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Thanks for cruising by and becoming part of my personal revolution of self-love, health, and hilarity!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Natural Deodorant

Since school doesn't start again until Monday, I have a little extra time for science experiments in my kitchen.  I stumbled across this blog link a long time ago and it has always been my intention to try this recipe for natural deodorant:


It was really simple and is currently setting in my fridge, but I am not hopeful.  All of my natural deodorant exploration has led me back to Secret time and time again.  My body odor is always more powerful than what the hippies have to offer.   Plus, I'm a mom.  I'm a mom who exercises and  I don't always have time to take showers.  Usually a natural deodorant doesn't make it past my a.m. Crossfit class, let alone the rest of my day.  I will keep you guys posted on how it goes.  My apologies in advance to those I may stink around for the next few days.   

Friday, August 19, 2011

What do you think?

I meditated for an entire 7 minutes today and had this little philosophical gem pop up:  I have gifts to share with others, may God/the Universe allow me to share these gifts.

Then as I was doing a little reading, and an author had a thought about distracting ourselves with media, television, and computers and taking on the thoughts/expectations/opinions of others instead of quietly, through meditation, forming our own.  When we are constantly bombarded with media, do we every truly have an original idea, any idea of what we want, and original ideas on how to make it happen????  I'm not sure.  So today, I am challenging myself with this question:

How can I share my gifts while making myself happy?

Sometimes identifying our gifts is hard enough, let alone figuring out a way to share them and share them in a way that makes us happy! Hopefully reflecting on the above questions will help get my wheels turning on this one.  Just some thoughts for you guys to enjoy on this lovely Friday afternoon. 

Here's what I'm eating:
32 oz green smoothie (1/4 before crossfit, 3/4 after)
(2 c. dandelion greens, 1 lemon, 1 lime, 1 grapefruit, 3 bananas, 1 orange, 1/2 tsp stevia)
1 mango

 The funny thing about green smoothies is that they really curb my appetite.  It's 1:45 p.m. right now and I have no interest in food (SO UNLIKE ME!).  Whenever my appetite comes back I will probably hit up one of my famous Sunwarrior Protein smoothies and then some of the chocolate I've been looking forward to having but haven't had the appetite for yet.  There is a theory in raw foods that when your body gets a lot of nutrients, you appetite is curbed because you aren't nutrient deprived.  I feel that when I eat green smoothies.  Surprisingly satiated and nourished.  Apparently green smoothies make my nerdy philosophical side come out too. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Each day is a chance for greatness

Today my raw tip has to to with an all or nothing attitude.  I am notorious for this type of distorted thinking when it comes to what I eat.  I'm either vegan or I'm not.  I'm raw or I'm not.  I'm eating a green smoothie, or I'm eating a plateful of wings smothered in blue cheese. 

I'm slowly but surely moving away from this way of being.  I am starting to look at every day and every meal as a chance for greatness-  to eat healthy, not overeat, and to keep it as raw and vegan as possible.  Some days are a success and some days are total failures, but when I take it day by day, meal by meal, I have a lot more will power than when I think, "I'm going to be raw, vegan and eat sprouts forever and ever AMEN."  That's pretty freaking overwhelming.  Don't do that to yourself.  I'm trying not to do it either ;0)

I am having a lot of success right now.  I'm keeping things vegan and pretty high raw.  Each day I look at my calendar and say, I've gone 47 days of being vegan!!!!  That is really helpful.  It keeps it positive.  Just shifting things in that way makes burgers and wings WAY less tempting and off my plate.  In retrospect, I did the same thing when I quit smoking.  It got to a point where I thought, man, I've gone 6 months without a ciggy, I sure as hell don't want to blow that- and before I knew it, I was a nonsmoker! 

So here is my meal by meal today
8oz coconut water, 8 oz water
2 scoops chocolate Sunwarrior protein
1 tsp maca powder
1tbsp raw cacao
1 tsp greens powder
1 tbsp Sunwarrior Activated Barley
squirt of stevia

2 c. cherries
1 young coconut, meat and water
2 scoops Sunwarrior Chocolate protein
1 c. spinach
1/2 tsp maca powder
1 tbsp raw cacao
squirt of stevia

 Last night I ate my dinner as planned and also ate celery with almond butter and honey, a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter, and a lara bar.  The past couple of nights I have been doing some serious eating in the evening which as I've told you before, gives me some digestive problems.  I have been training really hard at the gym and my appetite is certainly showing it.  I'm going to try to eat a hearty  smoothie today at 5 and hopefully that will keep the later evening snack attacks at bay so I can get a good night sleep. 

Here is the smoothie plan
8 oz coconut water
2 frozen bananas
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 scoop vanilla Sunwarrior protein

I also might have a cup of decaf coffee tonight.  I thought I was over coffee, but my hubby bought the most delicious mocha almond decaf ever and I do love cuddling my hubsters over a nice, warm cup. 

Here's a secret:  I haven't been drinking either shhhhhhh!!!!!  Don't want to lose my street cred in the party circuit, but I have been feeling SOOO much better. I'm not a daily drinker, usually a couple of cocktails on the weekends (or 10 if Nate has a show), but man, I can't believe the difference in my energy levels- especially during my weekend workouts.  I'm proud of myself!  Kickin' ass and takin' names baby!

Happy Wednesday my loves!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Leading by example, not force

Another mistake I made in going raw was trying to get my husband and kids to go raw too.  When I first starting dabbling in raw, I was so gung ho that I wanted the whole family to be raw.  I started making lots of raw gourmet foods and trying to serve raw breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.  Lilah, my youngest daughter, was the only one who was on board.  Lilah has a very open pallet and much like myself, is very open to trying new foods.  My husband and other daughter were much more resistant.  I would get angry and frustrated with them.  Changing my own lifestyle was hard enough, but trying to get a bunch of whinny assholes on board was extra challenging.  I felt like their health was my responsibility as the wife and mom.  Then I came to the realization:  It's not.

Before you go getting all pissed off at me, hear me out:  There is a saying I tell my kids all the time, "You do you."  Which essentially  means, worry about yourself, don't worry about what other people are doing.  In order for me to be the healthiest me I can be, I want to be a raw vegan and have been working towards that goal. It is a big enough challenge and  in order for me to make it happen for myself, I can't worry about getting the rest of my family on board. My husband is a grown ass man and can make his own food and health decisions.  If he is ever ready to adopt this lifestyle, I will be completely supportive and give him every tool and resource I have available to me, but he has to come to it on their own.  Until then, I have to raise our children in a dual household and lead by example. 

My husband and daughters eat a fairly healthy version of the Standard American Diet and I try to incorporate as much raw into it as humanly possible.   My daughters eat tons of fresh fruits and veggies, but they also eat meat, dairy, whole grains, nuts and seeds.  One thing I started doing was giving them a plate of fresh fruit every morning and before they eat anything else, the fruit has to be gone.  Usually they will then eat a Luna Bar or some type of cereal bar after they finish their fruit.  At lunch, I started having them eat salad first and some carrots or cucumbers on the side before they eat anything else.  These two meals are under my control so it makes me happy to know that they are getting plenty of fruits and veggies during these two meals.  My husband usually does dinner, which is usually a grilled meat and salad. 

So my children know that "mommy can't eat that," or "that's not raw" and they understand what is healthy and what isn't.  They are constantly asking me, "Is that a healthy food?" and I give them honest answers.  When they are bitching about their stomachs hurting after they just ate crap food, I just tell them that junk food makes you feel like junk.  Health food makes you feel healthy and strong.

Here's what I ate today so far:
Breakfast- pre-crossfit workout
1 banana
1 cup of other fruits (nectarine, raspberries, a couple of strawberries, some melon)

20 oz water
Smoothie consisting of:
1 young coconut, meat and water
1 sprig of mint leaves
2 scoops of Sunwarrior chocolate
a few drops of liquid stevia
1 tbsp Sunwarrior Activated Barley
1 tbsp Raw cacao
1 tsp Maca powder
 some cacao nibs

10 baby carrots and a slice of cantaloupe

Dinner will be a smoothie tonight:
8oz coconut water
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 frozen banana
1 scoop Sunwarrior Vanilla
1 handful of spinach

I'm doing a fat loss competition at my gym, so yesterday was a fun food day for me, today it's back to business. 

Oh yeah, TRUE CONFESSIONS TIME- last night, I also ate an entire pint of coconut milk ice cream, finished the chips and salsa, finished the almonds, and had a cup of decaf coffee with my hubs at night.  I don't normally drink coffee, but when the cool nights start coming, sometimes its a nice treat. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

What do you eat???

Today's blog question of the day is:  WHAT DO YOU EAT????  So in addition to exploring my raw transition experiences, I'm going to share what I eat.  I'm going to try to do this daily for a week.  Lunch is where I eat the most.  My breakfasts and dinners are usually pretty light. 

Breakfast- 7:00 a.m. pre-Crossfit Workout
8oz coconut water, 8oz water
2 scoops Sunwarrior Chocolate Protein Powder
1 tspn Maca
1 tspn Greens powder- I use Vitamineral Green

32 oz water throughout the morning

Lunch 11:00 a.m.- post workout
tortilla chips (probably 3 servings), carrots, and cucumber dipped in white bean dip and salsa
2 coconut lime brazil nut cookies
1/4 cup marcona almonds
1 32 oz smoothie consisting of:
8oz coconut water, 8oz almond milk
2.5 frozen bananas
4 fresh mint leaves
2 scoops Chocolate Sunwarrior
1 tbspn raw cacao

Dinner/snack 4:15
2 bananas and a nectarine.  I might eat something else later, but I'm not sure, probably fruit or chips and salsa again. 

Usually I don't eat after 5 or 6 because I don't sleep well on a full stomach and get heartburn.  Right now, since I am weaning myself off of meat, I include a lot of non-raw, vegan and gluten free foods in my diet.  I would say right now, I am 60% raw, 40% cooked.  Once I get more stable on a vegan diet, then I will up my raw ratios again. 

This has to do with my tip of the day: Take it slowly!  In my experience so far, I have found that I need to move into things gradually.  The first things I gave up were wheat, dairy, and sugar (because I had to!).  It has taken a lot of work to get off of meat and dairy and I am still a work in progress on that one.  I have been eating vegan for 45 days.  I want to make this a permanent lifestyle change, but given my starts and stops in the past, I know when I'm giving up meat, I need lots of foods that are "cheat" foods or else I am falling face first into a burger before I even know what happened.  My new cheat foods are so different, and so much healthier than my old cheat foods!  Jane 5 years ago would laugh at the fact that a treat food is coconut milk ice cream, chips and salsa, or roasted nuts instead of raw.  That Jane's everyday foods were beer, nachos with lots of cheese and sour cream, pizza, and a big bowl of regular old ice cream.  No wonder today's Jane feels 100% healthier, fitter, and looks WAY better than Jane 5 years ago!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Biggest Mistakes in Going Raw

I have had a lot of inquiries lately about my journey into raw and how to get started.  This has inspired me to tell my story and to share in a series of blogs the good, the bad, and the ugly on my ever continuing raw food journey.

The first time I heard about raw veganism was 3 years ago.  I have been an on again off again vegetarian or vegan since my early 20's.  When I became pregnant with my first daughter, I started eating meat again, then went back to veg, back to meat during another pregnancy, and then wanted to go vegan after my second little bundle of girlie awesome was born.  I stumbled on the raw lifestyle when I was researching the healthiest approaches to veganism.  The first book I bought was Victoria Boutenko's 12 Steps to Raw Foods.  It resonated with me in a way that nothing ever had and I read about diet and I knew I had to adopt this lifestyle.  I just didn't know at the time how hard it would be and that it could possibly be a life long undertaking.

Mistake 1 for me:  Going all out. (I'm saying "for me" because what is a mistake for me, may not necessarily be a mistake for you.)
I went for it.  I was now a raw foodist and I gave "raw" a go.  Needless to say, it lasted a hot minute because I had no clue what I was doing.  Then I gave up and went back to my old lifestyle, and the book sat on my shelf and collected dust for a couple of months.  I did take a few raw ideas and began to incorporate them into my daily food regiment:  green smoothies and nut/seed based cookies and desserts. 

I understood the basis for the raw food lifestyle and it made perfect sense to me- not only morally, but scientifically, it was constantly on my mind.  I knew that it was the right way to eat (for me) but it was very difficult to make these huge dietary changes all at once.  I did the only thing a school nerd like me could do:  I ordered more books.  I started to learn more and incorporate more raw foods.  Every raw foodist has their own philosophy and Sarma Melngailis and Ani Phyo promoted moderation and I could really relate to them and their stories.  They made raw food glamorous, fun, and reinforced its lifestyle to me.  I continued for the next year going raw for a few months, back lashing to meat and dairy, and then back to raw.  Each time I went raw it was ALL OUT, 100% raw and I found myself frustrated and feeling like a failure if I did not eat raw.

So here are some things that I've learned in all of my starts, stops, and back lashes: 
1.  Make gradual changes.  This lifestyle is a learning process.  It isn't a diet.  It involves a complete change in the way you have been eating, even if you are already a vegetarian or vegan.  There are superfoods you may have never heard before in your life (maca, goji berries, raw cacao, spirulina, etc.) and you have to do a lot of research and reading about what and how to eat.  Each start has lasted longer and each stop has been shorter.  I'm getting to the point now where I am spending the majority of my year raw with benders that are coming fewer and further between.
2.  Each start and stop had a purpose for me and was part of the learning curve.  Each time I went raw for a month or two at a time, I learned new recipes, new raw foods, and easy ways to make a raw lifestyle more attainable for me.  The more you learn and more options you have for foods, the easier it is to stick with it.
3. Get a support system in place.  I had to get my health minded friends on board to encourage me.  Thankfully I have my three best health girls- Lisa, Tara, and Mary.  They love to experiment with raw food, are super healthy, and are supportive through my highs and lows.  I needed to find new restaurants and ways to get raw food on the run.  Thankfully I found Oasis Living Cuisine in Frasier and discovered that Kimberton Whole Foods had a raw section (who knew?)!  I was able to ask the owner of Oasis and the employees at Kimberton lots of questions.  I also have a very supportive husband and family.  At this point they are used to my health antics and just nod and smile if they think I'm crazy. 
4. Give yourself cheats.  My cheats used to be a steak dinner with my girlfriends.  Now my cheats are coconut milk ice cream, tortilla chips, and roasted nuts.  Even my cheats are evolving!
5. Know that this is not just a physical journey, it is very, very emotional as well.  Being the psych major that I am, I tend to focus on the emotional turmoil that accompanies various challenges.  Raw food pushes you to very, very uncomfortable places both physically and psychologically.  These issues could be a blog series that could last a decade.  Forgive yourself when you make mistakes and know that 30 years of habits may take 30 years to change.  Be patient and loving towards yourself during the process. 

I'm going to keep plugging away with this blog series while I have the next two weeks off from school.  Hope this is helpful to you guys!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Thrill of Competition

So as many of you have noticed, I have been shamelessly begging for my facebook friends to vote for me in a Smoothie Contest for Sunwarrior.  The prize is a good one.  It is a year's supply of Sunwarrior products for first place.  You bet your sweet ass I want that prize. So please vote.  I am competing against vegan chefs with lots of followers and people with really popular blogs, so  your votes are crucial so that I can come close to competing. 

To vote for me, please "like" the Sunwarrior page, go into the Smoothie Contest photo album, and "like" my pictures.  One is of me and my daughters in bathing suits.  It's pretty hard to miss (and is apparently very controversial for the conservative family members of other smoothie contest participants LOL).  The other one is three pictures above it and is of a green coffee cup.

Okay, onto the blog.

I have many, many complicated smoothie recipes, but my goal in this contest was to help people make simple, nutritious smoothies that did not involve ingredients that you have to search for like the Arc of the Covenant to freaking find.  As I learned more and more about raw foods, I started incorporating these bizarre ingredients into my diet and into my pantry.  But for people just starting out, it is best to just keep it simple.  Sunwarrior is a yummy, fabulous product to use.  I order it online at www.sunwarrior.com.  You don't have to be raw to use it either.  Replace one meal with 2 scoops of Sunwarrior and 8oz of coconut water and 4oz regular water and you have a delicious chocolate milk that is simple and healthy.  Substitute that into your life instead of drinking your morning coffee and believe me, you will feel a difference. 

Here is my favorite:
8oz water and a frozen banana or 1 young coconut (water and meat)
1 cup frozen cherries
2 scoops of chocolate Sunwarrior
1 tbspn of raw cacao or cocoa powder
(optional- add 1tspn Maca and 1 tspn greens powder)
Blend, pour, enjoy

So delicious and the chocolate can give you the boost you would normally get from coffee.  Making changes can be simple and can happen one meal at a time.  Thanks for voting for me, supporting me on my health/nutrition journey, and for being my friends!


Sunday, August 7, 2011

I'm a sensitive lady

Last night I was at my friend's birthday BBQ.  This is an event I really look forward to and so does the rest of my family.  My lovely friend Julia was very concerned about what I could eat and she and her sister so very sweetly came up with the most delicious watermelon salad.  Watermelon, lime juice, arugala, red onion, mint, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.  I killed the entire bowl it was so delicious.  That is when I should have known.  If it was too delicious to be true, I probably can't eat it. 

No sooner had I put my bowl in the sink than my migraine aura started.  I was very, very confused.  I DIDN'T EAT ANYTHING WRONG!!!!  So on the long ride home from NJ I thought about it in between waves of nausea and pain.  Was it the strong onion?  Was it something I ate earlier during the day?  Nope.  I was so confused.  But then it hit me:  I never use balsamic vinegar. 

When I woke up at 4 a.m. migraine free, you bet your sweet ass I hit up the internet to find out about balsamic vinegar.  Apparently, the commercial balsamic vinegar sold in supermarkets is typically made with concentrated grape juice mixed with a strong vinegar, which is laced with caramel and sugar.  Who knew? 

My body is so sensitive to sugar.  It sucks finding out the hard way, but it is really cool to see how smart my body is when it comes to giving me signals that something is toxic.  Nerd Alert:  Our bodies are so cool!!!!