Sunday, December 30, 2012

Life as a Vegan - Days 2 & 3

Day 2 was fantastic! I woke up feeling much better and hit the gym right away for a good, long workout. My loving boyfriend showed his support for my Vegan quest with the following:

Vegan dish of the day: Veggie and tofu stir fry

  • 4 or 5 mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1 medium onion (sliced)
  • Tofu - regular or marinated (80-100g - careful here, tofu is calorie-dense - cut into little chunks)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (chopped finely)
  • 1 fresh chili pepper
  • 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil

Directions: Heat up the oil in the pan, sauté the garlic until golden brown; throw in the onions for 2 minutes; add in bell peppers and mushrooms - sauté for 5 minutes or so, letting the water from the mushrooms come out and evaporate. Finally, add the tofu and sauté for 2-3 more minutes. Viola! 

Chef Rune's veggie & tofu stir fry - YUM!

I finished Day 2 with 20g of raw dark chocolate - which doesn't taste exactly like 'regular' dark chocolate, but isn't all that bad :)

Day 3 was a semi-Vegan day. As I noted in my initial Going Vegan post, there are two exceptions to my Vegan lifestyle over the next 3 weeks, and last night was one of them: Date night! My boyfriend and I went and had tapas (very un-vegan) - we had already planned the evening a while ago, and I didn't want my new Vegan challenge to get in the way of that. If i've learned anything in the past few years, it is that diet and exercise -as important as they are - should not get in the way of having fun and spending quality time with loved ones. So I was super vegan all day long - took the night off - and today, i'm back on track with my Veganism!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Life as a Vegan - Day 1

It's been a rough day. Normally the first few days of any completely new diet are easy for me, but I woke up this morning and was completely congested, and my sore throat was still sore. As one who absolutely detests when sick people go to the gym (which is probably why IM sick now!), I hung up my gym bag, turned off my alarm, and crawled back into bed. So much for hoping it was just a 48 hour cold ( those really exist anyhow?).

The only time I mustered enough motivation to venture outside today (in the rain, of course), was to go pick up some Vegan supplies for the coming weeks;

Here is what I got:

Sun Warrior Raw Vegan vanilla
protein powder

  • Sun Warrior Raw Vegan (dairy-free, gluten-free) vanilla protein powder
    • This is a great source of (almost) pure protein! And I bet you're thinking it doesn't taste very good, but it is actually not that bad!
  • Elderberry juice 
    • This is to nurse my sore throat and stuffy nose - and I have to be honest, it doesn't taste as good as I thought it would :(.
  • Udo's Choice Adult's Blend Probiotika
    • I've been using this for a while, as it is excellent for digestion and intestinal health. I usually take one pill after my evening meal, and my tummy stays happy!
  • Aurion Gluten-free porridge
    • I've also been eating this for a while - it's delicious! I get bored with oatmeal, so it is good to switch it up with this one. Plus, it is an excellent source of protein and fiber!
  • Linseeds (Flax seeds)
    • Udo's Choice Adult's Blend
    • These are loaded with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids - to be sprinkled on my salads or morning oatmeal/porridge!
  • Pumpkin seeds
    • Pumpkin seeds contain a great deal of zinc, vitamin E, and other antioxidants. I plan on using these to keep my meals interesting.
  • Almond butter
    • A great source of protein, antioxidants, fiber, and mono-saturated fats. It is a great alternative to peanut butter 
  • Raw dark chocolate
    • I found Vegan chocolate!!
My Vegan starter kit (tofu not pictured :))!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

21 Days of Vegan

It's that time again! My restless inner self is calling for another change, and after stumbling upon the Netflix documentary Vegucated, i've decided to go Vegan for 21 days. Last time I went 'Raw', the results were fantastic, leading to some permanent dietary changes. As a nutritionist, and out of sheer curiosity, i've tried almost every diet in the books (even the "Lemonade Diet" - and no, I do not recommend it) - but i've never gone vegan... until now.

As an enthusiastic lover of chicken and chocolate - two central staples of my weekly (everyday?) diet, this new challenge of mine will test my will-power to say the least. Aside from the moral reasons Vegans have for their lifestyle, there are a number of health benefits associated with this plant-based diet.

Health benefits associated with a Vegan diet include:

  • Vegans have a lower risk of developing the following:
    • Heart disease
    • Various cancers 
    • Diabetes
    • Obesity
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure).
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Healthier skin, hair, and nails
  • More energy
  • And a longer life (among others)!

Ok, so how hard can it really be? Well, here are the rules...

How to be a vegan (at least in the dietary sense):
  • No meat (yes, this is the obvious one - and probably the most difficult for me!)
  • No dairy (no prob - i'm lactose intolerant, so my dairy intake is quite low to begin with)
  • No eggs (geeez, first no meat and now this?! Egg whites are a part of my daily protein fix!)
  • No sugar/honey (... i don't really get this one, but ok, i think i'll survive)
  • No meat (yes, we're listing this one again because it is so difficult to accept, we need to hear it twice...)
And by "chikin", they mean "tofu"

There are 2 notable (pre-planned) exceptions to the next 21 days:

1) I have a tapas date night planned with my boyfriend in 2 days - it's important that I don't let my diet and fitness get in the way of romance and quality time with the one I love!

2) New Years Eve sushi night! We've planned to ring in 2013 with some friends and some sushi :)

What is probably going to be the most difficult for me over the next 3 weeks?
mmmmm chicken, i'll miss you!
  • Chicken, chicken, chicken. Anyone who knows me knows that i loves me some chicken - especially my boyfriend's chicken (he's quite the chef!)... i will have to remind myself it's only 3 weeks!
  • Eggs. I love egg white omelettes and I love scrambled eggs (when I have time to make them!).
  • Chocolate. Most chocolate contains some sort of milk product (and sugar), making it off limits for the purposes of my little vegan experiment. That said, first thing tomorrow i'm on the hunt for dairy-free, whey-free, and casino-free chocolate (yum?)...
Finally, I feel a cold coming on - my throat is a bit sore, i'm getting a bit stuffy, and i feel as i'm teetering on the edge of a full-on flu... that said, this vegan thing can go one of two ways for me: 1) I get really sick, and this whole vegan thing gets that much harder; OR 2) Completely changing my diet shocks my body into recovering quickly and not getting worse!

Stay tuned - i'm not above sharing all my dietary frustrations over the next 3 weeks, no matter how hormonal chocolate deprivation makes me!

...Said the American girl living in a diary nation...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Calorie-free bananas?! I wish!

A friend of mine told me she thought bananas were calorie-free (yes, 0 calories), and I thought it was time to write another post...

This is as close to zero calories as you get.

 It is surprising how un-aware people are with regard to their caloric intake and how "healthy" they are really being. And it is not just that people under-estimate calorie content, but they are just as likely to over-estimate it. After establishing that bananas are indeed NOT calorie free (and assuring my friend that if they were, she would have seen me eating a lot more of them), I asked her how much she thought the small basket of french fries she was eating was - "Around 2000-2500" was her answer. And lets clarify something - this friend of mine is a university-educated Economist, who I frequently turned to for help in my Masters level econometrics course, and who currently specializes in the field of health economics. Regardless of education, people don't seem to be paying attention or know what they are putting in their bodies.

So let's do some MYTH-BUSTING:

  • First of all, that small basket of fries my friend was eating may not be healthy, but it does not amount to her daily caloric intake. I estimate the approximately 250 grams of french fries to be somewhere between 700-800 calories.
  • Sadly, bananas are not calorie free. On the contrary, they are approximately 110 calories (depending on the size), and are actually one of the higher carb fruits. So, if you are hungry, have a banana - not 10.
  • Low (or zero) calorie does not mean healthy. Diet sodas may not cause you to gain weight, but they are not keeping you healthy.
  • To lose weight and/or maintain a healthy diet, nixing all carbs (Atkins Diet) is a baaaaaad idea. Losing weight is about maintaining a healthy caloric deficit (i.e. burn more calories than you eat) and the kind of calories matter! So, saying no to pasta while you binge on bacon and cheese won't help your goals...unless those goals are to have higher blood pressure, sabotage all long-term results*,  and suffer from chronic constipation - fun! 
    • *Once your body stops being able to break down carbs - any carbohydrates you consume will go straight to fat storage!

This may be Atkins-approved, but it will NOT help you
lose weight or maintain your health!

So here are some easy ways to be a little more conscious about how many calories you are eating:

Best iPhone Apps:

NO, this is not mine! I'm lactose intolerant,
don't drink much coffee, and am allergic to gluten-
so this is pretty much all wrong for me! :)
  1. Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitness Pal - My favorite!
  2. Calorie Tracker by LIVESTRONG.COM
  3. Lose It!
  4. Restaurant Nutrition
  5. Calorie Counter by MyNetDiary
  6. CalorieCounter by FatSecret

I also find that is a great source of information regarding caloric content - and even includes well-known brands and restaurants in the U.S.

Remember - your body needs calories to maintain weight and overall health, just make sure you have a basic understanding of how much you are consuming!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happy skin, happy hair, happy me!

Yea, inner beauty is important, but lets be honest - outer beauty is kinda a big deal...

Hair, skin, nails - besides our figure, us women have a lot to worry about when it comes to beauty. If you are anything like me, you've got a stockpile of creams, lotions, conditioners, scrubs, masks, toners - and the list goes on of various beautifying products. And despite the economic crisis, sales of such beauty products has not decreased, but rather increased! 

Women and their beauty products -
transcending decades, if not centuries.
"What is surprising, however, is a spending phenomenon called the “lipstick effect,” which is a cute way of describing how women surprisingly spend more on beauty products during recessions. For example, did you know that L’Oréal was one of the few companies to experience growth in 2008? When all other sectors were approaching rock bottom, the beauty market was actually thriving." -Fashion Magazine, June 20th 2012

On top of the products themselves, I pay upwards of $75-100 for a deep-cleaning facial when I feel like I can afford the luxury - and I won't even start on the waxing, pedicure, and hair appointments. And despite all of this, in the past few weeks it seems as though my teen years have had a renaissance on my face with a blemish or three, everyday feels like a bad hair day, and my skin is drier than normal.

The conclusions I came to was that, despite all the products us women buy, most women (myself included!) are neglecting the most basic form of beauty care out there: Our diet! Right along side all those magazine advertisements and articles highlighting our new favorite beauty products, there are dozens of articles telling us how what we eat can has a substantial effect on our skin, hair, and overall glow.

Best foods for your hair!

Most detox diets are designed to cleans the inner organs and digestive system, but my plan now is to try a new kind of detox - this time focused on cleansing my skin, hair, and nails (from the inside out)!

Here are the basics:

Best foods for healthy hair:

  • Salmon (and other fatty fishes)
  • Dark green vegetables (think spinach, kale, broccoli)
  • Nuts
  • Oysters
  • Carrots
  • Eggs
  • Bananas
  • Yams
You can wear it AND eat it!
Best food for healthy skin:
  • Yellow and orange fruits and vegetables (also red bell peppers!)
    • Blueberries and pomegranates
  • Tomatoes
  • Legumes
  • Nuts (especially walnuts and almonds!)
  • Salmon (and other fatty fishes)
  • Olive oil
Many of the same foods are found on both lists, and most foods I like. Oysters, however, I will have to pass on, and legumes I find difficult to enjoy. Even so, I will try to incorporate at least 3-4 of these foods into each day, and at least one from each list in every meal.

  • Green tea every morning + 1 small cup of coffee at some point in the morning. Dermatologists are increasingly agreeing that caffeine is beneficial for skin, especially with regard to calming redness.
  • Body scrub twice a week!
    • I'm using the olive body scrub from The Body Shop
  • Natural hair mask twice a week!
    • 1) Eggs! That's right, eggs are excellent for your hair. And in fact, eggs + mashed bananas makes a great hair mask - add a little bit of water and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Then shampoo out.
    • 2) Avocado mask: Avocados + 2 tablespoons olive oil + dash of honey - leave on for 20 minutes, then shampoo out.
  • All natural face mask twice a week, recipes found here:
  • A LOT of water - I don't drink sodas, and rarely drink juice, so this shouldn't be a problem. Even so, I'm going to up my H2O intake like it's my job!
  • SPF everyday. I'm guilty of often "forgetting" to put on sunscreen -or at the very least, a daycream with SPF - as I run out the door in the morning. 

Check back in two weeks to hear about my results!
Not only is it better for the body,
but a healthy diet is the cheapest beauty remedy there is!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

You're sexy, and all your Facebook friends know it.

Are we turning to social media now to hold us accountable? Given the number of times we check Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Myspace (Ha! Not!), etc., it makes perfect sense to use all of your cyber buddies to keep you in check when it comes to your health & fitness. If you are telling the world the story about how your favorite sweater just shrank in the dryer and posting a photo of that fancy taco you ate for lunch, then you might as well share with the rest of the world that you workout.

You're sexy, and all your Facebook friends know it.
I have been noticing lately how many of my Facebook friends have downloaded applications that keep track of their exercise, such as Runkeeper and Endomondo, calculating how far they've run or biked, how many calories they've burned, how quickly they did it, etc. Today on my newsfeed I saw that one of my Facebook friends had run 5.23 km - my first thought was: "Thats a nice little run - good for him!" (...although I did question the 505 calories he supposidly burned - which seems like a bit of an over-estimation). My next thought was: "Yea, but does that nice little run count for anything if he isn't eating well?" Even if we are to believe that 505 calories were burned on that run, that is basically the peice of afternoon cake that your damn co-worker has brought in (again) + a handful of candy from the office candy bowl - and BOOM, you've just undone all that hard 5.23 km of work you've done! But Facebook isn't telling that sugar covered story, now is it?

Runkeeper snapshot
Lets remember that losing weight and being healthy is mostly about diet - and exercise will excelerate weight loss (while providing other health benefits such as lowering stress and blood pressure, improving mood, etc). SO, in that case, people should really be making us all proud to be their Facebook friend by posting what their eating on facebook - i.e. "Jennifer Ruscelle Robinson avoided 372 calories in delicious chocolate cake brought to the office today, and ate an apple instead." If any of you work in an office like mine, you will realize how that is - at times - more difficult than a 30 minute run.

After a witty little Facebook status update about how we should have some sort of application to keep track of calories, in addition to exercise, in order to keep people accountable - another Facebook friend commented with this:

(it's Ok, it's not a virus...)

Truly brilliant (and quite funny). If late-night snacking is your downfall, this is for you. Its a security system that protects you from yourself! Now, if only it could tell us what you were getting from the fridge!!

Caught in the act - but all of your 567 Facebook friends!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Work hard, play hard, and then, DETOX!

It’s been a busy summer already! After a six day sunny holiday by the pool in Malta, a week after I returned I was off again to the beautiful city of Amsterdam for a long four-day weekend. For me, vacation is vacation – which means I work out if I feel like it, and eat what I want. But when I arrive home again, it’s back to business – healthy eating and healthy living (e.g. sleep and training!).

This definitely happened in Amsterdam,
and I don't regret a second of it! :) 
When I get back from vacation, I like to detox – it is a great way to kick-start yourself back into routine, and cleanse of all your vacation sins. I've designed my own detox that works great for me. I’ve taken parts of other detox diets and found what I like and what is most effective– and I always encourage people to do the same. Maybe not all of my detox principles will work for everyone – but take what works and make it your own!

Jennifer’s Post-Vacation Detox

  • No coffee (note: I said ‘coffee’, not 'no caffeine')
    • Oh this is hard! Why no caffine? Because if you are anything like me, I’ve had quite a bit of coffee on my vacation; Café hoping in Paris, late nights in Amsterdam, iced coffees by the pool in Malta, indulging in every Starbucks I see because we don’t have them here in Copenhagen, etc….And for me, not being dependent on coffee is important, since I love the boost it gives me when I need it.  
    • Detox breakfast: Kusmi Detox Tea + Jenni's 'fruit soup' :)
    • I trade my cup of coffee for Kusmi Green Detox Tea – and I drink anywhere between 1-3 cups of it a day.
  • Only fruit in the morning!
    • I make what I call “Fruit soup”; I blend frozen blueberries or frozen mixed berries, with a banana and water (NO milk or yogurt – I promise you won’t need it, and it is important to not consume dairy products when detoxing), and then I pour it over a chopped apple (or any other fruit you want) in a bowl. It may sound weird, but try it – it’s delicious!
  • Only veggies in the afternoon/evening (on the first day)
    • Make it easier for your body to digest and cleanse by only eating veggies and drinking tea for the rest of the day.
    • If I get really desperate, I might have a few almonds or walnuts.
Detox salad: Red cabbage, mushrooms, bell pepper, salad
onion, kalamata olives (+ home-made mustard dressing)
  • Go to bed early
    • Getting back from vacation means getting back into a routine, which means getting sleep so you can: Go to the gym, go to work, do all that dirty laundry in your suitcase, etc. It is easier to get back into your training and every-day healthy diet if you are well-rested, so going to bed at a reasonable time is crucial.
  • Drink plenty of H2O 
    • You've been sight-seeing, you've been at the beach, you've been shopping and spending all that money you don't have - and during all of that fun, you've probably not been drinking enough water! Flying can also dehydrate you, so make sure you drink plenty of water upon your return home.
  • Sweat!
    • Sweat it out!
      (But maybe save it for the gym...)
    • Hit the gym and sweat out all that vacation! One way your body gets rid of waste and toxins is by sweating, so try some particularly sweaty training, like spinning or Bikram (hot) yoga. Not your thing? Then hit the sauna or take a really hot shower (or five) - anything to help get your sweat on!
  • Days 2-5
    • Only fruit in the morning, then veggies and protein the rest of the evening. Although I recommend complex carbohydrates as a part of a healthy diet, during a detox, I don't recommend it.
    • ONLY water or tea. No soda, no coffee, no juice.
This detox can be done for 1-5 days, but shouldn't go beyond that. It can also be used after a particularly sinful weekend or if you plateau in your diet and/or training and need a boost!

Work hard, play hard, and then, detox.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Quick Tips!

1) Drink more H2O!

That's right! Most of the time when you think you feel hungry - you're actually just thirsty! And that's because most of us don't drink enough water! Don't just chug it when you remember, but carry around a water bottle with you and sip it often - I promise you won't feel hungry as often!
Usually the simple things are the best
things for us.

2) Eat a good breakfast!

No skipping here! You (and your metabolism) will pay for it later. Waking up hungry is a GOOD thing! And no, a cup of coffee does not count as breakfast.

3) Make ONE change at a time -

Whether it is eating more often (every 3-4 hours), eating a smaller dinner, cutting out sugar, or whatever change it is you are trying to make - make ONE change at a time. Taking on too much will set you up for failure (and stress you out!)- so make one change, master it until it is routine, and then take on the next one.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dear Stress, Let's break-up.

The other day I was talking to my Pilates teacher Tanja, and I asked her what she did - aside from teaching Pilates - to be in such great shape. Tanja has always a well-trained body, but after giving birth to her son a couple of years ago, she has managed to get into the best shape of her life! She of course eats a healthy (and raw) diet, but one of the other things she mentioned to me was something I hadn't ever thought about before: Stress hormones, and the effect they have on the body's ability to get and stay in shape.

...and then after all of this, you have to pick up the kids,
go to grocery store, AND get in your workout...
Tanja knows me - she knows I'm hardcore, that I like to push myself, and that I know what I've gotta do to get into excellent shape. What Tanja also knows first-hand is burnout, years of lifting weights and over training, and the result - what I'm currently going through now that my body is, essentially, giving out. So, Tanja has recommended a number of changes for me - with my training, with my diet, and very importantly - my stress levels.

Excessive stress - both mentally and physically - will prompt the body's adrenal glands to produce stress hormones, namely, adrenaline and cortisol. And i'm not just talking about work, family, and financial stresses - but also the stress one places on themself to put in enough gym time, eat a strict diet, be stronger, skinnier, faster, etc. When we stress about these things, Cortisol - the body's primary stress hormone - is produced, causing an increase in blood glucose levels (sugar levels). This in turn hinders the body's immune system, digestive system, and various other repair and growth processes. Equally important, Corisol is the hormone that speaks to your brain to control mood and motivation.

(Did you know that stress actually causes your body to crave fatty, sugary, and salty foods?! That's why you go for the tub of ice cream after a long stressful day instead of a salad!)

When stress is present in your life on a regular basis, this creates a number of potential long-term problems, including trouble sleeping, depression/anxiety, digestive problems, and fatigue. ALL of these things will interfere with the ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I hadn't realized myself that the primary source of stress I felt in my life was actually the pressure I was putting on myself physically - my constant focus on diet and exercise, and my persistent tendency to never be satisfied. As a result, my body has been producing hormones that actually diminish the work i'm putting in.

We already have enough stresses in life that we cannot avoid - so don't add to it with over-stressing about extra cardio time, forcing workouts when you're tired, eating an overly strict diet, and never feeling like you're doing enough.

If you want results, stress LESS.

Extra tip: Take B vitamins to help regulate mood and stabilize the body's cortisol output and stress levels.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Use YOURSELF to INSPIRE yourself

Sometimes the best inspiration is YOURSELF.

Some people suggest pinning up photos all over your home of how you wish you looked to keep you focused on your health and fitness goals - something kinda like this:
I wish.
 OR this:


But let's be honest - if you were paid lots of money to model, or be filmed on TV or in movies, you would probably have some ex$tra incentives to eat a (very) healthy diet and work out consistently too. BUT we're not paid the big bucks to bring sexy back (well, most of us at least), so striving to look like our friends in the photos above  - while not unattainable - may be a bit unrealistic.

Instead, how about striving to be the best version of yourself? Whether it is extra baby weight, a busy schedule that has kept you from the gym and healthy diet, or a general desire to get in shape (for summer maybe?), we all need a lot of motivation to get it done. And what better motivation than striving for something you know you've already achieved? It's a place you've been before, and know you can get back to.

With a vigorous workout schedule and a generally healthy diet, sometimes it is easy for one to plateau, get into a little slump, or lose sight of their goals. So, when this starts to happen to me, I look at a photo like this:

Me in the gym, working hard and getting it done!
This reminds me what I'm capable of - and even though this might not be what I'm striving for now, if I can get to this, then I can get anywhere in-between.

So instead of looking at photos of over-paid and under-fed famous people, find photos of yourself when you felt good - healthy, in-shape, fit, happy, whatever - and strive for that!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Two Weeks of Going RAW!

Follow me for two weeks as I do The Raw Diet* - I will write down what I eat and when I eat it - and then document the results to prove it works
*See my "Going Raw" post
As a weight management specialist, I have tried just about every diet in the book - after all, I would never recommend any diet that I have not tried myself! I've tried different diets not only see if they work, but also to see how I feel generally (am I energized? am I moody? Are my workouts stronger or weaker?) - and just out of sheer curiosity :). After years in the fitness industry, I have come to know my body very well, and what I need to do in the gym and in the kitchen to see results (whatever my goals may be).

One of the things I always recommend to friends trying to lose weight is to write it down. Write it down until it becomes an integrated part of your lifestyle. Actually seeing what you're is eating and when you're eating it is extremely helpful for noticing tendencies, pitfalls, and overall helps to hold you accountable for what you are putting in your body. And since people are often asking me "What do YOU eat when you want to lose weight?", I decided to write down what I'm eating for 14 straight days, and update the post daily.
The goals of this post are to:

1) Show how eating according to The Raw Diet actually works - and quickly.
2) Show that you can lose weight quickly without crash dieting and/or starving yourself.
3) Show that eating every 3-4 hours is beneficial for metabolism, energy levels, and overall weight-loss.
4) Re-energize! After months of getting caught up in work, re-furnishing our apartment, and traveling, it is time to re-focus on myself and my diet - and just in time for summer! :)
So here we go!

Everyday vitamin supplements:
  • Fish oil
  • Vitamin C
  • Acaí berry
  • Spirulina
  • Ginseng
DAY 1: Monday, May 14th
I'm kick-starting with a modified juice cleanse today! The juice-only days are the hardest for me (because I love food!), but it is a great way to give my digestive system a break and 're-set' my body.
I have called this a 'modified-juice cleanse' becuase I will also incorporate 100% natural, raw, and gluten-free protein shakes - ensuring that my body gets the protein it needs!
Apple + carrots + spinach (lots of it!)
It may not look good - but it tastes great!

I recommend Sun Warrior protein powder!
0900: Glass of apple, carrot, and spinach juice (4oz) + big mug of green tea.
1045: 1 protein shake (1 scoop)
1230: Glass of apple, carrot, and spinach juice (4oz)
1500: Glass of apple, carrot, and spinach juice (8oz)
[Exercise: 20 minutes bike + weights: legs (light) + abs (light) + 15 minutes stepper (light)]
*I normally do not recommend working out on days that you juice - you may get light-headed, dizzy, or just feel weak -- but given that I haven't gone in a few days, I decided to go and do a light version (moderate paced cardio and lighter weights).
1700: Glass of apple, carrot, and spinach juice (10oz)
1930: Protein shake (blueberries, one scoop protein powder, 1 cup soy milk, 1 cup water)
And today is finished! I might have a cup of tea later, but that is it - and I will sleep well because my digestive system is not working overtime to process a big dinner, my body is tired from a workout and being a little under calories (this is normal for juice days), and my last meal is at 7:30pm - meaning that by 9/9:30pm I will be ready for bed!

DAY 2: Tuesday, May 15th
I feel good this morning - I slept well, and woke up refreshed (for the most part)!

0645: 1 orange + 1 pear
I want to put something in my body before I got for a morning run. Some believe that working out in the morning before eating helps burn fat - while others believe that this actually hinders your training goals. I believe the latter - your body needs fuel for a good workout and to keep your metabolims at high levels. *A topic for another post.*
[Exercise: 30 minute run]
0800: 1 medium Mango + 1 cup blueberries
0915: Two handfuls of grapes (about 20 grapes)
Remember: With the Raw Diet, you can eat as much fruit as you want, and should do this in the morning!
1115: 5 egg whites + salad (with sundried tomatoes and zucchini)
1430: 10g dark chocolate + decaf coffee
1500: 175g chicken breast + salad (with mushrooms, lettuce, olives, bell peppers, sauteéd onions, and tomato).
1745: Protein shake (1 scoop) + handful of walnuts/almonds
[Exercise: Pilates class]
2000: Protein shake (1 scoop + 100ml soy milk) + 10g dark chocolate (+ tea) for desert

Remember: You can eat dark chocolate after any meal - but try not to get crazy with it! I like to have a little bit every day :)

DAY 3: Wednesday, May 16th
0600: 2 small oranges
[Exercise: Spinning class + weights: biceps/triceps]
0815: 1 banana + 1 cup blueberries + 1 scoop protein powder + 150ml soy milk
0930: Two handfuls of grapes (about 25)
1145: Two small fillets of white fish + salad (zucchini, bell papers, sun dried tomatoes, cucumbers) + 3 egg whites
1415: About 3 big handfuls of mixed dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots) and nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans)*
1500: Handful of grapes*
*Note: Oops! This was NOT following the principles of the Raw Diet! I should have waited a full three hours for my lunch (protein) to digest before I ate from another food group (nuts/grapes).  
1715: Veggie salad
I know that i'm going out for date night tonight with my boyfriend, and that it will be a while before we eat, so I want to put something in my body.
1930: Date Night with my boyfriend - Nepalese food! I tried to keep it as healthy as possible - sticking with veggies, protein, and avoiding the heavy carbs + very small honey-based desert.

Remember: It is important to let yourself still have fun and have some planned cheat meals so you can stay on track your other days - otherwise, if you restrict yourself too much, you will most likely end up binging at some point.

My morning smoothie!
DAY 4: Thursday, May 17th
(Modified) Juice Day #2!

1045: My 'fruit soup' - blended blueberries, 1 banana, orange, and a kiwi
1330: Protein shake (2 scoops)
[Exercise: 20 min run + weights: back/chest/shoulders]
1600: About 10 oz. fresh fruit juice (apple, carrot, tomato, orange)
*Get a juicer! It is worth it!
1800: Protein shake (3 scoops)
2000: 1 cup of tomato juice (heated) + tea + 30g dark chocolate 

Yes, i still indulge in a little dark chocolate on my modified juice days.
BUT not too much!

DAY 5: Friday, May 18th
I have a  lot of energy this is morning, which is great because i'm going for a spin class! I can feel my energy levels have really increased, even after only a few days!

0700: 3/4 cup glutenfri oatmeal + 1/3 cup soy milk
[Exercise: Spinning class (=about 45 minutes of moderate-high intensity spinning) + weights: legs]
1045: 1 apple + 1 kiwi + 1/2 cup blueberries + 6oz fresh fruit juice (from yesterday)
I know i'm going to have lunch with a friend, but I need to put something in my body after that workout!
1230: (Lunch out at a café) - Burger (no bun) with bacon + a little bit of mayo + salad (no fries!) 
1530: 1 chicken breast + veggies
You can do the burger thing - without ruining your diet!
1830-1930: 1 apple + snacking on pistachios + 1 glass of white wine.
I'm out and about in town with a friend, so i'm snacking to keep my metabolism up! And remember that you can still drink while on the raw diet (wine is best) - but keep it limited to 4 drinks a week!
2100: Artichoke salad with cabbage, broccoli, bell peppers + olive oil dressing.
Yes, it is a bit late to be eating dinner (I got home late!), but it is important to give my body the calories it needs after a day of high physical activity (spinning, weights, + very long bike ride)! Since it is late, I will keep it simple with a veggie salad :)

DAY 6: Saturday, May 19th
Didn't get much sleep last night, so I think that is why I have a massive headache this morning. SO, i'm going to have some coffee and see if I perk up...

0730: 1 cup blueberries
0815 - 1030: 3 apples + 1 grapefruit
It is an interesting morning - painters have come to my apartment early to paint my kitchen and I cannot get in to make a proper breakfast, so i'm snacking on whatever fruit I can!
[Exercise: 60 min. Pilates]
I'm a big fan of adding Pilates twice a week into my workout
mix - keeps me injury free, strengthens my core, and
helps keep my muscles long and lean!
1230: Small café latte with soy milk
I have limited time before my next class - and having food in my stomach while pole dancing is a bit difficult, so i'm opting for a café latte with some protein-rich soy milk!
[Exercise: 60 min pole dancing]
1345: 1 apple
1430: 150g chicken + onions in lettuce wraps
1730: Bowl of fruit (watermelon, blueberries, apple, cherries)
2030: Miso soup + seaweed salad + one chicken rice paper roll.

Day 7: Sunday, May 20th
I slept in and it's a day off from the gym - it's been 6 days and my body needs a break!

945: Bowl of fruit (2 apples + 1 cup of blueberries + melon slices)
1200: Two handfuls mixed nuts and dried fruit
1515: Tune salad
1730: Big bowl of oatmeal (2 cups) + soy milk + honey
I'm having carb cravings, and instead of doing something unhealthy (like chips or pizza!), i'm opting for a heathier way to curb my craving - and I LOVE oatmeal! :)
2030: 1 apple
I had the munchies, but it was late and I didn't want to eat too much of anything!

ONE WEEK DOWN! I'm feeling good - much more energy, definitely feel lighter and leaner already! But i'm not a fan of scales, so i will only weight myself after the full two weeks. Also, I think I can do better - here is where my focus will be this week:
  • Making sure I give my body 3 hours to digest one food group before consuming another is important.
  • Increasing my protein intake, and lowering the amount of fruit i'm consuming.
  • More complex carbohydrates, less fruit consumption just because it is easier!
So onward with WEEK #2!!
Day #8: Monday, May 21st
Modified Juice Day #3 - because i'm not feeling so well...:(

I don't feel so well this morning and i'm not sure why - getting sick maybe? I hope not. In order to curb any chance of my getting a spring cold, i'm going to pump myself full of vitamin C today and get to bed early.
*All fruit juice is 100% natural (freshly squeezed) - no store bought stuff!*

Try beetroot juice + apple juice - it is delicious!

0630: 1 protein shake (1 scoop + 2 cups soy milk)
0900: 1 cup of apple and beetroot juice (4 oz)
1030: 1 cup of apple and beetroot juice (4 oz)
1200: 1 glass of apple juice (10 oz) + cup of coffee + 15g dark chocolate
1345: 1 cup of apple and beetroot juice (4 oz)

1615: 1 protein shake (2 scoops + 2 cups soy milk)
1800: Large glass of veggie juice
1930: 30g dark chocolate + tea

Day #9: Tuesday, May 22
0645: 1 apple
0730: 1 protein shake (1 scoop)
[Exercise: 30 min. run + weights: shoulders, back, chest]
0915: 7 egg whites
1145: 1 peice of baked ham + 1/2 chicken breast + salad (mushrooms, lettuce + 1 tablespoon tomato dressing)
1430: 3 peices of baked ham + salad (mushrooms, lettuce + 1 tablespoons tomato dressing
In truth, i'm not a huge fan of baked ham - but at our lunch canteen, it was the best protein opiton I had today!

1730: Big bowl of fruit (mango + 1 small apple + cherries + blueberries)
I had some fruit that needed to be eaten before it went bad! :)
[Exercise: 60 min Pilates!]
2015: Protein shake (2 scoops + 1 cup soy milk) + 10g dark chocolate

Day #10: Wednesday, May 23
0600: Protein shake (2 scoops)
[Exercise: Spinning class + weights: biceps & triceps]
0930: Fruit smoothie + fruit (1 banana + 1 apple + 1 cup blueberries + 10 cherries)
1030: 1 apple + grapes (about 20)
1145: 1 protein shake (3 scoops)
1500: 1 apple + 1 pear + handful of grapes (20)
[Exercise: 45 minute bike-ride out of the city]
1830: Dinner out with the family (set-menu at the restaurant) - NO raw eating here!
[Exercise: 45 minute bike-ride back into the city]
Dinner was not a part of my normal Raw regime - but that is Ok, because it was a special occasion (my boyfriend's mom's birthday) and I have done a lot of exercise this day! It just means that I have to be EXTRA good with my raw diet the next few days!

Day #11: Thursday, May 24th
0730: Big bowl of fruit (1 kiwi, 1 banana, 1 apple, 1 small mango)
1100: Salmon filet + salad (with feta cheese!) + sauteéd mushrooms
*It was the GOOD kind of feta, so I couldn't resist - but I really should have being lactose-intolerant! *sigh*
1430: 1 egg + 4 egg whites + red bell pepper slices
[Exercise: 15 minute run (then side ache!)  + 30 minutes stepper + weights: Legs]
1730: Handful of grapes (while i bike home) + 1 apple
1930: 1 protein shake (3 scoops) + 20g dark chocolate for desert.

Day #12: Friday, May 25th
0615: 1 banana
 [Exercise: Spinning class +  weights: Arms]

0900: Big glass of beet and carrot juice
0930: 6 egg whites + 1 small onion + sundried tomotoes (with 1 tbs. ketchup on top!)

1200: Tuna salad (1 can tuna + spinach + mushrooms + balsamic vinegar) 
1500: 1 glass of beet/carrot/apple/ginger juice + grapes (15) + cherries (10) + 1 pear
1800: Handful of almonds and walnuts
2000: Veggies stir fry with soy sauce

Day #13: Saturday, May 26th
0830: Fruit smoothie  (1 banana + 2 cups berries + soy milk)
1100: 1 apple
 [Exercise: 2 hours of Pilates!]
1230: Shiritaki noodles + veggies + tomato sauce
1530: 1 protein shake (1 scoop)
1830: Large salad (take-out) with spinach, artichoke hearts, olives, mushrooms...
1930: 30g dark chocolate

Day #14: Sunday, May 27th
0830: Fruit smoothie (1 banana + 2 cups berries)
1030: Brunch with father-in-law: Egg frittata with spinach, asparagus, and onion + salad with mushrooms and olives.
1330: Shiritaki noodles + tomato sauce + veggies
 [Exercise: 6.5 km run + weights: Shoulders]
1630: 1 protein shake (1 scoop)
1930: Tuna salad (with spinach, mushrooms, bell pepper, onion, and olives)
2030: 1 lollipop :)


Ahh! It has taken me a while to update this post with my results because i've been SO busy! But here is the long and short of it:

The good stuff:

  • I've lost 2.5 kilos (that is like 5 pounds in two weeks- not bad!)
  • My skin has always been good - but it is noticeably more healthy (glowing).
  • I'm sleeping well, and even when i've had less sleep than I would have liked, I still have energy to get up and go to the gym!
  • My workouts are stronger - this is where I've seen improvement that I didn't expect! I am lifting more weight and you can definitely see more definition in my arms (pictures to come!)
  • I'm tighter all around - i'm wearing pants that I didn't fit into before.
The not-so-good stuff (because it is not perfect!):
  • I've been eating too much fruit, which means my tolerance for sugar has gone up. Not good in the sense that i'm craving more sweet stuff than i did before. 
  • I didn't eat enough protein - so my challenge is to eat less fruit now and more protein!
I'm not at my goal yet (it is summer and i'm in a bikini in two weeks!) - and I think I could have done better in the sense that I 'mis-combined' some of my meals (if you don't know what I mean, then read my post on Going Raw), but at the same time, I was still able to eat out and enjoy life, which is important!