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.
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.
[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!)
This is the beginning. again.
Just a heads up, I am probably thE laziest person alive. I'm not an active person nor have I ever really cared to do much physical activity...
Skip this first paragraph if you don't want to hear useless ranting about my brain last night. Yesterday was the weirdest day I've had in a while. But everything was normal except for me. Last night I got back from playing at the rescue mission with my friends Connor and Joey and I just felt overwhelmingly exhausted. It was as if I had spent the whole day walking around NYC. But I knew it couldn't really be a reaction to over-activity. It was more of a mental exhaustion that was physically affecting me. I felt like someone had given me some type of drug that threw of all the chemicals in my body. In a way I was depressed, and my poor mood was making me lethargic. So, for the first time in a long time, I went up to go to bed at the early hour of 11 pm. I knew that whatever I was feeling, whatever was going on in my body that was messing with my head, a good night sleep would definitely help that issue and make me feel normal again. I dragged into bed, totally ready to let my body and mind rest, but as soon as I hit the pillow my mind began to race like crazy. And it was driving me crazy. I felt so weird, as if I was on caffeine. It's hard to explain, but I almost felt ADHD and it felt good to hyperextend and clench my fists and arms over and over again, as if I had some form of tourettes or OCD. I tried to make it as dark in my room as I could, in hopes that the flow of melatonin would increase and knock me out. I so desperately wished I had a percocet or tranquilizer right then, it was driving me nuts. I got up a few times here and there, pacing a bit, my mind still racing. I could not stop thinking. And it was about normal things, but I wanted to do them all right then at that moment. I felt almost raged, I had energy in my once exhausted body that I desperately wanted to get rid of. I felt the urge to run like crazy down the street or buzz all my hair off again (because that was driving me more nuts than it usually does) or do something a little more destructive like punching a wall. I wanted to beat something up or scream my lungs out. I laid in bed, silent, and thought of all the things I want to do for myself, what kind of jobs I wanted to get, when and if I should get a busking permit and is my town even big enough for me to actually collect enough money or attention for that matter and am I even busking material(?), when can I finally get another piercing and will it be snakebites and who will go with me and I'm broke so I need to get some money so I really need a job.. and so on and so on. I am usually a very chill person, so I was freaking myself out, I felt like I was going insane. But of course, It could have been worse, I know. So eventually, I don't even know how or when (maybe around 3am?) I must have fell asleep. Then I woke up at my alarm ("Less Talk" by Queens Club, good stuff) and I saw light outside through my dark shades. I felt like I warped to this point and all I could remember was my mental fight last night, it felt like just a few moments ago. So I kind of felt like I hadn't really gotten much sleep at all. I restlessly tried to sleep in for just a short time and then I got up cause I finally had the chance to do something and get my energy out. But when I got up I was tired again. Not as bad as last night but my mood had changed a bit and my body was legitimately physically tired from lack of sleep. But I still got up. I needed to do something, I had promised myself that I would. Plus I don't think that I would really have been able to sleep very well if I tried to sleep some more.
... Basically, I had a forced revelation. I need to get back into exercising and eating right. I have been neglecting my health for too long now and it almost literally drove me crazy last night. So, this morning I rode for 15 minutes on the exercise bike, listening to some hardcore music on Pandora and getting as much of my rage out as I could without completely disabling myself. I'll have to start all over again now. Last time I exercised was maybe in September 2010, so I'm long over-due. And especially because of my heart issue I really should be more careful about my health. My heart is supposedly fixed and functioning normally now but Doc and the rents say that I still should be more careful anyways.
There are a couple people that I have to credit for my recent inspiration to get in-shape. One of those people is a girl named Echo. She is dealing with some incredible health issues right now but her positivity and mental strength have left me in awe-struck amazement. She is house-bound and losing strength due to malnourishment. The only huge difference between me and her is that she lOVEs to exercise and she has mentioned that she's been wanting to get into body building. But now she is stuck in-doors and has barely enough energy to practice using her new helmet (thank God for the helmet, she'll finally be able to access medical care). She so wishes that she could be exercising and eating healthy, but she can't. Wow, that puts things into perspective. I'm not exercising or eating healthy simply because I'm too lazy to do so, but she isn't exercising or eating healthy because she literally cannot! Let's just say, now I feel more lazy and jerk-ish than ever. So that's a huge encouragement for me to enjoy the simple things of life, including exercise, that will benefit me in a great way. Thank you Echo for the inspiration and encouragement!
And then there is Joe, from ModxMovement, a heavy guy who recently decided to get in shape and lose some poundage. He said one of the simplest but one of the most brilliant things ever - He said that exercising and body-building and taking care of your body is really a form of body modification. And he is part of the mod culture so he found this as a great way to approach his exercising journey. Brilliant, I love it! And I'm also quite into the mod culture, I only have stretched ears but I still absolutely treasure them and I love all kinds of mods. I think they are beautiful and I admire the commitment of modders. And I know that stretching and having other piercings takes time, care, patience, and commitment. So, thank you Joe for sharing your brilliant perspective!
So I'm back on the road to getting ripped. This is my attempt, and my contract to all who are listening, to Echo, to Joe, to my the Doc and my rents, and to myself...
These are the notes from your average couch-potato that is simply trying to fix it before it breaks!