Archive for the ‘Raw Food’ Category
According to Dr. McDougall, Job’s plant-based diet was not at fault for his cancer. On the contrary, it surely did enable him to live longer than would have been ever thought possible with such a disease.
I’ve been wanting to get a juicer for a while. My Vita-Mix is awesome but I like drinking thinner juices and not just thick smoothies every now and then. Juicing is also a great way to power through a large quantity of vegetables in short order.
I also watched Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. I’ve seen it listed on Netflix for a while, but thought it would just be another boring story about why eating fruits and veggies are important. Today, I decided to watch it while laying in a catatonic state on my couch (after an epic morning of swim/bike/run training!).
Boy was I wrong. This documentary is really good. So good it motivated me to go out and buy a juicer. Calling around to a few local stores, they were all out of the model I wanted (the one featured in the documentary) – a Breville Juicer. I called Sur La Table and they mentioned that they only had 1 left, and that the entire chain was seeing a huge demand for them. They had new clue why…so I told them.
Anyway, I made my first juice today and it tastes awesome! So good, I’m going to make another right now :)
Ingredients (all organic)
- 3 Dino Kale leaves
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- 1 small piece ginger
- 1/2 small lemon
- 1/2 large cucumber
- 3 large celery stalks
This made a tall 16 ounce glass of amazing juice!
I have been reading up on water. First a great book, “Your Bodies Many Cries for Water” by Dr. B. Then a bunch of videos from Daniel Vitalis about the importance of finding good and clean sources. Our bodies are over 70% water. While many of us spend plenty of time worrying about what we eat, we are far better off first thinking about getting access to and drinking the best water ever!
I am lucky to live in Bellevue, WA (near Seattle) which is home to some of the cleanest water around. In fact, our tap water is rated to be among the best municipal water in the country. I also live in a fairly modern urban environment – so don’t worry too much about rusty and old pipes or other potential issues in getting water from source to tap.
However, the water is treated with Chlorine and other things, and there is also the potential structural impact that overt processing has on water. If you have not checked our Masaru Emoto’s work, you must. His book “Messages from Water” will transform the way you think about water – and your own way of being. Water that has been processed, stored and taken out of its natural environment is spiritually and energetically dead. If you don’t buy the whole “spiritually dead thing,” that is OK…the scientifically proven health benefits of fresh and clean water is enough of a reason to care.
There is also the reality that Chlorine and Fluoride can kill off beneficial bacteria in our body, and cause other long-term health effects. I think that in most cases clean city water is OK, but this blog is all about finding even better ways of being and improving our standards of living – so seeking out an even better water source just makes sense to me.
I also think that consuming water that is more natural and less processed just makes common sense, so I decided to seek out the best way of doing so. There are of course so many different types of water out there, which made my search more complicated than one would think for a substance as simple as water. The following are some of the types of water you can find (according to DS Waters, one of the largest home and commercial water distributors):
Artesian Water: Water from a well that taps a confined aquifer (a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand) in which the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer.
Spring Water: Water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth.
Purified Water: Water that has been produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis, or other suitable processes.
Distilled Water: Water that has been vaporized into steam, then cooled to re-condense it back into water. The water’s minerals are left behind, leaving only pure tasting steam-distilled water.
Mineral Water: Water that contains no less than 250 parts per million (ppm) total dissolved solids (TDS).
Sterile Water: Water, also known as sterilized water, that meets the requirements under Sterility Tests, in the United States Pharmacopeia, 23d revision.
Carbonated water products (soda water, seltzer water, sparkling water, and tonic water) are considered soft drinks and are not regulated as bottled water.
I started going to Whole Foods and my local Co-Op and purchasing filtered (reverse osmosis) water. I figured that was a good place to start – at least the stuff is free from contaminants and Chlorine. There is some debate over distilled water. Some think it is healthy, while others think it actually strips the body of minerals…so I have decided not to consume distilled water. It is really meant for teas and other medicinal purposes (or potentially for a cleans/detox program).
What I really wanted was natural spring water…but didn’t want to pay and arm and a leg for bottled spring water (which sits around for a long time in plastic bottles on store shelves). I also wasn’t sure where to find a good local spring.
Just today, however, I discovered a fantastic site – Find a Spring.com. This site lists public springs where you can fill up on totally natural and unprocessed water, for free! There was only one spring listed near Seattle, so I headed to the store, bought a massive 5 gallon jug and headed up there. I really wanted to use some large glass jugs, but didn’t have any available (I’ll need to hit up a recycling center and find some large house wine bottles to use).
The spring was super-easy to find (in Lynwood, just 10 minutes north of the city). There were about 6 cars there when I showed up (on a sunny Saturday at noon). Looks like my secret discovery is no secret to those that live in this area outside Seattle.
At this spring, the Lynwood 164th Street Well, there are two spouts, each flowing 5 gallons per minute of crystal clear and ice cold natural artesian well water! This well is tested several times a month and is completely clean and open to the public (there is a little parking lot and a shelter over the well spouts. This particular well is 400 feet deep and tops out at 120 feet. The city drilled down to 200 feet to access the water.
The water tastes really good and I’m so lucky to have finally stumbled upon such a find so close to the city! I highly recommend that you check out Find a Spring.com and look for a spring near you.
(Breakfast! 1 Whole Organic Honeydew Melon)
I’ve reached the final point in my Raw Food 30 Day Challenge. It has been a great adventure. While I experienced some incredible increases in my overall health and wellness, I was also happy to break the 30-day streak with a dinner at a favorite vegan restaurant of mine with some friends last night!
In my previous updates, I wrote about the benefits I was experiencing through this way of eating. Those benefits continued, and if anything became even more pronounced throughout the last 10 days of the challenge. I feel incredibly light. I think clearly. My skin is clear and I really feel great overall.
In terms of body composition, here is where that ended up. Keep in mind that throughout this entire challenge I had no intention to lose weight. I am already fit and slim enough. I also made a point to eat a significant number of calories (mostly through fresh, organic, ripe fruits!). My goal was to try to keep my caloric intake similar to what my previous diet was (roughly 2300 calories per day). I think I struggled to do this for the first 10 days or so, but then got the routine down and was eating plenty.
Wow, time really does fly by! It seems like just a few days ago I was contemplating this little experiment. It really has not been anywhere near as challenging as I thought it would be. My food cravings for cooked foods have diminished even more as I’ve gotten smarter about eating more total calories and also eating the right types of foods.
Over the past week, I’ve started to experiment with some new foods and recipes, and have started to cultivate a keen taste for my morning fruit smoothies and evening veggie soups (un – cooked of course)! I actually look forward to these!
Today is Day 11 of my Raw Food 30 Day Challenge. I really didn’t expect it to be this easy. I feel absolutely fantastic and have absolutely no detox symptoms to speak of. In fact, this transition from my vegan diet to a 100% raw food diet is easier than my transition from lacto-ovo vegetarian to vegan.
I think difference is that I am both far more educated and also have connected into a support system of people that I have learned a ton from – from various raw food online forums like Give It To Me Raw and 30 Bananas A Day, and through a few friends (like Darrick) who have been walking down this path for a while. I’ve also been reading a ton of books and online resources (including Dr. Doug Graham’s 80-10-10 and David Wolfe’s Sunfood Diet).
Starting tomorrow morning I will be embarking on a 30-Day Raw Food Challenge. I’ve done the raw food thing before, most recently as part of a 3-day fruit feast and also for a few months last year as well.
The issue is, last year I wasn’t 100% raw, I did cooked food meals now and then – usually at dinner time. I also wasn’t nearly as educated in terms of what to eat, and such ended up not eating enough calories or nutrient dense superfoods (like goji berries, cacao, maca root, acai, etc.).
This time I am more educated, more motivated and have experience at my side from past successful and not-so-successful experiments with my diet.
I’ll also note a few of the reasons why I am doing this challenge. At the end of the day, I am a big believer that the motivations for doing something are the true driving force for any positive and lasting change.
So why am I doing this 30-day Raw Food Challenge?
- There are numerous studies and articles that point to raw or mostly raw food diets as a key factor in positively impacting overall human health and longevity.
- I personally know several raw foodists that are not only surviving, but thriving on a raw food diet.
- During my last raw food experiment, while I had some breakthrough and positive experiences – right now I am much more well-informed and better prepared to not fall into some of the traps/issues I ran into last time.
- Primarily raw and water-rich foods are important factors in helping the body naturally cleanse and detoxify.
- My diet right now features a high percentage of raw foods – about 30-50% on most days. Moving to 100% will be a big challenge but is doable – and will help me dislodge some unhealthy eating habits that I have developed lately (eating too late, eating fried foods, eating too large meals, etc.).
- During past experiences with fasting or eating raw foods, I experienced a profound heightened sense of mental performance and a deeper ability to meditate and connect to the present moment. I am interested to see how the 30-Day Raw Food Challenge impacts my meditation practice.
- I am curious to see how my yoga practice is impacted through a Raw Food diet. In past experiences, I’ve noticed increased flexibility and a higher strength-to-weight ratio when eating a raw or mostly raw diet.
For reference, my current body weight is 142.0lbs and body fat is 11% (as measured by a Tanita-brand body fat measurement scale). I’ll be tracking this throughout the challenge.
So there it is. The journey starts tomorrow. If you have walked down this path before and have any tips, please do share in the comments! If you are willing to take this journey with me (even for a few days, a week or the full month) – that would be cool as well!