Archive for the ‘vegan’ Category

Hello, America

Being healthy is hard if you live in the United States. There is fluoride in the water, GMO “foods” sold without labels in the markets, processed food everywhere and so many overweight people that  you start to think of your extra twenty pounds as being no big deal.

I  have been eating a terrible diet for the past two weeks. I started my new job and they have been providing a lot of meals and most of it is stuff I shouldn’t be eating. It’s a shame, really. In Asian countries it’s acceptable and normal to eat rice, broth, fish and vegetables for meals with unsweetened tea or water. Americans, meanwhile, chow down on pasta with sauces, sugary drinks and desserts. Trying to choose just the salad and water when everyone around you is eating lasagna, lemonade and chocolate cake is really hard. No wonder there are so many fat people here and I am slowly becoming one of them.

This weekend is dedicated to organizing my life so health and wellness are the focus. I need more sleep, more water.  healthier foods and exercise. I don’t have a choice. How? Well, for one since I have to be at work at 7am, it’s going to be “early to bed and early to rise”. New bedtime? 9pm – or 10pm at the latest if occasionally necessary. Then I am going to unpack my overseas shipment and locate my cutting boards, juicer, etc. and start using them. I haven’t figured out yet where exercise is fitting in but the other plan is to be vegan until 6pm. Have you heard of that book? I don’t know where I first read about it but here’s the Amazon link:

The basic premise is to eat vegan (fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds specifically) until 6pm and then for dinner you can eat what you want in moderation. I think this is great! I am busy at work so I won’t have much temptation anyways but then it allows for me to go to happy hour, go on dates or hang out with friends without being on some crazy restrictive diet plan. I love it and the author had great results with it.

Now if I could only find a time and place to exercise..


Bye-Bye Dairy

I have a full-on cold. The real deal, like with phlegm and everything. I can’t remember the last time I was sick. I used to get sore throats in the tropics but I rarely had phlegm and coughing. I think the sore throats there were more due to the pollution but this seems to be directly related to poor health/compromised immune system. I find this curious because I am sleeping a lot more. I don’t feel as tired during the day so I think I must be sleeping better and my stress level has been reduced considerably. The only thing left is food! We rarely ate dairy products overseas but here I am putting yogurt in my smoothies (never did that before). Also the ice cream seems much richer here and the pizza had tons more cheese. I really think this is what it is! My daughter also has a constant runny nose that she had when we lived here before. Overseas she rarely had a runny nose.

I’m sad to say it but we are going to go (mostly) dairy-free. I will no longer buy yogurt or cheese or ice cream. Sniff. We already drink almond milk exclusively so that will stay the same and I think coconut yogurt for smoothies sounds good but there really aren’t good substitutes that I know of for cheese and ice cream. Those are going to be missed! Butter on the other hand will stay. I don’t do margarine or vegan spreads so butter stays and I am sure we will eat pizza or ice cream from time to time but I won’t buy dairy from the market anymore (again except for my beloved butter). In other words they will be reduced drastically. I am hoping this helps with my phlegm issues!

Have you noticed any health benefits when you cut out dairy?

Ethiopian Food

We love Ethiopian food in our house and we were excited to eat this last night. My daughter who doesn’t like spicy food loves mesir wat! (well she is Ethiopian!)IMG_0826It tasted good but I am up this morning with a stomach ache and my fingers feel swollen. I also have a sore throat. What is going on? There wasn’t any gluten in it (injera is made with gluten-free teff flour) and it didn’t have any dairy either (though I did have leftover pizza for lunch!) so who knows? Guess I can’t really blame the Ethiopian food. Maybe I am just coming down with a cold. And the bad news? I am back up to 154. I guess pizza and ice cream will do that! Note to self: don’t spend googabs of money on organic produce if you are going to order pizza! It’s almost 3 weeks into the raw foods cleanse and I can officially say that I am back up to my exact same starting weight of 154 and I feel like crap–but of course that has nothing to do with the cleanse that I am not doing! The one thing that I have learned is that I prefer foods that I make myself and I feel great when I eat raw and vegan. Lessons learned as I move forward.

This morning I made a smoothie with blueberries, strawberries, banana, cucumbers and grapes. It was pretty good. Then we hit the farmer’s market and picked up some organic corn which I was thrilled about. I have been searching high and low for organic corn and haven’t been able to find it anywhere! Corn is one of the most genetically modified crops in the US. Ugh. I did find this app that sounds useful. Haven’t tried it though. We also picked up some cilantro, basil, tomatoes and orange peppers (all organic). I am looking forward to eating our delightful bounty today!


I was going to do only fruits and veggies for a few days but I got bored and broke down and ate some raw vegan sweets. In fact, yesterday I ate pretty much non-stop from lunch until bedtime because nothing was hitting the spot quite like some grilled fish, mashed potatoes and wine would have done. Tonight I am meeting a friend for dinner whom I haven’t seen in two years. I did convince him to go to a vegan cafe of all the delightful restaurants available in this area (he’s just accommodating like that) but I doubt I will eat raw. Once again– socializing!

One Week Down

It is Day 8 still but I need to do another post.

I weighed myself this morning and I weigh 150.2. I am not exactly sure where I started, somewhere between 154 and 156 so I am going with 154 which means in one week I have seen a 3.8 pound weight loss! Sweet! That’s the good news.

The bad news is I am not looking or feeling great. I just moved back in the country a few weeks ago and I am noticing that the past week that I have been in my new apartment and eating (mostly) raw that I have been experiencing some not so good things. I am not sure what to attribute these changes to.

These are the changes I noticed after landing in US but before going raw:

– EXTREMELY dry skin (skin cracking and bleeding)

-dark circles worse than usual

-less pain in my hip upon waking than when I had when living overseas (horrible bed in Manila)

These are the changes I noticed after moving into my new apartment and going (mostly) raw but eating more foods that aren’t organic and tons and tons of nuts:

-less congestion, less need to clear my throat (I have eaten vegan even if not raw so this is interesting; I guess I am sensitive to dairy)

-pain in hip greater

-dark circles remain dark

But these are much more worrisome…

–a dormant wart has resurfaced

-stomach aches

waking with my toes asleep

-waking with pain in my right hand at the joints

The last two things worry me the most. I used to have joint pain so badly that I went to a rheumatoglogist and she diagnosed me with having RA and tried to prescribe some drugs. I refused and worked hard on researching ways to heal it naturally. When I moved overseas the pain eventually went away completely but now it’s back. This scares me.

What could be causing these aches and pains?

I know it’s not the raw foods I’m consuming but it may be that I am consuming more pesticides. In Manila we ate more organic fruits and veggies. This is because there wasn’t nearly the variety of produce that I liked there (I just bought non-organic cherries, for example, because my daughter requested them and because I love cherries, too) and there were many extremely expensive imported items that I just flat out refused to buy (like $8 for some Australian celery).

Maybe it’s the new apartment? It has wall to wall carpet and there was a strong cleaning smell when we moved in. They claim to be a green apartment building but I bet their cleaning products aren’t necessarily the healthiest and cleanest they could be. I wonder if they would allow me to remove the carpeting? I hear there is hard wood underneath!

Maybe it’s the sudden large consumption of nuts? Nuts in Manila were really expensive so although I ate them daily I ate far fewer. Now that they are cheaper they are my snack food as well as being present in raw vegan desserts and raw vegan snack foods on the go.

I doubt it is some sort of healing crisis because my diet hasn’t changed all that dramatically. Wait, I take that back!! When we first got here (the first two weeks) we stayed with a friend whose pantry is filled with processed foods and my daughter and I went hog wild. We’re talking Pot Tarts, Cheez Its, bacon, hot dogs, white bread, soda, french fries, cereal, etc. All these changes may be due to that now that I think about it! And my daughter has a small rash or some hives on her skin that are barely noticeable but they definitely weren’t there before. I suspected hers were due to what she was eating (she ate way more junk than I could stomach) but now that I think about it it makes perfect sense that it has caused me issues, too. Who knows?

In any event, I am looking forward to eating only fruit today as per the raw foods challenge– though I am going to add veggies to lessen the sugar intake.