Where Do You Get Your Protein?

I often try to sneak in as many fully raw days per week as possible. Yesterday was one of those days, and I have to say I feel so different eating fully raw than I do eating Raw till 4. Although I love my potatoes, rice, pizza, and pasta, I cannot get over the fact that I constantly seem to ride on my highest frequency while being 100% raw. I instantly feel happier, lighter and stronger while being on fruit than being on cooked carbs. Do not get me wrong, I feel great eating cooked carbs, but eating raw fruits and vegetables just give me that extra dose of awesome!

Below, you will find a print screen of yesterday’s food diary. I use Cronometer for that which is an excellent site that calculates all the nutritional values in the food you consume. The site is both free and easy to use, which is great, so I highly recommend it for those of you who are interested. You can also choose which nutritional program to follow, whether it is the 80/10/10 or something else.

I often get asked about my protein and where I get it from. The same people then tend to look at all the fruit I eat and visualise only how many sugar cubes that amount of fruit would be equal to. They rarely think of all the vitamins and minerals all that fruit contain, which are imperative to humans, and which I do not have to supplement through a pill. The only thing I do supplement is vitamin B12, which most people who eat meat should do too. I will publish a separate post regarding B12, so stay tuned for that! Other than that, I always make sure I get all my nutrients first hand straight from nature, not recycled through an animal’s tissue and fat or from a lab. And as seen below, I get plenty of protein from the fruit that I eat. Protein is not exclusive for meat or green vegetables. It can be found in fruit as well.

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Hmm.. Seems as if I covered the nutritional fields pretty well. A little low on calcium and selenium, sodium should always be kept to a minimum so I am happy about that one. Calcium and selenium are usually covered other days so I am not worried about them being a little low on occasion.

I do not always add the things I eat and drink into Cronometer. I normally do it whenever I suspect I have eaten too few calories in order to check if I need to eat more. I always make sure I eat a minimum of 2500 kcal per day, but ideally I eat around 3000 and more. No calorie restriction! Eat as much as you want! I guarantee you will thrive and get every single nutrient that you need. Another important thing is that you never have to obsess about how much to eat and what to eat or when to eat. I simply eat when I am hungry, and I eat until I am full and satisfied. The fact that I use Cronometer is mostly out of curiosity, to see what all the things that I eat contain and what they provide my body with. Health has become my personal hobby, but my main focus in life is not revolving around food, health and weight. In fact, I have more time now to do the things I truly enjoy because I do not have to worry about anything concerning my weight or my health.

Be happy and clean, stay fruity and green!

Why Vegetarianism Does Not Cut It

Something I find fascinating is when people, who clearly are curious about the way I am eating, feel the need to explain to me why they are still eating meat. They try to justify this way of living by telling me they have at least one vegetarian meal per week. Wow… really? Why they tell me this is quite difficult to explain since I have not been given a thorough explanation. I guess it has to do with people thinking vegans are more ethical, and that they are privileged to say their opinions concerning non-vegans. The people eating meat then try to get rid of some of the blame by stating they sometimes have vegetarian meals.

First of all, I did not become a vegan so that I can judge others more easily. I am never interested in judging others, and I am not interested in listening to excuses. I do this for me, because I know what animal protein does to your body, not so that I can tell everyone else what bad people they are. If a vegetarian meal feels good to eat, then you should eat it, but there are a few things most people who are vegetarians do not realize.

Being a vegetarian means different things to different people. Most omit all kinds of meat, including fish, but still consume dairy. Some eat eggs, some do not. A vegan, however, eats nothing that comes from animals whatsoever. If we were to compare these two different lifestyles, we can easily tell they have one thing in common: none of them include meat. The rest of the aspects are different, and here is why:

While a vegetarian does the animals and the environment a huge favor by not eating any meat, he or she still consumes other animal products. Many animals sent to slaughter are the ones who stopped serving the farmers a purpose. What happens to a milk cow that has become too old or that can no longer produce the same amount of milk? That is right! It will become a nice, clean-looking steak wrapped up in sterile plastic packaging. The more people that want to consume milk, cream, cheese, etc., the more cows are required. By only abstaining the cow’s meat, you will not be preventing it from becoming inseminated by the hands of humans, getting its babies taken away so they will not drink up all the milk, and then later being sent to slaughter. In fact, you are actually encouraging the meat and dairy industry to enslave and kill more animals.

So, a consumption of diary and eggs help to uphold a meat consumption? Well yes, it is only logical. The more eggs we want, the more chickens we have to breed, and since there are only hens that can provide us with eggs, we discard the roosters. Too bad they cannot choose what to be born into… Once the hens are too stressed and exhausted to lay any eggs, they are sent off to become a greasy bucket of chicken wings. Again, it is only logical, and this is the multi-billion-dollar industry we are supporting as soon as we choose to consume anything that comes from animals. Some call this a holocaust, since the animals are hardly to be considered free living beings. They are enslaved and bred, based on their ability to give us what we want, into a system that forces them to provide us with as much as we want until they are no longer useful. The ones that do not call this a holocaust seem to think this is something completely natural. What you think of this is completely up to you. I am not interested in judging you, I simply want to present a different perspective to help you understand why veganism and vegetarianism differ from each other and on which levels. A store cannot continue to exist if there are no costumers – they go bankrupt. The exploitation of animals works the exact same way.

While you may feel it is more ethical to avoid meat than to avoid nothing at all, there are still many more facets to consider. I absolutely agree that one step of action is better than none, but one must always be aware of the consequences of one’s actions, regardless of how kind or unkind they are.

Be happy and clean, stay fruity and green!

HCLF Vegan? Raw till 4?

Becoming vegan or joining a raw food community sure will introduce you to some new terminology as well as convenient (or confusing) abbreviations. It took me quite some time to get used to, and once you are down with the lingo yourself, it is easy to forget how unclear these things can be to those not yet invited. This is my attempt to break things down and explain what kind of vegan I am and what everything entails. I do want to note, however, that I am no expert in this area, nor is my research by no means over. There is always room for improvement and new knowledge, and so I intend to educate myself as long as I live and commit to whatever lifestyle makes me feel the best, which happens to be a vegan lifestyle. I also want to refer back to my previous post in this FAQ category named Me Being a Vegan where I explain my thoughts on veganism and what it is to me. Please read that post before diving into this one.

Now first of all, there are many different varieties of veganism. Some eat more or less the same way as they did before they turned vegan, but consume meat and dairy substitutes which consist of soy, grains, almonds or beans etc. Some vegans omit grains and gluten, some omit sugars, mostly refined, (Low Carb), some omit fats (High Carb), and some omit other things that may affect their digestion or for other health reasons. There are also raw vegans, which means they eat no cooked food, or food that has been heated over 42° C. This is so all the nutrients and enzymes can be preserved, resulting in a much healthier and richer food intake.

In this blog, and in this post, I will only address what kind of vegan I am, which is a high carb low fat vegan with a high raw approach (Raw till 4). Wow, that is a mouthful! However, my lifestyle is much simpler than the actual terms denote.

So, first of all I shall begin with explaining what all of this means. I mostly follow the 80/10/10 raw food diet presented by Dr. Douglas Graham. This diet has an approach where your daily intake of calories, preferably more than 2500 kcal per day, should consist of 80% from carbohydrates, such as fruits and berries. 10% should come from protein, which is found in vegetables – especially green ones. The final 10% comes from fat, but never cold pressed versions or other kinds of fats that are not naturally found in nature. The fat referred to comes from fruits, nuts and vegetables, such as durian, cashews, and avocado. This approach means you get to eat how many carbohydrates as you possibly want, as long as they come from the right source. The rest should be kept to a minimum.

5114pA7RNKLI truly recommend everyone to read this book! It really opened my eyes and helped me understand my body, health and mind. It is filled with research and great, comprehensive information, and most of the information mentioned in this post will be found in this book. However, I will not be referencing every bit of information. Click on the picture to reach Amazon where you can listen to or read the first parts of the book.

A Side Note on Protein
What people always seem to criticize vegans for is their ”lack of protein”. This is a common misconception since this is something that has always been told to us. ”You need your protein! Protein never makes you gain weight. Without protein, you will never have muscles! It will help you become lean and slim. Protein is all you need. The rest is bad for you”. Well, no wonder the market for protein powders is able to skyrocket these days. The truth, indeed, is that protein helps you grow. But, since adults are done growing, we are in no need of neither breast milk nor meat. There are many studies that suggest that humans only need about 10-20% of protein per day. The World Health Organization has stated that men and women only need about 5% of their daily calories from protein (McDougall 2007). I advise you either read Graham’s book, or that you do your own research in order to find out more about this.

So, back to the diet!
This is not something that you should try for only a few months, this is something that you commit to for the long run, and patience is required if you want to see real results. My aspiration is to become fully raw one day, but as for now I am happy to follow the 80/10/10 diet two thirds of the day. In other words, I follow an approach called Raw till 4. This means I eat fully raw, smashing in the calories from carbohydrates during the day, and then have a high carbohydrate cooked vegan meal for dinner (after 4 p.m.). Everything that I eat in a day is low in protein, low in sodium, has no active yeast, low in fat, gluten free, free of refined sugars and 100% vegan, and I also try to find as many organic ingredients as possible.

The carbohydrates I eat before 4 p.m. mainly come from fruit. Please visit my other categories in order to find recipes on smoothies and other delicious fruit meals. If you are interested in reading about what I usually eat in a day, I recommend you read the post named What I Usually Eat in a Day which can be found in the FAQ category.

Practically, all you need is water, fiber, glucose, vitamins, and minerals. The rest, such as fat and protein, will accompany the former anyway, and are never substances which you will have to actively seek out.

A Few Words on Low Carbohydrate Approaches
I have met countless people who believe in different kinds of approaches where low carbohydrate is key. Some of them seem to be successful at it, but unfortunately most of them are not. Almost every single one is cheating on their diet on a fairly regular basis, and these people also tend to hold on to a bit of excess weight. Why is that? Well, to begin with, they are not eating enough carbohydrates. People following a low carb high fat diet should think the other way around, reverse the formula for a healthy and successful way of living. The only problem is, people nowadays lack patience. They want their results now! And so the focus is set on weight loss, not on achieving optimum health. Eating less calories from carbohydrates may give you rapid weight loss results, but it is by no means a healthy way of doing so, or even sustainable.

Most of the low carb followers become carbohydrate-depleted, eating as little calories as they possibly can, or eating too many calories from fat, which causes them to feel depressed, unsatisfied, craving carbohydrate-rich foods and so on. This is when they end up cheating, give themselves in to binging what they should not be eating on their diet. They then feel guilty about it.

Losing weight quicker, seeing your results faster, is so motivating to most people that they forget what will truly benefit their health. This is why they even consider keeping up with all this low calorie madness. Most tend to end up yo-yoing between being on a diet and being off one, which affects their weight the exact same way. You lose the pounds, and then you gain them back on. If your truly unlucky, you will even gain a few extra ones. Also, you risk obtaining some serious health problems while going back and forth between diets. Your metabolism gets harmed and so does your thyroid gland.

As I have already mentioned, some people seem to be successful and claim they thrive on their low calorie lifestyle, and that is really great for them. Kudos to all of you! However, most of them are not vegan, which means they carry a bit of animal protein in their system. Humans are not designed to digest animal proteins, but are bodies have learned how to cope with it. Whenever we consume animal protein, it causes high acidity-levels in our bodies. To counter out the acidity, which is the well-known environment for cancer growth, and to neutralize it to become more alkaline, the body needs to provide with a very alkaline substance – calcium. The calcium within our bodies then gets extracted straight from our skeleton and teeth, which are the only sources for this substance, hence osteoporosis (Graham 2006, p.106). Have you ever wondered why milk and cheese never made these things go away for good despite them being such “great” sources for calcium? Because they are what is causing osteoporosis in the first place. That is why I prefer a vegan diet any day of the week.

So even if you assume you are healthy on a lifestyle which include animal products and animal bi-products, you are still in the biggest risk group in terms of getting cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis etc. Most people assume losing weight is what proves that you truly are healthy, but that has never been true. If so, anorectic or bulimic people would have won health-awards a long time ago. Do not confuse these things and think that they in any way are equal! Weight loss is always a result of a healthy lifestyle, but health has never been overlapped with cancer and other known diseases. I therefore assume that most people who claim to do well on a low carbohydrate lifestyle are actually referring to the size of their pants when saying so. As I said, I have not yet met anyone who does not cheat and struggle with cravings on a low carb lifestyle, and most of them are still not slim and toned.

A Final Word
The lifestyle I am living is not only simple, but it also increases my health in many great ways. I know it sounds as if it is extreme, but I assure you it really is not. It is incredibly easy to include in your life and there are always better options for bad foods available. Pick up a bunch of bananas and a pack of lettuce instead of a frozen meal when shopping for lunch. Chug a big smoothie full of fruit and berries instead of nibbling on a carrot and two scrambled eggs, which no one will get full and satisfied on anyway. Begin by incorporating more fruit into your diet and gradually work your way up to a Raw till 4 approach. Remember, you can eat as much as you want, and it is not only a privilege, but also necessary if you desire to acquire optimum health and weight loss. If you are uncertain at how many calories you consume a day, I suggest you use the calculation service at cronometer.com. It was very helpful in the beginning in order for me to make sure I was not eating too little.

Be happy and clean, stay fruity and green!

Sources:
Graham, Douglas N. (2006). The 80/10/10 Diet – Balancing Your Health, Your Weight, and Your Life One Luscious Bite at a Time. FoodnSport Press, USA.
Freelee the Banana Girl’s channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Freelea?feature=watch
McDougall, John (2007). “When Friends Ask: Where Do You Get Your Protein?” in McDougall Newsletter. April, Vol. 6, No. 4. http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/apr/protein.htm
WHO (on sodium): http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/guidelines/sodium_intake/en/

What I Usually Eat in a Day

I have divided this post into different sections in order for you to follow along easier. Between my meals I drink more water, either plain or infused with fruit, veggies or berries, and sometimes have a cup or two of caffeine-free green or herbal tea.

Breakfast

I begin my day with drinking a liter of water, or 34 fl.oz./0,26 gallons. Right now I fill up my big Nalgene water bottle and let it sit in room temperature over night, that way I will not begin my morning feeling frozen since it is still winter over here. During summer, I would probably fill it up cold.

After I had my water I begin making my breakfast and lunch smoothies. I sometimes have fresh fruit for breakfast, such as mangoes, watermelon, pineapple or another kind of mono-meal, but only when those fruits are available. If not, I prefer to have a smoothie. These tend to vary contents-wise, but I make sure they contain enough calories or that I am able to compensate for them containing less calories by eating additional fruit. If you are on the lookout for some smoothie recipes, then please go to the Smoothies and Juices category. I usually have a liter or two of each smoothie every day, and I do not prefer to drink it all at once. Instead, I sip on it. There is nothing I dislike more than stressful mornings. With my morning smoothie I take my vegan multivitamins, which I take for the B12.

Every other day, I follow my liter of water with a Green Shake before I have my smoothie. This shake contains three things: 2 tsp Chlorella powder, 1 tsp Spirulina powder, and 400 ml/12 fl.oz. of water. I shake it up in a shaker bottle and chug it, wait for a while and then have my smoothie. If you want to know more about why I consume Chlorella and Spirulina, then I advise you to go to the Supplements category and read the post named after the two. The same thing goes for my B12 and MSM supplementations.

Lunch

I usually bring my smoothie and a one-liter jar of lemon infused water with MSM. I sip on the water throughout my workday in order to stay hydrated and refreshed. I also try to divide my smoothie into three or four portions which I drink throughout my entire lunch rather than chugging it all at once.

Snack

I sometimes have a snack in the afternoon, usually a cup of herbal or green tea (decaf) and some fruit. I tend to bring bananas or oranges, but sometimes, if I am lucky, I am able to bring some mangoes or figs.

Dinner

This is where my raw time of the day sometimes ends and I make a cooked meal according to the rules of Raw till 4. I must confess that I do add a bit of garlic or tamari, which contains both soybeans, vinegar and salt, but I always keep it to a very low amount and do not consume it every day. Also, I always make sure to accompany my cooked meal with fresh and raw veggies on the side. Usually leafy ones.

I opt to eat a fully raw dinner at least three times a week to give my body a break and to enjoy the benefits of a fully raw high carb meal. I aim to become fully raw one day, but I will not force myself into it. I know I will get there eventually.


I hope this answers some questions and was somewhat informative. I would, however, like to refer to my post How I Power up for My Training, which can be found in the Exercise category, since my breakfast varies whether I am working out that morning or not. Please share what you eat in a day!

Be happy and clean, stay fruity and green!

Me Being a Vegan

Being a vegan has never been anything that I have stated out loud in front of other people. I am not sure why, but I guess it mostly has to do with me not wanting to be judged or discuss it with those who are not interested. Some people are interested, although for the ”wrong” reasons, which becomes evident as soon as the discussion turns into a non-factual based lecture on their behalf. Veganism has always been a controversial subject where vegans and non-vegans consistently seem to clash and never reach any agreement. This is yet another reason why I do not feel the urge to discuss it.

I do not judge others by the way they eat or live their lives, even if I believe what they are doing is not right for them or even ethical. But there is a difference between believing so and saying it out loud. I appreciate and admire those who are willing to take the fight and have the strength to point out the many benefits with becoming a vegan. I truly do. But since I am fairly new to this lifestyle, I do not feel I yet have any mandate to advice other people on how to live their lives. I guess that is silly of me, but I want to be respected for living my life the way I want to, and I believe you have to respect others in order to receive respect yourself. That is why I do not judge, and that is why I have not talked very openly about my veganism. I am tired of being questioned, which happens every day in common dining areas anyway, and I am tired of people trying to convince me that I need meat and eggs and dairy in order to live a healthy life. I want to be respected for what I do, not questioned or lectured, and so I respect others without doing the same to them.

Another reason why I do not feel like discussing this too much is that I find it time consuming and often without any effect. I am not a preacher nor a full-time teacher or guru. I wish to see a positive change in people, but these changes will never occur if a person is not ready to change. And so I let them go on and live their lives, wishing that they one day will open their eyes and embrace the idea of living unselfishly while being rewarded with true health. People who are genuinely curious will definitely be given plenty of my time and effort in terms of explanations and education, because they appreciate it and are ready to listen and embrace change. Unfortunately, these people are very few and it is only them who are willing to do some further readings and research on the topic in order to fully comprehend what it entails.

Being a vegan can mean so many different things to people. We have different connotations to the word. To some it is a noun, to others a verb. To some it has a political tone, to some it only has to do with health. So what is veganism to me? I guess my answer is just as complex as the term itself. I have always wondered why people react so strongly to the word vegan or when someone is saying that he or she is a vegan. It only has to do with food, so why all the fuzz? But then food constitutes a big part of many people’s lives, depending on which relationship they have with food. It is often not a great relationship, which means everything concerning food sounds like a bigger deal than it actually is. The reason for this is that these people tend to obsess about food, devoting too much time thinking about what to eat, what not to eat, feeling guilty, feeling fatigued, binging, feeling happy, feeling sad. Food takes up way too much time for these people, and so they cannot imagine there being a solution to this horrible reality. And it definitely does not seem fair that some have managed to crack the health code so effortlessly. I know this reality, because it used to belong to me too. I used to suffer from serious digestive issues, which made me have to think about food and what I was eating.

For me, veganism first began with me wanting a true and sustainable health change. But since I have always been an environmentalist and friend of animals, I realized that there are so many more wonderful aspects to this lifestyle. This encouraged me even more and I can safely say that I will never go back to being a vegetarian or meat-eater again. In other words, I embrace all facettes which belong to veganism. I know many vegans find it incredibly paradoxal when meat-eaters say that they are animal lovers. I can understand their point of view, but what they must understand is that it is a fully functional concept in a reality which provides an entire world full of double standards. We grow up eating some animals, while having others as pets. We grow up watching cartoons full of human-like animals which have jobs, eat steaks and have pets and farm animals. We have never questioned why society looks this way, why we make these distinctions or why it would be paradoxal to say ”I love animals and my favorite food is hot dogs” in the same sentence. These are the norms and the reality which we have been fed our entire lives, and it is not easy to break free from all of this, expanding your way of viewing the world around you. I am just sorry I did not wake up from all of this earlier, but when giving it further thought, I realize was not ready. I was not at a mental state where I could fully comprehend and embrace this way of living, applying it to my own life, until recently. I believe that if I would have tried it too soon, resisting it and feeling deprived, I would not have been able to commit to it. While being ready, I found the joy and urge to do research, find and create recipes, and really understand that it never had anything to do with deprivation. It is all about abundance! The things that were omitted soon became replaced with other, much more delicious, things. I can honestly say that there is not one single thing which I used to eat that I miss today. I really do not.

I do not mean for me not being ready sooner to be an excuse for not becoming a vegan earlier. I truly wish I would have become one many years ago. But instead of beating myself up over the fact that this is the reality I have to deal with, I consider myself lucky to have become a vegan in the first place, regardless of when. As long as it has happened, I am happy.

So, just because I was not ready earlier, it does not mean no one is ready before realizing what veganism is all about. That is why I admire the people who take the time to spread the message, to educate people and encourage them to try out a vegan lifestyle.

I do wish that you, whoever you are, one day decide to try out this lifestyle. If not for the environment, and if not for the animals, then do it for you.

Be happy and clean, stay fruity and green!