You’re on the “About” page, so don’t be surprised if I tell my story and philosophy here…
This page might even make a few people mad, but let’s start with this: I’m not 100% raw vegan. Is it an ideal? Perhaps, but I, like many other people out there who have discovered raw veganism ideology, agree that for most people, the extra stress that obsession with “100% raw” can cause is far more detrimental than the small percentage of non-raw food that a person might eat as a result of social occasions, family functions, etc. Additionally, there are some nutrient-packed cooked foods that I see no reason to exclude, such as brown rice, steamed broccoli, etc.
I simply want to demonstrate to the world the benefits of including more fresh fruits and vegetables in one’s diet. They’re full of vitamins an minerals and have the benefit of being unprocessed and free of preservatives, dyes, etc.
Back to the label thing, though. The choice I see set before me is exemplified by situations like this: At a cookout with friends I haven’t seen in a while, a friend thoughtfully went and bought veggie burgers specifically for me. They happen to contain dairy. They’re already bought. Do I turn her down so I can keep the “vegan” label?
Or, how about this one: It’s Thanksgiving, and I’m at a relative’s house. The only thing that isn’t currently mixed with turkey juice on the entire table is salad…but it’s got a bit of shredded cheese on it. Is it worth it for my “label” to turn down the salad, starve that night, and cause a huge social rupture in the family? I think not.
To me, (and everyone’s different, with their own trials and troubles,) saving myself the stress does more for my health than picking cheese off of lettuce at Thanksgiving. My health doesn’t seem to suffer because of it; in fact I’m one of the healthiest people I know. Stressing over labels never helped anyone, and I definitely don’t advocate it. I buy raw vegan foods for myself to eat at home, and I do take them with me so I’m prepared for most practical situations. That and I get to keep my family life and social life and thus the BALANCE that maintains peace in my life.
What I Eat
We just talked about not obsessing over percentages, but so I can better illustrate the dietary pattern that is currently working AWESOME for me, I am going back to percentages: I am 100% vegetarian (for over a decade), 99% vegan, and about 90% raw. Typically, breakfast is loads of fruit (or a green smoothie), and maybe a few flax crackers or even a few veggies and dip if I’m feeling it. Lunch and dinner are always small, as I snack throughout the day on whatever I happen to have on hand. My diet includes A LOT of greens, a fair amount of seeds, especially flaxseeds, lots of fruit, and minimal amounts of everything else.
What I Do – Physical Acivity
I know healthy and unhealthy eaters who follow a variety of nutritional styles, but it’s silly to assume that diet is everything–it’s totally not! Physical fitness and activity is a HUGE part of making this work, so here’s what I typically do every week:
- 1.5-3 hours of weight training or bodyweight exercises
- 1.5-3 hours of cardio, like hiking, dancing, running, biking, etc.
I wish I had the time in my schedule to do even more–writing all day most days unfortunately necessitates that I spend a lot of time sitting on my butt! I see 30 minutes of exercise per day as a personal “bare minimum”–without even that, I start to feel sluggish, disgruntled, etc. 30 minutes daily fits into even the busiest of schedules, so there’s no reason not to!
There’s always the often-forgotten third leg of the trifecta here: Mental health. Drive yourself insane with obsessions and you’ll lose that incredibly valuable factor. Whether it’s meditation, participating in an activity you enjoy on a REGULAR basis, sending time with friends, etc., it’s especially important for BUSY people to plan ahead and ensure that the mental health aspect of HEALTH does not suffer!