11 Ways to Improve Endurance

 

So you wanna be a superhero? Me too. Let’s start with endurance.  I’ve got the research, now all you have to do is put in the effort. Here’s my 11 tips:

1. Train

Think you have to keel over to improve your endurance? Think again. According to the ACE Personal Trainer Manual 5th edition, studies have shown that endurance improvement favored those who had performed more zone 1 training.

80% of training should be done at intensities where speech is comfortable (zone 1) and only about 10% of training should be performed at intensities above VT2 (zone 3, where blood lactate increases significantly).

It would make sense that this 80% zone 1 training should, for the most part, be performed relatively high in zone 1.  So, if you are just getting into endurance activities like running, just getting started will improve your endurance.  However, to really get your speed up and improve, get a little uncomfortable with the “talk test.” Can you sing comfortably while you are running? If you can, then you can definitely try to go a little faster. Get on those hills, and laugh fearlessly at your struggles!

2. Hydrate

Did you know that muscles are 70-75% water? That’s right! According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, muscle is only 15-20% protein, 5-7% fat, glycogen, and minerals.

Why is hydration important?

  • Temperature regulation
  • Blood volume + blood pressure
  • Keep organs, kidneys, cells, working optimally
  • Prevent dehydration

Things to consider:

  • Weather
  • Clothing
  • Your personal sweaty-ness

According to the American Counsel on Exercise (ACE):

  • ~4 hours before the event, drink 3-4 cups of water + weigh yourself
  • > during the event: definitely varies, but drink about ½ cup water every 20 minute
  • after event drink about 2 cups of water for every pound that you lost during the event

IMPORTANT: Prevent depletion in electrolytes like sodium and potassium as those are necessary for muscle contraction and blood pressure regulation which, if low can cause cramping, twitching and even heart issues. These electrolytes may be excreted with sweat

In general, water alone should be fine to rehydrate, but if it is extra humid or you lose 3% or more body weight during the event I recommend a natural electrolyte beverage like coconut water and / or datorade.

Dateorade:

  • 2 cups water
  • ½ lime or lemon, juiced
  • 2-3 dates
  • maybe a pinch of Himalayan salt or dulse flakes

Blend for about 1 minute. This provides natural sources of electrolytes, antioxidants and nutrients without the added colors, flavors, or refined sugars and is a great go-to beverage before, during, and after an event.

3. Carb Load Correctly

FACT: Activity that lasts longer than several hours depletes glycogen stores. Carbohydrates consumed during exercise helps endurance athletes maintain a fast pace; fat is used more efficiently for fuel as exercise continues. Protein is a very minor fuel source during endurance exercise.

PROTEIN: it is important for repairing tissues, making enzymes + hormones, transporting nutrients, making muscles contract, regulating water balance. However, if you don’t consume enough carbs for your high energy demands, the body will use protein for energy instead which is EXTREMELY COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO YOUR PHYSICAL GOALS! Although protein may supply energy, extra amounts are not your best fuel. While carbs are stored in the muscle and liver as glycogen to be used for quick energy, excess protein is stored as fat, and not used for energy if you already consume enough calories. In general, protein should supply 10-35% of overall calorie intake which is met easily without powders or supplements in a balanced whole foods plant based diet. Since athletes usually eat more with a good appetite, they easily get the protein and nutrients they need. Protein requires more fluid in order to be metabolized because we need to excrete the toxic nitrogenous waste as urea so can lead to kidney issues, dehydration, cramping, and fatigue.

Energy need for endurance sports depends on body size, duration of activity, and overall effort. An elite athlete may need 4000-6000 calories daily, chosen from a high carbohydrate diet. Don’t worry about calculating your protein because if you are eating a balanced diet of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits, and are eating enough calories, the protein in these foods will add up to be enough protein.

7 days before the event:

  • Days 1-3 Moderate-CHO diet of around 55% of calories, in general, recommendations are 45-65% of calories should come from carbohydrates
  • Days 4-6 Increase to high carbohydrate diet of about 80% of calories
  • Dinner before the event: >80% calories from carbohydrates

4. Four Hours Out:

Simple balanced meal should be fine. Try to keep it around 500 calories and under to prevent fatigue and slow gastric emptying. If you are nervous it is ok to eat less and eat more simple carbs like fruit or fruit juice 1-2 hours before the event

5. Pre Workout

While what you eat pre-workout is very important, it is essential that the previous workout was properly recovered from and that we eat a healthy balanced diet with adequate calories and nutrients on a daily basis.

Day of the event: If in the morning, I recommend staying light with datorade or fruit juice beverage. Within 1-2 hours of event, The food eaten should be around 200-300 calories, high in carbohydrate to maximize blood glucose availability, and low in fat and fiber to minimize GI distress and facilitate gastric emptying, it should be moderate to low in protein, and known to be well tolerated by you. A go to for before, during, and after workouts.

6. During Event

During extended training sessions, lasting longer than 1 hour, and especially in extreme heat, cold or high altitude, exercisers should consume 30-60g CHO / hr of training to maintain blood glucose levels.

30-60 grams of carbs looks like:

  • 1 large ripe banana
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 5-6 dates.

7. Post Workout

Eat in abundance! It is counterproductive for endurance athletes to restrict. The best meals post workout include an abundance of carbohydrates accompanied by some protein. ACE recommends about 2.2 grams of carbs for each pound of body weight to be eaten within the first 30 minutes after exercise and then every 2 hours for 4-6 hours. A diet of whole plant foods consisting of vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fruit that is sufficient in calories should provide adequate post-workout carbohydrates and protein.

8. Prevent Pain

Prevent oxidative stress and reduce cell damage and muscle pain with: Antioxidants

  • Antioxidant power aka the power to protect our cells from damage was significantly increased with banana beverage versus plain carbohydrate beverage
  • Cherry juice was shown to decrease perceived pain significantly in runners versus placebo cherry flavored drink
  • There are lots of studies out there on various plant foods, when choosing fuel to prevent pain, recover quickly I recommend whole plant foods

9. Improve Oxygen Utilization

Yes, Nitrates are components in plant foods like beets, spinach, celery, and arugula that can cause athletes to perform intensely with less oxygen needed. Crazy!

In a study with cyclists, beet juice compared to current juice improved oxygen utilization by a whopping 20% which is quite significant. Drinking beet juice is so powerful that it can bring someones high blood pressure down within 3 hours. Also, pharmaceutical companies use this concept for patients with chest pain to help with blood flow. These drugs are called nitroglycerines. You know another nitrate drug? It’s called Viagra and it certainly improves blood flow but you might as well just eat your vegetables.

How do nitrates work? Bacteria in our saliva convert it to nitric oxide. HOWEVER be sure to not use antibacterial mouth wash because this has been shown to deplete healthy mouth bacteria and therefore inhibit the conversion of nitrate to nitric oxide to allow us to oxygenate our blood.

10. Build Blood

Think you don’t need to eat your greens? Ever been to a smoothie joint that sold wheatgrass shots? One thing that wheatgrass juice is dense in is that dark green pigment called chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has been shown to increase hemoglobin in anemic rabbits. Hemoglobin is the component of blood that carries oxygen and as you can see is very similar to chlorophyll in dark leafy green vegetables. I recommend eating about 5 cups of leafy greens daily.

11. Adequate REST

Symptoms can be both physiological and emotional and are highly individualized.

Signs/ symptoms of overtraining:

  • decline in performance with continued training
  • sleep disturbances
  • weight loss
  • multiple colds / frequent sickness
  • irritability, restlessness, anxiousness
  • loss of motivation / vigor
  • lack of mental concentration / focus
  • lack of appreciation for things that are normally enjoyable

Best way to prevent overtraining is with periodization: alternate easy, moderate, and hard periods of training. Generally, one or two days of intense training should be followed by an equal number of easy training days. A week or two of hard training should be followed by a week or two of easier effort.

Today you learned

about hydration, the talk test, carbohydrate loading, what to eat pre, during, and post workout, how to prevent muscle soreness, how to increase oxygen utilization and how to build blood and prevent overtraining. Get out there and awaken your inner athlete! Give this video a thumbs up, leave your comments below, and remember. Deep down, you truly are a morning person. Wake up and live, Reines and shine!

Dr. Michael Greger’s “Doping with Beet Juice” : http://nutritionfacts.org/video/doping-with-beet-juice/

Dr. Michael Greger’s “Enhanced Athletic Recovery Without Undermining Adaptation” : http://nutritionfacts.org/video/enhanced-athletic-recovery-without-undermining-adaptation/

Cherry Juice Study: G. Howatson, M. P. McHugh, J. A. Hill, J. Brouner, A. P. Jewell, K. A. van Someren, R. E. Shave, S. A. Howatson. Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 20(6):843 – 852.

Beet Juice Study: Bailey SJ, Winyard P, Vanhatalo A, et al. Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of low-intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high-intensity exercise in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology. August 6, 2009. 107: 1144-1155.

Antibacterial Mouthwash and Nitric Oxide: Goconi M, Janasson E, Weitzberg E, et al. The increase in plasma nitrite after a dietary nitrate load is markedly attenuated by an antibacterial mouthwash. Elsevier. 2008. 2: 171-177.

Anemic Rabbits Study: Hughes JH, Latner AL. Chlorophyll and Hemoglobin Regeneration after Hemorrhage. Journal of Physiology. 1936. 612 (119) :338-395

Chlorophyll and Hemoglobin: Hughes JH, Latner AL. Chlorophyll and Hemoglobin Regeneration after Hemorrhage. Journal of Physiology. 1936. 612 (119) :338-395

RL Duyff. American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. Print.

American Council on Exercise: https://www.acefitness.org/

What I Ate Less Than $4 / Meal Nutrient Breakdown

Save money and eat a healthy diet? Easy!

Click here to watch video
Click here to watch video

Saving money on a vegan diet is simple, as long as you’re willing to eat simply, haha. Every day is different and variety and adequate hydration are important. It doesn’t matter what I eat, what matters is what you eat and what makes you feel good. Just because I eat this way doesn’t mean you have to to be healthy. (I happened to get 3 boxes of bananas for free and feel great eating them!) The nutrient breakdown of this day will be on my blog to see what vitamins and minerals are lacking. I recommend that you log your food every so often to see what vitamins and minerals you might be low in so that you can research what foods contain those nutrients and begin incorporating more of those foods in your balanced vegan diet.

Today, I am definitely vegan for the animals after seeing a cute kitty smeared on the side of the road. Hope he didn’t know what hit him, unlike all the mass produced animals for food these days. I hate to be a vegan pusher, but I really can’t stand to see people supporting that business, it breaks my heart.

According to supertracker.com. I color coded green = good, yellow=warning to look out for, and red = do something about this! warning: these recommended values are based on a 2200 calorie diet and I wasn’t that hungry today so I only ate 2045 calories.  I am sure I would have met pretty much everything based on a 2000 calorie recommendation. Had I eaten more calories – I would have had higher numbers. Kapeesh!?

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Vegans should consider B12 supplementation or be sure to eat fortified products like plant milks, nutritional yeast, or cereals. Also, spending 10-15 minutes in the sun for fair-skinned individuals provides plenty of vitamin D.
Vegans should consider B12 supplementation or be sure to eat fortified products like plant milks, nutritional yeast, or cereals. Also, spending 10-15 minutes in the sun for fair-skinned individuals provides plenty of vitamin D.

Reds:

Vitamin B12: I take a supplement and normally like to drink fortified hemp milk that has B12 in it (I ran out).

Vitamin D: Sunshine baby! I spend at least 30 minutes in the sun everyday exercising, or just sitting, haha 🙂

Yellows:

% Protein: This is up for debate considering I clearly consumed plenty of protein.  I am only 1% low as well, 10% is recommended and I ate 9% of my diet from protein.  Should have eaten a few more lentils, huh!

% Carbohydrate and % Total Fat: Clearly I ate a high carb diet today.  I feel good and energized eating mostly carbs and have noticed though documenting food in the past that a higher fat percentage for me makes me sleepy.  I used to enjoy peanut butter sandwiches and handfuls of nuts but I honestly noticed they slowed me down a lot, both in my digestive tract and just throughout my day.  So, this is a personal thing, but just shows it wouldn’t hurt me to consume less calories from carbohydrates and more from fat.

Linoleic Acid: This is a very important essential fatty acid that is necessary for formation of hormones, brain function, and cell membrane stability.  It is great for me to see how my high carb diet is effecting my intake of essential fatty acids.  Looks like I need my hemp milk!

Calcium: Also a little up for debate, it has been questioned whether clean eating vegans really need that much calcium since fruits and vegetables have been shown to increase the absorption and utilization of calcium. However, this tells me I could stand to of course eat my fortified hemp milk that I love (the chocolate version is SO GOOD!), as well as more okra, figs, broccoli, almonds, collards, and kale in my diet to get some more calcium.  Calcium is in lots of plant foods, even oranges!

Iron: I was a little low in iron today, 16/18mg. Lentils and greens and beans are great sources of iron.  This worries me a little because plant based iron (non-heme iron) is less readily absorbed than iron from animal products (heme iron). To absorb it better, it is necessary to combine it with a source of vitamin C like red bell peppers, lemon juice, oranges or tomatoes.  Last time I got my blood checked I had more iron than my doctor, so I am not too concerned about it.

Selenium: a little low 46/55. I like to eat brown rice which is a decent source for me, (1 cup has 19 micro grams) also brazil nuts are high in selenium and I like to eat a couple of those once in a while when I get a few from the bulk section at Sprouts.

Vitamin E: This should definitely be higher.  I usually eat more greens, (5 cups of spinach has 6mg vitamin E) I am running low so I am trying to make my last bunch last me for the next two days.  Greens are a great source of the essential cell membrane saving fat soluble vitamin antioxidant vitamin E! I could stand to eat a few more sunflower seeds and almonds too.  Even fruit has vitamin E, 1 ripe mango has 2mg.

Choline: Pinto beans (which I have been loving lately) are high in choline, as well as soy products like soy milk and tempeh, also quinoa, broccoli, and green peas, even oranges, bananas and dates have choline.  I should try some tempeh next week to get some variety 🙂

There you have it! Hope this helps, and I hope you do the same once in a while to make sure you are on track! Not to get obsessive! I don’t record what I eat everyday! Very rarely do I actually measure out my food unless I am doing something like this.  There are lots of sites out there these days, I use http://www.supertracker.com because that is the USDA’s website affiliated with RDs. I like http://www.loseit.com and http://www.cronometer.com and http://www.myfitnesspal.com as well. Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.

Raw Vegan Blueberry Ice Cream | Thickest, Creamiest, Smoothest Ice Cream EVER!

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Click here to watch video

Raw Vegan Blueberry Ice Cream | VIDEO

Does anyone out there love ice cream as much as I do?? I used to work at an ice cream shop, and boy was a feeling like CRAP. This is ice cream that makes me feel AMAZING and it does not compromise taste for health.  It is sweet, smooth, thick and creamy and can be made the way you like with whatever animal free ingredients you have. Feel high on life all day eating ice cream for breakfast, and reap the benefits of all the cell and DNA protecting antioxidants, phytochemicals, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Serves 1:  ~336 Calories

  • Uses food processor or high speed blender.
  • Easy, takes about 5 minutes.
  • Prep: Freeze 2 ripe bananas for 6 hours or overnight

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen ripe bananas (peeled before freezing)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Steps: Click here to watch my video~

  1. Blend ingredients until smooth- yup it’s that easy!

Enjoy!!

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Shamrock Mint Soft Serve: Dairy Free

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Recipe: Shamrock Shake Soft Serve! This is way too thick and creamy to fit through a straw! Mmm.. Made homemade ice cream before? Growing up, my family had an ice cream maker and we would make it all the time. White sugar, heavy cream, takes about a half hour in the freezer bowl. This is so healthy, so quick, and it barely costs anything. Much more delicious alternative to a shamrock shake too.

This batch had bee pollen and chopped banana chips instead of chocolate chips :) yuum!
This batch had bee pollen and chopped banana chips instead of chocolate chips 🙂 yuum!

Prep:

  • Make sure bananas are ripe and peeled before you freeze them
  • Chop chocolate chips
  • Wash, de-stem kale
  • Measure ingredients roughly

 You will need…

  • Food Processor
  • Rubber spatula
  • Giant bowl
  • Spoon
  • Hungry tummies

Ingredients

  • 5 frozen bananas
  • 7 fresh kale leaves
  • 7 fresh mint leaves
  • a dash of vanilla
  • ¾ cup vegan chocolate chips

Steps

  1. Peel and freeze bananas

Bananas: Make sure you wait until they are spotted brown, you absorb more nutrients and get a sweeter banana!

  • Potassium: essential for maintaining proper heart function and regulating normal blood pressure
  • Vitamin B6: important for amino acid metabolism
  • Vitamin C: antioxidant, boosts your immune system
  • Fiber: great for digestion helps regularity and fullness
  • Reduce Stress: they are high in the amino acid tryptophan, which converts into the feel good neurotransmitter serotonin in your brain
  • Hangover cure: because alcohol depletes nutrients like potassium and bananas help to replenish that
  1. Kale and greens goes in the food processor or blender first! Then bananas on top of greens

Kale: wash, dry, and de-stem before adding to the food processor.

  • Fiber- regularity and satiety. GI health, fullness
  • Calcium- Connie Weaver’s study 9/11 subjects better available calcium from kale!
  • Vitamin E – fat soluble antioxidant
  • Vitamin K – blood health
  1. Process until smooth, adding water or non-dairy milk as necessary or desired
  2. Fold in chopped chocolate chips

Chocolate: Cacao powder has beneficial antioxidants and iron!

I didn't have chocolate chips when I made this batch, so I added bee pollen and chopped banana chips for a little crunch :)
I didn’t have chocolate chips when I made this batch, so I added bee pollen and chopped banana chips for a little crunch 🙂

Apple Cinnamon 1 Ingredient Waffles: Gluten-Free, Vegan, Scrumptious Style

Just because I’m Jewish doesn’t mean my family doesn’t do something special Christmas morning ;-).  These babies are light and fluffy, with the perfect chewy to crispy-ness ratio.  So warm and satisfying.  Crowd-pleaser approved.
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The one essential ingredient for this recipe? MOCHI!

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Mochi is traditionally seen in japanese cuisine, and this Grainaissance brand is literally just brown rice!  But it puffs up like an incredible puffed pastry!  You can buy it unflavored, or savory, I like the cinnamon raisin one for waffles. 🙂

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Apple Cinnamon Topping:

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  • a grated apple
  • grated ginger (to taste- start small! this stuff is powerful 🙂
  • a drop of vanilla
  • cinnamon
  • a handful of chopped walnuts
  • mix well!

Serve with fresh berries, cinnamon, and real maple syrup :-*

* Magic! *

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Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers – Vegan and Gluten Free!

Vegan Americana Demo:

Sweet Potato Burgers, BBQ Cauliflower Wings, Mom’s Blueberry Cornbread. Monday Sept. 8th 7-8pm CoRec Demo Kitchen, Purdue University. Call 765-494-3110 asap to reserve your spot!

 

Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers ~

sweetpotquinoaburg

Crowd pleasing, hearty, healthy vegan burgers. There is no way to mess these up- the ingredients will still taste fantastic. Inspired by Whole Foods and Istanbul’s Mediterranean cuisine. Great for parties, families, and Thanksgiving!

Makes about 24 beautiful burgers

Prep Time: 25 minutes   Cooking Time: 45 minutes   Total Time : 1 hour and 10 minutes

You will need…

  • Large pot
  • Steamer
  • Mashed potato masher
  • Cutting board
  • Chef knife
  • Large stirring spoon
  • Large bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Potato peeler
  • 2 Cooling racks
  • 2 Baking sheets
  • Oven
  • Garnish: buns, tomato, avocado, mustard, ketchup, onions, pickles, etc.

Ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 4 cups cooked quinoa (2 cups dry quinoa cooked in 4 cups of water)
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 2 bunches dill
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 shallot or small red onion
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Prep for mise en place

  • Peel and steam sweet potato
  • Rinse and boil quinoa in 4 cups of water
  • Wash and chop parsley and dill How to wash parsley
  • Juice lemon
  • Chop shallot
  • Measure out craisins and flax

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  2. Place cooling rack on top of baking sheet
  3. Mash steamed sweet potatoes until smooth in large pot
  4. Combine cooked quinoa with mashed sweet potatoes in large pot
  5. In a large bowl, combine parsley, dill, dried cranberries, lemon juice, shallot, flax, and spices and mix well
  6. Pour herb mix into sweet potato quinoa pot and mix well.
  7. Using a 1/3 cup measure, form the mixture into patties and place on the cooling rack on the backing sheet
  8. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 450 degrees F or until crispy.
  9. Serve over buns with tomatoes, avocado, lettuce, and choice of toppings and condiments.

Simple Guide To Plant Strong Burgers

Yum ❤

sweetpotburg

 

Cherry Garcia Banana Pancakes (with carob instead of chocolate :) Fat Free, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, High Carb Vegan

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Cherry Garcia Banana Pancakes?!  MMMMMMMMMMmmmmm HMMMmmmm !!!!! 😛

I made these with my friend James Wallace (meat loving runner 😉 ) and he thought they were pretty impressive!  We are both so lazy and cheap (as are all college students, honestly) and it was awesome that we could make something so yummy for dinner with cooking and clean up taking less than like, what 10-15 minutes?

Here’s what I used:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups Namaste gluten free waffle/pancake mix
  • about 3/4 +ish cups of water
  • one 10 oz bag of frozen cherries
  • about 1/4 cup carob powder (add more to taste)

Steps:

  1. Let cherries thaw out and mash bananas in a large bowl until smooth and combine and mash cherries to desired chunky consistency.
  2. Stir in water, pancake mix, and carob
  3. Set flat top skillet to about 300 and using a 1/4 cup measure, make them pancakes sizzle!  No oil necessary!  Feel free to eat slightly undercooked if you want, no eggs to worry about!
  4. Savor in good health 🙂

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Happy Birthday Metabolism Master Sam Romano and My Sexy UC Sister Mary Reines

Happy birthday to the most brilliant nutritionist and the classy colon queen!  Here I will discuss some things that have been on my mind as far as nutrition and the raw vegan diet, and what poo is telling you, and how diet and gastrointestinal health go hand in hand!

MARCH 29TH! HAPPY 23RD SAMWISE!!

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Studying for my Advanced Macronutrient Metabolism (WOO 😀 ) lipids exam Monday, I have come to find that Samwise knows a lot more about nutrition than I gave him credit for!

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All along, I have been quite skeptical about this whole raw vegan thing, honestly!  People talking jargon about enzymes, alkaline environments, and life force energy and what not.. who knows if it’s all a bunch of hooey?

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I’m going to go through my skepticisms and how with my study of dietetics, nutrition, fitness, and health, they are all proved to be epically favoring a raw vegan lifestyle.

1. Whether or not my body is able to produce enough hormones without taking in any dietary cholesterol

2. Will I get enough essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 with 10% calories from fat?

3. Is a fruit based diet going to provide enough protein?  Especially when I train with weights?

4. Can I get enough calcium and vitamin D, even in the winter? And especially since I am not taking in any cholesterol that is potentially needed to make the hormones to create and absorb these nutrients?

5. What about iodine, sodium, iron, fat soluble vitamins, and vitamin B12?

Sam seems to be confident with the answers to these questions.  I, on the other hand, seek more credential evidence!!  Thank you Samwise for staying true to yourself, and for helping me dream big!! By sending me things like this, 🙂 :

change world

I have found in my more specialized classes this year that Sam and the raw vegan movement are spot on!  I will start off with #1 today, and hit on the others ASAP!

1. Whether or not my body is able to produce enough fat and hormones without taking in any dietary cholesterol on a high carb low fat vegan diet?

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1. Fact: Our bodies are capable of producing all of the cholesterol and fat (not essential fat-essential omega 3 and 6 are from diet sources only) that it needs from adequate calories from carbohydrates.  Yes, cholesterol is a precursor for estrogens and androgens in the body.  The precursor to make fats and cholesterol, (triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterol esters) can all be formed from the precursor Acetyl-Coenzyme A which is a product of glycolysis (glucose (carbohydrate) metabolism)!!!!  I even asked in class whether or not it took more energy for the body to create its own fat or to obtain it from the diet, and Professor Buhman said it was just as easy to create as to metabolize by the diet.  Our bodies are extremely efficient at digesting macronutrients, and our bodies know very well how much fat and cholesterol it needs to maintain homeostasis.  It is incredible.  Eating enough calories from carbohydrates, our bodies can not only create the fat, cholesterol, and hormones it needs, it is also able to maintain peak efficiency, absorption, and overall health and energy!

Let me tell you, this young shredder knows his innerds like the back of his hand, and I’m jealous of his ability to listen to his bodies cues.  FACT: Undigested lipid delays the rate of emptying of stomach contents!  Sam always told me how fat slows everything down, and how if I ate enough carbs I would be set.  Who knew!?

Why does all this even matter?!  EATING THIS WAY CURES CANCER.  We actually just had a lecture today about how vegan diets prevent cancer due to high levels of powerful phytochemicals and antioxidants.  I asked whether this would be implemented in hospitals or not and the guest professor said there isn’t enough scientific evidence to make any recommendations yet.  Womp. Womp. Womp.  ALSO our cells are regenerating all the time!  You literally are what you eat!  Become ageless and energetic! Vibrate on a whole nother level!  I wouldn’t be this passionate about this if the results weren’t as truly incredible as they are :).  Feeling amazing?  Priceless.

Quick fyi about alkaline vs. acidic body environments FACT: Pancreatic lipase requires an alkaline environment for optimal activity.  (Pancreatic lipase is the enzyme that metabolizes triglycerides (fat) in the intestinal lumen.)

MARCH 31!! I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, I’M FEELING 22 !!!!

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Nutty and girls

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HAPPY 22ND BIRTHDAY MARE!!

Mary Mary quite contrary ❤ I am so inspired by you ❤ My sister found a Naturopathic cure to ulcerative colitis and recently has made huge strides in the healing process!! Congratulations!!  Beyond UC- I am the luckiest girl in the world to have Mary for a sister.  She is kind, honest, and gentle.  I know I can talk to her about anything.  She always puts herself last and will do whatever makes her baby sistee happy 🙂  Love you Mare, thank you so much for putting up with me throughout the years!  Thank you for sticking to your values and being such a warm, kind, and honest individual.  Love and miss you! ❤ Xoxoxo

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Sorry ladies and gents, this post might get a little gross… but I think it is a matter worth mentioning!!  Poopie doopies are fantastic little friends that tell you how your innerds are doing!  Listen to them!

Lots of things can cause weird poops:

  • intolerance to foods, like gluten, diary, and soy to name a few common ones
  • not drinking enough water, causeing hardness in there, ow.. you shouldn’t have to push that hard…
  • not eating enough fiber
  • even stress!!

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Scarier things like colon cancer, IBS, chrons and cholitis can also cause weird poopies.

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As traumatic as I thought it was to have a sister with UC, it is terrible to have to live with such an issue that is so uncomfortable discussing.. so.. let’s get comfortable!

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THIS ONE

My sister wrote an amazing article about her experiences and the fantastic holistic cure she came to! : PLEASE READ!!!!

“Coping with UC

I started crying after Dr. Minor told me that I would need a colonoscopy.

“I’m only 20 years old!” I said to my parents between sobs. “Only 50-year-olds are supposed to get this test!”

My parents reminded me how lucky I was to be having this procedure. I agreed. Then I went home and drank cleansing fluid for three hours, rushing from the couch to the bathroom to poop out whatever was left in my colon.

“This isn’t so bad,” I thought to myself. “I’m used to running to the bathroom.”

I had been having stomach pains for years and there was always blood in the toilet, but I was too embarrassed to tell anyone about it. Now I was finally getting my answer: I had ulcerative colitis.

UC is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. It’s in the same family as Crohn’s disease. After I was diagnosed, I was put on multiple medications including Prednisone and nightly enemas. I wasn’t allowed to eat dairy or salads or whole grains. In a family of health-conscious vegans, my world had been turned upside down.

Sometimes I couldn’t handle any food at all and would spend the whole day inside drinking coconut water, afraid of losing quick access to a bathroom if I left my house. “Will I be able to make it 20 minutes in the car without needing a toilet?” When things were really bad, my life revolved around this question.

But I was lucky. I had a strong support system. My father is a doctor, my sister is a raw vegan fitness instructor, and my mother is a healthy cook and avid reader. She was the one who took care of me the most, making me pumpkin bread with gentle rice flour for breakfast and steamed beets for dinner. For my family, there were no limits for how careful we needed to be with my colon. Fortunately, I was diagnosed over the summer, so my family was able to help me cope with my disease. But going back to college had its own challenges.

Adding six classes, a weekly newscast at WMUA 91.1, and a job as an assistant news editor at the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, my life became hectic. I couldn’t eat anything without running to the bathroom immediately afterwards. My doctor at University Health Services put me back on Prednisone, told me to drink Ensure in order to get protein, and wrote me a note to drop a class even after the deadline had passed. “You need to take care of yourself,” he said. And my family felt the same way.

As an assistant editor, I was expected to be on desk once a week, go to meetings twice a week, and write articles. For my desk night I arrived at 4 p.m. and left the office at 3 a.m. after editing all the news stories, designing the layout, and placing the articles.

I didn’t get much sleep. But I loved working at the newspaper. I made many new friends and learned so much about how a daily paper works. I loved working with a team of fun, smart people. It made me feel good.

It was hard to weigh my health against my duties. The newspaper took up most of my time and energy, and I loved it, but it was taxing. My Nana was adamant that I quit my position. “Be good to yourself!” she yelled at me over the phone. “Your health is most important.”

Even though I would go to the bathroom twice during a half-hour meeting or go on a strict diet of bananas and Ensure, I never quit the Collegian. I just liked it too much. And I never dropped a class either. I was so used to being in constant pain and interrupting my day for bathroom breaks that I convinced myself that my health problems weren’t that bad.

That was my Fall 2012 semester. I passed all six classes with a B+ as my lowest grade. I went to Paris in the spring and when I came back for my Fall 2013 semester, I was invited to work for the news section again. I accepted, writing the crime log and student obituaries.

I learned a lot about my disease and myself that semester. My health is important, but so is my college experience. I didn’t want my career to be stalled by my disease. I had been handling it unknowingly since I was 16. I knew that I could manage it.

Things have gotten a lot better since then. My parents did extensive research and found a holistic solution called a fecal transplant. Over my winter break, my mom blended her poop with sterile saline and then poured the mixture into an enema bottle. Five days a week, I would wake up and turn a movie on and administer the enema, lying on my left side so that the diseased area of my colon would be exposed to the good bacteria. Today I only go to the bathroom twice a day! Having my health back is thrilling.

But I can’t go back to guzzling Rubinoff. After all that I’ve been through; the colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, weight loss, strict diets, life without salad; I value my health. I can’t get wasted with my roommates. I can’t just go to bed whenever I want. I can’t eat a whole pizza and feel fine. I’m young but I’m not invincible. This disease has put restrictions on my habits that have forced me to stop trashing my body. And honestly, I’m grateful.

Ulcerative Colitis is an autoimmune disease, so it’s never going away. I must learn how to handle it and go on with my life.”

INCREDIBLE, RIGHT?!  My sister is my inspiration to become a Naturopathic Doctor where I can help people like my sister come to the best treatments! ❤ So excited about her progress!!

This site that my mama sent me has some good advice!  I summed it up a little bit in this article it inspired me to write for the Odyssey,

3 Tips To Pooping Perfectly 

It’s funny how many people ask me what foods to eat to “make them go”. I know girls who have gone great lengths- investing in laxatives and chugging prune juice. Pooping is important people! Poops should be regular (preferably 1-3 times a day), easy, smooth snakes that comfortably come out of you. Fecal matter that hangs out in your gut creates a toxic environment in your system, creating bloating and smelly gas from fermentation, toxins, and unwanted bacteria. Did you know your digestive tract is home the largest immune defense in your body? Pooping perfectly keeps your defenses up, your bloated belly nice and flat, your farts minimal (and not so stinky), long-term colon and rectal health, and boy doesn’t it feel great to take a nice dump?!  Follow these simple guidelines, and your poop should be perfect in no time!

  1. Stay Hydrated- You gotta make sure the waterslide is nice and wet before you can go down! Same deal with the junk in your trunk. To function properly, your intestines have to be well hydrated.  Recommendations are 8-10 cups of water a day; more with exercise.  Try to drink about 3 cups of water 30 minutes before each meal. This will ensure that your hunger cues aren’t being confused with thirst, and will help your food get digested properly.
  1. Eat Gut Healthy Foods- Probiotics (healthy gut bacteria) are the bacteria in fermented foods like kim-chi, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, and more.  The bacteria in these foods (probiotics) help your gut flora maintain a healthy environment.  Whole plant foods like fruits and vegetables provide prebiotics, which provide the bacteria that the healthy gut bacteria (probiotics) live off of.  The minerals, fiber, and fluids from fresh fruits and vegetables create fabulous poops.  After eating loads of denatured breads, fiber-less animal products, and processed foods, your bound to have an unhappy butthole.  Eating whole grains, plenty of fresh (cooked and raw) fruits and vegetables daily will provide the ruffage, nutrients, and healthy prebiotics necessary to maintain a well running digestive tract.
  1. Exercise- There are muscles in your digestive tract, these muscles respond to other movements of your body. The movement of the smooth muscles of your intestine (peristalsis) greatly improves when you exercise. Just moving a little from walking, jumping, dancing, jogging, or walking up and down stairs can get your bowels a’flowin.  If you want to move your innards, you gotta move your outards.

Stinky nasty farts come from a fiber-less fermenting fecal matter. Get your inner groove back on track and pay attention to how much you are eating compared to how much you are pooping. For me, it feels comfortable drinking 4 cups of water in the morning and moving a little bit before I eat breakfast. I know, it is hard to be conscious of these things with all the stresses and fusses of school life. But, try and put it higher on the list; stress on the potty = stress at your darty.  And the best perk: everyone will appreciate your fragrance free butthole :).

There you have it!  Now for the grand finale!  If you’ve got it, flaunt that ish and snapchat your stool! 😛

mypoop4mypoop1mypoop2

 

Haha, questions or comments, please post below!  Let’s all wish the best for Sam and Mary!!! A happy healthy 23rd and 22nd!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

Raw Vegan Desserts Demo and Recipes! (Oil Free and Sweetened with FRUIT!)

Last week’s Raw Vegan Desserts Demo was so much fun!  These demos are getting less and less nerve-racking :).  I am so lucky to have the opportunity to share how delicious and easy healthy food really can be!

Have fun making these recipes!  And have even more fun eating them! And have THE MOST fun thriving afterwards ❤
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Black Forest Cherry Brownie Bites

Food processor- S blade

  •  2 cups walnuts (preferably, soaked and dehydrated- however there is a law that it is illegal to sell raw nuts made in the US- they are all pasteurized.  Imported may be raw though)
  • 6-7 dates pitted and packed (I used an 8 ounce bag of coconut date rolls, I think there were 7 in there)
  • 1 tsp cherry extract
  • 6 Tbs cacao or carob powder
  • 3 Tbs water (if necessary- I didn’t use any water)

Process until smooth- delicious walnut butter can be made using simply walnuts in a food processor.  Just be patient- it turns super creamy!  Feel free to add dates or your favorite sweetener for sweetener, or a little salt.  The oils really come out and the brownie bites get super squishy and buttery!

  • ¼ cup dried cherries mixed in after blending
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts mixed in after blending

After mixing in nuts and dried cherries, scoop about a tablespoon of brownie dough into mini muffin tins and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.  The walnut butter congeals when you let it chill.

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Mango Nice Cream

High speed blender (like Vitamix or Ninja), or a food processor S blade (if using food processor, will take longer and definitely add a little water or let thaw out a little- might make soft serve, but still delicious!)

  • 3 ripe, peeled, and frozen bananas, chunked into fourths
  • 1 cup thawed frozen mango chunks (throw your frozen fruit in the fridge, nom nom nom!)

Blend until smooth and creamy.

I love brownies and ice cream separately, but I like them together even better!

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Ohhh the decadence isn’t over yet…

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Coconut Macaroons

Makes appx. 15, use a food processor S blade:

  • 4 cups sun-dried coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisin (soaked if available)
  • 1 cup coconut date rolls or medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup apricot soaked
  • 1/4 Tbl sea salt
  • 1/8 cup distilled water (depending on how much soaked dried fruit

1. Blend coconut in food processor until very fine/ oily/ sweet. (this may take longer than you think!  Let it blend until super smooth, about a full 1-2 minutes)

2. Blend (appx. 30 seconds- 1st pulse 5-6 times) all other ingredients

3. Using cooking scoop, make balls and roll in dried coconut

4. chill and enjoy!

Brownie Chunk Chocolate Soft Serve

Brownie Chunks:

Food processor S blade

  • 2 cups walnut
  • 1 cups (about 7) dates
  • about 1/3 cup cacao powder

Blend until super smooth and spread onto a pan or roll into balls and freeze.  After about 20-30 minutes or more, chop into itty bitty brownie chunk pieces.

Chocolate Soft Serve:

Food processor S blade

  • 3 ripe, peeled, frozen bananas, chunked into fourths
  • 2-3 Tbs unsweetened almond milk (or homemade almond milk, or just throw in some soaked nuts, or just water! 🙂 )
  • 2-3 Tbs cacao powder (depending how chocolatey you like it!)
  • vegan chocolate chips or MY BROWNIE CHUNKS! NOM!!

Blend everything except brownie chunks until smooth and fold in brownie chunks!  Top with fresh berries, yuum.

Gotta love coconut macaroons and brownie chunk chocolate soft serve separately… but together- simply heaven.  sweet little love pies. I don’t think I have to tell you to enjoy this one… but do be sure to savor. xoxo

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Green Tea Nice Cream

After my first lick of this ice cream I said out loud…

image

“I AM A GENIUS.”

Impeccable amount of ginger, sweetness, and green tea.  The absolute palate cleansing dessert or, indulge, like me, in this for a post workout lunch!

I love green tea and have been reading more and more benefits about it.

Green Tea (matcha):

  • is the least oxidized and fermented non-herbal tea, so it contains the most antioxidants
  • contains a nice amount of caffeine (less than coffee or black tea, more than herbal tea)
  • is used traditionally in Chinese medicine to help with immune function, brain cell protection, blood sugar regulation, metabolism, aging, blood pressure, and many other health issues

Ginger is so warm, aromatic, enlightening, and soothing.  The health benefits to ginger are also endless as well.

Ginger:

  • is a powerful digestive aid: In herbal medicine, ginger is regarded as an excellent carminative (a substance which promotes the elimination of intestinal gas) and intestinal spasmolytic (a substance which relaxes and soothes the intestinal tract), also helps with nausea (hence the ginger ale mom and dad gave you when you had an upset tummy)
  • I sent my sister (who has Ulcerative Colitis) this interesting study with ginger and inflammation of the colon:

    Inflammation of the colon

    A study carried out at the University of Michigan Medical School found that Ginger Root Supplement administered to volunteer participants reduced inflammation markers in the colonwithin a month.

    The study was published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

    Experts say that inflammation of the colon is a precursor to colon cancer. Co-researcher Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H., explained that by reducing inflammation in the colon a person reduces their risk of developing colon cancer.

    Zick said “We need to apply the same rigor to the sorts of questions about the effect of ginger root that we apply to other clinical trial research. Interest in this is only going to increase as people look for ways to prevent cancer that are nontoxic, and improve their quality of life in a cost-effective way.”

  • helps too sooth migraines
  • warms from the inside out
  • boosts the immune system
  • clears the sinuses (great to make tea out of if you have a stuffy nose!
  • too many benefits- I don’t have all day!!!

Hemp Seeds:

  • incredible vegan source of biologically available and easily digested protein, hemp seeds contain all 10 essential amino acids
  • incredible vegan source of essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids
  • rich in plant based phytonutrients and antioxidants, such as vitamin E
  • contain an array of minerals like zinc, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron

The Mastermind Mix:

  • 1 heaping Tbs fresh roughly chopped peeled ginger
  • 1-2 Tbs hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 serving packet of matcha green tea powder (like $1.00 each packet at Sunspot)
  • 3 ripe peeled and frozen bananas (freeze for at least 6 hours)
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • water as needed to not break your blender or food processor

1. Using a food processor S blade, or high power blender, put in the ginger, hemp seeds, and mango chunks
2. Sprinkle in the green tea powder I like to put this in the middle so it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the container, but no biggie
3. Break up bananas into fourths and throw in container
4. Blend until smooth
5. Take a lick and you are a genius!

greenteaaa