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Finding My Groove

Posted Sep 16 2010 5:51pm

I’ve heard (read?) Averie talk about her groove many times.  She’s found hers.  According the veggie-lovin’ yogi , it has taken years of trial and error to do so.  But, the health and vitality must be worth it in the end.

My journey has been a wild ride in terms of diet and exercise…all over the place:

2005:  I went vegan!  I subsisted mainly on lentils, beans, rice and LOTS of processed soy products :(   My exercise was lots of cardio twice some days!

2006:  I got engaged and moved in with an omnivore who loved meat.  I veered away from veganism and transitioned to an omnivorous diet including greasy guy food aka ribs, pizza, wings, cheesy anything.  It was easier to eat what he ate.  At first, we exercised together lifting and doing cardio at the gym.  Then, we both stopped caring.  I began drinking ridiculous amounts of wine from the vineyard close to my home.

2007:  I became pregnant and healthified my diet again.  I including lots more produce.  I couldn’t eat pizza or the like due to heartburn.  But, I still ate McDonald’s (gasp!) and powdered donuts (not together) a few times per week.

2008:  I gave birth to a healthy baby girl and immediately increased my fresh produce intake. I went back to the gym doing only cardio 3 weeks after delivery.  I continued to do cardio 3-5 days a week for about 6 months. I breast fed for 6 months.  I was still eating omnivorously.  I was unaware of the horrors of factory farming, processed foods and so on.  Soon, I went back to school and aqcuired a huge amount of stress.  I “had no time for exercise”.I subsisted on almost 300 ounces (yes, three hundred!) of black tea and diet pseudo foods. 

2009: I began doing a little yoga and running outside and on a treadmill.   I learned about factory farming, conventional produce, processed pseudo foods, deceptive marketing….ah!  I cut back on tea, increased my water intake and cut out the pseudo foods. I ate a lot of ”natural” cereal,  organic dairy (Greek yogurt) and organic poultry as well as fruits and lots of veggies. 

2010: Although my running had increased to 5-6 miles 5 days a week I was not at a healthy weight for me.  I disovored that after a healthy weight gain, my weight went over my healthy weight due to some poor eating habits.  I had been eating the bulk of my calories in the evening right before bed.  Lots of nut butter, cereal and dairy before bed was not helpful.  I started to eat 3 whole bag of steamed veggies and lots of tuna and chicken each day.  I was still addicted to artificial sweetener.   I did P90X and ended up gaining weight!  I was bummed out.  I felt that I may never reach the level of health that I desired. 

2010:  I was fed up with no results from my workouts. (Read: lovehandles and muffin top) Although, I was convinced I may never get to the physical level which I desired, I contacted Alyson as a last resort.  I expressed my concern about my rollercoaster of health.  I was pleasantly surprised that she offered no diet plan.  She encouraged me to listen to my body and add to my diet rather than subract from it.  She also helped me with a workout routine that included resistance and cardio.

I was able to eliminate caffeine and artificial sweetener within 3 months!  I cut out dairy to see what would happen and it made a world of difference.  I discovered how much better I felt on a minimally-processed, vegan diet.  Then, I began to play with raw food.  I decided to see if I could stay raw for a day. .. and I did!  So, I figured I would try a week.  That turned into a month!  I have now been raw for one month!

The first few days of raw eating, I gave myself permission to eat what sounded good as long as it was raw.  My diet was pretty high in fat.  But, I actually lost weight!  Then I noticed that I was consuming a  lot more fruit and a lot less fat.  I felt good, but I would wake up hungry at 1:00am.  Not good.  So, I thought what about more protein?  I started to increase my protein in the evening with nutritional yeast and minimal amounts of raw nuts.  That did not help the hunger pangs.

So, now…I am still searching for the combination that works for me.  I love fruit.  I could eat it all day everyday.  But, the body needs variety.  Greens are nutrition powerhouses.  I  include spinach or kale everyday.  But, I am still finding my groove.

I decided to experiment with different processed and cooked foods to find my balance.

I ate two low-carb torilla with some rice cheese to make a quesadilla one night and the first half of the quesadilla  tasted divine but then it began to taste like chemicals to me :( When I read the ingredients on the tortillas, I understood why.

I felt horrible the next day!  My stomach hurt.  My head hurt.  Nothing sounded appetizing. 

I tried natural roasted PB the next night and had similar results.

However, when I tried organic canned pinto beans with nutritional yeast, I didn’t feel bad at all!

So, I am actually 98 percent raw most days since the only “unraw” thing I consume is decaf americano with stevia and salad dressing .

Other days I would say I’m about 75 percent raw due to cooked beans (which is one of my top 5 favorite foods!)

I actually haven’t had the desire to eat any more cooked food than that.

Anyone care to share tips on finding your groove?

Yes, I have lost weight since I began working with Alyson.  My highest weight the week I began working with Alyson was 132.  But, I’m pretty sure there were a few pounds of water there.  I now weigh about 121-122.  Due to the water, it’s not a full 10 pounds.  Yet, I am still much closer to my goal!  Plus, I’m only half-way through the six months of health coaching that Alyson offers.

More importantly, I feel much more at peace with food. 

Through Integrative Nutrition  I have learned to listen to my body and integrate my knowledge of nutrition in ways that work with my body.

I HAVE STOPPED COUNTING CALORIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I never ever in my wildest dreams thought that would happen. 

I never thought I would feel able to healthfully (yes it is a word) ;)  accomplish my goal weight of 115

I never thought I could eliminate caffeine and artificial sweetener.

I never thought I would feel this good.

Never say never.

I will do a before and after post in a few months when my Nourished Life journey is completed.

In other WBL news:  I went grocery shopping by myself for the first time in forever!!

Snuffy requested Donuts and Candy from Whole Foods :)

(WF Apple Braid)

I made Averie’s balls using carob powder and a mixture of cashews, walnuts and almonds

and more of Ani’s Donuts

Then something horrible happened…

My ghetto blender and my 10 month old food processor both died!

The horror!

Time to start saving for a Vita.

Snuffy and I also made Double Chocolate Cookies

I used a recipe in Veganomicon as a guide

Since I have been eating high-raw, I have gone through LOTS of produce…

Blueberries, Bananas, Almond Butter, Cinnamon and Almond Milk

Pink Lady Apple, “raw” AB and Cinnamon

That’s only the tip of the iceberg.

One huge benefit of transitioning to raw is that Snuffy is eating a lot more raw fruits and veggies too.

Childhood Obesity is an issue close to my heart and I encourage other parents to lead by example

Our children will be ready to leave home ….

and make their own decisions

…before we know it!

I  can’t believe how much she has grown!

I’m getting older as well…

I will be 25 on Sunday!

I am absolutely not where I thought I would be at 25 but at least I have my lovely little girl to show for my time on this planet ;)

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