Life right now (veganism and workout goals)

It’s been a while!! I started college in September and have been adjusting to life here! Here are some of my experiences and tips:

Push yourself to start healthy habits. The first month is the hardest because it is all overwhelming and you’ve become responsible for a lot in a short amount of time. Remember the importance of your health on your life in the long term. Exercising  and eating the right foods can also be a major help with de-stressing! I usually start my workout with a run around the outdoor track or on the treadmill for however long I can (usually 10 minutes at least) then I do strength training either in the gym or outside on a grassy field. I’ve been doing squats, lunges, planks, side planks, burpees, jumping jacks, and mountain climbers. I’ll do 10 of each (on each side) then repeat. Although this was a great workout, I really wanted a workout plan that focused on different parts of the body each day, so I found a YouTube video that really helped me create my own plan. I want to focus on toning my body, so in that case the video recommended doing 8-11 reps of each exercise and 3-4 sets of those reps, with a 1-2 minute rest between sets. So for example, I would do 10 squats, wait 1 minute, then repeat 2 or 3 more times. During that 1 minute I could do another workout just to keep moving.

Legs and butt workouts: Squats, lunges, bridge raises, weighted steps, stairs, 30 sec. jog- 30 sec. sprint 

Chest & biceps: push-ups, weighted chest fly, weighted bicep curls, walking plank

Back & triceps: Burpees, weighted deadlift, bent over row, single arm row, pull ups, tricep dips

Shoulder & core: steady run, weighted shoulder press, weighted clean & press, hill climbers, Russian twists, side crunches, plank, side plank

I still don’t know how to do all of these workouts are, but I’ll eventually become more of an expert 🙂
I’ve been fully vegan since July? I think? Anyways, I’m definitely never going back. It’s easy to see how people could try veganism out then go back to meat and dairy. They probably jump into it instead of slowly adjusting to the lifestyle. I gave up meat in April before giving up eggs (I already avoided dairy because it upset my stomach). Another reason why someone could “fail” at veganism could be lack of research on it. If you don’t have a solid opinion, it’s hard to be passionate about something. Reading Starch Solution educated me about the health benefits of veganism, more specifically high carb, low fat veganism, and watching videos and seeing pictures of animal cruelty in factory farms reinforced my passion against eating these animals and contributing to their suffering. Another great idea for anyone new to veganism is to watch YouTube videos, mainly “what I eat in a day” ones, to get an idea of the amount you should be eating to get enough calories into your diet. The amount of grains, fruits, and vegetables you should eat will probably seem abnormal at first, but it takes a lot more of these foods than you’re used to to satiate hunger. Plus these youtubers have created such a positive community of vegans to return to every day whenever I feel isolated.

Another tip is to experiment, and don’t be discouraged! Listen to your body. If you don’t eat enough carbs, you will crave unhealthy, fatty foods.  Personally, I eat a low fat diet because it cleared my skin of acne. 

Good luck!

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Summer lessons

I’m sad that July is almost over but this is honestly the best time because summer’s in full bloom! I feel creative this time of year; It’s when I have time to read, try different exercises, listen to new music, try new food and enjoy life fully. It’s easy to get stuck in the habit of watching TV all day, staying up too late at night, eating whatever junk food is in the kitchen, etc. All of these habits make me feel groggy and tired. Getting in the habit of taking care of my body, reading inspirational books and watching inspiring movies, brings me deep satisfaction. I feel like I have purpose in life; I’m motivated to volunteer, learn more about the causes I care about, try something new…. When I do these things, I feel alive.

Diet and Life

I never thought that I would come across a diet that encourages people to eat mainly carbohydrates! I’ve been reading The Starch Solution by Dr. McDougall; it’s about the science behind why starches are good for the body and why meat and dairy should be eliminated from our diet. I honestly feel so good when I follow this diet. The fact that we are depleting the world’s resources by eating animals scares me. The judgement I know I will get from people when I tell them I eat this way kinda scares me, too. But this book is just what I needed, because it’s designed to prepare vegans to answer questions about why they eat and avoid eating what they do.

My eating habits have become a lot simpler lately, which really has helped me not to focus so much on foodfoodfood, which is nice for a change. Throughout life I think we go through stages of focus. School, work, cooking, eating, sleeping, reading, watching movies or whatever hobbies we do. We pick one thing and spend most of our time on it. It’s hard to keep a balanced life where we are centered on multiple things equally. We always end up neglecting something. I always end up neglecting cleaning my room, focusing on my soul, and stretching out my body. Without a clean environment, it’s hard to focus on my spiritual life, which stretching and yoga helps me do. Hmm.

Learning from Raw Transformation 

I’ve recently been reading the book Raw Transformation by Wendy Rudell to gain more knowledge about raw food, food combination, and cleansing the body. It inspired me to learn more about breathing, which might seem weird, but we take breathing for granted sometimes and don’t realize when we’re actually holding our breath! 

Sprouting is another topic that the author draws upon that I never thought of trying before. First you soak the seeds (sunflower, sesame, Brazil nuts, almonds, etc.), then place them in a sprouting jar or tray for a certain amount of time. You can also omit sprouting and just soak the seeds. Soaking seeds allows the enzymes to activate, increases the nutrient content, and allows for easier digestion. 

I’m going to try soaking and sprouting, and update how it goes 😁

High carb, low fat, vegan grocery haul

I’ve recently discovered a YouTube channel called Ninaandranda, run by two girls who were raised vegan! I was really intrigued by their lifestyle, especially their eating habits. They make it look simple to eat this way, and they said that eating more fiber and less fat cleared their acne, so I’ve decided to tryout this way of living for a while! Here are some foods that I will eat in order to successfully follow a HCLF vegan diet:
Organic sweet potatoes (baked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 70 minutes)

Bananas
Organic apples

Mangoes

Watermelon

Canteloupe 

(Any fruit, basically)

Ezekiel bread

All-fruit strawberry jam

Brown/wild rice

Quinoa

Organic mixed vegetables (frozen)

Frozen mangoes, pineapple,blueberries, cherries, bananas, etc.

Seasoning: salt occasionally and onion flakes 

I’m still learning new recipes from the book that the girls recommend, The Starch Solution by: Dr. Mcdougall, but here are a few of the recipes I eat in a day:

Breakfast, any amount of slices of Ezekiel bread topped with fruit spread, any amount of fruit on the side

Lunch: A bowl or more of rice topped with mixed vegetables, sweet potatoes or frozen mango

Snacks: Fruit or veggies. I like blending together frozen fruit and a bit of almond milk to make a sorbet

Dinner would be similar to lunch.

I love this way of eating because it doesn’t limit the amount of food you eat, as long as it is high in fiber and/or starch. I recommend reading a sample of The Starch Solution and eventually buying it! 

Summer Recipes!

imageLunch sandwich!

Toasted Ezekiel English muffin

Organic yellow mustard

Cheddar goat cheese

1/4 avocado

Organic romaine lettuce

Organic tomato slices

imageMango-banana protein sorbet. Great for breakfast or dessert!

Blend together:

~1/2 cup frozen mango

~1/2 cup frozen banana slices

2 tbsp whey protein powder

2 tbsp cacao nibs

1 tbsp almond butter

A couple splashes of unsweetened almond milk

I also add in goji berries and flax seed meal 🙂

imageChocolate berry nice-cream!

Blend together:

~1/2 cup frozen banana slices

~ 1/2 cup frozen cherries, raspberries or strawberries

2 tbsp cacao nibs

A couple splashes of unsweetened almond milk

A scoop of chocolate protein powder ( I like Nature’s Bounty, Vega One, and Quest protein powder) or a few tsp of cocoa powder.

Topped with cacao nibs and goji berries 🙂

imageSummer Caesar salad! Featuring a cup of Tiny Tea.

Mix together

As much Romaine lettuce as you want!

Organic cherry tomatoes

Organic sliced cucumbers

Organic chopped yellow bell pepper

1/4 Avocado

Caesar dressing:

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 minced garlic clove

1/2 cup organic mayonnaise

1/4 cup grated goat cheddar cheese

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

The dressing makes 6 servings!

*note: feel free to be generous with the amount of vegetables and fruits for each recipe!

More summer inspired recipes to come!

Deceiving Garden

A garden. Pocketed with strawberries. Overshadowed by monstrous magnolias. A mindless walk can lead one to the sudden drop, the ragged edge of a cliff. Rock is sedimented in layer after layer, into the rushing ocean water, wave after wave smacks the rock, just as Samuel had smacked the surface of the ocean. His twinkling aquamarine eyes could bring me into a different state of mind. That garden, with its promising relaxation, never ending breeze, could make me cry. My tears never made it down my cheeks- always blown away. Perpetual motion. Grass always leaning to one side or the other. I felt like being lifted off of the ground and falling slowly off the edge. This place could no longer be what it used to be. What did it used to be? My tears won’t let me find out. Remembering isn’t enough.

(side note: I wrote this two years ago in December. I found it while flipping through my old journal. It surprised me because I didn’t remember writing it.)

Worrying About Nothing

It seems silly to worry about wasting a day and living life to the fullest, but I do this every day. Am I volunteering enough? Loving enough? Forgiving enough? Praying enough? Doing enough? Enough worrying! Nothing good comes from it. Nothing. I want to relax and enjoy the moment, take a deep breath, and smile. Letting my guard down scares me. I’m afraid I’m going to look back at my life and see nothing. No risks taken, no good friendships, no adventures. No creativity no positivity no meaningful memories. No contribution, most of all. No accomplishments. I don’t know how to get out of this state of mind but I’m going to take it one day at a time. I just want to relax and enjoy the ride.

Thoughts

There are some things that annoy me about our society. I’ve learned to focus on positivity while keeping in mind the negative aspects of the world that I want to change, but lately the tension regarding race, sexuality and political views in general has really disturbed my inner peace. So, here’s what has been on my mind:

The fact that psychology as a college major is constantly looked down upon because it has “the least job opportunities” says a lot about our society. We are centered around making money and becoming less focused on our mental health. Because we can’t see the injury, we don’t believe it’s there. Depression, anxiety and even eating disorders can all be psychological and are often not treated seriously.

Why can’t we accept love into our lives? Why are we so bitter? Why are we so selfish?

Why are we still slut shaming? A woman should be able to be comfortable in her own skin just as a man can be.

If we are putting conditions on love, then we need to re-evaluate our lives.

We make life way too complicated by labeling people.

Hate comes from not being comfortable with ourselves. If we truly love and accept ourselves for who we are, we will be willing to understand others, no matter how different they are from us.

My Approach to Eating

What I eat is very important to me! I listen to my body and how it reacts to different foods. Recently I’ve been following the rule of thumb, “the simpler, the better”. I like eating simple, minimally processed ingredients. Organic fruit and vegetables are must-haves! Fruit are great for snacking, and vegetables can be used for salads and green drinks. Other food items I always have at home is cheddar goat cheese, almond butter, almond milk, protein powder, super foods like cacao nibs and goji berries, and Ezekiel bread and English muffins. The condiments I use include coconut aminos, and organic mayonnaise and mustard.

I personally prefer snacking throughout the day because it’s like having little energy boosts instead of relying on a few huge meals. If I won’t be home all day, I bring snacks like gala apples, Quest protein bars and nuts.

I DON’T deprive myself of any food I’m craving. I always have a cheat day where I’ll eat pizza or a sugary snack. If I really want ice cream but I know that dairy will make me sick, I buy coconut or almond milk ice cream. I love finding recipes for clean desserts on Pinterest!

So basically, I invest in my health by the food I choose to eat. Healthy eating becomes a habit after a while, so that your body begins to crave what will really nourish it. My tips for anyone trying to be healthy would be:

– Don’t get in the habit of buying packaged foods such as trail mix, protein bars and other healthy food brands when you can make it yourself. Usually it’s a lot cheaper to buy all of the ingredients and make it weekly or daily.

– Don’t force yourself to eat healthy foods that you dislike eating. There are yummy options out there for everyone!

– Transition to healthy options slowly! Look for alternative options for bread, cereal, ice cream, etc that contain less or no sugar and ingredients that you recognize.

– Invest in your health now instead of buying expensive medication later!

– Don’t stress! It’s easy to feel guilty about anything “unhealthy” you’re eating once you’re more aware of it. Give yourself grace and move forward.

– Slowly eliminate processed foods and replace them with simple ones! Healthy meals don’t always have to be elaborate ones.

Goodluck! 💫