Thursday, September 22, 2011

More Programs to Transition to a Plant Based Diet

I don't remember how I got acquainted with the Green Smoothie Girl website and book.  I believe a friend may have introduced me to it.  All I know is that I love Robyn's site and the work she is doing to help people get healthy.  I used her book and how-to info when I first was increasing my raw food intake.  I never looked back after I  began making green smoothies.  Robyn Openshaw also has a great program to help those interested in transitioning to a plant based diet- 12 Steps to Whole Food Eating.  She has recipes and guidelines for a gradual transition over the course of a year.  Her programs includes 550 recipes to help someone achieve a mostly raw diet(60-80%raw).  She does allow for a small percentage of animal based foods, I believe it consists of less than five percent of  the eating plan.  Again, she has testimonials of people who have been written off by their doctors.

Since I have mentioned green smoothies I feel like I should also mention the Boutenko family.  They also have books on green smoothies with how-to videos on youtube and great sources for getting well.

 I want to share an excellent cook book I use to prepare food for my family.  Although my husband and children are eating much more raw food today than when I first started this journey, they still aren't as “raw”as I am.  This book is Ten Talents by Frank and Rosalie Hurd.  I love this book!  It is chock full of useful  nutritional information, instructions on proper food combining, recipes for baby foods, smoothies, non-dairy milk, whole grain bread, healthful entrees, salads and desserts...shall I continue? They also include some raw food recipes and sprouting (one of my favorite topics).  Ten Talents was originally published in the 60's and has had a long successful run.  The Hurds had every intention of hanging up their hats and retiring but requests kept coming in for a new edition to their book, so by popular demand they have published again.  Vegetarian times and North American Vegetarian society both endorse this book  The Library of Congress has requested it to be transcribed into braille.  Not bad for what seemingly was a mom and pop endeavor!  They have produced a fine collection of delicious recipes and have helped many achieve excellent health.

Lastly, I would like to mention Markus Rothkranz and his site.  He also has a lot of information for those wanting to go completely raw.  His trailer is very inspirational but has parts that, let's just say that they are really corny! Shh!  Don't tell him I said so!  View trailer here.

If you are clicking on a youtube link, please  right click and open in a new window.

 Enjoy the journey!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Program for Transitioning to a Plant Based Diet

I am a book person. I love them, read them when I can, collect them and revel in them. So naturally I am going to refer you to books, lots of them. Please, check them out at the library or bookstore before purchasing them.

I want to introduce you to some programs that have helped people switch to a healthier diet. Is it easy? It probably won't be at first. Taste buds are a curious thing. They can run your life and keep you addicted to foods that in essence are shortening your life span. If you decide however that you will make the effort, you can retrain your taste buds to appreciate foods that you may have shunned to this point. You will be able to achieve sustained weight loss for the long haul. You will be able to prevent or even reverse disease. Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a fantastic program especially designed for people needing to improve their health quickly. In the process, people experience improvements in many other areas of their health and lives as well. Dr. Fuhrman treats thousands of patients each year and he also has countless testimonials of people who, once crippled by disease, are free and able to enjoy their lives once again. What I appreciate is that this book has the science and studies to back up his claims. Dr. Mehmet Oz, and many other distinguished physicians endorse this book and highly recommend it.

Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised EditionDr. Fuhrman discusses how the Standard American Diet is killing millions of people each year. Yet, people do not want to change their diet, but would rather take a pill so that they can continue living and eating the way they would like. He states that Americans are overfed and malnourished. Because their diet is so depleted of nutrition, people continue to be hungry and continue to eat their high fat, processed, carcinogenic foods.

He also debunks all the diet fads that are so popular because they cater to the American appetite for animals and animal products (e.g., milk, eggs, cheese, etc.). They don't work for long-term weight loss because they do not solve the problem of malnutrition and if they do cause weight loss, they can double your chances of getting cancer (e.g., Atkins Diet). There is a correlation between meat consumption and developing cancer as well as many other diseases. The higher the consumption of meat, the higher the incidence of disease. Show me one country that consumes high quantities of meat and has zero or low incidence of disease. You won't find it!

The solution? Consume large quantities of phytonutrients: fruits, nuts, vegetables, whole grains, legumes in as close to their natural state as possible. Eat as much raw food as you can. Get rid of processed foods, They aren't good for you.

Dr. Fuhrman has two six week programs with simple recipes in his book. One is a more aggressive program and the other is less so. They both yield phenomenal results. You won't even have to starve yourself; you can eat to your heart's content. Soon, because your body is receiving all the necessary nutrients, you will find that you won't get as hungry for food as you did before. Dr. Fuhrman also has a website, blog, and a clinic which you can check out if you would like to be treated by him.

More programs and cook books to follow!

Enjoy the Journey!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Raw Food Diet and the Fountain of Youth

I recognize that not everyone wants to be a raw foodie. That's fine, you don't have to be. If I weren't a raw foodist, I would strive to have at least 60% raw food in my diet, preferably alkaline-producing raw foods. Alkilinity is achieved when you consume lots of leafy greens, sprouts, and vegetables as opposed to lots of fruit which is neutral – cooked food and animal products lead to acidity in the body. (More on pH balance in a future post.) For the next 35% of my diet I would choose cooked vegan food. The last 5% would be comprised of anything I want. This would be my opportunity to cheat. However, if you try this don't be surprised if over time you lose a taste for the foods you have always loved. That is a good thing! It generally takes about 10 days for your taste buds to begin to adjust. That is not a hard and fast rule, just an observation made by my husband when he was working at NEWSTART® lifestyle program at the Weimar Center of Health and Education.

That said, I would like to show you the amazing rejuvenative results of a raw food diet. It is absolutely phenomenal for staying young and the closest thing we have to the fountain of youth. I personally am very happy with my experience with it! Losing wrinkles on a raw food diet? Yes, I really have!

Some in Hollywood have jumped onto the raw food band wagon. They recognize that having a healthful diet is crucial for looking good, even into the later years. Some actors, models or otherwise famous people have turned to raw food to stay young and, of course, to be healthy. Angela Bassett, Demi Moore, Carol Alt, and Woody Harrelson are a few examples. Demi Moore (right) is 48 years old. Okay, I'm ready for the plastic surgery accusation. There is no way I can prove that she hasn't been under the scalpel. All I can say is that I don't think a face lift makes you look younger, it just makes you look stretched.  Demi, on the other hand, looks fresh, young, and natural. 

You don't buy it? How about Tonya Zavasta (left). She is a raw food evangelist and expert on aging beautifully. Her website has a fantastic array of beauty products and regimens. She has a blog and lots of raw food recipes. Care to guess her age? 53 years old! Not a single wrinkle on her face.

Suppose I were to really push the limits. I want to look good in my 60's perhaps, maybe even into my 70's. Do you think it's possible? Beautiful Annette Larkins (below) is in her sixties. She also has raw food recipes available through her website.

Last, but not least, is a phenomenal lady. Her name is Mimi Kirk. Take a look at this YouTube clip and see for yourself. Get this - as of 2009 she was dating someone 15 years younger than herself. Way to go Mimi!  Check out her website.  She has tons of recipes to share plus a recipe book.
Again, for the You Tube clip, it may be necessary to right click on the link and open in a new tab or window.

I know I promised those transition programs, I just get ahead of myself with this info. I promise, it's coming!

Enjoy the Journey!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Famous Vegan or Vegetarian Bodybuilders and Athletes

I was searching for raw recipes online when I found this clip on youtube.  I had seen it before but had forgotten about it.  It is incredibly inspiring.  If you think that you will become a skinny, protein deficient waif from a plant based diet, think again!

You may need to right click on the link and open in a new window.  I can't figure out why you tube has this glitch in some browsers.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

My Transition to a Plant Based Diet

I was very blessed to be raised by parents who are health conscious. My father was an avid runner and mountain bicyclist. My mother always strove to feed us the best quality food she could provide. She never bought us soda, candy bars, or sugary treats. If we did have any candy it was because someone else offered it to us. I believe my desire to be as healthy as possible is deeply ingrained in me because of my parents' influence.

When I married a vegetarian, that was all the impetus I needed to become one myself. So for a few years I was a lacto-ovo-vegetarian, meaning I excluded flesh foods, but ate dairy products and eggs – which are still animal products. Let me just say, you can be a “vegetarian” and be extremely unhealthy. Simply because someone omits meat doesn't mean that they are going to be beaming with amazing health! I ate a lot of starches, processed food, and lots of cheese. I would try to include vegetables, but the life was always cooked out of them. Salad wasn't always included when I served dinner. I began toying with the idea of veganism. I finally did go vegan, but I kept wavering back and forth from being a vegan to lacto-ovo-vegetarian.

In the past year and a half I made the latest transition that has made the most amazing changes to my health and wellness. I began including much more raw food in my diet. I gradually increased my raw food intake until after about a year I am at a point where my diet is now 90- 95% raw/vegan. I absolutely love it! My hair, skin, and nails feel so much better now. My mind has become so clear. (This is difficult to describe unless you experience it yourself.) I didn't know I had foggy thinking until I experienced an open and lucid mind by comparison. I also had crow's feet wrinkles by my right eye that began to disappear. Did you get that? My wrinkles disappeared!!! My skin which continually had break outs began to look so healthy and free from blemishes. I feel rejuvenated and happier. For some unexplainable reason I feel like I have a more positive outlook on life. So what made the difference? I made an intentional effort to drastically increase my consumption of dark leafy greens, vegetables, fruits, sprouted grains, soaked nuts, and soaked seeds. I will never go back!

I began my raw journey, not by omitting items and depriving myself of the things I wanted the most, but by crowding my diet with nutrient-rich, organic raw food. I started with green smoothies. (These can taste really great! Don't let the word “green” fool you!) I also prepared a huge salad along with each vegan meal that I cooked for my husband and kids. At mealtime I would fill up on salad first before I continued on to the cooked food. I bought raw food recipe books and began experimenting. Before I knew it I was eating raw all day long. The days turned to weeks and so on. If I ever craved cooked food, I would eat it. Eventually, however, my cravings for cooked food dissipated, and more importantly, my desire to eat junk food went away as well. The key to my success was the freedom to cheat. If I fell off the wagon, I didn't beat myself up. I would just get back on. I started with a cheat weekend which later was reduced to a cheat day. Now, I have a cheat meal and a half once a week. I also cheat while on vacations – it's harder to stay raw while away from home, during holidays, or when dining with friends. (People would laugh at what I consider cheating.) I think that being too strict while beginning a plant based diet can be a recipe for failure. You gotta have a little elbow room and let your body adjust gradually. The exception to that would be if you are sick with a life threatening disease – that warrants strict adherence to a vegan, high raw, alkaline diet.

In the next couple of posts I will be sharing programs and recipe books I have found that help people transition to a  plant based diet. One program I plan to share with you moves fast over the course of six weeks. Another one I'll share moves you to a mostly raw diet over the course of a year. Both plans have phenomenal testimonials from people who have been healed from all kinds of diseases. As always, I hope that what I share here will inspire readers to pursue greater health and wellness.

Enjoy the journey!