Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Raw Food Revelation

There's something special about the above bowl of pasta (besides the fact that it was made my yours truly). Believe it or not this heaping bowl of deliciousness is 100% RAW! That's right. Moi, who was skeptical that I could even be vegan have slid down that slippery healthy nutrition slope to the world of raw food.

After my juice fast - which I now prefer to call a juice FEAST - I tip toed back into eating solid foods, as advised. This included staying on a completely raw diet plain fruits and simple veggie salads for 3 days after the feast. What I didn't anticipate (especially a few days in when I was dreaming of chicken nachos) was that I'd continue the raw food thing past the 3 days without even missing cooked food. In fact, when I finally did have a cooked meal I ended up feeling completely worn out within a couple hours. Wow! Raw food really does make a difference in your energy levels.

So I still have no plans to be 100% raw (not yet, anyway), but I'm definitely enjoying incorporating much more raw and living foods into my diet. I've learned a lot about the lifestyle (thanks, YouTube) and have tried a few recipes that have turned out pretty nice. Check them out below.

Raw Vegan Stuffed Peppers with Kale Chips.

Chia "pudding" (more on Chia seeds later!)

And of course, green juice!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Balance Beauty Birthday!

31. Wow. I could of sworn I just turned 21 a couple years ago. Yet here I am: officially thirty-something.

I can't remember what I did for my 21st birthday, but I can remember what I wanted, roughly. If I'd treated myself, it probably would have been to some new shoes, a handbag, or some clothes. The celebration portion would, I'm guessing, have involved a club and too much alcohol. A decade later, things are a little different...

I did go on a shopping spree for my birthday this year, but instead of bags & baubles I came home with heaps of beautifully plump & delicious produce. And what you see below is only the fruit! In the refrigerator kale, spinach, chard, fennel, celery, carrots, cucumbers, basil & more are piled up in all their chlorophyll-filled glory.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Cleaning

The above picture is sort of embarrassing. It's a snap of the pile of dirt I swept up from around my house. From the looks of it you'd think I never clean! It's true I'm no June Cleaver when it comes to housekeeping, but I keep my place decent. So I was a little be disgusted when I decided to do some spring cleaning and found pockets and piles of dust lurking in places that tend to get neglected by the regular visits of my broom. On the other hand, it felt great to clear my space of the unwanted bits that clutter, irritate and make life just overall less pleasant.

This time of year - which is really the new year, if you ask me - is wonderful or doing this sort of cleaning. Move furniture, pull up area rugs, and attacked that overfull closet. The physical benefits are obvious, but the symbolic act of cleaning out your life is even more powerful. It's time to get rid of them that aren't serving you well and give yourself a new start. Check out the world horoscope for aries 2011 and you'll see that planetary energies really support change at the moment. And even if you thing astrology is just a bunch nonsense, a nice window wash or wardrobe edit never hurt anyone!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Balancing Act: High Fashion, Low Cost

Though I've become a little disillusioned with the pop fashion industry, I am still and true fashion lover at heart. I believe in the value of dressing well, but not if it's going to cause financial havoc. Binge buying fashion isn't any better than binge eating or abusing drugs. Even if I were a millionaire, I wouldn't spend ridiculous amounts of cash on trendy items... at least that's my belief in theory. I welcome the opportunity for my resolve to be tested though :) For now, in order to stock my wardrobe with high quality items and still maintain a balanced bank account I've got to be a bargain hunting, smart shopper.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The New Disease in Town: Orthorexia

Apparently there's a brand new nervosa to join anorexia in the eat disorders family of illnesses. Orthorexics are, according to researchers at UNC, those that obsess over healthy foods. The disease is described as a phobia of "impure" food.

This obsession with organic or biologically pure foods prompts rigid and restrictive eating patterns. Foods that get categorized as unsafe, bad, or wrong, are both avoided and removed from meal plans. If these foods are ever consumed, the person experiences guilt, shame and anger towards self. He/she is likely to self-punish for breaking their food rule and become stricter with their dietary plans. Because these obsessions are real and hold meaning, individuals struggling with orthorexia have a difficult time enjoying social activities or family gatherings where a variety of food (unsafe food) is present.


Hmm... sounds to me like this is just OCD that happens to manifest itself in a person's dietary habits. Of course it has to have it's own name - so it can also have it's own pill, perhaps?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Pilates for Posture

Good posture can make you look slimmer (or perhaps I should say that poor posture makes you look lumpier than you are). It also effects the way you are perceived by others. Good posture conveys confidence and subtly demands respect from those you interact with.

I've been guilty of poor posture for a long time. When I was young I was embarrassed about my quick-to-grow breasts and often slouched. Seems silly in hindsight, but adolescence is so irrational. A bit later I was diagnosed with a slight scoliosis (curvature of the spine). I was never advised to wear a brace or anything, however, so it's not really a good excuse either. Now that I'm taking a complete look at my fitness level, my bad posture is a real concern. Not only do I have to build up muscle strength to support the goal of sitting/standing/moving around with an upright spine, I also have to reverse two decades of bad habit. I'm still trying to devise strategies for the psychological work, but the physical work is well within reach. One of my tactics is pilates.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cutting Out the Chlorine

For all the hemming and hawing that goes on about food - whether it's whole or processed, organically or conventionally grown, bio-diverse or genetically engineered - there's something even more important for achieving health and fitness. That thing is water.

Water is one of life's utmost essentials. Where there is poor access to good water, there is also poor health. Those of us in the West tend to conjure up images of the so-called 3rd world when we consider this issue, but the problem is, in fact, global. We might be able to walk a couple paces in our homes, turn a knob, and get an instant flow of H20, but that doesn't guarantee that the water is actually good.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Beautiful Balance: Goals & Gratitude

When you're on the hunt for fitness, weight loss, hair length, nice skin, etc, etc, it's easy to constantly focus on the things that you want to change. In fact, goal setting requires you to take an honest look at what needs to change. However, it does more harm than good to dwell on the things that you think are "wrong" with you and your life. That's why it's important to balance goal setting, with Gratitude.