Q: Where do you get your protein?
A: This is the most common question most vegans are asked. Did you ever stop to think where the cow you’re eating gets its protein? Or how about a horse or even a gorilla? All three are plant eaters and all three are large, strong animals. However, we never question where their protein comes from. It comes from the plants they eat. Same with humans who are eating a plant based diet. We get our protein from fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and grains and legumes for those who eat those too.
We get our protein from amino acids in the plants and our bodies break down those amino acids into the proteins we need.
Here are two great articles if you’d like to read more in depth explanations on plant eaters and protein:
I personally, have been following a raw, plant based diet since March of 2009. I’ve had my blood tested almost every year since and I’ve never had an issue with my protein levels.
Q: Do you take supplements?
A: Yes, I take Vitamin B 12, Vitamin D, and Iodine, three very essential nutrients that can be an issue on any diet, whether you eat meat or not. Vitamin D is a simple blood test. Vitamin B 12 can be tested by doing a uMMA test. If you ask your doctor for this test, make sure it’s the urinary methylmalonic acid test and not a standard blood test. The standard blood tests for vitamin B 12 are rarely accurate. If your doctor won’t give you a uMMA test, you can get your own here: http://www.lifeextension.com/vitamins-supplements/ItemLC716365/Urinary-Methylmalonic-Acid-MMA-Blood-Test
Iodine however, is a tricky nutrient that needs special testing and the results can often be misleading, like mine were, in the beginning stages of testing. I highly recommend working with an iodine expert like Don Bennett at www.health101.org to get your iodine levels sorted out correctly. The process isn’t always easy but it’s definitely worth it since most people are seriously lacking in this essential nutrient.
I also supplement with a barley grass juice powder product called Daily Green Boost, which can be found here: http://www.dailygreenboost.com
I take 2 heaping tablespoons twice a day to make sure I’m getting plenty of nutrients that may not be as abundant in the produce grown in today’s depleted soils.
← In addition, I supplement with Nutricology Kingchlorella ←
There are many benefits of chlorella:
It’s a powerful detoxifier of radiation exposure, heavy metal poisoning as well as chemical toxicity from various pesticides, herbicides, fungicides etc.
Boosts your immune system
Great for your eyes
Keeps joints flexible and pain free
Rebuilds nerve tissue
Contains a wide variety of important nutrients
Improves mental clarity
Is the highest source of chlorophyll and is great for the blood and your liver
It’s very important that you buy a quality source of chlorella since many are contaminated from China, Taiwan and Japan.
And finally, it’s really crucial that you get your own tests done to find out what your body needs, and that you not look at what I’m taking and just start self supplementing, which can be especially dangerous with nutrients like Vitamin D and iodine, which can have adverse affects.
Q: Can I drink coffee on this diet?
A: It’s all really subjective. You can do anything you want, since there’s no one to police you on the matter. However, there are a couple things I can say about coffee. Most people drink it, and other stimulating beverages, for the awake, alert feeling it gives them to keep them going throughout the day. I used to be one of those people who needed coffee. My husband even more so. He used to save a cup of yesterday’s coffee to microwave so he’d have something to drink while a fresh pot was being brewed first thing in the morning. He also scheduled all his daily meetings around the local Starbucks locations so he could easily refill throughout the day.
Now, he has more energy without coffee on a plant based diet than he ever did drinking several pots of coffee a day. We both do. We wake up refreshed, energized and ready to go and no longer need that additional stimulation.
Coffee is very acidic and creates an acidic body.
Caffeine in coffee is very taxing on your system, especially your adrenal glands. It’s best to wean yourself off of coffee with a coffee substitute that gives you the flavor and the warmth for those cold days, without the destructive side effects.
Try my recipe for a sweet, delicious coffee alternative here: Dreamy Coco Date “Latte” Recipe
Caffeine free herbal teas can be a great substitute as well. Here are some coffee alternatives below. Please note, those marked with ( * ) may contain gluten.
Q: Can I drink alcohol?
A: The same principals apply to this question as last one about coffee. There is no rule other than, the less junk and destructive substances you put in your body, the better you will feel, function and perform, and you will be achieve great health.
Alcohol is very acidic on your system, it impairs your judgement and deadens, or numbs, your feelings. If you want to feel alive, in control, energetic and healthy, I would limit or omit alcoholic consumption altogether. The longer you go without it, the less you will feel like having it. If you go without it for a while and then have it, you may find the taste to be off putting anyway. You may also find your body has a more severe reaction upon consumption leaving you with more unpleasant feelings than pleasant.
Ask yourself how healthy you want to be. If allowing stimulants and sedative effects, try eating a clean, plant based diet for energy and practicing meditation and yoga for it’s balancing, calming effects and experience the greatest high you’ve ever felt in your life!
Q: Isn’t that too much sugar from from eating so much fruit? Won’t I get diabetes?
A: Fruit sugar is not the same as refined, processed sugar. The sugar in fruit is easily digestible and your body knows exactly what to do with it once consumed. Processed sugar on the other hand, is completely foreign to the body and toxic. Like alcohol and coffee, it’s very acidic on your system and can, and does, wreak havoc in many, many ways.
In addition, diabetes actually comes from consuming too much fat, NOT sugar. This is something that’s been known since the early 1920’s but very few doctors are taught this information. Every single cell in the human body feeds on glucose. That’s where we get our fuel. The body breaks down everything you eat, no matter what it is, into sugar or glucose which then feeds your cells. (Think of an IV drip when you’re in the hospital and can’t eat. It’s the glucose in the drip that helps keep you alive.) When you consume too much fat, say more than 10%-20% of your total daily calories, your blood becomes very thick. All that fat in your blood then coats your cells like a shield and prevents insulin from transporting the necessary sugars into your cells. When this happens, your blood sugar spikes and if you continue this pattern long enough, which most people do, you see major complications arise like yeast, candida, diabetes, and other blood-sugar metabolic disorders.
If you ate nothing but fruit all day long, for weeks on end, you’d likely see your blood sugar be more balanced than ever. Provided you didn’t start eating this way on the heals of an all fat diet.
I find as long as I keep my fat intake within a healthy range, I never notice any blood sugar issues. My levels are balanced all day long. I never get crazy highs or lows from eating so much fruit. I stay very balanced.
Check out a couple of my friends who have Type 1 diabetes and see how well they do on a high fruit diet:
Robby Barbaro at www.mindfuldiabetc.com
Mastering Diabetes at http://www.masteringdiabetes.org/fruit-for-diabetes/
Q: Don’t you ever miss eating a burger or pizza?
A: One of the things I love about plant based eating, including a raw food diet, is that you can pretty much mimic every food with a delicious, often better tasting, plant based alternative. People think vegans are so deprived, that all we eat is celery, carrot sticks and rice cakes, which couldn’t be further from the truth. We enjoy an enormous variety of food, it’s incredible, it’s almost unthinkable.
In fact, there are so many different varieties of fruits and vegetables alone, we’ll never be able to try all of them in our lifetime. Did you know there are over 1,000 different varieties of bananas, more than 2,000 varieties of peaches, more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes, 7,500 varieties of apples, and over 10,000 varieties of tomatoes, and wine grapes alone?! Worldwide, there are more than 120,000 varieties of rice, granted only 40,000 of them are probably worth trying.
I’m sure you get my point. Plus, there are unlimited recipes and meal ideas, many that haven’t even been born yet. There is no lack with a plant based diet, only lack of thinking for those who aren’t fully aware of the options.
With more and more people adopting plant based diets, more restaurants and stores are preparing plant based meal options. It’s easier than ever to find healthy restaurants, especially in big cities. And, there are an abundance of free recipes all over the internet from simple to extremely complex depending on your taste and desires.
There are more plant based recipe books reaching the top selling book spots than ever before. So they won’t be hard to find with a little searching. Below are some resources for free recipes:
Cooked Food Recipes
Q: What books do you recommend reading for more information?
A: There are several. Here are my recommendations for a raw food lifestyle:
And here are my book recommendations for plant based cooked food lifestyles:
Q: What films do you recommend watching?
A: There are so many! These are some of my favorites:
Q: Why did you choose to do a water fast?
A: I had a lot of food sensitivities to fruits and vegetables and my body was becoming more sensitive and developing more sensitivities to additional foods as time went by. It got to the point where I was living off of only a handful of fruits for about 9 months and I felt extremely limited. I had tried something called NAET which unfortunately didn’t work for me and I didn’t want to be in a situation where there were no foods I could eat, so I decided to do a water fast to heal my body on a very deep level.
I fasted for 13 days under the supervision of Dr. Douglas Graham at his Sedro Woolley retreat in Washington and consumed only water for those 13 days. I spent the next 8 days under his care re-feeding and building my strength back up before going home.
3 days after breaking my fast, I began introducing some of the foods my body had previously had reactions to such as oranges, tomatoes and celery, and had either minor or no reactions.
I started the fasting process at 97 lbs. and lost 15 lbs. during the process. Within 6 months, I returned back to my original weight.
Q: What foods were you sensitive to and what were your reactions?
A: All acid fruits like oranges, tomatoes, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, pomegranates, etc. Some sub acid fruits like cherries and guava, plus many greens like lettuce, herbs and celery.
When eating the fruits, especially the acid fruits, I would breakout with acne almost immediately with pimples and whiteheads, My face would turn red and burn, like a sun burn in certain areas and I would breakout with itchy hives on my upper body.
With the greens I would also breakout with itchy hives on my body.
Q: Are you still affected by these foods to which you were previously sensitive?
A: I can now eat all of these foods without any reactions thanks to the deep healing my body was able to accomplish during my water fast.
At first, I had minor reactions and they only happened sometimes with some of these foods post fast, and I was concerned that maybe the fast didn’t work but after about 6 months, I stopped having any reactions.
Q: Do you ever eat cooked food?
A: I personally choose not to eat cooked foods. There may be a few items I consume that may not be truly raw such as the occasional consumption of herbal tea and nuts like cashews, or the use of mustard in a dressing, but other than that, I don’t cook any of the food I eat. My digestion is still very sensitive and I don’t digest starches well. For example, even when I have a very small amount of raw corn, my digestion comes to a complete halt for 24 hours from just taking one small bite of a raw corn cob. Most cooked vegan food consists of starches that I cannot digest well such as potatoes, rice and pasta, which slow my digestion down, making me bloated and uncomfortable. That’s one of the reasons I turned to raw food in the first place. I much prefer the way I feel when I eat an all raw diet because my body functions much better overall. This is a great motivator that keeps me on the raw food path.
Q: What type of exercise do you do?
A: I love to walk, hike, dance, do yoga, and jump on a rebounder. I like to do some sort of movement everyday if possible. Sometimes it’s one hour, sometimes it’s only 15 minutes.
Q: What kind of rebounder do you have?
A: I have a Bellicon rebounder. I own the 44″ Bellicon, extra strong bungee, with folding legs. I feel like there’s plenty of room to jump on this one and I can still tuck it away when not in use. If you’d like to learn more about Bellicon Rebounders, Click HERE.