What are YOU Allergic too? Could it be making it difficult for you to lose weight?! Want flat abs?

Post 30 Day Challenge. I’m still vegan/macro and let me tell you a little story why! This past weekend was my first weekend since my 30 Day Macrobiotic/Vegan challenge. So, I tested the waters a bit and went out to dinner with my fabulous boy-partner.
Friday night we hit up a local authentic mexican joint that I had been dying to try. Beforehand, I checked out their menu to make sure they had food that fit my preference. This is always good to do so that you aren’t caught in a bind when you are already seated and everyone’s ready to order…and there is nothing on the menu for you, been there and done that!

I heard some great things about this restaurant (Los Amigos) AND it had vegetarian dishes that I could easily ‘make’ into vegan (if I wanted to). I ordered the vegetarian fajitas which came with rice and beans and a little bit of guacamole and lettuce. This was a ‘celebration’ dinner for making it the WHOLE 30 days without cheating, so yes…I allowed myself two corn tortillas lol…this is the thing about life, enjoy yourself! If you’ve been consistent with exercise and nutrition for 4 weeks, IT IS OK to include SOME things in your meal that aren’t usually part of your diet (such as the 2 corn tortillas). Just don’t go out to McDonald’s and get a 1/4 pounder with cheese…

I ate correct portion sizes and it was for the most part a pretty well rounded meal, as well as very tasty! I even had a corona light! HOLY S**T! It is 2012, so I’m trying to enjoy myself a bit before the zombie apocolypse… ANYWAYS, I felt good after the meal, meaning I digested it fine. I was worried that after 30 days of VERY clean eating, mexican food might be a bit too much to handle… BUT I WAS GOOD TO GO! Basically, this macro/vegan thing is fantastic because it has really helped heal my digestive system. Before the challenge there was no way that I could eat a mexican meal and feel fine after. So 1st test night…check!

My second test night, Saturday, we went to a spiffy little joint called Pazo’s that serves tapas and entrees. I stuck to somewhat vegan/macro tapas plates with the exception of some CHEESE in one dish (zucchini ‘no pasta-lasagna’) and I ate a few scallops…and maybe a little crabmeat lol. Again, I felt reasonably good after the meal and was pleased to see that eating seafood wouldn’t disrupt my balance.

Things that I’m ‘Allergic’ too: Tofu & Cashews (Nuts). Not seeds. Every time I include tofu in a dish I notice that afterward I just can’t digest it properly. It may either make my stomach hurt, cause a little heartburn or indigestion, or a ‘sour stomach’. Same for nuts, cashews especially. After eating just a handful of cashews I will immediately feel bloated, have ‘sour stomach’, indigestion and so on. Seeds however, I can handle in small amounts…thank god! Because I love me some hemp seed. Also, almonds are okay with me to.

I’m rambling on about this so that maybe you can identify and start becoming aware of different foods that you may be ‘allergic’ to. I use the word ‘allergic’ and define it as an unwanted, negative body/mind reaction to the consumption of a food or beverage. When you have a negative reaction, when a food makes you feel crappy, this is your body telling you, STOP EATING THAT FOOD!

It may cause an acidic response in your body that you just can’t tolerate, and we don’t want high acidity in our body. Read post about pH level, acidity/alkalinity here. It may cause some of your organs or bodily systems to work in overdrive which makes them not able to perform their important daily functions (ex. alcohol = liver overdrive = liver can’t metabolize fat at normal capacity). It may cause inflammation, and more specifically inflammation in your digestive tract, which we really don’t want! (inflammation of intestines = inability to absorb nutrients from food). It may cause a ‘back up’ or better known as ‘constipation’ in which we will hold in a lot of excess waste, you will feel crappy because your full of it (barf!) Read this:

(Constipation) “This leads to weight gain problems, because of poor nutrient absorption. When sludge begins to line the colon walls it becomes harder for nutrients to be absorbed into the body, as the body must now try and extract nutrients through this wall of fecal matter.
When this occurs, guess what happens?  Your body tells you that you must eat more!  You are not getting the right nutrients so you continue to eat in a vain attempt to get what the body needs!  Cravings kick in because of a lack of certain key nutrients.
Further. colon or bowel blockage results in several bodily problems. As the colon becomes impacted, just like an old rusty drainpipe, the hole in the middle becomes smaller and smaller.  The more impacted the colon becomes, the more weight you carry. Not only does weight become an issue, but diverticulosis (herniated bowel pockets filled with trapped fecal matter and caused by constipation), colon polyps (a tumor that rises from the colon’s surface and then protrudes into the inside of the colon), and cancer can be down the road.  This is a progressively degenerative disease where eventually you end up with total colon blockage, cancer and even death…. regularity will help to give you that flat stomach that doesn’t bulge out, and it will aid you in losing weight and keeping it off.”

Well, I’m so glad we had this talk…probably the last thing you wanted to hear! BUT it is important. You’ve got to start eating clean, do a 30 Day Challenge like I did (heck, even two weeks will help!). Then after your 30 days of clean eating, you will be able to slowly add in foods you used to eat to see what you may be ‘allergic’ to. And eliminate these foods you’re ‘allergic’ to because they only cause your mind and body harm! As well as your waistline!

Yours Truly,

RawFitnessTV.com: Teaching others how to fuel & condition their mind, body & soul towards optimal wellness.

30 Day Vegan/Macrobiotic Challenge…the experiment begins!

Don’t judge or come up with an opinion about something until you’ve tried it! This is something I’ve had to remind myself when researching different healthful approaches to nutrition, exercise and lifestyle habits and/or programs.
SO…I’m embarking on 30 day challenge to see how taking a vegan/macrobiotics/whole & unprocessed foods approach to living will affect my energy levels, wellness, physique, lean muscle mass, body fat%, mental functioning, bodily systems/organs, physical fitness levels and so on.

I already consumed products somewhat ‘vegan’ for the better half of my days Monday -Friday. Oatmeal/vegan protein powder for breakfast, smoothie w/vegan protein powder and a salad for lunch, steamed veggies w/eggs or poultry or fish for dinner. So as you can see, for the most part, dinner was where I included animal product. So instead of eggs/poultry/fish/meat, I just needed to eat grains/legumes/beans/nuts/seeds in place of these animal products. Well, there is much more to it than that I found out!

I know that you need to eat a combination of seeds/nuts/beans/legumes/grains throughout the day when not including animal proteins/products in order to get sufficient minerals/vitamins/protein. However, since I do much more strength training than the average person, I really needed to monitor my macro-nutrient intake.

So I wrote down all of my ‘food options’, divided them up into categories (beans/legumes, grains, greens/vegetables, nuts/seeds/healthy fats, ‘superfoods’ & fruits, and ‘seasoning’). ‘WHOLE’ grains like brown rice, quinoa, and amaranth are a main staple for this diet plan. Greens & non-starchy veggies will also play a big role in the 30 Day Challenge. Greens such as kale, spinach, collards, and veggies such as carrots, cauliflower, onions, cucumbers, celery, daikon, and cabbage. Beans/legumes like lentils, chickpeas, adzuki and tofu are about 10% of daily diet. Seeds & nuts such as flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, and walnuts as well as healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, and sesame oil are important as well but used in moderation. My ‘superfoods’ & fruits list consists of prunes, currants, Dulse flakes, dates, cacao powder, apples, wakame seaweed, kombu seaweed and Nori. Finally, ‘seasonings’ used sparingly such as miso paste & miso mayo, apple cider or ume vinegar, tamari, sea salt, dates, cacao powder, and as much fresh herbs as I want like cilantro, mint, parsley, and basil to add flavor to dishes.

Once I compiled a large list, I found out that most things like the grains and beans would need to be soaked and then cooked in a pressure cooker (pressure cooker cuts cooking time down by A LOT). I needed to avoid my processed products that I so dearly love (LOL), such as my protein powders, vitamins/minerals, fiber supplements, and caffeine such as coffee and also avoid using sweeteners as much as possible, also no alcohol. Also, I have to give up my beloved oatmeal for breakfast, but I’m replacing it with quinoa which I love!

I have already started to wean myself off of my coffee habit and incorporate more grains/beans/seeds and less protein powder. I thought I’d feel weak, but instead I’m slowly feeling clearer minded and more like my body is really using every bit of the food I eat to fuel my activities until my next meal. I’m still experimenting with correct daily amounts of grains/seeds/beans/legumes to ensure I have enough protein/calories by the end of the day. Like anything new, you learn as you go!

This 30 Day Challenge for me will be to experiment with ‘whole foods’ to see if my physical fitness levels & lean muscle mass can remain the same or even improve without the use of supplements such as protein powder or vitamin/mineral/other supplements. There are ‘vegan bodybuilders’ out there, so I know it is possible to achieve improvements in lean muscle mass while maintaining low body fat% but…from the vegan’s I’ve researched they did use vegan protein supplements and other supplements. So this will be a testament to see how I do with going completely ‘whole foods’ & as unprocessed as possible.

My Goal: To stick to the rules! This is a 30 Day cleanse/makeover/challenge and in no way do I plan on restricting my diet to this extreme after the 30 days is finished…BUT, I plan on taking a lot of what I learned and implementing it in my nutrition & lifestyle habits post-30 day challenge. Will I stay ‘vegan’? To be completely truthful…I doubt it…nothing personal to any ‘vegans’ but it seems very restricted and I don’t do well with extremes. I do want to lower the impact I have on the planet and the types of products I use to be of no harm to animals…we will see how much ‘veganism/macrobiotic’ I keep with me after the 30 days, how about that?

My other goal: To help you see how veganism/macrobiotic/whole foods/unprocessed foods can make a positive impact on your health and to possibly help others wean themselves off of a highly processed, junk food, red meat, artificial sweeteners/flavor/additives, pesticide/fertilizer/hormone/gmo ridden diet and ‘take a walk on the wild side’ and transition to more whole foods because all-in-all, I think that if your diet includes a majority of whole, unprocessed foods you will improve & experience a higher level of wellness!

Wish me luck & questions/comments/suggestions are appreciated & welcome!

Health & Happiness,

Natty Mac 😉