VEGAN IN THE CITY

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

Here and There

The past few days have been really rough for me. I’ve been feeling really awful, and have been getting headaches, been lightheaded and dizzy, and my digestion has been out of whack – all of which has totally KO’d my yoga routine. Today I am going to try to go back on Metamucil, and see what happens. The year that I was on Metamucil was the best year of my life digestively, so maybe going back on it (while still experimenting with raw vegan foods) will be good for me. Who knows!

I’ve been a bit dejected after making a bunch of recipes that I really did not like. I am sure there was nothing wrong with the recipe, but I’m the pickiest eater ever, so who knows. I got a dehydrator (feeling a bit depressed about this & not sure if it was a good decision, and I refuse to take pictures of it until it helps me make something nice) and made some onion carrot bread, which turned out awful and made me sick for two days. It didn’t taste too bad, just a little strong on the onion for me, but after I ate it I almost died, it was awful, I felt like a lump! Then yesterday I tried to make my first nut pate, made from hemp seeds and walnuts, and it was disgusting. I tried to eat some of it with a spinach salad, and managed to eat a bit of it, but it made me feel like gagging so I gave it a rest. And then I overate on spinach and had a stomach ache and just felt heavy overall. Bummer.

So, this week despite feeling like total shit I have learned some things about myself.

1. Do not eat too big of a salad.

2. Eat salad at the END of the day, not for lunch.

3. I need grains in my diet! They make my belly happy!

4. Raw onions do not agree with me.

5. Raw tomatoes do not agree with me.

6. There is a such thing as a too sweet smoothie

7. Smoothies are a good way to start the day, as is fruit

The smoothie pictured above is my second green smoothie – and for me I think it is a bit too sweet, which I guess is bound to happen because it’s a recipe I just made up. I’ve popped it in the fridge and am going to try watering it down to enjoy at a later date, but right now it’s just not what I want. TOO SWEET. But here’s the recipe for all you out there with a big green sweet tooth:

1. 1 banana

2. 1 1/2 cups of almond milk

3. 1 avocado

4. 3 dates (mine were soaked overnight)

5. 2 handfuls of spinach

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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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Green Juice!

This is the second time I’ve made this green juice, and this time I decided to make it far less watered-down. The first time I made it my vegan diet was highly processed and the idea of making something green to drink was a bit weird, so I mixed it with enough water to fill like 5 water bottles – it was more of a light green lemonade flavour. Drinking it again now but more concentrated definitely resulted in a trip to the bathroom (with good digestion, yay!), so if you are like me and not very used to having concentrated green juice, have a bathroom handy (this juice inspires the bowels, lol)! Here’s the recipe, it made about 3/4 of what you see in the picture, and then I filled the pitcher with water. Slightly modified from something I saw on Natasha St Michael’s video blog series Raw Radiant Health:

Juice:

2 stalks of celery

1 bushel of kale

1 apple

1 2/3 cucumber

1-3 cups homemade lemonade

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My First Veggie Smoothie

This is what I made for lunch today! Chickpea salad + my first veggie smoothie! I am pretty excited about the smoothie, since it was my first smoothie ever with vegetables/greens in it – and it was my first time having an avocado! It was a little thick, so I had to consume it via spoon, but it was absolutely delicious! I was afraid it would taste too much like vegetation but the apple & lemon juice gave it a subtle sweetness that I really enjoyed.

And the texture was nice and soft and velvety. Mmm. I am definitely going to make this again! Here is the recipe, it is my slight alteration on one by Gillian McKeith:

1. Juice 12 baby carrots + 1 apple

2. Add juice to blender.

3. Blend with 10 basil leaves, 1 soft  avocado, and 3 tablespoons homemade lemonade

This dish was just me getting rid of some leftovers! I had the chickpeas from another meal. They are lightly fried with olive oil, oregano, and Italian herbs. Mix with live cress (those are the greens, I think they are called cress), and I also sprinkled some raw sprouts in there too. I had difficulty with just the sprouts and cress, but the flavour of the spices and chickpeas really made everything tastier for me. It was filling & delicious, and FAST – I am pretty sure it took only 15 minutes or so to make, between cleaning the juicer/blender/etc.

Anyhow, a bit of a recap – yesterday I ate pretty normally, and my digestion has been fine since. The only things I’ve been doing differently is taking into consideration some of the things I read in Gillian McKeith’s book – in particular, she suggests taking digestive enzymes & milk thistle capsules, & acidophilus. So I’ve been doing that since I’ve started the detox, and I have to say I don’t know if it’s because of that or the food, but I’m feeling great! Way better than usual, but my last 2 months have been hell, so who knows. She also discusses the idea of food combining, so I’ve tried to take that into consideration with what I’ve been eating and when. Is the idea bullshit? I have no clue, but I can’t wait to read more books by different authors to see what their thoughts are. I guess I’ll just wait and see how I feel. The other thing she suggests is drinking only before and after meals, not during – something I’ve heard before but have been reluctant to adopt, but I’ve been trying it out & so far so good!

In other news, Averie is having a giveaway – go check it out!

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Detox Day Food Plan

So I’ve had weird digestive issues for the past 2 months: nausea whenever I eat, and an inability to digest anything in general (if you catch my drift). After missing a lot of family hangouts and school I got a bit sick of it; I have IBS but since I went vegan and continued my routine of having Metamucil crackers every day before eating, I had literally no IBS symptoms for 7 months. I thought I had found my holy grail.

Regardless, I was getting a bit sick of feeling sick, and after seeing a ton of doctors, no one seemed to know what was going on. I got put on Tecta to control the amount of acid in my stomach (which might have gone up recently due to stress), which helped a little bit but did not eliminate the problem. I called Telehealth Ontario and spoke with one of the lovely nurses there. He suggested that I might have a bug that was caught in my bowels or intestines for 2 months, and that it might not have had the chance to get out of my system since I have been eating. He suggested not to eat until I had been nausea-free for 8 hours.

So a few days ago, I did that – no food. After the 8 hours, I had a banana, and then went to bed. No nausea!

I spent my fasting day reading Gillian McKeith’s book ‘You Are What You Eat’, and taking some notes on it. I decided I was going to do her meal plan for the detox day, which basically involved lots of tea:

10.20AM: Squeeze fresh lemon into warm water. Took Tecta pill.
10.57AM: 2 teaspoons of flaxseeds in water, drink only the water (this was soaked the night before)
11.20AM: Room temperature pint of blueberries
02.10-02.45PM: Yoga
03.10PM: Fruit juice: 3 apples 1 pear, w/ milk thistle pill
04.15PM: Lunch. Quinoa w/ Italian spice w 1/2 cucumber. Tasted bland.
05.33PM: Feeling dizzy. Took 1 vitamin c, 1 multivitamin, digestive enzyme. Camomile tea
06.20PM: Veggie detox juice (6 carrots, 2 celery, 1 apple). Took 2x acidophilus pills
07.00PM: Feeling totally fine, no weird gastrointestinal symptoms at all. Only thing is I feel full & hungry at the same time – maybe bc all of the fluids?
08.00PM: Camomile tea
08.30PM: Sunflower seeds
09.00PM: Miso soup
10-10.30PM: Light walk
10.30PM: 4 kiwi fruit
11.45PM: Digestive enzyme, milk thistle, vit c, multivitamin, peppermint tea
12.25PM: Salad + sprouts with very little balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Tasted awful. (I don’t usually have salad!)
01.45AM: Stomach cramps. Had a bottle of water. After drinking water cramps stop at 2.17AM

Overall successful – no symptoms at all! That could have been because of the fast the day before, but I don’t think it hurt me to generally stick with healthy foods. I was really not a fan of the salad and sprouts, but hopefully I will find a recipe that makes these foods interesting & tasty for me, because I know I should include them in my diet.

Yesterday I returned to my regular diet, and felt fine! I’ll post yesterday’s meal plan later. 🙂

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