Holistic Nutrition – It’s Brain Food Too!

 

Being a Holistic Nutritionist isn’t just about telling clients to eat their veggies.  It’s almost like being a life coach, helping people reach their lifestyle goals.  Nutrition just happens to be a huge piece of the puzzle.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading recently about making my life the one I most desire to lead.  And I’m getting inspired.  Some people may shy away from the self-help section of the library/bookstore, but this is the section that is going to change lives!  You are the only person that can take the steps to make your life the one of your dreams.  And most of us need some help!

There are some amazing leaders in the field of self-help.  Tony Robbins, Joe Vitale, Robin Sharma all come to mind as front runners in their fields.  There is so much information in their books that I feel I’ve got to read them over and over again to extract all of their yummy brainfood.  I just finished Robin Sharma’s “The Greatness Guide.”   I couldn’t put it down.  There were 101 short chapters – and some amazing lessons.

Some of the lessons aren’t new, and some of them are.  All of them are inspiring.  I could pull hundreds of quotes out of this book.  But the quote that awakened me the most was this: “The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret.”  This is precisely why I started getting up at 5:30am every day.

I jump out of bed, put on my yoga clothes, and I’m on the mat in a heated room by 6am.  I’m home by 8am and have had the most serene, yet exhilerating workout before I would otherwise have woken up!  This past week has been the best week of 2009 – simply because I took action.  I took a step to get more out of my days – and my life.

This simple habit has made me more productive, happier, and more energetic.  It’s really unbelieveable when you think about it.  If you simply get up 2 hours earlier every day – you will add 14 hours to your week and an entire month to your year!  By getting up 2 hours earlier I have added 2 hours of productive time to my days – all because I took action to change my life in the direction I want it to go.

If you want to change your life – take action now.  Read some books.  Learning is so important to stay young and full of life.  Learn something new every day.  Exercise your mind.  You just may learn something that will change your life – and the lives of those around you.  It must be impossible to read a Robin Sharma book and not let it touch your life.  The second you make a change in your lifestyle – you will change in a way that people will notice.  Just today I was accused of being “very bubbly and happy” – and I responded “that’s because I am!”  And the woman smiled.   Don’t be scared of the self-help section any longer!  Pick up a good book and change your life.  Take action, now.  Oh yes, and please eat your veggies!

GO RAW NOW

Sick, tired, overweight, obese, taking aspirin, taking medication, unhappy, lethargic?

You have limitless potential.

Raw foods give the gift of life.  If you plant a fruit, nut, or seed in the ground, you will grow a tree or plant.  If you plant a burger and fries or a slice of bread, you will get mold.

On our coaching call for the Total Wellness Cleanse the other night, we talked exclusively about allergies and how they come about.  After the call, I was thinking – no wonder people develop allergies to even raw foods –  in my case it’s pineapple and eggplant that give me extreme problems.  Over years of abuse from cooked and processed foods, not to mention loads of sugar to feed the eager beaver yeastie eaters (Candidiasis), my digestive system was in such turmoil that my immune system responded unfavourably toward undigested raw foods as well.

Once the intestines have been irritated so much, undigested food particles obtain access to the blood stream, and the body launches all out war against the alien particles.  Antibiotics, sugar, wheat, processed foods, etc. open the door for disbiosis, altered balance of the gut microflora, and consequently a yeast problem in the gut.  Once this happens, allergies present themselves.  And I’m not talking about just the life or death allergies, but food intolerances that make you feel slow, tired, brain foggy, and simply tired all over.  And you may not even know about them!

All you can do at this point is continue to feel lethargic, or you can turn your life around and GO RAW NOW!

Everyone agrees that we should eat more fruits and vegetables.  But they think I’m some weird granola child when I tell them that I don’t cook my food!  What gives?  Maybe they are jealous.  Maybe they think they could never live this life.  Maybe they are too bogged down by cooked, processed food to open up their minds to the idea.  Or maybe, just maybe, they are sick and tired enough to see the light.  You can feel healthy and vibrant.  If you think you can’t, you can’t.  If you think you can, you can.  Every single person has it in them to feel their best ever.  And the best thing is – it’s your choice.  You can change your life right this second.  What’s it going to be?

Creamy Coconut Cashew Nut Milk and a Creamy Strawberry Shake

Creamy Coconut Cashew Nut Milk

2 cups filtered water
1 cup cashews
2 tbsp coconut butter
4 dates
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/4 of a vanilla bean, seeds only)

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth.  If you don’t have a high speed blender like the vitamix, you can place all ingredients in a blender and let them sit for a couple of hours until the cashews and dates soften.

I HIGHLY recommend investing in a vita-mix.  It’s so powerful that it can turn an ipod into dust – I’m sure you can find some interesting videos on youtube.  I use my vita-mix at least 4 times a day.  You can make nut milks without having to use a strainer, and make the smoothest raw cheesecake you’ve ever tasted.

And since I happened to have fresh strawberries in the fridge – voila!  Instant strawberry shake.

Silky Strawberry Smoothie

Creamy Strawberry Shake

1 batch Creamy Coconut Cashew Nut Milk
1 cup fresh strawberries

Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth.

The funny thing about strawberries is that when you pick them yourself, their size range from that of a raspberry to…a slightly larger raspberry! They taste so sweet and just downright incredible.  When you buy them imported from who knows where, they’re the size of peaches and they taste sour and just gross!  If you missed them this time around, don’t miss out on picking your own (or buying, although picking your own can be fun) local berries next season!

So Happy.

yammy1I am literally smiling all the time.  My skin looks better every day.  Tell me again why I went off raw?

Yesterday I spent about 4 hours cleaning the kitchen.  Now it’s so bright and inviting!  Today I cleaned out the pantry and I threw out so much crap – including some white flour we haven’t used in more than 2 years!!!  Gross.  I also managed to spill the flour all over the floor, and the dog didn’t even move, and if the dog won’t eat it – you know it can’t be categorized as food!

I just got in from a run and whipped up some nori wraps, but this time I made a raw almond dipping sauce that was out of this world!!!  I was so eager to eat that I didn’t take any pictures of it.  The dipping sauce kicks my lame almond paste’s butt!

 

Raw Almond Dipping Sauce

4 tbsp raw almond butter
2 tbsp water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tbsp tamari or Braggs
1 tbsp lime juice

I also picked up some E3Live at the health food store since we’re in-between wheat grass harvesting “seasons” (which last 10 days).  E3Live is a highly concentrated shot of greens.  It’s even darker than wheatgrass juice – and more bitter.  When you take greens as green and as bitter as E3Live (or spirulina, kale, collards, etc.) it means your liver is getting detoxified hard-core.  This also explains why I have had a pretty intense breakout of eczema on my right middle finger.  It’s so swollen that I can barely bend it!  I really hope the swelling goes down through the night because it is so uncomfortable.

If you’re going raw for the first time or starting to take concentrated greens like this, keep in mind that you could go into a healing crisis and feel a lot worse before you feel better.  This is because the liver has the tools it needs to release toxins into the bloodstream for elimination…and this can be extremely intense if you are higly toxic.  I have done my fair share of cleanses, and usually the nausea/sickness goes away 4-5 days after starting/modifying a cleansing program -for me, but all experiences are unique.  So hang in there if you find yourself in a healing crisis!

Spirulina: Why I Eat It Every Day.

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The question I get asked most often when I tell people that I eat raw, vegan food is: Where do you get your protein?  The simplest answer: spirulina.  “Spir-what?” They ask.  So rather than explain myself over and over again, I thought I’d just write about it and refer people to this website.Spirulina is an amazing superfood.

I guess you could say that spirulina is my preferred source of protein, although that isn’t my main objective in eating it.  To be honest, I am a firm believer that all foods in nature have the perfect amout of fats, carbohydrates, and protein, so I never strive to get any single macro-nutrient.  I just eat a wide variety of foods and listen to my body.  Society, on the other hand, seems to be obsessed with the protein question, and if you’re one who is protein obsessed, this may be your reason to include spirulina in your diet!

Spirulina is a complete protein, which means that is contains all of the essential amino acids.  It’s also rich in EFAs: GLA, ALA, LA, EPA, DHA, and AA.  If you don’t understand what those mean, don’t sweat it.  Just think Omega 3s!

Spirulina is also loaded with vitamins and minerals – just look at its colour.  Anything THAT green is golden for the body.  Everyone could use more greens in their diet, that’s for sure.  What I can say for certain is that spirulina gives me loads of energy every time I eat it.  And at the moment, my favourite way to eat spirulina is in a smoothie loaded with local, fresh berries!

 

Tennis, anyone?


Today we were at the Rogers Cup, and although we brought some raw chocolate and some cashews, we were starving for something different.  Amongst all the crap that other people were eating, I found a yummy fruit salad, but I needed to buy about 10 of them to be fully satisfied!  Which would have cost about $50…  Just a reminder that if you’re out of the house all day, you had better be prepared!

Raw Food Praise – I WANT to exercise!


It’s amazing the effect that eating raw has on my desire to exercise.  Last night I took the dog for a 5 k run.  Today after work I went to a hot yoga class, and after I biked home I went for another run with a friend.  It’s really nice to have a running partner because you have that little bit of added motivation.  When you have someone calling you and asking if you want to go running, it’s like an alarm going off and motivation calling you!  If you get several running partners, there’s a guarantee you’ll be running a few times a week!

I haven’t had much to eat today, which is kinda weird considering the amount of exercise I’ve had, but I don’t feel much like eating anything right now.  When you eat raw, natural, good quality foods, you are more in touch with your nutritional needs, wheras when I eat cooked foods, I think I need food all the time!  I’d eat late at night all the time when I was on cooked food. 

When I eat raw, I only go into the kitchen when I am truly hungry…or if I can’t wait to try a new raw recipe!  Also, on cooked I always cleaned my plate, but on a raw food diet, I just stop eating when I’ve had enough.  I eat raw dessert for breakfast if I feel the desire!  And when I have dishes that are rich in nuts or other heavy raw ingredients, my body steers me clear of them for a few days.  Never, ever on a cooked diet did my body tell me anything!  I remember years ago when I didn’t have any idea the effects that food had on my mood or energy level.  Now, I know the second I have eaten something that doesn’t agree with me.  I can just feel it. 

And since you only eat when you’re hungry on raw, there is no breakfast, lunch, dinner schedule…you eat on your own hunger schedule…that being said, I think my hunger level just rose…so apparently “dinner” tonight is going to be around 11pm!

Marinara Salad

Marinara Salad

Dinner: Marinara Salad

Time To Make: About 3 minutes

Would I Make It Again: Yes!

Ingredients: 1 cup leftover Marinara Sauce, (recipe in Eating for Energy) an avocado, 6 stalks asparagus, 1 yellow pepper, 3 green onions, and 1/2 a cucumber.  Variations:  Whatever you have in the fridge!

My Return to Raw: Day Two

Today started with a:

Green Super Smoothie

1 tbsp spirulina
1 mango
1 tbsp bee polin
1 cup strawberries
few cubes ice
1 tbsp chia seeds
2 dates
1 tbsp sesame seeds
water to desired consistency

Then it was off to pick berries at Whittamores Farm on Steeles Ave.  So many delicious berries!  I think we picked for a couple of hours, and I got sunburnt 🙁 but it was worth it.

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