Monday, August 16, 2010

So You Want to Eat Healthy and Feel Better....

I get a lot of questions such as "What do you eat everyday", "How can I transition into a more vegetarian diet", "I'm already a vegetarian, but I'm thinking of going raw, what would you recommend" or "I don't feel good eating the way I currently do, what can I do to improve how I feel" etc etc.  In honor of Meatless Mondays I decided to create a weekly blog series where I take you step by step from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a Raw Vegan diet.  Some of you will already be aware of some of the items I mention in the earlier blogs and some many not feel like they want to "go all the way".  Do what feels comfortable.  Unless you have a "terminal" dis-ease, baby steps often lead to more successful change than attempting to dive into something major all at once.  Try it all, pick a few things, whatever suits you.  Just take the time to measure how each new transition makes you feel. 

Here's a great local article regarding Meatless Mondays in Kansas

Getting Started

1. Cut out carbs, bread, pasta, pastries, etc. for a week.  Take a deep breath, don't freak out now, I know I'm asking a lot. Fact: 1 in 133 Americans have Celiac's Disease according to the Foundation of Celiac's Awareness. Now, the real problem is that as a civilization, MOST people have developed an intolerance to gluten products.  We overeat them, in mass. Donuts for breakfast, pasta salad with bread for lunch, Spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner.  Sound familiar.  Cutting out carbs for a week will give you a chance to feel if you may have an issue.  This doesn't mean you will have to say goodbye to carbs permanently (unless you do have an issue such as celiac's) however cutting back is key.  After a week without carbs, take some time to notice, do you have more energy? Also, after that week, when you eat that first piece of bread, or make macaroni and cheese, how do you feel?  Sluggish? Than carbs may not be for you.  I found that I felt horrible eating all that pasta, bread, cookies, etc. but didn't even realize it until I cut it out and attempted to add it back in again.  Now, I eat pasta maybe a once a month, although I usually go for the gluten free variety if I'm making it at home, I usually only have bread if it's served when I'm out, and try for sprouted grain varieties at home.  I notice that I really don't feel too bad when I eat some carbs here and again now, and the alternatives can be quite tasty.  If you don't notice a difference, dont' worry about it, but keep in mind that carbs can also be very fattening if you are watching your weight.

I would recommend doing this with meat, dairy, eggs, anything you feel could be causing a problem.  Take one thing out each week, and measure how you feel.  We will discuss dairy further later on.

2. Cut out the gunk aka Processed Foods.  Read the label, if you don't know what's in it, it's not good for you.  "In addition to the nearly six thousand chemicals and additives in our food, preserving processes have changed beyond recognition from the simple use of vinegar, salt, and sunshine. Many processed foods are stripped bare, rendering them of little or no nutritional value. Worse, foods are deliberately tampered with to create the desire for more. And the health effects of certain processing methods – such as the very controversial irradiation – are not yet known." Puristat Nuff said.

3. Cut out soda pop.  Obesity, bone density issues, blood sugar problems, caffeine addiction, this is only the beginning.  Put a nail in a can of soda pop and it will rust.  Think about what it is doing to your body.  There are some great alternatives out there, such as Blue Sky sodas, which are all natural.  The best choice would be to cut out soda pop all together, drink more water, coconut water, juice, tea, etc.  This one thing can make such a difference in your life.  I know people who eliminated soda pop who also eliminated headache problems, started having fewer cavities, and immediately lost weight.  If you are a soda pop addict, this would be a great place for you to start.  Statistically it takes 21 days to create or break a habit, so set your goal, get some great alternatives and get rid of soda pop!

Here's a delicious gluten free, meat free, processed junk and soda pop free recipe to inspire you to get started on a more healthy you this week!

Don't forget, your homework this week is:
1. Go Meatless on Monday's (if you are already a veggie, yay!)
2. Cut out carbs for a week (think rice, beans, quinoa, instead)
3. Eliminate processed foods. If you don't know what's in it, toss it!
4. Set a 21 day plan to cut out soda pop. Stock up on coconut water, tea, juice and drink lots of water over the next few weeks.

If you have anything in particular you would like tips on, please leave a note on the blog and I will make sure to cover it in an upcoming blog!


  1. I love the way you made it sound so simple!

  2. Great advice!
    If people would just read ingredients before putting anything in their mouth they would probably automatically cut down on the junk...the average salad dressing for instance has a long list of ingredients none of which is actually food!

  3. I'm an obsessive ingredient-list reader at the grocery store. My problem many times is the eating out factor. I tend to not pay attention to the food I'm eating at a restaurant, mostly because I look at something, it sounds tasty, I'm really hungry, and I then don't really want anything else on the list. Sometimes this is OK because what I want is the good option. Other times... it's not so OK!


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