Archive for May, 2011
Out of all the things people ask me about in regards to living a low fat raw vegan lifestyle, there is one thing that stands out. The status of my defecation. Yep, my poop. Hey, that’s cool with me. I’ve never been one to shy aware from a topic. I’m quite comfortable talking about almost anything under the sun. This subject is no different.
So, what about my poop? The first people say is, “Aren’t you constipated?!” Others have eaten multiple bananas in a day and have obviously found this not to be the case. Those people ask, “How do you get through the day without having an accident?!”
Let me address the first concern. Do bananas make you constipated? For me? No. For others, maybe. Everyone has a different body and react differently to each food that they eat. In my experience and research, although there is a chance of constipation, in most cases people have the opposite effect. Which leads me to the next concern.
Do I make a mess in my pants from eating that many bananas? The simple answer is no. However, let’s dig a little deeper. Chances are if you have eaten an abundance of bananas (even 1-2) that are unripe you’ll have the runs. Unripe bananas are considered to have complex sugars. Upon ripening these complex sugars are broken down to simple sugars, making it much easier for your body to digest. And when I say that the bananas need to be ripe, it doesn’t mean yellow with green tips. Ripe means yellow with brown spots covering the entire banana all the way to entirely brown bananas. Think, banana bread making bananas. Some may say, “Ewww.” Understandable, I used to be a yellow banana with green tip banana eater. That is until I did my research and made the mistake of eating too many unripe bananas in one sitting. Number one they didn’t taste all that good. Number two, yes, I learned first hand that they will produce runs.
Now there is no way I will consider eating a banana that isn’t fully ripe. They just don’t taste good.
So, what is the status of my defecation? I defecate multiple times a day. Personally I’ve never counted, however I’m definitely not a one and done kind of girl. For the most part I will defecate 20-30 minutes after each meal, and it usually takes the same approximate time as urinating for me. To be honest, it’s kind of hard to explain my feces. It is not the consistency of urine, making me have the “runs”, however, it does not take me any effort. In addition, oftentimes toilet paper isn’t even needed. Of course, because of habit it is always used. And lastly, there is little to no smell. If anything, my feces smells like whatever I had eaten for that meal.
You see, ripened fruits and vegetables are so easily to digest that they don’t sit in your bowels like cooked foods, especially animal products, do. Those products sit in your bowel, putrefying, making the horrible smells and solid waste. This positive side effect of eating low fat raw vegan is not special to me. Anyone who is following this lifestyle has the same results.
In dealing with my endometriosis I found that straining to defecate irritated my lesions, causing my abdomen to scream with pain day in and day out. Now that I don’t have the problem I have been able to keep my endometriosis symptoms at bay.
So that’s the scoop on my poop.
Be grateful and keep smiling =)
Over the past few years I’ve hit many crossroads and had to ask myself, “Which way do I go?” Unfortunately, or fortunately, I tend to have an all or nothing attitude. Meaning if I choose to do something I dedicate myself to it and there’s no question about it. Sometimes this makes life’s decision tough, but at the same time I live with my choices.
One such decision, do I drink alcohol or not? To be quite honest, in the scheme of things this wasn’t a huge issue. As with meat, alcohol has never played a huge role in my life. To put it into perspective, on average I would have an alcoholic beverage once or twice a month. Still, I thought it was important for me to decide whether I should allow alcohol into my life. I’d like to share my research, how I came about my decision, and obviously my final decision.
Question 1: Is alcohol vegan?
Did you know that many alcoholic beverages contain animal byproducts? Say what? ‘Tis true. Some ingredients are in plain sight, but I found the non-veg items to be something I never thought about. I’m talking about fining agents. Per Wikipedia, Fining Agents are: substances that are usually added at or near the completion of the processing of brewing wine, beer and various nonalcoholic juice beverages. Their purpose is for removal of organic compounds; to either improve clarity or adjust flavor/aroma. Specifically, the removed compounds may be sulfides, proteins, polyphenols, benzenoids, or copper ions. Unless they form a stable bottom sediment in the final container, the spent finings are usually discarded from the beverage along with the target compounds that they capture.
Once I figured out what fining agents do I wanted to know what was used, making them non-vegan. Come to find out animal byproducts are often used in the process. These include: egg whites, blood, milk, casein, gelatin, and isinglass (obtained from swim bladders of fish). With that being said, it’s clear why many products aren’t vegan.
Question 2: Is alcohol a requirement to survive my life? Is it healthy? Why do I need it?
Considering I’ve never acquired a great taste for alcohol I think it’s safe to say alcohol is not a requirement to survive my life. And if it is a requirement for anyone I think there is an issue and something needs to be addressed.
As for the question whether it’s healthy, I know many health studies have shown that drinking a glass of wine once daily is good for your health. I won’t argue against that given I have no reason to. However, let’s be honest, many Americans aren’t drinking alcohol to help their health. They’re drinking to get drunk, which definitely makes it unhealthy.
My decision: Having a family history of alcoholism and seeing what it can do to yourself and those around you, along with the knowledge that it’s not vegan sealed the deal for me. My thinking is, if I’m trying my hardest to be healthy and happy why should I put something into my body that is considered a toxin, effects your mental ability/awareness, contributes to weight gain, and is a depressant? Yep, I’ll take my banana high over alcohol any day. Alcohol free is me!
Keep smiling and be grateful =)
Several weeks ago my brother posted on Facebook that he had a “run in” with a cashier at JCPenney. Apparently he bought two packages of undershirts, in plastic packaging, and the cashier demanded that he put them in an additional plastic bag from the store. As he was literally walking out of the store he said, “No, I’m good,” the woman continued demanding that a bag was needed and that he, “might drop the shirts due to the slippery packaging.” Uh, ok. Even if he did drop them, so what? They’re in plastic packaging. Needless to say, my brother succeeded when he just kept right on walking out of the store with no bag.
Fast forward to tonight. My husband and I were purchasing undershirts at JCPenney. (Not planned, just ironic). Upon check out, as I usually do, I stated that we did not need a bag and would just carry them out. We were literally feet from the door. The cashier refused and stated that a bag was required due to company policy. I then asked if I could just put them into my purse. Nope, that was a no go. Then lastly, I asked if I could put them in a reusable bag that I had with me. Finally she said ok. I could’ve let it slide, but it’s not in my nature to do so, not to mention this is something I’m quite passionate about.
At that point I stated that the exact same thing happened to my brother in a different state and I wanted to know why a bag was required. She once again stated, “company policy.” I stated that although I understand it was company policy I still would like to know why this policy is in place. According to her, it’s due to shoplifting (as she said, “Of course I’m not saying you’d shoplift.”). Per her, if someone is walking out with a product without a bag it looks like they’re shoplifting, which would cause them to be stopped by a JCPenney worker. Uhhh, my response, “If they stop you, which they probably wouldn’t, just show the receipt. And actually having a bag makes for easier shoplifting.” She didn’t have a response.
I understand that she is not the one who made the policy, and I stated that exactly to her. However, I also asked her to pass on our displeasure to management.
So, JCPenney, this is my open letter to you. In your Matters of Principle: JCPenney & Environmental Responsibility document you claim to be an environmentally friendly company. I applaud your efforts listed, however from personal experience you have a ways to go. If requiring the use of your plastic bags for items purchased is truly your policy, I ask that it be changed. The world is changing and it’s time to get with the times. Not only is it better for the Earth, but it also saves you money when I use my own reusable bag. Some may argue that if I take your bag and reuse it then it’s “free advertising”. I think it’s safe to say that when I put used kitty litter with feces in the bag I don’t consider that great advertising, and don’t think you would either. And while I’m writing, there’s one last thing…your receipts. They are ridiculously long, too much information that the consumer never reads, leading to a total waste of paper. A few small changes could make a huge difference in many ways.
Be grateful and keep smiling: )
After a bit of research we uncovered that there still is one recycle center remaining open in our city. Although I’m sure this location will be bombarded with recyclables, it’s awesome to know that we still have an option for our recycling needs. And I no longer have to have a pit in my stomach every time I throw away a recyclable item….at least for now.
Be grateful and keep smiling =)
I eat alot of fruit. I also share my fruit with all of our pets if they are interested. Needless to say they are always interested….and I love to share =) Today I ate a mango and shared the remnants from the pit. Yummy! So fun to have dogs that appreciate fruits and veggies.
Be grateful and keep smiling =)
I remember when the recycling movement began when I was a kid. As a member of Campfire (basically like Girl Scouts) we took a field trip to the local recycling center where they taught us the importance of recycling, how to recycle, and even showed us the magnet test to see what metals were recyclable. From that point on my family would collect our recyclables and take weekly trips to the recycle center.
I must admit, after initially living on our own we failed on the recycling front. We didn’t recycle at our home and didn’t think much about it. However, 2 years ago we came back with tenacity. I set up bins and recycled everything we could. It something we think is very important and we keep as a priority in our household.
As time goes on the recycling movement has evolved. More items have become recyclable and most locations offer curbside pick up. Unfortunately our municipality is severely behind the curve on evolution of recycling. So much that it seems like we’re regressing. We are limited in what we can recycle. If it’s not classified as 1 (PETE) or 2 (HDPE) plastic, paper, or aluminum our area will not accept it. In addition, not only does our city not offer curbside recycling, but also at the end of April all of our local recycle centers were closed. What?! Yep, that’s right. The good thing: some local waste companies offer recycling. The bad: as with many things, there are tradeoffs.
At this point I’m trying to figure out what is the best choice, not only for us, but the Earth. In the meantime I cringe and my heart breaks everytime I throw a recyclable item in the trash.
Be grateful and keep smiling. =)
I’m sure the moment many readers see the actual subject matter of this post they will immediately stop reading and go on to something else. Of course that’s their prerogative. So what could be so taboo about this blog post? I dunno, but mention the words Royal Wedding and people tend to cringe. People are sick of reading and hearing about anything having to do with the wedding. It’s understandable. From the moment the ring was on Kate’s finger speculation from the date, to location, and even her wedding dress began. I think it’s safe to say that the entire situation was overanalyzed and over publicized. To be quite honest although I’m on the internet quite a bit I don’t watch much television and didn’t get all wrapped up into the pre-excitement of the wedding. With that being said, did you watch it? I did.
Why did I watch it? Well, there are many reasons. Although the closest I ever came to meeting Princess Diana was through the television I can’t help but feel that, like so many others, she holds a special place in my heart…as do her sons. I remember back to August 31st, 1997 as though it was yesterday. I came downstairs to find my parents watching the live news coverage of her death. I watched all the coverage of the events as everything unfolded. Such a sad time.
Another reason? I’ll admit, I had a small crush on Prince William when I was young. Heck, what girl my age didn’t? Not to mention what girl doesn’t want to find prince charming and live happily ever after? Although I have met and married my own prince charming and am currently living my happily ever after, it’s always fun to see someone else starting their own happily ever after. I could watch weddings all day long, whether the people are famous or not. The excitement and happiness that exudes from couples makes me smile.
And the most important reason I watched? It’s moments like this that show that as a world we can come together and appreciate something. Yes, it’s just a wedding and it’s over publicized, but it’s good to see something positive instead of negative coverage especially when lately it feels like the world is going to hell.
I don’t blame others for not getting up at 4am to watch the festivities as I did. To each his own. However, I chose to see this experience in a positive light and absorb all that it was worth. Cheers to Will and Kate!
Keep Smiling =)
Back when I first ventured into the raw vegan lifestyle a fellow raw vegan, Freelee, encouraged me to embrace what I was grateful for. The guidelines: choose 3 things you’re grateful for, whatever they may be, and write them down on a daily basis. I chose to post my gratefuls on my personal Facebook page.
Most days I found it to be quite easy, but on rough days I found this to be difficult. It seemed like it’d take me forever to just think of one thing to be grateful for. I still pushed through and made sure I got my “3 gratefuls” each day. And you know what? As time went on the process became easier. Not only was I able to easily come up with gratefuls at the end of the day, I also found that throughout the day I found myself saying, “I’m grateful for this….”
With so many things in life we’re trained in what we do and think. Our anger, resentment, and negativity are learned behavior. The thing is, we’ve done it so long that it’s hard to break the cycle. By focusing on the positive and finding gratefuls I was retraining myself on how to look at the world and my surroundings in a positive light. To this day I try to say or write down 3 things I’m grateful for and would definitely encourage others to do so. Try it, I think you’d be amazed at how good it makes you feel.
I can’t go through all of my changes throughout my life. We’d be here for years! But I thought I’d at least give a short back-story of my transitioning to vegetarian, then vegan, and now to low fat raw vegan (LFRV).
In June 2008 my husband and I were relaxing down by the waterfront. As expected there were people fishing off the pier. In the past I never thought anything of it. But that evening someone had caught a fish and let it lay on the ground flopping about. It disgusted me. How could anyone do that? The fish was basically drowning in air. Finally, someone came up and hooked the fish in the gills and tossed it over the edge of the pier so at least the fish was in water. Although that choice was better than being on the pier, ultimately the fish was “stuck” and probably struggling to get free while in the water. To this day thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach. I had never had the effect from an experience like that.
It was then that I thought, “Why not become a lacto/ovo vegetarian.” I never ate much meat before so it really wasn’t an issue, and had no problems with the transition. Although I had witnessed the fish incident my actions weren’t necessarily animal-cruelty driven. I didn’t see a need to meat, so I chose not to eat it. I never imagined I’d choose to become vegan. I can even quote myself as saying, “I’ll never become vegan. That’d be close to impossible to abide by the lifestyle.” Little did I know that 2 years later I’d be making the transition to veganism.
Throughout those 2 years I read up and learned about being vegetarian. Even with the knowledge, I found that it was easy to be a vegetarian, but not necessarily easy to be a HEALTHY vegetarian. Oh yeah, it’s great that you have all of the options like meatless burgers or fake meat. But they are all processed foods. In other words, they are not healthy foods. Although I wasn’t necessarily eating the healthiest diet, this time allowed me to venture into learning about cruelty-free living. It was then that I had the light bulb moment of, “Yes, I want to be meat free, but I also want my body to be animal-free, and all of my products to be cruelty-free.”
In the February 2010 I decided to venture into veganism and dabbled in a high raw vegan diet. In other words, no cooked foods. My diet consisted of nuts, fruits, and veggies. As with anything, I continued to do research which lead me to a low fat raw vegan diet focusing on 80% carbohydrates, 10% protein, and 10% fat. I maintained a LFRV lifestyle for over a month in the spring. I hadn’t felt that great in years. Unfortunately I eventually allowed cooked foods back into my diet.
So that’s where I am at right now. I’m still vegan but attempting to transition to a 100% LFRV diet.