Monday, 30 January 2012

Finding Solutions: What is a calorie anyways?

When I first started looking at the raw lifestyle, I was a typical calorie restrictor, in fact I had been doing it for so long that it was normal for me to eat under 1800 calories a day, even when I was eating SAD. So obviously I saw the amount of food I was supposed to be eating as humongous and nearly impossible. a min of 2500 a day from fruit only??

First off, I do want to clarify the whole calorie deal. a calorie is defined as:

A unit of heat equal to 4.1868 Joules formerly defined as the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius under standard conditions.

It sounds really complicated but it basically means that its the amount of energy any substance, we use it for food, gives off when it's "burned". This process isn't actually 100% proved to be what our bodies actually do, it's a theory that is basically taken for truth until it's proven wrong and at this point is the best way for us to determine our food intake since we are very far removed from our natural instincts on the matter. 

I use a tool called Cron-o-meter, you can find it here. Its a free application that you can used two ways, wither web-based (what I use now) or you can download it to your computer. Basically it makes my life much easier. I input my daily food intake and it lets me know not only my caloric intake, but also my macronutrient ratios and my vitamin and mineral intake for the day. There are few things that need to be changed for anyone eating a low-fat, high crab raw vegan diet, but that's another perk, that everything is editable! 

So my daily intake of calories now is 3500-4500 a day. Something I seriously would never have believed would be happening even 6 months ago when I was struggling to eat 2500! The way I did it was to basically slowly up my intake over time and:

I pushed myself to eat a bit more everyday. 
Smoothies help me get it all in.
I've found that 4 meals a day works best for me. 
Sometimes I even add in a little snack. 
Bananas and dates are my best friends in this. 
As much as I love other fruit, they are not the bulk of my meals. 
I try to get at least 1000 calories in every meal. 
To mix things up, I add berries or other fruit to my nana smoothie, keeping food combination rules in mind.
I drink water all day, no less than 3 liters a day.
I do intense workouts, I move much more throughout my day as well.
I take time to play, exercise is fun!
I try to get in a MIN of 8 hours of sleep a day.
I meditate before bed and sometimes in the mornings.
I seek balance in life, having intense moments as well as lazy times. 

The true way to succeed on this lifestyle is more than just food. But it is nonetheless very important. Finding the best strategy for me is what is making it work. I took in the advice of others and put it into application in my own way. 

I used to never be hungry. My body didnt send me the signals I needed to eat. Days used to go by where I didnt eat at all. A combination of poor lifestyle choices,  eating disorders and drug use had damaged my body and as much as it still healing from those today, I am on the right path to true health and vitality. If I can do it after all that, I seriously think that everyone can do it. It's not easy, but it's sure as bananas worth every struggle, every bad day, every detox symptom. 

Monday, 23 January 2012

Green Goodness: Cilantro!

A while back I went to a pretty interesting restaurant called Cafe My House ( that serves mostly vegan food, but omni and raw as well. They see it as their way of introducing vegan foods to everyone and displaying how good it is! While I may not agree with serving meat at a veg-minded restaurant, it's a different approach and seems to be working for them.

So I had their Mango-Cilantro smoothie (they have a variety of raw vegan smoothies) and absolutely fell in love with it. A combination that I probably wouldn't have thought of on my own! My little brother, who's 2, loved it as well, so it's definitely a family pleasing combo of yummy goodness.

I haven't been into green smoothies much because i didn't have a blender that was good enough to break it don enough to not have massive pieces of spinach or still in it. But my mama darling came home with a Vitamix the other day and I have been in smoothie heaven ever since! Today's was a lovely spin-off of the one I had at cafe my house!

Mango-Cilantro Smoothie

5 Ataulfo Mangos (also called champagne or yellow)
5 Peaches
Large bunch of cilantro
About a cup of water, or to preference

Pulse the mangoes, peaches and water, then add the cilantro and blend on high until blended through.

I love how the flavors compliment each other. It's definitely worth a try! 

Green smoothies are the easiest way to get in greens, other than salads which most people don't enjoy as much. I love salads, but usually get in the rut of always eating the same combo and it doesn't always tempt me to eat it everyday. I think that the trick to having greens on a regular basis is to find a few that you actually enjoy, adn trust me there's a ton of varieties out there, there's bound to be at least one that you like! My personal faves are romaine lettuce, baby spinach and cilantro, I also enjoy kale but only when it's properly prepared! 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

I'd be rich...

If I have a nickel for every time someone asks me, or any veg person for that matter, where do you get your protein?

Now lets make the simplest thing clear first. All whole foods consist of a ratio of macro-nutrients aka carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Yes ALL whole foods, meaning that fruits, veggies, greens and grains contain proteins as well as carbs and fats in different ratios.Now that we have that clear..

Moving on! Protein is actually comprised of linear chains of amino acids. There are 22 amino acids (as far as we know anyways) and 9 of them are essential to us. These 9 amino acids are all abundantly available in whole vegan foods. We do not need to consume "complete" proteins, only a ratio of these amino acids. Even the woman who first published work about the complete protein myth proclaimed that her work was flawed and false.

Now onto the question of getting enough of these essential amino acids. I'll give an example of my daily intake: Today I consumed 72.9 grams of protein, more than meeting my RDI of just under 50g and exceeding my need for all essential amino acids. I probably average about 55 grams of proteina day and always meet my "needs" for the rest. (If anyone is wondering how I know all this, check out

So that is my simple, down to the essentials answer to the most common question any veg or veg-curious person will get asked.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Finding Solutions: Be Gone PMS!

I've been searching for an a natural approach to help me balance my hormones as a bridge to getting raw now so that my body can do it itself. The optimal thing would be to just go raw, and I hate having excuses. But thing has really taken a toll of my personal life to the extent that I feel I need to do something now so that I can actually succeed. The mood swings and general feelings that my cycle have been causing are driving me insane. So I'm trying something out.

I've done a bunch of research and asked a ton of questions. I have some Chinese medecine stuff coming that my mom ordered me that regulates the cycle, but it wasn't coming fast enough, so I found another interesting solution! Bonus: It's raw!

Maca Root
But it's not 80/10/10, which would be the best, but t this point I am willing to try things that are outside that box so that I can get in it.

My coworker at the health food store I work at told me about Maca root and how it had helped her tons with similar symptoms to mine. I decided to check it out. Turns out its a Peruvian root that has been used there for a very long time, traditional aboriginal treatments are right up my alley. It is simply dried and rendered to an almost flour like consistency. It basically aids endocrine function which is the central station for hormone management in your body. I figured it was worth a shot. The dosage recommended is 3/4-1 tsp a day in a smoothie, juice, water or incorporated to any meal. It smells and tastes good, no faces on this one! That to me is a very good sign, becuse if it doesnt taste good, I usually don't stick with it.
Maca Root Powder

I'll be blogging an update of my results in the next few weeks!

Here's to a life of solutions, not problems!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Keeping Yourself Inspired.

Sometimes the thing I find most challenging is to keep my goals in my head and the reasons I do what I do. Staying inspired and keeping the fire burning strong in my soul is of such vital importance to keeping me on my chosen path. If I don't remind myself of why I'm doing something, if I don't keep asking myself why, the true reason behind it all can be lost. In my opinion the best thing that you can do to keep yourself charging towards your goals and always crating new ones is to always ask yourself questions. Now I'm not saying to constantly doubt yourself. I'm saying that always reminding yourself why, always keeping in mind how you got inspired to do this in the first place is a great way to keep thriving.

A few ways I do it is to ask myself, what was the point of this again? Why am I doing this particular action? What are my goals? What do I want to achieve? Another thing that is vitaly important is that when you answer these questions, answer them from the truest part of yourself and don't even think about what other want for you. You make your own happiness, your own path and you know yourself better than anyone on this planet.

Something that always keeps me inspired is to watch YouTube videos that inspire me and stir my emotions. Anything about veganism, anything from people that inspire me or who are on a similar path to mine are great to get me active about what I want to achieve! Other awesome sources are blogs or Facebook pages where people discuss topics near and dear to you. One more source on the net is to participate in a forum that appeals to you.

Off the net, actually meeting people helps tons. I am seriously lacking in this regard and its definitely something that I need to work on, because although I have connected with a  few people on Facebook that live around here, I haven't actually met any of them in person. I sometimes become a little too wrapped up in what I am doing to accoplish my goals to make the effort of reaching out to others that could help me along. You could say that I'm very independent when it comes to accomplishing certain things and I make the mistake of thinking that I can accomplish it without any help whatsoever since I am struggling with more of my inner issues that don't really have anything to do with anyone else. When having other people with whom to talk to would be absolutely awesome to have, because as much as I love my current circle of friends, they aren't on the fruity path with me, other than ones who live half a world away.

So my new goal in this respect is to reach out more and make some fruity friends to share awesome stories and times with. I need to step out of this comfort zone as well. Shaking things up in that respect are going to do me a world of good!