…no, I’m not “PACKING it in” – I mean I have packed a lot in to the past 2.5 months since my last post!
First off: YAY ME! I made it to ONE YEAR SMOKE FREE on May 15th. I had to claw my way there, but I made it. It was amazing to me that, the closer I got to the anniversary, the more I craved a cigarette just because it was top-of-mind more often. But I had also invested so much in my effort, diet, health, etc that there was no way that little demon was going to win. I made it.
I’ll try to summarize the last couple of months and then grow those points that may be of more interest to readers of this Raw Food Blog.
As my health has improved, and I went off all my medications in February, I’ve been trying a few new things: wanting to mix it up so I don’t get bored. I attempted an “Insanity Challenge” (Insanity by BeachBody, if you’re curious) with my son and a wonderful woman whom you should follow on FaceBook if you are looking for some new fitness goals and a really down-to-earth person to guide you there. Her name is Jessica, and this is the link to her official FaceBook page: Eat. Sleep. Lift. INSPIRE. Unfortunately, it seems my son and I are not compatible work-out partners and we both became rather grizzly bearish towards each other at 6am (when was the only time we both had in common) and found doing an Insanity workout along with the stress of constant arguing wasn’t too terribly motivating. We blew it after 2 weeks. It is an intense but totally-doable workout regime, however, and I’ll be getting back to it on my own with enthusiasm.
But everything was not for naught. While planning for and going through the workout, my diet changed somewhat (again): I needed more protein and my fall-back is animal meat or products, but I did start actively seeking plant-based and\or raw alternatives and, to be honest, vegan protein shakes have become a big part of my routine. They are light, refreshing, and are quite sustaining, rather than heavy and sometimes a chore to digest (like cooked eggs or chicken in the mornings). I do like Shakeologyfor how long it seems to sustain me and I do feel a nice, balanced energy level when drinking it. The draw-back of Shakeology for me is that they only have one flavour without strawberries (I’m allergic), and it has to be ordered online. I also really like Vega – they have more flavours that I can consume (4 of their 5 shakes, to be precise), is sustainable plant-based, is available in most local health stores, also makes me feel great, and the company started in Canada. Go Canada! 🙂
I have also had some ups and downs with going off my medications. I am a migraine sufferer and am getting them more often. As an attempt to ‘reset’, I went on a 12 day cleanse and it helped immensely to get rid of a lot of issues: serious joint aching, lethargy, bloating, puffiness, and just an over-all feeling of being bogged down with the crap of life. I have tried several cleanses in my day, but I always go back to Wild Rose. It is easy to take (morning, night = easy), the diet requirements are easy to follow, and it doesn’t upset my stomach like a lot of the other ones do. This is the one I use, if you’re interested: Wild Rose Herbal D-Tox. It is available in most health food stores and I got mine at, you guessed it, Kardish! As always. 🙂
So a coo-coo workout attempt, a cleanse, and I’m still dealing with some serious headaches. I think this is where patience and persistence will come into play – not my strongest personality traits. But I am getting quite serious about exercising, which is giving me so much more energy. And, of course, when one is committed to exercising daily, there is less room in one’s life for those things that may undermine it, like excess alcohol, crap food, poor sleep habits (this is also a hard one for me), letting work be “Numero Uno” all the time, etc. I am holding out hope that consistent exercise, a consistent approach to my raw diet, a lot of lemon water, and time will nip these headaches once and for all. I’ll keep you posted.
When it comes to overcoming the things that get in the way of daily exercise, good sleep is my biggest challenge now (which means, HEY! I’ve come a long way! A year ago I had about 10 things that got in the way of daily exercise!) Making myself go to bed between 9 – 10pm so I can get up around 5am and fit some good work-out and breakfast time in before I go to the office and let the day take over has been hard. Like many of us, my evenings are the only me-time I have anymore, and I want it to last. The longer I put off going to bed, the more of that day belongs to me. I have to realize two important things in order to over-come this mind-set: I am making quality me-time in the mornings now, and the more I exercise, the more energy I have, so there may come a time that I’ll be able to enjoy a bit more of my evenings without feeling like I’m constantly sleep-deprived and can’t haul my bum out of bed in the mornings. Maybe. But for now, it’s a SOLID 8 hours of sleep a night or I’m a zombie. I have to be more consistent and then, maybe, someday I’ll be able to make it on 6 or 7 hours of sleep happily. We’ll see. I’ll keep telling my ‘I resent missing a long evening’ self that just to humour it.
Believe it or not, the above was the “Summary”! I’ll get to some food-related stuff now.
Wheat Grass! I’m not growing it all the time, but I will grow a tray once or twice a month and I do love it so. I just don’t have it on hand all the time because I’m the only one juicing and drinking it and I don’t want it to go to waste.
Picked this up from rawnutrition.ca and it was everything I needed to get started. I am using the coconut-husk mats to grow the seed as I find it less messy indoors. It can be grown in soil, however, and I may switch over as the husk mats are an itty bit over-priced IMHO.
Here is my first tray, with the first growth peeking up its head. It was nice to have something green sprouting inside while there was still snow outside!
Close-up of the wheat berries sprouting. This is approximately Day 4 since planting.
Day 6 since planting! Ready to snip and juice. It takes about 1/3 of a tray to get 1 ounce of wheat grass juice (manual juicer).
And here it is: 1 ounce of wheat grass with 1 apple. It was so sweet and made my whole body ping. I wouldn’t have been able to call it a juice – more like an elixir 🙂 This is about 50x better than any ‘wheat grass apple juice’ I’ve bought at a juice bar.
I made “Fragrant Vanilla Cake”‘s Key Lime Truffles too. The recipe called for coconut butter, which I had never made, so had to get to that first. If you’ve never made it, here is what you do…
Put raw unsweetened shredded coconut into a blender and blend….
Put more raw, unsweetened, shredded coconut into the blender, and blend some more….
And after much blending and pushing down and blending and general uncertainty about whether or not its going to work….VOILA! Coconut butter. Put in the fridge to harden up a little.
Then I made the truffles! (Link was above, with the mention of “Fragrant Vanilla Cake”)
The truffle filling: lots of zesty lime, cashew, and spinach for the ‘green’, they were yummy enough to eat on their own….
…but I dipped them in the home-made raw chocolate anyway, and it was worth the extra step. These are little bursts of decadence that are good for you too. All food should be this rewarding.
It has been lovely to catch up with you! My next couple of weeks will involve a concerted effort to exercise, hopefully more than once, every single day. I’ve told myself that I am now an athlete. I realized that a casual “Hey, give 30 minutes of exercise a try tomorrow, see how it goes” doesn’t get my butt out of bed at 5am. I have to “Be Big” about it. That’s what motivates me.
And on the other goal-front: I believe I’m hitting 80% raw 90% of the time 🙂 Fact is, because it is becoming so much easier now to be preparing and eating a raw diet, I’m not keeping track as religiously as I had been at the start of the year. Meals are raw, snacks are raw, and any non-raw food is organic, whole, non-GMO, healthy, healthy, healthy. My downfall is grabbing something quick when I grab a take-out coffee in the mornings. There is definitely room for improvement there.
Hope you are all well, healthy, happy, and moving towards something good for your well-being. Happy Whole Life! More soon.