Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Welcome to my new blog!!

Isn't it funny? One of my goals for 2012 was to rename and/or start a new blog, do something fresh for my virtual life! I had no idea at the time what it was going to be. But here I am about three and a half weeks after watching Food Inc. and my nutritional life has been transformed. So crazy. I would NEVER have thought that this would happen. I was one that TRULY believed I could NOT live without meat products in my life pretty much daily. And here I am having not eaten any meat at all in about 2 1/2 weeks. Is that crazy or what? So my blog direction became clear.

As I stated, this journey began a few weeks ago when I became a vegetarian overnight...literally! Since then I've been swimming in a sea of confusion and reading a lot. I've been experimenting in the kitchen. Some things have been tasty and others, not so much. But here I am transforming my life and, I believe, my health. And who doesn't want that? I've been feeling lethargic and maybe a little low on energy and motivation for a while now. It's just been hard to be normal after training to compete in a figure competition. I never tested myself but I'm pretty sure that I damaged my metabolism by doing that extreme diet and training. I'm happy that I've found out about plant-based nutrition. There is an outstanding amount of research about the benefits of a plant-based diet versus an animal based diet. One causes a lot of inflammation and the other decreases inflammation. You really can't deny science. I'm not preaching or anything here. I'm just stating where I'm coming from and what I believe in for now. I may go back to animal protein at some point in time but for me right now I can't do it. So I've started a new journey...the journey to a plant-based diet. I'm sure the road will be steep and winding but I will eventually make it to the top.

Last week on Friday I think things really started to click and my body has started to respond well to my new way of eating. I left work Friday night heading to the gym but not feeling it at all. Really I didn't want to go. But I went...forced myself really! And then something short of a miracle happened! I had the best workout I have had in I don't even know how long! It was fantastic! Truly! I felt strong and I got a great workout in. And for the first time since I've changed my nutrition I actually felt strong and energetic for my entire workout! YES! It felt great.

I can tell my energy in general is picking up and actually I can physically see a change which I am happy about. So I think this way of eating is resonating well with me. Yes, it's challenging at times, mostly because it's so new to me. But as I observe it all I'm not stressed out about eating and that, for me, is HUGE! It's been fun finding new foods and browsing online and in Whole Foods for new and exciting foods and recipes.

Last week I made more Raw Brownies. Those things are just crazy yummy. I just eat one or two after lunch each day because I like them and they make me happy. And I get about 8 per batch so that's a great treat for me. I don't need to eat them every day, just most days! ;-) Then this weekend I made this delicious, super quick and super healthy salad! Are ya ready for the recipe?

Super Simple Kale Salad

1 bunch kale
1 avocado
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt to taste

Wash kale and spin dry or just shake off as much water as you can. Remove from hard stems and cut or just tear by hand into bite-size pieces and place in large bowl. Scoop avocado out of skin. Add lemon juice and sea salt. Mix by hand smashing avocado up until all is incorporated. 

That's it! Yes, it really is THAT simple! You can add more veggies if you would like. But it doesn't need it. This is best eaten the same day. You will probably need to add more lemon juice and salt if you refrigerate and eat again.

Pizza and Super Simple Kale Salad
I also made this delicious "pizza" out of Brendan Brazier's book. Sorry the picture isn't great. I clicked this after eating one piece and almost all of my salad but you get the idea. I wasn't sure about eating a vegan pizza but it was truly quite tasty. I actually would like to take the pizza crust recipe and just make it into crackers. The crust turned out kind of soggy except for the parts that didn't have sauce on them. I think next time I may have to cook the crust first and then add the toppings and cook some more, just to ensure the crunchiness. Even my BF liked it and thought it was quite tasty. I ate the leftovers last night and then again today for lunch. Yummy!

My skates should arrive on Thursday! I'm going to HAVE to take them out for a spin this weekend. It's supposed to be sunny. Not particularly warm but sunny and that's good enough for me! Speaking of sunny would you check out this picture I took while walking up the stairs in Santa Monica? It was on Sunday and it was an AMAZING day!

Gorgeous, no?
Take a deep breath and breathe in the beauty of the beach. I love the ocean. It's so therapeutic! I love it!

That about wraps it up for me. Welcome to my new blog. I hope you'll follow me along on my journey. It's bound to be interesting or at the least slightly amusing. WELCOME!