Paleo Dieting: A tale of love.

Today is Day 1 of changing my diet. I am a huge fan of the Paleo (paleolithic) diet and followed it for a while last year with great results. I modified my own version of it to fit my needs and tastes. I am a huge advocate for it. Juicing fresh fruits and veggies is another awesome way I stay healthy and get all my nutrients. That, and the relationship I have with my Omega VRT juicer is just divine.

Let me tell you a little story about me and my juicer.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved her juicer.

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She loved her juicer very much. Her juicer was very nice to her. See the juicer?

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The juicer was very photogenic. Here is the girl and her juicer being goofy.Image

The juicer and the girl planned on kickin’ butt at being healthy!

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To be healthy, the juicer decided to help the girl cut out processed foods. See?

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Admittedly, the girl was a tad sad that she wouldn’t be able to eat processed foods, like bread, anymore.

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And then she realized how much healthier she will be once she cuts out nearly all processed foods! She laughed in the face of evil…

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The juicer and the girl lived happily ever after.

I sure do love my juicer. I originally was using a Jack LaLanne juicer from Wal-Mart. I upgraded to the Omega and absolutely love it.

A while back, I wrote a bit schpeel on juicing and paleo. For health’s sake, I’ll post a copy here. I’ve listed a couple of decent paleo sites to check out. I’ve included my schpeel afterwards.

 NOTE: Since I’ve copied the rest of the post from my facebook notes, please excuse the repeats and the references to checking out my other notes. Enjoy the info!

Good source of Paleo food dos and do nots. Don’t mind the point system, unless you wanna incorporate it!

Beginner’s guide to Paleo. A thorough and fun read!

Feb 23, 2012

Why Juice?

Watch “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”–a documentary by Joe Cross.

http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/

It’s available on netflix as well.

Watch as many food documentaries as possible to inform yourself.

Why should you juice? For health. For weight-loss. To get rid of prescription medications. To feel energized. To gain clarity. To purify and detox your body. To get to the bottom of your addiction to food and emotional eating. To put only healthy and natural foods in your body as opposed to processed goods.

Why do I juice? Energy levels out the roof. Self confidence rises. I lose extra weight and get a flat stomach. I like the taste. I can no longer eat processed foods without feeling sick or depressed. Ever since I’ve changed my eating habits to natural and unprocessed foods, I can’t stomach processed/greasy/fatty goods. I want to prevent disease and feel confident to succeed in any area of life. To exert self discipline.

I started juicing a little less than a year ago. I’ve had a curiosity about vegetarian lifestyles and this fandangled fad called ‘juicing.’ I’ve also been curious about the food industry. I watched countless documentaries on the food industry, farms, animal farming, and addictions behind eating. I decided to go for it and change my eating habits. Late one night after work, I purchased a Jack Lalane Power Juicer from Wal-mart (about $100). It’s been a good little machine. I upgraded a few days ago to the Omega VRT350 ($380) and love it even more than the Jack Lalane. It produces better juice, and I’ll get to that later.

I did a raw food/paleo fast for 30 days around the month of august/september. This wasn’t a juice fast, but just eating unprocessed foods. I had great success with it, losing upwards of 15 pounds and feeling so energized (check out my other notes here on facebook for details regarding paleo/raw and observations with that). If I wanted to really get to the nitty gritty, I would have gotten blood tests and taken body measurements rather than just focus on weight loss.

How did I know what to juice? I researched. Did a lot of it. I went to Barnes and Nobles to find books on juicing (and paleolithic diet recipes). The internet holds a vast wealth of information. Check forums and don’t be afraid to ask. When it came down to shopping for veggies and fruits to juice, I just walked around the produce department of Safeway/King Soopers (not walmart unless I had to), and picked what looked good.

I started out with a lot of berries, pears, and apples in my juice. I then branched out into carrots and lettuce/kale. You can juice watermelons and cantelope even! Kiwis, grapes, beets, asparagus, you name it.

I experimented with my tastebuds and different ratios of fruits and veggies. I started out with a sweet tooth using mainly fruits but now try to stick with an even ratio of veggies and fruits to cut back on sugar content. I should be graduating to full on green juice (90% veggies, 10% fruits), but still can’t bring myself to swallow such strong flavors.

What can you juice? Most everything. It’d be easier to mention what shouldn’t be juiced.

Bananas, Avocados, Potatoes shouldn’t be juiced. Really soft mushy fruits might clog up your juicer. Grapes are fine. Lettuce, parsley, tomatoes are fine. Kiwis are great.

What kind of juicer should I buy?!

http://www.bestjuicers.com/juicertypes.html

As I said, I started out with a $100 juicer from Walmart– the Jack LaLane Power Juicer. It was easy to use, took a bit to clean, and got the job done. It is what is known as a Centrifugal juicer. This means that it operates at high RPMS, rotating very quickly shredding the fruits and veggies through a mesh strainer. What I’ve noticed with this juicer is that the juice and the foam-like substance separates very quickly, needing to be stirred and shaken nearly every sip. I also had to consume it withing 20 minutes of making it. The good thing about this one is that I could just shove fruits and veggies in large chunks down the chute—cut the apple into 3rds, leave the carrot whole, push whole celery and kale leaves and stalks down.

I upgraded to a $400 juicer, the Omega VRT350 from Bed Bath and Beyond. WORTH EVERY PENNY. This is what’s known as a masticating juicer. This juicer works at a lower RPM and presses the veggies and fruits through a mesh screen, preserving more nutrients. The benefit of this type of juicer is not only the retention of more nutrients, but also that the juice lasts longer and I can make a big batch in the morning and drink it all through the day. The only issue I have with this one is that I have to prep the produce a bit more– cut it into smaller chunks to feed it through the machine–cut an apple into 6 chunks, cut a carrot in half, then split it lengthwise into 4 smaller slices, chop my leafy greens, etc.

With my Jack LaLane juicer, I had to drink it immediately, as the nature of the juicing process it was under took away a lot of the nutrients, separating it and oxidizing it. My Omega juicer doesn’t separate the juice nearly at all. This is good, because this means oxidation isn’t happening, my juice is retaining nutrients, and I can drink it hours after I make it. No stirring or shaking necessary–it’s all uniform juice and foam!

These might not sound like a big deal or make much of a difference to you if you’ve never tried it, but believe me, the masticating kind will produce a much higher quality of juice.

Do I have to go on a juice fast and avoid all other types of food?!

No! You can incorporate juicing into a healthy diet. Take a look at the paleolithic diet (fruits, veggies, nuts, and meat). By all means, you don’t have to cut out processed foods cold turkey, although it sure makes you proud when you say you quit cold turkey.

SIDE EFFECTS! (Not for the queasy!)

In starting a juice fast or even in cutting out all processed foods, be prepared for the following side effects:

Diarrhea –   Frequent trips to the bathroom in the beginning. Don’t be scared. Your body is detoxing and is getting rid of all the waste left in your intestines after years of build up. Weight loss comes from the loss of this waste. ALSO note: be CAREFUL with how much celery and grapefruit you juice. These will keep you on the toilet all afternoon. I usually stick with just one stalk of celery per batch and notice no adverse affects. Go above one, beware. I haven’t tried grapefruit again for fear of the results.

Fatigue –  You’ll feel tired and lethargic. This is a part of the detoxing process. It shouldn’t last for too long, depending on how bad your eating habits were in the past.

Headaches – from cravings, detoxing, stress, etc. They go away.

Cravings – You’ll crave everything under the sun. You’ll feel like you’re starving and MUST have a slice of pizza or a hamburger. Push through them. It’s mental. Don’t cheat. If you have to cheat, do it with gluten free things, as gluten reaks havok on your digestive system. Cravings go away after about a week, in my experience.

Odd breath or body odor –  This is from the toxins leaving your body. It’s normal. It passes.

Energy levels –  As I mentioned, you’ll feel fatigued initially but that will pass. You’ll start feeling energized and have clarity of thought. It’s the coolest feeling! You’ll feel like you’re superman– colors are brighter, you can mentally absorb more information and take in more stimulations. You’ll wake up ready to face the day with a smiling face full of vibrancy. Trust me.

Confidence –  Along with juicing, you’ll lose extra weight and feel sexy and strong. You’ll have confidence.

I have some tips listed below from a site, but here’s some basics.

-Peel oranges/cuties. some people don’t peel lemons to retain nutrition. meh. your call.

-Cut off ends of carrots.

-Core and de-seed apples. Some people don’t, but I always did to avoid knicks and dings on my juicer–that, and arsenic traces are in apple seeds.

-Wash leafy greens and cucumbers thoroughly. There’s waxy solution and pesticides that can linger on those types of veggies.

-Trim tops from strawberries. de-seed cherries.

Some of my recipes that I use are below. I often just throw together what sounds good and what I like and adjust if necessary. I’ve heard of some V8 recipes, but haven’t tried them yet.

Basic Juice

8 carrots

4 strawberries

1 red bell pepper

5 stalks/leaves kale

1 celery stalk

1 gala apple

2 large oranges

4 kiwis (with skin)

Juice.

Makes a 4 cup amount. (usually lasts me for one meal)

Basic Juice Expanded

3 Large Oranges

2 Gala Apples

8 Large Carrots

1 Stalk Celery

1 Red Pepper

10 Strawberries

8 Kale leaves

5 Kiwis (Skin on)

Feed into your juicer.

Makes 8 cups (2 meals)

Simple Carrot and Apple Juice

4 carrots

2 apples

Juice.

Carrot, Apple, Pear, and Orange Juice

6 carrots,

2 apples

2 pears

1 orange.

Juice.

A mainstay before I started introducing romaine lettuce and kale was apple and pear juice. Now, it’s too sweet for my taste.

Apple and Pear Juice

Equal parts apple and pear.

Juice.

Fresh Raw V8 Juice Recipe- (I haven’t tried it, but sounds good).

Juice all the vegetables using your juicer, and enjoy as is, chilled, or with ice. If you like a more tangy taste, add some chili pepper and/or salt (optional).

3 large tomatoes

3 stalks celery

5 carrots (medium sized)

1 small beet

1/4 head fresh cabbage

1-2 bell pepper (red or green, or both)

2 cups spinach

2-3 kale leaves

1/4 sweet onion

1/2 clove garlic (optional)

This recipe is for raw juice, with all the ingredients in their raw state – with all the live enzymes and nutrients. However, because it’s all-raw, it will taste differently from the “real thing”. The reason being the real V8 is cooked plus has some other added ingredients to make it taste certain way.

If you are looking for a taste more resembling the store-bought recipe, you can optionally substitute half or all of your tomatoes with either stewed tomatoes or tomato sauce for pasta.

(http://www.bestjuicerrecipes.com/fresh-v8-juice-recipe/)

TIPS:

Juicing Recipes Guidelines

1. Wash produce before juicing. If you do not use organic produce you may want to wash them using a non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner. Check at your local health food store.

2. Leafy greens, parsley, wheat grass and sprouts should be bunched up and pushed through your juicer with a carrot or the plunger.

3. When juicing oranges or grapefruit always peel the skin off but leave the pith on (white soft layer between peel and the fruit) to get all the vitamins.

All other fruits such as lemons, limes, pineapples, apples, pears, watermelons, etc can be juiced with the skin or rime.

4. Trim off the ends and tips of carrots before juicing.

5. Most cucumbers you buy at the supermarket have a wax solution on them. I recommend peeling the skin before juicing.

6. Beets, leafy greens, parsley, and wheat grass are very potent and taste “strong”. Make sure you dilute these with carrot and, or apple juice. So for every glass of juice you make, ¼ should be green juice or beet juice and the other ¾ should be carrot or, and apple juice.

7. Remove the stones of fruits such as peaches and cherries before juicing. Most of the time I juice apples I do not remove the seeds. ( I do to protect my juicer from getting to many knicks or dings).

8. Apples seeds are toxic. Your body is well-equipped to detoxify small quantities however it is recommended that you remove apple seeds before juicing.

9. Check your produce before juicing. Trim away any discolored or bruised sections.

10. Try to consume juice right after you make them so that you keep nutrient loss at a minimum.

(http://www.healthy-eating-habit.com/Juicingrecipes.html)

More Juicing Recipes:

http://juicerrecipesnow.com/

http://juicerrecipesnow.com/15/

http://www.fernsnutrition.com/juicer_recipes.htm

http://www.healthy-eating-habit.com/Juicingrecipes.html

http://zestycook.com/the-power-of-juice-juicer-recipes/

July 13, 2011

Raw Food Observations:

Three days ago, I decided to start a raw food diet. Raw fruits, veggies, dehydrated fruits/veggies, nuts and seeds. No dairy. No meat. Why did I do this? I wanted to start all over health-wise. I’ve been eyeing the vegetarian raw food lifestyle for a while now and now is a perfect time to do it. I had heard about the amazing feeling raw food dieting gives a person– focused attention and more energy. I wanted that.

I was at Wal-mart getting my basic groceries a few days ago. It was all fruit and veggies and some nuts. As I was in line to pay I couldn’t help but to notice all the other carts brimming with packaged and canned goods. I saw packages of pizza and mac and cheese, pasta and soda. In one cart was nothing but pre-packaged goods and in another was a banana bunch shyly peeking out from under cereal and brownie mix boxes.

Our shopping habits as Americans are absolutely atrocious. What we spend our time and money on speaks of where our priorities lie. I heard once from a documentary I watched about the vicious cycle families find themselves stuck in. Basically, people want to eat healthy and eat fruit/veggies, but it costs too much. Therefore, they eat out at McDonalds who charges a buck or two for a meal. It’s so much easier and convenient for them to run to McDonalds for a full meal than to just have a bowl of fruit. It is convenient for the time. It’s fast food. I admit— I have a closet love for McDonald’s cheeseburgers. Today I was tested wiht my first cheeseburger.

I had taken a friend to McDonald’s to get supper and she ordered my FAVORITE thing…no, not a big mac or chicken nuggets….a cheeseburger. While she was opening the bag and unwrapping the golden genius, I inhaled and smelled that pickle-y, onion-y, wonderful goodness. I realized something. It smelled better than it tasted. So, I inhaled and smelled it and loved it even more, but didnt go crazy over wanting to eat it. I knew how it would make me feel, afterall.

It’s all a mind game. I never realized how attached to food I was until I started this raw food kick. The first day, I craved cheese so badly. Second day it was pasta and cheese. Third day (Today)… nothing. No cravings. Before, I figured “I’m bored, time to eat,” or ” I’m sad. Time to eat,” and even “That sounds amazing. Screw health, I’ll run it off tomorrow…time to eat.” It’s emotional eating. It’s unhealthy. Learning to break the bond between unhealthy food and my emotions has been a great experience.

I find myself with more clarity and confidence. I have already started to see physical results— flatter stomach and I’ve lost 5 pounds.

Is it easy? Heck no. Do I want it bad enough to make it happen? yes.

Things I’ve noticed:

1. Day 1 was the hardest. It took all my thought to stay away from food I craved.

2. Day 2 was an okay day with slight cravings but mild headaches.

3. Day 3 was lacking cravings and headaches. Easy day.

4. It’s much more convenient to eat bad and unhealthy/unoptimal food.

5. There are so many restrictions on the raw food diet, but also so many options in the raw food world.

6. Nothing can equal the taste of meat or a candied baked potato.

7. I have so much clarity in my head. I feel like my eyes are moving everywhere trying to absorb every bit of the world around me.

8. You have to be very prepared and creative when it comes to raw food dieting. You’ve got to figure out a way to re-create a salad daily and spice up new foods so you don’t get bored.

9. It does get easier as time goes on.

10. The support you get from people at Whole Foods is amazing.

11. Research, research, research!

12. Water…water……….water………………

13. Eating raw food only for the past three days has given me confidence I forgot I had. I feel energetic and sexy, feeling good about myself again is so awesome.

14. Not everyone agrees with the raw food lifestyle.

15. You can do it! Put your mind to it and just go for it. It’s not too late to start.

It’s never to late to do what you want to do. Do you want to be stuck in the same stale mind and action a year from now? Do what you want to do. Make it happen. Start now and be confident.

I look forward to my health, emotional, and physical results at the end of the 30 days. I’ll incorporate more juicing recipes and some more complex food recipes later on. For now, it’s been a great experience. Even if you can’t go 100% raw, go half or 75%!

August 21,2011

If you are wanting to or planning on doing this raw food diet with me, let me know! I’d be happy to encourage you and give ya random check ups!

There are a lot of ways to go about eating raw food or attempting a paleolithic food diet. There are restrictions but of course, some are loose and others are at your discretion. Here’s a basic breakdown of how I have personall approached this way of life/dieting. As I said, it’s not the final say in raw food/paleolithic dieting, but it’s what worked for me and what I enjoyed.

I started out completely raw. No steaming of the veggies, no meat, no eggs. Then I added in a bit of lean meat and eggs towards the end (paleolithic portion).

Foods at eat:

-fruits

-veggies (rarely ate avocados though, heavy on natural fats)

-salads

-raisins

-unsalted sunflower seeds

-unsalted pumpkin seeds

-dried fruits and veggies, but eat sparingly, most are loaded with extra sugar.

-raw almond butter and raw peanut butter (it’s not as sweet as skippy or jif. You’ll need to stir it before eating because the oils separate. I used this with my apples to dip)

-coconut milk (preferably unsweetened, but do what you have to do)

-almond milk (preferably unsweetened)

-soymilk (I’ll be avoiding soy products this second time around)

-Towards the end, I added in eggs and meat–this was the paleolithic portion of my diet). I made grilled chicken and deviled eggs a lot (however, used only mustard and garlic to make the yolk center fluff stuff). Lean meats are the key here- turkey, chicken, steak (yes, steak). Paleo dieters usually steer clear of pork, however. NO bacon, NO balogna.

-occasional coffee and tea daily (truvia sweetener to sweeten up)

Foods I cheat with (Foods I allowed on my diet to make it work)

Lo cal, lo fat salad dressing. I REFUSED to eat a salad dry or with just a lemon squeeze.

coconut milk ice cream–doesn’t contain dairy. definitely an acquired taste

Foods I avoid:

all dairy (cheese,milk, cream, butter, icecream, etc)

all breads and grains (no rice, no bread, no bagels, no doughnuts)

all processed foods (nothing from a box or a can–even canned veggies or fruits)

Pop.

croutons on salads

meat (bacon, chicken, turkey….meat.)

anything that is not fruit, veggies, and nuts.

beans

cereal

oatmeal (this is debated by some. I avoided it because I considered it a grain)

What did a normal day look like for me?

Breakfast: 3 bananas, 12 strawberries, 1 apple with raw almond butter

Snack: 100% fruit strips (nothing but fruit, no preservatives or additives)

Lunch- A huge honkin salad. Romaine and spinach, 1 red pepper, 2 tomatoes, a handful of sunflower seeds, a handful of raisins, handful of dried cranberries. This salad was a staple in my house. I’d make a couple and put them in tupperwares for later)

Snack: Raisins, 3 peaches and a plum

Dinner- Huge honkin’ salad and a glass of fresh juice from my juicer

This is a basic day for me. It took me a while to figure out the combination of veggies and stuff for me to enjoy a salad every meal.

If you have a juicer or would be open to purchasing one (HIGHLY recommend it), A good quality juicer like Jack LaLannes will run you about 75-100 bucks. Here, you can juice everything. If you have a juicer, here’s my mainstays for recipes:

3 granny smith apples

2 pears

10 strawberries

handful of blueberries

or

3 granny smith apples

5 carrots

1 bunch of lettuce

(I can help ya with more juicing recipes if you need, but these were my favorites). You can make homemade V8 juice, juice your own orange and grapefruit juice…etc. You could also do smoothies with bananas and fruits. just no dairy added!

Check out my other note about raw food observations. It’s gonna suck for the first week especially if you are used to eating a lot of processed foods and drinking sodas and eating dairy all the time.

You can break into it slowly by just going half raw and then after a week going full. Incorporate fruits and salads into your diet and then soon you’ll be eating nothing but raw stuff.

As I said, going raw is just raw food—nothing cooked.

Paleolithic is raw food plus lean meat and occasional eggs. You can cook veggies but remember that it’ll decrease nutrient count as you heat.

Basically, there’s no tricks or gimmics. no counting calories. Eat what you want as long as it’s raw. You’ll be shopping in the produce section and avoiding everything else. Just do it! There’s no way around it. Yes, I had to force myself to eat fruits and salads sometimes because I wasn’t feelin it, but I grew to crave fresh fruits and veggies.

Yes, I cheated occasionaly. I had a small bowl of ice cream once while on the diet and just about threw up after. Your body will go through major changes while eating raw food. It will be detoxing and healing from all the damage done by the processed things we eat everyday normally. You’ll feel bad before you feel good. I tell ya though, once you feel good, you’ll not wanna go back.

I did my 30 days and then I went back to eating regular foods. I had nothing but cramps, acid reflux, and headaches. I felt lethargic and bloated all the time. Goes to show what “regular” foods will do for you.

IF you think you can’t do it, then you have already lost the battle. CHOOSE to overcome your body. Decide that you will make excellent choices for yourself. It’s worth it. I was forced to face my battle with self esteem and emotional eating while on this diet. I saw myself facing the issues I once struggled with rather than supressing them with a bowl of ice cream or a candy bar. I was released.

The health benefits of doing a cleanse/diet like this are overwhelming. On a physical note, I noticed that I no longer had a bloated belly. I woke up each morning with a nice flat stomach. I lost about 13 pounds within 30 days. I woke up each morning with so much energy and joy because I knew I was putting GOOD into my body. I wanted to give good to others because of it.

Just to protect myself a bit in the nutrition area, I took a vitamin suppliment from whole foods–a veggie pill basically. I’d recommend adding in a bit of vitamins.

Food Prep- purchase some tupperwares to pre-make salads and fruit bowls. It’s gonna save you prep time. Just don’t let them sit too long. Eat fruits and veggies as fresh as you can to make sure all the nutrients are intact.

Have strength and courage. You can do it. It’s only 30 days. If after you’re done you wanna go back to eating the way you did before, go for it. But just take note of how much energy and stamina you have afterwards. Don’t cheat. You’re only cheating yourself. Give it all you’ve got. You’ll be proud of yourself! I will say though, that if you DO cheat, don’t panic. Look for long term results. “reward” yourself. Mine was a 1 meal a week treat, I ate what I want. Given, after I ate that meal I felt like CRAP, so I didn’t wanna do it again…. Still. Don’t think of it as cheating or as a bad thing. You eat what you want and the universe is not controlling what you put into your mouth. You are in control.

LINKS:

paleolithic food list :  http://michaelalanspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/paleolithic_food_list.pdf

intro to paleolithic diet : http://www.earth360.com/diet_paleodiet_balzer.html

RAW FOOD Blog, food list, a man’s journey : http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2007/12/30-days-raw/

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2 thoughts on “Paleo Dieting: A tale of love.

  1. tvstrategies says:

    Hey there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

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