Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
I received the following on one of my posts about pregnancy but thought I’d also include the information here.
I’m newly preggo for the second time (first time being 4 years ago). My diet and knowledge have changed a lot since. I’ve been researching your blog and have a couple of questions. First what prenatal vit did you end up liking the best? Why did you stop taking vitamineral green and fruits powders while you were pregnant? And, just out of curiosity, why do you use both hemp powder AND seeds in your smoothies and not flax?
Love your blog, you rock.
Here is my response:
Congrats on your pregnancy.
You ask great questions….
1) I was partial to Vitamin Code’s prenatal in spite of the controversial vitamin D3 being/not being vegan, especially for people who couldn’t get enough vitamin D from sun exposure due to where they live. However, I have since learned that vitamin D2 (vegan) is just as effective as vitamin D3, so supplementing with extra vitamin D2 and taking a truly vegan prenatal is an option. The high amount of vitamin D in Vitamin Code is great - they are way ahead of the curve with respect to this. I don’t know of any other prenatals doing that and it’s so important while pregnant. I also like that Vitamin Code uses capsules instead of tablets…. usually means less processing. However, New Chapter is still great. They’ve been around a while and have many happy customers. :)
2) I stopped Vitamineral Green and Fruits of Earth while pregnant because of ingredients that could be questionable during pregnancy. I know of women who took VG during pregnancy, but I opted not to. You could consider their other product Greener Grasses though – good stuff! I’m taking it now while breastfeeding. (I think they might’ve changed their VG formula since then because I don’t see one of the questionable ingredients in there. There is parsley juice in it though, and parsley is known for affecting breastmilk, so it still might be better to go with Greener Grasses. If you decide to go with VG, you might want to double check with your midwife or physician.)
3) Hemp has a more ideal ratio of omegas than flax (read more about this here). I also like the higher protein in it which is why sometimes I used both hemp powder and hemp seeds.
Thanks for reading,
Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010
How many of you have heard it before (especially from men)… “BUT, WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR PROTEIN WITH THAT DIET?”
Or… perhaps the #1 thing that deters men from trying a vegan diet: “I’M AFRAID I’LL LOSE MY MUSCLE.”
Or… “MY TRAINER DOESN’T BELIEVE IT’S POSSIBLE TO MAINTAIN OR GROW MY MUSCLE ON A VEGAN DIET – LET ALONE A DIET THAT IS HIGH IN RAW FOODS!”
Well, let me tell you… YES, it can be done. My husband is living proof. Muscle isn’t reserved for only the meat-heads. Just look around in nature and see the massive strength in herbivorous animals such as horses, gorillas, buffalo, elephants, hippopotamus, and more. News Flash to the Doubting Omnivores…. yes, you can build muscle with the proper plant based foods and some work in the gym. Let me take a step further. I’m not just referring to a vegan diet with cooked proteins; this can be done with a High Raw (or All Raw), All Vegan diet. You don’t see elephants and horses grilling up their leaves or sauteeing their twigs, right?
So… how can it be done?
Well, let me share with you some details about my husband and his experience. My husband follows along with my raw vegan diet (we go back and forth between all raw and high raw). However, he wasn’t always a vegan (read about our beginnings here in my post To Date or Not to Date a Carnivore). But, he is now. His answer when people ask about the way he eats and whether he misses meat, “Are you kidding? My wife is a Raw Vegan chef. I live like a movie star… I look up from my computer when I’m working, and there is a plate full of amazing food! We want to live long healthy lives together, and this is the way to do it.”
But it took some convincing initially. When my husband first started looking into the plant-based diet with me, he did his own research (he’s very sciency). He did his own reading, not only into the health aspects of raw and vegan food, but he also seriously questioned whether he’d be able to maintain his muscle mass and strength on this diet. And not just maintain it, but actually he wanted to get bigger and stronger, despite being 38 at the time. It had always been hard for him to put on muscle. Prior to meeting me, through trial and error, he had figured out that, for his ectomorphic body type, he needed a lot of protein to add mass which he derived almost exclusively from whey protein shakes. So, I promised him we’d make it happen, one way or another with plenty or raw and vegan foods. If he needed protein, I’d give him protein. Only now he would be consuming clean, efficient, non-cancer-promoting protein. None of that nasty, acidic animal based protein that burns dirty and can make you tired… not to mention, ehem… unhealthy! Suffice it to say, he was excited… but with so few role models, understandably skeptical.
The verdict? Plants work!! His strength has increased, and he can maintain (or gain mass) based on his diet and workout routine. In fact, after an involuntary hiatus brought on by a shoulder injury, he is now bench-pressing his lifetime personal best, using only plants as food!
So, how does he do it specifically? It’s a pretty simple formula that works for him. Dedication. Working out. Extra protein (much of which is from protein shakes). He strength trains about 5 days a week. And… he’s in awesome shape.
When researching vegan proteins, I came across some excellent information in Brendan Brazier’s book, Thrive. In it, he describes how to get an optimal ratio of essential amino acids from plant sources. Specifically, a mixture of hemp protein, brown rice protein, and pea protein. Through the Vega product line, Brendan sells a protein powder blend that consisted of those proteins. (Update 8/17/11: I don’t care for the taste of the Whole Food Health Optimizer line from Vega, but we do like the Sport Performance and Shake & Go lines.) I decided to make my own blends and researched ways to make my own custom mixture of proteins using Brendan’s ideas to get me started.
Enter: Raw Vegan “Protein Grenades.” What are Raw Vegan Protein Grenades? They are mini glass mason filled jars filled with one pre-mixed shake’s worth of Raw Vegan protein powders. Just dump into a shaker cup, add water, and shake! Each Grenade is pre-mixed to contain an optimal amino acid profile — all from plant-based proteins. The recipe varies slightly from week to week, because I like to change it up for fun. Some of the different elements are included in the photo below (but I’m always trying new products so that photo doesn’t show it all), but you can get an idea of some of the goodies involved. Because there are some days when my husband drinks anywhere from 2 to 5 of these shakes (depending on what we’re doing, eating, or his workout routine and goals), I vary the ingredients accordingly. For example, if he is loading up and drinks 4-5 shakes in a day, then the amount of green powder and fruit powder will be about 1 teaspoon per Grenade. But if he only drinks 1-2 per day, then I increase the green powder and fruit powder in each one, so he ends up getting roughly the same amount of super mega phytonutrients. (I always make sure he gets a hellalotta nutrients in addition to protein.)
Different Amounts For Different Goals: During periods when my husband is doing intense training and really getting lean, it can be common for him to drink up to 4-5 Raw Vegan Protein Grenades daily plus he’ll eat one meal, usually a huge organic salad loaded with veggies alongside a cooked vegan protein (beans, lentils, soy, or Gardein), or sometimes it’s an all-raw vegan dinner like lasagna, tacos, or zucchini pasta marinara. When gaining strength or mass isn’t his goal… meaning that he is in a maintenance phase without the intense training schedule, then he usually drinks 1-2 Protein Grenades a day, and eats about 2 meals which are moderate to high raw, plus snacks as he desires (some examples of snacks he likes: fresh green juice, green smoothies, sprouted pumpkin or sunflower seeds, sprouts, raisins, hemp seeds, prunes, fruit, etc). And, of course, there are some days where he skips the Grenades altogether, and his diet is filled with delicious raw and vegan whole foods. It varies based on his goals at the time, but the bottom line is that because of this super easy Grenade innovation, he can be very flexible yet consistently get plenty of protein.
The Assembly Line: To make life easy on myself, I make up a bunch of Raw Vegan Protein Grenades every few days. I do it in an assembly line fashion. It’s actually fun. If my husband has meetings outside of the home for the day, then he takes a bag of Grenades along with a shaker bottle and water, and he’s all set. Each Protein Grenade has roughly 40-45 grams of pure, raw, vegan, potent protein. If it’s true that raw vegan protein is assimilated better than cooked protein, then you can imagine how powerful these Grenades really are.
Here is a list of items that might be included (not all at once, although many make an appearance):
I get tons of requests to post my daily food intake. Here you go! :) Today was a very High Raw day for my husband and me, and it was awesome! Everything is organic – always.
~ Water with fresh squeezed lemon
I love starting my day with a big glass of fresh, purified water. I usually wake up feeling thirsty and this is the first thing I want. To make it extra nutritious, I added the juice of half of a lemon. Nice and alkalizing.
My breakfast was 2 cups of delicious strawberries that were locally grown (from the CSA). I added a teeny-tiny-itsy-bitsy drizzle of raw agave nectar on it to get them extra juicy. They were so good! Strawberries rock. They have fiber and they’re loaded with nutrients (phytonutrients, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and more).
~ Power Ick!
This is pretty disgusting and I can’t help but make some crazy faces when I’m drinking it. Ick! I plug-n-chug it and then chase it with water. It consists of 1 1/2 cups water, 1 heaping tablespoon wheat grass powder, 1 tablespoon Berry Greens, 1 tablespoon Fruits of the Earth, 1 tablespoon Vitamineral Green. When I finished drinking it, I looked over my shoulder, thinking for sure I had a cape on. Damn… no cape. I thought I might have taken on some super powers after drinking this.
~ Krautwich and Bell Peppers
I’m loving raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut lately. It’s so dang good for you!!! (Check out my post about sauerkraut here.) I made a little Krautwich for part of my lunch. It consisted of 2 slices of kamut bread (not raw) with sauerkraut in the middle. That’s it. Delish! The rest of my plate was filled with the slices of one red bell pepper and one yellow bell pepper. BTW, I never eat green bell peppers because they’re not ripe, which can cause digestive trouble.
~ Hypnotic Orange Juice
This was heaven in a cup. I went to my friend’s house and picked oranges from her tree today. I took them home and squeezed them . They were still warm from the sun and it was so amazing. My goodness… when someone gives you a hard time about loving the raw lifestyle, give them a glass of this heaven and they’ll understand why you’ve chosen this path. It’s hypnotic.
~ Savory Garden Veggie Pasta (recipe at end of post)
This dinner was so good! With every bite I felt like the cells in my body were getting stronger and stronger. By the end of the meal they were dancing for joy and struttin’ their stuff. Even though I’m giving you the recipe below, it was basically a bowl of zucchini noodles topped with veggies (broccoli, carrots, yellow and red bell peppers) that were marinated in a wonderful, savory sauce that my husband loved so much he was licking the bowl. We both are not crazy about the taste of raw broccoli, but when we have it like this – we LOVE it! We each had a bowl of this. (Leftovers will be my lunch tomorrow.)
~ Dessert Time
I was craving something sweet to follow my meal. I quickly downed a nice plump medjool date (I get them here – 11 pound box, baby!). Then, I was inspired to make my recipe for Holiday Chia Pudding (it’s so easy, recipe here). After I soaked the cashews and made it, my husband and I each had about 1/2 cup. Yummers in our tummers!!!
~ Late evening snack
We found ourselves a little hungry later on and we didn’t want anything sweet. We opted for another Krautwich. Mmmmmmm…
~ Pure Rush Chocolate
Savory Garden Veggie Pasta
Yield 3-4 servings
1/2 cup olive or hemp oil
2 tablespoons tamari (wheat free)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
Juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
2 pinches black pepper
2 cups carrots, diced
1 head broccoli florets, chopped into bite size pieces
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
Whisk the marinade ingredients together and set aside. Place the veggie mix in a large bowl and pour the marinade on top. Stir to mix and coat the veggies with the marinade. Set aside for 30-60 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so. (Alternately, you can make this a day ahead of time and put the marinated veggies in the refrigerator overnight.)
Put your spiralized noodles in serving bowls and top with the marinated veggies. Voila! Yummy, easy, extraordinarily nutritious, and delicious!
*For extra mojo, sprinkle on some hemp seeds and raisins!
Sunday, January 11th, 2009
Congratulations Mrs. Money and Anonymous (details below)… You won!!! Your prize: You each will receive a jar of Fruits of the Earth Powder™(360 grams; $48.95 value). I hope you’re ready to load up on antioxidants! Simply send me an email with your address so I can get your gift to you right away.
Here is what Mrs. Money and Anonymous had to say when asked, “What is one of your favorite movies and why?”
Mrs. Money: I love Coyote Ugly. While it is a total chick flick and so old, I still love it. Thanks for the opportunity to win! :)
Anonymous: I like Flight of the Navigator, because it is one big adventure. :)
I have to admit, I’ve always liked Coyote Ugly, too. I think it’s so fun. And, Flight of the Navigator? I have not seen, but I’m always up for an adventure, so I’ll be on the lookout for that one.
My next Awesome Giveaway is scheduled for January. Check back for details. Thanks to all of you who participated!
Thursday, January 8th, 2009
My 6th Awesome Giveaway is here – YEEHAW!!! The prize if your name is drawn? I’m sending you a jar of Fruits of the Earth Powder™($48.95 value). This stuff is great. I use it on a regular basis in my smoothies to add loads of antioxidants.
Update! I’m having so much fun with this Awesome Giveaway that I’m going to draw two names!
Here is what the makers of this product had to say about it:
Fruits of The Earth™ is a high antioxidant, potent combination of natures most nutritive fruits from around the world. Dried at low temperatures to preserve heat sensitive elements. The ultra-finely ground and highly bioavailable whole leaf grasses provide a huge source of nutrition including essential alkalinity and better blood sugar balance. Actual Food™ Chromium is also added to support healthy metabolism and blood sugar levels. Unlike other “Food Type” forms of nutrients, this Chromium is 100% organically bound. It is not merely in the “form” of food, it is Food!
Excited? Want the chance to win? Simply answer the following question in the comment section for today’s post. At the end of three days (Saturday night, Jan 10th @ 11:59pm) I’ll enter everyone’s name who answered the question into a drawing and announce the winner on my blog Sunday. (Please note: While I would love to hear from everyone around the world in answering this question, I have to limit the winner to someone living in the continental United States.)
Question: What is one of your favorite movies and why?