Photo taken January 2011
Today someone mentioned to me that they were working towards getting their family raw. She said that it was "soo worth it" but that it took up a lot of her energy and time to keep her family healthy.
I wrote this in response:
"It certainly takes a lot of time and energy -- especially at first -- but the more progress you make the more time you get back out of it. I used to sleep between 8 and 10 hours every night. Now I sleep between 5 and 7 hours a night and I have more energy than I've ever had in my life -- even more energy than when I was a toddler. (I was chronically tired practically since birth.)"
It's also amazing how much more I can accomplish within a span of time. My brain seems to analyze tasks more efficiently so that I can prioritize tasks and accomplish deeds without much of any effort at all. Naturally, much of this is also due to narrowing my goals and life down to the things I really want and striving towards those things constantly without letting side distractions enter my life.
Of course, you can't just "Go Raw" and expect everything to be butterflies, rainbows and bunnies. I made a lot of mistakes in the first couple of months; like eating fruit balls every single day. Those are still a treat, even if they are worlds and worlds better for you than a twix bar could ever be.
I'd like to share the top ten things I've learned since I've harmonized myself to the sunfood diet.
- 1. One vegetable-based smoothie or juice daily, drank immediately.
- 2. One to three fruit-based smoothies or juices that contain a small amount of vegetables per day, drank immediately.
- 3. One large salad with as many diverse vegetables on it as possible per day.
- 4. (At least) three servings of whole fruits, such as an orange, cantaloupe and blackberries.
- 5. One quarter cup of nuts/seeds per day (not more than half a cup of nuts/seeds per day.)
- 6. No more than a half cup of dehydrated food in a day, accompanied by two tall glasses of water.
- 7. Lots and lots of water!
- 8. Eat fruits mostly in the morning, and nuts/seeds mostly in the evening. Try to limit combining fruits and fats to once a week or less. (Fats: mushrooms, olives, seeds, nuts and avocados)
- 9. Limit dried fruit to a quarter cup over the span of three days, and if you splurge, follow with a large green vegetable juice/smoothie.
- 10. Eat sprouts, eat spouts, and eat more sprouts.
"There never was a good knife made of bad steel." -Benjamin FranklinJust like you can't have a fit healthy body if your body is made up of cells that have been fed "bad food" or more accurately; nutrient-deficient toxin-filled stuff labeled "food."
Yesterday I wrote a bit of a rant. It's not like my usually entries on this blog, but I believe there is some information within it that is worth the read:
I'm currently taking a survey that is supposed to analyze my health on EatRightAmerica.com but the questions are starting to annoy me.
For one thing, with examples of fish it lists; "sushi, sashimi, shell fish, imitation crab and lobster meat" but it doesn't list "fresh caught high quality local fish" which is the only sort of fish I'd be willing to consume, and may consume. Also, I would only have it once a month, not one to three times a week. So I can't put down that I'm consuming fish at all, even though I have had two tiny servings in the past two months. (Each "tiny serving" was around a half cup.)
Another thing on this same page that is irking me is that it's asking if I consume vegetable or fruit juice. It doesn't ask whether it is pasteurized or not, which makes a huge difference, and it doesn't ask if I'm juicing it myself or not, which makes a tremendous difference since drinking juice within fifteen minutes of making it is crucial to getting the full benefits of the juice.
If I drank a bunch of store bought fruit juice from concentrate made from conventional fruits it would be worlds and worlds away from growing my own fruit, picking it fresh that morning, juicing it and drinking it immediately. That's like the difference between eating a meal of red meat, cheese, sugared white bread versus eating a meal of fresh vegetables and fruits.
But, in order for the results to be accurate I have to put down that I eat something I imagine. So far I've put down "none" for every food question since I don't eat red meat, cured meat, barbequed meat, canned meat, low-fat dairy or high-fat dairy (as if the level of fat was the relevant information about the dairy!), or beans, or any "imitation crab" -- as if that counts as fish! (I suppose some imitation crab meat is actually made from fish, but the ones I've seen in stores contain food coloring and refined sugar.)
I suppose I'll put down that I consume vegetable juice five to six times a week, since I have vegetables in my smoothies at least five times a week. As for fruit juice, I'll put down "more than six" since I have a smoothie containing fruit usually daily, if not twice in a day.
And nope, I don't drink alcoholic beverages... (Quit at eighteen, ironically.)
Oh, that reminds me of an earlier question that annoyed me. There was a question "Do you smoke?" and "Did you ever smoke?" and it meant cigarettes. There is no option for, "Yes, I smoked weed during my teenage years," which I think will apply to many Americans, and I do believe it is relevant to my health and to the health of anyone else taking this survey.
Onto the food questions; it's asking me how much fruit I consume, "fresh or frozen" as if that doesn't make a difference! Argh. I'm putting "more than five daily" and that is all fresh, none frozen. Today thus far I've had a banana and a half in a smoothie, a third of a pomegranate, a small bite of avocado, the juice of about quarter of a lemon, two spoonfuls of coconut kefir, two sips of coconut juice, nearly half a pint of blueberries and an apple. And it's not even noon.
Oh, nice, at least it is specifying a question for how much raw vegetables I eat as well as how much cooked, frozen or canned vegetables I eat. That's something. More than five cups daily of raw vegetables, especially since they're including lettuce and spinach. I've had about two cups of assorted baby greens today thus far for my first salad of the day.
Under cooked, frozen or canned vegetables there is no option for once a week, which is about how often I eat one cup of cooked vegetables, so I guess I'll put none.
Here is something funny, under "Other Vegetables" it lists; "Peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, peas, etc..."
Cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes are fruits, folks. Just so you know. But that's okay, in my mind I mentally consider them nutritionally like vegetables anyway, however it is still important to remember not to mix those with much (or any) fat in one meal.
Anyway, how much of those do I consume? I eat about a quarter cup of onion a day on my salads, and about a half cup of hot pepper a week, about one cucumber a week which is around two cups, around one bunch of carrots every two weeks... It's hard to say how many cups of these "other vegetables" I eat daily. Perhaps it means all vegetables that are not leafy greens, since the examples for the other were all green leafy things. I suppose I'll go with two to three daily.
"Raw nuts and seeds: How many servings (around an ounce or 1/4 cup) do you consume in a day?"
That depends on the day. I'm trying to keep it to one quarter cup a day, but I think I'm still ending up with half a cup a day. For example, I had some almond butter on celery today with my salad and it was around an 1/8th cup of almond butter. I'll put "Two daily."
This is an unfair question. Energy drinks and tea are entirely different things, also white tea is a far cry from black tea and both are farther still from sun tea made with one's own fresh herbs. Of course, the options are insane anyway. None, 3-5 Weekly, 1-2 Daily, 3-5 Daily, 5 or more Daily... I have around eight cups of green tea a week. I suppose that counts as 1-2 Daily, but it irritates me that someone who drinks an "energy drink" daily could put down the same.
"Roasted (not salted)?" None. "Roasted and Salted?" None.
"How many one-cup servings (count energy drinks double) of caffeinated drinks other than soda do you consume? Coffee, tea, energy drinks, etc?"
Cups of soda? None. Diet soda? None. Caffine-free soda? None. Diet caffine-free soda? None.
"Do you salt your food? (Either you salt when cooking or afterwards with a salt shaker.)"
There is only "yes" and "no" to this question. Well, yes. I do salt some things, on occasion. Usually raw soups, desserts I make for potlucks and that one cup of cooked vegetables a week will have salt on it. There you have my total salt intake.
"Do you avoid commercially prepared food that are high in salt such as soups and salad dressings?"
There is only "yes" and "no" to this question. Well, yes, I avoid all commercially prepared food entirely. I really begin to wonder why I'm taking this survey; as if it's going to tell me how to combat the last few issues I do have left.
"How many meals do you eat outside the home each week?" None.
"When you eat outside the home, what types of food do you go out for?"
There are many options, including Mexican, Chinese and Fast Food; I selected the "Vegan/Vegetarian" option, obviously.
"How much strength training per week? Free-weights, resistance training, machines, etc?"
The examples annoy me. Doesn't anyone do push-ups anymore? Anyway, I do about thirty minutes of "strength training" daily, so that is three and a half hours.
Ha, it figures that my answer falls in between these two options, "2-3 hours" and "4-5 hours." I guess I'll go with 2-3 since I do miss a day on occasion and rarely exceed four hours in a week.
"How much cardiovascular training per week? Biking, jogging, walking, swimming, team sports, etc."
This is one of my areas I need to improve. Around two walks to the store per week, and about an hour of indoor running and dancing per week, which means two and half hours a week. Pretty lame.
"How much flexibility training per week? Stretching, yoga, etc."
Clearly these folks have not taken yoga. Yoga is more focused on balance and strength than flexibility, by far. I've been to a number of different studios (on two different sides of the country) and it requires a lot of strength and balance, but an ordinary person's flexibility is usually adequate to at least do a modified version of any pose or series of yoga position.
Anyway, I do around fifteen minutes of yoga a day at home, plus an hour session outside of the home weekly. I miss a day around every four days, so that is around two and a half hours a week.
"What is your highest level of education?"
It doesn't list "high school drop out" as an option. I think that's funny. Anyway, I graduated high school, so I don't have to worry about that, but still it's funny that it isn't an option when I've met so many drop outs in my life.
"What is your marital status?"
Married! I love being married so much.
"Are you a parent?"
No. Not yet I'm not, at least. Give it two more years.
So I finish the survey and pull up the results. It tells me I'm eating thirteen servings of snacks a week because of all the fruit juice I drink. This is certainly a palm-to-forehead moment. Yes, store bought juice is a junk food ninety-nine out of a hundred times, but my "juice" is really blended fruit at home. *sigh* Although there are some useful statistics on the results page I can use in various places online.
"Most of us think we eat better than we really do. According to the USDA, only 19% of adults and less than 10% of children get the minimum daily requirement of nutrients. And this is from the organization that recommends 27% of your calories come from fatty animal products and dairy. When lobbyists are taken out of the equation, the nation’s top physicians in the area of nutrition put the number of healthy eating Americans at below 5%."
That's great information if you ask me. Although the fact that it says I need to consume whole grains and beans on a daily basis is a little absurd, but it's true that doing that is much better than consuming ice cream and steak and calling it dinner.
It says my weight is normal, of which I'm aware. I simply want to convert some of this last thin skein of fat into muscle. It's happening faster than ever before, and yet I still wish I could make it happen faster. I want to be fit now, or at least within six months. I don't want to have to build for three years before I look and feel really fit.
Another quote from the information that comes with the results:
"Among seniors, 28% of women and nearly 22% of men take five or more medications daily. America is by far the most medicated country in the world. With 84% of chronic conditions diet related, the overwhelming majority of medications could be avoided with a healthy diet." -- Eat Right America Online
The results go on to say that I will probably live over the age of ninety. It's good to hear that, actually. I always stress that I'm doing this for the quality of my life, but it's still good to hear that I should live over ninety anyway.
I mean, if I die next year, I still want to be healthy this year so that I can do as much as possible this last year I'm on the planet. It doesn't make sense to waste hours and days of my life being ill when it can be prevented without a loss of time or money.
In fact, it saves money and time to be healthy to such a degree that it's amazing that people say they "don't have time" or "don't have money" to be healthy at all. Whenever I hear that, I become concerned about the level of ignorance towards the reality of being healthy versus being merely "not stuck in bed."
The results go on to tell me that I am not at risk for any of the following (as it describes each of these in detail): heart attack, cardiac death, stroke, diabetes, cancer, or bone fracture. Good to hear, although I knew all of that.
There are some useful resources besides the statistics however, including a list of ANDI score stuff. There are also some appalling things, like a suggestion to use hydrolyzed alternatives... Disgusting. At least they're speaking against "trans fats" also known as hydrogenated products.
All in all, it's a good survey and results system for your average person, but to me, I found it somewhat disappointing.
Decorate your home with edible nature, and eat your decorations before they wilt!
Raederle & Edible Decor, January 2011
I love my "dining room" table being covered in edible beauty.
Please take my polls that you'll find to the right of the blog entry as well as at the bottom of the page. If you have a question for me, ask away and I'll post your question, my answer and a site you desire to link on the FAQ page. If you have not read my story, I urge you to. It's hard to understand what someone is saying the way they mean it when you don't know where they are coming from. The more we know about one another, the better we can communicate.
The divine being in me honors the divine being within you.
~ Raederle Phoenix