Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Green Smoothie Queen - Day 1

Content taken from my emails from the Green Smoothie Queen:


Ding! Dong! The Queen is Green and bouncing like a jumping-bean!

(Can you tell I'm a little excited about your first day?)

Did you remember to send in your smiling eyes, your cute nose, and your gleaming cheeks to Keely for your Emerald Lounge Class Photo? And hey... even if you're starting out with luggage under your eyes, no worries - you'll have three days to learn how to lose those bags without the help of an airline! No matter who you are or where you're starting from, I'll be looking forward to "meeting" you!

Now ... I know you're busy, so I'm going to stick to the basics on Day 1. Today, I have information for you on the 5W's of green smoothies! And remember yesterday I mentioned those doors that you could do some thinking about? I have 5 of those for you as well. And I can guarantee that you're going to go through ONE of them today! Wanna see which one?

CLICK HERE: C'mon in to find out, my curious cucumber!

Time to see what the green goo is all about!

 The Green Smoothie Queen

Visit The Emerald Lounge and put your feet up while you meet some fellow green smoothie scholars!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Green Smoothie Queen - Introduction

I thought I would start out this week by giving a bit more detail on Green Smoothies.  I haven't had a green smoothie for over a week now (b/c of lack of grocery shopping) and this week I am getting back into having one each day.  So come join the fun! :)

The following is directly from the Green Smoothie Queen and is what I used to start trying green smoothies.  Green smoothies are usually fruit mixed with some type of green (spinach, kale, etc.)  Give them a chance!  They're definitely not as bad as they may sound.  Once I signed up for the free 3-day course, I got emails explaining how to do it and with samples of recipes.  But I will recreate that information for you here, over the next few days.

Drinking green smoothies is a way for me to get more dark, leafy, green vegetables (they contain protein!) in my diet so that I can get more of the nutrients that I need.  Simply put, it's much easier to drink the quantity of greens I put in my smoothies than chew them.  I'd be eating salads 24/7!

Is anyone willing to just TRY one?  If you do, I'd love to hear about it - whether it's delicious, disgusting or just so-so!

First things first! Come here!

Little closer...

A little closer...

Just a weeeeee bit closer...

(((((( HUG )))))) Ah! I just had to give you that hug for being here and joining me as we start out your 3-Day adventure together.

I must say, I'm excited for you! I remember how excited I was when I first found out about Green Smoothies (heheh... I also remember how skeptical I was, and look at me NOW! From a quibbler to a Queen!) There's no telling what kind of vibrant transformation you'll make once you start drinking green smoothies! But we're about to find out!

At the end of this e-mail, you'll find a link taking you to the preparation day to get you ready for your Green Smoothie Mini-Course. Your Day 1 e-mail will arrive automatically within another 24 hours, and your Day 2 e-mail the day after that, and so on. Each e-mail I send will have a link to my virtual classroom where you can read the lesson for the day. You'll LIKE my classroom... you can lay on the couch, take extra long recesses, and make as much noise as you like. In fact, I encourage noise 'round here! I want you to know it's okay to talk to me, so e-mail me at thequeen@greensmoothiequeen.com and your question will be answered.

This depends! If you're a "green smoothie virgin" and have never tried one, I'll be delighted if you end this program by at least trying your very first green smoothie! If you'd like to feel better, try drinking one every day for the three days. If you're already drinking green smoothies regularly and you want to feel great, you can treat this course as a challenge and try drinking as many green smoothies as you can for the three days. Your success can be measured by whether you have increased your intake of greens. You can also participate in the Day 3 Green Smoothie Practicum (stay tuned!) and make your success official!

For this particular program, there's no set menu, only suggestions! You'll be given a couple of ideas for green smoothies on Day 1 and then a list of the best general "starter" ingredients on Day 2. But if you'd like to have some fruit and leafy greens (whatever is local to your area) on hand, then go for it! Your free recipes will appear at the bottom of the classroom pages for Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3. You will also find more free recipes in The Emerald Lounge thanks to our Green Smoothie Graduates who share their creations!

We have an online community of green smoothie drinkers that you can get to know! To access this community, and to learn everything you need to know about your username and password, just click here!

If live talkin' is more your thing, you can also click here to find out about The Raw Divas weekly Cozy Coaching Calls. I want you to feel supported and welcome here! Many of the folks using my programs are at very different stages of health - some are raw, some have only just heard of "raw food", some are happy somewhere in the middle, but all are just trying to make improvements. We're just regular green Janes and Joes trying to help one another out with the information we've gained from our own personal experiences, so if you have questions, frustrations, or stories to share you'll be sure to find someone who's either "been there" or is right there with you!

Now, there is a weeeee task for you to do to help you get ready for your first day of class, so please click the happy link to visit the preparation day:

>>>>>>>>>> 3-Day Mini-Course Prep Day <<<<<<<<<<

In the meantime, how about heading for your basement some time today and digging out your old blender? You're gonna want to give it a hug too when you learn just how dramatically it can change your life! So shake that dust off and we'll see you tomorrow, Smiley!

And finally, the royal lawyers insist that I remind you at least once of our Terms of Use and remind you that I am indeed a Smoothie Queen and not a doctor, so it's necessary to tell you:

The responsibility for the consequences of your use of any suggestion or procedure described hereafter lies not with the authors, publisher or distributors of this program. This course is not intended as medical or health advice. We recommend consulting with a licensed health professional before changing your diet.

Parsley Kisses until tomorrow!

The Green Smoothie Queen

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Great Minnesota Get Together!

Ry and I haven't been to the MN State Fair for a few years, so this year we decided to go...with 175,621 other people.  It was a beautiful day to go.  However, the longer we were there, the warmer it got.  There was a wonderful breeze, but it was still hot.  I was trying to find the watermelon stand b/c I could have used a huge bowl of delicious, watery fruit.  However, I never did see it. :(  Here's the pix from their website:

I ate breakfast before we left for the day, then for lunch I had a Giant Pickle.  That didn't go so well for me.  I ended up tossing my cookies (twice!) within the next three hours.  Ew, I know.  Besides that unfortunate occurance, we had a lovely time!  Here are some food related pix. :)

Week 9 Rawview

These are just some of the raw foods I ate this week:
Crackers (made of various seeds)
Cucumbers (lots and lots of these!)
Nuts (almonds, cashews)
Pies (a few bites of 3 varieties) from Ecopolitan
Potato Chips (dehydrated)
Rawvioli from Ecopolitan
Strawberries (fresh and dehydrated)
Vegan burrito *not raw (contained refried beans and black beans)
Water, water, water

Emotional changes:
This week I noticed that I wavered on my intensity.  Overall I still ate well, but a sliver of my passion was gone.  I plan on re-igniting my passion this upcoming week.  The last two weeks I have not been diligent with going grocery shopping and meal planning - I've noticed that definitely effects my decision making during the week.  Today I have regrouped and have a fridge stocked full of delicious fruits and veggies.  I am READY for Week 10! 

Physical changes:
Last week I mentioned my sleeping patterns.  Well this week there was a definite change.  I am now regularly waking up after getting 7.25 hours of sleep at night.  It's nice b/c there's more hours in my day, but sometimes I just love the thought of sleeping longer, you know?

This last week I have had a few people tell me that I look great.  And not because of the weight loss, but because of just how I look overall.  It's been so encouraging because these are the things that I can't necessarily tell: "you're glowing", "your skin looks great", and "you're just so happy".

Yesterday I got ill at the state fair, which then meant I didn't feel like eating...like at all.  I'm sure you know the feeling.  That in and of itself increased my weight loss by 1.2 lbs.

Pounds lost this week: 3.0
Pounds lost so far: 28.8
Average pounds lost each week: 3.2

I'm going to try to remember to take pictures every month...just to be able to document the changes, side by side.  Technically this should have been posted on the Week 8 Rawview.  Anyway, here is the first installment.

Before starting the Raw Vegan diet:
8 weeks after eating a Raw Vegan diet:

Ecopolitan Dinner - 100% Organic Raw Vegan Restaurant

Last Thursday I met up with the Raw Food Meetup Group for dinner at Ecopolitan in Minneapolis.  I've never been there, but kept hearing good things about it from multiple people I know.  I had a couple of friends and my sister join me.  I think the trip was a success overall!

Friend Molly, friend Natasha, sister Laura and me:

Just some of the other people that were at the dinner:

My meal - Rawvioli (thinly-sliced root vegetables with cashew “cheese” filling, ginger marinara sauce, balsamic onions, cashew “parmesan,” & bruschetta; served on house-dressed greens)

The little things that look like meatballs is actually the marinara sauce. I personally did not like my particular dish. However, we all shared food and tried the different dishes. The food was very good and I am looking forward to going back again!

Laura's meal - Spicy Thai Noodles (coconut curry sauce on zucchini, carrot, & daikon radish noodles with bell pepper, pineapple, cilantro, almonds, & coconut flakes; served on house-dressed greens):

Molly's meal - Hawaiian Pizza (sweet marinara sauce, pineapple, bell pepper, onion, macadamia nuts, & cilantro) (very good!):

Natasha's meal - Green Burrito (a collard leaf wrap with curried hummus, lentil “taco meat”, fresh vegetables, sunflower seeds, sprouts, & hot sauce; served with salsa & guacamole):

Dessert Time!!  We shared all three of these.  Up first, Cheesecake.  It really DID taste like cheesecake and was so delicious.
 Then we tried Coconut Cream Pie (num!):

Then my personal favorite dessert - Banana Bread Pie!!

Finally, here are more pictures of the food others ordered.  It was great to meet more new people!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Your FAQ's

I have compiled a few questions that I frequently get asked.  Thanks for your patience in waiting for me to pull this together.  If you have other things you're curious about, drop me a note in the comments and I'll add it to a future post!

“How do you get protein?”

The WHO (World Health Organization) says humans need about 5% of their daily calories to come from protein to be healthy. The USDA puts this figure at 6.5%. On average, fruits have about 5% of their calories from protein. Vegetables have from 20-50% of their calories from protein. Sprouted seeds and beans contain from 10-25% of their calories from protein. So if you are eating any variety of living plant foods, you are getting more than adequate protein.  Source

“I could never do that.”

I know this isn’t a question, but it’s usually one of the first responses I get when someone finds out about me eating a raw vegan diet. I always respond, and I mean it, “Yes, you could.” Depending on the person I might elaborate, b/c what’s going on in my mind is the fact that I would have said the exact same thing before I made this transition. I have found that for myself it is all a matter of my motivation.  What is propelling me to continue this day in and day out?  I think your motivation HAS to be bigger than a wish and bigger than your need to feed your desires.

“How do you get all the nutrients you need?”

When I get this question I immediately think, "I wasn't getting all the necessary nutrients before!"  I was NOT eating all the fruits and veggies that I should have been.  I didn't care one bit about the nutrients I was or wasn't getting.  So by simply changing my eating to a raw vegan diet I know that I am already getting many more nutrients than I was before (and that's half the battle!). 

To ensure that I get the most out of the food I do eat, what I do is try to eat a large variety, over the long term.  I read somewhere that can mean eating what is in season and then switching to what is in season the next month.  It doesn't have to be a gigantic variety from day to day, but from season to season is a good way to do it.  That helps take the pressure off!  But either way I am getting many nutrients that I would never have gotten on the SAD.

“Aren’t you always hungry?”

In the beginning, yes. It took some time, probably about three weeks or so, to get a handle on how much I need to eat so I’m not always hungry.  I'm also learning what foods fill me up for longer periods of time than others.  It's still kind of a guessing game for me at this time so I try to always have food with me in case I unexpectedly get hungry.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fully Alive

I continue to have insight into both the changes I'm making with my diet, but also in the changes I am needing to make regarding MS treatment.  One of the mantras of eating raw vegan is that it's good because you're eating "living foods".  Don't we all want to be ALIVE?  For me, this is a somewhat new concept.  I only thought of being alive in terms of my relationships or the activities I was involved in - not my food.

I heard this recently and it has been running through my mind for weeks now:
"Every day we have choices to make that either give us life or bring us closer to death."
I think it was meant more literally, but I am taking it both literally and metaphorically.  With each life-giving food I eat I am bringing my body into a more healthy state of being.  That in turn gives me the energy and stamina to explore activities that contribute to my overall well being.  It is a wonderful cycle to be in.  I'm used to hearing the term "vicious cycle" and I have been in those more than once, but for once it's nice to be in a "positive cycle"!

I personally enjoy heavy metal music - or at least something with a bit of an edge to it.  This song played on my iPod on the way into work this morning and I thought it was perfectly fitting, both with how I am feeling and some of what I've been through:

Fully Alive by Flyleaf (listen here)

Telling Layla's story spoken
'Bout how all her bones are broken
Hammers fall on all the pieces
Two months in the cover creases

Fully alive
More than most
Ready to smile and love life
Fully alive
Now she knows how to believe in futures

All my complaints shrink to nothing
I'm ashamed of all my somethings
She's glad for one day of comfort
Only because she has suffered

Fully alive
More than most
Ready to smile and love life
Fully alive
Now she knows how to believe in futures

Fully alive
More than most
Ready to smile and love life
Fully alive
Now she knows how to believe in futures

Fully alive
More than most
Ready to smile and love life
Fully alive
Now she knows how to believe in futures

Monday, August 23, 2010

Purpose of Food?

A concept that I have never, truly cared about until recently is the idea that food is for our nutrition.  Sure, we want to enjoy our food and want it to be good for us, but I found myself going solely for the enjoyment factor and not really caring about what it was doing to my body.  Not until my health became more in jeopardy did I even seriously entertain the thought of changing what I put in my mouth.  I thought I would be doomed for a life of boring food if I ate healthy and I didn't want to go that route. 

What a lie that was!

Instead, I feel liberated.  I eat guilt free.  I get to eat as much as I want.  I don't feel sluggish after eating a large meal.  Instead I feel energized.  I also feel...clean...and pure.  To know that my internal organs and bloodstream have wonderful nutrients and minerals flowing through them instead of saturated fats and empty calories is, in an odd way, comforting.

I found this article by Debra Augur on the purpose of food which kind of sums up my viewpoint.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week 8 Rawview

These are just some of the foods I ate this week:
Buckwheat Granola
Green smoothies (various fruits mixed with kale, spinach or other greens)
Romaine salads
Crackers (made of various seeds)
'Egg' Salad
Nuts (almonds, cashews)
Pizza Flax Snax
Potato Chips (dehydrated)
Ruby Tuesday's salad bar (raw vegan ingredients only!)
Strawberries (fresh and dehydrated)
Yellow Watermelon
Water, water, water

Emotional changes:
I got LOTS of encouragement this week from family.  That always helps!  When we visited my sister- and brother-in-law they were completely supportive.  I saw my Dad and he gave me the thumbs up for making these changes AND tons of veggies from his garden (I'm working on a post with pix and sharing what I did with them)!  I also visited with my Aunt Nardy and got to share my story in more detail with her which was so nice.  However, besides the positive encouragement, I have noticed that some people in my life are continuing to react negatively or passively/agressively to all of this.  The longer I do it the more REAL it becomes and I think they can't believe it's actually happening.  Sometimes I can't believe it either!

Physical changes:
I used to feel tired all the time.  I thought I was able to tell the difference between being a little wore out vs. being fatigued due to the MS.  Well, now that I am feeling different and am reflecting on how I felt before, I am pretty sure most of my 'tiredness' was all the JUNK I was eating.  Because NOW, NOW!, I feel energized most of the time!!!!!...can you tell by my use of exclamation marks?!  :)  Granted, I still have legitimate periods where I need to rest, but that is even happening less often.  Now if I think I'm feeling 'tired' it's usually because I need to eat, not because I'm actually sleepy.  Once I truly fine tune the quantity of food I eat, I bet when I feel tired, I'll actually be tired.  What a concept!

Speaking of being tired, my sleeping patterns have shifted.  I used to flip flop between needing only 7 hours of sleep for a few weeks at a stretch to needing at least 9 hours of sleep for a few weeks at a stretch to actually feel rested.  When I started eating raw vegan I was at the point of needing around 7-8 hours of sleep.  I am currently getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, but I wake up feeling different than I did before.  I feel like actually getting OUT of bed and not just lying in it so I can get some more rest.  I'm definitely more alert during longer days.  I don't feel like going to bed at 9 p.m. (or earlier!) anymore.  For quite a few weeks I was going to bed at 8:30-9 p.m. every night because I felt just so exhausted.  Now I sometimes start a new project or task at 9 instead of lying on the couch...in other words, I'm MUCH more productive!

I went to the dr. twice this week for various things and my blood pressure was checked each time, so I thought I'd report that...sadly I don't know what it was previously.  However, I do know that I've never had high blood pressure.

Also, remember how last week I didn't have my usual scale to weigh myself?  Well, that may be a factor in my supposed 4 lb. weight loss this week.

Blood Pressure: 108/74
Pounds lost this week: 4.0
Pounds lost so far: 25.8
Average pounds lost each week: 3.2

On a side note, I got a new hair cut/color to help reflect some of the changes that are going on!  I love it!  A HUGE thank you to my sister, Laura!!  First, my hair before...starting to look a little ragged.  Then the turn around. :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rawcipe: Sprouted Wild Rice with Corn and Tomato

Ani's Raw Food Kitchen cookbook by Ani Phyo

Sprouted Wild Rice with Corn and Tomato

2 *I made a double batch

  • 1 1/2 cup soaked wild rice (start with 1 cup rice + 2 cups soak water)
    *Drain, rinse and refill the water twice each day.  I soaked the rice for 2.5 days, but it would have been even softer if I would have soaked it longer.
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels *About one ear of corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, deseed, dice, to taste *I omitted these
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, optional
Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Toss to mix well.

Will keep for 3 days in fridge.

  • So this was fun to make and looks beautiful.
  • The rice is chewy, which I actually liked. It's very flavorful with the fresh tomatoes and cilantro.
  • Apparently I don't really like the taste of cilantro. :( Keep in mind that I am learning to broaden my horizons as far as flavors.
  • It's a refreshing cold salad and would have been quite filling had I actually eaten a real serving. Maybe next time I'll lay off the cilantro and try a different herb.
  • This was a hit for many people (including children!) though. I got really good feedback from the two groups of people I made it for, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Vegetable Exchange

My boss graciously gave me all this food:

Isn't that amazing?!  Look at all the cucumbers, squash, onions, red beets, and kohlrabi (you can't even see the hugest one!). 

He recently found out about my change in diet and so he said he thought of me when he and his wife realized they wouldn't be able to eat all of it.  I thanked him a bunch and am looking forward to trying things I would never normally buy...like the squash.  Oh and the red beets.  The cucumbers were amazingly fresh.

I'm glad I get to benefit from this fresh food without actually being a part of the exchange (I'm not sure what it's called)...yet. :)  Maybe next year I'll have to look more closely to getting in on that!

Friday, August 20, 2010

TwinCities RAW Food Meetup Group

Remember how I mentioned here that I had found a group of people in the Twin Cities area that are interested in the raw vegan lifestyle?  These are pictures from our time together in July.  This time there are only pix of the food, without any good descriptions, but I promise I'll get better at giving descriptions and actually having some people in the pix. :)  Everyone brought a dish to share or some raw vegetable or fruit.



The recipe for this delicious Stir Fry can be found here:  This was my favorite dish of the night!  Thanks to Casey for bringing it!