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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stuff Raw Foodists Like #6: Brainstorming Outlets for Your Newfound Energy

I started going to the gym a few months ago, did my first 3k since college, and I am back to playing badminton! I have also gone on whole day training seminars and still feel I can go on even when my companions feel like going home.

I love the feeling of boundless energy, even when the day is about to end!

And since I don't have household help, I love that I still have energy to do all my chores when I get back home.

I get super motivated at the gym now because of the comments of the gym instructors - that I can push myself harder, "malakas ka kasi eh.", "after the first rep go heavier, then after that rep go heavier." Sometimes I look at the weight I'm being asked to lift, and in my head I'm going, "I can't lift this much!" but I do it anyway and surprise myself. Of course if you are just starting with weights, don't copy me. Please know that I started weights since I discovered I had scoliosis, which was in my preteens. Thing is, I have plateaued in college and never lifted anything heavier than what I was doing back then until now. Eating raw, living food is making such a huge difference in my energy levels.

How has it worked in yours?


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stuff Raw Foodists Like #5: Bye-bye dry, bloodshot eyes!

Three years ago, I was living in the States, studying and working at the same time. I lived on convenience vegetarian food (lots of soy and microwaving involved) and white bread. Once in a while I'd cook, but on lazy days, I would just opt for vegan bacon, vegan hotdogs, vegan ice cream, vegan burritos - everything junk vegan you could think of!

I thought I was healthy. I was a regular exerciser, I took vitamins. I belonged to a badminton club, and I wanted to be active in the outdoorsy community in Seattle.

One thing I did notice was that I would usually come home from work/school with bloodshot eyes. Even though I used artificial tears (P300 for a bottle that lasts a month) to keep my eyes lubricated (I was told that my eyes were going to be perenially dry after LASIK), it wasn't enough to keep the blood vessels in my eyes from reddening by four pm. I even got an anonymous text from someone who accused me of taking drugs!  

When I came back to the Philippines, I started preparing home-cooked vegetarian food more and more. I stopped taking "fake" food, and the redness stopped. My eyes were still dry though.

This all changed when I started eating fresh, raw, organic fruits and vegetables. Aside from the dryness in my eyes disappearing, I was considerably less thirsty. Best of all, my insomnia** disappeared. Amazing!

I still have a teeny bottle of artificial tears in my kikay kit just in case, but so far, I haven't had any reason to use it except for the two months it took to get used to the smog in Manila. Those days, I used the artificial tears thrice a day! 

What is in raw, organic fruits and vegetables that helped? The lutein and zeaxanthin that are found in a variety of vegetables!

Lutein is a naturally occuring substance in the retina of your eyes. Prolonged intake of preserved foods such as the convenience vegan foods I "enjoyed" abroad, and not eating enough fresh vegetables, prevented me from replenishing the lutein my eyes badly needed. The salt from chips, french fries, and the typical Filipino diet exacerbated my dry eyes. 

Zeaxanthin is also found in our retinas, but they are found in a variety of vegetables and fruit as well. 

Thanks to naturally-produced lutein and zeaxanthin in raw fruits and veggies, and lessened artificial salt intake, I am nearing my first anniversary without dry eyes! All these without supplements too!

*I am not a doctor. I am not a food nutritionist. I don't claim to have all the answers to everyone's ailments. I simply have found raw foods to be helpful to me in improving my health and well-being. If you do try raw foods, consult a doctor and/or nutritionist. 

**Some raw foodists find that they have so much energy after adopting a raw food lifestyle, they don't need much sleep anymore. I believe that this is different from insomnia. Insomnia sufferers want to sleep, but can't, even if they want to. As a result, they are irritable the following morning, and tend to overeat, since their bodies tell them they need to compensate for the lack of rest. Raw foodists who have an abundance of energy are able to survive on less hours of sleep and still perform well, and are less prone to overeat. Not all raw foodists have completely defeated insomnia though! Not everything raw is healthy, just like not everything vegan/vegetarian is healthy. But that is a different post altogether :D


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Aloe Vera!

Aloe vera is a wonderful ingredient added to organic shampoos! Some non-organic shampoos claim they have it in their ingredients too.

I had a classmate from Tacoma who kept a pot of aloe vera in her house to apply to insect bites and cuts and swore by it!

And guess, what? You know what's coming, right?
You got it!
Some raw foodists love to eat aloe vera too! (As you can see by the cuts we've made!)

I got my pot a while back. Wish I took a picture then, because you'd see how emaciated it looked. And compare it with how it looks now-so much healthier! I fed it some coffee grinds from the nearest hip coffee house*... and a few weeks later, voila! The leaves turned all succulent!

These are perfect for putting in smoothies!

I use a sharp knife to separate the green outer covering from its slimy insides and then scrape the insides off into a bowl or my blender and blend it with some leafy greens and fruit. (Although it's better to use the bowl first to make sure no green prickly parts get included in the smoothie mix!)

*Sosyal ng aloe vera ko, di ba? Even I don't drink signature coffee or any kind of coffee for that matter, but my plants and the worms in my garden do. By the way, I'm not judging you for drinking overpriced coffee. I don't even judge you for drinking coffee, period. I drank it all the time in college. I also lived in Seattle, where people really loved coffee for the coffee, and not so much for the coffee house experience. So my first two years there, I drank it. But I don't drink it anymore because it's bad for my throat. Your throat is probably much healthier than mine. And I'm pretty sure you find my other purchases outrageous too. So stop getting all defensive! :P

When you visit a coffee house, just ask for the grinds - these are just discards the coffee house will gladly give away for free. I guess if you're not a coffee drinker like me you can always buy coffee or cookies for others so that they don't brand you as that crazy lady who eats only raw organic veggies and comes to our coffee house to mooch our coffee grinds!

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