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.
[im layin it out for yas here...]
Yes, I'm going cold turkey on the Coffee, again. And let me clarify now that that also includes pretty much any other form of caffeine, like - soda / black tea / energy drinks / some chocolate / etc. You know what I mean.
Instead of defaulting to caffeine for energy, or a high (both of which I am probably somewhat 'attached' to), I will default to other forms of NATURAL energy. Natural energy comes from so many different things including - good sleep habits (HUGE importance) / fruit- and vegetable-loaded diet (ESPECIALLY RAW fruits and veggies) / exercise (duh ;p) / Psyche and mental state (ex: Spirituality, if you want to get deep here) / etc. Again, you know what I mean. And thank you to John Johnson who cued me in on the tasty and awesome energy power of fresh pure baby coconut water! That just might be my 'cup of joe' from now on!
Round 3 of, lets say, caffeine "detox", is different than the previous two FAIL rounds. Besides the fact that, for someone with heart issues, caffeine is one of the dumbest things I could put in my body, I am now even further along and more matured with my health lifestyle changes. I am getting more disciplined with what I do and do not eat, and why. Instead of just thinking "well, doc says I should stop the coffee, I guess I'll try", this time I actually want to stop. Almost like I've got a personal vendetta against caffeine, there is a passion behind my motivation. I feel more like I "own" my individual decision to stop. I want to make sure my body is happy. I am eating all this good food everyday but what good does it do if I have 2 cups of coffee each day that are draining a total of 8 cups of fluid from my body as well as damaging my body from the acidity and toxicity. When attempting to purify and cleanse something what good is it to throw acid in the mix? And I always knew that caffeine was some type of drug, although obviously not as damaging or harmful as the many others. But hearing it actually be discussed in my Drugs And Behavior class was when my realization occurred - the final push off the "fence". If I call myself "straight edge" then I'd be in denial if I told myself that my cup of coffee was an exception. It is a drug. It is addictive. It does damage to the body. Recently I heard that two cups of coffee a day can increase heart health for women. Well they also tell you that a few glasses of wine every week can reduce heart issues too. If I'm rejecting alcohol and the supposed health benefits of that, then I reject caffeine and it's supposed health benefits as well. But remember, there are so many other alternatives that can give you the same health benefits. I'm not missing anything. Don't get me wrong, I totally understand that drugs are not the only addictive or damaging things you can do. Food itself can be addictive and damaging. In fact, the definition of a "drug" is pretty vague and you could apply it to a lot of stuff. But obviously we got to use our common sense, duh. And I know coffee is one of the least extreme sources of drugs in the universe and it might seem pretty silly for me to be talking about it like this. But the truth remains, what I've said above remains true for me.
So here we go...*Third time's the charm!* (and hey, it's St.Patty's Day!)
Anne G :)
btw- speaking of coconut (which I absolutely love and find heavenly delicious), heres one tasty-lookin coconut smoothie from John Johnson's Raw food blog - http://www.johnjohnsonraw.com/recipe-blog/coconut-smoothie
and here's a couple other links about coffee/caffeine:
http://www.caffeineweb.com/ (thanks Carlos!)
These are the notes from your average couch-potato that is simply trying to fix it before it breaks!