A 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).
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]
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).
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.