Well it's been quite a while but I've got a great update for yas. Me and my mom attempted this awesome vegan mac n' cheeze (I use that spelling to imply that theres no actual real cheese in the dish) recipe. Its pretty much just pasta, veggies, cashews, Earth Balance, and some extra random seasonings. A friend had posted this on facebook and said how amazing it was, that it tasted very much like the real thing without the use of any imitation cheeses. So I thought it was definitely worth a try since I always loved Mac n' Cheese as a kid. We were pleasantly surprised to find that my friend was absolutely right, it was creamy and had a sort of cheesy taste. It was delicious. Here's a quick photo of the result and here's the original blog post with the recipe... http://pamelasalzman.com/vegan-natural-mac-cheese-recipe/
Needless to say we added it to our recipe book. I think y'all should give it a try too, it's a good one.
Hello interweb friends! I will more fully update you all in writing soon enough but here is just a little update video to keep things going. This is actually from about 3 weeks ago and since then I have been about 99.9% raw! Yay! Here's my vid from a few weeks ago and I will certainly make a new updated video very soon too!...
Yes, I got lazy for a couple months here. As well as with my diet and exercise. I had began 2012 with a vegan diet and slowly started slacking and even eating seafood again. It's hard to resist sushi. But it is even harder to resist bread, pasta, and other non-whole-food starch items. So I have just recently made a somewhat extreme change in order to hopefully re-wire my tastebuds and brain. I've decided to try a mainly fruit and veggie based vegan diet. No animal products and minimal baked/cooked items especially not bread and pasta. I want to make it as organic and raw and whole as possible. If I wouldn't be able to find it in a garden (right off the plant) or make it myself from those garden items then I don't want to consume it. Let me share with you some videos that were part of inspiring me to refine my eating habits.
^That's Jordan in that second video. I encourage you to check out more of his videos on his awesome channel :)
My dad and I just started a little garden so it's still got a long way to go. We have gotten a few veggies so far but still more to come and I'm not sure how many we will get before the NH nights get too cold. I can't wait till the garden is healthier and fuller and more expanded. It would be awesome to someday have a garden as epic as John in the first video up there! We also have a good apple tree we've had since before I was born, and it always gives a lot of fruit. Sometimes it gives so much we make loads of apple sauce and apple cobblers. Delicious!
So basically I am trying to eat mainly what John talks about in his video. Whole raw fruits and veggies. I still cannot stand most veggies so I try to put what I can into shakes that also includes some fruit so that I am getting in my veggies but it tastes like fruit so it is palatable. It's gone well so far but it's hard to make a variety of shakes because I only have a blender, not a juicer, so I'm doing my best with that for now. I hope to get a juicer at some point, that will make things a bit easier. Other than the shakes, I'm eating fruits such as bananas, oranges, avocados, apples, and peaches etc. (Lots of peaches right now because we just got a half a bushel of peaches for 20 bucks because they were ripe and banged up a bit. But they are still in awesome condition so we are enjoying them and they are absolutely delicious!) I am also trying to eat nuts and seeds and such. We have some raw nuts and some already roasted ones so my diet is not 100% raw but still quite good. Veggies I'm eating raw include spinach, celery, cukes, zucchini, carrots, and there is some kale and new veggies just bought today that I plan to use this week.
John also mentions in another one of his videos about how someone who is eating raw vegan can deal with eating out or at get-togethers. I do find that so long as there is salad or raw fruits and veggies available you can do with that for the time being. John talks about 'pre-gaming' meaning that you eat and drink your raw vegan food before going to the restaurant or friends house. Once at the restaurant or get-together do your best to find the right foods. If it is a get-t0gether perhaps you can bring a home-made raw vegan meal to share with others and also to have something there that you can eat yourself. John has so many great videos about eating raw vegan while traveling and of course many more videos about raw veganism in general. Check out his pages: okraw, growingyourgreens, rawfoods.
I have only been on a vegan diet for a short time myself and even less time doing raw vegan but I have certainly done a lot of homework and shall continue to do so. It definitely is a process and I'm progressing more and getting more familiar with it every day. I still have difficulty with discipline and consistency from time to time but I eventually get inspired to try again. I still haven't gotten back into exercising much but I plan to kick that into gear very soon as well. I'm going to try it a step at a time with that. As I mentioned first, I slipped up a bit in the last few months. However, it is not necessarily bad to eat seafood since it contains a lot of healthy oils, but I am back on track with my original vegan plan and onto more raw now! Not to mention I have stopped drinking coffee in these last few days as well and instead drinking my Yerba Mate, so we'll see how that goes haha. Whenever I slip a little I think of what Dan Millman said, "When we feel stuck, going nowhere--even starting to slip backward--we may actually be backing up to get a running start." :)
Hello internet people. Yes, it has been a while and I am sorry for that. Mostly I say sorry to myself because I really enjoy writing and I think it is really good for me. Right now I just wanted to mention a bit of a realization I had recently. Another food realization.
So I have been a vegetarian for more than a year now (I think. I'm starting to lose track of days and years in general). I took a bit of a pescatarian detour during the last couple months though, because I honestly have to say that I love sushi. Raw fish is truly the only meat that I crave as a vegetarian, and I'm not sure why. For some reason raw fish looks and tastes much more appetizing than cooked fish or any other meat for that matter. But I have just recently re-claimed my full vegetarianism, so I'm back to no meat at all, even if that means avoiding the melt-in-your-mouth beauty of that which is raw fish. I do realize that a raw diet is not all that bad, even if it is raw meat. But I've taken things a bit further than just taste-preference. Honestly I have been inspired further by Buddhism (specifically Tibetan Buddhism) and it's views on nature and living things. The idea of doing your best to reduce the suffering of all living things. The idea of showing compassion to all living things. And so I have also recently decided to go as vegan as possible. It was a miraculous thing actually. The more I looked at ingredients the more I realized how many options I actually had, even at home. (My mom does not eat beef but still eats meat, but she is also a very healthy eater. My dad, however, is your typical Italian. Need I say more?). Many people think it seems like such a restricted diet and they'll say things like "well geese, what do you eat? how do you survive?". But of course, if you do the research then you'll see that there is still a lot to eat as a vegan. So the last couple days were very vegan for me and this morning was when I had my realization. I was deliberately looking for vegan items to eat for brunch this morning and ended up with actually quite a bit of food. More food than I always originally would find. Here is a picture of my brunch food...
It's amazing to me because before I intentionally chose vegan food items I always looked through the cupboards and fridge and would think that there was barely anything to eat in the house. A lot of the times I defaulted to eggs or pancakes or yogurt for breakfast or brunch. But now I realize that it's not so much that there was nothing to eat in the house, it was more that I was so used to defaulting to the easy stuff and I ended up filling up on those items and dissing my fruits and veggies. Don't get me wrong, I do know that starch is still very much a possible downfall for the vegan. But by designating myself as 'vegan' and making it almost more about a spiritual practice, then it is less of a pain-in-the-butt 'diet thing' that 'forces' me to eat more fruits and veggies. I feel like using the label 'vegan' kind of helps me grasp the idea better and own it more so that I don't feel like I'm 'depriving' myself of certain things but rather it's just a part of who I am and I don't want to deviate. I hope I'm getting my point accross. The best I can explain is that by choosing to eat vegan because of dietary and spiritual preference I have that as an 'excuse' to curb the way I eat and help others to understand what I 'can' and 'can't' eat and why. So then I am totally redirected onto this dietary path where, instead of making fruits and veggies peripheral items that I am forced to choke down, they are the main course and what I practically depend on day-to-day in a not-so-vegan area of the country. This path redirects my attention to these vegan items such as fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, wheat products etc. as my allies in a sort of journey.
And anyway, dietitians will tell you that the majority of your meals have to be veggies and fruits. For anyone, even meat-eaters, the main course should actually be veggies. So for vegans it's just that much easier to comply. The only dilemma is that I am still truly a fussy eater and there is a lot of vegan and "healthy" food that I still haven't quite warmed up to. The number one, and I think it's a universal, is veggies. I still cannot seem to get used to the taste of a lot of veggies. So that is why you see the V8 drink in the picture of my brunch this morning. I still can't stand the taste of the V8 but it's much more palatable than eating the actual carrots and celery and tomatoes etc. I know it isn't the same as eating the real thing but at least the V8 can help me out once in a while.
So anyway, the point is basically that when I began to actually look at ingredients and look for vegan options I almost felt liberated and relieved to find that there are many many options out there. And they are much "healthier" options. It leaves me less room for just defaulting to crap food. Less is More. In other words: Good news - I'm not going to starve!
ps- Even if I choose to eat vegan solely for diet reasons (no spiritual or ecocentric/animism reasons) then at least this dietary choice is causing me to be more aware of ingredients I am putting in my body and causing me to eat more 'healthy' food. That's all I can say.
Hola, lovely internet people. So sorry to keep anyone hangin. Honestly I have been slacking quite a bit on my exercising and diet. I started snacking and grazing a lot again, and I hadn't been eating healthy all the time. But I have just recently been able to stop my urge to graze by going back on coffee. See, I had quit coffee a little over three months ago and I was strangely going great all the way up until maybe two and a half months in. My craving for coffee got stronger the longer I abstained from it. So I thought, if I still crave coffee after the three-month mark (which is supposedly how long it takes to break an addiction) then I'm just going to have a coffee. I actually made a couple videos explaining this whole dilemma so let me just post them for you here. The first one is me near the end of three months and the second one is me after my first coffee in three months. Enjoy..
You might notice that I seem a little bit more calm in my second video, which is kind of funny because I do remember saying once that coffee actually sort of calms me down in a way. It does give me the jutters sometimes but in general it calms me a bit. And I also remember learning that that's how an addict feels when they're on their drug of choice. Hahaha, so maybe I am a little addicted. But I don't want that to get to my head cause I know that I'm not actually addicted. I'm not, I swear! I could quit any time! ;)
Well anyhow, I do hope to be getting back into the exercising. It's just really hard to get myself motivated these days. But I'll try to keep you updated on whatever.
My brother had left a comment on one of my posts here mentioning Crossfit. I checked out the website, it looks awesome. And there is a gym here in my town (although I'm a little sketched out about exercising in front of people) it looks worth maybe visiting at some point. But I am such a weakling twiglet that I would feel strange going into any gym. But like I said, it's worth a visit anyhow. I actually have a friend who does this stuff and he seems to love it, he posts stuff on Facebook about it. Here is the Crossfit promo video, this pumped me up, I'm so excited to try this stuff...
Thanks Mikie for the suggestion, I can't wait to try it!
(originally posted on Facebook earlier this evening)
Truth: plain and simple- fast food places like McD's and even Wendy's etc. are NOT restaurants. We have to stop kidding ourselves. We have to look past the illusions that have brainwashed us - these fast food places are solely businesses! The bottom line is always: money - 'how much more money can we make this year for the stockholders and for ourselves?'. They do not care what the "food" contains so long as it is selling. Pay attention to ingredients and nutritional information of the food you eat. No joke, the reality is that they are selling "edible food-like substances" - Toxic Products. It's questionable whether or not they should even be considered 'edible'. Nutritionists will tell you they shouldn't be. For example, in Supersize Me, Morgan Spurlock asked a great number of nutritionists how often should people be eating fast food, most said never (even some pedestrians he asked on the street said they probably should never be eating fast food). Fast food places are not at all a food service, you might as well be eating preservative-soaked plastics or cleaning products. This is of course all contributing to the health problems here in America and the culture of poverty (just watch Food Inc.) - and don't get me started on America's twisted health care system (see Michael Moore's SICKO for starters). We have to take the blinders off and realize the truth about corrupt industries like this. Be your own person, make the choice to not give into twisted business.
Wake up: everything is about money, who is using it correctly?
*Some of you probably already know about this stuff. And I know that some fast food places have tried to improve their menus, but in the end they are still just a business and still owned and funded by the same people - don't let them trick you*
[And don't get me wrong, we all deviate at times, especially when we are unaware of who a business really is. But the point is to be always mindful of your actions to your best abilities - know where your food is coming from (and remember: what I said also goes for many grocery products too)]
Please also see my blog post about taste: http://wearebullets.weebly.com/1/post/2011/01/my-burrito-revelation-moment.html
Posted this on YouTube today..
The other day I tried out some of the newer videos on the SixPackShortcuts channel. I thought they were pretty good, I especially love the leg and core one, I think I'll throw that into the mix once in a while too in order to keep my body challenged. And I really needed some leg exercises besides just riding the bike or walking during the week so I'm glad Mike put out a video for leg exercises too.
The leg workout was kinda tough, maybe because I hadn't been intentionally exercising them like this so much. But it was great. I love these exercises.
So, since I trashed the notes and the whole idea of trying to keep a detailed record of what I do and eat each day, I guess that means I won't have to number the blog posts. We'll be keeping track of my progress like normal people do - rotations of the earth (how many days or weeks or months I've been exercising). Up to this point I've been on my new exercise and good food regiment for about 3 months now. As I mentioned, I bought a pair of 5lb dumbbells, and I even double them up when doing some upper-body exercises in order to be pumping a total of 10lbs at a time. My mother also has a pair of 2lb dumbbells so sometimes I use those for drop-sets exercises or I'll add a 2lb and 5lb together on each side when an exercise requires me to use weight equally on both sides.
As far as what kind of exercises I'm doing - basically anything on SixPackShortCuts's youtube channel.
I've decided to take on this 6 week upper-body workout routine:
In addition to that I also exercises for my biceps triceps and forearms using the drop-sets technique Mike shows here: (the screen shot looks gross but that pic is not even in the video no worries haha)
And then I also like to do this next one cause it is a good full-body exercise that also really works your abs:
These are also great ab exercises I use:
Mike Chang tends to use exercises that help you burn lots of calories by using the after-burn effect. They are simple forms to master but they are intense and really work your body well. I love it!
On the food note, I've been doing well, it's basically the same story - I'm getting more fruits and veggies in my diet and I've been trying to control my portions by eating multiple small "meals" during the day and only eating when I'm actually hungry (cause I used to "graze" a lot and eat just because I was bored). In a typical dinner meal, if we are having pasta with veggies on the side, I will take a small portion of each item but I'll be sure that I have a lot more veggies on my plate than pasta if I feel like I'm not exercising enough for my body to burn off the pasta's energy correctly. And of course I'm always doing awesome with my fluids, I'm practically addicted to water, and since I gave up coffee I'm sure that I'm even more hydrated than before. And, like I mentioned in my "No more coffee" post, I've learned that pure coconut water is just as effective as having a cup of coffee in the morning. So I've been enjoying VitaCoco's 100% coconut water once in a while as a pick-me-up refreshing and hydrating drink.
That is basically it for now. I think my next exercise session will include some lower-body strengthening. I saw that Mike Chang added some great new videos on the youtube channel recently and I can't wait to make use of them. It is good to mix it up once in a while and not let your body get used to certain exercises for too long otherwise you plateau just like how they mention in the p90x videos.
These are the notes from your average couch-potato that is simply trying to fix it before it breaks!