Archive for the ‘Transitioning to Veganism’ Category

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Raw Spicy Gazpacho & Vegan Eggplant w/ Thyme

October 7, 2013

eggplant and gazpachoThis weekend I ate something fried. Don’t judge me! I’ve told you veggie lovers time and time again I am not living la vida raw one hundred percent of the time, and I encourage you to find your bliss and make the healthiest choices for you. That said, after the wonderful food demonstration at VegFest DC I decided to try out Executive Chef Ayinde Howell’s fried eggplant recipe. I did however make some modifications. I’m not a fan of fried food, but I knew my body could handle it without aggravation if I used coconut oil (because the oil is not rancid and has a higher burning/smoke point). There’s no way I could eat it without having a reaction if it was prepared with any other oil but coconut. In the demo Ayinde used earth balance, but I prefer to not add in additional heated oils of any kind that can encourage free radicals in my body. If you are a health enthusiast or concerned about keeping your skin optimal and you ever want to fry anything, I highly recommend you never use “dead” oils and stick to coconut. Anyhow it was delicious, and the eggplant has a natural buttery flavor when cooked this way.

On my first couple of days post-detox I also made a really yummy spicy gazpacho which lasted for a few days. It’s been summer hot in DC the past couple of days so cold soup is where it’s at. If you try the gazpacho know that its much better after sitting in the fridge for a couple of hours because it gets thicker and less runny. By day two, it was a much better consistency and paired well with the eggplant. If you would like to try this entire meal raw, you can marinade your eggplant and dehydrate it. There are some really great recipes out there for eggplant “bacon” which are just dehydrated marinated strips of eggplant. I will plan to revisit this soon and do a raw version of the eggplant. -XoXo Raw Girl 

gazpacho ingredientsRaw Spicy Gazpacho

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

1 Cucumber

1 lb cherry tomatoes ( Used two small containers full)

1/2 sweet red pepper

1/2 red onion

small handful cilantro

1/4 cup lime

pinch of cayenne

red pepper flakes to taste

1 tsp minced ginger

1 tsp sea salt

Put all ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately, or for better consistency, let chill in the fridge and then serve. Enjoy!

fried eggplantVegan Eggplant w/ Thyme

Prep Time: 10 minutes or less

1 eggplant

thyme

sea salt (to taste)

wedge of lime

coconut oil

Slice your eggplant into thin circles, cutting across the width of it. Heat a skillet and add in your coconut oil. As eggplant cooks season with sea salt, and thyme as needed and flip sides. Remove eggplant and away excess oil when slightly brown. garnish with avocado and squeeze a small wedge of lime over the dish. Enjoy!

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VEG Transition Recipe: Steam Sauteed Kale w/ Bell Peppers

September 25, 2013

KALEI really do not mind preparing vegan dishes from time to time, but for whatever reason, it actually pains me to cook the life force out of my greens!  Last week my cooking class assignment was to make steam sauteed greens. Because I got to do what I got to do to get my degree I made this simple meal as instructed, and it took no time at all. Although I much prefer to season and massage my greens and eat them raw, this is a really great recipe for anyone looking to add more greens into their life, transition into veggie living, or those who have an aversion (gasp!) to raw greens. The combination of the carmelized onions and the bell pepper adds a sweetness to it, and throwing in some garlic and ginger makes it even yummier. Just make sure NOT to overcook your greens so you still have some of the glorious nutrients available. This is a great side dish to a main course or you could pair it with an additional hefty food like quinoa and call it a meal. If you despise greens give it a try you may find a new easy and simple way to add some more essential veggies into your life. -XoXo Raw Girl 

             Steam Sauteed Kale w/ Bell Peppers

1 bunch Green Kale roughly chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic diced

1/4 ginger root diced
Splash of good olive oil

 

1/2 Onion chopped

1 organic red bell pepper chopped 

 

Sea Salt

 

Heat a pan, or wok with a lid. Add a dash of good quality olive oil and then add in your diced onions. Cook the onions until almost translucent and then add in your peppers. Cover the pan and let the peppers and onions steam for a minute. Add your greens on top and add in your garlic and ginger with sea salt to taste. Cover and steam until cooked but not overcooked. Serve and enjoy!

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Raw Girl’s 21 Day Challenge is On!

April 11, 2013

inspired-actionCue the bells, whistles, and trumpets…spring is finally here! For those of you who follow the Facebook page, you know I mentioned wanting to host a virtual wellness challenge. I only moved forward because a nice amount of you were interested, so I hope some of you will come on board for the journey with me.

It is time for a spring cleaning. In this new season, I myself have been focusing relentlessly on wellness mind, body, and spirit. When you embrace making daily progress in each of those areas daily, amazing things begin to happen. The goal of the challenge is to give you an opportunity to see major changes in your mindset, body, vitality, or just simply inner peace by combining living foods, regular exercise, and mindfulness practice. Focusing on all of these areas really gives you an opportunity to “transform;” and by that I mean not just losing weight or boosting your energy temporarily, but seeing lasting changes and adjustments to unhealthy habits and reprogramming new healthier ones to replace them. There is no way you can lose if you are committed to seeing your end result!  I will be your guide through the 21 Days, and the package includes one-on-one coaching sessions with me, a detox plan, and additional raw recipes to help jumpstart your raw journey. All of this for about the same price of a one hour consultation.

541533_10150657683809821_1319308522_nVery excited to have the challenge sponsored by GAIAM, who will be giving the winner a 3 month subscription to GAIAM TV and a yoga mat up to 60$ in value. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to jumpstart your wellness. The challenge begins on April 25th. I recommend participants register no later than April 21st to have time to get prepared. The first five participants to register will receive an additional hour of one-on-one coaching. This challenge is something new and a way for me to get to know more of you lovely readers personally. I am ready to be of great service to all involved. If you have any feedback on the program, questions, concerns, or suggestions, please email me at rawgirltoxicworld@gmail.com-XoXo Raw Girl 

Visit this page on the blog for more info or to register: http://rawgirltoxicworld.com/21-day-wellness-transformation-challenge/

 

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Blog Giveaway! Win a copy of MAIN STREET Vegan by Victoria Moran

August 29, 2012

Dearest Subscribers:

Because I heart you so much I want to start giving you perks for being committed Raw Girl readers. This is going to be the first of many awesome Raw Girl giveaways! To enter you must be a subscriber of the blog and fan of the Raw Girl Facebook page. This book is best for vegans-in-transition but anyone can benefit from it, I learned a lot. Are you new to veganism? Need some great tips on how to start? I read Main Street Vegan and I so wished it was around years ago when I went VEG. Victoria Moran covers EVERYTHING you need to know in a personable and entertaining way.

Email a photo can be simple, cute, or creative, whatever you like,  along with 60 words or less of why you have decided to go vegan or stay committed to a vegan lifestyle to rawgirltoxicworld@gmail.com. I’ll narrow it down to three top entrants and we’ll let the voting begin for one day only via the Facebook page! Raw Girl fans will vote with likes who is the winner of the book. To be eligible, email your entry by midnight on Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 . Finalists will be notified on Saturday, September 8th.  

More goodies on the way! -XoXo Raw Girl

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The Skinny on Weight Loss

January 31, 2012

So let’s say your goal is to lose weight? For whatever reason: health concerns, vanity, comfort….I get asked this quite often. Your thinking that putting yourself on a “vegan diet” may help you reach your goal. You are right and wrong. Our world is so consumed with fad diets and quick fixes, and if you’re approaching veganism as a diet, you’re going to fall into the same trap as all the Weight Watchers fanatics of our world. I think we need to shift the way we think about weight and dieting. For lasting change, we need a lifestyle change, not a diet. You need to take the time to get in tune with your own body and discover what fruits and veggies you love and try new ones! Everyone wants the quick fix and for someone to tell you exactly what is right for you to eat. I think that takes the beauty out of the journey of learning to eat consciously, a journey that allows you to really get in tune with how your body responds to certain foods and also experimenting and expanding your food choices.

When I think about weight…I think WASTE. People find that the more that they eat fresh vegetables and fruits, the “weight” just falls off. Why? Because you are literally flushing your system out, and you are eating foods that are high in water content and fiber as well as lovely nutrients. Over time, if you are eating this way you may hit a plateau and then changing up your workout routine and challenging your body fitness-wise will help you break through that. What I tell people who are eating everything and anything from meat to processed foods, is to try taking the simple step of replacing big breakfasts with a green juice or smoothie and getting in a least one big salad a day. Want to up the ante a bit more, make that morning smoothie a power smoothie and add in some super food powers or a powder supplement that has a lot of nutrients. This gives your body time to process food from the day before in the morning, and jump starts your day!

Doing this will start to make you feel different. You will start to feel more energized and therefore make better food choices and have energy to spare to get back on a good exercise regimen. A good friend of mine in New York years back who was overweight took me up on this advice and when I saw him months later, I barely recognized him! For all the already mostly raw foodies, the only thing that can really add weight to your frame is eating a lot of nut heavy foods. Other than that, its pretty much a lifestyle that should naturally allow you to reach and maintain a healthy weight as long as you are getting enough variety of foods and nutrients.

At the end of the day, I think it’s always more important to focus on how you look and feel, rather than how much you weigh. My former trainer is a great example. This woman weighs more than me but is leaner and ten times stronger than I am by far. Working with her brought home the message that everyone, especially women need to embrace if they are looking to lose weight. Strength building and muscle-building are going to help you NOT hinder you. As you gain muscle you will be leaner, stronger, and burning more fat throughout the day. Now, I’m all about weight training at least 3-4 times a week, and my primary concern is what my body fat percentage is, not my weight.

The last point that is very important is a spiritual and psychological component. If you are overweight, you may have destructive eating habits that take the place of processing your emotions in a healthy way.  This is nothing to ignore, because resolving these core emotional issues can be the catalyst to your transformation. Everything works from the inside out. Start within, don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself, and there’s no way you cannot reach your goal. –XoXo Raw Girl

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Dear Raw Girl: Going Vegan & Weightloss

January 25, 2012

Source: CocoaReport.com

Dear Raw Girl: Do you think it is possible to be vegan and maintain the same weight? – Ashley Akunna

Ashley thank you for the question, I think this is a concern that a lot of people have. I can completely understand wanting to maintain your current weight. If you choose to adopt a mostly plant-based diet and were not eating that way prior, yes you may lose weight or WASTE initially. Really your body is going to be flushing out unnecessary junk in your colon and waste  sometimes stored up from years of eating processed food, meat etc. What I experienced personally, and have heard from other vegans/raw foodists is that after some time of being consistently vegan the body adjusts, and will normalize at what is a healthy weight for you. Some people say that they gain weight back at this point. It’s like the body has to go back to one, and reset before returning to balance. In addition, the change from meat-eater to vegan is not as drastic as going from meat-eater to raw foods. As a vegan who isn’t predominantly raw there’s still a lot of options that will keep “meat on your bones,” especially if you’re still eating carbs and meat substitutes. So you may not have anything to worry about.

What you should ask yourself is what is more important? Maintaining the weight you are at now…or going with the flow and choosing to be the best, most energized, and healthiest version of you that you can be? Our culture can be quite weight obsessed instead of focusing on what counts…how do you feel, are you productive, energized, and dis-ease free? Instead of focusing on my weight, I have always chosen to focus on the latter.  -XoXo Raw Girl

Have a question? Email me at rawgirltoxicworld@gmail.com

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So you want to GO VEG: Transitioning into Veganism

January 20, 2012

Had a blast today on Newd Radio, and looking forward to the debut of Healthy Living in a Toxic World next week, January 25th, Wednesday at 5pm EST. Hope you all will tune in to www.newdradio.com and listen!

One question asked on air this morning that I didn’t get a chance to answer was: What should one do if interested in trying the vegan lifestyle but currently is a meat-eater?

Ok so, your a meat-eater and your tired, literally all the time, and your also tired of running to fabulous non-meaters who glow, have crazy energy, and attribute all of this to their grass eating tendencies. You think you may want to go vegan, or vegetarian at the very least but it feels so far way. Don’t panic. There are two options, just like when quitting an addiction or making any sort of lifestyle change you can go cold turkey or gradually. I think what option you take really depends on your personality, but I am a big fan of gradual change. By taking your time to ease into it and eliminating certain foods step by step you are more likely to stick with it long-term and not go on eating binges because you feel deprived.

If I was a meat-eater looking to go veg, I would start by eliminating red meats like beef and chicken and perhaps continue eating fish and more vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains. If you are the type who eats meat everyday, (that is really a lot for your body to handle by the way), then I would go for cutting down meat intake to only twice a week and then maybe once a week or once every two weeks, and so on. I am not a huge fan of meat substitutes but they can be a great way to transition and if prepared well, you’ll be amazed and may not miss your meat at all. If you want long-lasting health, vibrance, energy, and to live a disease-free life, you have to get out of the general “dieting” or quick-fix mode that is pushed on us daily through advertising and meal plans etc.

Commitment is key, and any positive change is going to have to become an engrained habit. You know yourself best. Some people have to go all the way or else they won’t do it all. Don’t feel rushed, take your time, and allow yourself some room to mess up. I think it took me about four months to wean myself off of bread! Crazy to think about it because now I don’t eat bread at all and if I did I would feel weighed down and generally horrible. But when I was going through the process of eliminating it, sometimes I messed up, gave in and had some, but then physically I would feel horrible. Through this process you retrain your body, and after abstaining and then having negative reactions to things you once ate, you will lose the desire to eat them again. Despite what they say, you can teach an old dog new tricks; you can cultivate your inner vegan, as long as you committed to going the distance. Here’s to going VEG! -XoXo Raw Girl

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