Saturday, June 7, 2014

Going (Almost) Raw: The Basics


I wanted to talk a little bit about my diet today. It's been an incredible part of my life and I love the way this new lifestyle change has made me feel. I think the best part is that I've become so much more in tune with my body and the way it reacts to certain things. I've learned to listen in to what my body is needing and nourish it accordingly. 

So I've been following the raw till 4 lifestyle and it has been great. I get in so much amazing raw food but can still enjoy a healthy, vegan, cooked meal at the end of the day. Best of both worlds! Here are the principles that Freelee the Banana Girl laid out.  

  • Only plant foods are allowed on this program. No animal products
  • Raw fruits & greens must only be eaten till 4pm every day then a high carb cooked dinner of plant foods. No cooked food during the day.
  • 1000+ calories from fruit for breakfast and 1000+ from fruit for lunch is recommended for success, then have a high carb cooked plants dinner. If you are a woman please aim for a minimum of 2000-2500 calories per day. Men should aim for a minimum of 3000-3500.
  • 10% or less of your calories should come from fat a day, please work that out at 5% is optimal. Oil is not recommended on this program. Learn to cook (& eat) without it and you will gain wonderful health benefits. Although not ideal, try using some apple juice or water instead.
  • Approved sources of cooked carbs are organic potatoes, root veggies, rice, gluten-free pasta, high carb ancient grains. These sources are approved because they are low sodium and minimally processed.
  • Fragmented sodium should be kept to an absolute minimum. We recommend under 1000mg’s a day and under 500 mg’s for maximum leanness and health.  Lemon juice is a great substitute for salt.
  • Food should be eaten whole and minimally processed wherever possible. Vegan junk foods are generally high in fat so are not recommended. If you must have them then once a week maximum or you will not benefit like you should from this program.
  • A big green salad should accompany your dinner meal to aid digestion and will minimize white blood cell proliferation from the cooked food. Ideally start eating it first.
  • Buy organic wherever possible (particularly potatoes), it tastes much better and is of course better for your health and the environment.
  • No sweets or fruit AFTER cooked food or fermentation and poor digestion will result, if you want sweets after your dinner then you didn’t eat enough fruit during the day.
  • Unlimited calories every meal, no restriction. The idea is to get as much raw food in as possible before 4pm so the majority of your calories for the day should still come from fruit. Don’t under eat on fruit during the day or ‘save up’ your calories for dinner time. This is about abundance at every meal.
  • Chickpeas, beans, lentils are not high carb choices so should be kept to a minimum. They give too much protein if eaten in excess. They can be added if your fat & protein intake stays around 5% of calories for the day. Be aware that combining them with high carb foods may hamper digestion. If they are tinned make sure they have “no added salt” on the can
  • Move daily, it will help increase the efficiency of your colon and move the cooked food through more quickly
Practice gratitude and peaceful emotions at meal time and enjoy your fit healthy body!

My Basic Meal Plan:

On most days, I'll wake up and work out immediately. While I workout, I drink 32 oz of water. This is great to detox first thing in the morning and helps get my metabolism going. Then I make a 1,000 calorie, 32 oz (sometimes more) smoothie to start my day. Usually it takes me an hour or two to drink it all. For lunch I usually stick with whole fruit, trying to eat at least 1,000 calories. Sometimes it takes me a few hours to get them in too so I'll do it in chunks. I also like to incorporate a datorade to complete my calorie intake for the day. Dates are great for that. For dinner I'll have a healthy, vegan, oil-less, meal such as these potatoes

A few things I've learned along the way: 
  • Finish eating your fruit at least a couple hours before dinner. I've found when my fruit meals get too close to my vegan cooked meals, it makes me tummy really upset. 
  • Getting in enough calories is really important to curve cravings. If you don't get in your calories one day, you'll be more likely to binge the next day. 
  • Bananas are great ya'll. I love just being able to pick up a group of ripe bananas and I've already got my meal! You don't need any utensils or anything and they are so good for you. Bananas for the win! 
  • Also, pineapples are great but if you eat too much it will burn your tongue. 
  • Don't take it so seriously or make it super hard. Give yourself a break if you need it and don't feel guilty about it. It makes it that much easier to get back on track that way. 
  • This diet is pretty easy once you get the hang of it but can be hard to adjust to. I found that making it super simple and being informed helped incredibly. I use weekly to make sure that I am getting in enough calories to sustain myself and let myself have a ball going to the grocery store. I love picking out different fruits every week, this diet really is so abundant when you choose to see it that way. 
  • Make it fun! We like to have a quick picnic and eat our fruit when we have the chance. There's nothing like getting out in nature and enjoying some of it's bounty. It's the best way to honor the earth and your body at the same time. 

Some other great resources that have helped me: 
Tanny Raw
Rice & Raw
FAQ About Going Raw and 80/10/10
The Banana Girl Diet
How To Eat Raw Till 4
Fully Raw

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