KEY PRINCIPLES OF A HIGH CARB LOW FAT VEGAN LIFESTYLE THAT I PERSONALLY FOLLOW
- Enjoy this process! Be excited and focus on what you can have and forget about the things you cannot. This is a new way of eating for most of us. It is relearning how to eat, shop and understand what is a proper meal. It takes time and effort to educate one self. Stick to it. It is worth it and I will help you. If I did it, you can most definitely do it. Before you know it your taste buds will change and the foods you once thought you could never live without will be a thing of the past! Coke, and hot chocolate, cool whip and captain crunch use to be my breakfast of choice and I thought I would never even want to give this up. Now I look at it like, “what on earth was I on that I thought that was a good breakfast option!" Cheap food seems stagnant to me now (and this is coming from a chocoholic, meat eater). If you want health, if you want a lean functioning beautiful body that serves you and a mind that is clear, and hormones that are not all over the place, and to enjoy the foods you are eating without regret, then this may be the lifestyle for you! I never believed I would be able to enjoy food and benefit from it as well. Long are the days of eating and enjoying and 10 minutes later regretting the whole thing feeling awful! No thank you, been there done that, time to move on!
- This is a completely plant based lifestyle meaning no animal products. Organic is best but not always doable. Do the best you can! Choosing produce in season can be very beneficial and tastes much better anyways.
- Start your first two meals of the day with raw fruits and vegetables. Your last meal of the day can be a cooked plant based meal. This is for proper digestion purposes and helps you to fill most of your diet with whole fruits and veggies. If I have a cooked meal I usually have a fresh green salad as a starter (pop corn bowl sized).
- Food combining is important especially if you have a sensitive system. The main objective is to eat faster digesting foods before slower digesting foods. Fruits after a cooked meal is not recommended. Water before meals not during. Fruits and greens go together. Greens go with everything. Fruits and grains do no work. Melons alone and first thing in the morning. Acid and sweet fruits eat separate. Proper food combining is best for aiding proper digestion and will keep your tummy happy and flat. There are many health benefits from practicing proper food combining including better skin, a flat stomach and proper digestion.
- If you want to have all raw days, all the better! This is meant to be a doable healthful lifestyle that you can maintain in today's world. I love to have the option of a cooked meal. For the raw days- fruit & veggie platters, fruit mono meals, salads and smoothies are all great options. Cooked meals can consist of sweet potato, potatoes, corn pasta, rice, quinoa, root vegetables- as long as its plant based -stir fries, steamed veggies, soups, stews, corn cakes, vegan sushi, most thai food, lettuce wraps are fantastic options. Keep in mind the cleaner you eat the better you will feel.
- Always eat enough. No restrictions with calories. Personally I eat about 2100+ calories depending on my level of activity. Where your calories come from is most important: 80%-90% carbohydrates, 10% or less in fats (avocados, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes) 10% or less in proteins. The only thing I watch is the fat. When your fat is below 10% it changes your blood and the way insulin is released from your body which changes the way your body handles food. When you fat intake is low your body can process foods much faster which is must easier on your system. This is the magical combination to achieving your ultimate health and leanness! For example, if you eat 2100 calories a day, 210 of those calories come from fats (that is about 3/4 of a medium sized avocado). Fruits and Veggies have a ton of fiber and water which makes you fill up! You will go to bed like Buddha and wake up like Ghandi! Welcome that belly and before you know it you will be rocking wash board abs. (the book 80 10 10 and The China Study are very educational and I recommend reading).
- Hydration is important! First thing in the morning and 30 minutes to 1 hour before each meal drink a tall glass of water. Aim for 2.5+ liters a day.
- Learn to cook without salt. You will achieve maximum health and leanness when your salt intake is below 500 mgs. Lemon and herbs are great alternatives.
- Learn to cook without oil. Watch the documentary Fed Up on Netflix. You will learn the benefits of eliminating oil from your diet.
- Processed vegan junk food is fun but does not benefit you healthwise. Keep processed foods to a minimum as much as possible to achieve ultimate health benefits. Whole foods are best!
- Wonderful food staples are ( ripe) bananas. mangoes and dates (bliss balls, rawnola). They are calorie and nutrient dense, cheap and fill you up. I aim to eat in season as much as possible. I find it quite enjoyable and tasty. Mangoes, papayas, bananas, dates, apples, salad, cucumbers and potatoes make up a large portion of my diet. For example, I eat about 30 cucumbers a week, and enjoy a mono-meal of 6-8 mangoes for lunch. I eat until I am satisfied. Writing this is making me realize how blessed we are to have food choices and to eat in abundance. It is truly a privilege to make our own food choices.
- Get that body up and moving! My goal is to break a sweat each day of the week. I am a mom and therefor do not have the luxury of time always but I find this goal is doable! If I had the time I would do hot yoga and surf every day. I did a month straight of hot yoga after I had both my babies. Your whole body just tightens right up and everything goes back to its rightful place haha)- it is absolutely amazing. A few examples of what I personally do for fitness is running (on beach when I can) kicking (swimming with fins) or swimming, you tube home videos ( I have a few favorites such as Barre Workout Video its 38 minutes long, and ‘8 minutes abs is a classic), hiking with my baby, walking to the grocery store instead of drive and of course running around with my kids but I do try to do something specific for myself and break a sweat for 30- 60 minutes each day of the week (usually works out to about 45 minutes). Sunday is a day of rest for me and therefore enjoy relaxing and taking it easy. Currently I run the beach to the nearest bay (about 5 minutes) kick across the bay twice with my fins) and run back home. All in all it takes 35-45minutes. It definitely gets my heart going!
- Just as important as moving your body is rest and relaxation. Retire to bed at a descent hour and rise early is ideal! This is a lifestyle which aims for balance in all things. Be mindful and enjoy these aspects. Work hard, play hard, move, rest, meditate. Allow yourself to enjoy life while being mindful! Sometimes I like to say personal prayers and just reflect on the things I am thankful for. This focus really helps me to remember all the great things in my life and helps reevaluate my problems while putting things into prospective.
- Taking a vitamin B 12 Supplement is recommended. Take one supplement containing at least 10 micrograms of vitamin B12 every day or take one supplement containing at least 2000 micrograms of vitamin B12 every week. I personally get a vitamin B 12 shot from my doctor which you do every few months. There are many symptoms that may come up from lack of B12, two main ones are chronic fatigue and depression.
Vitamin B12 -
It helps the body make healthy red blood cells.
It helps maintain nerve cells.
It is involved in the body's process of converting food into energy (metabolism).
It is needed to make the genetic material in all cells (DNA).
- WHAT ABOUT CONDIMENTS When you first start try to avoid these foods I am about to list. They do not work for everyone and this is what I was advised to do. Once you have surpassed 30 days you may want to try including these items into your diet slowing and see if they agree with you.
This list was put together by the Raw till 4 team which I found very helpful!
Vegetables that cause gas- broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, mushrooms, brussel sprouts.
All fermented products such as pickles, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, etc.
Onion (with the exception of scallions/green-onions or occasional sweet red onions)
Chili pepper products
Seaweed of certain kinds (kelp and kelp noodles, arame, dulse, irish moss, algae etc.)
Bragg's liquid aminos/Raw Coconut Aminos/Nama Shoyu/tamari
Psyllium husk (scratches the delicate lining of the digestive track)
Excessive use of nuts/seeds, badly combined fruits & fat combo's that lead to health challenges.
Gourmet raw dishes that we feel are not congruent with the low fat raw vegan lifestyle
Lastly, enjoy this process and before you know it it will be your life and you will be stoked out of your mind on all the benefits it delivers! Be patient, your body is going to need some healing if its coming from a place of dieting and poor health. Your body can heal you just need to give it a chance! Trust me! I’ve been there and I have done it! Also note that this is my personal experience. I have been monitored the entire time I have been on this lifestyle by professional health care. When I changed to a high carb plant based diet my health results began to sky rocket. Even my doctor was shocked at how fast I started to improve. One of the greatest moments for me was when I was sitting in my doctors office and she had my health results back after being on this lifestyle for 3 months and said, “what can I say, your thriving!” What a contrast! Its a liberating feeling and place to be and I wish it upon all of you, and I hope this website is a page that can be a help to anyone looking to improve or maintain their quality of life.