Green Smoothies

In all of the readings I have done of raw food websites, green smoothies is the most constant. A green smoothie is an excellent way to start the day. Mine typically contain some combination of the following:

  • filtered water or 100% juice
  • banana
  • majool date
  • spinach or kale
  • flax seed (ground or whole)
  • fresh ginger
  • cinnamon
  • clove
  • all spice
  • agave
  • some kind of frozen fruit (peach, cranberries, blackberries, etc.)
  • whole carrot
I am very grateful that a good friend of mine has allowed me to use her VitaMix on indefinite loan.  I literally throw it all into the VitaMix and it does all the work for me. I will often throw in about four ice cubes just to thicken it up to a smoothie consistency.

This morning meal sustains me for hours. It also has been amazing for regulating my blood sugar.

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For the Health of it

This is not my first time trying raw food. This is, however, the first time I have consciously chosen to eat a primarily raw food diet. There are many reasons I chose to make this shift in diet.  One of the primary reasons is due to the fact that I have ankylosing spondylitis. The best and most holistic method of carrying for this condition is exercise and healthy diet. While going raw is not going to be the only way for which I can care for my body, it is an important component.

I have struggled with my weight for my entire life. I grew up in your typical American fast and/or quick fix food family. I have been up and down the scale until in 2001 I found myself to be so obese that they literally could not weigh me on the doctor's scale. It is estimated that at that time I weight around 450 lbs. Even though I am reasonably tall at 5' 11, my frame was quite over stressed under all of this weight.

After a major move and some major life changes, I began to dramatically change my diet to reflect a vegetarian diet. I lost quite a bit of weight, but even a vegetarian diet can consist of quite a lot of junk food. At this point I decided to go vegan and got down to as low as 235 lbs. I was walking daily and eating very well. However my life got a bit chaotic and with a several more major life changes, my diet was compromised in favor of convenience, availability and location. Within a four month period I gained almost 40 lbs.

Through this time I could feel the damage I was doing to my body. As I chose to be a better listener to what my body was clearly telling me (ex. gluten, dairy, etc. were wreaking havoc on my digestive system) I began to think back to when my body was happiest with the food I was feeding it. I also remembered a website that I had found many years prior: Raw Reform. I began to take a detailed look at this site and began to make a plan for me to incorporate raw foods into my diet again.

Per the suggestion of Raw Reform, I decided to start out with an approximately 70/30 split in favor of raw foods. During my first week of this I was amazed at how great I felt. It was a rocky few next weeks, until one day during a class I was taking a class mate was discussing some dietary changes she had to make for her health. Rather than mourning these changes, she had decided to view this as honoring her bodies boundaries and treating it as a temple. These were exactly the words I needed to hear. With that conscious change of thinking this change in eating has been much easier.

The longer I am raw the better I become and listening to my body as to what is and is not good for it. I have learned that there are quite a few non raw foods that my body simply can not digest well. Having gone gluten free some month back, I had switch to rice. Since going primarily raw, however, I have discovered that my body has an adverse reaction to rice including feeling uncomfortably bloated. Discoveries such as these have really eliminated a majority of the non raw foods I was eating. As a result, my raw to non raw food ratio is now closer to 90/10.

I have a lot to learn. I am trying to be gentle with myself and really listen to my body. I have already discovered major changes over the week - week and one-half including:

  • My blood sugar is stablizing
  • I can go a lot longer between meals without feeling hungry
  • I have significantly more energy
  • My thinking is clearer
This blog is meant to document my journey. I welcome feedback, encouragement and suggestions from those who have more experience with this journey than myself.

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