to have a spirulina salad again for breakfast. I don’t often feel ready for a heavy breakfast with nuts or seeds, or anything dehydrated, like granola or nut mylk or apple turnovers . Later in the morning, once again, I have more raw oats, today also with some tocotreinols. Off to lunch! Topics of conversation today include sustainable communities and raw chocolate. I have some ‘hot chocolate’ in the afternoon – hot water, cacao powder, a bit of honey, xylitol, and English Toffee stevia. Later, I try some of someone’s dehydrated nut snack. I’m not big on dehydrated nuts; they generally sit like a brick in my stomach. After work I head to this week’s ‘Middle Eastern Dancing’ practice/celebration at a very large warehouse which is the home of several local conscious businesses, including a hemp, organic cotton, and linen clothing manufacturer, a jewelry business, and also the home of the VivaPura/CocoPura company! The class is led by one of our very own TOL massage therapists, a wonderful Brazilian woman who is an extremely talented dancer. It’s about an hour and 45 minutes tonight, and like usual, I leave dripping in sweat. It’s the best core/ab/lower back workout I’ve ever done, because you have to engage all those muscles to even start to pull off the movements. After dancing, I shower and head over to the only local semi-formal restaurant – the Velvet Elvis to meet with friends. I don’t end up eating anything, but some of them have some vegan (cooked) pizza, others are vegetarian and have some cheese, and others are omnivorous and have meat&cheese pizza. Bottom line, we all have a great time. Then, it’s back home for me, talk with my mom on the phone, and into bed!
I wake up easily and naturally around 6:30. I head out for my morning jog – today it really feels like autumn. I head over to the home of one of my best friends. We make aloe smoothies – per smoothie: 1 aloe leaf, ½ bag frozen berries, 1 tsp Premier Research Labs Pomegranate Concentrate, and 1 TBS honey. YUM. No time for wheatgrass, so off to work again. Some more oats later in the morning. I am also gifted a glorious little lemon coconut smoothie this morning by the same best friend. Lunch, I sit in the sun with friends and have a spirulina salad and today’s entrée – some marinated eggplant, nut cheese, tomatoes and olives. Mostly the entire lunch break is taken by talking about 80’s sitcoms. Later in the afternoon, hot chocolate. This evening, I attend Shabbat, the first one Gabriel has led for a while, since he’s been gone. Gabriel’s Shabbat is a bit different than traditional Jewish Shabbat’s, I’m told. Mostly, it’s meditation, with stories, some dancing and singing, and overall a pleasant ceremony. After Shabbat, I head home, journal for a while, and go to sleep (10pm, even on a Friday night – welcome to my life in Patagonia ;)
I go for another jog and punk around on the internet for a while. Then, off to brunch at the Tree of Life Café. I really enjoy brunch on the weekends because it’s a time where I can sit with friends and enjoy for as long as I like, because most of us don’t have to be watching the clock to get back to work. I have (GUESS!) a spirulina salad, along with some dehydrated veggies and seaweed salad. The Café also makes desserts on weekends – today it’s some sort of coconut pie. YUM! After brunch, I do some household chores, then go visit a friend. We hang out for a while, go juice a wheatgrass shot, and then take a scenic drive. Come back home, and later go to another friends house, where we have some ‘sandwiches’ made with avocado and ‘bread’, and watch random YouTube videos. Then, it’s off to yet another friend’s house for a big group movie night. They serve ‘hot chocolate’, an almond mylk base with cacao, lucuma, a little honey, and other goodies mixed in. Someone brings ‘Pina Coladas’ – coconut and pineapple (no alcohol). Others bring raw treats, such as chocolate, and pate dips with veggies. About 25 or 30 people show up. The movie of the night? ‘Whale Rider’. I’ve never seen it before, and totally loved it! After the movie, it’s back home for me, I journal for a while, and turn off the lights at about 11.
I lie in bed and enjoy doing nothing. I talk to my mom in bed for a while too, and then get up at around 8:30 to go on a walk. This morning I go on a pleasant walk, rather than a jog. Then, I check my email, and head up to brunch again. I make a spirulina salad, and also take some marinated eggplant and spinach pomegranate salad. Dessert today was actually one of the best I’ve ever had – AMAZING chocolate truffles. We talk about the upcoming Native American Inipi (done in the Lakota tradition) and the plans for a teepee near the Inipi site. After brunch, I spend some more time on the computer, sending emails, reading blogs, etc. Then, I go home and lay on my bed for several hours in a sunbeam, journal, and read some of Awaken the Giant Within by Anthony Robbins while listening to Sigur Ros. Later in the day, I have an apple, and a little handful of bee pollen. I talk with my mom on the phone, and then I drive up to my favorite spot (usually I run there, but not today) at the top of the mesa and watch the sun set over the mountains and just be silent. In the evening back at home, I have almond milk and raw chocolate. Next, I go visit a friend at her house. We talk and laugh for a while. I go back home, speak to another friend on the phone, and go to bed.
I have a spirulina salad and a ‘muffin’ for breakfast. Down to work – a busy Monday! I have some grapes and ‘hot chocolate’ later in the morning. Today at lunch I have another spirulina salad, sauerkraut, a little piece of ‘pizza,’ and ‘apple pie.’ Some interesting food combining (good thing I take digestive enzymes)... but delicious nonetheless. After work, I talk with one of my best friends, one of the most amazing 21 year olds on the planet, who has been meditating since she was about eight, and who I’ve recently turned on to raw/living foods. She has found that eating a plant based diet has catapulted her meditations and other spiritual practices to entirely new levels. She now wants to make a homemade documentary, using her own personal story as a guide, and about raw foods, how it supports a spiritual life, and how it is instrumental in the consciousness shift of the planet. Fun planning that. I eat an apple, and some chocolate. Then, I go up to the Café and get a green juice for dinner (mostly made from cucumber and celery, some greens, lemon & ginger, and cayenne & turmeric), and have a few nice conversations over green juiciness. Then, I go off to the hot tubs and spend a quiet and serene evening alone sitting in the hot tub looking at the incredible Arizona night sky. I return home, talk with several friends on the phone, and then to bed.
I wake up to a rare, overcast but relatively warm morning. I grab my iPod and I go for a jog. At breakfast, I grab two ‘Coconut Gogi’ balls and some ‘mylk’ of coconut, almond, persimmon and other wonderfulness, and a spirulina salad. I never feel quite right in the morning if I don’t have at least a small spirulina salad. I have hot chocolate in the late morning. At lunch, today’s theme is ‘Thai’, and there is lovely Thai soup and even ‘breaded’ flax coconut meat which is awesome. I eat a spirulina salad and sauerkraut in the sun, with friends. Later in the afternoon I have two little chocolates. After work, we have a meeting with Gabriel and Shanti Cousens about some upcoming events, and also discussing the shift that is going on in the world as far as nutrition, spirituality and consciousness. Next, I go get a green juice at dinner, then home to clean and call my mom. Then, I go to a friend’s house and we have tea, watch the latest episode of ‘Heroes’, and finalize the logistics of attending the Coldplay concert in Phoenix tomorrow. Off to bed it is, and that’s a week!!
Courtney Pool is a community member and staff member at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, Arizona. She has been a student of natural health for 4 years and has observed a living and raw foods diet since 2005. Courtney blogs about her lovely life at courtneypool.blogspot.com