Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Cooked Foods Keep Me a Better Raw Fooder

Today was a great day. Still getting to 100% after being sick, but instead of missing my workouts, I am just taking it a bit easier on them. Today was legs. And although it is TOM, I got it done. Yet another thing to love about working out at home. It has been interesting moving the home gym downstairs. I am not done with the space, but can't financially invest in anything else just I am daydreaming.

Okay onto food. Let me start by saying that my post workout smoothie was the bomb. Yes I said "the bomb". It was so good.

Post leg Workout TOM Green Smoothie:
  • spinach and a hella lot of it
  • 3 bananas...yes 3. Use less if you'd like
  • 2 c frozen pineapple
  • 2 tbsp. hempseeds
  • 2 c almond milk
  • 1 navel orange
  • blend and fall in love
It was so so so good. I had it in two sitting with an orange each time. So good. Seriously. I'm making that one again for sure.

Now I get emails asking me why I am not 100% raw anymore or do I ever think of being 100% raw again. I have been wanting to share more of my reasons behind the ways that I eat.

When I was 100% raw the first go round for years...I ate copious amounts of fats. Almond butter by the jar. Oodles of coconut oil and agave type desserts. 2-4 avocados per day WITH tahini sauce. It was a massively fat diet I was consuming. I was lean and fit, but I did lots and lots of working out. I looked amazing and felt amazing...until....well, I didn't anymore.

There was no mistaking it. My diet was making me feel like shit. I hated to admit it because I had this strong belief that 100% raw was the ultimate goal and I had achieved it for so long. The more I pondered on things, the more I realized I actually wanted to eat differently. This is key. What is appealing to you? Do you feel drawn intrinsically to a 100% raw lifestyle?

For me, I was feeling called to 100% whole foods. I would dream about sweet potatoes and quinoa and a huge salad, but would push those thoughts away because they weren't raw and I would go and have 2 pounds of brazil nuts instead. Well, at least I was raw right? NO.

Finally, I sat down with my journal and started asking myself all kinds of questions about food. Raw, cooked, processed, homemade, eating out....etc. I decided that no one else held the answer for what was best for ME and for my life. Living on the frozen East Coast helped to shape my belief that cooked whole vegan foods were better for me than a 100% raw diet. Now don't get me wrong....there are so many 100% raw fooders here on the East don't let the cold deter you. For ME, I wanted to feel a bit more..."whole". .."balanced"... I wasn't achieving that on my fully raw diet.

Then I went 80-10-10 for a while. It was Summer of course. And I felt like a million bucks. To this day, I propose that a low fat raw vegan diet is the absolute best thing for MY body. Nevertheless, the Fall winds blew and I found myself wanting vegan slow cooked soups.

Here was a huge light bulb moment for me: I have enough things that I battle in my life. It is difficult enough. I found myself berating myself or feeling less than when I "craved" cooked foods. Guess what? cooked food is NOT poison. I  realized I wouldn't die if I ate yams...or quinoa...or any of the other extremely healthy vegan whole foods my body wanted.

I found by eating cooked food, I became a better raw fooder. What could that mean? Well, I stopped counting calories, percentages, and all that other crazy shit that had my head spinning all day. Watching a clock to eat my next meal...consuming "junk food" just because it cost $4.25 per bar and said "raw" on it. And I used my intuition to make my decisions. I am 100% proud of the whole foods vegan diet that I eat right now.

What does my raw/cooked diet consist of right now?
  1. Fruits
  2. Vegetables
  3. Nuts (mainly roasted or raw nut butters)
  4. Seeds
  5. Beans/legumes* staples
  6. Grains
  7. The occasional processed snack type-ish food (rarely)
What does that look like?
  1. Gluten Free Oatmeal with chia seeds, cinnamon, almond milk (bought not raw- easier and cheaper this way :) maybe put some walnuts in, but mainly add fruit ..banana or apple
  2. Hella lotta green smoothies
  3. Juice- hard to afford lots of juice ingredients to keep it real. I buy a huge bag of organic carrots and drink carrot juice or carrot romaine/ carrot/romaine/lemon juice. Until Summer and farmer's markets open my juicing will be minimal
  4. Slow Cooked: soups/stews/veggie dishes
  5. Meatloafs/burgers made with the ingredients above
  6. Stir frys- sometimes tempeh, tofu, veggies mainly with rice or quinoa
  7. Salads...with tahini dressing that I make or organic balsamic vinaigrette that I buy
  8. If I go out to eat it is always to Thai, Indian or some other GF vegan friendly ethnic dining place. But this is few and far between now. I much rather cook for me and Kay, light some candles and eat in your fancy socks.
Am I bored with my diet?
  1. NEVER
  2. NEVER
  4. I look forward to eating. I eat rather large meals although I don't count calories or anything. I keep it low fat-ish and focused on whole foods, green smoothies and salads.
  5. I am a much better, balanced raw vegan than I was years ago.

For YOU:
  1. Use factors like where you live (hot, cold climate)
  2. Look at your financial standing (money you have to spend on groceries)
  3. Most importantly: What feels good to you? What seems like a long standing plan for YOUR life?
  4. If 100% raw if your goal, I fully support that! And totally envy those who live in warm climates or even cold ones and find a way to do it that doesn't drive em crazy!
If you'd like more recipes on the site or examples of daily meals or ideas just let me know!

Have an awesome vegan day!!! Eat Plants!!!


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