Why I discontinued the raw journey.

First- I want to say that this is MY experience- and there is a good chance that you won’t/don’t feel the same -and that’s great- because if everybody thought and acted the same- I believe it would be quite boring.

Then why write this in the first place?

Because I think since I am a healthy eating -cooking enthusiast -quite an experienced vegan for 8 years now- maybe people can learn something from my own experience- something that may help them should they decide to go raw vegan somewhen.

Because obviously it wasn’t supposed to be such a big deal for me, right?

My body didn’t need to adapt to any new foods, no new flavors, no new cooking method to learn (no cooking, right?). so what was the problem??

Well-

At first- as I wrote in this post: My 10 day raw vegan experience.-everything was great: I felt great, exercises went well. the variety of summer fruit was more than enough for me,and as an added bonus my skin looked better (I know it’s strange since it was only 10 days into the journey- but that’s what happened so) .

Everything was so smooth I decided to keep going until I will have enough.

So the days went by, and after about 20 days- I started to crave my legumes, my homemade crackers, my homemade buns,and generally- anything that is cooked or baked ….I just really had enough of having fruits and nuts all day long.

I am aware raw vegans have dehydrators and make “bread” in it, but I have a really small kitchen and no spare counter space for large things such as a dehydrator -that also costs some $$$ and I’m not yet sure I will even use.

I did try to make my crackers in a raw version- meaning baked in less than 50 degrees Celsius.

That was a disaster.

An epic disaster.

If you are wondering whether I threw the whole 3 trays batch to the compost bin- well of course not! I simply put them in the toaster for a while.

I think that was the moment I realised that my raw journey was over.

Mind you that wasn’t all-

I started slacking on my exercise routine, because I was tired all the time.

At first- I told myself that this is my body’s way of cleaning itself, but after 3 weeks I started to make excuses why I can’t go running or swimmingand that wasn’t acceptable.

I also noticed our grocery bill was up significantly, due to all the fruit consumption, and the need to buy more “interesting” fruits- since , honestly- I was getting tired of eating the same fruit day after day.

Don’t get me wrong – I love fruit!

They are my favourite snacks and I eat them all the time. I love fruit so much that I don’t bother to bake cakes -fruit keep me happy and sugar satiated.

But the thing is- suddenly -allI was eating was fruits and veggies, no lentils, no tofu, no beans, no bread, nothing.

And to top all that- I discovered I was “working” as a raw vegan: this was a full time engagement.

I needed to plan all my meals ahead , shop for more food, wash and arrange huge amounts of fruits and veggies in the fridge, make tons of salads and fruit bowls, and at the end of the day- slack on my exercises??

This wasn’t for me.

I went happily back to my chick peas, home made bread, scrambled tofu, well- everything that makes me happy and strong .

To sum the 1 month experience of going raw as a vegan, I would say -it was great for the first 2 weeks- wonderful actually- but for me- it wasn’t sustainable , and that’s fine.

Each person should do what they want, what feels right for their body- be it carnivore or vegan raw or fruitarian, pescatarian or lacto-ovo, glute with or gluten free- whatever.

The only important thing to remember-in my opinion-is do your research before, and make a conscious and mindful decision -after carefully weighing the pros and cons of every method, and perhaps consulting a dietitian, if you feel you need more info or advice.

Your health and your body are key components in your well being -take the time to learn what works for you -long term- or even short term- and what fuels your body with clean and healthy ingredients.

And it’s ok to change your mind too.

Experiment, enjoy- the cooliflower.

What do you do while you’re eating?

I was watching 2 youtube channels (health and workout, vegan cooking and profound stuff like that) and came across a few uploads of them filming themselves eating (you know, those “what I eat in a day” episodes. (by the way- personally I find it hard to believe that’s the actual way those people on youtube eat every day- or even on a typical day. too much work to maintain this kind of lifestyle. which annoys me- because young people might watch them and instead of being inspired by the rainbow of exotic nutritious fruit -acai bowl and fresh vegetable stir-fry with special ingredient sauce , they might think: “oh’-but I don’t have neither the time or the money to make these extravagant meals everyday- 2-3 times a day, might as well get a pizza delivery”. If influential youtubers were to post constant videos of them opening the fridge randomly and using whatever they have from previous supermarket order to make a great healthy nutritious meal from leftovers, a stirfry from cabbage and broccoli bought last week. or soup from the same ingredients; all in 10 minutes including dishes (meaning you don’t display each herb or condiment in a different bowl, and you don’t use 3 pans for each dish) then I have a hunch people will be more encouraged to try it out themselves- resulting in more people eating healthy, saving costs, and using groceries more wisely instead of throwing away perfectly good food).

OK- that’s enough ranting -for now anyway.

What caught my attention in those videos was the fact that those aware and health minded Youtubers, that had just spent quite a lot of time filming the whole procedure of making that extravagant meal- were eating it while wither watching YouTube, working (on their laptop), or listening to a podcast or a book.

Already told you- I am no health master or physiological expert, but I think I can safely say that eating while totally immersed in something else- means you are either very skilled in doing many things at once, or- not really interested in what you are watching or reading (in which case- why do it?)or and I suspect this is the most probable answer- you are not really interested in paying attention to your food.

I have to say I did a small survey before writing this post (that’s how dedicated I am!) and turns out the average young person (between 23-33) either chats with friends -if eating with people, or watches TV-if at home alone.

I also have to say I got the feeling that this behaviour was so obvious to the survey participants that they wondered what the purpose of the question was …

I have to say that the unanimous answer made me wonder -maybe I’m the only one making such a big deal of eating ??

Perhaps- but in that case-I can tell you the benefits of my method- and as usual- do whatever you want.

I love eating.

I love preparing food, tasting food, eating it, thinking about new dishes, trying out new recipes, everything.

I am also an introvert, meaning eating with company is unpleasant at best- and VERY UNPLEASANT- in some situations.

This is probably why- I prefer to eat alone, at home, in peace and quiet, no TV or other distractions- just me and my food.

This gives me the opportunity to taste every bite, grade myself for taste and looks of the food, and decide if this meal was a hit or a miss.

I also know how much I ate, which doesn’t mean I don’t want a second or third helping-or dessert- it just means if someone were to test me on the meal I just had- I would probably pass- whereas if I were reading or watching something while eating- I would get a flat F.

I tend to tell myself that my method comes from respecting my body-

I care what I fuel my body with-and I want to make sure it gets the best food it can get.

The truth is I just love eating and I don’t want to do anything else while I eat.

If this resonates with you- try it. no distractions- human babble or TV babble or YouTube babble.

Just you- and your carefully prepared food.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

Can one cleaning detergent do everything???

Well- almost everything.

I am talking about the basic -sits in every house -dish soap.

I will address the ecological point of view in a moment- because it is the one and only possible downside in this win-win-win situation, and I have an unconventional way of looking at it- so if you are an avid “ONLY DR BRONER FOR ME-NO MATTER THE COSTS!” kind of person- I am truly envious- but I am not, because I try to be reasonable in my expenses and sadly this brand-and other great ecological brands- cost 8 times more than the regular dish soap.

But-

First things first.

What can you do with dish soap?first-wear kitchen gloves to protect your soft and delicate hands. or just your hands. then:

#1. Oh come on- wash your dishes?

#2. make a great counter top detergent.

in a (recycled- just use any glass spray bottle from a previous soy -rice vinegar- whatever , wash and attach the spray nozzle of a previous cleaning spray. just remember to clean the nozzle too-including spraying water out of it several times before reusing it for the countertops. )

Now fill half the bottle with vinegar -and half with water. regular tap water. oh and I mean regular cheap store bought vinegar. not italian pricey cooking vinegar. I mean the one that costs around 1$ for a liter. add a few drops of dish soap-shake well- and spray only after you checked your counter top agrees with this mixture (meaning spray a little hidden spot first-if the surface melts in front of you- it’s probably not a good sign).

#3. window cleaner.

same spray. use newspaper you were going to recycle. works great. just as great as those expensive microfiber towels.

*Sorry microfiber towels manufacturers. I consider this product to be in my list of “least necessary things to buy if you are trying to save $$$”.

Sure -they are great and soft and really do a great job cleaning- but so does my son’s old school t-shirt , too small for him -so ripped to stripes and kept in a basket for cleaning stuff like the fridge door and such. the only difference is that my son’s old T-shirt is considered re-using existing stuff- whereas buying new towels is just, well, not.

#4. floor cleaner.

in your water bucket, drizzle a few drops of dish soap and a little vinegar, add water to fill said bucket-and go for it- provided, again, that your floor doesn’t resent this concoction.

$5. toilet cleaner.

this is a great one. trust me.

If you hate the thought of those harsh chemicals in the toilet detergent, plus the fact that you always need to squirt half a bottle to clean 1 toilet. than hear me on this one-

A few tiny drops of dish soap in your toilet , followed by a good scrub with the toilet brush, will get you a squeaky clean toilet+nice smell+ at ridiculous costs!

I fill the bottom of the toilet brush holder (I have a standing one- not a hanging one) with a few spoon worths of dish soap and this way the toilet brush is in a constant “on guard!” state of mind.

#6. while you’re there- tile cleaner:

Sometimes there is dust and dirt and what not-and you feel like cleaning your bathroom tiles. bucket with warm water and a tiny few drops of dish soap will do a great job.

#7. Speaking of which- wall cleaner!

Someone left strange marks on your walls while stretching and leaning with their shoes- who knows why-on your wall? don’t ever let them in again.

Oh and clean your walls with a bucket of water with a few drops of dish soap.

#8. Dish soap apparently is a great ant deterrent!

here is a link to my previous revelation concerning this.

The cheapest, greenest, most effective ant deterrent ever!

#9. try rubbing non expensive garments that got strange stains on them with water and a drop of dish soap.

this isn’t meant for expensive silk blouses and such. just your everyday t-shirt and workout clothes.

#10.I don’t have a #10, just thought it would look nice to have 10 tips instead of 9 ones, but 53 is a great age to embrace imperfection. or to acknowledge that 9 is perfect too.

Now about the ecological point of view- dish soap isn’t chemical free, but if you can find the colorless odorless type, then you prevent some of the possible damage, and if you learn to use only a few drops instead of the usual gallons of cleaning detergents that are used for all the above mentioned chores- well- that’s green too!

Of course- if you can afford to buy ecological dish soap -that is far better- but that’s not always the situation. but I believe minimizing the amount of heavy duty detergents like bleach and others is great too-

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

The tahini trick .

Tahini is the ultimate vegan staple.

Why?

because it is super nutritious, wholesome, a great source of copper (essential for iron absorption) and fiber (2 grams in 1 tbsp) and protein too (3 grams in 1 tbsp!), tasty and versatile: tahini can go savory and go sweet just as well.

*unless you are allergic to sesame seeds- ground sesame seeds are what tahini is made of, in which case- steer clear.

Here is a link to an article summing up the nutritional values of tahini.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-is-tahini#nutrition

By the way- the article warns from creating an imbalance between eating too much of omega 6 foods (such as tahini) and not enough omega 3 rich foods.

I remind you that I am not a dietitian, but I do know that omega 3 rich foods are flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts. (and of course-fish- but these are irrelevant to vegans).

Also- you need to remember tahini is very healthy-but- contains quite a lot of calories-2 innocent tbsp of raw tahini hold 178 calories(!) .that is a definite wow- to be considered when dipping your spoon into the jar.

So -keep your balance- always a good advice- whether we are are discussing omega 3 or life in general.

To the point-

The other day I was making tahini-and for some reason-or for no reason at all- I neglected to implement my all time useful tip concerning tahini making: I poured half and half: (tahini-cold water ratio) right at the beginning, thus making the stirring much more difficult.

I immediately thought I needed to warn any of you from making the same mistake, so here I am, providing another great humanitarian service.

The secret is-as with every mixture of two separate products (or people- actually) –start the mixing gradually.

What I mean is-

1.Pour all the raw tahini you need-(want?) to your designated bowl. (do prefer a bowl that can be sealed- food safety, fridge smells, (spillage probability?) etc).

2.drizzle only some of the water you need to form the tahini- not all at once.

3. like pancake batter.

4. stir and add more water, stir and add. continue until satisfactory consistency is reached.

5. what is the desired tahini consistency?

that is a matter of taste.

some like their tahini thick and pasty, some like it very watery.

Mind you Tahini cannot hold for more than a couple of days in the fridge, and it does thicken.

What can you do with tahini???seriously?

Just about drizzle it over everything.

if you want it savory- squeeze half a lemon and add salt. if you want to make a healthy tasty sweet spread- add date syrup instead. add to chickpeas and make hummus. make protein treats. use as salad dressing. use as antipasti dressing. spill on your dress.

The evolution of tahini.

from simple tahini- to green savory tahini in 2 seconds, just add some parsley and use your hand mixer to create green tahini. if you are a warrior-add some raw garlic- then stay away from the human race for the rest of the day.

Can’t help but appreciate those cheap +healthy+ yummy foods that can be bought at any supermarket.

Enjoy- the coolifower.

The processed snacks dilemma: to keep or not to keep?

When I was a young mother, I remember experienced mothers talking about how you should never prevent your children from having snacks -and since these were the happy oblivious 90’s- they meant processed snacks, not almonds and carob chocolate organic what not’s-I mean the hardcore toffee -chocolates -chips-marshmallows-popsicles made of nothing but white sugar_artificial colors: you get my drift.

The reason those oracles of delphi gave, was that children that grow up having no snacks at home, will spend the rest of their lives devouring those “forbidden fruits” (……) because they didn’t get the chance to “get used to it ” at home.

These fountains of knowledge also told frightening stories about those snack deprived “les miserables” that couldn’t keep themselves away from the snack bowls when invited to parties held at snack providing homes.

So at first, little coward that I was, I stuffed the house with processed snacks, to my children’s delight.

I mean- who doesn’t love processed sugar and monosodium glutamate??

But shortly after -I asked myself what the f*%$, and stopped listening to unsolicited unaccounted for non -scientific advice.

I believe all children are different- as all grownups, and the key is explaining+substituting, not eliminating with no warning, or far worst- the parent-children double standard: you children can’t have that, because it’s not healthy, but I (the parent) can stuff my face with whatever I feel like from the bending machine at work, because- well because I’m old enough to have a credit card.

I’ve seen this happen- sooner or later the secret soda drinker will be exposed -children today are a dangerous combination of hercule poirot and miss marple-and the soda loving parent will have to work very hard to restore his child’s trust.

So?

So- I can only say that in my experience, reading and learning the subject, is crucial for making the best decision for your household- if your kids are young. and if they are teenagers (meaning above 8- kids these days are so grown up it amazes me time and again)- I suggest calling a family meeting, and hearing everybody on this subject, then deciding:

If everybody understands the need to eat healthy for proper fueling, great- moving on to the next level- proper substitutes.

If- on the other hand- nobody is on board , or only some of the household members-

This is trickier.

You will need to find a solution that will be accepted by all parties included.

As many have acknowledged before me- a good compromise is one that all parties are equally discontented with.

I am trying to think of a compromise that would work, but since I’ve never done it at my house I can’t think of any.

I simply took all junk out and didn’t let it creep back. and I have to tell you that all of my 3 kids eat super healthy and to the best of my knowledge (………….) don’t binge on junk now that they are grown up, out of the house (2/3 of them), and have their own credit card for the bending machine.

By the way- I grew up with no junk food either- and don’t see the need to have these around, though I really can’t say what would have happened if a bag of chips sat in front of me, open and inviting, for an entire evening.

I think keeping junk food available at home is a mistake, since this is addictive food -in my opinion- apparently not only in my opinion- read in the link :

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-food-addiction-works

I know some people can do one or two chips a day , but many can’t.

My opinion is that finding great satiating healthy substitutes can help immensely with feeling deprived- the #1 trigger to falling off the wagon to munching and crunching.

So?

So-here are my top suggestions for raw vegan snacks -cheap +healthy!

#1. Fruits!

Obviously.

Designed by nature to keep us happy and healthy, fresh in season fruit is cheap, available, nutritious and satiating.

Freeze your grapes in summer time, (pre-wash please- washing after freezing is not acceptable), and enjoy a tasty healthy crunchy snack.

#2: That’s nuts!

As you may see- the almonds are soaking in water, that’s because apparently it enhances the nutritional value of said almonds.

Only thing to remember about nuts, is their high caloric value, due to their high fat percentage.I count them before eating, and try not to exceed 10 almonds- walnuts a day.

#3.Dried fruit.

same caveat as nuts ( don’t over eat), only this time it’s high sugar content.

#4.Healthy raw chocolate balls.yummy!!

Many options on line, I just mixed whatever I fancied, and the results were so good, the non vegans in my house hold are snacking on them non stop.

I mixed peanut butter, date spread ( home made), ground steel cut oats, ( used the Vitamix), and raw cacao powder.I really can’t give measures since I just mixed and tasted oh and cinnamon!

Roll with wet hands ( great trick in general), and store in freezer, in a container.

As you can see, there are plenty of alternatives to junk treats, no need to feel deprived.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

The story we tell ourselves.

Yesterday I went for my usual run, in my usual trail, only to realize the trail was blocked due to constructions work.

I admit-

My first instinct was to head back home and do some bands and free weights workout.

I know what I sound like.

But that’s the truth

Then I looked my sneakers in the eye(s) and said :”no. friggin. way.”

Road construction will not make me give up my morning run.

So I changed my route, and started running into the wheat fields that surround the small village I live in.

*Just in case you get all excited and think I am living the dream, do remember what John Lennon said: “beware of making your dreams come true”.

You can read here why : How I stopped complaining.

I ended up running for almost an hour, and enjoying every minute of it.

So?

So I learned a valuable lesson from that road construction incident.

Whenever something bad happens, instead of fretting about it, I can tell myself “this is for the best, now I can do that other thing I wanted to do!”

This is a mechanism my brain developed, once it finally realized I have no ability to deal with the actual implications of bad things happening to me -or to my family.

I simply tell myself a different story from the original written story my perception organized for me.

The same objective situation can extract two (even three) different stories I tell myself- depending on the mood I’m in, and as a direct result- a different approach I’ll take- and different ending to the story.

For many years I believed my actions were the key to my happiness- but I ignored the power of my own story telling – which can turn a miserable situation into a success story- and vice versa.

I can tell you that once I realized I have no patience for work colleagues, every meeting gave me scratches and people’s attitude towards the cases they needed to handle was becoming an imminent danger to the walls of my office (yes, possible head clashing with said walls), I realized I will not climb up the office ladder.

As every management course teaches us- pleasant people climb up the office ladder faster than efficient hard working (thus bitter) workers.

To say that I wasn’t pleasant would be the understatement of the universe.

At that point there were 2 stories I could tell myself:

#1: “this is unfair! all the hard work I put and the system won’t change! people need to learn how to work! blah blah yada yada!!”

#2: “this is such a good opportunity to pack my plants and my fish tank and skedaddle. thank myself for almost 30 years of perseverance and early retirement plans and pension plans , and most importantly thank myself for learning to become frugal and live on a budget”.

contemplating the 2 possible stories, I think you can see why I chose to tell myself the latter,

I promised myself when I reached 50 that I will not spend my life being spiteful and bitter. (haven’t fully succeeded yet. working progress).

People from work who try to call me and start a conversation about dirty office politics get a cold shoulder, and I still can’t stand it- I block their number.

The pool is closed due to something? I’ll go running.

The online supermarket delivered only one (1) eggplant instead of a kilo? I’ll make tomato sauce from ripe tomatoes , garlic and diced onions, add paprika, pepper and cumin, let simmer and add diced one (1) eggplant to the sauce, let simmer for 45 minutes -even more if needed, and add to stuffed bell peppers , or whatever. the new story? oh great! one eggplant! I’ve been wanting to try tomato sauce -eggplant forever!

Be creative. your wellbeing can thrive on a good story.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

53 and writing a diary???

Well, yes.

I mean- not exactly- I will turn 53 in 2 months , so actually it’s 52.10 and writing in my diary- on a daily basis.

Whatever for?

For my peace of mind, that’s what for.

It started out as an innocent journal of daily sleep+ workouts+ spendings , and after a few days became my go-to when upset or stressed.

Or in need of somewhere to “scream” foul words of various kinds.

Not proud of it- but it happens, judge if you want, I don’t care. when I get upset I am not a pleasant person- and that is the understatement of the universe- and better the diary take my choice of curses than actual people.

You would think that age would calm me down or something.

Well, it didn’t , nor being an early retiree.

I already told you, that in my opinion- if you have unresolved issues with yourself (or with anyone else close to you for that matter), retiring will not magically take care of that.

Sure-one major stressor won’t be there anymore-but you- and your thoughts- kind of tend to stick around even when you say “so long suckers!” at your farewell party.

So?

So I deal with it.

Nothing else to do.

I find that exercising, listening to music. cleaning. cooking and gardening help, a lot, but from time to time- the noise, the dirt, the fact that things aren’t done the way I want them – it adds up.

And when they do- I write everything in my diary.

not only the bad language, also what got me upset, the root of the problem as I see it.

The mere act of sitting down to write calms me down, taking everything out on paper makes it even more bearable, and by the time I finish writing -I can many times call it a day.

But many times not- and that’s OK too.

The thing is- I like to look back at my entries and reflect on what upset me a month, 6 months, or a year ago, and try to learn from it.

learn what?

Learn that many times what seems like the end of the world, is actually not that horrible in retrospect, learn that I still have a problem with X or Y, so it must be time to address it properly, since it’s not taking care of itself, evidently, and generally reflect on my wellbeing through the years.

Some people may have an extraordinary memory and see clearly things that happened to them a few years ago, I ‘m not one of those.

On the contrary. many times I delete unnecessary information from my memory-or store it in the subconscious- if you ask Freud, and when I want to reflect- it becomes tricky -since I can’t recall the nuances.

But as I told you- I write every day, half a page only- (I read somewhere that Herman Melville, when writing “Moby Dick” wrote only a page a day, but kept writing- even if he had nothing to write-sort of a mind exercise).

As soon as I wake up I write how many hours of sleep I got, and describe the overall quality of my sleep, if I had notable dreams – I write then down too, then I write what kind of exercise I did, and the quality of it , what I did that day (otherwise I might thing I am a total lazy disgrace) , then I write how much money I spent- if I spent any- I do have a bank app, and I use it frequently-but writing down the expense and the reason behind it helps get things in order-and helps me become more accountable.

Many times I find myself writing self encouragement phrases , or tacky Hallmark quotes -they seem to cheer me up- even if it happens because I laugh at myself for writing them down.

I think by now you can probably see that I have this illusion that putting things in order will keep my world from falling apart .

By the way- many times it does, so don’t be too quick to dismiss this, plus- What can be more fun than writing about yourselves?

Try it- you might actually like it.

The cooliflower,

My 10 day raw vegan experience.

*disclaimer: I am not a certified anything, not a dietitian, not a therapist, nor intend to give any valid legal advice. do your own research on anything anyone tells you-my own advice included.consult with whoever you need-want to before embarking on any new dietary journey. this is your health we are discussing, nothing more important than that.

Summer is here, and my body (and soul, yes) are reacting .

I mean acting up.

heaviness, fatigue, mood swings, irritability-the works.

Oh- and to top that- every year around my veganiversary- (july 2013 saw Gary Yourofsky’s film, and BAM) I get these strange cravings for pizza and such , and just to be clear here-I do not mean vegan pizza with substitute mozzarella, but the real deal that tastes real and happens to be made from real cow’s milk.

So this year I decided I need to “go back to basics” so to speak, and restart my body on the vegan journey from a slightly different point of view: the raw version.

I have never tried the raw version since I believe legumes -as in beans and lentils- are the foundation of every good protein in our world, and a day does not go by without at least 1 serving of some sort of legume in at least one of my meals.

So? so no way you can eat these red beans sans cooking in boiling water for at least an hour- meaning cooking in above 118 Fahrenheit- meaning no way it is considered raw.

And what about soups, and stews? and tofu, and a lot of other staples I use daily, which I can’t think of right now and might not exist at all, but in the form of fear of change?

You can all see why summer was the best choice of time for me to try out raw veganism, since no need for soups and stews, and the fruit variety is simply amazing, so 10 days ago I decided to give it a go.

I made a point of not reading on-line anything before -so I don’t invent changes in my body I read about somewhere and my mind decided it must have happened to me too: to this I can only recall the funniest book ever written- in my opinion- “3 men in a boat” by Jerome k. Jerome.

The 3 go on the journey after sitting one evening, smoking and discussing various illnesses they suppose they suffer from (any kind of illness they ever read or hear of- including womb spasms and such) when they finally conclude they all suffer from an acute case of “overworking”.

*If- by any chance- you haven’t read it- this is a total must, it is hilarious, although written in the 19th century, english dry humor at its glory.

So:

So here is my report on the super important subject of trying out raw veganism -pros & cons:

*1: what did I eat??

I actually ate quite well.

Not only the variety of summer fruit- melons, watermelons, nectarines, grapes, what not-

But also a lot of treats I didn’t implement into my diet before- who knows why:

Chia pudding with home-made date spread , grapes and nectarines, and raw almonds too.

Wow- this is something.

very filling, super nutritious : 2 tbsp of chia, soaked in about 0.6 cup of water overnight in the fridge, I added some soy milk and the date spread (1 tbsp )in the morning before going out for my run, when I came back- it was solid again-then added the fruit.

The nutritional value? checked it: 2 tbsp of chia give you 10 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, omega 3, magnesium and other minerals- all for 138 calories, now add the fruit(depending on your choice) and the date spread ( made of approximately 2 medjool dates) (1 gram of protein and 3 grams of fiber) and some soy milk- you have a very powerful breakfast/snack .

By the way- the date spread is the easiest thing ever- soak pitted medjool dates in warm water for a few hours, then mash the whole thing in a hand blender (with the soaking water! )- keeps in freezer, and the best thing is that it doesn’t freeze completely- it stays in a spreadable consistency- so you can make ahead and take out as much as you need- struggle free!

*I also enjoyed sprouted lentils in my salads- a great way to add a lot of fresh raw healthy protein -plus they are actually yummy!

In summer- sprouting takes only 24 hours, (lentils -haven’t tried sprouting beans), and what can be more fun than watching new life germinate from your colander?

Another great addition to my salads were seaweed. highly nutritious +interesting flavor!I didn’t buy anything special- took a clean pair of kitchen scissors, and cut sushi nori seaweed sold quite cheaply here.

*Another great thing I used is raw vegan protein powder I got on iHerb.

* I enclosed a picture just for full detail purpose, I have no shares or other interests in the company or in iHerb. buy whatever. or don’t- that’s fine too.

Used half a scoop -a full scoop is wayyyy too sweet for my taste, plus- really no need to go overboard with these in my opinion.

So -to sum this subject up- I was not hungry- and this is an understatement.

#2: energy levels?general feeling?

Since I was eating properly -no problems with training.

but- and that is a major problem to be considered before going raw –

my stomach had a really hard time adjusting to a diet relying only on raw fiber full ingredients .

It acted up, I was bloated and everything that goes along with that, and to say that it wasn’t fun is understating.

I am aware that any dietary change is something that needs a period of body adjustment, and I can say that as the days rolled, the bloating lessened, but- beware and don’t be surprised of it happens to you.

Fiber is great for the body, but even a long time vegan like me, evidently needs to adjust to the raw method.

*3:weight loss? glowing skin? any other miracles?

As to weight loss- since I ate a good amount of calories from the abundance of fruit and veggies and nuts and tahini and peanut butter and all that- I saw little to no change (I don’t weigh myself ;I see no need -I feel when I get heavier -my running becomes different ).

as to glowing skin- this one actually did happen-

I was looking in the mirror at the pool showers a few days ago, and thought to myself- “wow- my skin looks good! what happened?”-when I got home I figured out the only change was my diet- and then I read that people do swear that this is one of the benefits of going raw. I have to say it sounds a bit strange to me that it took only a week for the glowing effect- but since this is the only change I made- this is the only logical conclusion I could make.

Other than the supposed skin glow- no miracles.(yet?)

#4: Surprising facts I learned:

Turns out I wasn’t 100% raw, since I used 1/3 cup of soy milk- and soy milk is heated while processed , so there you go.

Oh- and my 1 cup of black coffee first thing in the morning? also a no no.

But- on the bright side- the sites I (conveniently) read stated that to be called honorably raw you only need to consume 75% of your diet from raw ingredients, and as far as I see it- I exceeded those 75% by far.

So I get to keep my headline and this post. no fear.

So?

So since starting, I read that some doctors believe that raw vegan can be done only for short periods of time, since the beans and legumes are a thing in their opinion too, but others say its fine to go on for years.

Here is a link to an article I read addressing the pros and cons of going raw vegan.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/raw-vegan-diet

I can say I feel great so far, except for the bloating -which is less disturbing now -after 10 days- compared to last week, but still is an issue, other than that- all is great.

But -as I said- going raw in summer time is just about the easiest thing ever- the problem in my opinion starts come autumn- and gets worse in winter time.

For the meantime- the pizza craving is long gone, which is a great plus, so I’ll keep going until I’ve had enough.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.

3 great benefits of stress cleaning!

Oh come on, I know not getting stressed to begin with is the best way to handle stress. it’s just not happening for me.

What does work- and like a charm too- is stress cleaning.

Whenever I go down that rabbit hole of stressful thoughts or beurocratic mess I need to handle, I feel an urge to do something. as in something active. let’s face it- I feel an urge to get as close as I can to the fridge.

I am aware this is not the smartest move on earth, so if I’m conscious, I grab a broom and start sweeping.

I have to admit I like cleaning.

I know many people don’t, what can I say- its healthy, free, environmental, frugal and the end result is a clean space , what’s not to like?

A few weeks ago, two of my long time friends came to visit, and one of them joked that her mother and I were so much alike- we both can’t deal with people visiting and have to “do something” while everyone is talking.

I immediately liked her mother.

I feel awkward in any kind of social gathering, even if the participants are two of my good friends, I have no idea why, I’d rather talk to them on the phone- although now that I think about it- the social part of the conversation- where they chat about work and men and stuff like that- is hard for me to relate just the same, the only difference is that when we talk on the phone- I can continue doing things while I listen to them, until they get tired of the chit chat and get to what’s really bothering them, then I sit down and listen whole-heartedly and try to help -if I can.

You might wonder why I continue to be friends with people I can’t sit with and enjoy the conversation , well the answer is that I have 4 friends, 3 go more than 20 years with me, and the fourth about 8, and we had each other’s backs in sickness and in health, in marriages and divorces, in the joy- and anxiety of bringing children into this mess of a world, and I already understand that there is no such thing as a “perfect relationship”.

Not with partners, not with family , and not with friends.

So I do my best to avoid social gatherings, and when there is no way to avoid the situation- immediately afterwards- I stress clean.

Benefit #1: obviously: clean and tidy space!

No need to elaborate on this one, but- I want to emphasize the #1 trick I learned through the years and saves me a lot of time and effort- and I mean a lot(!):

The less stuff (knick-knacks) you have lying around everywhere- the less time you spend cleaning.

And please don’t use the cowardly method I used- meaning stuffing everything in my drawers and cupboards and closets- basically wherever is hidden from the eye-only to have the closet’s content collapse on me as soon as I dare open it.

*Not to mention no way I could find anything I needed, each search party took 3-4 weeks to find wrapping paper or what not.

Deciding what gets recycled and what fortunate piece of stuff gets to stay at your house is definitely nothing to joke about.

Mary Kondo made a career based on our difficulty to let go of stuff, and rightfully so.

If you love being surrounded by your stuff- that’s great- just remember cleaning will be much more difficult .

Benefit #2: instead of stress eating- you get your body moving and your heart pumping.

Obviously- again -always better to get your body moving instead of only working your right arm to open and close the fridge.

Also- whenever I stress eat- it’s the first sweet carb I see lying around- no time for smart food choices or anything of the sort. which is a continuous pity, since Everything is definitely connected.

Benefit #3: AKA-The psychological effect:

Stress gets your adrenaline going. that’s our bodies’ way of dealing with what it considers as danger.

Adrenaline means the urge to do something.

For me- this means -either getting up and going to the fridge, or grabbing a cleaning cloth /broom.

The best option would of course be to sit and meditate through this, but I found out that my body just can’t sit through a stressful situation. the physiological urge is to move.

Now- since I am already stressed- why add future remorse(thus more stress) by devouring the fridge like there is no tomorrow? because often times- tomorrow does come, and the implications of stress eating tag along as well. I find it hard to sleep well, my workout is compromised, hence- even more stress- and catch 22 right in front of me.

On the other hand-

Stress cleaning has the exact opposite effect-

I find that tidying and cleaning helps me get my thoughts in order, as well as my house, thus alleviating the current stressful situation- and helping you create a comfortable space for you to rest and contemplate the best course of action to be taken to deal with the stress and allowing for some relaxed sleep knowing your to do list has one less thing on it.

Hope this works for you- the cooliflower.

“Go get a cold shower!”

I already told you a long time ago, that come spring, I brace myself and start showering with cold water.

Now- hold the clapping-

summers are H O T where I live, spring is almost non existent -sadly- and we do have solar panels on our roof, meaning from april-november we don’t use the electric water boiler.

But-

The water faucet takes a minute to adjust itself- though turned all the way to the “hot” side, meaning for the first minute or so- you either waste precious water-or deal with cold water splashing right at you.

I am only half brave- maybe when I grow up I’ll be braver, and start showering at the instant water come out of the faucet all year round– but for the time being- I only do it from april-november.

3 questions come to mind:

1.Why do it in the first place???

2.How do I brace myself?

3.And why should this interest you?

Ok-

#1: why do I shower in cold water?

Why not wait a minute and shower comfortably with soothing hot water??

Because I can’t stand waisting water- I collect rain water to water my garden, even AC water (my partner and son use the AC frequently so he installed an extention that allowes the AC drip to water some plants. (at least that).

But aside from my aversion towards water waist-

I believe that Seneca was right:

Here is a link to a very understandable explanation of the philosophy behing taking cold showers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZHcU95y1kM&ab_channel=Einzelg%C3%A4nger

I truly believe that avoiding hardships in life is the best way to achieve misery, because as I grow older (and wiser?) I understand that life holds all kinds of experiences for us- pleasant -and unpleasant .

There is no way to avoid the unpleasant situations in life- be it grief, sadness, health problems , children or spouse issues, self pity and economic issues.

Yes- you can -and should- do your best to manage your life in such a way that will minimise the impact of these hardships:

*You can lead a healthy life style- eat properly, rest well, avoid self destructing habits and exercise regularly.

*You can save at least 1/3 of your income every month -starting at young age- and invest the money after researching all your options in depth.

*You can try to relax and do things you enjoy that have an extra benefit of mind expanding -as opposed to brain numbing activities.

* You can be organised and efficient- thus minimising stressful situations and increasing the chances of successful results.

*You can try to workout a fair solution comcerning differences in opinion with your spouse-children- boss- in due time -not in the middle of a quarrel, when the chances of resolving the issue are slim to nothing, and not the day after-when many times a minor issue becomes enormous- but in advance- if you realise that something you want/are about to do might be problematic or un-acceptable with the other side-talk it over before it becomes a real issue and deteriorates into a quarrel.

All these are great-

But, Tom Hanks has taught us that:”life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”, so you need to be prepared for all that you cannot prepare for.

(Note to self- watch “Forrest Gump” again).( another note to self: watched it again.some things are better left as a sweet memory).

And how, you may wonder, do you prepare for what you cannot prepare for?

That’s easy-

You become a stoic.

You embrace and prepare for the worst outcome possible, and get accustomed to the possibility it will occur.

You become familiar with your reaction towards that worst case scenario.

you breathe deeply.

Then take another deep breath.

You understand that even if- you can make it.

You can and you will go through it.

Then you go have a cold shower, remembering to breathe deeply as soon as the cold water splashes you.

#2. How do I brace myself? as I just said- I breathe deeply . and just do it. like jumping to the pool. no use in putting toe after toe and lingering and shouting and make a big deal out of everything.

I actually can’t stand the fact that in 99% of movies showing teenagers jumping to the pool-beach, the boys jump right in, and the girls shout and refuse and run away until one of those menly men grabs them and throws them into the water.

I must admit I haven’t seen a movie in a long time -hopefully things have changed and now the girls are throwing the boys in.

#3. Why should my cold shower ritual interest you?

Good question.

I hope it did.

Enjoy- the cooliflower.