Here is another lengthy post. I feel it’s important to continue sharing my thoughts and experiences at length because the emails and comments continue to pour in about how grateful people are that I’m providing so many specific details. First of all, thank you so much. I can’t express how much all of the love and support means to me. I also now realize more than ever just how many people’s lives have been touched by similar events, or may be in the future.
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!
After reading many times about how great this meal replacement powder is, I decided to give it a go. It’s 100% Vegan, Mostly Organic, and High Raw. I recommend reading through the entire website about it (Check out the FAQ, too). But if you choose to buy it, get it from Amazon since it’s less expensive. Here is the list of ingredients.
I was attracted to it for a number of reasons:
1. Loaded with nutrients – Even though I get plenty of vitamin and minerals throughout my week by trying to rotate foods and such, I’m still interested in making sure I have as many bases covered as possible. Additionally, The Ultimate Meal has a number of things that I would like more of in my diet.
2. The reviews are great – Like I wrote earlier, I’ve read a number of reviews about this product over the years, I just hadn’t tried it until now. People are very happy with the product, including the famous Vegan Ultimate Fighting Champion, Mac Danzig. Check out the blog article on him here (this is one of my favorite blogs to follow). Once you’re done reading that, you can check out an “in-depth look” here about his diet specifics (for the in-depth look, scroll down to #6). If you want me to cut to the chase, here is this super-mega star’s review of it:
I swear by this stuff, it’s a whole meal and has made up a huge part of my diet for 3 years now. It’s a bit of an acquired taste, but I truly notice myself feeling better when I use it daily. Remember to follow the directions and add the apple and banana. (This is not your normal “add powder to water” supplement.)
3. Great for weight loss – The Ultimate Meal is great for helping people lose weight because it’s reputed for helping people stay “full” up to 6-hours after drinking it. Many people enjoy this for breakfast and lunch or breakfast and dinner, or some have it for all of their meals some days. But, it’s not all about just weight loss because...
4. Excellent pre-natal nutrition – Since I’m not trying to lose weight and will be looking for ways to add more nutrient dense calories to my diet once I’m pregnant, this will be a great choice. I won’t use it to replace meals, rather, I’ll enjoy this as mid-morning/afternoon snack(s). As you can see, it’s up to you how you use this. It can be helpful with losing weight, maintaining weight, or gaining healthy weight.
5. Great pre/post workout shake – This is where my boyfriend comes in. He loves having a shake before or after a heavy duty workout in the gym, so this is perfect for that. It’s filled with carbs from the fruit, protein, and nutrients, to fuel his big muscles. So, all you ladies out there with men who want a shake with some more “oompf!” here it is!
6. Convenient and travel worthy – It’s fast and easy to make. I love that I can take this when traveling, too. It’s important to make sure I’m still packing my body with nutrients when I’m not at home. Yes, you need a blender for this, but that’s not a problem since I travel with this great travel blender.
So, how does it taste? It’s good. I’m not jumping up and down, licking my lips and wanting to lick the glass to get every last drop of it, but I’m also not grimacing and making icky faces either. It’s very likable. I’ve read in the reviews that you need to make it according to the instructions which includes a banana and half-apple or peach or some other fruit for the best flavor. And, if you’re avoiding fruit for some reason, then you can make it with a raw nut/seed milk (hemp would be great) and add a sweetener such as stevia.
So far, I’ve had it as recommended on the container. I’ve also made it and added maca, carob and hemp powder. Another time I added milk thistle seeds and a teaspoon of Vitamineral Green Powder. Overall, we really like it and will continue to use this. If you get some, let me know what you think :)
Getting physically fit is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body, and here are three great reasons to get started today:
1) Burn Fat Fast! When it comes to getting the best body ever, I want super fast results. For me, that means pumping iron. It’s simple…muscle accelerates fat loss. The muscle works on your behalf all day long burning extra calories. Who wouldn’t want that?
2) Reduce Stress! Want to reduce stress? No problem! Have you ever beat the crap out of a punching bag? Now, that’s therapy!
3) Fight Osteoporosis! I am on a mission to fight osteoporosis and lifting weights is one of the most effective ways to do just that. With my history of shoveling slabs of ribs into my mouth and drinking cauldrons full of coffee, I have some major making up to do with my skeletal structure. Lifting weights is the best ally I have for building my bones and fighting that damage.
Today’s Recipe: Power Energy Elixir
Yield 1 serving
Place all of the ingredients in a glass mason jar and shake it up to thoroughly mix. Drink it down (this is just one of those concoctions that is best gulped instead of sipped). Feel the buzz of energy take you over and carry you through your day.
For the rest of the day I’ll be enjoying:
1 quart fresh green juice
The Beowulf Workout Smoothie (featured in my upcoming class, Weight Loss & High Energy)
1 quart fresh green juice
Green Moxie Soup (this, too, is taught in my upcoming class)
Bok Choy Salad with a delicious dressing on top
Daily Conversation Question:
What quality do you think is most important in a marriage?
Ouch! That’s what I say about this workout. My legs were shakin’ and I almost couldn’t walk out of the gym (in a good way of course!). My workout was hard and intense…just the way I like it. If you’ve read my website, Kristen’s Raw, then you know I was a former competitive body builder. As a result, I’m definitely hooked on weight training for fat burning, staying in the best shape, and building strong bones (yes, there’s a place for cardio, but weight training takes the cake in my opinion).
Weights: Legs; 4 straight sets for each exercise; low reps, heavy weight
*Walking lunges with 15 lb. dumbells, leg press, lying leg curl, and one set (each leg) of single leg squats
Cardio: Treadmill 15 minutes > combo of run (zero-incline) and fast-paced walk (7-incline)
Music: Fergie, George Michael, Linkin Park, Lucy Woodward
Post-workout Smoothie: 2 bananas, water, 2 packed tablespoons (mixture of minced dill, rosemary, & mint) YUMMMMMM! I felt amazing after drinking it, and ready to take on the world (after my legs rested of course).
Food is important to a healthy lifestyle…but so is physical fitness. You will get much more out of Raw when you add physical fitness to your lifestyle. These together strengthen your body from the inside out.
Two days ago, I went to the gym and that damn jump rope kicked my ass. It was really tough! But, yesterday, I kicked it’s ass and owned it! My heart was pounding, pulse racing, body sweating, and it felt GREAT!
For a really super workout, I have to listen to music ranging from “this gets me moving and pumps me up” to tunes that make me wanna say “gggrrrr“… so I have all kinds on my mp3 from Linkin Park to Trick Daddy to Seal to Madonna to Rhianna and more. Sometimes I just start doing a little dance right there in the gym….okay, not usually in front of people – ha ha…but I just love music and can’t help myself sometimes!
Weights: Chest; 5 straight sets for each exercise
*Flat dumbell press, Incline dumbell press, Decline dumbell press
Cardio: Jump rope before weight training, between many of the weight lifting sets, and after lifting.
Weights: Back; 3 straight sets for each exercise
*Chins, Seated cable row, Reverse bent over flies, Wide grip pull downs
Cardio: Jump rope and get on the treadmill for a short journey while I read VegNews magazine.