Your guide to the sugary axis of evil.

March 11, 2011 § 19 Comments

Well hello there!

Hope you’re enjoying this magnificent Friday! It’s my one day off from both college & work, so I am smushing as much as humanly possible into the waking hours. It’s glorious to have a whole day to fawn over food, stare at the sea and open random chapters in my nutrition textbook that look vaguely interesting. Not exactly efficient study, but the book and my eyes are simultaneously open so that’s a win, right?

You know what else fat-ass nutrition books are good for?

Strength training!

I am officially too cheap to fork out my spare change for a gym visit, so I’ve taken to creative strength-training in the comfort of my lounge room! Nothing will ever replace a gym sesh, and I dearly miss sweating, grimacing and grunting in front of an audience of buffcore dudes… However textbook squats, armchair leg-curls (releasing & retracting the recliner foot-rest) and early morning sit-ups (hauling ass out of bed) are meeting my extensive body-building needs nicely.

Moving on from my rippling biceps, I thought i’d stun two birds with one stone (no animals were killed in the making of this cliché) and write a post on sugars and artificial sweeteners that may also help me cement it in my tiny walnut brain!

Y’all already know my opinion on artificial anything. If it’s powdered, processed or packaged, it probably won’t vibe with your insides. Your body doesn’t recognise number 950 or colour 245 or white powdery flour, so it will either react, store it in some unpleasant way or alter its physiological function to cope.

Real food

Often, artificial sweeteners cause the body to respond in ways that oppose our original intention. You may buy a diet soda with zero sugar to save on calories, but because your body is receiving a substance without an energy pay-off you may end up eating more later to ‘compensate’. Not to mention many artificial sweeteners have a questionable safety status. If something is a potential neurotoxin and causes rats to grow ears on their toes, I sure as hell don’t want anything to do with it. No thank you, huge-junk-food-corporations-who-are-funding-their-own-scientific-studies. No. Thank. You.

Axis of evil board of directors:

  • Aspartame (number 951)

Aspartame is made through the combination of two amino acids, Phenylalanine and Aspartic acid, with methanol. It is commonly used to sweeten drinks, desserts, chewing gum, cookies and bakery goods. Nutra-Sweet and Equal are brand names for Aspartame. It has around 4kcal/g which is the same as sucrose, however it is 180-200 sweeter and thus less needs to be used. From the website of Dr. Mercola, “Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death.” Mmmmm tasty. People with PKU (a genetic disorder in which individuals cannot metabolise Phenylalanine) must also avoid this sweetener, and the rest of us would be wise to as well. Studies have linked it’s consumption even at ‘safe intakes’ to an increase in incidence in lymphomas and leukaemias in rats, not to mention the fact that when combined in the small intestine with the enzyme chymotrypsin, methanol is released and breaks down into formaldehyde (that’s a neurotoxin FYI!). I could go on, but I think you’re getting the idea.

More real food!

  • Acesulphame-K (number 950)

Also known as Sweet ‘n Safe (how benign) and is 150-200 times sweeter than sugar. It is usually combined with Aspartame to give a more palatable flavour and contributes no calories as it is not digested by the body. It the U.S, it is approved for use in yoghurts, chewing gums, gelatins, drink mixers, puddings, baked goods, candy, lozengers etc. Concerns have been raised about it’s status as a possible carcinogen (linked with lung and breast cancer especially) and negative effects on cholesterol levels. This was a nice little tid-bit of information I found; “To add to the supposed Acesulfame potassium dangers, its manufacture consists of several substances and one of them is Methylene chloride. This very agent is employed in industries as paint stripper and as a de-greaser or propellant agent.” Doesn’t that just make you want to throw back a cold diet bevvo?

  • Cyclamate (number 952)

It is 30-50 times sweeter than sugar, but is often used synergistically with other sweeteners for a more appealing flavour. Regularly used in cordials and soft-drinks, it is currently banned for use in the US (but 55 other countries still approve it as an additive). Studies linked it’s consumption to increased risk of bladder cancer in rats, however an appeal has been lodged by manufacturers to lift the ban as they have been unable to reproduce the negative effects in subsequent trials. Funny that.

My kinda schweet

  • Saccharin (number 954)

Saccharin, also known as Sweet and Low, is the oldest alternative sweetener and is approximately 300 times sweeter than sucrose. It is made from crude oil (are you drooling?) and has similar properties and effects to Cyclamate (which is banned, remember?). Studies have also linked it to an increased risk of bladder cancer, yet they were later labeled ‘weak’ and ‘inconclusive’. Inconclusive does not buy my trust, paid-off pseudo-scientists! It is generally used as a table-top sweetener as is becomes bitter through heating.

  • Sucralose (number 955)

Sucralose is what we know as Splenda, and is over 600 times sweeter than sucrose! You’ll find it in all the usual suspects; drinks, chewing gum, jams, frozen dairy desserts, sauces and syrups. It is at least based upon a recognisable substance (sugar which has been chlorinated) however it has possible implications for the thymus and many believe it has not been adequately researched as it is seen as more ‘natural’. I found this about it’s absorption in the body; “The absorbed sucralose has been found to concentrate in the liver, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. According to The Sucralose Toxicity Information Center, sucralose is broken down “into small amounts of 1,6-dichlorofructose, a chemical which has not been adequately tested in humans.” A big fat hmmmmm.


I’m going to leave it at that today, as these are the main baddies in that big mouth-puckeringly sweet charade. That, and my font has gone bananas and I can’t fix it. Yikes.

I’d be interested to hear how many people knew about these sweeteners and their implications, as I sure as hell didn’t realise the extent of their collective eeeevil before studying it in nutrition.

Au revoir for now!

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Sour puss.

December 22, 2010 § 11 Comments

Ever since  I was a wee lass, I’ve had an unhealthy obsession with lemon.

Lemon squeezed on toast, lemon on steak (ick), lemon used in all manner of potentially wrong and mind-boggling combinations.

Lucky for me, this bizarre fetish turned out to be exceptionally healthy.

Lemons have been revered throughout history for their medicinal and therapeutic value; the Romans considered them a weapon against all types of poisoning and Ayurvedic medicine uses them for…well…pretty much everything.

On and off throughout the last couple of years, and now religiously of a morning, I wake up and skull a mega glass of water with the juice of half a lemon squeezed in. If it’s organic, I just throw the whole hunk in there at the end for easier refills!

Let me spin the lemon sales-pitch:

  • Despite being acidic in taste, lemon juice is highly alkalizing. (An alkaline internal environment is less-hospitable to disease and chronic illness).
  • Lemon helps to detoxify, heal and restore the liver, and is currently being trialled as a remedy for hepatitis, liver cancer and AIDS!
  • When consumed in warm water on an empty stomach, it can help relieve constipation.
  • Consuming lemon in water before meals also helps to stimulate digestion. (Just remember not to drink too much too close to meal times – copious amounts of liquid can dilute stomach secretions).
  • It is a potent anti-bacterial – proven effective against a range of infectious pathogens such as malaria, cholera, diphtheria and typhoid which are destroyed in lemon-juice
  • As you all know, it is high in vitamin C – a necessary vitamin & anti-oxidant that supports immune function, lessens oxidative stress, synthesizes collagen (goodbye premature wrinkles!), acts an an anti-histamine and is currently being investigated in megadoses for the treatment of cancer.
  • Helpful in treating acute and chronic conditions of the mouth and gums.
  • The vitamin C content also helps in calcium metabolism.
  • Beautifying properties – I rub lemon on my skin if i’m having a breakout and leave it to dry. It works quite well to reduce acne scarring and dry out flare-ups.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of sauntering downstairs to the little garden out the back of my mum’s apartment, and plucking a fresh ripe lemon straight from the tree. I threw half in the blender, pith and all, with some fresh mint that I also snagged, water and ice and a small dollop of honey.

Refreshing!

I did remember to thank the tree afterwards though, and give it a soothing pat. Why? I was watching this crazy show called Weird or what? with William Shatner (best. host. ever. So much suspense between sentences!) and it looked at these amazing experiments conducted on plants. A plant was hooked up to a lie detector (that basically measures changes in physiological reactions) while a man cut off a stem. Incredibly, the lie detector registered a huge spike before the guy made the cut – as he was approaching with scissors. They did other experiments too, and the consensus was that plants may have some kind of consciousness and ability to feel. I’ve long been a believer in this theory, and my mum, avid gardener, subscribes wholeheartedly to the notion that touching and caressing plants will help them grow.

The question is, if plants have feelings…..WHAT THE HELL WILL I EAT NOW?

Breatharian anyone?

xxx

Thoughts on lemons/plants with ESP?

Ortho-what?

December 21, 2010 § 14 Comments

Orthorexia. Have you heard of it?

It’s a term coined by Steven Bratman, an alternative medicine physician who decided to put a label on the un-healthy obsession with healthy eating. Despite sounding quite oxymoronic – can excessive health really be unhealthy? – I thought it was fitting to talk about in a community of healthy living bloggers in the lead up to perhaps the most notoriously indulgent time of the year.

Here is a quote from Bratman’s original article, found here.

“Many of the most unbalanced people I have ever met are those who have devoted themselves to healthy eating. In fact, I believe some of them have actually contracted a novel eating disorder for which I have coined the name “orthorexia nervosa.” The term uses “ortho,” meaning straight, correct, and true, to modify “anorexia nervosa.” Orthorexia nervosa refers to a pathological fixation on eating proper food.

Orthorexia begins, innocently enough, as a desire to overcome chronic illness or to improve general health. But because it requires considerable willpower to adopt a diet that differs radically from the food habits of childhood and the surrounding culture, few accomplish the change gracefully. Most must resort to an iron self-discipline bolstered by a hefty dose of superiority over those who eat junk food. Over time, what to eat, how much, and the consequences of dietary indiscretion come to occupy a greater and greater proportion of the orthorexic’s day.”

Unfortunately, this sounds all too familiar, I won’t lie.

Are you giving yourself the gift of health this Christmas? Or are you paralysed by obsession?

An unfortunate side-effect of spending countless hours researching nutrition, is a shift in the balance away from eating to live, and instead fixating on the notion of living to eat. I myself am guilty of this black and white, good and bad mentality when it comes to food, sparked by my increasing interest in the benefits of a clean diet, veganism and especially raw foodism. Especially since undertaking my raw food experiment last month, I feel I have become altogether too consumed by eating ‘properly’ and more prone to extremes and excess in my diet. With my birthday just passed, and Christmas around the corner, I find myself falling harder if I happen to eat unplanned food, or that which doesn’t fit in to the healthy-eating ideal.

Why am I telling you this? Because I suspect it is a problem for many people out there, and can go unnoticed until it becomes seriously unhealthy and debilitating.

If we are eating for vitality and longevity, I believe the secret is not in the minutiae of what we ingest, or the perfection of our eating plan, rather it is a combination of all aspects of our daily practice – overcoming stress and expressing happiness and gratitude topping that list.

Mealtimes can be a struggle for people with orthorexia.

In fact, in the much-quoted Deepak Chopra book ‘Ageless Body, Timeless Mind’, he delves in to the commonalities between centenarians – those living to 100 and beyond, with surprising results. Did these men and women live lives characterised by strict rules and penitence for culinary wrongdoings? No. Actually, the common link was moderation. These people reported that they ate neither to excess or restriction, enjoyed all food groups moderately, engaged in regular exercise and generally lived average, happy lives.

I personally think that our quality of life rests more on a foundation of mental stability and spiritual contentment than it does on the finer details of our diet. That is not to say I am suddenly dismissing the benefits of clean, unprocessed food. Ohhhh ho ho ho no. I am merely exploring the possibility that allowing yourself a little more grace, as Kate over at Green and Juicy recently put it may be key to living a happier, healthier life.

I admire those people such as my Nan, a fine specimen of youthful vigour at 80+, who embody this philosophy; confident in their choices at all times, allowing themselves dessert and balancing it with an easily maintainable, healthy dietary standard.

Achieving this peaceful balance may seem simple, yet I know I struggle to embrace the spirit of moderation.

I thought it may be helpful to list some personal motivations for healthy living, with strategies for implementing more balanced behaviour:

  • I want to eat my ideal diet (free from most animal products, processed foods and chemicals) because it prevents chronic illness, promotes vitality and FEEELS AMAZING!
  • Eating consciously and taking time to examine the sources of my food helps support local farmers, enhances it’s energy and nutritional value and promotes compassion towards other living things.
  • Superfoods help me achieve new goals in health & fitness and meet my daily requirements for vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They kick the asses of free-radicals and give me that warm, beta-carotene glow.
  • I want to enjoy food made with time and care – if that means eating a large portion of my Grandma’s sponge cake, so be it.
  • I want to set an example for others – healthy food is delicious, satisfying and exciting.
  • I also want to make sure that I allow myself to eat what it is I truly crave – eating smaller amounts of foods shunned by health extremists, more frequently, is better than out-of-control gorging on cookies because I’ve become overly restrictive. Similarly, I don’t want to eat junk ‘just because’ – most of the time I would infinitely prefer one of my own vegan concoctions. Force of habit?
  • Lastly, I don’t want what I eat to rule my life. Having a food blog may be an issue in this case, but I am determined to focus on balance, not perfection. Being a perfectionist may also be an issue in this case :P.

Personal posts are always hard to publish, and I hope that by being open about my own crazy foibles, I can help people understand that there is no ‘perfect’ way to eat or live; there is merely a constant evolution of our principles and motivations on the road to achieving balance and contentment.

Oh, and because it lacked some, please find attached <humour>. 😀

What are your thoughts? Do you think food bloggers and healthy-living enthusiasts are in danger of suffering from orthorexia? What are your motivations and strategies for living a healthy, balanced life?

Hunger pangs.

December 20, 2010 § 4 Comments

Hi loverrrs!

Welcome to Christmas week. Who’s excited!? Just today i’ve been scheming up sneakily healthy and supremely tasty Christmas day recipes to catch people unawares.

‘Mmmmmm Katey, this is SO GOOD, what is it?!’

‘THAT is a RAW VEGAN dessert made with no sugar, gluten or dairy, with added Spirulina.’

‘…What’s Spirulina?’

‘Oh, y’know, just a type of ALGAE with amazing and abundant super food health properties.’

*gulp*

Congratulate yourself for popping your friend/parental/distant, senile relative’s super-charged sea vegetable cherry.

*************************************

In other news, I am continually ravenous.

Not because I no longer have enough money to feed myself after the photography splurge (although that will probably become an issue once I return to Sydney to fend for myself).

Not because my metabolism has suddenly gone into overdrive (although that could be handy on Christmas day. Increased speed + efficiency of digestion = more scope for x-mas feasting).

Namely, because I am spending far too long doing this.

They say you should guzzle a smoothie within the first few minutes to reap the benefits of the freshly pulverized ingredients before they oxidize. My smoothies hang around so long, i’m certain I end up spooning nutritionally empty mush into my mouth, 20 minutes later. All my meals have had to be adjusted to compensate for this self-imposed time difference. Katey plates up 30 minutes before the family in order to do her kooky photography thang.

This breakfast smoothie was merely to tide me over while I took photos of the mung bean sprouts I’ve grown over the last few days (see below) but I ended up subjecting it to it’s own shoot, and slurping it whilst perusing iPhoto, and surfing the net. Mindful eating – I think not.

It was seriously yummy though:

2 small frozen bananas

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

massif handful of baby spinach

2 heaped tsp Spirulina

hazelnut & rice milk

Blend blend blend for a smooth, creamy and dreamy breakfast delight.

***********************************************

I also promised SPROUTS. And sprouts ye shalt receive!

As you know, I’m a complete chicken when it comes to preparing things that have more than a few, easily comprehensible steps. Things i’ve never attempted before, and the cultivation of ‘living’ foods (such as sprouts and Kefir) also fall under the umbrella of daunting kitchen processes that I put off for a rainy day.

In the spirit of the challenge (and because my mum has superior resources such as pretty mason jars and cheesecloth) I decided to sprout me some mung beans that I picked up at the farmers market.

Like most things, it wasn’t nearly as hard or labour intensive as I imagined. I followed my gut (always a dependable option) and found myself with gorgeous living sprouts two days later!

 

Steps:

Get your hands on some organic dried mung beans (would work with other beans/legumes too I assume).

Measure out half a cup of the beans and rinse thoroughly, picking out any stones or debris.

Pour into a glass jar, and cover with a decent amount of water. No measurements here, just remember the beans will expand to about double their original size.

Let soak overnight (8-12 hours).

In the morning, strain and rinse beans and place back in jar, laying it on it’s side and covering the opening loosely with some cloth or paper towel.

Rinse your little babies every 8 hours or so, and watch them start to shoot! (N.B They are not sitting in water anymore, just moistened from the rinsing).

After 2 days, this is what I awoke to.

I plan to throw them on salads, try out some new raw recipes, and enjoy eating food that is literally still living and growing.

I’ll pop them in the fridge soon to stop them sprouting, and apparently they can keep for a week or two.

What have you made in the kitchen lately that has challenged you?

Catch you soon! xx

Raw day 2.

November 13, 2010 § Leave a comment

Howdy!

Firstly, thanks for the v. sweet comments and pro-raw support. Your virtual pep talks get me through!

Truth be told however, this has so far been the most natural feeling ‘diet’ in the world, and I haven’t experienced any hellacious cravings or ‘I wish that was me wrapping my fangs around a juicy burger’ moments at all. Yes it’s only day three (well, day 2 recap for you! Still catching up). Yes i’m going to remain cautiously optimistic that 80/10/10 raw is somehow my life calling, and will revolutionize my being. Day three wisdom rules.

I woke up feeling great, so much so that I took my vibrams off for a beachside stroll pre-breakfast. Early morning workouts are a rarity seeing as my all-encompassing love of food calls for nourishment, pronto, upon awakening. Today was the exception. The walk turned into a wistful stroll at the water’s edge, lamenting that I hadn’t worn my swimmers for a 7am dip. The longing pout turned into a loopy grin as I realised bathers weren’t necessarily a requirement, and launched into the surf irregardless of running attire. The impromptu swim turned into one hell of a chafing on the way home.

Breakfast this day was more substantial, and included a whole young coconut, smoothie with 2 bananas, broccoli greens and carob, chia seeds in young coconut water and apples, of which I could only manage one. Stuffed does not begin to describe.

Like yesterday, I experienced ‘spaceyness’ mid-morning, this time accompanied by a slight headache. I felt pretty lethargic and forced myself out of the house to try and snap out of it. It seemed to dissapate after lunch, with those crazy giddy feelings of random excitement appearing out of nowhere later in the afternoon.

Lunch featured more kale and more mountains of grated veg, with a pretty beetroot jus.

More banana/avocado pudding action.

I think I ate my weight in apples and pears as well, and took another huge salad with tahini for dressing + giant fruit salad with banana to work with me.

This was where I started to feel not too hot, and after a few hours standing around behind the counter my stomach started to swell, feeling bloated and distended, and I couldn’t even finish my salad. Some tum was not happy, and made it’s feelings known. The rest of the night I had an uncomfortable stomach ache, accompanied by some digestive woes, that may be due to incorrect food combining (fats + fruits) or more probably to do with the massive increase in fiber and general volume of my diet.

I came home hungry, but still feeling like a giant gaseous planet, so devoured 1.5 frozen bananas just for good measure.

In other respects though, I feel like this has been really easy for me to dive into, as I feel completely ‘balanced’ in terms of listening to my body’s cues for hunger, and delightfully satisfied by the array of sweet fruits at my disposal. My friends think i’m bonkers, I prefer nutritionally eccentric.

Thanks again for the well-wishes, hope you’re all having a great weekend, and I would LOVE to hear about any crazy lifestyle experiments you yourselves have embarked upon!

Peace x

In the raw.

November 12, 2010 § 12 Comments

Why hello!

How is everyone? I’ve been off in my own dreamy little world of books, beach romps and study sesh’s. Oh, and i’m officially raw. For now.

Double take. WHAT?!

Let’s start a the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start.

Basically, in a lazily brief summary, all this immersion in books such as Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, countless ebooks and websites concerning the raw food diet and even Born to Run, have contained a common thread that suggests returning to a simpler, more natural way of being that i’ve latched onto with the fire of one thousand red-heads.

In Born to Run, arguments spring forth that we are in fact, running people whose innate ability to pound out 100 mile marathons and scamper over boundless plains in pursuit of an animal target (while practically barefoot) leaves modern notions as to the dangers of jogging and the necessity for shiny new Nike’s with 10 layers of astonishingly expensive air underfoot, lacking. The last vestiges of this superhuman stamina manifest in the Tarahumara Indians, living in isolation in the treacherous Copper Mountains in Mexico. They eat a simple diet in accordance with the natural resources at their disposal (including Chia Seeds, thank you very much) and run, because it’s what they’ve always done.

Many of our modern woes, such as obesity, shin splints and knee reconstructions it is argued, actually stem from a) inactivity and b) crazy, cushiony joggers that cause us to run incorrectly when really, our natural barefoot method conditions us in the correct way. Yet another example that simple & natural is best.

Similarly, Deepak Chopra has unleashed in me a new found appreciation of thoughts, feelings, energies manifesting in the physical. Having positive intentions and visualizing what you want in life seems to align with much of what I already took to be true – going through life with a positive outlook & appreciating the lessons we experience daily, if we care to look, goes a long way towards happiness.

But what in the name of Buddha does this have to do with raw foods?

For one, I’m increasingly aware of the energy of things; it’s no secret that fresh young coconuts bring me so much happiness that I find myself talking, thinking and dreaming about them (incidentally, my desire for coconuts often manifests in bouquets of them arriving at my doorstep care of the man, and other visitors. Ask and ye shall receive my friends!).

I now know that the intense joy of cleaving open a juicy young nut may be due to more than just an unhealthy addiction. There is also an energy at work in these beautiful, fresh, organic foods.

Kirilian photography, as seen above, is a form of (controversial) imaging that claims to capture energy fields as emitted by animate objects. Likewise, photographs of water that has been bestowed with  ‘blessings’ show it taking beautiful, crystallized forms, influenced seemingly by the power of positive intention.

Regardless of whether this is altogether too heavy on the chakras and spoon-bending for you, there is no denying that energy is fundamental to all life – it animates us, and the things we eat. When I have the misfortune of going to a chain supermarket, I see mountains of packaged food, unnaturally shiny apples and a pronounced absence of living energy. These foods seem to be ‘dead’, and retain little or none of their former vitality. They have been chopped, waxed and polished into submission.

When I frolic around in my little organic fruit store of choice however, I see dirty, intact, and gloriously nuanced examples of real produce, recently picked and grown in happy, chemical-free surrounds.

Interestingly, that Healing with Wholefoods book that you’re probably dead sick of hearing about, points out the importance of preparing your food with care and with gratitude; if it is for a sick person, try to imbue the meal with positive thoughts and energy because food created and eaten with stress and negativity damages the whole vibe. Maaaaan.

This is one aspect of why I think it’s just grand to eat living foods (but not in a cruel way, I consult the veggies first to gain their consent :D)

So. Back to raw.

The lovely Kate kindly sent me an ebook on raw foods at the beginning of the week that I promptly devoured in a matter of hours. It is by a veritable guru of living foods named Frederic Patenaude and champions the 80/10/10 way of eating; that is, eating 80% calories from carbohydrates, 10% from protein and 10% from fat. Basically fruit/veg/some seeds and nuts.

Wowzer! You scared?! I’m sure as hell not.

The way this diet plays out is eating pounds of fruit and vegetables each day along with some seeds, whilst trying to limit dietary fat.

I can hear you yelling profanities at me already. My flatmate immediately verbalised multiple levels of distrust in the whole scheme.

Allow me to address them as best I can.

Firstly, please know that I am trialling this – I don’t know for how long. I’m a huge believer in forming an opinion based on experience, because I realise there are compelling justifications for any and every school of nutritional thought. This is why, besides all the astounding accounts i’ve read of the 80/10/10 diet, I’m aiming for practical application in my own life. It could be life-changing, it could be too hard, it could end in tears. Bring it.

On a practical level, let me make a few pro-low-fat-raw arguments.

As long as i’m getting adequate calories each day, I will reach my protein requirements with ease.

The recommended protein intake for an adult is around 10% from total calories, however many people on the SAD (standard American/Australian diet) consistently achieve an excess. Interestingly, the protein content of a mother’s milk is around 6%, 6% at the time of crucial growth and development of a child. Does this tell us something?

All fruits and vegetables contain protein, though a common misconception that resulted largely from the ‘incomplete protein theory’ by Frances Moore Lappe is that they are not optimal for humans. It suggested that because there are no complete sources of the essential amino acids in plants as there are in meat, we would need to combine them in certain ways for proper nutrition.  Frances herself later admitted that this theory was incorrect upon discovering that the body stores amino acids in such a way that we do not need to consume them ‘all-in-one-go’.

So frankly protein is the least of my worries.

You may also be worried by the ‘low-fat’ aspect of this approach. In no way have I ever sought to reduce dietary fat intake, and the word ‘skim’ makes me shudder. However after reading Frederic’s compelling explanation as to how detrimental high-fat vegan diets can be, and my own research that points to an overload of fat in the bloodstream making it harder for insulin to carry-out glucose reuptake by the cells (thus resulting in permanently elevated blood sugar levels), I feel quite confident in the 10% fat ideal. It also rings true with what my naturopath mentioned to me months ago about how she thinks my body struggles to metabolize too much fat.

Only when stopping to assess my ‘normal’ diet did I realise how much fat I was actually putting away. I was snacking on loads of Tahini, nuts, seeds…lard. I think this was also the cause of a lot of skin issues.

I’m also making sure to get ample calories. You cannot go successfully raw on 80/10/10 if you assume you can just keep eating your normal portions and replacing them with fruit and salad. I’ve tried this once before when I was a hopeless newbie and experienced the dizzy, fuzzy-headed emotional train-wreck that comes from a malnourished Katey. As supernanny says, it is no’ acceptable.

Would you like to know the magnitude of my eats to meet my energetic needs?

It goes something along the lines of, 300 bananas.

Maybe not that many, but seriously, a monkey-load of bananas. Amongst other delightful fruits, vegetables, seeds and avocado (but not TOO much).

Speaking of monkeys, another argument for the low-fat-raw-diet is the fact that our closest genetic counterparts; primates like chimpanzees and gorillas eat in a similar way, gorging on fruits, some veg and nuts when in season. And look at them! Beasts.

But what about variety you ask? To that I say, there is an abundance! When you begin to eat fruits and vegetables in their natural state, you cultivate an obscene enjoyment of their perfect, simple taste. They are SO DELICIOUS on their own; why meddle with that mother nature chick?

There is probably a ton more raw food propaganda that I could hurl at you, but for now, my tirade ends here.

Oh, here are some irrelevant pictures of my new ‘goals’ board for your viewing pleasure. Mock away! But I will get that camera garnsarnit.

This is also a failed smoothie-in-a-bowl I made the other day. It was so promisingly pretty but so totally puke-worthy. I though you might like to observe the grossness!

There you have it! I can’t believe I just shared this on the internet…so accountable right now. I’m hoping to give 100% raw a decent go, so I too can share that boundless energy and mental clarity which so many converts claim to experience. I want raw nirvana, pronto.

Here are some great links too, if you don’t feel sufficiently drained from the epic length of this post!

Yes, you can put avocado in that.

November 5, 2010 § 9 Comments

Hey hey hey blogerinos!

What’s this top secret plan that is unfolding in the halls of Bonne Santé? Well, it’s not really that top secret nor planned, but it does involve a day of impromptu raw-dom. You could say i’ve been in the raw for the past 24 hours.

I usually try to eat 2 meals a day uncooked, but have been toying with the idea of experimenting in a more extreme sense, with complete & utter raw behaviour. Just for a day. Just to dabble in the world of boundless energy, heightened awareness and excessive crunching. (I also realise that it would take a longer stint of said eating to reap such grand benefits, but humour me here.)

Day one? I’m wanting it to roll over into day two.

I have a strange feeling that this kind of eating just sits right with my particular constitution (even in Ayurvedic medicine, my dosha is best suited to a vegetarian diet with lots of raw, cooling foods). Read more about doshas here.

Again, I hear you, it will take time.

But why not enjoy the most tasty, delicious smoothie known to wo-man on such a glorious day?

Avocado, Banana, Tahini & Honey thickshake

1 medium frozen banana

1/2 ripe avocado

1 tsp tahini

1 tsp raw honey

1 cup raw nut milk

I know i’ve gone on about delicious avocado creations in the past, but i’m going to hammer it home: avocado makes for a rich, creamy, mousse-like raw drink, beyond your wildest sexy veggie dreams!

This was one of the best tasting things of my life…and I don’t say that lightly! I plan to test it on the guinea pig boyfriend this weekend, wheee!

So back to raw talk. What the hell have I been eating?

Well, there are many camps in the raw brigade; low-fat, high-fat, intricately prepared dehydrated masterpieces, simple fruit &vegetarians… Confusing for a girl who is notoriously indecisive.

To me, it seems sensible to eat a majority of vegetable & fruit matter, with a few fats for satiety and perhaps some sprouted grains here and there. Contrary to popular belief, you are supplied with ample proteins from vegetables, seeds & nuts – no deficiencies here. Likewise, calcium is also found in green leafy vegetables & sea veggies in abundance. To Osteoporosis I say, begone!

I mainly want to make sure I get enough calories (not that I care about those little buggers in any real sense) because it’s easy to undereat on a diet of so much water & fiber.

Today I ate:

1 young coconut + chia seeds

1 blood orange

1 banana

1 apple

sultanas & goji berries

few slices pineapple & rockmelon

above avocado smoothie

giant salad with kale, baby spinach, carrot, zucchini, beetroot, mushrooms, sesame seeds & seaweed

1 apple

another giant salad with the other half of the avocado, a some soaked almonds, flax-seed oil & lemon juice

I don’t think was quite enough calories, but it just feels like you’re eating HEAPS! This is why it sits so well with me, obviously 🙂 I love to feel like I can eat a whole basket/bucket/trailer-load of something and be on the right track.

If you’re interested in learning more about raw food diets…get on google! Just kidding, Karen Knowler is really helpful, as is the Living & Raw foods community.

Since I’m spamming you with articles, I’ve been collecting a few that I thought might tickle your fancy-pants:

* The importance of detoxing to combat acidosis & toxemia  – Kate from Green and Juicy (fellow aspiring Naturopath!) sent me this link and it’s a very informative read.

* 3 causes of illness – from Crazy Sexy Life – are you hooked up with this amazing resource yet?!

* Raw for 30 days; reversing diabetes – trailer for the documentary

* Alcohol more damaging to health than crack cocaine – Natural News article

* Not strictly health related, but check out these insanely cute, eco-friendly totes, purses & make-up bags from Apple & Bee – my friend sent me the link & i’ve had to restrain myself from buying the whole collection as christmas presents (Mum, look away, you may or may not be receiving one of these…along with the rest of my extended family. Ha!)

What are your thoughts on raw foods? Are you a raw foodist, or think it’s too extreme? Any tips for the Bonne Santé newbie?

xxx

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