Nutritional Tidbits…

In an effort to enhance my health, have more energy, be healthier and maximize and capitalize on my bodies’ ability to heal its thyroid or naturally right its self… I have decided to further develop my current nutritional profile… I’m not sure what to call it… some might call it vegetarian? Since I am sharing this journey with you… I wanted to share this information.

Am I a vegetarian? Well I guess that depends on how you define vegetarian. There seems to be an inflated importance regarding defining ones eating habits to a word. I do not consume meat, I mostly do not consume dairy or eggs, and I try not to consume any animal products. I enjoy a plant-based diet that is mostly raw. To define raw… A raw vegan diet consists of unprocessed vegan foods that have not been heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius). “Raw foodists” believe that foods cooked above this temperature are devoid of enzymes and have lost a significant amount of their nutritional value and are possibly harmful to the body. I personally don’t necessarily think cooked food is harmful to the body, I just think raw foods are healthier for us and contain more nutrients and enzymes and have undeniable nutritional and health benefits. And I like them that way.

My diet includes grains (although I consume very few grains, mostly sprouted grains and pseudo grains such as amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, and wild rice), beans, legumes, vegetables and fruits and infinite possibilities combining these foods. I also occasionally eat fish and seafood. ? I was raised on the coast and I love seafood… I eat it rarely but enjoy it immensely.

So as you see… I have not defined my eating style… some would call this vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian; nearly vegan and some would call it something entirely different! Call it what you may… this is how I have chosen for now to eat.

People often ask me where do you get your protein from… I feel I get more than ample protein. Hemp is an excellent source of protein. Hemp and hemp protein in its natural state is a nutrient rich whole food: meaning there is not need to create isolates or extracts from it. It is more alkaline than most proteins; with a higher PH. Hemp protein is a complete source of protein, containing all 10 essential amino acids. Another thing many people find surprising is that Hemp is also a good source of B-12. I use hemp protein and hemp oil. Also, Sunflower seeds are made up of about 22 percent protein. Amaranth contains about 17% protein, quinoa 20% protein. Additionally I consume other types proteins such as beans, legumes, nuts, nut milk, etc. This is just an example… proteins are plentiful in a plant based diet.

There are foods rich in every nutrient we need that are plant based. Nutritional yeast is a terrific source of B12, brazil nuts are an outstanding source of selenium, spelt has 30% more protein than a standard whole wheat, amaranth is high in calcium, iron, and potassium, pumpkin seeds are rich in iron, flaxseed is a great source of omega-3. If you educate yourself about what a body requires to function optimally and what foods most efficiently provide for those needs you will find a plant based diet to be very desirable.

A note… When I began my trip down this road… It was a few years ago. I was slow in moving to the vegetarian lifestyle. I converted totally when my father was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer and I began researching nutritional effects on the prevention, treatment and cure of cancer. I ran across the book The China Study and was floored. I watched the movie Food Inc. and was convinced something was wrong with the way food gets to our table. I was astounded by the overwhelming evidence in favor of a plant based diet. I also wanted to know who followed this diet and was very surprised to know how many professional athletes are either vegetarian or vegan. I found names like Carl Lewis, Brendan Brazier, Desmond Howard, Mike Tyson, Mac Danzig, Luke Cummo, and Robert Cheeke… and on and on. It was amazing to me that such competitive individuals followed this lifestyle and were successful in meeting their nutritional needs to compete at their level. I signed up.

I feel I have made huge progress in righting my thyroid condition and feel I am about 85% of the way to where I want to be. I think making nutritional and lifestyle changes in order to allow the body to heal and adapt take time. I am so encouraged by where this has taken me.

I will share with you that I am not perfect… sometimes I eat foods that I don’t feel are the cleanest or best for my body and its performance… I call it falling off the wagon! Or better yet… planned “off days”. I still indulge on rare occasion in that piece of Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake or that slice of Pizza. But I feel it. I feel it in the way my body responds… all the way from my digestive system to my energy level and complexion. It shows up in ways that are too convincing to ignore. I believe a Raw Vegan Diet with limited caloric intake is the healthiest diet one can consume. I am not sure if its for me or not… but all of my intuition tells me I need to go there. I will share with you from time to time about my nutritional adventures and how this journey is going.

For now I can tell you that it feels right and taste great… it is a journey into rediscovering food and my relationship with it and I am loving it!


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