A follower of my blog inquired recently about eating a Raw diet and maintaining/building muscle…
Hey Kristen… I was wondering would it be possible for you to do a blog post on eating raw and weightlifting….I have lost 50 pounds since beginning to eat all RAW..now I’m doing ChaLean Extreme (it’s a program where you lift heavy weights to failure)… should I be concerned that my body will use my muscles for fuel instead of burning fat… I’m concerned with the whole calorie thing,because eating RAW I haven’t been counting calories. I want to reap the best results from all this hard work, because I have seen people who eat raw and have lost a lot of weight and some don’t look fit just smaller and soft… so that leads me to think they have lost some muscle, what do u think?…any advice would be greatly appreciated.
First of all… CONGRATULATIONS on your weight loss and for taking control of your health. I’m so happy for you. I’m actually a tiny bit familiar with the ChaLean program because I know someone who is doing it, and I’ve read about so many others bragging about it and loving it. If I had a set up in my house where I could do dvds for some of my exercise, I’d be all over this program.
Regarding your overall question… I switch between all-Raw and HRAV (High Raw, All Vegan) and my husband follows suit since I’m in charge of food – haha. I’m not soft and skinny; my body is toned and I have no problem maintaining that. :) And, let me tell you… my husband is buff and his bod is mega hot – ripped abs, chiseled chest… TMI? Maybe – haha.
Things I do to maintain my muscle mass, and things my husband does to maintain and grow his:
1) Strength train (we get our butts in the gym at least five days per week!). Period.
2) A healthy, alkaline diet complete with nutrient dense foods. Consume enough calories in general, including foods rich in amino acids and simple carbs. As people who work out a lot, we also add more protein to our diet. To do this, we drink shakes and smoothies with hemp protein powder, and lately we’ve been doing a mixture of both hemp protein powder along with Sun Warrior’s Raw Rice Protein Powder, and typically include bananas or some other fruit in it. We also like green smoothies (fresh amino acid-rich greens and fruit). Here is a link to a great workout smoothie recipe – GGGRRRR! Beowulf Protein Smoothie. We also love our fresh Plant Blood (green juice) which fills our bodies with phytonutrients. Sometimes we drink Plant Blood daily and sometimes we drink it every few days – just depends on our fridge contents.
We also make sure we’re consuming certain foods before and after our workouts (our exercise tends to last 45 – 75 minutes). For example, before a training session, we typically consume something with simple carbs (examples: fresh dates, a ripe banana, or other fruit is excellent workout fuel). After a workout (within 60 minutes of completing it), we have a small smoothie with simple carbs and a little protein (see the recipe for the GGGRRRR! Beowulf Protein Smoothie – we usually split this or something like it). Then, after an hour has passed we have another shake that is heavier with protein (typically Sun Warrior Rice Protein, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein, Vitamineral Green Powder, Fruits of the Earth Powder,water, and usually a banana blended in).
3) Recovery – This is an important topic that is frequently left out. You need to let your body recover and build, and this includes getting plenty of rest and sleep. Diet is also an important aspect of recovery, but rest and sleep are vital.
Basically, we listen to our bodies, monitor our progress, and make changes as needed. Ensuring success with this might mean some calorie counting, at least in the beginning, until you get an idea of what you should be consuming on a daily basis and how your body responds to it. Everyone is different so you need to find what works for you personally. But, it can be done!
I came up with a great protein shake recipe that is filling and nourishing. I feel like it’s strengthening me from the inside out when I’m drinking it. I’m calling it my Super Shake, and my husband and I have been enjoying it every day for the past few days as our breakfast (and I’m sneaking it in for my snack when we see the midnight showing tonight of The Day the Earth Stood Still).
approximately 3 cups / 1 serving
1 cup water
1 cup raw hemp seed milk* (or more)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons Manitoba Harvest Hemp Protein Powder
1 tablespoon rice protein powder (been using chocolate flavored)
1 teaspoon Vitamineral Green powder
1 teaspoon Fruits of the Earth powder
1 banana, peeled
Just blend it up, drink it down and feel the power from the essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants go to work for you!
*I’ve been making my raw hemp milk by simply blending water with Manitoba Harvest’s hemp seed butter (this is also known as my “1-Minute Hemp Milk“). Sometimes I add a touch of raw agave or a date to it as well.
Latest on Kristen’s Raw: It’s been too long since my last post. I’ve been busy adding the final touches to my latest ebook…which I’m really proud of. It’s going to have beautiful color pictures and fabulous recipes (of course!). I should have it available for sale on my website in the next week. Ohhhh, I’m so excited about it! Dare I say it’s my favorite? Aahhh, nope, I can’t. I suppose that’s like asking a parent to tell you which child they like the best…not gonna happen. But, I do really really really really love this ebook!
Juicing – Kristen Suzanne Style: We’ve been maintaining a lifestyle the past week with plenty of juicing still. Most days we juice for breakfast, snack and lunch and then we have either a Raw vegan or a cooked vegan dinner (it’s usually Raw). We still have days that are all liquid too (yesterday, we did all juice and smoothies). I love my lifestyle – extremely healthy, some versatility and flexibility with the style of our food, and fun. We feel wonderful!
Blood Red Sunset: Yesterday I made a gorgeous smoothie that reminded me of the sun just as it’s finishing its set for evening, where the sky is filled with a beautiful red and orange (like in this picture we took where the orange and red are touching the Pacific ocean), so I’m calling it Blood Red Hemp Sunset.
Blood Red Hemp Sunset
Yield 3 cups
1 cup water
3 oranges, peeled
1 (10oz) bag frozen cherries
3 tablespoons hemp powder*
2 teaspoons raw carob powder
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Blend all of the ingredients together. Enjoy!
* The only brand of hemp that I use for my hemp oil, hemp seeds and hemp powder is Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils
. It’s the freshest and most nutritious available. For more details about this amazing company, click here