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. 

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