Live Below the Line Challenge – or $1.50 a Day

May 5th, 2013

The Live Below the Line challenge, for those of you who haven’t heard of it, is an awareness and fundraising effort for those who are living in extreme poverty. Those participating in the challenge eat for less than $1.50 (USD) per day for a week to better understand the experiences of the 1.4 billion people living every day in these conditions.


Of course one week (5 days) of living at $1.50 of food a day while still driving to work in a nice car, living in a nice (if not so air-conditioned – mine’s broken and I’m waiting for the repair guy to come fix it next week) house, and wearing my comfortable clothes hardly represents the extreme poverty that people in other countries deal with daily. However, it will give me a glimpse into their lives.


I am doing this because some of the guys at work suggested that we do it as a competition – see who can make it through the whole five days without exceeding their daily budget. I tried to up the ante to include who could have the most well-rounded meals (I.E. no Raman) with the highest nutritional value, but they wouldn’t bite. So instead I think we are just aiming to see who can make it and spend the least. The latter part I intend to win (competitive much?).


The Meal Plan


The easiest way to do the $1.50 a day challenge is to eat the same thing every day. So my plan is to eat pinto beans and rice every day for lunch and dinner as well as bananas for breakfast/snacks. I’m cooking the pinto beans with 1/3 cup of cumin for flavor.


Pinto Beans - 50 cents per lbThe other key is bargain shopping. Bananas tend to go for anywhere between 49 cents to 52 cents a pound. I found them at Ruler Foods (an Aldi-type store that is a subsidiary of Kroger) for 35 cents a pound.



Pinto beans tend to go for around $1.49 a lb. Ruler Foods had them for 50 cents a lb.


Cost for the Week


So here is the cost breakdown:

Pinto Beans – 1 lb – $0.50

Cumin – 0.7 oz – $0.25

Short grain sweet brown rice – 2 lbs – $2.26

Bananas – 5.77 lbs – $2.02


Total – $5.06 for 5 days

Read the rest of this entry »

A New Year, or a Renewed Desire to Blog

January 7th, 2013

It’s obviously been a while. I got out of the habit of blogging after my computer died and I lost all of my files. It was just too much work to rebuild. I lost my ebook as well. So I’ll have to start that over again, but with the new year (and with it being my 25th birthday!) I have a renewed sense of purpose and a desire to start blogging again.


New Year’s Resolutions


With it being the new year, it is time for new years resolutions. My new year’s resolution is to be 100% vegan for the entire year. I tend to go off of veganism whenever I’m home in Indy for holidays. It is easier to eat with my family as a vegetarian than a vegan. My whole family eats meat and they are annoyed enough with the vegetarianism. Veganism is just a whole step beyond. But this year, I am going to stick to it. Even when I’m home. I know I can do this. Just a matter of proving it by lasting the year. Hopefully I can use this as a stepping stone to being 100% raw vegan for a year!


I also resolve to be more active on my blog. Expect posts at least once every two weeks, if not once a week. (Depending on my workload.)


New Recipe


On that note, see the new recipe in the recipe section for Raw Vegan Pizza Kale Chips!


And a Teaser – Raw Vegan Cheez Cake – this is not my recipe, but look for a link and recipe review in the reviews section in the next few weeks!




Attempting the Warrior Dash, or I Should do More Cardio

September 10th, 2012

A few months ago, some of my coworkers were talking about doing the Warrior Dash Ohio 1. For those of you who don’t know (and don’t feel like clicking the above link, because, let’s face it, that takes work, and you’ve already clicked a lot of buttons to get to this point, you deserve a break), the Warrior Dash is about a 5k with intermittent obstacles including a mud pit (with actual barbed wire above it), two swimming obstacles – one which involves pulling yourself up over logs (heavy logs, mind you) and logs set on fire that you have to jump over just to name a few. It’s intense to say the least. So with the assumption of being super hardcore I decided to sign up. The Ohio 1 race was full so I had to sign up for the Ohio 2 which was a few weeks ago at the end of August. I went with one of my coworkers and her sister. It was a blast.

Yes, that is me, covered in mud


Out of Shape


However I did uncover a rather depressing reality: I am not nearly as hardcore as I thought. I’ve been doing yoga and Body Pump lately but it obviously wasn’t enough. I was able to run for the first mile, and then had to basically walk the rest of the way. I felt terribly out of shape, and I felt guilty because my friends felt obligated to walk with me (it was much more fun doing it together, so I thank them for that).


So we’ve decided to do Warrior Dash again next year (Ohio 1 this time!). Let me know if you want to join us. But this time I’m preparing by doing actual cardio (novel idea I know).


Insanity Day 1


So to begin my preparation (Ohio 1 is next June; but it’s never too early to start) I started Insanity today. Now Shaun T is no Tony Horton (from p90x fame), as he is much less of a tool, it is still quite a work out. In fact, the fit test that is day one wore me out. I’m excited to see what progress I will make over the next sixty days.


The schedule is similar to p90x – work out for six days and then take a break. I am heading to a wedding this weekend (congrats you two!) so I will probably take Friday off this week and get in my work out the rest of the week.


Tomorrow is the plyometric cardio circuit. Wish me luck.

The Raw Recipe Ebook Cometh or a Request for Suggestions

July 27th, 2012

I have decided to work on my very first raw vegan recipe e-book. It will be completed by December of this year (just in time for Christmas! Hint, hint!). The book will contain an overview of the health benefits of going raw, the importance of organic produce in your raw journey, a debunking of a key raw food myth, a list of the key tools for raw food creation (and where you can get them), and finally, over 25 recipes! There will be a myriad of sauces, soups, entrees and desserts including those that are in the recipe section of my blog (see http://recipes.rawobjectivism.com/category/raw/) along with many new ones.


Input Needed


With all this in mind, how much would you pay for this e-book? I will use your input to determine the best price point. Also, what format would you prefer (i.e. PDF, Kindle, etc.)? Please leave your comments below. Thanks for your help!

Finding My Center, or After P90x Gets Boring

July 9th, 2012

I have gotten bored with p90x and have decided to work on my flexibility, core strength, balance, and breathing instead with yoga from MyYogaOnline.com (click the link to get two free weeks!).


The Pros


The workout videos are awesome. I am on my second week of it and already I have noticed that I have more flexibility and that overall I am calmer of mind. Not all of the videos are great (they are mostly Canadian teachers with accents which I don’t find as calming as the Midwestern United States accent that I speak), but they are overall very effective. I can already tell a difference in my body. My stomach is leaner and flatter, my legs are stronger, and I can hold myself in plank pose for longer.


It’s not just yoga that they have on the site either. There is pilates, yogalates (a combination of yoga and pilates), belly dancing, ballet bar work, and yoga versions from relaxation to power. There are even meditation videos. All the videos are open for unlimited viewing once you subscribe. For just $9.95 a month it’s a great deal. I went ahead and subscribed for a full year for $89.95, and I would say that it is already worth it.


The Cons


But not everything on the site is that awesome. Some of the articles I have read have no scientific backing. One article claimed that we have only a finite amount of enzymes in our bodies so we need raw foods in order to access the plant’s enzymes and use them to break down the foods. However, there is no science to back this up. The enzymes in the plant are for the plant and are broken down in our stomachs prior to being utilized as food. They don’t help us break down the food.


Last Words


Overall, despite the somewhat crappy articles, the site is pretty awesome, and well worth the subscription fee if you are planning on using it more than once a week (so far I’ve done yoga or pilates three times a week). The stress relief benefits alone make this program worth the money.


Note: I have no affiliation with My Yoga Online. However, if you click this link and sign up for a paid subscription I do get one free month. Yay transparency!

Just Push Play, or P90x Round Two

June 18th, 2012

Starting Weight: 121.8 lbs


Starting Fat %: 22.2%


I started P90x for the second time today. I did it previously about a year and a half ago. I only made it for 50 days, when I got the flu and was down for the count. I didn’t feel like starting back up again once I was better, so I only did 50 days. I am doing it again though, and this time I plan to go for the whole 90 days.


P90x is a workout program by Beachbody that Tony Horton instructs. The man is obnoxious, but his ridiculous comments like “this is X-stream” (complete with hand motions crossing his arms in front of his face in the letter “X”) are oddly motivating. And for someone in his late 40s, he is in great shape. Read the rest of this entry »

Sober Bonnaroo, or I Am Too Old for This Crap

June 14th, 2012

Last weekend was Bonnaroo, a four-day music festival in Manchester, TN. My boyfriend and I woke up early on Thursday and drove for seven and a half hours (ran into an hour and a half of traffic on the way down) and arrived at what could easily be termed the hippie Mecca of the eastern United States.


I had been previously the summer after my freshman year of college with the guy I was dating at the time and a friend of mine. We had a ton of fun and met up with a bunch of his friends while there. It was basically a constant party with very little sleep.


It turns out, however, that five years makes a huge difference. When I was 19 and still in college, it was no big deal to stay up until 3 am and then wake up again at 8 am (because when the sun comes up you get up) continuously for four days in a row. Now, at the age of 24, my body just cannot handle that crap anymore. The four days wore me out.




Dispatch was amazing!

This is not to say that I didn’t have a great time, because I did. I saw Dispatch in concert, who coincidentally played their “final” concert in the midwest during Bonnaroo 2007. At the time I was super bummed to be missing that. But there was retribution! They have since gotten back together and will be releasing a new album on August 21. (Click this link Circles Around The Sun to pre-order it now!) Rest assured, there will be a review! And in case you were wondering, they were incredible in concert.


We also saw Ben Folds Five (also back together), City and Colour (soooo good!), Childish Gambino (with Donald Glover from Community), Needtobreathe, Two Door Cinema Club, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more. It was well worth the $250.


The piece de resistance was, of course, Radiohead. They are always amazing in concert, and this time was no different. They played a great combination of classics (including Karma Police) as well as new songs from their most recent album The King of Limbs, which is a marvelous album, and you should totally check it out.


This was the closest we could get for Radiohead. There were so many people. The light show was pretty intense for this concert.

Read the rest of this entry »

To Drink or Not to Drink

April 25th, 2012

I am heading to my Alma mater tomorrow to go out with some friends. Thursdays are a big night at Purdue – Cactus night. The Cactus is the closest thing you can find to a night club in West Lafayette, and there is a piano bar. I love piano bars. I am really excited to go and it is probably the last time I will be able to. Most of my friends who are still at Purdue are graduating this year so it is unlikely that I’ll have an occasion to return (or a place to stay for that matter). So the question presents itself – do I drink for my last Cactus hurrah?


The issue with drinking at the Cactus is that the cups that you purchase for your cheap (under 2 bucks) Cactus mixed drinks hold about 20 oz. Even after you account for the ice, that is still a good amount of liquor – at least two shots worth, unless you get a Long Island and then more like four. One of those and I’m at the edge of tipsy – and that’s when I’m not mid-cleanse. The other negative is that drinking is that it is obviously not part of a detoxification.


It’s something I will have to consider. I plan on starting the night with a few waters and see how I feel. If I decide to have alcohol, that’s ok. I will just continue with the cleanse afterward. If I decide not to drink, then I will be done with the 21 days on May 11 (which happens to be the day of the  celebration for my boyfriend graduating from medical school) and I will probably drink then. May 11 is technically the 21st day, but I think your boyfriend graduating from four years of med school allows for a bit of loosening of the reigns.


Today’s Food:


I tried a new raw soup today. I will post the recipe later in the recipe section of this blog, but for now know it was delicious. Carrot juice, avocado, parsley, cilantro, ginger and coriander…delish! I love ginger (to the point that my boyfriend jokingly called me a cannibal – I have red hair), and it makes this soup wonderful.


Feelings to Note:


I felt rather anxious and stressed today. This could be a side effect of the 5-HTP. It is also possible that I was hypoglycemic. Once I made and ate dinner, I felt much better.

Clean Diet 2; Day 4

April 24th, 2012

Today is day four of my second round of the cleanse. I had one slip up last night when I ate an apple after dinner (one of the principles is to not consume solid food after lunch, allowing the body to digest the food more easily and spend more energy on detoxifying your system). After the disgusting soup attempt I made last night I had to do something to cleanse my palate so I ate an apple. I put way too much onion and garlic in last night’s raw soup and it was a disaster.


Today was a great, success, however. I had my normal morning shake of spinach, almond milk, flax seed and Sunwarrior Vanilla protein powder. I had a lunch of curried rice and beans (pinto beans, onion, long-grain brown rice and curry powder). For a snack I had some carrots and an apple. And then we come to dinner.



For dinner I created a wonderful raw vegan soup: “Cream” of bRAWcoli (the cheesy puns are basically required for raw food, sorry). It was delicious. I love using cashews to make my cheeze, and I love cream of broccoli soup. Since cream is not part of the Clean program diet guidelines (which also suggest that you should have at least 51% of your food come from raw sources during the cleanse), I decided to invent my own version. Unsurprisingly, to those who know me, it included cumin. And it was to die for. Check out the recipe here.


Feelings to Note:


I had a great day today. I was full of energy and even now feel like I’m running on a crap ton (technical term) of caffeine — which I’m not, of course, as caffeine is not allowed on the cleanse. It could be the mood enhancing 5-HTP (more on this later, but feel free to read up) I am taking that is contributing to this energetic feeling, but either way, it is a welcome change to depression. Going to the gym helps too!




1 hour of Body Pump

Clean Part Deux

April 22nd, 2012

I am in detox mode again. I have decided that after gaining over five pounds, drinking every weekend, and overeating multiple times all in the last few months, it is time to get back to a clean and natural state. To do this, I am repeating the Clean diet that I did in September. I have felt so lethargic and depressed lately, and I have been neglecting my blog.
On Wednesday, I started the cleanse again. However, I ate bananas on Wednesday, which have a high sugar intake and therefore are not allowed on the cleanse — sugar causes a spike in your blood sugar and interferes in digestion and detoxification. So that day didn’t really count as clean.


On Thursday I took pain medication for the unbearable headache that I had from Wednesday night on, and I couldn’t take it anymore. Also I wanted to be able to go to Body Pump on Thursday night since I had missed it the week before (went to New Orleans for French Quarter Fest — an even bigger indication of the need for a cleanse!). So Thursday didn’t really count.

Read the rest of this entry »