What The Hell Does She Eat???

photo 1A lot of people wonder what the hell I eat.  I suppose for most folks my current diet is a wee bit hard to fathom.  But I truly believe that making these radical changes and focusing intensely on what I eat has made a world of difference in my health.  And I feel fantastic!  Lots of energy…  Clear skin…  No more bloated tummy or constipation…  Hopefully, no more cancer either!!!

So what exactly do I eat?

In general, I try to follow an alkaline diet.  I’ve read over & over again about how a highly acidic diet translates into disease.  The acid-alkaline balance is measured with pH on a scale of 0-14.  What we eat influences our body’s pH levels.  Optimally, you want to be a little alkaline, around 7.5.  Kris Carr is a big proponent of the alkaline diet.  She has a quick tutorial on how to make the transition to an alkaline diet on her blog.

The official name for my “diet” is pesca-vegan.  This means no animal meat (no chicken, no red meat, no turkey, etc.) and no dairy (including no milk, no butter, no cheese, no yogurt, & no eggs) but yes to the occasional serving of fish (but not other seafood).

I have also largely eliminated sugar (restricting my intake to 1 teaspoon of organic coconut sugar for my morning coffee and a few squares of organic dark chocolate each day), as well as eliminated all white carbs (potatoes, flour, pasta, bread, rice).  I’ve minimized my gluten intake (using spelt, almond, and oatmeal flours instead of wheat).  And severely limited pre-packaged or processed foods like crackers and cold cereal.

I also don’t eat much tofu or soy products (which is a common food/meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans).

I’ve also given up alcohol.  Gasp!!!  Yes, even red wine.  (Although as you saw from my last post, I do occasionally indulge).

Which brings me to my next point…  I do allow myself some breathing room within these “rules”.  On special occasions I’ll have a little piece of cake or a glass of wine.  If I end up eating something with an egg in it, that’s ok.  Rules are meant to be broken.  I don’t beat myself up over it.

After reading all this, you’re probably wondering what the hell I do eat.  Surprisingly, there are still quite a few options.

Most of what I put in my mouth involves vegetables (greens, root veggies, and cruciferous ones especially)…  nuts & seeds (everything from cashews & almonds to chia & hemp seeds and pumpkin & sunflower seeds… However, all nuts and seeds must be raw – no salted or roasted nuts.  And no peanuts)…  legumes (beans and lentils)…  fruits (everything under the sun)…   healthy fats (olive oil, avocados)…  And moderate amounts of ancient grains/complex carbs (buckwheat, quinoa, millet, sprouted breads, black rice).

photo 3

Miss M helping me grow sprouts!

I try to eat at least half of my foods raw because many nutrients are lost in the cooking process.  I’ve also started growing and eating sprouts.  I heard that eating 1/2 – 1 cup of fresh, raw sprouts each day keeps the cancer away.   And I do green juicing or smoothies 3-5 times/week.

I also drink around 2 liters of lemon water every day.  (The general consensus is that it’s best to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day).

I make a lot of stuff from scratch and have become quite the healthy chef lately…  Making yummy sugar free chocolate cakes and lots of deliciously healthy meals.  Luckily I’ve found an abundance of amazing recipes online, in blogs, and in vegan cookbooks recommended by friends.

Here is a look at a typical day for me:

Upon waking:  8-16 ounces of water with lemon

Breakfast:  Cup of organic coffee with almond milk & a little organic coconut sugar.  One piece of sprouted grain bread with vegan Earth’s Balance buttery spread.

[Post Workout:  8-12 ounces of green juice/smoothie]

photoLunch:  My new chia porridge.  Made with 1 cup of unsweetened Almond Milk, Chia Seeds, unsweetened Coconut, Cinnamon, a dash of Vanilla, Sunflower Seeds, Goji Berries, Cacao Nibs, and fresh berries.

Afternoon Snack:  Apple slices with cashew butter… Or brown rice crackers & veggies with hummus.  Plus my 1-2 squares of organic dark chocolate (min 70% cacao solids).

photo 5Dinner:  A big salad and/or rice and beans with veggies.

Late Night Snack:  Fruit, or more chocolate, or a handful of nuts.

Overhauling my diet has been a major adjustment but now that I’ve gotten into the swing of things it’s become easier and easier.  My taste buds have changed.  I’m enjoying what I eat.  And I miss the old foods less and less.

Thank god, because I plan on eating this way for the rest of my life.

Even if it seems way overwhelming to make all these changes, I encourage you to try making just a few.  The single best thing you can do for your diet is to incorporate more fresh veggies and minimize junk food.  When I was diagnosed with early stage melanoma in 2008 these were the first changes I made…  Eating a big salad every day and cutting out foods with white flour, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils.  Pretty simple.

Start slow.  Take baby steps.  Every little thing you do to live a healthier life truly makes a difference.

Peace.  -T


16 Responses

  1. Hey, don’t know if you find the salads daunting in cold weather, but I do personally. What I’ve been doing is heating the beans and putting them on top of the salad. It wilts the greens a bit, makes it less like endless bites of coldness, and is really yummy. Your mileage may, of course, vary — and you may like cold salads!

      • You’re welcome! Today’s lunch was finely-chopped sui choi and bok choi, topped with cumin-spiced beans and some kimchee — international! vegan! and the all-important — warm!!

  2. Thanks Terri for reminding me of the importance of my PH balance, and overall clean diet. It seems that i can get off track during the holidays, and stressful times….I am thrilled that you are doing great, I know it has not been easy! Wishing you a blessed holiday and new year to come! Xo

    • Hi Cindy! I think we all get off-track over the holidays (myself included). And i think it’s so important not to stress too much about it or beat myself up because I know the stress weakens my immune system too.
      Thanks for all your support. So happy to hear you are doing well too! Happy holidays!!!

  3. Sounds like you follow the same type of diet as mine, except you are much more dilligent at it! I’m glad you let yourself indulge once in a while, otherwise it is hard to stay on it. I, too, have found some great recipes. I can share some if you’re interested. Tonight I’m thinking of making my lentil “meatloaf,” that my family really likes believe it or not. It does contain an egg, but I use organic, cageless, etc. I agree; a warm meal in the winter hits the spot!

  4. Your last two entries show a GREAT DEAL of courage! And I believe in your choices! The normal “follow the bouncing ball” tends to result in predictable problems That I see too many doctors unaware of.
    My BIG THANKS to the woman who included information about the Formulary. (Gotta get me one of those!)
    Everything you’ve said in your last two entries is MARVELOUS.
    Hang about and see how tall Ms. M gets! So clearly, you’ll be there for that!
    Your courage has really flamed on! Stick with that!
    Enjoy EVERYTHING! Lee

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence Lee! The more I read and the more I meditate on what feels right for me, the more I know that I am making the right decisions. But it’s it’s still so reassuring to receive support from the community.
      Wishing you a great holiday season! – T

  5. Hi Terri,

    Wishing you a Merry X’mas and Happy New Year!
    I’m impressed by your resolve to keep with these healthy foods. Keep it up! :) Please could you help me with a question – how has your weight changed since you started this diet? Do you exercise regularly? The reason I am asking is that I noticed that healthy good foods have very few calories..does that mean you have giant serving portions or do you exercise to build muscle?

    Take care!

    • Hi Swees,
      Yes, I exercise pretty much every day. I do cardio on my elliptical machine 5-7 days/week for about 25-35 mins. Plus I just started strength training with a non profit here in Dayton that specializes in helping cancer patients get in shape. So now I’m doing light weights & resistance training 1-2x/week for about 15-20 mins. And I’m hoping i’ll be cleared to do yoga again in the near future.
      For me exercise has always been the first and most important step to wellness. When I’m exercising regularly everything else seems to fall in place and I am more motivated to make healthy choices.
      In regards to my weight… Since making all these changes I’ve lost 25 lbs. I was 170 before and am down to 145 now. And I even hope to lose a few more pounds because I know cancer feeds on fat and estrogen levels are elevated when you’re carrying extra pounds (and my cancer loves estrogen!).
      I do eat pretty large portions. I find that with this diet I get hungry every 3-4 hours. So I just eat healthy stuff all day long. I also eat lots of nuts/seeds that are pretty nutrient dense and caloric.
      Hope that helps!!
      Best wishes & happy holidays!

    • Amelia- Thank you so much for sending that link!!! Just got around to reading it and found her story so reassuring and uplifting!! Her 6 year cancer free story is just what I’m aiming for and I truly believe my healthy vegan diet plays a big role in why i seem to be doing do well. Hopefully, other people will catch on too. Good luck in your transition with the family. I wish I could get hubby & Miss M on board!
      Sending lots of love back at you on Bowen. Hope to see you again next time we’re there. :-)

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