Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Heavy Vegetaran Diet vs. High Raw Vegan

I'm not really sure why I decided to do this ( maybe I was feeling too good and needed to shake things up? hahaha! ) But, I decided to go back to a heavy vegetarian diet over the last 2 weeks to see if I noticed much of a difference. Well, I sure did! So, as of yesterday I have been high raw vegan once again.

So what is "Heavy Vegetarian"? According to my way of thinking this is a diet heavy in dairy, starches, eggs, cooked foods and sugar. Now, I'm not going to lie and tell you that I didn't LOVE the warm sourdough rolls and greasy Pad Thai that I was eating. However, I think that high raw vegan foods can be just as addicting. I'm not kidding! You really do start to crave crunchy cold salads and nut pate over french fries. This is true and I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't experienced it. It's similar to how I feel about meat/fish and poultry (Out of sight out of mind). I can't tell you how many times I get asked, "Don't you miss it (meat )?" That answer is a confident NO! I have not eaten a bite of red meat/pork since 1990 and I can still remember the last meal I had with it too. I was in Maui on vacation from California. ( too funny....at a hotel about 1 block from my current residence ) and I was sitting on the lanai having a "Hawaiian" breakfast with my mother and sister ( 1/2 Papaya, lime, guava juice, Hawaiian sweet bread, guava jelly and Portuguese sausage ). I remember eating the sausage and thinking how yummy it was but at the same time I was thinking that the sausage "case" was made out of an intestine of a pig. And THAT was it.....I knew about the "intestines" before but it didn't hit me until then. I was also an extremely curvy 13 year old and starting to get concerned about the food I was ingesting. I was at full D Cup and probably about 20 lbs heavier than I am now and I was only 5 feet tall (I'm 5'5" 1/2 now.). I thought that if I stopped eating meat that I would not gain anymore weight ( puberty sucks doesn't it? ). So, I decided right there and then that I was going to be a vegetarian.

It was pretty easy to be honest. The foods I craved were not flesh anyways. I wanted sticky rice, bread, pasta, cakes and ice cream anyways. So, going veg was no big thing. However, you can be a vegetarian and be REALLY unhealthy too ( ummmm...I think I LIVED on fat free frozen yogurt for about 5 yrs...no joke!!! No wonder I'm lactose intolerant now! ) But, seriously, I didn't eat a lot of vegetables and fruit over the next 10 years. It has only been in the last 5-6 years that I started to re-think my diet. I tried the Raw Food lifestyle for a bit but my ex husband at the time thought it was crazy!! There was a time that I actually hide it from him! Fast forward a few years ( and a divorce ) I feel like I'm in a MUCH healthier place ( mentally and physically ). Not only am I gardening and shopping almost exclusively at farmer's market and health food stores but I'm in a new relationship with someone who supports my food choices 100%.

When I first met my new sexy man, I was a bit nervous to let him know about my diet. He was after all..... big...athletic and Argentine! ( FYI-Argentina is the red meat capital of the world!! ) but to my surprise... he was totally enthusiastic about me being vegetarian and trying to go vegan. Now, thanks to his support during the last few years my diet has shifted from heavy vegetarian to more vegan and even raw vegan! ( xoxo, Carlos ) I can't explain enough how thankful I am for this! Just experiencing how difficult it was just to be vegetarian with my ex and comparing to now is a 180 degree difference! So, I sympathize for people out there that struggle with this problem! It can definitely be a issue!

Now, on to my "Heavy Vegetarian" experiment!

I was feeling very light, strong and energized all throughout April ( going high raw vegan ). I didn't know if it was my diet or if I was just happy:-) So, I let myself slide back into my old ways and here's what I experienced....

1) extreme fullness- especially after dinner

2) bloating

3) a potential MRSA staph outbreak around May 3rd ( but tamed with tumeric and honey ).... probably has nothing to do with my diet but I want to mention it

4) a slight head cold??? ( which I still have! yuck!! )

5) the worst case of PMS ever! I swear I've had cramps and fatigue for the last 2 weeks straight and I am over it !!! )

6) Fatigue.....and this was pronounced for sure!

7) I have not weighed myself in over 2 weeks so I'm not sure if I gained any weight. I feel like I might have but I think it's from my PMS symptoms. I did "work out" a lot over the last 14 days. I've been stand up paddle boarding and/or surfing for a couple hours almost daily. So, I do feel pretty strong ( and obnoxiously tan ) in that sense.

So, there you go.....I have no real idea if this had anything to do with my dairy/bread/Tim Tam cookie intake over the last 2 weeks but I don't care....I think I'm becoming a vegan/raw vegan for real this time. I seriously couldn't feel better about it too:-) I'm ready..finally! Aloha:-)

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