Friday, October 11, 2013

Is this diet for you?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had to "live the diet" for one week.  I was assigned the DASH Diet for hypertension (high blood pressure).  On this diet, sodium and fat intake are reduced to minimum to relieve pressure in the arteries.  It sounds really simple, but for most people who live the Standard American Diet (SAD), this can be quite challenging because of all the processed and fast foods that are abundant in fat and sodium.  As for me, the hardest part was getting in 5 meals a day.  I'm the kind of person who likes 3 meals and maybe a snack in there.  I like to eat this way because it gives me boundaries, otherwise I would be eating all day, and I feel really good when I eat this way.  The DASH diet wants 5 meals that are all roughly the same amount of calories.  The theory behind this is to make sure that the body is getting enough fuel consistently throughout the day and will help you to lose weight (typically, those with hypertension are overweight, but not all).  Though I do believe this theory works, I also believe that constantly bombarding your digestive system with food and nutrients to breakdown is taxing on the body.  It takes a lot of energy to break down all that stuff, so giving your system a break every few hours can beneficial for longevity and long term health.

So, what do you think?  Could you survive a week trying the DASH Diet?  If so, leave a comment below and I can send you a meal plan or some other meal ideas.

Luana ola!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Smoothie Update and Weekend News

Well, this weekend was a bit of a I apologize ahead of time...

I did make my living pumpkin smoothie on Saturday, but let me back up a bit and explain why there are no pictures.  Saturday was nice.  It was chilly, a little overcast, and there were some great conversations over breakfast before heading to Xsport for my Vinyasa class at 11:30 (if you are in the area, you should come!)  After class, we went back to the condo to unpack more boxes and keep moving in (YES!  we moved!  pictures coming soon!).  I made the pumpkin smoothie, turned off the power, and as I unplugged the chord from the outlet, I got burnt!  Luckily, no electricity came through me, but I have an oh so lovely burn/blister on my right index finger!  Needless to say, there were no pictures taken due to the circumstances; although I do wish I would have gotten some of my finger, the first three were black from soot, but only the index one got the burn.  Thank goodness it was fairly minor and my mom, dad, and Mamaw (grandma) were there for support and love.  My finger is doing much better now and I have full function, maybe even a scar.

After my family knew I was okay and stable, they had to drive back home to do some volleyball work.  So, Andrew and I went to his mom's house to say hi.  Not even 30 minutes after we left her house (on our way to grab a bite to eat from Mariano's), she called Andrew and told him to come back as the yard was on fire!  Talk about a crazy day!  By the time we called 911 and got back to her house, the fire was out, but the electrical wire was still live and snapped in half in their yard (that's what caused the quick fire).  So, we hung around to make sure everyone was okay and that all things were taken care of before heading back home to get our internet set up.

I am so happy to say that Sunday was so much better!  No accidents, or injuries of any kind...just a beautifully perfect fall day.  After my 8:30 am Power yoga class, we did more shopping and moving in.

Now I am up to my waist in research, papers, and studying for classes (luckily it's not up to my nose...YET!)  Check back later this week for an update on my fun projects and get ready to learn about nutrition!

Luana ola!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Living Pumpkin Smoothie

Hi beautiful friends!  It has been so long since I have posted a recipe here on the old blog.  Heck, it's been awhile since I posted...period!  So let me catch you up a bit...

I am in the full swing of classes and have been assigned the DASH diet for one of my classes.  For this project, I have to "live the diet" for 7 days, track my progress and write a paper on my experience.  This is basically to help the class understand the different diets that future clients/patients will have to go on, based on their health status and needs.  The DASH diet is a diet to stop hypertension (high blood pressure) by cutting salt to a bare minimum and reducing fat intake.  Luckily, I mostly follow this lifestyle already, but it has been a challenge so far.  Although I've only been doing it for 2 days, I am finding it difficult to eat the recommended foods as they are basically 100% cooked.  If you have been following my blog for awhile, you probably know that I am working towards a low fat raw vegan lifestyle and am absolutely loving it!  This diet, however has higher fat percentage (around 25-30%) and protein (around 15-20%); so naturally the carbohydrates must go down (about 60%).

One thing I do love about this week is that I get to really monitor myself and focus on my food more often than I normally do.  Since a mild eating disorder 2 years ago, I have stopped counting calories and being fixated on food, but now I have to do just that for a week to track my progress.  Although I have seen a few of my old eating behaviors creeping up, I have been able to manage them and meet my daily goals.  I must say, I can't wait to get back to my high fruit and veggie lifestyle though!

Speaking of high energy food...let's get to the real reason you are reading this post!!  I will be making this one this weekend for sure and will be posting a picture on twitter, so follow me @LuanaOla

Living Pumpkin Smoothie (for 1, but can easily be doubled or tripled!):

  • 2 c pumpkin puree (for fresh:  remove skin and chop fresh pumpkin into cubes and blend in a high speed blender or food processor)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 dates, soaked and reserve liquid if needed for smoothie consistency
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • a small sliver of fresh ginger (1/8-1/4" thick)
    • Begin by pureeing the fresh pumpkin, then add the banana, dates, and spices.  Blend well, adding leftover date water or almond milk to achieve the consistency you like.
    • Sip slowly and enjoy every moment!
Luana Ola!