Video Post: My Raw Food Journey and 80/10/10 Probs

My first youtube video in a LONG time – all about my raw food journey and struggles/triumphs on a low fat high/fully raw vegan diet.

Please subscribe to my channel, as I do plan to make more videos ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks!

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5 Most Important Things to Do BEFORE You Go Raw

1. Learn what detox is.

Seriously, I think this is the MOST important thing to do before switching to raw foods. Why? Because otherwise you will think raw food makes you sick, and that you can’t “handle” raw foods. That it might work for other people, but not YOU.

It’s garbage. You have the same internal organs as every other human (unless they were born with a genetic defect or had something removed beforehand).

You cannot expect to go raw overnight, or even within a week or a month without having some crazy “symptoms” – which is just your body cleaning out all the old crap you’ve put into it your whole life. This is a process!

I was eating some cooked food over the winter – not even anything “bad” – just potatoes, and steamed veggies! I went back to all raw at the beginning of June and had no problems, until a few days ago – then I got the same symptoms I always get if I eat cooked and go back to raw – sore throat (acidic, mucusy crap getting ready to heave!), a small cough, then mucus to cough up, a sniffly nose with more mucus to come out, and lethargy – I get light headed and very sleepy. Oh and I get zits. Yay.

All this from a few months of having a little cooked food.

Now imagine what will happen when you go from eating meat, or processed foods, or whatever else you have been eating your whole life? You will probably have a NASTY time and think that raw food is making you sick – actually, it is making you BETTER. It is not actually the food making you better or worse, though – it is the removal of everything that has been making you sick. When I first went raw I was HAPPY to get “sick” because I knew my body was cleaning out. I had read a lot about what would happen so I was like “Gurl, okay!”

I went about it over a course of two months and cut out things one at a time. I hadn’t had red meat or poultry for 12 years, fish for a year, and in those two months up to going raw I had zero animal products. So my detox was not so bad, but if I had not known what to expect, I may have blamed the food and gone back to what I had always done and just medicated myself forever. Booooooo.

If you have had a history of eating a diet with a lot of animal products, I can imagine you will get pretty “sick” so go slowly. You may even want to get colonics or do enemas at home. If you have a degenerative disease, you may want to look into supervised water fasting.

There is a lot of info out there about detoxing via raw foods, so look into it. Ignore the “detox” crap out there that is just looking to make money off you (the stuff you see in stores) – why detox to retox? You have to completely change your lifestyle otherwise you are wasting your time. Once you get through the crappy feelings, you will emerge a DYNAMO. Seriously. Expect miracles.

2. Be prepared.

Make sure you always have a bounty of food around you – fill your fridge with fresh produce. Fill your counter with fruit. Fill your garden with seeds! Fill your cupboards with bowls (you should not have much in your cupboards because you want fresh food – if anything is in your cupboards it should be nuts, seeds, seaweeds, dried herbs if you want. Nix oils, vinegar, salt.

Also be prepared to spend more money on food. You will save money in the long run on doctors, medicine, make-up, etc – you won’t need it. Invest in yourself.

Also expect to eat MORE. Raw foods have less calories than you may be used to, so the volume of food you will be eating may seem excessive. Eventually it will seem normal. Eat as much raw food as you want – the more fruit + greens the better – take it easy on the nuts and seeds (though at first, don’t worry too much – eventually you will not want so much of those things. I was eating 4-5 avocados a day when I started, now 1/2 is enough for me).

3. Toss out everything you won’t eat anymore, or donate it.

This is self-explanatory – but if it’s around you, you are more likely to have a weak moment and indulge, especially if you are not eating enough carbohydrates (FRUIT).

4. Have constant inspiration.

Read as much as you can, and watch videos. I do this daily and have for almost 5 years now. I never get bored of it, so find some good raw inspo. Here are my favourite blogs + youtube channels:

Youtube:
Fully Raw Kristina. My favourite! She is beautiful, eloquent, passionate, and exuberant!
Tannyraw! Excellent advice and a wonderful, peppy attitude.
Tim van Orden. He is the most INSPIRING guy! LOVE him.
Megan Elizabeth. A sweet slice of raw pie, this one! Great recipes and humour.
Blogs + Websites:

The Garden Diet. A long-term, raw food family.
Natalia Rose. She has some AMAZING old articles, check them out.

Books: All listed here.

5. Have an ethical stance.

Getting cravings is normal – you will have memories ofย  certain things tasting amazing, or things that calmed you down, comforted you, whatever. Some of these things may be foods that come from animals or are animal flesh.

Without an ethical stance behind your decisions you may be tempted to eat these foods again. Make sure you know what goes on behind the scenes and burn those images into your brain.

 

Maps + Update for May

I find that getting motivated and sticking to goals requires some SPECIFIC goals.

Like when I initially went raw, I had a timeline for myself:

Feb 1st, 2008, vegan, no refined sugar. Every week I would cut something else out – tofu, rice, potatoes, bread, other sweeteners like cane juice, etc.

April 1st, 2008, 100% raw vegan.

It worked, I stuck to it. I’ve had some little ups and downs but generally I have been raw for over 4 years with some minor blips. And I have never returned to refined sugars, cheese, cakes, etc – nothing like that. The worst I got was some baguette in Paris.

And so it is June 1st – I have been low-fat for the whole month of May, with the exception of today – it was a bit of a celebration, and also a good-bye – a good-bye to potatoes (which I used to help me stay low-fat this month, occasionally), and a good-bye to salt. I have been eating it way too much (I
don’t want to eat it at all) and I can push out my stomach so far that I look pregnant – that’s how bloated I am. When I gave up salt before I lost 10 lbs in a week.

Now I am dropping the salt. I am keeping low-fat and back to 100% raw.

I am also very proud of my exercise dedication this last month, and my chart has really helped – I took it seriously and wanted to make sure I filled it as much as possible. This was doable because I had very specific goals instead of “I want to be 80/10/10” – why? Without a why, I had no real reason to stick with it.

This last month I have discovered the following:

With low-fat, I get ZERO menstrual cramps. I finally found out the mystery of why I have had awful periods since going raw (everything else improved, that got worse – I had no issues with menstruation before raw, only after).

With low-fat…I can run.

Seriously, in my whole life whenever I have attempted to run, or jog…I lasted a minute at most. When I was trying to be a runner in 2000, I never improved much – I could go 30-60 seconds and have to take a break. This month I was inspired to go jogging and would improve every time. At first I could only go a minute without a break. The next week (I only went every couple of days) I could do 5 minutes without stopping – this for me was amazing.

Two days later (doing nothing on those two days except some arm weights) I went 20 minutes with NO breaks – I was BAFFLED. All this in two weeks of going every 2-3 days. I improved so much, and felt so good, that I started to ENJOY jogging. Now I WANT to go. Now I WANT to be able to do it for an hour! A new goal!

And why am I exercising? To be fit. To have a lean body. To stay healthy. To have strong bones. To have good endurance. To work out my heart – it’s a muscle, and it needs to be worked. To move lymph fluid. To prove to myself I can do something I thought I could NEVER do.

Also when I am low-fat, my skin is better. When I have no salt, my skin is better and my stomach is leaner. So is my face. Food tastes better. I can eat lettuce by itself and it’s amazing. Avocado starts to be delicious without anything added.

And on and on.

Which brings me to the map.

Along with my simple chart, I thought it would be fun to have a simple map I could just add any goal to and then mark specific steps over the month – this way I have something to follow instead of being all haphazard – maybe some people can just be like “Okay, this is this and I’m doing it” – for me, I like to have a basic idea to follow.

Little steps are much easier to reach, and to break down a big goal to small steps makes it a lot easier to get to the “end” – the whole reason I managed to run that 20 minutes the first time (which I would have thought impossible, especially since my max before that was 5 mins) was that I just kept saying “Okay you can make it to that tree…okay now you can make it to that driveway…okay now make it to that post” and eventually I thought…wow, I am almost at Oak street! Maybe I can make it there! Then I did, and I thought holy crap, I am still moving! Maybe I can make it all the way home! And I did.

ALL BECAUSE I USED POSITIVES – not “Oh god, I can’t do it, I’m so tired, omg I need a break” etc – I pushed myself maybe 10 steps at a time, and focused only on those 10 steps, and that got me all the way.

I have no doubt that I can reach one hour now. Maybe not within the next week, but that is my new goal for the next month or two – I am going to stretch it to two, but if I do it before then, AWESOME.

Same with my diet – over the next month I want to really simplify it – first week no salt, and any combo of fruits and greens, low-fat. 2nd week, still no salt, no fats, 3rd + 4th weeks, mono-meals of fruit, salads in evening, low-fat every couple of days.

In July, when it’s blueberry season, I want to do a week of JUST blueberries. Like 10 lbs a day. Oh my god I cannot wait.

I also want to drink 2 litres + of water per day and get as much sleep as possible, earlier the better.

I am going to photograph my physical progress and write down my daily and weekly changes, then share them at the end of the month.

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Regarding the rest of my goals in the past month, I did quite a bit of writing – I only missed 12 days of the month for writing fiction, and I only missed 6 days of writing for the blog. I only missed 5 days of exercise. I stayed 80/10/10 (with occasional potatoes) 30 days of the 31 – today being my bye-bye to salt and fancy foods. I had a bit too much fat today! Oh well.

So, bye-bye to May! I enjoyed you and the first sunny days of 2012. June is going to rule!

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I have been finding this guy’s videos hella inspiring.

Daily Health + Simple Raw Meal Ideas

There is a lot of confusion out there as to how to eat, when to eat, how often, and on and on.

I have been asked lately to post how I eat – and so I will! There is so much more to being healthy than JUST food, though. Here’s some thoughts, then I’ll get on to the food itself.

To be a truly healthy person there are a few factors you must remember:

1. We are meant to eat WHOLE foods, which means foods in their unrefined state as you would find them in nature. This leaves us with a few options – fruits, vegetables, greens, seeds, and nuts – there are several other things, but mostly our diets should be comprised of these.

Based on our physiology, we do best on a high carbohydrate, low fat diet. Protein is a non-concern as long as you are consuming enough calories. Don’t even worry. The only time you have to think about protein is when you get monotonous questions about it!

If you don’t want to eat raw, make sure you are still consuming a HIGH raw diet, and low-fat (it’s either gonna be high carb or high fat – a high protein diet is impossible).

2. You must have adequate sunshine. This depends on where you are in the world, the time of year, and what your skin is like. Supplements are no match for sunlight – the only thing remotely close is a tanning bed with UVA and UVB rays – this can be utilized safely when not done for vanity. You must have vitamin D in your system for many reasons – you also cannot absorb calcium without it.

3. Enough sleep. We are chronically overtired. Set your alarm to go to BED. Aim for 9-10 hours a night, MORE if you are active. Try to sleep when it’s dark out (I need to take my own advice, here).

4. You need to move – variety, intensity, neurological fitness, balance, flexibility – all important.

5. Make sure you are meeting your nutritional requirements, at least mostly – use cronometer. Keep your fat intake between 10-15% of your total calories. Anything under 1500ย  calories is a starvation diet (for real). Aim for 2000 or more, minimum. More if you’re a dude. For your B12, please supplement with a liquid methylcobalamin – this is a highly overlooked vitamin, very difficult to get no matter what you eat, based on our fastidious nature and deplorable topsoil (B12 is a bacteria from soil – the B12 in seaweeds + algaes is not absorbable and can actually block proper B12). Even animals that are raised for slaughter are given B12 injections.

6. Think POSITIVE thoughts. If something negative enters your mind, turn it around and see how the opposite is equally true, a la Byron Katie.

There are many other things you need to do to become truly healthy. As Douglas Graham says, you are only as healthy as your weakest link.

For other tips on thriving, please see my article on the topic!

To give some examples of healthy meals, first figure out what amount of calories you need to maintain your IDEAL weight. This would be that weight x 100 (for me, my ideal weight is 120 so for me this would be 1200 calories just to lie around and do nothing at all). Then you have to add on calories for your activity in the day. If you are athletic, you will need to figure out your output and eat accordingly.

Calories are not the enemy. They’re just units of energy! Fuel to fire you! You need to eat enough of the right things in order to get enough nutrients and to be able to assimilate and digest them well.

For example, this is my typical daily menu:

Breakfast: First, I drink water – about 1/2-1 litre. I wait 15-30 minutes and then start to have my breakfast, which is usually a blended meal of 6-10 RIPE (freckled) bananas, 4-10 juicy dates, and a cup or two of berries (frozen or fresh – preferably fresh or thawed). Sometimes half of this is enough and I will drink the rest for lunch. Often I will add some greens like spinach, kale, parsley, etc.

Another meal type I have is a fruit soup. I’ll find the ripest pineapple possible, chop it, then blend the core with 8-10 dates, water, and berries of my choice. This is then poured all over the chopped pineapple. You can pour it over bananas, apples, whatever you like. I do not recommend eating bananas with acidic fruits, though, as it is not able to digest properly. However, you can do it if you like – it’s still gonna be better than typical breakfast fare.

You could also just make date sauce (blended dates and water) and pour it over chopped bananas.

Dates and bananas are great because they are a high calorie fruit – good for energy and good for digestion. They are also low-water fruits so you must drink water to compensate.

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For lunch I may have more of the same, or I might just eat a full-on meal of one fruit. Mono-meals are great for digestion, and it is easy to tell when you are full. Just eat the fruit until you are satisfied. I like to have grapes or mangoes! If blueberries are in season I practically live on them (at all meals!)

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For dinner I will typically have a wrap of some sort, or huge salad (or both). I usually start with fruit.

This is also when I will have a fat source if I feel like it. It is best to have it in the evening because it does not digest well with sweet fruit.

Often I will have a nori wrap – I will fill this with romaine lettuce, pea sprouts, tomato, avocado slices (I will only use half an avocado based on my typical calorie intake),ย  fresh pineapple or tomato salsa, red bell pepper, cucumber, sprouts, and possibly some dulse. Seaweed is not actually an ideal food because if it’s B12 analogs but…I love it. It’s a hard thing for me to give up! (and yes when I see it on the beach it looks tasty to me!)

For salad, this is a fool-proof way to make a yummy dressing:

Choose an acid-fruit – orange, pineapple, etc – blend with tomato, celery, lemon or lime – this will always make a delicious dressing. Last time I also added some blueberries which made it super amazing (blueberries are a sub-acid fruit so combine okay with fats). Pour this over an entire chopped head of lettuce or romaine, or get a mixed box of baby greens, toss in some other chopped veggies, or cherry tomatoes. If you have not had any fat yet, you could always blend some avocado or an ounce of nuts or seeds to make the dressing creamy.

For snacks – they should not be necessary if you are eating enough calories at your meals. As always I am going to say eat fruit for snacks – the simplest and healthiest snacks you can get. A bag of grapes, a bunch of dates, 2 bananas, 2 apples, raisins, some fresh orange juice (NOT bottled…it is not real orange juice – read more about that here!

The thing about health is that we all try to make it so complex. It is actually insanely simple – but we all need to relearn the basics ๐Ÿ™‚

Go forth and have a fruity life!