VEGAN IN THE CITY

Twenty-something. F. Toronto. Vegan exploring fitness, healthy eating & raw foods, on a busy schedule in a busy city ♥

OJ Cravings + Being Grossed Out By Spring Rolls

So, I never thought it would happen – I tried to eat some gourmet vegan spring rolls tonight for dinner and I could only get through two of the three that came in the package – and even that was a bit of a challenge. They tasted disgusting, and made my skin feel greasy. I’m completely amazed. I used to LOVE spring rolls and have them at every opportunity. It’s been a while since I’ve had them, but I was at The Big Carrot buying some Tooth Soap (which I LOVE by the way), and I thought I’d grab a few groceries – treat myself to something nice, and grab some spring rolls. I think the company is from Quebec – I’ve had the same brand before, which I bought at The Sweet Potato in the Junction – and don’t recall them being gross or greasy. I remember quite liking them. So, this means my taste buds are changing – exciting!

I’ve already noticed I’ve started to crave that stuff a lot less but it’s cool to see myself actually repulsed by the taste of it. This will make the whole ‘raw’ emphasis thing a lot easier. I want to hit up a bunch of farmers’ markets this week and grab some produce. The past few days I’ve bought a lot of non-veggie stuff, like bread, wraps, spring rolls – but I’m noticing that my taste buds aren’t really into it. It sucks that I wasted the money on it, but at least I won’t make that mistake a second time. I’m eating a lot of fruit and vegetables and I’m still craving lousy non-nutritious food, which will hopefully subside now that I tasted it and it tasted like shit. Five points for me?

In other news, I’ve been totally craving fresh-squeezed orange juice lately. It sucks that my juicer broke, so I have to go buy a new one – til then I have just been buying the fresh squeezed stuff from Fresh & Wild – it is delicious! I still can’t wait to get a new juicer and start making my own again. I just have to find a juicer that will fit in my backpack so I can go bike ride to get it! I find OJ is a great solution when I’m not in the position to peel a fruit or make a smoothie, like if I’m out and about, or about to work out or am working out or something (especially since I’ve been doing hot yoga lately!). Healthy calories & energy, in convenient drinkable form.

I also saw Brendan Brazier speak tonight – and he signed my book! Yay! Also got a few Vega free samples. I do have the Vega Health Optimizer powder, which I only use a little bit of in each smoothie. I find the taste is too bad/strong for the kind I have (berry flavour – next time I am totally going with something different) to use any more than a little bit – but it does make me feel great.

Tomorrow: fruit, veg, & yoga!

Photo credit: Flickr.

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Overwhelmed

The past few days I haven’t posted much because I’ve been in the throes of health forum oversaturation. The raw forums, the 811 forums, the LFRV forums, and then there’s the raw blogging community. The first few days focused on reading up in the blogs, and I felt amazing and full of energy! And then the days after that I devoted my time to reading the forums, where most of my days were not as good as the ones before, and today I had a flare-up for the first time all week. After some thought I think it might have been due to a B12 supplement I took in the morning without realizing that it had lactose in it. Hello! Lactose intolerant right here! Yes it is that severe!

Regardless – when I first started reading about raw, I was nothing but inspired. Blogs like Gena Hamshaw‘s in particular, since she was a fellow IBS sufferer who healed after changing her diet. And reading other blogs, all of which are on my blogroll, I was so excited about raw and bought all this stuff to make some awesome yummy food. I was feeling so full of energy and full of life! Then, I found the forums, where I read so many conflicting opinions that made my head spin. A lot of people were talking about 811 (80% of calories from carbs, 10 and 10 from protein and fats respectively), or LFRV (low fat raw vegan for those who don’t know). Some people survived on nothing but fruits. Some people were paleo. All had pictures, and they all looked great – healthy, strong, and full of energy. They all said their way of doing things was the best, and I read the arguments behind everything.

This got to be sooo stressful. I wasn’t sure and still am not sure who to believe anymore. Gena cured her IBS with what I consider to be gourmet raw, and a bunch of people on the forums cured their colitis/etc by eating fruits all day and then salad for dinner. What should I do? This question ran around in my mind for the past few days. Whose way was the best way? It got to be so stressful I almost didn’t want to try anything, and at a few points I convinced myself I would be able to live only on smoothies.

Smoothies are great and all, but I need to go back to why raw started interesting me in the first place. Digestion, and getting rid of my digestive issues! I’ve for the most part felt pretty good all week, except the past few days I have been really dizzy, lightheaded, and have gotten headaches. This from a girl who NEVER gets headaches, ever!

I also really love the supportive anything-goes non-dogmatic, laid back vibrant energy of the raw blog community. When I read the blogs I feel so revitalized and happy, optimistic and healthy. When I read the forums I just am the biggest worry wort ever, and get bogged down with theory. I think the theory I need to apply is of my body. What feels good? What digests well? What tastes good? I don’t want to deprive myself, I want to enjoy the amazing tastes of fresh whole foods.

I swear – my boyfriend’s mother is a dietician, and if she knew I was even considering doing the 811 mostly fruit thing she would be floored! I had mostly fruits today, and a small salad, and I’m feeling like shit. This can work for some people but at this point in time I don’t think it’s necessary for me! I think some part of me needs nuts or something. Expect one of Brendan Brazier’s raw nut pate recipes this week, I’m going to try one out!

But I have to ask – has anyone else gone through a similar crisis of ideologies? What has your experience been? Sorry for the long-winded post but I had a lot to get out, lol. I feel a lot lighter now.

Also, some giveaways are happening right now!

The amazing Averie is having one! Check out her blog if you haven’t, it’s amazing!

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Newbie Pancakes + Fridge/Pantry Makeover!

So, I didn’t end up buying the dehydrator today – I’m going to try to find some time to go tomorrow. Instead, I went on a serious grocery trip and overhauled my fridge & shelves! No more processed food, hello fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, pseudograins, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices (and tea)!

I looked so confused at the grocery store, squinting at all the racks of nuts, seeds, spices, and herbs, trying to figure out what was what. It is amazing that my whole life I have never known what a walnut actually looks like, until today when I bought them! It’s a really amazing feeling to start learning about real food rather than just accept whatever comes from a package. No top-secret ingredients with ten syllables!

Before I went grocery shopping, I made a list of the ingredients of 3 of the recipes in Brendan Brazier’s The Thrive Diet book. I decided to pick one smoothie, one pancake, and one burger! It took me like 2 hours to find everything, shopping for real food can be confusing when you don’t know what anything looks like.

Anywho, the recipe I decided to make tonight was for his Buckwheat pancakes! However, when I got home I realized I totally wasn’t able to find 2 of the things on the ingredient list: hemp flour, and barley flakes. So, I took those out and readjusted the amount of buckwheat flour, and they turned out amazingly anyway! I am still full and the sweet taste is still in my mouth. Yum!

Here are the ingredients:

1 1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 banana

2 cups water

Begin by mixing the banana and the water in a blender. Then mix the remainder of the ingredients in a bowl.

Once you have done this, slowly add it to the banana and water smoothie, bit by bit, and blending as you go.

Put a bit of coconut oil on a frying pan and put the heat on one of the lowest settings. Begin to drip the batter onto the frying pan. Wait until the pancake starts to bubble, and then flip. This should be about 3-5 minutes per side. My first attempt turned out super super ugly, as you can see below!

It looked so ugly I wanted to be sure it tasted good, so I put it on a plate and drizzled some raw agave nectar over it (my first time having this). OH MY GOD, SO DELICIOUS!

It was sooooo good! I felt really guilty eating it since it was sooo sweet with the agave nectar, I felt like I was eating some sort of candy bar or something. I can’t believe it’s 100% natural ingredients – real, whole foods! Yummy! I was a bit unsure since it isn’t raw, but it’s in Brendan’s book and I trust that guy. If it’s good enough for him to eat, it’s good enough for me to eat! Definitely not every day, though, and I think next time I’ll cut back on the agave nectar. But overall, a huge success! (PS: This makes 6 medium-sized pancakes!)

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