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elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: December 24, 2008 03:26PM

Hello! A little introduction...My name is Jenny and I'll be 24 in February. My user name elää means "live" in Finnish (where part of my family is from) and I have it tattooed on the inside of my left wrist. I think of it as a reminder to live my life to the fullest, and eating raw organic food and taking control of my overall health seems like another step to achieving that goal.

I have been transitioning from a semi-vegan diet (occasional fish and cage free eggs) to eating mostly raw foods for the past 2.5 weeks and it is going really well! I can feel the difference in my body and attitude and feel very positive about my future and health.

A big reason for making this change now is because I am being laid off at the end of this month. While money and the economy are out of my control, my health is one thing I can control and take responsibility for. Before I decided to transition to raw foods, my impending unemployment made me anxious about being home all the time, having to buy cheap groceries and canceling my Y membership during a particularly brutal Minnesota winter. It seemed like a recipe for a very unhealthy couple of months+ of unemployment. Instead, transitioning to raw foods has made me excited about the time off from work to concentrate on beating unhealthy food habits/addictions and taking care of myself.

Having this extra support seems like an ideal way to keep on track during this difficult time for me. I have been reading these forums and I am very inspired by all of you.

Thank you for listening. smiling smiley

-Jenny

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: kwan ()
Date: December 24, 2008 04:14PM

Hi Jenny,
Welcome to 'the board' and I wish you a very happy and healthy Christmas and New Year!

Sharrhan:


[www.facebook.com]

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: December 24, 2008 04:30PM

It felt good to write that first post and I feel inspired to write another today.

Some victories from the past month:

--No caffeine for 2 weeks now and I only had minor withdrawals- headache,tired, flu-like symptoms for a couple of days
--Turned my mom onto green smoothies. She loves fruit but is not a veggie eater. She thought it just tasted like a banana and wants to start drinking them every day! smiling smiley
--Energy is WAY up! No crashes like I used to have, although I do take occasional naps.
--Started doing daily yoga and meditation
--Lost 11 lbs. in 1 month (now at ideal weight): 5 lbs. using calorie restriction and running/weight lifting, 6 lbs. eating mostly raw foods and moderate exercise- walking, yoga, pilates, light jogging

Of course I've also made some mistakes...

Tonight will be interesting because I am going to my boyfriend's family Christmas party and they are as Midwestern as they come. On the menu: cream cheese pickle rolls-ups (EW!), meatballs, mini pizzas, cheese and crackers, etc. None of these things I ate before the transitioning so it won't be too hard to avoid them. I will be sure to eat a big salad beforehand to avoid any sweets however.

Happy Holidays everyone! smiling smiley

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: Sundancer ()
Date: December 25, 2008 08:09AM

Welcome, and don't give up the Y membership. They have a sliding fee. I pay the minimum and feel it is well worth i. I pay $10 extra for the sauna locker room just to make it through the New England winters (I'm from California).

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: Bryan ()
Date: December 26, 2008 03:00PM

I hope you found something to eat your your boyfriend's family Christmas party.

What I do when I go to social gatherings where a meal is going to be served is to bring my small softshell cooler with fruits and veggies in it to feed myself. If there are salads or fruits that are served, I'll eat those too, but mostly I'll eat what I brought.

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: December 26, 2008 04:12PM

Hi Sharrhan, Sundancer, and Bryan. Thank you for reading and the great suggestions!

Sundancer: I already cancelled my membership at the YMCA by my work, but I will look into the YWCA by my house and see if they offer the sliding scale. I'm surprised they didn't offer that when I cancelled. :/ I also found a great yoga studio down the street from me that offers a pay-what-you-can class on Sundays. I will definitely take advantage of that.

Bryan: Luckily, there were whole mandarin oranges and cut-up veggies at my boyfriend's family Christmas, but in the future I will definitely bring some back-up food just in case. I hate feeling high maintenance but most of my friends and family are very understanding, and I don't think they would judge or be offended if I brought my own food.

I am testing my technical abilities right now to see if these pictures work. If not, I might just have to post a link to them instead instead. Maybe if it doesn't work, others more savvy can see what I did wrong?

A picture of my naughty cat, Thor. At least he leaves my produce alone for the most part. He loves lettuce A LOT and will jump on the counter to steal some when I make salads. We just bought him some cat grass that he has been munching on.




For lunch yesterday I made myself a pretty extensive salad (pictured below) with cucumbers, mustard greens (blech), grated carrots, tomato, cauliflower, broccoli, onion, raisins, olive oil, lemon juice, fresh ground garlic pepper, and sea salt. It was very filling and that was a good thing because we went to a movie and the popcorn smelled delicious. I probably will keep salads a little simpler from now on because it seemed like it was a bit much to digest.



I picked up Gabriel Cousens' book Conscious Eating from the library today and am really excited to read it. I just read and re-read his book Rainbow Green Live Cuisine and loved it. I am enthusiastically sipping (trying not to chug) a green smoothie while I write this so I could definitely use some conscious eating tips!



Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 12/28/2008 01:33AM by Bryan.

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: Jgunn ()
Date: December 26, 2008 06:02PM

its funny isnt it when you think people think you are high maintenance when putting out a bowl of fruit or veggies can take mere seconds and yet producing the whole whole traditional christmas feasts that are typical can take most of the day if not more lol smiling smiley and who? exactly is high maintenence ? tongue sticking out smiley

...Jodi, the banana eating buddhist

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: December 27, 2008 02:38PM

That is an excellent point Jodi! I think the high maintenance part is just how I grew up- "if you don't like what we're making then don't eat." It's funny how my parents always said that growing up and then as soon as I became vegan they always made me special dishes. I guess they do want me to eat after all. smiling smiley

I stumbled across the Raw Divas site a week ago and decided to try the 7 Day Detox Program. [www.therawdivas.com] The first day starts with a 24 hour fast (mine starts 6pm tonight). I have never fasted for 24 hours before (much less skipped many meals) so it will be an interesting experience. The rest of the program advocates for 100% raw, low fat and high greens, fruit mono meals, and green smoothies. It sounds good to me.

I'm looking forward to trying the fast. Luckily I do not have anything pressing to do tomorrow so I plan on reading and resting. If I have any extra energy, I might go to yoga. Is yoga okay to do while fasting?

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: Bryan ()
Date: December 28, 2008 01:34AM

elää,

I fixed the images in your post. There was a space " " character between the [ and the img that caused the image to not work.

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: Sundancer ()
Date: December 28, 2008 11:17AM

I like to do gentle yoga while I fast.

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: December 28, 2008 01:22PM

Thanks for fixing that picture post Bryan!

My inaugural fast is going extremely well so far. I slept in an extra 2 hours and started the day off with light yoga and meditation. My very high-strung cat has been keeping me busy with playtime. I think he might finally take a nap and stop bugging me so I can read. I skipped going over to a friend's house this afternoon to watch football because I knew it would be tempting to have a beer, plus I don't like football all that much. It's nice to have the apartment all to myself to just relax and not be around noisy boys drinking beer and eating pizza.

My fast technically ends at 6pm, but if it is still going this well I will stick it out until tomorrow. Otherwise, I will have a fruit mono meal at 6- either Braeburn apples, valencia oranges, or grapefruit. I know a one day fast isn't really doing much to detox, but I am more interested in learning to listen to my body and feel actual hunger.

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: December 29, 2008 03:24PM

I broke my fast at 6pm last night with an organic Braeburn apple. I sliced it and cut it into bite sized pieces so I would take time to chew and enjoy. It tasted like the most delicious apple I've ever eaten! As I chewed, I thought about Conscious Eating. Dr. Cousens says that eating should be a positive experience and one should think about the way the food was harvested, picturing the food on a tree or in the ground, being rained on, sun-shined on, etc. He also says we should think about the energy being released from the food as we chew. I tried his suggestions and it was very enjoyable. The one apple was all I was hungry for surprisingly.

I didn't sleep very well last night which has been a problem since I started transitioning to eating mostly raw foods. I went to bed around 11pm and woke up at 4am. I was wide awake for at least an hour, so I just rested and snoozed until my alarm went off (cat attacked me) at 6:50am. I remember having a dream about how I forgot my breakfast, and I stopped at a cafe on my way to work that had delicious-looking pastries. My dream self made the right choice and bought a banana and nectarine. smiling smiley At least I didn't feel tired when I finally got out of bed and played with my cat and did some light yoga and meditation. I wonder if I need less sleep when I eat so healthy. I definitely have more energy.

I'm on the Raw Diva 7 Day Detox- Day 2 (www.therawdivas.com.) I had 2 grapefruits for breakfast, and I went to the Y for some "fitness yoga" after my half day of work. It felt pretty good but I don't really like that version of yoga. When I can afford it again, I will go to the yoga studio down the street to do Iyengar yoga.

This is what I had for lunch. My kitty Thor is curious about this raw food business:


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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: December 30, 2008 03:32PM

Last night was very difficult. I went to the co-op for some salad makings and it was sample day. I was craving all of the bad sweet things. Then I went home and ate two heaping romaine salads but still kept thinking about sweets. I am trying not to eat after 6pm but I caved last night and had apple slices and sliced banana at 8. At least it cured my cravings and I ate something raw and healthy.

After dinner, I also made the mistake of looking up restaurants I could eat at in San Diego for my vacation in a couple of weeks. I was thinking "well, if it's vegan then it's okay." But I know that vegan does not mean healthy and does not mean it will make me feel good eating it. Luckily, I found this raw food 30-day trial blog and it was very inspiring: [www.stevepavlina.com]

The situation last night also reminded me of one of the last cooked vegan meals I had, Amy's organic chili. My boyfriend told me it looked like diarrhea, and you know- it did. It's funny how I've been in denial about how a lot of my "healthy" vegan food actually looked. Compared to the beautiful fruit and salads I've been eating, most vegan food looks pretty disgusting. I also felt very gassy and terrible after only 1/2 a serving of the chili. It was a good lesson.

I am having a very positive and healthy eating day today. I woke up and did yoga and meditated before work. I've been losing weight a bit too fast so I took the day off from the gym. So far I've had:

Breakfast: green smoothie with 3 bananas, 2 cups spinach, water
Lunch: stopped at a market salad bar- mixed green salad with grape tomatoes, cucumber, pea pods, strawberries, and pineapple chunks; honeydew melon and cantaloupe. It was my first dressing-free salad and it was so tasty!

I'm in Minnesota and we are getting quite a bit of snow as I type this. It cheered me up a bit today when I saw an ice sculpture of Buddha on a median of a busy street. hehe smiling smiley

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: January 01, 2009 12:34PM

Happy 2009! I am so proud of myself for making it through NYE last night and only drinking water while at the bar. After last night, I am fully convinced it is possible to live a raw lifestyle and still have a social life. I enjoyed my friends and the live music just as much as I would have if I had a beer in my hand, if not more. It was great waking up feeling good and with no regrets for harming my body.

I'm getting ready to head over to the co-op in a few minutes for some bananas for my first green smoothie of 2009. smiling smiley

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: January 02, 2009 10:46AM

Yesterday was a great day, despite a lingering headache. I had a nice walk to the co-op (it was actually warmer and sunny!), and I did some yoga and meditation in the afternoon.

It was day 5 of my Raw Divas detox program and I had:

Breakfast: green smoothie with 2 bananas, spinach
Lunch: baby spinach with tangerine slices; sliced Braeburn apple
Dinner: another green smoothie (same as breakfast); romaine wraps with raw salsa- grape tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, garlic pepper (these were messy but good)

I had quite a bit of spinach that needed to be used up, so I had plenty of that in my meals. I started feeling hungry again around 7pm, 2 hours after my dinner, so I ate a pear and a handful of organic raisins.

I woke up with a slight headache even though I slept for about 9 and 1/2 hours with only a couple interruptions during the night. I had a glass of fresh squeezed grapefruit juice for breakfast and the headache seems to have passed for now. Maybe I was dehydrated, although I drank tons of water yesterday. Hmm.

Today is a yoga day for me at the Y, and I am really looking forward to it. There is this guy that always puts his mat next to mine though, and he breathes REALLY LOUDLY! He sounds like a fire breathing dragon- kind of distracting. Maybe I will try a different side of the room. smiling smiley

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: meow ()
Date: January 02, 2009 06:36PM

Elaa your cat is adorable! He seems like a very curious and interactive little guy!

How are you liking the Raw Divas detox program so far? I admire all those green smoothies- I never could get into them. How much spinach do you put in? Maybe I was trying to put in too much too soon, b/c the spinach or greens always overpowered the bananas!

You're doing great! I hope yoga was fun and loud breather guy wasn't too annoying winking smiley

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: January 03, 2009 11:23AM

Today is my final day of the Raw Divas 7 Day Detox Program. One of the best things I learned from it is how to avoid fats. I never thought in a million years I would eat a salad without dressing or at least an avocado! I do have a couple of avocados on the shelf for the next week, but I plan to eat fats sparingly from now on.

Another great thing I learned came in a Raw Divas support email. There was a great article on compromise with cooked food. It basically said that if ever we find cooked food on our plate, we are to ask ourselves "Does this make sense? Can I find this easily in nature?" It also said that if we can't eat something without spices or sauces we should probably avoid it. Another good point was that eating raw foods is not about having a "raw foodist" label on our foreheads, and that we need to eat the way that makes sense to us.

At this point, I do not see myself going out and buying soy cheese pizza anymore or loading up on Lara bars. They no longer make sense to me as food. I want to continue eating mostly raw foods for as long as it make sense to me, and I don't see that changing anytime soon!

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: January 05, 2009 12:16PM

First day of unemployment. I feel good actually, and I owe that to how I've been taking care of myself lately. If I had still been on my old path, I would have been drinking coffee and beer, eating cheap junk, and feeling like @#$%&. Instead I am sticking with my daily meditation, yoga, walks, and high raw foods diet.

Yesterday was my first day after the Raw Divas program, and I was able to include overt fats again. I made some guacamole to dip veggies in, and I could feel it sitting heavily in my stomach for the next 4-5 hours. I ate around 3, and was not hungry for the rest of the day.

Does anyone else get that heavy feeling after eating an avocado or other fats? Any idea what that means?

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: January 06, 2009 01:28PM

I haven't been 100% raw these past couple of days but the cooked foods I've been eating are fairly healthy- oatmeal, steamed broccoli, plain bread. I'm trying to stretch my food right now since I am on a tight budget, so I'm using up the things I have, raw or not. My fruit bowls are completely empty right now and sad looking, so I will have to make a trip the co-op today anyway.

I don't really like eating the cooked foods at all. They make me feel sleepy. I tried reading last night after having a small bowl of oatmeal for dinner and only made it through one chapter before I wanted to take a nap. That doesn't happen to me when I eat high raw.

My guilty pleasure while being unemployed is definitely going to be watching Oprah (in PJ pants and slippers). This week there are a lot of health-related topics, so I am naturally drawn to those. Yesterday's episode was about Oprah's weight gain and thyroid problem. I thought it was really great that she came to the conclusion that her problem wasn't a weight issue, but an issue with balance in her life. She didn't really want the food she was using as a drug, she wanted joy, sleep, love, etc. Ooooh- and she drinks green smoothies for breakfast. smiling smiley

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: Jgunn ()
Date: January 09, 2009 05:57AM

doesnt it just tick you off that the most unprocessed of foods cost more then stuff that is handled bazillions of times .. it just does not make sense smiling smiley

...Jodi, the banana eating buddhist

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: January 09, 2009 12:31PM

Yes, Jodi it makes me extremely ticked off! I can't wait until the spring so I can grow my own veggies in my small raised garden bed. Last year I had really great yellow tomatoes and lemon basil. I was reading up on indoor growing but it seems very expensive to get all of the supplies. I don't think it would pay off for me right now.

I just finished reading the Ethics of What We Eat and it was very disturbing and eye-opening. Many of the things about slaughterhouses and organic farming was old news but I learned many new things as well. I found the chapters on sustainable fisheries very interesting and the chapter on workers rights and fair trade. I also liked the part at the end with the dumpster divers in Australia and the "freegans." I highly recommend the book.

Since college, I have always been very activist-minded and into social justice. I am just now starting to see how living a raw-vegan lifestyle is so much more in-tune with those values. It is so much more than health and nutrition to me, and I think that will make it easier to stick with in the long run.

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: January 11, 2009 03:05PM

Today is a good day! I woke up early and laid in bed listening to a Raw Vegan Radio podcast. My fruit bowls were down to just 3 oranges already, so I walked to the co-op and felt guilty about all of the money I spent. It was also exciting though, because I wandered through the bulk isles and made some new discoveries such as raw almonds, raw sunflower seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, raw goji cacao bites, etc. I was really excited. Although I have my doubts about "superfoods", I also bought some spirulina to add to my green smoothies for added protein. It is fun for me to try to incorporate and balance all of these new things into my daily menu. I tried the spirulina in my green smoothie today for lunch and the meal felt more satisfying and filling than usual.

A little side note: I am obsessed with shopping at co-op markets and supporting any kind of cooperative business. Last year I read Storefront Revolution: Food Co-ops and the Counterculture, and learned so much about the history of co-ops in the Twin Cities. A very interesting read, even for those not living in Minnesota.

After the co-op trip, I decided to make the most of my last 3 days of YMCA membership, and took a group cycle class. I was filled with energy and happy to be there through half the class, but midway through the high-intensity part, I felt ready to puke. I only had 3 oranges and 3 goji cacao bites a couple hours prior to class, and not too much water. I don't know why my stomach felt that way. I feel energized and clear-minded now, so I think it was good for me overall.

I am looking forward to a low key afternoon and evening with some light yoga and meditation later. I wish I could live every day like this!

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: meow ()
Date: January 12, 2009 06:28PM

Ooh, if those raw goji cacao bites you got are anything like the ones I get here, you are in for a treat! They are way too good!

I'm glad you are making the most of your time off and doing things you enjoy :-) It's so nice to have some time to enjoy the little things!

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: January 13, 2009 09:49AM

Good news- I was offered a wonderful job yesterday! I will be working in the development department of my local nature center. Even better news- I leave for San Diego tomorrow for 8 days to visit a friend! I will be gaining about 70 degrees. Right now it is -19 degrees in Saint Paul, MN! Thankfully I do not need to leave the house.

I am so thankful I am able to take this trip and know that I am very lucky. It will be difficult food-wise, as I will be spending my time with three meat-eaters, but I am going to a farmer's market on Thursday and will load up on goodies for the week. The thought of going to a farmer's market in January makes me giddy. I am also excited for outdoor running and walking, hiking, sunshine, and going to sit by the ocean.

I'm bringing my laptop but do not know how much updating I will do. I will for sure give an update when I get back.

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: kwan ()
Date: January 13, 2009 10:01AM

Elaa--
Have a wonderful trip and enjoy the gorgeous weather thoroughly! And congratulations on the great new job-- that's fantastic!

Sharrhan:


[www.facebook.com]

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: January 23, 2009 09:04AM

[xe1.xanga.com]

Vacation in San Diego was wonderful! My vitamin D stores are replenished and I feel clear-minded. Eating the way I do at home was a little more difficult but I did a good job loading up on produce from the farmer's market and grocery stores. The days I did not eat all raw foods, I had a cooked vegan dinner. In the words of a man at the San Diego farmer's market selling "green fix" juice, I ate 100% raw about 50% of the time- hehe. The best part of the trip was all the walking, jogging, and hiking I was able to do outdoors. Walking barefoot on the beach and watching the waves also felt very healing spiritually.

Now that I am back home, I cannot wait to get over to the co-op and load up on fruits and veggies. I haven't had a green smoothie in over a week and am craving one!

[x98.xanga.com]

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: meow ()
Date: January 23, 2009 10:41AM

It sounds like you had a great vacation! What a perfect cure for the winter blues, too. Welcome back!

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: meow ()
Date: January 31, 2009 07:36PM

LOL- I just posted the same question I asked you in my journal, without checking mine to see if you'd been there already! So I'm just editing this! I hope you have a nice, relaxing weekend, and I'm excited to start on Monday and see where this takes us :-)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/2009 07:39PM by meow.

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: February 02, 2009 07:09PM

Today was my first day doing the 811 challenge with Meow. It was a bit of a rough day unfortunately. I had trouble falling asleep last night because I napped yesterday, and I felt very tired this morning. Then I missed my bus and transfer but luckily got a ride to work and still made it on time. While I waited in the single digit weather for my ride, however, I gave in to the temptation of a soy latte. I thought I was completely over caffeine but now I realize that while I was laid off, I didn't have any temptation to drink caffeine. I got lots of sleep, stayed nice and warm in my apartment, and did not have coffee shops and office coffee around me all day. I know all about the negative effects of caffeine and soy and yet it still didn't stop me today. It is something I need to work on again.

Here is what I had today:

6:30am- banana
7:15am- 12 oz soy latte
8:15am- 6 oz red raspberries
10:30am- banana
12:45pm- 2 valencia oranges
2:30pm- small cup of coffee, granny smith apple
5:15pm- granny smith apple, green smoothie w/ dandelion greens, spirulina, 2 bananas, 1 c. frozen peaches
6:00pm- banana, kiwi

On FitDay that adds to 1,436 cal., 83% carbs, 10% fat, 7% protein.

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Re: elää= live
Posted by: elää ()
Date: February 03, 2009 10:22PM

Today was a much better day in some ways. I felt more energetic than yesterday and avoided coffee, but I had green tea and some non-raw (vegan) food at a restaurant this evening. I came home starving and had zero fruit and veggies so that is what led to the restaurant. :/ I just went to the store on Sunday so I did not plan very well at all. I stocked up at the grocery store for the rest of the week so it should be much easier to eat well the next few days.

The reason I am doing this 811 challenge with Meow is because I slid into bad habits as soon as I started my new job. I find that my energy levels stay more consistent when eating raw and that I have a higher level of concentration. My new job is so important to me and I want my performance to be at its highest possible. I have lots of improvements to make but I'm proud of how far I've come the past couple months.

Time to watch the Biggest Loser on DVR. Hooray! I'm addicted.

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