I’m an “I hate routine” person in an “I need routine” world…


Consistency is not my forte.  Anyone who knows me will tell you that I may stick the ‘really important stuff’ out (like child rearing because, you know, not ruining a human being is a 10 on the Super Important Stuff scale) but for other things where life is not hanging in the balance, I tend to bat things around like a kitten with a ball of wool until the next ball of wool rolls by, then I go after that…and I really LIKE living this way.  I never get bored…well…not for very long, at least.

I stated in one of my previous posts “One last point before I sign off:  I plan.  I’m good at planning.  I plan meals, exercise, get things ready the night before.  I’m good at it.  But HOLY CRAP I get sick of it and, usually by Thursday, I stop executing and just let it all go to hell.”

This this is the theme of this post:  ideas on how to keep on executing when you come to a point in your week\day\hour\month  when you could really not care less.  Maybe even become resentful….and rip your plans off the wall…and shred them, sobbing  I’m an “I hate routine” person in an “I need routine” world…”

I think, at the end of the day, I’m trying to find “right ways” that “Fit” for me.  And I kind of think there are a lot of “me”s out there or, at least “You”s who can relate to some of the things I know about Me.

I don’t like routine, I’m not a morning person,  water was something I bathed in and loved dearly but wasn’t much for routine drinking, and I get bored and tired with doing the same thing all week – even if I mix it up even just a little.  I’m not a ‘joiner’ so don’t usually go in for races or clubs or classes that other people find motivating.  But I still need to be healthy, fit, motivated, and hydrated just like everyone else.  It can feel like a real  struggle at times.   OK, it can feel like a real struggle most of the time.  So here are some of my coping skills.  Perhaps you can leverage some of this information for those days that a new ball of wool rolls by and distracts you from the ball of wool that is meant to keep you healthy, hydrated, and motivated!  (Darn those random, intriguing, derailing balls of wool.  Darn them all to heck.)

Tool Number One:  Stop Believing in Magic Wands or that Bad Karma MUST be biting you in the butt or that there’s an unseen army of evil gremlins dragging your resolve into the pits of hell.  You will not likely EVER develop a new habit overnight. You  just slipped up FFS, no cosmic interference required.  And you’re going to slip up a lot more.  Get comfortable with it.

If eating healthy, exercising, or whatever ‘good for you’ thing that you’re working on making routine is important enough to you LET YOURSELF GET SICK OF IT….but don’t give up on it completely.  

Getting sick of the work it takes to integrate something new is normal.  Don’t bother fighting it.  Don’t chastise yourself, negative talk your way back into it, or paint anything negative on it at all.  Just accept that you blew it that hour, that day of the week, every third day of every week, that month, etc. pick up, dust off, and get back to it.

I have been working on integrating more raw food into my daily diet since 2012 (and I have the blog archives to prove it) and I still fall off the wagon.  But my time off the wagon is so much shorter than it was, and getting back on that wagon is so much easier.  I just never gave up.  I USED to get red faced when in one moment I would tell someone that I eat primarily raw food, and then have them catch me 2 days later scarfing back a burger (with bacon AND cheese).  Now I can say “I am human! I am not perfect! Mind your own darn lunch, you busybody!” 🙂  and sincerely not feel an ounce of shame because a) It’s true, I’m human and b) I know I’ll get back to my pristine diet the very next day and the faith I have in myself on this subject is all that really matters.

Tool Number Two:  If you suck at planning (of setting that goal, identifying where it needs to fit into your each and every day, etc) you are not a failure.  It’s just not your skill.  FIND the templates you need to PLAN (interweb – it’s awesome: meal planners, workout planners, morning/evening schedules, menu\recipe\grocery shopping planners, etc), and then follow them until SQUIRREL!

When SQUIRREL! happens – make note of it. (And for those of you who don’t actually know what the SQUIRREL reference is – it is that thing that pulls your focus away, quickly, completely, in the moment.  Like a dog who obeys your every command until that squirrel runs by…and then, to the dog, you cease to exist.)  But make note of it because there may be patterns and then you can start to mitigate those pitfalls.  My planning helped me to see that I fell off my wagon every Thursday.  The “WHY” almost didn’t seem important: bored, tired, lazy, overwhelmed, underwhelmed, yadda, yadda, yadda: I can’t solve all the challenges of my personality here….I only need to solve “Stop falling off the wagon on Thursdays!”  So I prepped food for Thursdays the same day I prepped food for Wednesdays.  I took it on Thursday and ate it! Wow!  I just had to show my stupid-stitous brain (the one that thinks I might be fundamentally broken…nahhhhh…..I’m awesome…the stupid-stitious brain is the one that believes the unseen Gremlins are dragging my resolve into the pits of hell and that there’s nothing I can do about it) that ‘the problem is solved, no magic required, it’s that easy’.   It became less and less of a problem.

But I may not have been able to pinpoint my Thursday issue (and my Monday morning issue, and my Sunday night issue, and my rainy day issue, and my hot day issue, and…) without making a weekly plan, following it until I stopped following it, and keeping track of that – even for just a couple of months (the tracking part….the planning part is “forever”).

Tool Number Three:  If consistency really is a big problem for you like it is for me, then do yourself a favour – only set ‘time frames’ for your goals if you are 100% positive that you will meet them.  I have stopped setting time-based goals for the things that are really important to me (80% raw all the time, exercise daily, lose some weight (how much of it is my business, tyvm 🙂 )).  I do this because it is these things that are The Goal(s) and when I set time-frames, the time-frame becomes The Goal, and then The Goal gets sabotaged by my challenges with consistency.  Talk about setting yourself up to feel like a failure, or a loser, or hopeless.  And talk about horrible ways to feel about your awesome self!  Cut that out!

So I have The Goal(s) and I keep working away at them – doing the things (some big, some small) every day that lets me put a Happy Face on my daily plan (yes, literally – the most negative I get is when I put a sad face….but it’s sad because I know I’m missing out, not because I failed) and then, over time, I see more happy faces in that week than I had in previous weeks.  I just keep chugging along and eventually my successes reveal themselves to me and then I CELEBRATE THEM (because, whoa, I completely earned them)!

The only time-based goals I set are in the moment:  “I’m going to walk 8K in 1 hour and 15 minutes, which will be 5 minutes better than last time.”  Or “this week, I’m going to get one more workout in than usual”. Or “by the end of the month, I’m going to have 20 Happy Faces on my month’s weekly plans.”

I know a lot of people set time-based goals and succeed.  A friend set a weight loss goal to fit into a wedding dress in 9 months, and she did it through exercise and healthy eating.  Damned rights I was both jealous and impressed, because that looks like magic to me and I wonder why she was born with a wizard’s wand up her butt and I wasn’t.  Although I’ve been raised to think I should be able to do this – I’ve now come to terms with the fact that I can’t/won’t/don’t really want to under certain circumstances and have found a different path to my successes that works WITH my nature, not against it.  I’m better off saying “I’m going to exercise and eat healthy and I’m going to look as good as I look by the time the wedding rolls around” because, for me, if  “X weight by the wedding” is The Goal, I should just decide to fail on day 1 and get it over with rather than suffer through months of feeling horrible about myself because I’m not the kind of person who will magically have better consistency and motivation and focus because of a goal like that.

So there we go.  If you’re in the “SQUIRREL!” club, or the kitten with the ball of wool club, or the ‘I get bored easy’ club, rest assured that you are not alone.  And also rest assured that this does not mean you will never have success with your health and fitness goals, you just have to go about them in a different way than others.  Hope I’ve helped.  Good luck!

Post-Script:  And I don’t fall for the “The best way to reach your goal in 6 months is to set a series of mini-goals between now and then because that far away goal may seem too unobtainable” soul crushing philosophy either.  For some people it works, yes.  For people like me, it’s just a bunch of mini-opportunities to feel like crap over getting bored/sick of/distracted while working up to that final “what a gong show, I totally blew it!” goal 6 months later.  Oh joy!

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Gimme a “P”, Gimme an “R”, Gimme an “OTIEN”…uh “OTEIN”…


Goooooo PROTEIN!! (shakes pom poms)….

As you may know, I’m here to advocate for the inclusion of more raw food into our everyday lives.  In doing so, however, I haven’t attempted to force feed vegetarianism or veganism to you as I understand we make personal choices with regards to what we eat and it isn’t my place to make you feel bad for them.

HOWEVER 🙂

One of the things I hear most of all when it comes to giving up meat, or giving up ‘as much meat‘ as North Americans eat on a regular basis, is: I can’t give up meat, I would never get enough protein.  I’m pretty sure I’ve said this too, but it led me to wonder….

Hmmmm, how much protein do I actually need every day?

So I went and found this useful equation:

(Original Source  http://www.canadianliving.com/health/nutrition/how_much_protein_do_we_need_2.php)

You need to know your weight in kilograms, so (if you’re like me) you have to first convert your weight from pounds.

Your weight in pounds divided by 2.2 = your weight in kilograms.

Then take your weight in kilograms x .8 to 1.8 = the average grams of protein you need in a day.

So let’s pretend I weigh 100 pounds / 2.2 = 45.45Kg

45.45Kg x 1.5 =  68ish.  I’d be looking at 68 grams of protein per day.

Keep in mind that this calculation provides you with an average.  You will want to increase your protein intake if you are working out regularly (getting your heart rate up for a minimum 20 minutes 5 times a week) or more, recovering from illness, or are pregnant.  I haven’t yet encountered a scenario where you may want to decrease the amount of protein – but this would be a discussion that you need to have with your doctor, your nutritionist, or trainer.

Now that you know how much protein you should be eating in a day, you can start to identify how much you actually consume in order to give some weight to your claim that you can’t get enough without meat, or to dispel it…. (I’m betting you can guess which way I’m leaning with those choices….)

In addition to the Nutritional Information provided on the majority of products you buy in the store today, here are some handy reference tools for you to help you figure this out so you will be armed with the knowledge you need to integrate more raw food into your everyday life, but know you’re getting enough protein.

High Protein Raw Foods:

There are plenty of infographics on the web that will give you handy visual representations of High Protein foods, and if you remove the meat, dairy, eggs, and some grains from those illustrations, what is left is (obviously) are the natural foods you can eat raw.  Don’t forget that some of the grains can be soaked until sprouting, and will then be soft enough to eat raw.  They will be a different texture than what you’d be accustomed to if you had cooked them, but if you look for recipes that use them, they become palatable and will be better for you.

Here’s another good list: http://www.rawguru.com/toptenprotein.html

I won’t provide yet a new list for you to scan through, I’ll just provide some basic examples but will also give you the tools to figure out in an on-going way how much protein you’re getting in the foods you eat.

1 cup Kale has 2.9g of protein

1 cup Spinach has .9g protein

1 cup almonds has 30g protein

2 Tblsp Chia seed has 4.7g protein

1 medium banana has 1.3g protein

I got you all that info in 30 seconds.  How?  Google! So easy!  Search “Protein in almonds” and you get a nifty little table at the top of the page that lets you select the product, the measurement, and lets you change the product so you can get more information.  This is handy for single ingredients, but what if you have a recipe?  We’ll get to that in a second.

The primary thing I need to point out will settle your incredulity over how low the leafy greens can be where protein is concerned.  At the very thought of having to eat 22 cups of Kale in a day just to get enough protein (yes, I know you’d be eating other things that day too, this is just an extreme example) you’re ready to stop reading.  But now you will come to understand the value of the “Smoothie\Shake” and why so many vegetarians and\or plant based athletes swear by them: it’s because you can throw in up to (average) 17g of protein into one Shake and drink all your protein.  No cud-chewing-cow impersonations required.

Recipes and Smoothies:

I use two resources to determine the nutritional value of the recipes I’m making.  I’m going to start with “My Fitness Pal” (MFP) because I haven’t found an ingredient yet that they don’t have information for.  The primary purpose of MFP is to track calorie consumption, and it also breaks down what you’ve eaten in carbs, fat, and protein when you log your food.  MFP can be used online or in an app, but adding your recipes can only be done online.  In their “Recipe” section, you can either paste a link to a recipe you found online and then spend a little time to match the ingredients to get the caloric and nutritional information, or you can type in your own ingredients to match and get the same information. For both methods, you can save the recipe so you never have to enter it again.  Starting up with MFP can be a little labor intensive but as you build your lists of “Recent Foods”,  “Frequent Foods”, and  “Recipes” (the first two, the application automatically does for you) using the application gets faster and easier. Once you’ve entered your recipe in the website, you can access it through the application on your phone or tablet.  One final benefit of MFP is that, because so many people use it, you can usually locate products by name because other members have entered the information.  I even once found the burger made by the cafeteria in the very building that I work in. Saved me time.

My Fitness Pal home pagehttp://www.myfitnesspal.com/

The only shortcomings of MFP I’ve found are that sometimes other members have entered the incorrect caloric information for a product I was searching for.  My rule of thumb when this happens is:  If I’m in the mood to lie to myself, pick the product entry with the lowest caloric value.  If I’m in the mood to be honest and have good personal statistics to properly track my health goals, pick the one that looks most reasonable and realistic, or enter it myself.

The second drawback is that I’ve found their macros to be a bit off.  They provide them based on just a few statistics and, if you aren’t going to enter the calories you burn through exercise, the information isn’t going to be hugely useful for you (depending on your goals).  If you’re going to use MFP to track your ratios for daily carbs, protein, and fat, you may want to go into your account on the website and manually change them to lower the daily fat, and even out the carbs and protein (but this will depend on your physical activity, special needs, etc.), especially if you don’t want to bother inputting your burned calories.  I’m going to assume that, if you’re using MFP to track these ratios, that you have some idea of what they should be.

The final drawback is that it gives you the nutritional values for solid foods.  This is great for recipes, and even for smoothies, but not if you’re juicing your fruits and veggies.  This is where one of my next favourite resources come in.

The site “Juice Recipes for Your Health” has a wonderful little calculator where you enter the ingredients that you’ve just grabbed out of your fridge and tossed into your blender/juicer and it will provide you with BOTH the juiced nutritional value and the Smoothie nutritional value.  That’s awesome 🙂

The link to their Juice Builder page (the calculator) is: http://juicerecipes.com/build/

This page, however, currently only contains the information for ingredients that they use in their juicing recipes.  I’m sure this list is probably quite impressive, but you may encounter an ingredient that you can’t get the nutritional information for….like I did. I was looking for ‘wheatgrass’ and it’s not in their library.  When I contacted them about this, a real live human responded (which was cool) who let me know that they don’t use wheat grass in their recipes because they didn’t find it contained enough nutritional value to bother.  I may not agree, but I found their personal approach and explanation to be worthy of respect, as well as the obvious emotional investment the person has in the quality of the data they provide.  I wasn’t communicating with someone at a Help Desk, I was communicating with an owner of the information.  I can appreciate the hard work and dedication.

I must confess that I haven’t subscribed to an account for the Juice Recipes site (yet) so I cannot tell you whether or not they allow you to “Save” juice recipes that you have ‘built’.

So there you go.  You walk away from here today with the ability to determine how much protein you actually need daily, and the ability to figure out how much you’re getting from what you eat.  Isn’t that amazing!  You may not actually need a beef steak, or 8g of chicken, or burgers, etc. every day and have plenty of room on your plate and in your blender for vegetarian sources of protein without your health and wellbeing suffering.  Congratulations!  You’re one step closer to removing that “I can’t give up meat, I’d never get enough protein” myth from your belief system! You rock! 🙂

 

 

 

Reader Question…


Eating raw sounds time consuming. I like to eat healthy, so what’s the most basic change I can make in my diet that won’t take over my life?”

Excellent question!  Excellent enough to deserve a post rather than a simple reply!

Hi there,

I would counter that eating raw is not any more time consuming than eating any other way with the only exception being those recipes that are prepared in a dehydrator. However, if someone is not used to the kind of preparation that is required, then it may be more time consuming simply because of the learning curve.

However, there are a number of basic changes that someone could make to integrate more raw food into a diet (and I do assume this will make a diet healthier 🙂 )….

One of the very first things I did, and I recommend this for anyone looking to make some dietary changes, is to go through your fridge, freezer, and cupboards, and throw out all the crap. Anything with refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup products (I think Satan owns the patent on that product), white refined everything, most deli meats, drink mixes, throw it allllll out and swear that you will never buy it again.  There.  You’ve already made a HUGE change.  For some people, that’s big enough for a whole year – move on to raw next year 🙂

But if you like jumping in with two feet, and if you’re not doing it already, continue with these:

  1. Assess your own habits: For example –  if you frequently look for something ‘quick’ – then keep quick raw food handy and decide to eat it. Holy easy.
  2. Assess the recipes you make and replace ingredients that may be processed (pasteurized, cooked, preserved, for example) with raw ones, such as raw honey, cold pressed olive oil, replace prepared salad dressings with fresh homemade ones, replace jarred peanut butter with natural peanut butter, tamari instead of prepared soya sauce, puree raw tomatoes for a spaghetti sauce base, or make veggie noodles instead of pasta noodles one evening. I read somewhere that the average dinner plate should be 6oz meat, 1 cup starch, 2 cup veggie. I DISAGREE.  If you’re eating meat, I believe the better portions are 4oz meat, 3 cup veg, and you don’t need a starch (carbs) in the evenings (unless you plan to burn it off), you need it in the mornings.  So set a goal: 3 times a week, make that 75% veggie on your plate raw.  YES!  You’ll get sick of carrot sticks really, really fast….but if you’re serious about your goal, you’ll start to experiment, and that’s where this blog comes in 🙂  It’s a matter of being mindful of how you use food today and slowly making changes that suit you and that you’re ready for.
  3. And following on to that last point, make changes at your own pace: A lot of families are now having ‘Meatless Monday’ and are using the opportunity to explore new ways to prepare a vegetarian meal. Take it a step further and make it a raw one. One day a week to experiment gets us comfortable with using new ingredients and meal-prep techniques.
  4. Finally, even if it’s just a couple times a week, change the way you view a meal. We prepare things that satisfy not only our body’s appetites, but emotional needs as well. “What are you in the mood for…” often dictates our fulfilling a need that goes beyond simple hunger. What we’re really asking is “What will make us happy?” when trying to satisfy a mood.   Start to consciously think of a meal as fuel for your body first, more than anything, then eventually you start to view your food as a nutrient, something that should be of a certain quality, to do what it is supposed to do. Of course meals will never cease to have some emotional connection for us: togetherness, socializing, decompressing, but treating a meal as fuel FIRST makes it OK to decompress over a bowl of nutrients, or packed smoothies.

I know – not really what you were thinking, hey?  There isn’t a magic bullet so I could never give a short answer to that question.  So much depends on where you, or anyone else reading this, is on (what I like to call) the “Maturity Model” of conscious eating (with 1 being “I eat fast food all day, every day, and I’m not even aware that this is bad” all the way to 10 “I just won Top Chef Canada and prepare raw food for the world!“)  so if I keep it short, I may be telling you things that make no sense to you, or lots of things you already know and could find just by Googling “How to change my diet”  (I’m sure you’ll find lots of Top 10s if you do).   At the end of the day, I hope I’ve provided you at least ONE thing that you can take away and use.

What do you wonder about…


My brain chatters and takes me down rabbit holes where I scratch and play and dig and discover something new.  I love organic learning.  But this can also mean that I may miss the comments or inquiries that have been presented to me as opportunities to learn about what you might be interested in learning more about when it comes to integrating more raw food into your everyday life.

So as raving as my brain can be, and how much fun I can have with it, I’d like you to provide some feedback!  What kind of information may you be looking for?  What questions do you have that you might like me to track down answers to?  Why are you here?

Thanks for coming and helping to shape our future discussions!  And please share this post so I can get as much feedback as possible.

Single Portion Raw Pesto


Just a quick post today after working with a recipe that portioned out raw pesto in a way that doesn’t require a ginormous bunch of basil and 2 quarts of olive oil. Yes, I’m sure there are many out there, but I’ve encountered and tried one and I loved it enough to care to sit down and type, so there we go…

First, to give credit where credit is due, I started with the pesto recipe that accompanied this raw pasta and pesto recipe.  I must admit, as one who has never bothered with marriage, nor as one who would strive too hard to find a “Husband Approved Recipe” even if I did (You don’t like it?  There’s the kitchen.  Go nuts.) the name turned me off, but I do try to remain open minded, so bothered to read the ingredients and was drawn in from there…

Courtesy of The Raw Guruhttp://www.rawguru.com/raw-food-recipes/husband-approved-raw-pesto-pasta.html.html

But, again, as I have no spouse to blend for, or to force into his own blending, the volumes were a little on the heavy side for little old me, and I can happily report that they translate well.

So for the lovely individual that you are, and because you deserve to feed yourself in the best way possible even when no one is watching, here are the single serve ingredients plus a few tweaks I threw in of my own…

Raw Pesto for the one, the only, the fabulous YOU:

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup (yes, still 1 cup) fresh basil with stems, but loosely packed…

1/2 cold expeller pressed extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp pink himalayan salt

1 small garlic clove

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Blend until smooth.

Now, aside from changing the salt and upping the basil content, I also added fresh squeezed lemon juice (to taste) and cayenne pepper (to taste) to perk this up a bit as, although the cashews add the wonderful texture, healthy fats, and creaminess, I found their sweetness contradicted the overall flavour and made it a bit flat.  Perhaps I don’t have a sophisticated palate (but never say that to my face, especially if I’ve had a couple glasses of wine…) and so, perhaps again, the subtle beauty of the original recipe is lost on me.  But so be it.  I added fresh lemon juice and cayenne pepper and loved it.  There we go.

So now you’re all set!  Spiralize a small zucchini, and/or carrot as per the recipe, or half a small sweet potato, or a bit of beet, and plaster with your five minute personal sized portion of pesto!

Have awe inspiring weekend friends!