What is a Keto Vegan/Plant-Based Diet?

Disclaimer: I am not a Dr. nor do I play one on the internet. Always consult with your doctor before experimenting with your diet (seriously, see a functional medicine Dr. and get data from blood tests, urine tests, etc.). Please feel free to comment if you’re aware of anything that should be updated; I always appreciate knowing the science and I’ll update the content promptly. My goal is to help readers get more scientifically educated and improve their health and their lives with as much joy as possible. The purpose of this blog is to educate you on a Keto Vegan Plant-Based Diet.

What Is Ketosis?

Definition: “Ketogenesis” means “generating ketones,” which your body does naturally to generate energy from fat when carbohydrate sources are sufficiently low (e.g., after intense exercise, long periods of fasting, etc.). “Ketogenic diets” are thus a way of switching your body over into a fat-burning state.

The Ketogenic or KETO diet is gaining popularity. Many people wonder if it is possible to adopt a Keto Vegan Plant-Based Diet. I’m here to tell you YES! It is!

What Is A Ketogenic (KETO) Diet?

When we increase our healthy fats and lower our carbohydrates (grains, most fruit, sweeteners, and starchy vegetables) and add in a moderate amount of protein (15 grams per meal), the human brain becomes more efficient. We have more mental cognition, clarity, we lose weight, and have a more balanced energy level.

I’ve been practicing a Keto Vegan Plant-Based Diet without knowing it for 20 years. I started eating this way when I found out I had systemic candida. I was then introduced into the world of cleansing. My candida remedy was to eliminate most carbohydrates and adopt a vegan, high fat, low carb diet. It was successful! I have experimented with this way of eating over the years and have gone off track more than once. This caused me to gain weight, leaving me feeling unhealthy and low in energy. When I would stray too far from what I knew to be right for my body, I knew it was time to get back on track.

Here is what I have learned from eating a Keto Vegan Plant-Based Diet for over 20 years:
· I have REAL sustained energy when I eat and drink plant-based KETO foods
· I can have as much green juice, Keto Coffee, leafy greens and green vegetables I want
· I can have tons of fat and healthy oil and feel amazing
· I don’t miss unhealthy carbs (cake and bread now look like plastic to me)
· I can still enjoy healthy carbs 1 day a week (up to 100g and stay in ketosis)

Who Promotes Keto?

There are many people promoting this type of low-carb, high-fat diet these days such as:

  • Dr. Joseph Mercola, a respected blogger on scientific data, with his new book Fat For Fuel.
  • Jimmy More with his #1 podcast Living La Vida Low Carb and a book called Keto Clarity (warning: very NOT Plant-based and I don’t recommend it).
  • There are many women that are now promoting this way of living, such as Shawn Mynar with her new podcast called Keto for Women. Every day, more and more books and podcasts popping up on KETO.
  • Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD promotes a low carb, high fat Plant-Based Diet in his book Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine (but it’s not quite low enough in carbs to be considered KETO).

What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a measurement of blood ketones where your body is using fat for fuel instead of sugar/carbs. In Ketosis, we become fat burners instead of sugar burners. When your body uses fat for fuel, your body burns fat stores for energy, providing a more sustainable slow-burning energy (like a runner’s second wind when his body burns through its glycogen and taps into its fat reserves for that final push). When your body uses carbs/sugar for fuel, you need to eat more often to keep fueling the fire, and your body never gets a chance to burn its fat stores.

What Is The Benefit Of Eating A Keto Vegan Plant-Based Diet?

  • Your body becomes less acidic as a result of not eating animals and their byproducts.
  • Better bowel movements because you are getting plenty of fiber.
  • Avoid having foul smelling KETO breath and B.O (from eating too many animal products)
  • Have an alkaline P.H. from eating lots of green juices and green vegetables (both raw and cooked)
  • You won’t get sick as often or at all since your body is more on the alkaline side than meat eaters tend to be.

Here’s an outline of what a woman who weights between 120-140 pounds would eat in a day on a Keto Vegan Plant-Based Diet Plan:

  1. Carbohydrates: Between 20 and 40 grams. Consists of all the leafy greens, green and cruciferous low-starch vegetables (raw and cooked) green juices, some starchy vegetables such as carrots, beets, sweet potatoes and squash in moderation, some fruits such as berries, lemons, and limes
    • 20 grams a day is stricter and used by people with hormone imbalances, more weight to lose and brain fog, candida, etc.
    • 40 grams a day is beneficial for people who want to experience the mental clarity and energy improvements plus drop a few pounds in the process.
    • 60 grams a day might be a good place to start if you are a severe sugar burner (eating packaged foods and white sugar and white flours and grains
  2.  Fats: Between 100 and 120 grams a day including coconut, cacao, nuts, seeds, olives (and  any of these products’ butter, oil, and milk).
  3. Protein: 45 grams a day in the form of sprouted nuts and seeds (and their butter), vegetables, leafy greens and green sprouts (such as microgreens)
  4. Free Foods: (don’t contain many macros but do contain nutrients) seaweeds (includes Irish sea moss, kelp noodles, sushi nori, arame, hijiki, etc.), leafy greens, green vegetables, celery and celery juice

Avoid:

foods high in lectins, and food that keeps us out of ketosis: all grains, corn, beans, peppers (bell included), eggplants, and tomatoes (some tomatoes in moderation can be okay), white potatoes, processed foods (90% dark chocolate is okay), high sugar fruits such as everything except berries, lemons and limes.

Benefits Of Ketosis:


1. Boosted Brain Power: When you are burning fat/ketones for energy, you can think more clearly and for more extended periods of time
2. More patience: Your mood stabilizes, and you don’t get sugar drops since you aren’t consuming carbohydrates for energy anymore
3. Stable hunger.:You don’t get Hangry when your stomach is empty because your body goes to your fat stores instead of screaming for more dopamine inducing sugar/carbs
4. Weight Loss: Since you are burning fat for energy, your body will use your reserves while you are sleeping.
5. Better Sleep: When you are not eating sugars or eating late at night (because you are not “starving” and you have plenty of fat to eat), you sleep better and more soundly. Plus you are not waking up with hot flashes or night sweats because your hormones are now in balance.
6. Balanced Hormones: Being in a ketogenic state can make a big difference in your overall hormone health. Our hormones need fat to function properly, and now you will be providing your body with all the fat it needs.


Here is a 1-day Sample Menu for a Keto Vegan Plant-Based Diet based on 40 grams of carbohydrates (this is one of my typical eating days)

Start your day with a Pure Joy Perfect KETO Coffee or Tea.


Breakfast: 5 Ingredient Chia Porridge. Add cacao nibs, cinnamon, maca, and any other sweet spices you would like. A dash of stevia or monk fruit for sweetness but the sooner you stop adding sweetness to your food, the sooner you will adapt to a sugar-free way of eating. Or have a Keto Love Power Smoothie (this recipe is provided in seasonal Love Camp Program)
Lunch: Marinated Zucchini and kelp noodles with hemp seed pesto sauce topped with ½ avocado


Dinner: Big green salad with ½ a small tomato, ½ an avocado, sprouts, steamed Brussels sprouts and broccoli with sautéed onions and garlic in coconut oil and topped with our sun-dried tomato coconut-tahini curry sauce. Sprinkle with chopped almonds or hemp seeds.
Optional: 1 Coconut Wrap
Snacks: A handful of sprouted, dehydrated almonds or walnuts

Entire days’ Macros: This fits well within the KETO range
Protein: 37 g
Fat: 120 g
Carbs: 40.1 g

Note: Everyone’s experience of ketogenic is different. Your range of fats and carbs may vary. The way you will know you are in ketosis is to buy a ketone meter and test your blood. Wait at least 2 weeks before doing this so you don’t waste the strips which can be expensive). The other way you will know is if you start feeling more balanced and more energetic and you stop craving sugar. You may also notice you aren’t bloating after meals and your pants are a tad bit looser.

So, How Can You Start A Keto Vegan Plant-Based Diet?

Here are some types to help you start to increase your level of ketosis and get you into fat burning mode (from most to least important):

  1. Restrict carbohydrates to 20 digestible grams per day or less – a strict low-carb diet. Fiber does not have to be restricted; it might even be beneficial.
  2. Restrict protein to moderate levels. If possible stay at or below 1 gram of protein per day, per kg of body weight. So about 70 grams of protein per day if you weigh 70 kilos (154 pounds). It might be beneficial to lower protein intake even more, especially when overweight, and then aim for 1 gram of protein per kg of desired weight. The most common mistake that stops people from reaching optimal ketosis is too much protein.
  3. Eat enough fat to feel satisfied. Fat is the most significant factor in a ketogenic diet and starvation, that also results in ketosis. A ketogenic diet is sustainable. Deprivation is not.
    Avoid snacking when not hungry. Unnecessary snacking reduces weight loss and decreases ketosis.
  4. If necessary, add in intermittent fasting 2 days a week. Sustain from eating or drinking anything for 16 hours and having an eating window of 8 hours. Intermittent Fasting is very effective at boosting ketone levels, as well as accelerating weight loss and reversing type 2 diabetes.

Enjoy exploring the Keto Vegan Plant-Based Diet! Reach out to me on Facebook or comment below if you have comments or questions.

If you are interested in following a one-month plan and getting weekly meal plans, macro counts and recipes, register for our Plant-Based KETO Lovecamp! We start January 9th, just in time to recharge your health routine!

With love,

Elaina


4 Superfoods to make you stronger, smarter, faster!

  1. Green Grass Powdersgreener grasses

    One of the most important things you can do for your health is to eat a diet rich in alkaline minerals to neutralize excess acidity such as ripe fruits and leafy greens. Grass powders are a quick way to buffer acidity and quickly increase your alkalinity. A result of consuming too many acid-forming foods (like processed and fried foods, meat, dairy, sugar, and grains)  our bones are robbed of their precious minerals which can lead to illness and degenerative bone disease. When you are making your smoothies and blended soups grass powders are a quick and easy addition. Start with a teaspoon and work your way up to a tablespoon. Read the labels to make sure the green powder doesn’t contain fillers or dairy.  Of course, I still love my green juice every morning, but green powders are quick and easy and can be thrown into a smoothie or even stirred into a glass of water for a quick energy boost before heading out the door. Grasses are the number one way to increase mood and alkalinity. I call Greens the “Pure Joy Factor” because they enhance and increase my mood quicker than any other food. Favorite brands include Greener Grasses, Wheatgrass powder, and Barley Grass powder. Try them one at a time and find out which ones work best for you.  Check out this smoothie recipe with Green Powde

  2. Mucuna Pruriensmucuna

    You may not have heard of this supplement before. It comes in powdered form and is also known as the dopamine bean. It’s well known for its mood-enhancing qualities. It boosts my energy when I take it in a morning hot beverage with a tsp. of coconut oil. Start with a small dose (like 1/8 tsp.) and work your way up. You will most likely feel very happy and energized. Try Sun Potion brand. Side effects can include increased thirst.  Check out this tonic recipe. Just add 1/8 tsp. of Mucuna to it. 

    • Supports a healthy central & peripheral nervous system*
    • Supports the body’s ability to handle stress*
    • Is a natural source of levodopa (L-dopa)*
    • Supports physical balance & posture*
    • Promotes healthy motor skills & coordination*
    • Improves energy & endurance*
    • Supports the intellect*
    • Bolsters libido*
    • Revitalizes both the male & female reproductive systems*
  3. Virgin Coconut Oil (cold-pressed is best)

    coconut oilCoconut oil is well known as an anti-fungal and antiviral oil. It is a fat that does not need to be processed through the liver and acts as an energy booster before a workout. It can help you burn fat more efficiently and actually clean out old undigested fats. Coconut oil also has brain boosting effects. I like to use coconut oil on my steamed veggies and even as the oil in my salad dressings. It’s my go-to oil when I am using oils. It also makes a great fat for refrigerated chocolates.

  4. Turmeric
    Turmeric

    Turmeric is the most well known for being an anti-inflammatory herb, helping to ease joint pain. Turmeric is also proven to help boost memory and enhance brain function.

    • Promotes a balanced mood
    • Helps wounds heal quickly
    • Eases aches and discomfort
    • Encourages balanced blood sugar
    • Soothes irritated tissue

These 4 Superfoods are all fairly easy to find and can be used in many recipes. I use these on a daily basis as part of my healthy eating program.

For more recipes, fitness, and performance enhancing information, check out our 4-week Guided Love Camp Program!


The health risk of mold in nuts, corn, and grains

Would you love to know that the food bringing home and feeding to your family is free from mold, yeast, and fungus?  Me too! That’s why I’ve been doing some digging and found out that not all foods are safe!

knowledge-is-powerI know that most people don’t want to hear this. In fact,  I have had people physically cover their ears when I talk about this subject because according to
some, “ignorance is bliss!” According to me “Knowledge is Power!” You need to know what is causing your auto-immune, candida, respiratory problems, Epstein bar virus, MS, asthma, allergies, hormone imbalances, blurry vision, brain fog, and weight gain so you can easily and painlessly remedy the situation while watching your health improve daily!

The answer to a lot of your health problems could be mold, and knowing where it lives! moldy peanuts.jpgMost of us know that mold can hide under the floorboards or in the walls of a house or office. This is a big problem and takes some serious work to clean up. Did you know that a seemingly harmless nut, seed, or grain can also be at the root of your health issues? If you are not properly soaking and cleaning them, you are swallowing toxins! These food toxins are also known as mycotoxins.

moldy-corn

Mycotoxins are toxic chemical products that are produced from molds which grow on agricultural crops. In general, high moisture content, high relative humidity, and warm temperatures enhance mold growth and toxin production. Mycotoxins are natural and inevitable. No bean or crop is without some percentage of them but finding the companies that actively test for mycotoxin content is best. Mycotoxins are relatively harmless to the body on a micro level. It is only when we consume them on a daily basis that they become a problem. That means daily ingestion of poor ‘Starbucks’ quality coffee could have long-term effects on your brain health and increase free radicals which leads to radical premature aging!

How are mycotoxins harmful? 

When you consume foods with mycotoxins, they make their way to the digestive system & sit there for your entire lifetime! Once they’re ingested, they can leach through the intestinal wall and can be absorbed into the bloodstream.  Once your system has incorporated the mycotoxin, they can cause systemic yeast or mold. This can lead to inflammation and disease.

Where are they found? 

Mycotoxins are found in nuts, seeds, beans, and grains. They are dormant and live on whole and especially broken nuts, seeds, and grains. They can cause harm to your immune system when they are swallowed, but since they are dormant, they can easily be cleaned and killed without much effort. Here’s the lowdown:

Top nuts and grains containing the most fungus and mycotoxins:

  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Stored grains like wheat, rye, barley, and oats
  • Nut and seed butter (store bought):

What to avoid (unfixable)

  • Corn-Give it your very best effort to stop eating all forms of corn. I know that it is a staple food in America, especially for the gluten-free crowd. But corn is a stored grain and is very high in molds. It is more often than not, a GMO! How about the well-known fact that corn is used to fatten cattle before they are slaughtered. Need another reason to quit? Corn is acid forming and overconsumption leads to illness, weight gain, and disease.
  • Peanuts-These are the moldiest legumes on the planet! Do you wonder why so many people are allergic? It’s the mold and fungus hiding in every crevice. Peanut butter is even worse. What do you think they do with all the ugly broken bits not suitable for bags? That’s right! It gets ground into butter. Same goes for every nut butter on the market. The safe bet? Make your own!
  • Gluten grains-Includes all stored grains.

What to clean and consume at your own risk:

  • Cashews-never eat these if you have not soaked them for at least 20 minutes in 3% hydrogen peroxide. Rinse well after soaking. Pay attention to how you feel after consuming them for a few days. Do you have mucus, stuffy nose, scratchy throat? These are all symptoms of cashew toxicity. Never, ever eat them straight from the bag (especially from the bulk bin)! I personally eschew cashews and will never eat them again. It’s up to you, but with so many choices of non-mycotoxin foods (like macadamia nuts and so many others), why take the risk?
  • Pistachios– can have higher mycotoxins so just be sure to soak & rinse them well.
  • Oats  Groats (not rolled)- can be an exception for a lot of people because they can be gluten free, but most of the time, people feel better when they stop eating grains altogether! I know…crazy right?  Rolled oats are not clean and are higher in dust mites, mold and bacteria than the groats which you can soak and rinse easily. Beware of bulk bin granolas which are high in contaminants, sugar, heated oils and salt.It’s better to make your own at home or try our toasted (mycotoxin free) coconut chips!
  • Store bought nut butter: What kinds of nuts become butter? The nasty, dirty broken pieces at the bottom of the barrel which cannot be sold in a nice little package. That’s right! That awesome almond butter you love to spread on your apple could be harboring some serious bad guys! The answer…make your own easily at home.

What to clean, sprout, dehydrate and consume as desired:

notella

  • Almonds- soak for 8 hours in a big bowl of water, then rinse well. Add a capful of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide to the bowl with clean water for 20 minutes. Then drain, rinse and eat, or dehydrate for 24 hours at 115 degrees F or until crunchy and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Brazil nuts- these only need a quick 20-minute soak in a bowl of water with a capful of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide. They don’t contain much bacteria or phytates.
  • Hazelnuts (filberts)- see almonds for how to clean.
  • Macadamia nuts-Depending on where you source your macadamia nuts, these nuts usually don’t need to be soaked very long or at all because they don’t contain enzyme inhibitors. They also lose a lot of fat and flavor if they are soaked too long. I do recommend soaking them at least 20 minutes with a capful of 3% food grade H2O2 and then rinsing well if you are getting them from a non-organic source, or from the bulk bin.  If you are not sure about your source, get them from us! We source premium organic Hawaiian Macadam Nuts which makes the best nut cheese, vegan cheesecakes and nut butter fillings for chocolates and more.
  • Sesame seeds- soak for 2 hours in a big bowl of water, then rinse well. Add a capful of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide to the bowl with clean water for 20 minutes. Then drain, rinse and blend into a hummus or sauce, or dehydrate for 12 hours at 115 degrees F or until crunchy and store them in the freezer (preferably for up to 6 months.
  • Sunflower seeds- Soak for 4 hours in a big bowl of water, then rinse well. Add a capful of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide to the bowl with clean water for 20 minutes. Then drain, rinse and eat, or dehydrate for 12 hours at 115 degrees F or until crunchy and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Pumpkin seeds– soak for 2-4 hours in a big bowl of water, then rinse well. Add a capful of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide to the bowl with clean water for 20 minutes. Then drain, rinse and eat, or dehydrate for 12 hours at 115 degrees F or until crunchy and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Walnuts-soak for 24 hours in a big bowl of water, rinsing every 8 hours. Add a capful of 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide to the bowl with clean water for 20 minutes. Then drain, rinse and eat, or dehydrate for 12 hours at 115 degrees F or until crunchy and store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Quinoa and brown rice-when properly soaked these can be a great alternative to the gluten grains. Soak for just 20 minutes and rinse well before cooking. If you want to actually sprout the quinoa, you can do this by letting the quinoa sit in a colander and rinse it every 8 hours until tails grow. If the holes in your colander are too large, try sprouting in The Amazing Nut Milk Bag
  • Beans- black, pinto, red, adzuki, etc.- I don’t even recommend eating beans as they are high in lectins which can exacerbate autoimmune and leaky gut symptoms, and beans can be hard to digest, so be sure to sprout them until they get a 1/4 inch tail before cooking. Always cook them! Never eat them raw, even if they are sprouted as you need to cook them to make them digestible.
  • Smaller legumessprouts(such as mung beans and lentils)- Soak, sprout and eat. They are usually better if cooked to greatly reduce the lectins. A lot of people who cannot tolerate nuts and beans can digest sprouted lentils more easily. I enjoy sprouted lentils and mung beans on rare occasions eaten raw with some avocado, lemon and cumin. Or cooked into a dahl or curry.

Some other things to take note of:

I am one of those “canaries in a coal mine” so if something is moldy, I’m the first to react. The usual reactions for me are itchy eyes, an itchy nose, itchy arms, or an irritating tingle up my spine. If I don’t stop eating after the initial signal, then the skin around my eyes and on my fingers will start to break out in an itchy rash which can take days to go away. Coffee and cacao are two products that are also known to be high in mold and mycotoxins. Batches can vary so you cannot always be sure if they are moldy are not. Now there are many companies selling certified mold-free coffee such as Kicking Horse. As for cacao beans, again, each batch is different. I have found Big Tree Farms to be safe for me to eat.

The takeaway here is to be aware, stay informed and stick with me! I’ll continue to expose the truth, on this blog, no matter how painful it may seem at the time. If you start following my program of avoiding mycotoxins, yeast, and mold, your attitude and mood and health will greatly improve in a very short amount of time.

Want to learn more? Join our next 4-week mycotoxin-free Love Camp with lessons and recipes for a month!

Watch this video to learn how to soak walnuts and other nuts, seeds and grains.


10 Ways to Become Super Human

How would you feel if you knew you never have to take prescription medication again? Or that you would never get the dreaded seasonal flu every year? Is it possible?

Yes, it is! I have discovered some simple lifestyle habits that are easy to do and can completely transform your health. Since I started eating a high raw food, vegan diet, I have learned many things about how not to get sick. I have not been hospitalized for illnesses since adopting these lifestyle habits. I  have not taken any form of medication or prescription drugs, nor have I been down with the flu for years! My blood tests show that I am fully mineralized am in great health.

Do our genes decide whether or not we are prone to dis-ease or illness? Was I born with ‘good genes’? Quite the opposite actually. I was born with thrush (systemic candida), yeast overgrowth, and severe digestive problems. I struggled throughout my teens and early twenties with arthritis before I discovered the power of plant-based foods, cleansing, and fasting. I have completely healed and overcome these is ailments through a swift change in my diet and lifestyle habits.

Below, I share things that have worked well for me and how I outsmart sicknesses, disease, or even a cold or flu:

  1. Morning water: Keep a 32 oz. glass jar of water next to your bed and drink it as soon as you wake up. Try adding 1 tsp. of lemon juice and a pinch of salt for optimal absorption and extra alkalizing boost. Drink as much of it as you can before leaving your bedroom. This will help flush out any toxins your liver accumulated during sleep and the day before. It will also dramatically help get your bowels moving for the day and decrease sluggishness.
  2. Daily Juice: IMG_2641Yes, it’s as simple as drinking a 16 oz. green juice every day (or most days) Make 2 or 3 days worth of celery or green juice at one time in your juicer (I like the Greenstar juicer) and store it in 16 oz. glass jars in your refrigerator. That way you can just grab one first thing in the morning before consuming food or beverages (other than water).
  3. Sleep! At least 7-8 hours a night: Elaina Sleeping.jpgYou’ve already heard this over and over, but it bears repeating. A good nights sleep is more important than any supplement you can take. Sleeping is when the most healing and reconstruction occurs. It’s the time when your body balances hormones, detoxes your liver,  and re-energizes your entire system. It is a time of rejuvenation which cannot be achieved any other way. Getting enough sleep also keeps your appetite in check. Appetite is stimulated by a certain hormone and when that hormone is out of balance because of lack of sleep, your appetite can be firing on overdrive. This leads to false hunger cues, over-eating and sugar cravings!
  4. Regular Cleansing: Every change of season (4 times a year) do a 3-day juice fast, a liver flush or an elimination diet to help your body flush and dump extra heavy metals, toxins and accumulated hormones, undigested proteins and more. This is the fastest way to gain more energy, clarity, and happiness in your life, guaranteed! Do you think you are addicted to coffee or stimulants? Try a 3 days juice cleanse and discover just how much energy you can have just from green juice!
  5. Avoid grains, especially gluten and corn: Grains like wheat, rice, barley, and rye can be highly acidic to the body. The more acidic foods we eat, the more energy is being drained from the body as the body try to reverse the acidity in the food you eat.   The more alkalizing foods you eat in the form of greens, fruits and veggies, the more fiber and alkaline minerals you have to nourish your body and keep the toxins moving out. Fact: Disease cannot live in an alkaline environment, so if you eat a highly alkalizing diet, you will be on the fast track to health. Watch my video on GMO corn and the dangers here.
  6. Avoid meat and dairy: Meat and dairy (red meat, chicken, pork, milk, yogurt, and cheese) are also very acid forming. When you consume meat and dairy, your body accumulates uric acid and excess proteins which can lead to bacteria growth and disease. Despite popular belief, science has proved over and over that consuming over 5% animal protein leads to cancer, osteoporosis, liver degeneration and more.
  7. Eat a High Alkaline Diet: Tahini Salad HERO 2.jpgEat lots of leafy green vegetables by adding them into raw salads, smoothies or other cooked dishes. A high raw diet is beneficial for most people because raw foods are full of life-enhancing enzymes, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats which your body requires to function efficiently. It’s easy to get enough raw food daily in the form of green juices, salads, dehydrated bread, wraps and crackers and sprouted nuts and seeds. Make your diet 90% raw in the warm months and at least 75% raw in the cold months. It’s easy to warm your food without cooking it by placing it in your dehydrator at 118 degrees F, gently warm raw soups and sauces in a pot or put hot water in your blender with your green smoothies or raw soups.  By eating mostly raw, you will be avoiding all processed and packaged foods and your health will improve exponentially. You will also drastically reverse aging! How? Raw foods contain all their natural enzymes which mean your body does not have to use it’s own enzymes to digestive the food. Enzymes=life. When your enzymes banks are used up by eating a SAD cooked, processed food diet, your life span drastically reduces.
  8. Add in Superfoods: IMG_3344.JPGChaga Mushroom, Reishi Mushroom, tinctures and herbs like astragalus, ashwagandha, and powders like spirulina will offer you the most immune boosting support for your health.  Other adaptogenic herbs such as licorice, ginseng and he shou wu can greatly increase your nutrition while balancing your adrenals and hormones. Take some time to research all of these natural medicines and incorporate some of them into your daily routine. I like Wild Harvest tinctures for all of their adaptogenic formulas (you can find one that is right for you). My favorite at the moment is Count to Zen to keep myself feeling grounded and harmonious in my daily interactions.
  9. Acupuncture: Doing regular acupuncture helps to keep your hormones balanced. It can do wonders for keeping all of your channels open, keeping you healthy. It has worked wonders for me with hormone balancing, menopause and keeping my immune system firing during high-stress periods.
  10. Meditation: Diet is so important when it comes to maintaining good health but it is only half the piece to staying juicy. Believe it or not, our minds and emotions play just as big of a role in keeping us from getting sick. A happy heart and soul make a healthy and energized body. That’s why I love meditating. Meditating for 20 minutes a day can greatly improve your peace of mind and actually boost your immunity by lowering your cortisol levels. I use an app called Meditator or Insight Timer right on my phone. It’s as easy as committing to 1-5 minutes per day, especially in high-stress times during the day. Even just taking 5-10 deep breathes throughout the day will bring down stress hormones and keep you feeling balanced!I choose love

How to make lasting changes to get and stay fit once and for all!

 

good-health-signHave you ever wondered how you can actually have long-term success at changing your diet and fitness routine? The answer is:

Make it a way of life, not just a diet or quick fix to solve a problem. It’s great to do a one-week fitness camp that’s really hard and kicks your butt, but as great as it is in the moment, it will not create lasting success. Success in anything lies in persistence. I started my plant-based healing and cleansing journey 20 years ago, and I had my ups and downs over the years. Even with the few small set backs of eating food that didn’t serve me or getting lazy about exercise, I persisted in keeping it alive in my life by surrounding myself with like minded people and continuing to read and research things that support health and longevity. I’ve noticed that the people who stay healthy and succeed long term have made health and fitness the thing they do every day. Sure there are days for splurging and “going off the wagon” but the biggest key is to stick to your plan 95% of the time. Humans need to fully immerse themselves into a new habit for at least 30 days to make a lasting change. In fact, that is just the beginning. After that, having ongoing SMART goals is the way to keep and stay motivated, fit and healhty.

Where do you start with getting healthy and feeling  great? Here is a list of things you can start with. If you’ve already succeeded at all of these, congratulations! See list 2 below that.

sugar drug

List #1 For beginners: 

  • Go off sugar: This includes white sugar, brown sugar, agave and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
  • Give up the gluten: No, it’s not a trend…it’s real! Breads, tortillas, waffles, muffins, soy sauce, licorice and so many more things contain gluten. After 1 week off gluten your mind will be clearer and you will have more energy! Not convinced? Read or listen to Grain Brain.
  • Go 95-100% Plant-Based: You don’t necessarily need to go all or nothing, but by significantly lowering the amount of animal products you consume, you will notice better skin, better liver function, and improved heart related conditions to name a few. An article published in Food Technology in October 2012 explained that plant-based diets either minimize or completely eliminate people’s genetic propensity to developing chronic diseases, such as diabetes type 2, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
  • Make your own food: Who knows what is actually going into the food at restaurants? Is the chef and he or she’s assitants happy? Is there any love in that food? Most places use the cheapest ingredients and oils in order to turn a profit. When you make food at home, you know exactly what you are getting plus, you can fill both you and your families bellies with loving goodness.
  • Eat the right oils, if at all: Oils have their place in moderation, but it’s better to use whole fats from nuts, seeds, olives and avocados. If you need oil from time to time, use extra-virgin organic olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil and cold-pressed hemp seed oils. Also, never heat your oils! Avoid corn, vegetable, cottonseed, safflower or any oil that is not cold pressed and in a dark bottle, as these oils are usually rancid and contain GMO’s.
  • Stock your pantry with good stuff and get rid of the bad stuff: Go through and throw out old grains, packaged crackers and cookies and anything that may sabotage your health. This includes soy sauce! Replace it with gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos, healthy flax crackers and home made healthy treats. Throw out all the halloween candy too!Coconut-Wraps-2Pack
  • Have a grateful attitude: What can you be grateful for every day? List 3 things every day that make you grateful for your life. It could be as small as a warm bed or the ability to drive to work. Every small thank you makes you happier and healthier.
  • Do it Now! When you diverge from your plan, get back on track immediately (don’t procrastinate!): The major pitfall I’ve seen people fall into is the “Oh Well” trap. “I already had one cookie, I may as well eat some crackers, more cookies and toast too!” What? Where is the logic in that? If you lost $10 in a bet would you then give them another $100 and say “oh well?’ No! Get back in your body, be smart and get back on track ASAP.

List #2: Advanced:

  • Excersise for 30 minutes 5-6 days a week. Weights, walking, running, biking, rebounding, yoga, etc. It doesn’t matter, just move! Weight lifting is for everyone! Studies show that weight lifting is extremely good for bone health and having a strong, lean body.
  • Drink 2-3 liters/quarts of water a day. Start your day with warm lemon water to cleanse your liver.

    lemon water

    Mineral water with lemon

  • Go low glycemic! In addition to processed sugars, start looking at lowering your consumption of dates, coconut sugar, maple syrup, most grains and anything that has a medium to high glycemic index. Low glycemic foods include all nuts, seeds and vegetables, plus berries, stevia and Lakanto sweetener.
  • Do a 20 minute mindfulness practice daily. Studies show that meditation lowers stress, creates less reactiveness, reduces food cravings, and can ease depression.

Make SMART GOALS

smartgoals

In his 2003 book, “Attitude Is Everything: If You Want to Succeed Above and Beyond.” Paul J. Meyer explains how to make something acheivable.  Below is a synopsis:

1. Be Specific

Pick one or two things you want to change and be clear about it . Examples: What exact weight do you want to acheive? Do you have a fitness goal?  How about your skin? Is it as clear or ageless as you want it to be? Do you have a personal growth goal such as meditating 20 minutes a day or being more grateful?

Example- Visualize your ideal body and how you want it to look and feel. How do you want to feel every day? Lots of energy, good sleep, clothes fit perfectly? What about your fitness levels?  Perhaps being able to do a hard  3-mile hike/climb in 40 minutes? How much water do you drink everyday? Do you need to increase it? Is there something you want  to eliminate from your diet such as sugar, wheat or gluten? Maybe if you have been eating well for a while it can be a new goal such as not complaining or gossiping for a whole week or month.

2. Measurable

It’s important to have measurable goals, so that you can stay motivated. Writing down and tracking your progress helps you to stay focused and on on track, meet your deadlines, and get excited about achieving your goal.

A measurable goal should address questions such as:

  • How much or many?
  • How will I know when it is accomplished?

Example: I will be at my ideal weight (fill in the blank) and fitness level  (_____ miles, _____push ups, ____ minutes of planks)  by this date _________.

3. Attainable

Your health goals need to be realistic and do-able. Be willing to stretch yourself, but still remain within the attainable realm.

Example- You might need to ask yourself if going off of gluten, sugar, alcohol and losing 20 pounds in 3 months is realistic.   For example, did you give yourself enough time to complete the required training effectively? Are there too many things all at once? Are there any obstacles that might be seen or unseen that could discourage you such as a spouse,  other family members or friends? If so you will want to get everyone on board before you start or find a friend who is supportive. 

4. Relevant

This step is about ensuring that your goal matters to you, and that it is in alignment with your other goals. You may need support and assistance in achieving your goals, and it’s also important to retain control over them. So, make sure that if you are asking for help and support from others, that you are still ultimately responsible for achieving your own goals (dont’ give your power away or blame someone else for not getting things done). Don’t let anyone else tell you it’s not possible either.

Example: Does this goal fit into my lifes right now? Is this something doable now? If you are going on vacation, it might not be the best time to start a cleanse, but it’s a great time to add more water and get more exercise. 

5. Time-bound

Set a specific date to be at your goal. Once you have achieved that goal at the set date, celebrate, then create a weekly or monthly check in to make sure you continue to stay fit and healthy.

A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:

  • When?
  • What can I do six months from now?
  • What can I do six weeks from now?
  • What can I do today?
  • How can I keep my new healthy body once I acheive my goal?

Example: Set your weight and fitness goal for 1-month from now with something that is achievable and realistic. Once you have reached that goal, celebrate, then create a new date with the continued goal of staying fit and healthy.

Journaling-the-truth-about-you.jpg

Now get out your journal or calendar and start writing down your new, acheivable goals!

P.S. The holidays are coming, so instead of waiting until they are over, make the goal of losing instead of gaining weight this season. That way in January you will be ahead of the game and feeling great about yourself! 

Join our Plant-based and fitness Bootcamp this November (and 4 times a year in 2017 and beyond) to get yourself in the best shape ever!

 


How to Eat a Healthy Plant-Based Diet

organic zone

Eating foods that are organic, locally grown, plant-based and 80% raw, can increase your lifespan and your quality of living. People who eat high raw, plant-based diets experience stronger bone density, age less quickly (reduce wrinkles, hair loss and even eye health), get sick less often, and are able to reduce the risk of getting a long list of common ailments such as diabetes, depression, overweight, lethargy, fatigue, arthritis and even cancer. So let me help you get healthy!

  • Write down 3 things you are currently proud of. Start by looking at what you eat each day. What healthy choices are you  already making? Make a list. Maybe you are already drinking a quart of water a day, having a green smoothie or eating salads or organic veggies with your meals. Super!
  • What can you change?  Most of us can find something in our diet that is unhealthy.  Maybe it’s eating hormone-laden meats and dairy or eating too many glutinous grains (white flour, tortillas, whole wheat bread, bagels, muffins, scones, etc.). By eliminating even one of these foods,  your body can become more vibrant.
  • Start adding in 1 healthy upgrade a week. That’s it. You don’t have to cut out everything. Most people do better going slowly to accomplish their goals. This will reduce the possibility of binge eating or yo-yo dieting. Some suggestions are:
    1. Try a new healthy recipe: There are plenty of easy, tasty recipes on my website to help you start on plant-based eating. Try one to two new recipes a week.
    2. Drink 64 oz. or more of water – I can’t emphasize this enough. Water flushes toxins and plumps up your skin. Already drinking? Upgrade your water by adding 1/8 tsp of Himalayan salt and 1 tsp. lemon juice. It sounds strange but mineral salt actually helps you hydrate and helps with mineral imbalances and autoimmune conditions.

      lemon water

      Mineral water with lemon

    3. Bring your lunch instead of going out to eat. Use your Sunday afternoon to prep your lunches for the week. Get my recipe books for inspiration. This will help you to feel satisfied at work and less tempted to go out.
    4. Cut out 1 habit that you feel is most harmful. Suggestions:
      • Red meat – especially farm raised meats and meat cuts
      • Dairy – including milk, cream, cheese and ice cream
      • Flour products – white flour, cornmeal and even whole wheat flour can be harmful and inflammatory
      • Processed and packaged food – these can be loaded with processed sugar, chemicals, and other harmful chemicals.
      • Alcohol – cut down to just one or two drinks a week. This is a quick way to drop a few pounds and reduce your sugar and yeast consumption. If you have already eliminated alcohol, good job! You are well on your way to thriving!
      • Eating out – restaurants are known to skimp on ingredients for cheaper alternatives. Highly processed and rancid oils as well as added cream, flour and sugar are most common when eating out. Who needs that?
      • Add in new recipes. There are plenty of easy, tasty recipes on my website to help you start on plant-based eating. Try one to two new recipes a week.

 

  • Breakfast. If you are currently eating meat, eggs and dairy every morning, or even veggie sausage, pick one of these to eliminate. These foods are hard to digest and can make you acidic. They produce an acid ash in the body, making you more susceptible to inflammation, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and chronic neck and back pain. If you are already eating a high plant based diet, you might start to give up other acid forming food like bread, bagels, cereal, oats and pastries. Replace these foods with steamed veggies and quinoa topped with MCT oil, or some chia porridge. For extra points, go raw and sugar-free by having a green smoothie with vegan protein powder. It’s filling and an easy meal replacement, especially when topped with crunchy things like coconut flakes and cacao nibs.
  • Lunch. Are you eating sandwiches every day with gluten, processed meat, and mayo? If so, replace them with a big salad. It’s way more exciting than you might imagine. I add lots of yummy toppings to make it extra satisfying (see list below). You can even roll  your salad in a paleo wrap or nori sheet for variety.
  • Dinner is where you can add more comforting, cooked meals. One simple thing you can do is sauté up an onion in a large skillet (I like the Green Pan). Don’t use oil, just a bit of coconut aminos or water to cook in. After the onion gets tender, add a head of chopped kale, collards, spinach or chard with a chopped tomato. Season with a little Himalayan salt and cumin or curry powder and cover until well steamed. Now you’ve got a great side dish or meal. For added flavor and richness, try coconut curry sauce and zucchini noodles to mix in after your veggies are cooked.
  • Why I don’t cook my oil and sauces- My coconut curry sauce contains coconut butter and sesame oil so I don’t cook it. Cooked fats are harmful to the body . Scientists have discovered that heating up vegetable oils leads to the release of high concentrations of chemicals called aldehydes, which have been linked to illnesses including cancer, heart disease, and dementia. Fats are good for you as long as they are healthy and raw. Here is my recommended list, look for extra virgin and virgin or unrefined as these usually mean they are unheated. Another word used on labels is cold pressed:

100coldpressed

  • almonds, almond butter, almond oil
  • avocado meat or oil
  • coconut meat, coconut butter, coconut oil, (virgin) or MCT oil
  • olives or olive oil (extra virgin)
  • pumpkin seeds and their oil
  • Sunflower seeds
  • tahini or sesame seeds and their oil (make sure it’s unrefined)
  • walnut butter or walnut oil

Your homework this week: Watch these informative movies:

  • Forks over Knives
  • Cowspiracy
  • Fed Up
  • Fat Sick and Nearly Dead
  • Read my  blog posts to get and sfat sicktay motivated and inspired. Congratulations, you are on your way to a more healthy, vibrant you!

 


Do you need to go gluten-free?

Have you wondered what all the hype is about gluten-free foods? Is it just for people with Celiac disease, a way to sell books or just trendy? Turns out, there is science behind this food craze and people are getting amazing results from quitting their daily habit of bread, pasta, and muffins.

Newly surfaced medical evidence is showing that glutenous grains can be destroying your brain! Even whole grain bread is not the healthy alternative we once thought it was. Eating gluten can be tied to dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, and much more. If you are not sure if gluten is causing you problems, try a 1-week experiment and stop eating it. The real proof is when you add gluten back in and find that you feel tired, foggy, lack of energy or digestive distress. More symptoms of gluten intolerance are rashes (especially in kids) headaches, weight loss, weight gain, intolerance to dairy, heavy PMS symptoms, malabsorption and more.

Be aware that it may take years to see the effects of gluten on your body. Some people feel fine eating bread and have no desire to give it up until fasting from it.

What has gluten in it?

Gluten is everywhere! Besides the more well-known foods like pizza, pasta, bagels, bread, baked goods, cakes, etc there are many items that have hidden gluten in them. Items like licorice and soy sauce contain gluten. Even shampoo, toothpaste, fruit juices or a simple communion wafer can contain gluten.

Here are some of the grains and additives that contain gluten:

  • Atta (chapatti flour)
  • Barley (flakes, flour, pearl)
  • Beer, ale, lager
  • Breading and bread stuffing
  • Brewers yeast
  • Bulgur
  • Communion wafers
  • Couscous
  • Croutons
  • Spelt
  • Farro or Faro (also known as spelt)*
  • Graham flour
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein
  • Kamut
  • Malt, malt extract, malt syrup and malt
  • Flavouring
  • Malt vinegar
  • Malted milk
  • Matzoh, matzoh meal
  • Modified wheat starch
  • Oatmeal, oat bran, oat flour and whole oats
  • Pastas
  • Rye bread and flour
  • Seitan
  • Soy Sauce
  • Wheat bran
  • Wheat flour
  • Wheat germ
  • Wheat starch

Have no fear! There are tons of gluten-free alternatives that are satisfying and taste delicious. But be aware, many ‘gluten-free’ products on the market are loaded with sugar GMO corn, potato starch and other additives. Stay away from the boxed cookies and crackers. I encourage you to start making your own gluten-free bread and treats so you know exactly what is in them.

Here are some ingredients that are gluten-free:

  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot flour
  • Baking soda
  • Bean flour (can be hard on digestion and high in carbs)
  • Buckwheat
  • Cassava
  • Chick pea flour (can be hard on digestion)
  • Chia, black and white
  • Coconut and Coconut flour (my favorite for cookies, etc.)
  • Corn flour (not recommended)
  • Cornmeal (not recommended)
  • Cornstarch (Masa farina)
  • Dal or Dahl (Legume from India)
  • Flax (ground), gold and brown
  • Irish Moss Paste (creates a gummy texture in gluten-free recipes)
  • Lecithin (use NonGMO such as Quantum)
  • Legumes (whole, cooked beans)
  • Millet
  • Oats* (pure uncontaminated)
  • Psyllium Husk Powder (I use for a glutenous texture in my bread)
  • Quinoa
  • Teff
  • Xanthum gum (not recommended)

All of these ingredients can be used to start making your own gluten alternatives. Here are some more ways to give up gluten without feeling deprived:

  1. Try Paleo Wraps which are made from coconut or try this tortilla recipe. You can also try Nori Sheets. They can be used anywhere you need a wrap or tortilla.
  2. Make your own gluten-free scones from almonds, carrots, and apples or my gluten-free almond bread or cookies. You can also check out gluten-free bagels, bread, and wraps in the freezer section of your health food store.
  3. Buy organic, buckwheat granolas or learn to make your own at Pure Joy Culinary Academy.
  4. Keep experimenting with recipes but remember that most of the gluten-free flours contain GMO corn, potato starch, tapioca, garbanzo bean flour  and other questionable ingredients which may leave you feeling more lethargic than ever. Garbanzo bean flour makes me feel like I swallowed a brick.
  5. Make your own food as much as possible and get creative with gluten-free pasta, zoodles (zucchini noodles) and brown rice noodles. Remember that restaurants are famous for adding flour to soups and sauces as a thickener and even veggie burgers can contain gluten. A friend of mine was bed-ridden after having french fries. After checking back with the restaurant, she found that they were coated in white flour before frying to make them crispier. Keep asking questions, be sure to request gluten free alternatives and after a while, you won’t even miss the wheat and gluten.

What can you do today if you want to try going gluten-free?

The best thing to do to find out what is going on in your body is to start a food journal. Write down everything you ate and how you feel after eating it. This is a good practice for everyone, even if you’ve already given up gluten. Maybe there is another trigger food that you don’t know about. Remember that manufacturers are not looking out for your health, that’s your job. You may discover that what you thought was not causing you problems might be standing in the way of more vibrant health.

Books to read: