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OMBacon and a Health Update

July 26th, 2014

BaconAs you can probably discern from the title and the photo, I have tried bacon. And it is everything they said it was….
 
I know, I’m incredibly late to this party. Everyone has been telling me for years, “I would go vegetarian, but I can’t give up bacon”, and “don’t you miss bacon?” The funny thing is, I honestly didn’t. I would smell it cooking occasionally, and the smell wasn’t entirely unpleasant, but it didn’t make my mouth water. I didn’t need to have it.
 
But now, after an almost 15-year hiatus, I have eaten bacon again. Twice, in fact. At this point, I’m really not sure why people eat anything other than bacon. (Scurvy might be a good motivation…)
 
Granted, I ate uncured bacon from Whole Foods. While this was not pastured bacon, Whole Foods does claim a certain standard of care for their pork sources. Per their website:
- No synthetic nitrates
- No artificial ingredients
- No antibiotics
- No added hormones (which are noted to be illegal in the US anyway)
 
Further info (though a bit dated) talks about the standard of care for the pigs that are sourced for Whole Foods bacon:
- Vegetarian diets
- No gestation or Farrowing crates (no crates or cages allowed)
- Bedding required in housing
 
So while the Bacon is not from pastured pigs (they were probably fed corn and soy, likely GMO), this is still decent quality bacon that I don’t feel too badly about purchasing. And it tasted amazing! Now to get my hands on some pastured bacon from a local farm!!!
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Why I am No Longer Vegan

July 14th, 2014

This is an incredibly difficult post for me. And because of that, I have waited to make it. Until two weeks ago, I had been consistently vegan or vegetarian for almost 15 years. It had become part of my identity. Everyone who has known me for longer than a week knows me as that vegan girl (with crazy dietary habits). I have whole friend groups that are based upon the fact that we all don’t eat meat. And changing that, admitting to the world that I have changed that, is scary.
 
It’s not that I fear losing friends. The friendships that were based on our dietary preferences but little else will dissolve unless new connections can be formed. The friends who value animals more than they value our friendship will stop talking to me. That might be painful (depending on who it is), but at the same time, if all we had in common was this one dietary/lifestyle choice, were we friends to begin with?
 
What’s really scary is letting go of that identity. I was vegetarian. I defined myself by that designation.
 
I want to take a moment to explain why I made this decision. I know many vegans and vegetarians will find issue with my choices, but they are mine and I must do what is best for my body and my life.
 
Digestion
 
As stated in the previous post, I have been struggling with digestive issues – bloating, IBS, constipation, B vitamin deficiencies besides getting enough through diet and supplementation indicating poor utilization or digestion of the sources. After going back to cooked vegan, the bloating improved (instead of being all day it was only after high legume meals) but the IBS and nutritional issues stayed about the same.
 
This makes sense (and I should have guessed it due to previous research on this topic), due to the grains and legumes that I had added back to my diet. Grains and legumes contain high levels of anti-nutrients that block absorption or interfere with digestion (yes it’s a wikipedia article…I’m being research lazy today) so it’s no wonder that my digestion did not improve with this new diet.

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Struggles with Raw Veganism

July 12th, 2014

I’ve always been interested in trying a raw vegan diet – over the years I have eaten high raw for weeks on end and even did a 30-day 100% low fat raw vegan (LFRV) challenge, but I never ate this way hard core and long term until I moved to Houston.

 

High Raw Lifestyle 

 

Last August, I moved into Houston and began to check out what the local culture had to offer. I started going to the Rawfully Organic Co-Op, founded and run by FullyRawKristina and was increasingly inspired to follow the low fat raw vegan lifestyle. In September of 2013 I began eating about 90-95% fully LFRV (with one cooked meal a week).

 

My daily diet looked something like the following:

 

Breakfast:

Kale smoothie

1 bunch kale

6-10 bananas

 

Lunch:

Mono meal of 8-10 oranges, apples, pears or bananas

(mono meals are big in the LFRV lifestyle where you eat only one fruit for the meal)

 

Dinner:

Large salad with dressing made of 1/2 a small avocado (only overt fat consumed all day)

Or perhaps spiralized zucchini or cucumber to make a raw “pasta” with an Alfredo sauce made with 1/2 a small avocado

 

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The Best Laid Plans or Life Changes

June 30th, 2014

My best laid plan of blogging consistently last year went seriously awry. Basically, life happened and my priorities shifted. A year ago, I was still living in Lima, OH (a small town an hour away from any major city) that was bereft of even the simple modern convenience of a local book store (I am the type who still likes to read an actual book, despite owning a Kindle – the Kindle was a gift, and was used out of necessity rather than desire. Now, though, I find the convenience of downloading a book immediately at a reduced price does have its appeal.). I was eating a typical vegan diet (I did manage to keep the new year’s resolution of being vegan for a year) of processed vegan meats, tofu, veggies, fruits, the occasional fried item, some junk food – vegan ice cream, candy – and still drinking alcohol on the weekends – if I’m honest, way too much alcohol. I did however stay mostly gluten-free (incidental gluten from food contamination was likely consumed). More detail on the diet in future posts, as there is a great deal to say on that subject. 

 

Around July of last year, it became painfully clear to me that I had to quit drinking (yes, again, but this time more permanently). I was blacking out almost every weekend, which was becoming increasingly dangerous (..duh). Not only would I decide one drink in that, “Hey, I’m fine, I can have another”, but I would also have inconsistent metabolism of the alcohol depending on the night. Sometimes I would drink on a full stomach and get drunk after 4 drinks, and sometimes, on a full stomach, it would take only two. I was also on anti-depressants at the time. When the doctors say you shouldn’t consume alcohol on anti-depressants, listen to them. They know what they are talking about.

 

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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

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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 »