Thursday, January 29, 2009

Getting Healthier...

This photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post, but my photo of the chocolate mousse didn't turn out, and I didn't want the post to be photo-less. So, here's a picture taken last time we were at the beach (a few days ago). The ocean was pretty that day, and I liked how that little pool of water (at the bottom of the photo) looked.

No, I'm not going to make this a kitchen, health, or food blog, (I already have one of those... it's sadly neglected, but it's there), but I'm determined to keep on track with my getting-healthier plan, so I think I'll post about it regularly for awhile (after today, I'm mostly going to put my food and health posts on my "Kitchen Notes" blog) just to keep a journal of how I'm doing.

Currently I feel pretty well, I eat healthfully, I'm basically fit, and I'm not overweight (though I wouldn't mind losing a few pounds if they were to disappear), but, once or twice in the past, I've felt even better than I do now, and why not go for taking care of myself as well as I can? I aim to do just that, and that's why, as I mentioned yesterday, I'm narrowing my diet to the foods I know make me feel really, really well.

There's a certain way of eating that helps me to feel great-- my head clears, my energy level increases (though I have a good amount of energy to begin with), I feel stronger, my endurance increases, I need less sleep, my skin gets brighter than ever, my allergies improve significantly, I rarely feel hungry and pretty much never want sugar, any extra weight drops off without me really thinking about it, and on and on. Health problems that occasionally plagued me at one time have disappeared, some of them gradually, and some of them quickly, as I've improved my eating. (Gee, as I read over this, I am struck that it might sound a bit hyperbolic, but, alas, it's all true.) Three times in the past, I've stuck pretty strictly to this way of eating, and I like the foods I eat when I follow this "diet," so why don't I eat this way all of the time? ...I have no idea.

I'm going for a minimum of 50% raw or "living" foods, but I'll shoot more toward at least 75%. (I won't eat all raw.) I'm not a raw food purist, nor do I want to be. I just know that I feel really, really well when a good percent of my diet consists of living foods. And, already, in a fairly short time, there's already clear improvement in how I feel.

So, here are some of my eating parameters (I'm sure there's a similar list somewhere in my archives):

--Eat real food.

--No sugar. Use all-natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, rapadura, maple sugar, agave nectar, but not too much.

--Keep intake of grains low. Whole grains only. Grains should be sprouted or soaked before using. Mom loves oatmeal that is cooked after having been soaked all night in water and a little bit of all-natural yogurt.

--Not much meat.

--Little or no dairy. Dairy products should be raw or cultured.

--Lots of leafy greens.

--Consume a large amount, and a good variety, of produce.

--Daily green lemonade.

--Nuts should be soaked and dehydrated.

--All organic, or at least as much as possible.

--Lacto-fermented foods and drinks are highly beneficial. (I like grape kombucha and raw sauerkraut.)

--Eat as much organic as possible.

--The fresher the produce the better-- home grown, farmers' market produce, CSA produce.

--Eat mostly seasonally.

Also, I take a few daily supplements-- cod liver oil, evening primrose oil, acerola powder, and dolomite powder.

Another thing I'm making sure I do is to get lots of fresh air and increasing amounts of exercise as my fitness improves. Mom and I have been walking together pretty much every day, and we're both increasingly feeling the benefits of it. We often walk down the beach or on a nearby country road, but today we parked the car when we were in town and walked along the sidewalks and up and down the hills (it's a hilly town). We walked and walked. And when we had finished our walk, instead of going back to the car, we walked on down to the natural foods co-op and picked up some produce. It was a really pretty, warm, sunny day, so it was hard to stop walking.

What I ate today is almost a repeat of yesterday. I'll certainly be eating more variety, but one also has to eat what is on-hand so things don't go to waste!

--I started my day with a glass of water mixed with fresh-squeezed lemon juice.

--Sprouted grain toast with my peanut butter spread, again.

--Morning coffee.

--An all-fruit smoothie made from the same fruits as yesterday-- banana, orange, strawberries.

--My usual lunchtime giant salad, this time sprinkled with a homemade, vegan, "raw" parmesan substitute (basically made by food processing 1/4 c. nutritional yeast, 1 1/4 c. walnuts, and 1/4 t. sea salt).

--A few small pieces of dark chocolate.

--A tall glass of green lemonade-- same recipe as yesterday, with the addition of half a cucumber. Mom is starting to like this drink. My aunt was here in December, and she drank some of my green lemonade occasionally. She called this week to ask for the recipe because, she said, she's been craving it. And she got online to order a juicer so she can make the green lemonade for herself every day.

--A tiny bowl of leftovers from yesterday's dinner.

--A generous portion of Heidi Swanson's Giant Crusty and Creamy White Beans with (Dark Leafy) Greens, from her cookbook, Super Natural Cooking. Yum.

--Dark Chocolate Coconut Bliss sprinkled with cacao nibs.

--Renee Loux's "
Chocolate of the Gods Mousse". Raw, vegan, chocolate. The recipe is unusual, but tasty. I made it for tomorrow, but I ate just a little bit tonight. Mom had some, too, and she loved it.

So, there you have it, and now I'll move this topic over to the kitchen blog so you don't have to read about my eating and exercising every day (unless, for some reason, you're interested)! I'll probably post simple lists there since I have very little online time each day, but I'll try to take some pictures and post recipes from time to time, too.

And I'll also get back to my more typical posts on this blog as I have time. I've got quite a few things mostly or partially written, but I don't seem to have time to pull them together enough to make them post-able.