Sunday, March 16, 2014

HOW TO BE A HEALTHY VEGAN

I miss blogging! Today I was asked by a friend to blog about how to be a healthy vegan. She wanted to know my workout routine and how I eat, I was flattered. Instead of doing that specifically I would like to talk about raw vegan eating, the 80/10/10 diet, juice cleansing and what I believe makes a healthy vegan.

I began my vegan lifestyle over 1.5 years ago after watching one video on Youtube (Gary Yourofsky- The Best Speech You Will Ever Hear). I remember getting comments from family and friends likes "oh it's just another diet", "it's just a phase", "there is no way you are going to be vegan forever" etc... Well time will only prove to others what is in my heart, but vegan is not a diet fad to those who are truly vegan. Some people may be looking for a way to lose weight and cut meat and dairy out of their diet for some time, or for a long time, but they may also continue to use animals for clothing or purchase products that have been tested on animals. Some people may want to eat healthy and turn to a vegan diet, which is wonderful but that does not necessarily mean they live a vegan lifestyle. A vegan lifestyle does not include ANY harm towards ANY animals, it is not a selective diet.

After I began my vegan lifestyle I began to do more research on how to eat vegan and be a healthy vegan. I came across raw food, the 80/10/10, juice cleanses and green smoothie diets. I was raw vegan for a couple months, I even did a 30 day 80/10/10 low fat raw vegan challenge (see blog), I did a 6 day juice cleanse and for a period of time I was having green smoothies religiously. Why am I no longer 100% raw vegan? Why do I still not eat the 80/10/10 way? Why do not I not have green smoothies every morning anymore?

WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A HEALTHY VEGAN?
My answer to this question is simple. A healthy vegan to me is someone who eats a variety of foods, has a healthy mind and makes time for physical activity. A healthy vegan means to embrace the lifestyle fully, not to be ashamed or worried about what others think, not to change for other people, to be true to oneself.

Variety of Foods
I got stuck in a restrictive diets such as raw vegan, 80/10/10, juice cleansing or only having smoothies. Restrictive eating is very detrimental to ones overall health - mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. By restrictive diet I mean that I was very particular about what I ate, how much I ate, where I ate, when I ate etc...obsession = not healthy. I do believe that you can be healthy eating a raw diet as well as an 80/10/10 diet, but I know that for me it was the most unhealthy way of living I could have put myself through. I personally thrive on a diet filled with a variety of cooked and raw foods. I used to fear processed foods and sugar. Although it is healthy to eat a clean diet of organic whole foods I believe it is just as healthy to incorporate processed foods in moderation. Moderation and balance are key to healthy living. Restriction can lead to overeating and bingeing which can further lead to unhealthy neural pathways in the brain which lead to nasty habits and eating disorders (yes I have done my fair share of research). I try my best to eat organic, I eat raw and cooked foods, I eat processed foods and I practice mindful eating. Enjoy your food, do not get caught up in restrictive eating because it often leads to scary roads.

Healthy Mind
I believe a healthy mind is a positive mind, a mindful mind, a mind that knows how to take life and look at the bright side. A grateful mind is a healthy mind, a mind that reflects on the past instead of dwells on it. A mind that looks forward to the future instead of fears it. A healthy mind takes work in a world filled with so much fear. How to get a healthy mind: You have a healthy mind, you just need to get rid of all the junk and let it shine. Yoga, meditation, deep breathing, being around positive people, achieving goals, letting go of destructive habits, embracing nature and its beauty --- all great ways to tap into your healthy mind. Live in the moment.

Physical Activity
I am not going to sit here and tell you you need to get a gym membership and set up a strict workout routine for yourself because honestly, that never worked for me. I LOVE exercising. Exercising has been a part of my daily routine forever. Get out for a hike, join a cycling group, sign up for some yoga classes, buy some exercise videos on days where the weather does not make the outdoors inviting or get a gym membership --- whatever floats your boat! Just make sure to get active daily because there are some incredible benefits and it will make life better in every way.

We all have the ability to thrive and live life to our fullest potential. Let go of what is holding you back, and embrace new ways of living that will help lift you up and allow you to soar.

Here are some pics from my Rawlicious date with my lovely sister :)

 FALAFEL SALAD
 HOUSE SALAD


BROWNIE YUM

BE TRUE TO YOU 

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