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Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Oh yahoo home page, how I love thee.  This little excerpt is taken from the following article:
"What is orthorexia? Identified in 1997 by Colorado physician Steven Bratman, MD, orthorexica is Latin for “correct eating.” Here, too, the focus isn’t on losing weight. Instead, sufferers increasingly restrict their diets to foods they consider pure, natural and healthful. Some researchers say that orthorexia may combine a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder with anxiety and warn that severely limited “healthy” diets may be a stepping stone to anorexia nervosa, the most severe - and potentially life-threatening - eating disorder.
Orthorexics: Those affected may start by eliminating processed foods, anything with artificial colorings or flavorings as well as foods that have come into contact with pesticides. Beyond that, orthorexics may also shun caffeine, alcohol, sugar, salt, wheat and dairy foods. Some limit themselves to raw foods."

So I am going to address this one because I can just see it coming up at my next social engagement. 

My first impression as a psychology major- yep.  Makes sense.  I can see how any eating style that restricts food in any way shape or form- from Weight Watchers to Raw Food- could turn into a compulsion, especially for a person has a predisposition to anxiety disorders, especially OCD. Could a person who is a raw foodist have an eating disorder?  Absolutely.  But making raw foodists the poster children for Orthorexia is unfair.

People who are trying to achieve ultimate health by cutting out processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, sugar, wheat, salt, and dairy food should not be treated as anorexic freaks.  Doing this doesn't seem like an eating disorder to me.  It seems like common fucking sense.

Sugar- bullshit.  Empty calories, no nutritional value.  Garbage.  

Same goes for caffeine.  There are anxiety disorders that are directly attributed to caffeine consumption. It stresses the adrenal glands.  It is has no nutritional value. 

Alcohol. Any substance that can cause someone severe life distress and send them to rehab??? Yep, I can see giving that up.  Any health benefits reaped from alcohol can be found from other sources- like concord grape juice.

Wheat- a known allergen.  Speaking from someone who is wheat/gluten intolerant, I  sure am better off without it- as are many other people, especially those with Celiac Disease.  It works for many people in their diet, but it doesn't seem unreasonable to cut it out.

Dairy- same scenario.  It is also mucous forming.  Many people are allergic or intolerant. Again, not something unreasonable to cut out of your diet.  

I'm not saying these foods are evil and everyone should give them up.  God knows I can slam down some vodka with the best of 'em and I truly believe that there is no "one size fits all" nutritional plan.  But the point that I am trying to make is that it is perfectly reasonable to not want these foods in your diet.  I wouldn't label anyone who cut these foods out of their diet with an eating disorder and I wish the media would be a little bit more responsible with their words. 


Today's weird health food moment is brought to you by Kefir Water. 

Ready for it guys???? 

Many of you have seen Kefir sold in the form of drinkable yogurt or even coconut milk yogurt or have experienced the effervescence in the form of Kombucha Tea.  To keep it as simple as possible, through the process of fermentation, kefir grains are live cultures that create pro biotics that help to balance the digestive tract. 

So my lovely friend Lisa, who has been coming up a lot this week, has been making her own Kefir water.  She gave me some of her extra Kefir grains and I have started making my own!!!  What a great money saver!!!  Instead of spending 3.50 a bottle on Kombucha, I have my own pro biotic, raw water hanging out on my counter all the time just waiting for me to drink it!!!  So cool! 

Not only is making my own cost effective, but I love that it is one less thing to put on my grocery list!!!  And it is so easy!!!!  And the kefir grains keep growing and growing and growing!  So there is plenty to share!!!  I love this simple form of abundance!  If anyone is interested, I am happy to share some of my extra grains with you!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Point.

After my meat "bender" this past week/weekend, I was lucky enough to do some serious friend psychotherapy with Nate and one of my best girlfriends, Lisa.  These two are the wind beneath my wings, the sane in my insane, and the two people who always seem to get me at my worst and manage to bring out my best.  I am so thankful for my dream team!

So here is my assessment:  First, I had raging PMS (I'm not sure if that was clear from my lame negative self-talk) and my psychotic break took place on an empty stomach after a hardcore Crossfit workout.  Second, I have been very stressed out over the past couple of months with trying to maintain this lifestyle, school, life, etc and may have just needed to feel like a rebel.  Third, there was something I needed to learn. 

I am not perfect (clearly), nor do I need to be.  I get wrapped up in rules and thinking if I am not perfect, I am going to disappoint everyone -especially you, my lovely blog readers!  That type of mentality is not serving me.  In fact, it is stressing me out and needs to get chucked.  Eating, food prep, and grocery shopping has also become WAY too hard.  I have to keep it simple!!!  Complicated recipes do not work for a lady who is as on the go as I am.  Also, the way I was eating was not working.  Too much fruit and not enough raw protein is a recipe for disaster that leads me to sugar crashing and steak seeking behaviors. 

I also needed to remind myself why I am trying to live a raw vegan lifestyle in the first place.  I am doing this for my health and the health of our environment.  My heath being top dog.  My husband and my friend both pointed out that stressing out and getting upset is going to counteract every last healthy, raw morsel I put into my body.  So now, as I move forward, once again- I have some gentle reminders for myself and maybe they will help you guys too.

Sometimes I am going to have a meat bender.  Or drink too many cocktails.  Or cuss too much.  Or put my foot in my mouth.  And I'm okay with that because even if I am a repeat offender, (which I TOTALLY am) I learn something new about myself every time and I'm pretty sure that is the point. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter my loves!!! 
Today is a day of beautiful celebration!  A celebration of new life, new beginnings, family, and friends.  And of course, chocolate!!!! 

Our Easter baskets brimmed with delicious confections from Oasis Living Cuisine in Frasier, PA.  After I made the girls and I our Easter Chocolate Cherry Coconut Sun Warrior Smoothie this morning (lots of fat and protein to counteract the sugar), we all sat down for our post breakfast dessert of Raw Chocolate.  It was glorious!  Absolutely glorious!  And now as I bask in the glow of a beautiful morning and have the wonderful buzz of raw chocolate coursing through my veins, I can't wait to start my day.  

(So, hypothetically, if someone started their period on Easter Sunday, do they get double the chocolate????  Just sayin'!!!!)

Happy Easter to everyone today!!!  Cheers to you today and your families and to all of the love that is shared between us!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ooops I Did it Again

Today I feel like an asshole and today's blog is my confessional. 

Last night, I ate meat for the first time in MONTHS.  Months I tell you!  I was almost out of the woods with cravings, thinking about it, and had almost moved completely forward into my high raw almost fully vegan delightfully beautiful life!  BOOM.  It happened.  I ate a stupid steak.  Yeah, when I cheat, I'm not messing around am I?  I didn't go fish.  I went balls to the walls.  And as delicious as it was, the side of guilt that came along with it was probably not worth the few delicious, decadent moments of foodgasm. 

Today I did what I am now calling the Facebook Conference Call.  It's like having all of my friends chime in with amazing stories, advice, and words of encouragement about a topic of my choosing!!!  YAY!!!  Today I was probing into the heads and hearts of my lovie bears and exploring their experiences with vegetarianism- with special emphasis on what its like to be a vegetarian in a non-veggie family/relationship.  My smart, intuitive girlfriends keep asking the same question:  "Why do you feel guilty?  Is it because of health or morals?"

Shall we explore????

When my husband and I first began dating, my diet consisted of diet coke, diet yogurt, cigarettes, and shots.  I had no concept of health.  I didn't even know about "wheat" bread.  Seriously.  No clue.  I didn't eat red meat or pork, but I ate chicken and fish.  This also makes me laugh because the meat was really the least of all saccharine ridden evils.  Nate was a full on health conscious veggie head, and I quickly adopted his lifestyle.  Pretty soon I had quit smoking (almost completely), given up meat, and moved away from the sodas and the whites.  We were a full fledged vegetarian wonder duo!  When we got married we had vegetarian dinners and brunches for our friends and stuck together on our moral eating value system. 

Then...I got pregnant.  I was dreaming about steaks.  Dreaming, my friends.  I hadn't eaten red meat or pork since I was 13 years old.  I couldn't remember what a steak tasted like, but I knew I wanted one.  I fought off turning to the dark side until the third trimester when I just couldn't take it anymore.  Then I started with the gateway food:  salmon.  Next it was wings, then steaks.  Nate also started eating meat.  And instead of team veggie, we were now team meat.  We went right from Aniston to Jolie without skipping a beat.  We watched the food channel, learned tons of new recipes and embarked on a new moral and culinary journey.
Since then, I have been waffling back and forth in my dietary lifestyle choices for the past six years, while Nate has no interest in returning to our past vegetarian lifestyle.  I will go months and months as a vegetarian, vegan and/or raw,  then will run head first into a filet mignon.  

Writing this blog today has allowed me to finally acknowledge my problem: It is really difficult for me to be embarking on this raw vegan journey alone.  I miss having my partner in food.  Sometimes I think my backlashes are less about eating the meat and more about feeling bonded with my husband and my family.  It is really difficult when I try out new recipes and my foodie buddy could care less.  I am so excited about the way I feel and no matter how many beautiful, amazing friends I have to share it with, it just isn't the same as sharing it with my husband.   

So here today's analysis:  I feel guilty because I know eating meat is not healthy or ethical.  I feel sadness because I'm mourning the fact that I can no longer bond with my best friend over something that used to be so much fun for us:  food and the kitchen. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Healthy Snacks for my Healthy Loves.

Here are some quick, easy healthy snack ideas for you guys to try.  Most of these are kid favorites, so experiment with yourself and your tiny guinea pigs.

Sweet and Salty Cashews
1/4 c. raw cashews
1 tspn raw Agave nectar
a sprinkling of Himalayan Salt or sea salt

Yum Tastic Brown Rice Cakes
Spread a brown rice cake with anything delicious
agave, honey (not vegan), raw almond butter, peanut butter, your favorite jam

*my favorite is almond butter mixed with honey (not vegan) or agave with sliced bananas on top

Carrot sticks, apples, or celery dipped in peanut or almond butter with some raisins on top

And are some of my favorite store bought snacks. These items will kill a snack attack faster than you can say PMS.  They aren't always raw, but vegan and gluten free fo' sho'

Glutino Gluten Free Pretzel Twists
Lara Bars
So Delicious Coconut Milk Chocolate Almond Ice cream bars
So Delicious Coconut Milk Fudge Pops
Luna and Larry's Organic Coconut Bliss Ice cream in Dark Chocolate mixed with Island Vanilla (add some coconut milk, mix all three together in the blender and you have a black and white milk shake)
For those soda drinkers out there
Zevia Brand Natural Soda- 0 calories, no caffeine, and uses Stevia, not artificial sweeteners.  Does have erythritol, but sometimes I will take one for the team on that.  My favorite so far is Black Cherry. 

*all of these items can be found in the organic section of Wegmans

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Crossfit- You keep asking, so now I'm going to tell

I have been getting a ton of emails and phone calls about Crossfit.  Here are the dirty deets my loves:

There are a couple of resources I am going to suggest you look in to to get the history, examples of workouts, and nearby Crossfit gyms:
www.crossfitinspire.com (Frasier, PA) 
www.crossfitwc.com (West Chester, PA)
www.crossfitkop.com (King of Prussia, PA)
www.crossfitsouthphilly.com (Souf Philly, PA)

I started going to Crossfit Inspire in Frasier at the end of December.  I learned about it from two of my friends who are elite athletes.  When these two brutes started posting on facebook that workouts were kicking their asses, my curiosity was peaked.  So, I started emailing and talking to them and doing my own research.  I've been at it now for about 5 months and I am hooked. 

I am going to try to keep this concise, but when I am passionately all about something, that can be very hard for me.  So here I go.

l. Every day is different
2. Every day I accomplish something I never thought I could do
3. The trainers know what they are doing and are not douche bags.  They treat you with respect and are not intimidating.  They answer questions and will explain things over and over if need be (I know from experience on this)
4. The atmosphere is friendly.  People are nice!  Really, really nice!  Like, I would actually hang out with them outside of the gym!
5. There are all kinds of people, not just psycho fitness people.  There are moms, dads, college kids, high school kids, and my personal favorite The Fit Before 50 Club.  Gotta LOVE that!  There are people who are 115 pounds and people who are 300 pounds.  Some people are dressed in the latest fitness gear, some people have holes in their shirts.  No one really seems to pay attention.
6. For anyone who has spent their life as an athlete, this runs very much like a practice.  I love it!!!!   This is very down to earth and bottom line- EFFECTIVE.
7. They promote a dietary guide.  THANK YOU!!!!  Because no matter how hard you work out, if you are throwing down tasty cakes and pizza, you will not see results.  They promote the Paleo Diet, which consists of  meat, fruit, veggies, nuts and seeds.  People also work on their eating habits together so there is a lot of recipe sharing and emotional support. 
8.  When I hit 6 months, I am going to post before and after pics because I want to share my accomplishments with you guys.  So far, I have toned up, dropped a jean size, and have a ton more energy.

And here it is:   The keeping it real part that you guys love so much about me. 

For those of you who are afraid to make the financial commitment:  In the next month, every time you eat fast food, go to the bar, go out to dinner, or buy an extra 50 bucks of shit at Target that you didn't need, I want you to add it up.  I will bet that you will have MORE than enough money to pay for classes.  Seriously.  You are really just bitching out on yourself if you continue to make excuses.  And I say that with the utmost love ;0)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Some Easy Peasy Raw Food Options

Sometimes adding more raw foods to your diet can seem daunting.  Transitioning to a raw and/or vegan lifestyle takes a lot of brain power.  Not only do you have to think about every ingredient in every food item you put in your mouth, but you have to start hunting for recipes and trying all kinds of new meal plans. 

It doesn't have to be super complicated.  I think the worst thing you can do is buy a complicated raw cookbook, start gathering obscure ingredients, and purchase kitchen appliances that you might only use every once in awhile.  I say this from experience. 

So as requested by many of you, here are some quick and easy ways to start making your diet super fantastically amazingly nutrient rich!


Jane's morning coffee-
juice from 1 lemon
warm water
2 packets of Sweet Leaf Stevia (Sweet Leaf is doesn't have additives in it (specifically Erythritol that causes digestive difficulties)
2 cubes of frozen wheat grass juice (you bet your ass I buy this pre-made at the store.  I do NOT have the time, energy or desire to juice and grow my own wheat grass)

Green Smoothies are usually my morning breakfast.  I cannot talk enough about the glorious benefits of green smoothies, I will repeat:  Great way to get a days worth of fruits and veggies in one meal.  Blending them breaks down the plant cellulose making the nutrients WAY more digestible and makes nutrients easier to absorb.

Molly's Peanut Butter Cookie Cereal-
1/2 Cup of Buckwheat Groats (you can buy these at Kimberton in Downingtown, I buy the Oasis Living Cuisine Buckwheaties)
1 tablespoon of Raw Almond Butter (use any nut butter you have lying around)
1 teaspoon of Raw honey (you could also use maple syrup or agave to make it vegan)

There are even raw cereals on the market you can buy that you do not have to make yourself.  I love Super Foods Cereals (in the Organic isle at Wegmans) and so do my kids.  They are expensive, but baby, you are worth it!!!!  Add a little almond milk or coconut milk and BOOM, easy as Cheerios. 

For your mid meal snack, substitute your granola bar with a Larabar,  raw nuts and seeds, or a piece of fruit.  There!  You did it!  You had a raw morning!

I will try to add a recipe idea with every blog.  Happy, healthy, and sustainable eating my loves!!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

How do the health crazed navigate life?

Navigating social situations when you are a gluten free, high raw, almost vegan (I eat honey) is very, very difficult.  I am an adult, I am committed, and I make it work.  If I go to a gathering, I bring my own food, or eat before I go.  It's as simple as that.  I refuse to eat crap.  I work WAY too hard and love myself WAY too much to put crappy food in my temple.

My kids are a different story.  My standards of health are very, very high and in the past I have thought- it's only once in awhile, what's the harm?  But I am finding myself in almost daily food "situations."  Family functions, church, school snacks, birthday parties, etc.  It has been nearly impossible for me to stop horrific things from entering the beautiful bodies that I hold most dear.  Before I know it, like little vacuums, they suck in pizza, donuts, ice cream, cake, goldfish, candy, and dairy foods.  I am left in their crumby trails wondering how it happened and why I didn't stop it. 

In the past, I have worried about looking neurotic.  But guess what?  I am neurotic.  Health is important to me and so are my children.  It is within my power to stop them from eating shit and I am refuse to make the girls spend their entire lives figuring out what is healthy and what isn't like I had to.  I will not have my daughters suffer with skin problems, weight issues, migraines, sinus infections, or digestive problems when I know exactly what is causing imbalances and have the tools to make these health problems stop.   

As far as other people go, I have always worried about offending other people by bringing our own food to parties, saying "no" when people offer my children snacks, or seeming snobby because of my health choices. But I am coming to the conclusion that no one seems to worry about offending me when they tell me their opinions on my lifestyle choices, how I raise my children, or give my kids food without asking my permission  (one of my BIGGEST parental pet peeves!)

So after my daughter had an eczema break out after eating wheat and dairy, I have officially had it.  I'm done.  Everyone is going to have to deal, including myself. Its a lot of work making sure my girls, our families, and friends are educated on what the girls can and cannot eat and dealing with their reactions and questions.  I have managed to get through a birthday party, a church service, two days of school snacks, and a couple of babysitting stints with no wheat or dairy entering my beautiful babies bodies.  I am sure that during this process I will get lots of eye rolls and questions, but I'm ready and willing to get down and dirty and finally do what I think is right for my children.

Something that has surprised me during the process so far has been the level of support I have gotten.  My husband being number one on my list of amazing helpers.  He went out Sunday morning to buy gluten free donuts for the girls to have after our church service so that they would not feel deprived when they couldn't eat their normal body weight in donut holes.  My mother in law is awesome.  She is so health conscious, I didn't even have to worry about her.  She already knows what to do.  My parents were amazing this week with making sure the girls were wheat and dairy free.  I am hoping the people in my life continue to amaze me with their support, but I am prepared for the eye rolls and questions.  Taking the road less traveled by isn't always easy, but man, I wouldn't trade it for all of the pizza in the world.