Just because I go vegan, doesn’t mean YOU have to

organic polenta with basil, red sauce, spinach and zucchini

Dear Friends, Family and Colleagues,

Yes, Jon and I decided to go organic vegan now and it was all due to a very convincing lunch we had with someone who has researched what the healthiest diet is for 15 years. If more scientific evidence comes up though, our diets will change. This is strictly a for-health diet and vegan seems the best way to go (though I looooove cheese).

However, people seem a little bummed and I want you all to know to not be! I am not going to force my diet on you, it’s a challenge I have to face first and then of course I challenge anyone to do these diets, but I will never tell you about it unless you ask. Also many places out there do have vegan meals- so dont worry! If not, I will eat before we go out and I can still at least have a drink! So when you think you will not be able to go to lunchins with me or dinner or out for drinks (wine 😉 ), do not be stressed I am sure we can figure something out (like organic coffee seems to be many places 🙂 ). Thank you all of your support and videos of what changed my mind will come soon!

Best,

Ana

The Myths About Organic

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At the Wheel of Life Restaurant in Irvine, we had great food and an amazing pumpkin drink with “sweet basil seeds” in it- it’s so good you must try it! The seeds are like little boba balls and sweet.

From so many of my friend’s I hear, “Oh my G-d, that’s so expensive” or “We can’t go to sushi?” As you can see guys, I hear ya, however, we can go out- but to organic places. This is where I usually hear a groan of “Oh no, the food is terrible and expensive!” However, that is a myth. When I searched “Organic Foods Restaurants OC” I immediately got a top ten restaurant site and so many other suggestions from google all from 3-15 dollars. Also, it was less expensive buying my all organic products at Trader Joes than buying everything else because it limits you to a majority of healthy fruits and veggies- sensa the corn syrup. (Though I am learning to put everything in the fridge since our whole wheat organic bread lasted all of two days from there). As you can see these myths hold us back and it’s not so “terrible” that I am not able to go out and eat regular food- not only is it unhealthy but there are tons of environmental and political views as why not to eat the processed meats, dairy, and seafood (I might go into these later when I try the vegan diet and interview the man who inspired it). If anything, it is increasing my life expectancy and my mood which has been top notch since I was vegitarian.

Now, to the non myth part: it is hard to be organic. Why is it hard? Well, culturally in the US it is not widely accepted and is looked at as a “trend.” Most restaurants that are not all for health go organic because it is cheaper not to. When I lived in Italy, this was not the case since major corporations don’t own all of the markets- there are small centros in which have local produce. To live well in Italy is to eat well, here we do not have the same policy. We try to eat as fast and as big as we can- go big or go home, right? One of the people at work brought in a cake with processed suger and everyone had a piece and looked at me as if I was missing out. Which I was granted that I love the taste of process suger- the fact that it is not healthy and that I kept my distance was really hard. So right there I learned it’s easier to diet when everyone around you supports that same diet. However, none of my immediate friends are organic, one is vegetarian who is my BF’s sister’s fiance because he has his doctorate in environmental science and it has changed his life to eat a certain way. If I learned everything he did too, (which I will soon) I would probably eat the same as well. I found that the reason I am on these diets is also to partly educate my friends- that this can be done, its not as costly as they think and it’s not as hard as everyone says though it is hard when your friends are not all about health too.

However, I must step back a second and account for  my friends who are cheering on my diets. My BF has been a huge support and is my number one fan- eating all the interesting organic things I come up with. Also a few of my friends have been supportive and say, “Wow, that’s awesome Ana, I could never do that.” So I will say back to them, “You can, just try it, it is easier than you think.” If you can’t join me in this quest, then it’s ok and I understand, but this is where I find the dividing point in western society. The idea of joining the bigger group is injected in too much of our culture, but you all know me, I am a little rebel when it comes to conformity :).

I need more DIETS!

Hey everyone! So as you know, I am going off suggestions here and I need more diets! Please leave me a list and for your pleasure I have added pics and recipe of how I made the bbq tofu, crunchy, onion salad tacos 🙂

So first you add in a sauce pan organic olive oil, tofu, onions and sesame seed whole wheat crackers. Then you add organic bbq sauce and some salad and viola! You have a tasty organic dinner 🙂

Me-cooking before we go work out 🙂

Jonathan, my BF

If my BF loves them this much that he will let me take a pic and post it, then they have to be good.

Why I am NOT all about losing WEIGHT

Normally, individuals (especially in the US) are concerned about losing weight and think that a diet means exactly that. Here is the definition of diet:

“food and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on health: Milk is a wholesome article of diet.” (courtesy of dictionary.com)
I am not looking for diets like the “Atkins diet” which only helps you lose weight and but is extremely unhealthy:
“Dr. Atkins claims that the eating of foods high in carbohydrates causes the secretion of increased levels of insulin in the blood. The increased levels of insulin cause any excess food intake to be turned into body fat, in the form of triglycerides. Thus, if lower amounts of carbohydrates are consumed, the body naturally produces less insulin and looks to other sources for fuel, namely FAT! For this reason, the Atkins diet restricts processed and refined carbohydrates and limits intake to 15-60 grams per day, encouraging protein and fat consumption.”
Even livestrong.com suggests people “stay away from the atkins diet” :

“The Atkins diet has received much criticism since it was first published in the 1970s. Frederick J. Stare, PhD, the chair of Harvard’s nutrition department in the 1970s, declared Atkins a dangerous diet because of its high content of saturated fats. The diet was also condemned as everything from “a bad idea” to “a serious threat” by everybody from a U.S. Surgeon General to the president of the American College of Nutrition.”

This is not the only diet that helps you lose weight, the idea of having a diet to lose weight is so common that on goolge those two words have gotten 2.0 million hits! WOW- and only in the US. It is so interesting that people are more into losing weight than they are into health.

So why do I pick on the Atkins diet? Well, I was the same as everyone else and went on it and viola I lost weight- with consequences. I felt horrible each time on the diet and when I was done all the weight would miraculously come back!

On the Atkins diet after two weeks:

So yes, I know how it is to feel skinny- it’s not how you feel inside (because I felt horrible inside not being able to eat all the fruits and veggies our bodies need) but I felt pretty because of the way I looked. After learning that weight can grow back and that I have a lot of health risks that deal with high cholesterol and heart disease- I know those diets for my body when I was younger were probably the worst things for my body. That is why I am not looking to get skinny but I am looking to get healthy. I figure when I eat healthy and work out regularly and live healthy I will be at the weight I am meant to be at. That is my goal 🙂