Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Tumultuous journey ahead (006)

Forward I wander with processed foods at my six and organically influenced agriculture on the horizon. I am armed with a sense of origin and a newly grown appreciation for other life forms who also call this planet home. Less than perfect dietary practices and a nasty little, invasive flu virus plagued my once uneventful life where from I've come to realize something wonderful!

I never really thought much about the choices that I have to make on a daily basis. From the time I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night there seems to be a choice waiting to be made each moment of each day. The food I eat is no different. If I had given this topic any thought at all just one year ago then I wouldn't have been able to say the same thing. Now that I have learned about processed foods and what I miss out on when I eat them, I can really train my thoughts on avoiding them as much as possible. Processed foods are not the only choice that I have to make on a daily basis. There's organic vs. inorganic produce as well as grocery store vs. farmers market.

Whenever I have made a decision to change something in my life, I have always had to deal with certain adjustments. Going from being a quasi-(lacto) vegetarian to leading a raw vegan lifestyle has got to be the greatest undertaking in my life so far. This is the reason I have titled this blog "The Tumultuous journey ahead." Not that there will be obstacles ahead or violent upheaval but I can foresee reoccurring turbulence with regards to health-minded menu planning and maybe even some enigmatic revelations about foods that I once considered a "healthy choice." I look forward to these challenges because they will one day be at my "six" and I walk along the path less traveled. I look forward to each new sun and wonder what the day's new beginnings will yield. I look forward to watching others join me in the quest for a better more vibrant life and a return to the natural practices that gave us strong bodies and put the aging process in "near" retrograde.

Being an individual who makes choices to eat living foods in a reasonable fashion is what my new lifestyle will encompass. I welcome this brave new way of life.

Monday, December 28, 2009

My Raw Vegan Journey (005)

I have had some very good experiences in my 2009 raw food journeys. These are a few of the pics from my creations. This one is RAW stuffed tomatos. They have a walnut pate’ inside with celery, mushrooms, and tomato. The sauce: savory RAW honey mustard.
I looked back at some of the videos I made during the first two weeks of my raw food journey and the one thing that really burned brightly in my mind was how processed foods have been packaged and delivered to our grocery stores in such a way as to allow us to selectively forget their origins

This is one of my favorite RAW soups. I have acquired a couple more since I made this one but it was very tastey and I enjoyed preparing it as well.
Eating raw food is one way to invest in your healthy future and it also helps you to understand how addictions are formed and what it takes to disolve them. Food can be an addiction to some. It can be a companion and a therapist. What we need to remember as human beings is that food is what we consume in order to live on this planet and in these bodies. What’s your choice? Do you Eat to live or Live to eat?

Raw tuna taco’s is what these can be called. Of course, it isn’t really tuna at all but a “mock” version. The only item that takes this dish outside of the raw realm is the pickles I used to “zest” up the flavor.
Stepping outside of a raw food diet can be a good decision if you ever find yourself torn between a strong desire to eat cooked food and strong sense that raw food is better for you. This is a situation I found myself in a couple of times during my initial experience with raw food. The best idea I could come up with was to eat the desired meal and get it out of my way. Once that craving  was satisfied then all future cravings became easier and easier to deal with.

One of my salads. This was an easy one as is the case with most salads. I almost always use romain lettuce and sometimes I add baby spinach and some kale. This is a quick salad that can be eaten throughout the day.
In my early days of eating raw I found it easier to make a large (family sized) bowl of salad and create several different raw salad dressings. I could just grab a bowl of salad as often as I needed to.

Spiralized butternut squash with carrots, tomato, and black olives. On top, there is a creamy kale salad topped with raw almonds and sweet onions. I added some pineapple for garnish.
For my initial RAW menu’s I allowed a couple of items that were not totally raw. Black olives were one. I didn’t have them often but every now and then I used them if they were in the fridge.

This is a picture of some crackers I made just before they went into the dehydrator. They didn’t keep the coloring you see here. Instead, they turned a darker brown and the flavor was great for a raw cracker.

Raw crackers took some time to master. I failed miserably when I tried to make them in the beginning. With more practice I was able to create a cracker that was acceptable to my palate...ahaha.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Media’s malevolent and juvenile behaviors (004)

This morning, I was having a conversation with my husband about how much control the mass media really has. Radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and the internet are all very influential in our daily lives. Media dictates what we put on our bodies and what we put into our bodies. I had to wonder how it all began. Not from the stand point of the technological breakthroughs that have occurred over the years but from a more human point of view. How did we (human beings all over the world) allow ourselves to be manipulated and controlled by the media moguls? Thinking about this over and over made me realize the control that media has (right now) was not initially intended for malevolent behavior. If we think about the developments that have led our societies through all the magnificent evolutions, we can easily see the staggering benefits of having a media conglomerate. Of course, there would also need to be a primary focus on continuously updating people about health issues, breakthroughs, transportation developments, etc. With absolutely NO regard for profits, leading an industry, obtaining votes, etc. I look at this from the perspective of good health and living a life fulfilled and happy.

Think about this scenario:

Our society began consuming animal products with absolutely no bad side effects then as time went on, there seemed to be disease and terminal health issues cropping up all over the place. With an advanced, mature, wellness-centered leadership, a media conglomerate could immediately inform our society to discontinue this consumption. They could do it with as much "pomp and circumstance" as would be necessary if they were trying to sell to consumers.

Imagine a Pepsi-like commercial that gave you actual evidence that eating certain animal products could cause your digestive system to become compromised. This type of advertising could save the planet. While we are on the topic of saving the planet, what if the major car manufacturers could develop commercials advocating sustainable living. These commercials would be just as entertaining as their latest car commercial but instead of being targeted toward the consumer's vanity and need to feel superior; they would give REAL information about green living and sustainable methods to coexist on this planet with other life forms (i.e. trees, plants, animals, etc). The media's current malevolent practices are an abomination to the idea of organized, life-centered mass information systems. We could be such a GREAT race of human beings if we could discontinue this hallucinogenic need for power, money, and omnipresent control of the world!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

That’s NOT raw!?! (003)

How many times have you announced that you are making a lifestyle change, going on a diet, starting a new fitness workout, etc. only to find that you become a "target!" This isn't anything new or mind blowing it's just that every time people find out that someone is upgrading themselves on any level, instead of trying to join in or give support they immediately look for ways to either sabotage or dictate how that person should proceed with their choices.

I recently made a decision to GO-RAW as a way of life and I have a strange feeling that I am setting myself up for all the "haters" out there to voice their unwanted opinions. I made the announcement on one of my YouTube videos but prior to this, I had completed two 100-day raw food journeys' just to get a feel for how things would be living as a raw vegan. During my 100 day journey's I was being constantly reminded by friends and family that some of my food choices were NOT within the raw "realm"....hahaha. It amazed me in the beginning because none of them were even remotely considering being a raw vegan so I wouldn't have thought they would care enough to even voice an opinion. I soon became over whelmed with hints, suggestions, information, judgments, prejudices, etc. all because I made a decision to eat raw food. After getting over my initial "shock" at how many people in my life were being affected by my personal choice to be raw vegan, I began to get a little annoyed by the constant reminders about what I could or could not eat because I made a decision not to eat cooked food. This feeling didn't last too long because I had way too much to focus on with just being raw. Today, I am at a point in my chosen lifestyle where I can focus on my way of life and appreciate the affect it has on others. Even those who are a bit overly boisterous about it (lol). I will go into the coming New Year with an entirely upgraded appreciation for lifestyle changes and understanding of just how difficult it is to set out on a new path.

If I can take any lessons from my prelude to being raw, it is that everything you do, say, feel, believe in, etc. has an effect on someone. That effect is not always bad and not always good. It is what it effect. Knowing this, gives me even more drive to live my life as a raw foodist because I know it is right for me and I have the strength and a healthy constitution with which to see it through to the end.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Are we to judgmental? (002)

I began my raw food journey almost one year ago. During that period, I made many discoveries related to the way I eat and exercise. Through my journey I also discovered a remedy for a health condition I was dealing with. None of this is breaking news but there is something that deserves acknowledgment. I stopped consuming a diet rich in dead nutrients. Heck, I'm not even sure if those two words should ever be used in the same sentence (lol). I would eat a meal and get physically full but never actually feel satiated. I was never really sure if I was getting all the vitamins and nutrients that I should have been getting from the foods I ate. Oh wait, that's not all together true (hahah). I was absolutely sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that I got ALL THE FAT CONTENT that each food choice had to offer. This was proven and evident in my out of control weight gain and inability to fit into any of the clothes in my closet. So yeah, I got something out of my previous diet all right.

After completing my very first 100 day raw food and fitness journey, I compared the results with previous data I had from my nurse practitioner. Without going off on a tangent here let me just say the results were nothing that medical science would have expected! All things positive and no negatives. One day I was having a conversation with Julie Hoffenberg and Sarah Woodward (authors of "The raw healing patch" cookbook) about my results and Julie mentioned that my situation was a good example of why she and Sarah don't make a practice of telling people what is good for them or what is bad for them. Our conversation went on and in the end I was left with the idea that making a change that leads you to a better point in life is always good.

Recently, I communicated with an e-friend of mine regarding a situation she was having with negativity as it relates to her dietary choices. I could tell just by the tone of her email that this was a topic that weighed heavy on her mind. After hearing about this ordeal, I began to think...

"Most people feel strongly that their belief is correct and appropriate for everyone; regardless of a person's history, current condition, belief systems, morals, etc."

I know that there are some who do not subscribe to this system of belief. I for one do NOT feel that my standards of living, belief systems, personal history, etc is in anyway a foundation for others to live by. I do, however, recognize where this might come from. You see, in order for a person to have a belief; they must first accept this belief as true and basic reality. Kind of like erecting a high-rise building. The foundation must be the basic reliable force to the rest of its structure. That belief allows them to build the structural framework that will support their way of life. When that belief is challenged the framework becomes questionable. This gives rise to doubt and everyone knows what doubt promotes.....weakness!

We should all exercise a bit of caution when telling someone else what is good or bad for them to consume. If a person used processed sugar (the white table sugar) for most of their life then began to look for something a little better for them, then that is a step in the right direction. Sometimes it takes time to arrive at the point in life where you are comfortable with your choices. I don't think anyone can categorize another person's choices. Instead, invite that person to talk to you about their individual journey and give support each time you hear them conquer defeat. This would help them much more in their journey and in their life.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

End of the year beginnings (001)

It is quite unbelievable how quickly the year has gone by. There has been so many new beginnings all around the world and quite a few here, in my own "backyard!" I'm referring to my recent decision to follow a lifestyle that compliments nature instead of depletes it. I'm talking about becoming a raw food vegan.

I recently made a video on my you tube channel that announced my decision to become a raw food vegan beginning with the coming new year. I have been preparing for this over the past few months with various food and fitness journeys as well as some analytical viewing of my current food habits and why I crave certain foods at certain times.

Prior to beginning my raw vegan quest, I noticed things about my eating habits. A great percentage of the time, I found myself not really paying much attention to food unless I was excited about some good news I received or if I became bored and just felt like crunching/munching something. It seems that those where the times that I gravitated toward cooked foods, processed foods, or basically any non-raw food. I also noticed that my appetite seemed to be non-functional. What I mean is I didn't get hungry. I didn't even know what it felt like to get hungry because I spent a lifetime overeating and not giving my bodily systems what they needed to carry out their daily duties inside me. I had to force myself to learn NOT TO EAT. This doesn't mean that I taught myself how to starve it just means that I had to not eat when I wasn't hungry. I accomplished this by beginning a schedule. On this schedule I would right what time I ate and what food item I ate. When I started this schedule I did it in reverse. I would eat whatever I felt like eating (within reason) then I would write it down along with the time of day and any other dynamic that may have been crucial to know such as did I just workout, just wake up, or was I about to go to sleep, etc.

Once I had this information I would use it for a reference so that when I created a more complete schedule, I would have a realistic view of when and what I ate. This worked very well but if I have to say anything bad about it, I would say that it took some time to become comfortable with writing everything down as soon as you ate it. Once I had a few weeks of my food logs I then began to realize how much easier it was to eat right.