Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The RAW Truth

While perusing a couple of blogs, I encountered a post from a relatively normal blogger celebrating her one year anniversary since going raw. Raw? Who eats Raw? No cooked food?

I'd previously associated the Raw food movement with the fringe of society but as I read this blogger's story, I felt as if I was reading my diet and health history. I continued to read how moving to a high Raw diet helped her symptoms immensely and suddently, eating Raw didn't seem so out there. Here's a women around my age (and with a family to boot) making this lifestyle choice work!

That was a couple of weeks ago and now I can't get enough on the topic. Specifically, living a raw, vegan lifestyle. I have seen where some people choose to incorporate raw meats/eggs into their diets. To this ServSafe certified girl, that's too risky.

As I just alluded to above, there are different types of Raw Foodism so I'll provide a brief, general overview. Hope this helps if you've kept your head in the dark like me.

Farmer's Market we visited while on vacation
The Basics 

- Foods are not heated above 115oF (45oC). So you're not forced to eat only cold food; it can be warmed!

- Foods can be frozen depending on the raw foodist to whom you are speaking. This is an area of debate because the viability of frozen enzymes is compromised. 

- Foods heated above 115oF are believed to have lost nutritional value and therefore are not as potent.

- Foods typically eaten are fruits; vegetables; nuts and seeds; sprouted grains and legumes.

Food Preparation

In general, food prep is easy as fruits and vegetables are naturally ready-to-eat! Soaking and sprouting, of course, require more planning. And there are gourmet raw recipes such as raw lasagna, for example. So it's up to the individual to determine where in the raw food spectrum they want to be.

Why Raw Food?

- Increased intake of digestive enzymes, helps promote optimal digestion. Digestive enzymes are destroyed when heated above 115oF. 

- Greater intake of unprocessed foods leads to better health, increased energy and sustainable weight management. 

- Reduced intake of processed foods decreases exposure to excitotoxins

As with all non-traditional diets, debate surrounds raw foodism. I'm working on a book review post that will address these issues.

I'm sensing an adventure in the offing!

- Kareen, RD

Monday, July 19, 2010

Vegan Yum Yum Update

Last week's momentary illness delayed the start of my Vegan Yum Yum adventure. I was going to cook through the book in order but was thwarted on the very first recipe by a waffle iron. The delicious sounding "Blueberry Waffles with Lemon Icing" requires a cooking item we do not own. How depressing. Fortunately I recovered quickly and it's on to the next recipe "Breakfast Sandwiches." The cooking will commence this weekend!

Stay hydrated!

- Kareen, RD


The blog posting silence will end soon. I've got a couple drafts going but fell ill the latter part of last week. Feeling better and ready to tackle this week.

Be back soon!

- Kareen, RD

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vegan Yum Yum Deliciousness

Finally, my newest recipe book is here! I ordered it about a week ago and I've been waiting impatiently. The book is based on the hugely successful blog of the same name: Vegan Yum Yum. Lauren Ulm (Lolo), the author, is not a chef nor is she a professional photographer but she is super-talented!

First, this is one of the most beautiful recipe books I have ever owned. I mean, really. The book is chalkful of beautiful photos and of course, yummy recipes. How do I know? Her website has been my go-to for over the past two years. Our 2008 Thanksgiving meal was based on Lolo's creations!

I'm super-excited to dive into her cookbook! 

So, the project to which I referred in this post is about to begin: Journey through Vegan YumYum!

Think of Julie and Julia. I'm going to cook my way through Vegan YumYum and share my adventures with you! There are 103 recipes including one chapter on drinks and one on sauces/dips/spreads over 278 beautiful, full colour pages. My goal is one recipe per week plus perhaps one of the drink recipes and as needed, the sauces. That's approximately 90 weeks of cooking! Many of the recipes have not been featured on the website and I'll gladly re-make the ones I've tried in the past! Yum!

So as not to violoate intellectual property and copyright laws, I won't post the recipes but I will describe ease of preparation and taste. And although my pictures will not be of the same calibur as Lolo's, I will post some pics of the process and of course, the final product. 

Let's get cooking!

- Kareen, RD

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Product Junkie

Beachbody's Turbo Fire was released a couple of weeks ago and the furor has somewhat died down but it reached fever pitch for a few days. I wanted it so bad and I'm really surprised, I made it out of the marketing onslaught without making a purchase. Why?

Well, I'm a product junkie.

The term, as I've heard it, is usually applied to persons who cannot turn away from a hair product but I feel it's applicable to my situation. I'm also sure my hubby would agree with me! Although he's so supportive and hasn't said a word about this little. . . issue.

I love all things exercise related. There are few gadgets, DVDs, programs that don't appeal to me. If it costs money, it must be good! The more expensive, the better the results, right? The problem is that I use the product or attend the program for a couple of weeks before moving on.

I joined a gym recently (which I admit I haven't visited since the first week I joined - so disappointing) because they offer a CrossFit class which, of course, is extra cash, but I really want to join. And then of course, there remains my desire to purchase Turbo Fire.

I don't think I would consider the issue and issue if I followed through with completing each program and even writing a review or two along the way. Kinda like Nicole at The Fitness Freak. But I don't. Well, once I did with ChaLEAN Extreme.

So is it just that I like to spend money where money may not necessarily exist?

As an organization-, structure- and rule-loving type of girl, I am automatically attracted to products that meet any of those criteria. With exercise programs, the fixed timeline draws me in like a moth to a flame. How could I not follow through and succeed? And when I don't complete the program, I always have a valid reason for why I didn't succeed. While I'm not trying to make excuses, I do wonder if I haven't found a home fitness plan that suits me.

I still want to purchase Turbo Fire and I'm still inquiring about CrossFit at my local gym but I'm willing to compromise for our bank account's sake.

I thought about completing a program I already have to justify another fitness-related expense just like I did for Insanity, but instead I am moving forward with purchasing Turbo Fire because I love a good kickboxing program and I love Chalene Johnson's style. The 24 Hour Turbo Kick aerobics class is the standard by which I judge all other classes (and they all do fall short!). So I'll wait on CrossFit and have requested Turbo Fire for my b-day :)

Now . . . what about a Bodybugg. . .

- Kareen, RD

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How do you show love?

"Have you thought about how you will show me love when I'm on a raw diet?"

That's the question I posed to my husband a couple of nights ago. Now, I haven't yet decided on pursuing a raw lifestyle but I know my husband shows his love through his delicious creations or foodie purchases from the store. He paused and said he hadn't thought about it but was appreciative that I acknowledged his displays of affection.

He said he would think about it and I responded if he needs suggestions, I have some :) 

Support is essential no matter what lifestyle change on which you are embarking. I cannot succeed without my husband's support but I also understand I have to specific about how he can best support my endeavors. 

Most people show love through food or feel love from acceptance of their food. It defines the full spectrum our social events: from funerals to baby showers. So making any change to the way in which you eat will likely impact someone in your circle. For the workplace birthdays, etc, you can get away with being firm and declining without an explanation but for family and friends, you may want to explain your goals. I believe once they understand; they will support. They will probably ask how they can help!

When my hubby does ask how he can show his love, I may offer the suggestion that he can still prepare a delicious meal but perhaps from a specific 'Kareen-approved' cookbook.

As you're making plans to improve your health. . . your life, don't forget to tap into the power of encouragement around you. Food doesn't have to be the only expression of love. Speak up and let your family and friends know how they can help you reach your goals!

Keep moving forward.

- Kareen, RD

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New York City!

It's been almost a week since I returned from NYC. Even though it was a business trip with my boss, I had a good time. A solid good time.

NYC is smelly, crowded with aggressive people BUT the energy was palpable and invigorating! There's no place like NYC. I was inspired to create a new blog, Loczurious; I wrote several blog updates; and created a new summer exercise program.

Yet, with all that positive energy flowing one little nagging thought kept rearing itself: I wonder how many more adventures will be marred by my weight? It's the truth. Extra weight always reminds you of its presence. Whether it's catching a glimpse of yourself in a store window or trying on clothes in a fancy store where nothing fits or. . . you get the point. It's just there.

I'm confident that I will lose the weight but I'm not going to wonder when anymore. I'm doing it now.

Cliched as it sounds, my quest is beyond vanity at this point. I need to get healthy. I lose my breath when I'm walking and talking on the phone at the same time. I mean regular paced walking. I won't even mention the hot mess that is climbing stairs.  My feet hurt when I get out of bed in the morning signalling the worsening of plantaar fasciitis.

So, gotta get to bed as a new adventure begins tomorrow. Meeting a friend bright and early to run!

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canucks!

Have a safe and happy Independence Day weekend to my friends here in the U.S.!

- Kareen, RD