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.
(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.
[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!)
Last night, while eating my could-taste-better bean-and-tofu-on-wheat-bread burrito and watching my father enjoy a delicious traditional bean and cheese burrito with white bread, I realized something. Something that helped me change the way I look at food and also made me wonder why we even have the ability to find certain tastes pleasurable and other not so pleasurable. Why this torture? I say torture because when we grow up in a certain culture where our taste buds are conditioned to crave the taste of foods that are actually toxic to our body it's a little discouraging and frustrating when we realize we are killing ourselves and that healthy food (the stuff we should be eating if we want to live past year 50) might not always taste as epic as we think those BigMacs do. And for many, the junky toxic food can be quite addicting. It's like the effect that Morgan Spurlock experienced after only so many days of eating McDonnalds every day (Super Size Me). He said that, when it came to meal time, he would be craving that tasty MickyD's and he felt horrible when he wasn't eating it but as soon as he was chowin down on a death-patty he felt amazing. He was experiencing similar reactions to those of an addict.
I know that not every American eats fast food every single day, but that just gives you an idea of how one can really get used to, and possibly addicted to, anything that they inflict on their bodies. But what if we switched it around? Instead of pushing bad things on ourselves, doesn't it just make sense to push good stuff? What if we started eating healthy food, food that we know will definitely try its hardest to help keep us around for our grandchild's first birthday? Regardless of the taste would you do it? Think about this for a moment - every sensation we receive into our brain is nothing but an electrical signal. NOTHING but electricity. Just how they explain in the Matrix movies (video) and just how Echo explains in her vlog about how she deals with daily excruciating pain. Taste, touch, sound, sight, and all that, are simply the way that our brain interprets the signals that our body sends to it in reaction to stimuli in our environment. In one viewpoint, we can see this as a very direct and accurate way to interpret our environment, therefore we might completely believe everything our brain tells us (but if we should trust everything that our brain tells us then why would a heroin addict, who is on his death bed, go for another hit?). Or, in the other viewpoint, this signal actually takes a very complicated, intricate, and somewhat long road to the brain's concluding interpretation. I'd have to say, don't trust everything your brain tells you. We've got school to condition our brains for math, science, reading and such, but we've got the world to thank for conditioning our taste-buds for premature death and free self-preservation (mmm, tasty preservatives in my food, I'd die for 'em).
(Don't get me wrong, I know that taste can help us a lot. When we are trying to determine whether something is too salty or if something will be fatty enough to keep us alive if we're stuck on a desert island. But otherwise, in the world we live, there isn't very much reason to rely on our taste signals anymore. Until we retrain them, at least, which is what I'd love to try doing.)
I realized all this as I was eating my somewhat modified burrito (It really wasn't all that bad but I knew it could have tasted better) and I mentioned a shorter version of this theory about taste to my parents there at the dinner table and they agreed. Then, watching them continue to eat their greasy cheese and bean burritos with satisfaction, I knew we could probably all agree that there are many things that are easier said than done.
p.s. - cheese hates me anyways, so that helped me not feel so bad about the cheese missing from my burrito ;)
I believe I exercised on wednesday. Let me see. Tuesday was a "snow day" but I still had classes because my classes are at 8 and 9:30 in the morning and they didn't put up the cancelations banner on the site until 11am. So when I got back home I had lunch and then helped out with shoveling. I think. I can't remember what day I shoveled but I do know that I exercised two days ago (wednesday). So anyhow. The point is that I was hoping to do more exercising after shoveling but I think the shoveling, in itself, was exercise, at least for upper-body strengthening. So when I exercised on wednesday I did a good amount of stretching but I know I didn't do all of the upper-body strengthening exercises and I pretty much just went right to the bike. I rode for about 15 - 20 minutes I believe and I think that was the session where I pushed myself a bit. I was listening to Pandora again, this time to my Bachata/Merengue station and that was some fast paced music. I usually will try to keep up with the music that I'm listening to if it is moderately paced, but some of that merengue sure is fast. I actually tried to keep up with one of the songs and pushed myself pretty good there, I felt accomplished :) Then I went down to eat dinner.
On the food note, since I haven't said much about that lately, I have been doing well. I deviated a few pathetic times in the last week but otherwise I'm doing a lot better than my usual diet in the last few months. I've tried to keep myself in a certain mentality when eating lately. I've tried to make the majority of my meals vegetables and fruits. I have been eating about 2 - 3 pieces of fruit everyday and enjoying fruit juices here and there as well. I've also realized that I can fit some of my tofu into basically any meal if I want. Tofu is a great source of protein and of course it is from a vegetable at the same time. But yes, I have heard about the problems with soy products and I'm trying to make sure I don't over eat the soy products that we buy. It is apparently a bad idea for someone who has breast cancer in their family to eat soy products and my grandmother had breast cancer so I am definitely aware of the serious issue at hand here. I've definitely tried to back off the soy as much as I can. Me and my mom are looking into different healthy sources of protein.
Another thing related to exercise - My mom told me the other day that a friend had actually recommended P90X. She says they told her that P90X is a great thing. I had heard about it before and thought it looked really cool. I would love to try some of the exercises. I would actually love to try that 90 day program, haha, the one where you can get insanely ripped in just 90 days, but the program includes some intense, not so noob-friendly, exercises. And it requires some equipment that I might not have available and the bottom line is - the dvds are over 100 dollars. I'm sure it is totally worth it but I am very much an unemployed broke college student, so buying the dvds is definitely out of the question. But I'm going to do a little more homework on that and see if I can find some videos online of people doing the exercises.
Below I posted one video I just found on youtube about some guy's success story with P90X...
I'm a little late with this update, I exercised two days ago and never said a thing till now. But here I am...
So I watched "Contact" the other night and I remember one of the quotes from that movie where the dad tells his daughter to take "small moves" because she wants to have everything all at once. But the reality is that most things in life take patience and small moves - baby steps. No matter how much you want something, sometimes it will just take a lot of hard work and dedication. Patience. That's what I've also learned with my ear stretching. I love the way bigger lobes look, but I can't have big lobes in one day of stretching, not even in one year. Besides, its the whole process and journey that makes it fun and is the essence of the event in itself. The only problem I have, though, with the whole exercising thing is that sometimes I might be too patient. I'm trying to take it easy and not over work myself when I do exercise and I do it every other day. But in between the exercising sessions I'm always afraid, and extremely tempted, to get lazy. But then I try to remember what I mentioned in the last post - whenever I think of eating something that might not be all that healthy I remember that there are people out there who are starving or that are housebound and so immobilized that they cannot even enjoy life's simple pleasures of those which also include exercising and healthy eating. I need to prove to myself, and anyone else I can witness to, that I shouldn't have to be stuck in that unfortunate situation in order to realize what simple pleasures I would be missing. I need to not be lazy when I actually have the power to do something about it.
Here's a picture of the back porch, this morning around 11am. See the little birds out on the lawn? They're chillin (literally) under the bird feeder.
On the side - I just took a loot out my living room windows here and it is still snowing. Today was a "snow day", a pretty worthy one, too. I think we got somewhere around 17 - 18 inches by now (4pm) here in NH. But anyways, it has been really pretty to watch all day, and to see the little birds doing their best to get around in the snow without snowshoes. Ice-picking their way to the quickly disappearing fallen seeds.
Anyhow, back to the exercise and food part of this..
Two days ago, I exercised (a little bit late in the day, though), I did everything I mentioned in the last post minus crunches and plus a type of triceps exercise. I think it was. What I did was I used the weighted bag that I use for the usual biceps lifting exercise and I held it in my hands, with my arms starting at my sides palms facing my body. Then I lifted the bag up, arms in abduction until they reached a right angle to my body, palms facing the floor. Ya get what I mean? So yeah, I tried doing that for a little while. Then, of course, I rode the bike for about 18 minutes.
My dinner consisted of rice noodles stir-fried in sesame oil and a little soy sauce with tempeh, some veggies, and heart of palm. It was simply delectable. For "dessert" I had apple slices, pomegranate and blueberry juice, and some crackers with raw almond butter. I feel like I get hungry easier these days, since maybe a couple years now. I don't know why, I'm sure its normal. But it's kind of good I guess, it makes me eat more small portions throughout the day, which is apparently one of the reasons why Europeans are so skinny ;D
The next day, I kind of got up late again. I seem to be getting p around 11am these days (at least in time to see Kathy Lee and Hoda). It's better than I've been doing during the vacation though. So when I got up I decided to try out a breakfast recipe that I saw on the POM website. It looked absolutely delicious, and I found that it tasted just as ridiculously good as it sounded. Here is the recipe, I highly recommend it (it says you can put your protein stuff in too, that thats a pretty tasty protein shake if ya want!) - http://www.pomwonderful.com/recipes/pom-morning-shake-2/ Such a tasty shake that I had to make it again today, and I shared it with my mom who thought it was pretty good too. Well, I think she made an understatement, cause I think this shake is heavenly.
Well, that's about it for now, I got to go out and help clear the snow with Dad. I'll probably exercise a little bit afterwards and hopefully update y'all later (if there is enough to talk about).
These are the notes from your average couch-potato that is simply trying to fix it before it breaks!