Friday, March 8, 2013

Moderation Mods

I just watched this video: Why Deficient Raw Vegans Become Meat Eaters

It was perfectly timed for me because I've been thinking the same thing lately, "Why don't I eat meat in moderation to balance out my diet?" The overarching theme of the video was that meat is never the answer because it creates more problems than it solves. Most (if not all) deficiencies come from dietary imbalance, not lack of animal products.

They discussed cravings for certain specific components like salt, iron, protein, and fats. They suggest swinging your pendulum back from a restrictive, raw vegan, super low fat diet to a moderate vegan diet including some cooked beans and lentils, to balance out the overeating of fruits. One of the misconceptions I personally can see coming from the 80/10/10 diets touted on YouTube would be the amount of leafy greens these folks are eating. They're so busy using the shock value of "30 Bananas a Day" to get our attention, that they don't mention how amazing it would be for most Americans to simply switch to Vegan diets of any combination.

In this video, I really enjoyed that they frequently clarified that the same diet does not work for everybody. Some people can't handle grains and some people can't handle soy. The secret is to find what works for you and don't beat yourself up over cooking foods that still have vast nutritional value, with the goal of maintaining a label of 'Raw Foodie'.

For me, I'm already cooking at least one meal per day and I'm re-energized to balance out my diet with more than bananas. Lately, I've been eating (drinking) a green smoothie for breakfast with about 2 cups of kale or turnip greens, some berries, ground flaxseed, and some chia seeds. Lunch has been cooked potatoes with fresh herbs but no fat OR veggie fajitas. Other meals are bananas by the bunch with an occasional apple or handful of almonds thrown in.

My concern was getting enough calories and how to add some calories without using grains too heavily. I like the raw vegan approach that you have to eat large portions, because I like to eat. I've never been consistent in eating a big leafy green salad every day, but with my Nutribullet, I get plenty of greens first thing. not feeling bad about cooked foods is going to really give me more options. Thanks for the clarity, guys. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Best Goals of 2013

Since my last post was about goal setting and how to achieve them, I want to update blog world on my goals and how they're going. The last post was also kind of new years inspired and I have been remarkably focused on maintaining my forward motion in achieving those goals.


I have a list of my goals in a word document on my desktop. Since I am so OCD about icons on my screen, it really sticks out, which is good to remind me to click it every time I sit down to the computer to rot my brain checking Facebook. There are four categories: Personal, Physical, Professional, Financial; in that order. Personal comes first because God comes first in my life. Daily Bible study is #1. If I do nothing else in a day, I should spend at least a few minutes making sure my heart and soul are in the right place for everything else I do. Tuning into the Holy Spirit while reading and praying has kept me grounded during some very difficult weeks lately. This blog, falls at the end of my personal list, after "Read 1 book every 14 days." The blog is here to help me document what I'm reading (if it pertains to anything health related, which most of my reading does), so one goal feeds into the other.

Physical goals seem to fit here most appropriately, so let's focus on those.

1. More Veg, Less Meat
My wife is on an extended out of state work assignment, so I have absolute control over my diet with no funny looks or commentary. After she left, I finished eating whatever meat was fresh in the house, but have not purchased any more. I really haven't missed it because I've been loading up my day with plenty of calories in raw fruit form.

2.Low Fat, Low Processed Sugar, Low Salt
After Forks Over Knives, Food Matters, and several other collections of experts have explained how fat intake directly affects insulin resistance and how toxic refined sugar is, I'm very motivated to keep these items in acceptable levels. Again, after the wifey left, I cleared out the fridge of everything that didn't fit the right nutritional criteria and only bought produce.  I'm not a huge salt fan anyway, but I still have to keep an eye out for packed products and sauces.

3. Raw Whole Foods (50%)
I'm not sure why I am aiming at 50% and I'm not keeping track too much. I eat about 1 cooked meal per day, more due to convenience of munching on fruit like bananas and drinking my smoothies, than because of a Raw vs. Cooked ratio. If I had to guess, I'm probably higher than 50% and I'm happy with that.

4. Decaf All Year
I sometimes swing back towards regular coffee and that habit always makes me miserable for several days when I adjust back down. I'm also incorporating Green Tea into my warm beverage repertoire for its health benefits.
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5. More Sleep
It's hard to find any health advice that doesn't include getting at least 8 hours of consistent, uninterrupted sleep per night. It's important for detoxing, hormone function, brain function, memory, athletic prowess, mood, and metabolism, to name a few. I have a habit of staying up late watching YouTube videos and not getting to sleep until 2am. Then my dog wakes me up at 8am to go out, so I never get back to sleep for the remaining 2 hours. Since my wife is an hour behind me, our Skype time is perfect for me to get to bed at a decent time right after we finish chatting- as long as I keep doing that, life is good.

6. Green Smoothie Daily
I got a Nutribullet blender for my birthday. The age-ometer clicked up to 33 on February 5th and I've used the blender everyday, usually twice a day, since then. I had never heard of them before, but my wife saw it on HSN and said it was perfect for me. I watched the video and was hooked instantly. I really don't like leafy greens in the Breville juicer and the Breville isn't very good at extracting the juice. The Nutribullet, however annihilates the greens and keeps the fiber intact- best of both worlds. The infomercial is cheesy, but the device lives up to the hype. The greens combined with fresh fruit in the "Nutriblast" smoothies give me about 6 extra servings of fruit and veg a day, that I was not getting before.

7. Run 5k in 30 minutes by May
I know I talk about running all the time with my clients and in this blog. I got back out on the track a couple days ago and felt great. I ran/walked about 1.5 miles and kept a decent pace during the running portions for much longer than I've ever done before. I attribute that to the low fat, low salt, and high fruit intake. The day before that, I was sprinting around the yard, playing with the dog, and I noticed how powerful I felt- like I was really connecting with the ground and had power to spare. That was mind-blowing because I haven't done ANY exercise for months, aside from massage work.

8. Memorization Skills
My studies of Dr. Daniel Amen's books and some other neuroscience books lately have lead me to pursue bulking up my brain muscles. Memory can be greatly improved with proper nutrition, practice, and method. Some of my other goals in all categories include memory boosters disguised as quantifiable skills such as, playing and singing 30 minutes of acoustic guitar, memorizing the Gospel of John, and finishing my Erik Dalton Myoskeletal Alignment Certification. All are quite tangible, I believe, using what I've learned in the 1 book every 14 days I've been reading. 

Overall I am happy with my accomplishments so far and will probably keep adjusting the big list every few months.