Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day 1

Last night, knowing it was my last day of processed/cooked foods for about 3 months, I had some snacks...pretzels and chocolate chips!  Needless to say, this morning I woke up groggy and exhausted...

But, after a huge glass of cool water, my body perked up a bit and I sat down for breakfast.  Since I have not bought loads of produce yet, breakfast consisted of an array of fruits.

Breakfast: 1/2 of a honeydew melon, an apricot, and a banana.

From other raw foodists, I have learned to track everything on Cron-o-Meter to make sure I'm getting all of my necessities including vitamins, minerals, macro-nutrients, and calories.  This breakfast was about 350 calories (I need to consume between 1600 and 2000)!  Not much, considering how much I felt like I ate...well, this just means I get to eat more for munch, dinner, and snacks!  This is pretty much why I love this lifestyle already...I love to eat!

Lunch: 3 c of tomato and cucumber mixture, a pear, and 2 handfuls of baby carrots
I ate this sporadically from 11 am - 2pm.  I am still getting used to this lifestyle (it's the first day) and I know that I have to eat A LOT, but I did not realize how much!  I have been eating to fullness each meal, but it goes away in an hour!  For this reason, I got really hungry at 3pm, so I had a handful of almonds to tide me over.

Dinner: home made raw chocolate, sauerkraut, mixed berries
The reason dinner was so sporadic was because of timing.  It was 7pm when I got back from softball and did not feel like making a salad.

Snacks: a whole bunch of raw almonds

Exercise:  1 hour of Vinyasa yoga and a short softball game.

I noticed that I really need to eat more fruit during the day.  My calories were so low that I pigged out on nuts and chocolate later at night because I was so hungry!  Tomorrow, I will be going to the store to pick up fresh produce for next week!

Luana ola!

p.s. remember to email me or leave a message if you'd like to join me in this quest for ultimate health!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ready for a challenge?

Because of my last cleanse and researching lots of information about eating raw, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for another challenge! I'm going to go 100% raw for the summer!

You read right...low fat raw vegan until September 1st (3 months).  Every day, I will track my progress here on Luana Ola.  I will tell you what I ate, any exercise I did, and any thoughts that come into my head about this lifestyle change.

I want it to be known that I am not doing this for weight loss, but for a healthy lifestyle change.  I have been eating very healthy for the past 4 years, but I am ready for another big push in the right direction.

During the cleanse, I felt so good and was doing a ton of exercise because I had the energy to.  Since stopping the cleanse, I sadly began drinking coffee and eating more processed foods again like breads, chips, and chocolate.  During this challenge, I am hoping to find that energy again and really excel in living!

If you are interested in joining me with this journey to ultimate health, please feel free to leave a comment or email me and I will be happy to give you recipes and more information on how to make this transition in a healthy and sustainable way!

Luana ola!

p.s. here are the links to some inspirational videos and websites that got me on board!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Hey all!

Not much has been going on around here, except for over cast skies, rain, and cold wind...

On the lighter side, Memorial Day was really good.  Although the weather did not pan out the way we hoped  (plans to go to the water park got cancelled due to rain and it being 50 degrees!), but it was still nice to get away for a couple days.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?  With Andrew's new job and my summer classes, we decided that a summer vacation was not in the picture.  That being said, we also knew that a get-away weekend was necessary for both of us to unwind and get out of our every day ruts; so what's better than a 3 day Memorial weekend?!  Nothing, at least that was our best option for the summer...

Step 2:  where to go?  Knowing that the farther we traveled meant more time wasted on relaxing/fun, so we chose to stay within an hour's drive.  After a bit of searching, Yorkville IL sounded like a perfect spot.  It's a very small town due west of us and it had a water park (that didn't happen) and a big forest preserve nearby!  If you are new to the blog and didn't get to hear about last year's vacation, check out this post to understand that parks and all nature areas are right up our alley!!

Step 3: Before we knew it, Memorial weekend was upon us.  After teaching my 11:30 class at Xsport, with a bunch of snacks in hand, we were off to Yorkville!

The town was really small, but very cute.  After checking in to our hotel, the first thing we did was play a round of mini golf! Andrew got a hole in one on the 6th hole!!

 We then grabbed a bite to eat and retired for the evening, but of course we brought some movies to watch! I loved the documentary about some of the endangered species!  We both learned a lot, and saw some animals we had never heard of before!  And trust me, that's a big deal for me because I've seen/heard of many animals.  Nature is so amazing and there are truly so many species out there that have probably never been seen before!

The next day was our BIG day.  We went hiking all morning and didn't settle in until after lunch.  While on the hike, we saw many really cool plants; too bad I didn't have a trail guide because I would have loved to learn about these beautiful plants! Take a look at that mushroom, they were everywhere!
 There were so many wonderful smells in this forest, too.  At one point, we smelled froot loops and I would have loved to figure out what plant made that smell! (or maybe it was an animal??!...)  I of course had to take a bunch of pictures in and with trees!
 No matter were we went into the hike, the forest was so lush and green!  I couldn't get over it!
 On our last hike, I began to smell onions.  It was so odd and random.   Then I thought, maybe there are chives around.  No sooner did I think that and found what looked like wild chives.  I got bold, pulled one out and came to find that it was a spring onion!  I wiped off the dirt, trimmed the roots away with my nails, and took a tiny was in deed a spring onion, so sweet and flavorful!  I ended up picking a few, kept them in a cup of water at the hotel, and planted them in my garden when we got back home!  What a souvenir!!
 These were some tiny mushrooms in the path on the way out of the forest.

We had such a wonderful time, it was hard to come back home, even if we were gone only 2 days...but that's the beauty of vacation.  The reason it is always so wonderful is because it is different from the ordinary and we appreciate it so much more.  Imagine if we lived each day as though it were vacation!

If you have any ideas as to what type of mushrooms these are, I would love if you left a comment below informing me!  If you don't know, I would still love to learn what you did for Memorial day weekend!  A BBQ perhaps?

Luana ola!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Yoga for Detox

     We all know that spring is a time of new beginnings.  Nature is reawakening, plants and regrowing, and animals are giving birth.  It is also a time of detoxing; getting rid of all the excess our bodies naturally stored over the winter.

     More often than not, many people believe that detoxing/cleansing is a weight loss tool.  While this can be the case for some people, it is not necessarily the ultimate goal.  Cleansing is a time to purge toxins from the blood stream, allowing fresh new blood and nutrients to enter the body and flood it with good energy and life.  Having just gone through a cleanse myself, I have received the beautiful benefits of a cleanse, have felt the effects of the detoxing process, felt the vibrant energy from being clean, and have even gone back full circle to feel "clogged" again.  Through this clogged feeling, I have been able to understand why it happened...I ate clogging food...

When I was eating the life-promoting and vibrant raw vegan diet, I felt so energetic and alive!  As soon as the cleanse was over and I had pancakes (although they were vegan) for the first time in 21 days, I immediately felt gross.  The pancakes tasted amazing and I felt happy enjoying every morsel, but the aftermath was astonishing!  I felt tired!  I never had one time after eating a raw vegan meal in which I felt tired.  Every meal/snack gave me energy and life, which is why I am going to begin transforming my lifestyle into a raw vegan one.  Vegan is one thing, but raw is beautiful!

While I am in the process of making this transition (as with all transitions, you must do it slowly so that it is a lifestyle change and not just a fad that will not last), I will also be doing more detoxifying yoga.  The beautiful thing about yoga is that is cleanses the blood by allowing circulation through gentle  movements that stimulate energy and life.  All twists and inversions (those happen to be two of my favorite things in yoga) are detoxifying.  Inversions send blood flowing in the opposite direction, allowing your heart to relax a bit and more blood flows to your brain and thyroid (helping with hormone and metabolism regulation).  Twists, on the other hand, squeeze the inner organs and massage the intestines which facilitates digestion and cleansing of the digestive system.

Luana ola!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Final Week of Cleansing (Week 3)

Day 15:
This week is loaded with simply juices and smoothies!  I've already had 2 juices plus a banana and apple.  But, I needed those extra 2 pieces of fruit because I did a 17 mile bike ride today!  Why would I do such a thing, you might ask?  Well, first of all, I hate driving in a car...second, why not get exercise while you run errands?!  I had to make a couple mindless stops and the stores were located in the same strip mall about 4.5 miles away.  The ride added up 3 extra miles because I was trying to find a good place to tie up my bike and ended up circling the mall twice! Ha!  Here's to plenty of energy from all of this beautiful living food!
Day 16:
Funny story about today.  After my morning cup of lemon water, I had an apple and banana.  Just before lunch, I started to get a bit hungry, so I went to make a juice;  I was craving carrot juice.  I looked on the recipe list for today and saw that the juice of the day was carrot, celery, parsley, lemon, and apple!  It was so amazing how my body and the cleanse worked so well together!  Needless to say, it was absolutely delicious and hit the spot.
Day 17:
Although its a bit dreary out today, my spirits are up and I still feel alive.  So many times before this cleanse, I would feel awful on rainy/overcast days.  Not to say that I still feel better when the sun's out (because I definitely do!), but I don't have that dull feeling I used to get.  And my knees aren't as stiff!  Huge plus!
Day 18:

Day 19:

Day 20:

Day 21:
Wow!  I was so busy with life that I did not have time to write down my experiences each day for the past 3 days!  I know I know, typical Kathy...ha!  Well, I am officially finished with the cleanse and I feel so great!  Although I did lose some weight, that's not the important thing here.  The ultimate experience was the amazing detoxing that I had and how good I feel now that it's over!  I have so much energy and I feel happy, alive, and healthy.  I truly believe that this experience has also helped me to understand what my body truly craves/wants/ and needs; and it has helped me to deepen my yoga postures!

I am so thankful for the ladies that went through this experience with me and for all that I learned.  I might have a fun surprise for you all in the near future (hint: it has to do with this cleanse), but for now, I would love to hear about your experiences cleansing and/or any questions you might have about the process even if you have never done a cleanse before.

Thank you so much for following me through this process, and please come back and check in for more health updates, facts, and everyday journeys through life!

Luana ola!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Cleanse Week 2

Day 8:
This week, we have cut down to one "chewing-required meal" (aka salad).  This means 2 juices, 2 smoothies, and a fruit meal plus a salad.  I still can't believe how much food I am eating!  It fills me up and I feel so good.

Day 9:
I am starting to get tired of all this drinking...smoothies that is.   The juices are great, but the texture and taste of some of the smoothies is starting to get to me (hang in there self, one more week!).  I do love smoothies,  but I really enjoy crunch and texture in my food.

Day 10:
Some of the other cleansers and I were talking about what we are going to do after the cleanse is over.  Andrew (who is not cleansing) said we should go to a buffet and load up!  I replied, "ha! I don't think so.  After what I went through the first couple of days in detox, I'm not going to waste it and fill up on more toxins".  So, I came to the conclusion that I will continue to eat mostly raw.  I'm thinking 70-80% to start off with and see how it goes.  It is so convenient to have my meals made for me 6 days of the week that I need to make sure my skills of raw foods are in a secure place before taking another big leap.  By the way, this was a VERY big leap for me!  I'll tell you all about it in my final post of the cleanse :)

Day 11:
2 people dropped the cleanse due to having too much to do.  I fully respect these two people because they did such a good job the first week and have such busy lives that it became one more thing on their already over-booked schedule.  Therefore, for 2 days out of the week, the other 5 of us are making our own food.  It worked out perfectly for me because the driving 30 min 2 times each day was getting exhausting!  So for today, and tomorrow (Mother's Day), I get to make my own 2 smoothies, 2 juices, and salad.  Speaking of salads, there is an AMAZING raw vegan caesar dressing that I have been thoroughly enjoying.  As always, I have found some wonderful modifications to appeal to all people and of course, less expensive (i.e. the recipe called for Macadamia and pine nuts, 2 of the most expensive nuts out there, so I found a lovely alternative).  I will be sharing these recipes with you all at the end of the cleanse!

Day 12:
A Happy Mothers Day to all women (mother or not!).  I did go a little off the cleanse today just because we had bought tickets to the Zoo, which included brunch for Mother's Day.  We did this way before the cleanse got started, so I kept to the plan slightly, but enjoyed plenty of vegetables, fruits, and of course a few sweets.  It all tasted great going down, but the rest of the day I felt sluggish and tired due to all the heavy food. That, and I might have eaten too much...;)  But you know what, I don't feel guilty because it is okay to enjoy and have decadent food every now and then. The important thing is that I listened to my body for when it was time to stop, and I still have one more week on the cleanse!  Happy Cleansing!
Day 13:
Today is my day to prep for everyone.  I will be running around like a crazy person, collecting jars, buying groceries, and making food for the other 4 ladies!  After my juice this morning, I already feel more clean and light even after yesterday's food.
Day 14:
Wow! 2 weeks down and 1 to go.  I am absolutely LOVING the way that I feel while eating raw.  The day after Mother's Day, I was really lethargic, moody, and tired.  It is so amazing how our bodies respond to food.  My body definitely knew that all those sweets and cooked foods were "dead" and offered me no life.  As soon as I got back to eating raw, my energy has shot back up and I am as happy as a clam once again! (Any one know the origins of that phrase, because I use it all the time and have no idea what it means or why we say it, I just know when to use it!)

Luana ola!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cleanse Week 1

Day 1:  I feel really good!  It helps that the sun is out and it's actually warm (81*!!!), though.  I can already tell that this raw food cleanse is going to feel so great to my body and mind.  Today I had lemon water, cleansing juice, and a green smoothie for breakfast.  Lunch was a delicious vegan Caesar salad, I had a bunch of fruit for a snack, and a bed of lettuce topped with raw, vegan chili!  The latter just happened to be my favorite meal of the day!!  Once I am don ewith this cleanse, I will definitely be putting this on the usual meal list!!   It's a little difficult getting the meals from the people that are doing this with me, but I think all the kinks will be worked out perfectly after these first few days.

Day 2: Amazing difference today...I still have lots of energy, but a different type of energy.  The type of energy I feel today is more like an awareness, it is a peaceful energy, and I feel very focused and centered.  I have had a couple detoxing symptoms including a slight headache, tired body, and these little bumps appeared on the back of my hands.  The funnny thing about the symptoms, though, is they make me feel really good because I know they are a good sign!  Still loving the food, and have been getting cold, so warm tea has definitely been a regular part of my evenings.

Day 3: I was so tired this morning!  It is definitely due to the detoxing process, but man it wiped me out.   Luckily, I had very little going on, so I was able to do some computer work and take a nap as needed.  I was also very hungry and I finished my breakfast, snack, and lunch by 11am.  When I finally got full enough to regain some enery, it was nearing 2pm.  I did a bit of yoga and kept resting just to make sure.  By the time evening came, I was ready for my dinner and a snack later that evening as well.  Maybe the hunger had more to do with needing to drink water/tea?  Although I've been drinking a lot...anyways, I can't believe how fast this cleanse is going by.  Day 3 down!

Day 4:
I had so much energy today!  I slept so soundly last night and woke up nice and hungry.  After drinking my morning juice and smoothie, I had enough energy to carry me through a 6 mile bike ride and teach a vinyasa yoga class.  I felt good all throughout the day and my hunger has finally been calmed.  I felt completely satisfied with the 5 meals offered.  The little bumps on my hands are still there.

Day 5:
Wahoo!  This energy from raw foods is amazing!  The bumps on my hands are slowly going away too!  I did a 7 mile bike ride, but the best part is that my muscles recovered very quickly and I was up for a shorter bike ride/walk with Andrew in the afternoon.  Here's to health and happy Cinco de Mayo!

Day 6:
 Still loads of energy! Feeling great!

Day 7:
I can't believe it's been a week already.  Prepping only once a week sure has its purks, but the time that goes into that one day is about 2-3 hours.  But overall, it's not bad considering all you have to focus on (in terms of food) for the other 6 days is just getting it and eating!  So amazing.  I've lost about 5 pounds already too!

Can't wait to see whats in store these next 2 weeks...I'll keep you posted, so be sure to come visit me this time next week :)

Luana ola!