Tag Archives: nutrition translator

The Best Sweet Potato-Black Bean Burgers

22 Jun


Version 4About the Author: Hi! My name is Hanna Malzenski and I am a Junior at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism with a Sustainability Certificate. At the University of Iowa, I am a member on the public relations team of my sorority and starting in the fall I will be writing for Iowa’s school newspaper, The Daily Iowan. After graduating from Iowa, I hope to be writing on the topic of the environment or attending law school to study environmental policy. Outside of academics, I enjoy instructing yoga and channeling my creativity through different forms of art. Being a vegan for over a year, I am frequently spending my free time finding new plant-based recipes and learning more about the vegan lifestyle. Hanna’s Instagram

These patties cover all the bases: vegan, gluten-free, protein packed, low fat, and low sodium! They are great because their two main ingredients, sweet potatoes and black beans, are nutrient dense foods that fuel your body and provide you with tons of energy! Not only is this dish super yummy but it is also extremely versatile! You can serve these patties by themselves, as a burger, in a veggie bowl, or as a snack! One last thing before you get started, these burgers, hot or cold, are also delicious as leftovers because all of the flavors soak and blend together well!


3 Large Sweet Potatoes

~27 oz. of Black Beans (About 2 medium cans),6B0F0C7B-E8B6-4AE6-841B-C5265E70AFCF

drained and rinsed

2 cups of Gluten-Free Rolled Oats

2-4 Chipotle Chilies soaked in adobo sauce,

finely chopped

2 tbsp. of adobo sauce (from chipotle chili can)

2 tsp. of garlic powder

1 tsp. cumin

1 tbsp. of coconut oil (for frying the patties)


Pre-heat oven to 400’. Rinse, clean, and poke holes in the sweet potatoes; cook for 40-50 minutes. Check softness of potatoes using a fork. If potatoes are still hard, cook until soft using 5 min intervals.

In a large bowl, combine oats, black beans, chipotle chilies and adobo sauce, cumin, and garlic powder. Use a fork to smash beans while mixing.

Scoop out sweet potatoes and mix in with other ingredients. Once evenly mixed, shape mixture into patties.

Heat coconut oil in a skillet and cook 2-3 patties at a time, 10 minutes on each side for crispiness.

Store any leftovers in your refrigerator and most importantly, enjoy!!

Hanna Malzenski ❤

Superfood Moringa Cheesecake (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

16 Jun

Moringa: the Superfood you are not eating!!


The Miracle of Moringa Tree Leaves (Moringa Oleifera), commonly called the ‘drumstick tree”, and ‘horseradish tree’ is native to India but has been planted around the world and is naturalized in many locales. Moringa is one of the most powerful health-enhancing plants. While many things found in Nature can have one or two health benefits, Moringa has many. India’s ancient tradition of ayurveda medicine sites 300 diseases that are treated with the leaves of the Moringa tree. Recent scientific research has proven that these humble leaves are in fact a powerhouse of nutritional value.

Detoxification – Moringa is used to reduce inflammation  and in this process takes out toxins.
Antibotic – Moringa is used as a topical and internal treatment for minor infections. Its antibiotic property is identified as Pterygospermin, a bacterial and fungicidal compound. Its chemical description is glucosinolate 4 alpha-L-rhamnosyloxy benzyl isothiocyanate.
Skin Treatment – Moringa leaf and seed oil has great healing benefits for the skin. They can be used to treat cuts, scrapes, sores, and rashes as well as cracking and other signs of aging. The Seed Oil is cell-regenerative, working to heal scars and wrinkles. It has also been used for eczema and shingles.
Anti-inflammatory – Moringa is also found to be effective in trauma initiated chronic swelling.
Diabetes – An extract from the Moringa leaf has been shown to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels within 3 hours of ingestion. Though less effectively than the standard hypoglycemic drug, glibenclamide. The effects increased with larger doses.
Adaptogen– Moringa works to bring the body to a balanced state of health – capable of toning down or strengthening the activity of the bodies hyper functioning systems, depending on your body’s needs.
Rejuvenating – restorative Chi tonic, increasing the bodies’ resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety, and fatigue.



Superfood Moringa Cheesecake (Vegan, Gluten-Free)


  • 1 cup packed pitted dates
  • 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp cocao powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or agave
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk 
  • 1 Tbsp organic moringa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • juice of 1/2 medium lemon
  1. Add cashews to a bowl and cover with boiling hot water. Let set, uncovered, for 1 hour, then drain thoroughly.
  2. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Make crust by adding dates, walnuts, cocao powder and salt to a food processor. Blend until small bits remain or it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.- it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. 
  4. Press the crust into the parchment-lined dish
  5. Add your drained, soaked cashews to a high speed blender, along with vanilla, maple syrup, coconut milk, sea salt, oil, moringa powder, and lemon juice. Blend on high until creamy and smooth.
  6. Pour filling over the crust. Put in freezer to set.
  7. When ready to serve, set out cheesecake to thaw. Top with more moringa powder. 
  8. Enjoy immediately. Store leftovers in the freezer up to 3 weeks.


Peace, Love, Superfoods

❤ Colleen Poling, RD

3 Daily Routines That Will Change Your Life

1 Jun



Morning Routine_40


Afternoon Routine_53


Eveing Routine_233

The Secret to Happiness

21 Mar


Most of us go throughout our days living in monotony. Day in and day out we follow daily routines. We don’t give much awareness to our surroundings, and blindly move from task to task. We end up feeling empty with this sameness and cannot pinpoint where our unhappiness is coming from. If you are feeling lost, it is because there is no intention in your life. Having no intention in 5 key areas of your life causes feelings of discontent. These include diet, exercise, relationships, career, and adventure. Intentionality means paying attention. It means doing things on purpose—not passively, not reflexively. Learning  how to embrace the power of intent can bring you back to life again.


1. Diet: The way most of us eat food in America is centered around our egos, and with zero intention. We are not connected with our food, and that is why we are getting so sick. We crave food certain foods. These foods make us powerless when we get sight of them, a whiff of them, or even think of them. We ache at the thought of an oozy gooey slice of pizza with salty ham, succulent pineapple, and a garlicky crust. We are already thinking about the next heap of mac and cheese when we haven’t even started our first bite. We stop at the drive-through window after a long day at work craving a bacon hamburger and crispy fries, because it is fast and fills our bellies. We have come to a place where we are now eating what is fast, convenient and disconnected. We are so far from the original source of the food we eat that it seems to not matter where it comes from anymore. Food has the power to affect how we feel: energetic, lethargic, positive, negative, healthy or sick. Food is not just about filling our bellies. We need to nourish not only the physical body, but also the mind and soul. We need to eat to live, not live to eat. Don’t get me wrong though, enjoying our food is a part of this process. We need to learn how to be intentional with how we eat food, and how we prepare our food, with positive, loving energy for example. If we don’t do this then we will continue to have trouble to tap into a higher awareness.


  • Diet Challenge: For one week avoid going out to eat for your meals. Grocery shop, and meal plan. Choose mostly organic, plant-based foods like nuts, seeds, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, beans, and legumes. Avoid boxed foods, breads, cookies, bottled sauces, processed foods with added white sugar, and frozen foods. Cook your meals with positive energy and a smile on your face. Eat your meals by sitting down at a table with friends and family. Turn off your TV, smartphone or computer when eating your meals.

2. Physical Activity: Just like with food, most of us are very unintentional with our physical activity. Our bodies are designed to move, not to sit at a desk all day long, then come home sit on the couch and then go to bed. We all know the benefits of exercise, but have still become detached from our natural state of being because of modern conveniences. It is easy to get in a rut and stop moving our bodies for weeks at a time. It is no wonder we are feeling depressed. Exercise has been shown to decrease depression, create new brain cells, and create stronger connections within our brains. Our bad exercise habits have rubbed off on our children, and now we are seeing childhood obesity on the rise. We are teaching our children that it is more fun to play video games then to play outside. Remember when, as a child, you were playing outside, having fun? Suddenly, your mother announced dinner was ready, but your didn’t want to go in. The passion of play took all of your attention. It is time we give some intention to this area of our lives again. Let’s learn to play outside like kids again. Athletes of sports like crossfit, and triathlons need to be intentional as well. Each movement must have intention and skill behind it, our else you risk the chance of getting hurt. Athletes must give intention to how they are feeling and push forward when it is time to push, and to back off when time to slow down to avoid injury.


  • Physical Activity Challenge: At the beginning of each day or each week intentionally set a goal for physical activity. It doesn’t have to be a set time of day. It can be 10-minute bouts at a time. Get up every hour and do 10 squats. Get in 6,000 steps a day. Make it fun. Go on a beautiful hike. Try a zumba or spin class. Sign up for a local mud run and work toward that as a goal. Plan ahead and make your movements intentional. Stop making excuses!

3. Relationships: Are your relationships intentional or just convenient? The act of intentionally choosing someone to enter your life generates a huge amount of energy, hope, and joy. It’s a catalyst that has the potential to ignite a lifelong, soul-deep relationship. When we go to someone and say, “Dance with me,” and they take our hand, it creates great possibilities. It doesn’t mean we’re already skilled on the dance floor, but it does mean the two of us have chosen each other as partners to learn and grow with. The connections you make with the people in your life may be intentional or convenient, but they’re rarely both. Culture tells us that relationships need to be efficient, and if they’re not, it’s time to move on. This kind of upside-down thinking says that relationships just randomly come our way like traffic on a freeway, and we have no choice but to go with the flow. Great relationships are based on active choices. The very best relationships are highly intentional, built on the solid rock of shared vision and goals. This art of relationships is beautifully simple but often forgotten in the rat race of our lives. You have to have a direction, a purpose, and sometimes even a plan for your key relationships. You must act with purpose, not just react to what happens. It is also important to have an intentional relationship with ourselves for us to connect with others on a deeper level.


  • Relationship Challenge: At any given moment you have several relationships going on in your life, such as family, friends, and romantic. If any of these relationships are giving you stress or anguish, sit down and write your vision for this relationship. Where do you see it going? What do you want out of it? Then share these visions with the person in the relationship with you. If they do not agree, or do not try to compromise with you, then maybe it is time to move on. For a more intentional relationship with yourself, try a guided journal or guided online meditations to dig deep and connect better with YOU!

4. Career: We hunger for leadership, success, and fulfillment in our chosen careers. We spend 40+ hours a week working, so it is vital that we feel satisfied in it. Life is too short to spend wasted hours on a job that causes boredom or stress. If it is impossible to change your day job at this time, then try engaging in a new project at work, ask for ways you can lead, or spend 10-15 minutes a day working on an outside project that could lead to something down the road. Stop being miserable at work, and start being intentional with what your want in a career.


  • Career Challenge: Write down 5 things you are passionate about. Writing? Cooking? Photography? Teaching? Incorporate these passions into your current job, or start something during off hours in which you can include these passions. It is possible that your enthusiasms could lead to a future job opportunity.

5. Adventure: Just like we hunger for love, romance, relationships, a passionate career, leadership, success, self-expression, we hunger for excitement and adventure. The extent to which we are able to incorporate adventure determines how enjoyable and worthwhile our lives feel. Everyone is called to adventure. Yes, adventure may hurt us, but monotony will certainly kill us. We need to start planning extraordinary adventures in our lives for newness and fun. Stop the madness of repetitiveness and explore something new. Plan more short vacations. Try a new class. Learn. Whatever you do, don’t be boring!


  • Adventure Challenge: Every month plan a new adventure. Go skydiving. Travel to a National Park. Try backpacking. Try a new painting class. Read a new book. Try a yoga class or crossfit class. Sign up for a race. Join a meet up group. Learn a new skill.

❤ Colleen Poling, RD

6 Secrets Every Person Who Always Wants More Should Know

22 Sep


Chances are you have asked yourself at one point or another, “Why am I unhappy?” Then you probably go on to think about why this could be. These might be some reasons that might have crossed your mind.

  • I need to live in a bigger, nicer house to be happier
  • I need to have a new car to be happier
  • I need a new phone or gadget to be happier
  • I need to live the right location to be happier
  • I need to have nicer clothes to be happier
  • I need to have more money to be happier
  • I need to be a certain weight to be happier
  • I need to achieve a certain accomplishment to be happier
  • I need to look a certain way to be happier
  • I need to be with a certain person to be happier
  • I need a certain job to be happier
  • I want more than what I already have and then I will be happier

The list goes on and on and on…


Secret 1: Craving more is the reason why you are unhappy.

The truth is that if you don’t have enough right now to be happy, chances are nothing you will gain will make you happier. You will always want more. The real question you should be asking yourself is, “Why do I feel I need more?” This is because the only reason we want more is to achieve a certain emotional state that we are not in at this very moment. What is really missing? What void is not being filled? Find out how to fill this void in a more healthy way. Maybe that means talking with a friend or counselor.

Secret 2: Realize that what you have now is enough.

You probably don’t need more. Think about what you really need to live and stop buying non-essentials. Do you really need the latest technology, name brand clothing, a fancy car or big house? Living green and sustainably, creating, singing, walking, doing, running, moving, or talking with a friend will make us much more happier than material items. Less is more. Living minimally will give you more time, less stress, less worry, give you room for what’s important, and ultimately help you become healthier. “The secret to happiness, you see, is not seeking more, but developing the capacity to enjoy less.” -Socrates

Secret 3: Make the every moment count.

Every interaction you have throughout the day means something. Even the smallest, or most routine moments in life are worth cherishing. Moments you share with others are what you will remember on your deathbed, and how people will remember you. You will not be defined by how you looked, what you owned, where you lived, but how you lived your life and how you treated people. Knowing this will help you realize that by giving to others, you are actually giving to yourself.

Secret 4: Meditate.

This does not mean sitting down and thinking about nothing. It really is the opposite of this. Meditation is bringing your awareness back to you, and away from the world. Taking only 5 minutes each morning, midday or evening will lower stress levels, help you focus on what is really important, and help you enjoy life in the current moment. Check out apps like headspace or YouTube videos for guided meditations that will bring you clarity and calmness.

Secret 5: Detach Yourself.

Stop attaching yourself to wanting a person, place, thing or idea. Gripping on to what you do not have only creates more stress and emotional turmoil. Stop trying to grasp on. Stop trying to control things. Letting go means letting happiness in. “You only lose what you cling to” Buddha

Secret 6: To understand what will be enough for you, you need to define your dreams and get VERY specific about what you want.

Start out by writing down what it is you want. Next write down why you think you want this person, place, thing, idea or accomplishment. Write down exactly how you will obtain it. How much money will it take, how much time will it take, what will it take out of you to get it. What will you lose? What will you gain? Is it truly worth your time to obtain? Weigh the pros and cons. Getting specific, and detailed about obtaining what you want might help you realize that you didn’t really want it after all.


Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; love more and all good things will be yours. –Swedish proverb

❤ Colleen Poling, RD

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

19 Jan

These muffins are so delicious, and you would never know these are made without any added fat or oils. They are very moist! They are also made without eggs or added refined sugar. I made these muffins for dessert for Thanksgiving dinner and they were a hit! They take less than 10 minutes to mix and about 20 min to bake. Super quick and easy. I found the recipe on the Forks Over Knives recipe website.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

Serves 6-12

1 medium banana, mashed
1 (15-oz.) can sweet pumpkin puree
1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups whole oat flour or wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup grain-sweetened dairy-free chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, combine mashed banana, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.

2. In a small bowl, combine oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Transfer mixture to large bowl and mix together gently until well combined. Avoid over-mixing to prevent toughness in the final product. Fold in chocolate chips.

3. Spoon batter into silicon muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are lightly browned. Remove muffins from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Store muffins in an airtight container.

*Recipe derived from Julieanna Hever’s Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins in Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, edited by Gene Stone.

Vegan in Disney World!

2 Oct

I went to Disney World with my mom on vacation at the end of September. It is fun for all ages, both young and old! We had a blast exploring the parks, riding the rides and seeing the attractions. We first visited the Magic Kingdom, then Animal Kingdom, then Epcot, then Hollywood Studios. My favorite, of course, was Animal Kingdom. We were on a “quick meal plan”, which meant we could get quick service for any meal of the day at only quick service restaurants. We only had a certain amount of these on our plan. We decided to use the quick service for breakfast at our resort at Coronado Springs, and also for lunch inside the parks. We paid separate for dinner for the first 3 nights, then used the quick service meals for the remaining days we were there. We stayed for 6 days and 7 nights. I was not too worried that I would not be able to find any vegan options. For the most part it easy. However, I did have to adjust some of the menu items at times. Enjoy the pictures of the food and fun we experienced! Oh and Happy World Vegetarian Day…… today!

BabyCakes Bakery in Downtown Disney. Dairy, gluten and egg FREE. But not flavor free. Sweetened with agave and no artificial colors used! There were the best treats I have ever tasted! 

Babycakes chocolate chip cookies

Babycakes chocolate chip cookie sandwiches, red velvet cupcakes with vanilla icing, vanilla donut with chocolate icing and brownie cupcake with mint icing. 

Obviously I could’t get enough…more donuts and cupcakes!

Enjoying a nice Babycakes donut

Bongos Cuban Cafe in Downtown Disney. They had only ONE vegetarian option. I had to specify NO BUTTER, which is an animal product! I got steamed veggies, white rice and sweetened plantains. Wasn’t too bad.

Wolfgang Puck Cafe in Downtown Disney. Plenty of vegetarian options, but no vegan. I got a veggie pizza with no cheese.

I got this at Studio Catering Co. in Hollywood Studios. They offered one vegetarian option, a veg sandwich with cheese, pesto and a asiago cheese bread. I swapped the bread for multigrain and asked for no cheese or pesto. And of course choose carrots as a side instead of fries, and apples for dessert. I think I was the only person in the whole park who ordered carrots instead of fries. 

This lunch was at Epcot at the Seasons cafe at The Land indoor attraction. They had a nice veg alternative cooler section with salads and wraps. Here I got some couscous, hummus, pita and some potato salad made with vinegar as a side. 

This was at the Tangierine Cafe in Epcot, country-Morocco! I got the vegetable platter. Falafel, couscous, hummus, tabouleh, lentils and olives. And of course, hot sauce!

For breakfast most days I had oatmeal with raisins and fruit on the side. Breakfast was at our hotel, Coronado Springs Resort Hotel

My fav sit down restaurant was in the Animal Kingdom lodge at a restaurant called Jiko. They had a separate vegetarian AND vegan menu! It is an African themed restaurant. Check this out!

African dips and cracker at Jiko

Egyptian Kushari-Lentils, Couscous, chickpeas, golden raisins, roasted veggies, romesco sauce with toasted pine nuts. Amazing! At Jiko.

Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life!

A fruit stand in Africa at Animal Kingdom

Breakfast one morning at our hotel, Coronado Springs Resort Hotel Dinner with my mom at Disney’s Boardwalk. The restaurant was created by Iron Chef Cat Cora called Kouzzina

Broccolini at Kouzzina

Grape leaves at Kouzzina. Had some work to do to get off all that oil. 

Rosemary potatoes at Kouzzina

This was at a restaurant called Columbia Habour House In Magic Kingdom. I got the Lighthouse Sandwich without the coleslaw, which was suppose to be part of the sandwich. It has hummus and tomatoes. I chose a side of steamed broccoli. 

Lunch at Coronado Resort Hotel. Veggie salad with fruit!

Dinner at Epcot in France! The restaurant was called Les Chefs France. I got the veggie lasagna with no cheese! Very good! This lasagna is a common dish in the south of France. 

Fruit stand in Magic Kingdom!

May All Beings Be Happy! I found this in Animal Kingdom!

A Vegan Traveling Around in Switzerland

14 Sep

Market in Luzern Switzerland

I have been a vegan now for almost a year. It really has been the best decision I have ever made for myself. I feel happier living this way, because I have found my true self and values. I have found respect for the animals, environment and myself. Over the past year I have become very comfortable being vegan. Finding new recipes and products like, Gardein,  here in the US has made it so easy to be Vegan! However, as my trip to Switzerland approached I was nervous about how easy it would be. It did have its challenges, but it was definitely do-able. If food was bought in the grocery store then it is 100% do-able. However dining out had many challenges.

We went to one Italian restaurant and ordered a pizza without cheese. It came out without any Mozzarella, but still had parmesan sprinkled on top. We told the waiter again we didn’t want any cheese, and they were still confused! No cheese still meant parmesan cheese on top to them!! We went to restaurants where we asked specifically for no animal products, but dressings with milk on salads and butter on vegetables were still added. It was challenging even with a Swiss/German speaking boyfriend to get the orders 100% vegan at the restaurants. Needless to say, I had to pack lots of snacks with me wherever I went, just in case! There are a few vegan restaurants in Switzerland. One in Zurich we stopped at, but it was closed. The vegan community is very small in Switzerland. Going to the grocery store was the best option. There were vegan/vegetarian meat products, whole grains such as quinoa and tons of fresh fruits and vegetables. The fresh bakery bread was fantastic, but we had to ask to make sure the bread was made with no animal products. One bread, for example, was made with pig fat! Gross!

There were markets in the cities and we happened to cross one in Luzern. It was a fabulous market with fresh fruits, vegetables and even beautiful fresh flowers! I also must mention that almost every house has a vegetable garden and fruit trees. I fell in love with this! GMOs are banned, virtually everything is recycled, and land, water, and air are safeguarded from pollution by stringent laws. Candy, soda, and junk foods are banned from schools.  Fast food is minimized to just one chain: McDonalds However there are also some negatives I must mention. As we all know Switzerland is known for the cheese. The dairy cows are kept almost continuously pregnant, and their male babies had all been killed at birth for upscale leather products. The calves are also sold for slaughter for the veal that is omnipresent on the menus in Swiss restaurants, or they are killed at birth for the rennet in their stomach lining that is traditionally used to coagulate cheese. This is not a “happy cow” to me! Horse meat, pig meat and cow meat are all big winners in Switzerland. I saw shops where horses were butchered, saw live pig slaughter houses while hiking in the mountains, and huge posters promoting milk in the cities. Even at the highest and most remote mountains there were still wandering cows who are someone’s property, who will eventually be slaughtered or abused for their milk.

The Swiss animal agriculture is on a small scale compared to the US factory farming. However, I believe that we need a complete elimination of all animal agriculture, no matter how big or how small.

Flax Seeds

Vegan/Veg Products

Hemp/Wheat protein vegan slices

Tofu sausages, veggies, fruit, nuts, hemp slices

Tofu sausages with corn

Lake Seeaplsee

Lunch break from hike. Tofu slices, bread, jelly, pickles and fruit

Carrot break at the lake!

Fresh salad with spicy tofu and sunflower seeds

Fresh salad with sunflower seeds, tomatoes and onions

Lunch break from hike: vegan tofu slices, tomatoes, avocado, mustard, peaches

Vegan breakfast with soy milk and cereal

Pasta with spicy tomato sauce, nutritional yeast (brought from home), salad, green beans and wheat protein mock meat

Vegan on a mountain top

Petting a cow on a hike

Vegan homemade chocolate chip pancakes with plum and chocolate soy milk

Quinoa with ginger chardonay veggies, guacamole and green salad with carrots

Vegan pit stop-falafel balls on a salad 

Grilled polenta, grilled veggies, salad, wheat protein mock meat

Look a vegan restaurant in Zurich!!!!

Thumbs down to milk and cheese

House slaughter shop 😦

Pig slaughter house in the mountains 😦

So sad after seeing the piggies and knowing their fate ;(

How to increase your chances of getting a dietetic internship!

23 Aug

Check out this video!!!!!


Raw Vegan Week Update!

30 Jun

Hi Everyone!

If you haven’t already, please check out my video diary update on my raw vegan diet challenge for day 3.

It has not been easy so far, and it is only day 3! I found Breakfast to go well, but towards the end of the day I crave cooked food like pasta or Gnocchi…yummm! No I can’t think of that! Last night I had a huge salad and was feeling really full but not satisfied. Today at lunch I had another large salad and had a hard time enjoying it. I was just force feeding myself to finish it to get the calories! I was thinking of macaroni and cheese the whole time. haha! I was feeling a little down after lunch and a few hours later I reached for the Go Raw “fudge brownie” made of cashews and cocoa. I knew I would need a little treat to get my motivation back, and this was a good thing, I was about to give up and make some pasta. After eating the fudge brownie treat I felt so much better and had a great workout after. The most challenging thing is just finishing everything. I feel so full after each meal, and I have to force myself to finish so I do not lose weight. I can see this diet being ideal for weight loss, since I feel very full with very few calories. I also eat very frequently which has been a challenge to get the time to eat all this food, but it would be a great diet to go on for someone who loves to eat! haha which I do.

Overall right now I feel very happy, positive and energized! This type of eating has given my body the nutrients that it really NEEDS to thrive. My mind is the one telling me otherwise.

It has been a great experience so far. I have never actually had to go through something like this, and I can really relate now to those struggle to stay devoted to a certain type of diet. I was intimidated by this diet/type of eating at the beginning because I knew nothing about raw vegan diets. But after tons of research I feel more comfortable and confident about how to do it properly. Going on a special diet without proper research and professional advice can be dangerous so always consult a nutrition professional before going on a special diet. But I can relate to those who start a diet and feel like they are entering uncharted territories!

Some meals I had this week:

Breakfast Monday: Blue Crush Smoothie: water, almonds, sunflower seeds, blueberries, kale, bananas, ground flaxseed

Lunch Monday: oranges, cherry tomatoes, walnuts, raisins, bananas, peas

Lunch Wednesday: Salad with Liquid gold dressing, Dressing, romaine lettuce, kale, cabbage, sprouted lentils, and a green pepper

Dinner Wednesday: Garden Soup with orange juice, lemon juice, kale, apple, cucumber, basil, light miso, green onion, cayanne pepper, garlic, water, avocado and also a tomato with lemon tahini dressing and a smoothie with bananas, blueberries and oranges

Why Raw ROCKS!

-Raw vegan diets are generally completely lacking in foods with the highest glycemic index such as puffed foods and products made of white flour and white sugar

-Raw vegan diets tend to have a very low glycemic load compared to almost any other diet.

-The American diet comes from food composed of refined carbohydrates, sugars and starches with can cause disterous consequences for your health including raising triglycerides, wreak havoc on your blood glucose, increase the risk of type two diabetes and heart disease. In addition when foods high in refined carbohydrates make up the majority of the diet, there is little room left for foods that nourish and protect us! Raw-food eaters NEVER make this mistake!

-You are getting triple to quadruple the amount of fruits and vegetables than the average american. This may prevent certain types of cancers

-It is easy to lose weight, but still feel full

-You are not eating any damaged fats and acrylamides that can cause certain types of cancer

-Studies have shown that diets containing a lot of animal protein can raise the risk of kidney stones, cancer initiation and promotion, colorectal cancer, diabetes and coronary heart disease. Replacing animal protein with plant protein reduces blood cholesterol levels and other markers of heart disease!

-Raw vegan diets do well when it comes to sodium intake. One study found that men on a raw vegan diet averaged just over 1500 mg of sodium per day and women just over 1200 mg per day. The average american consumes over 3000 mg of sodium per day, this can contribute to a whole host of diet related health conditions like high blood pressure.

-Fiber is very abundant in a raw vegan diet. In fact my daily fiber consumption is anywhere between 50-80 grams per day!

-Plants provide an army of compounds that defend us in a varity of ways. They deliver nature’s most powerful beneficial compounds-phytochemicals, plant sterols, antioxidants, fiber and healthful fats!

-The vast majority of harmful foods are eliminated when shifting to a raw vegan diet!