Happy Birthday Metabolism Master Sam Romano and My Sexy UC Sister Mary Reines

Happy birthday to the most brilliant nutritionist and the classy colon queen!  Here I will discuss some things that have been on my mind as far as nutrition and the raw vegan diet, and what poo is telling you, and how diet and gastrointestinal health go hand in hand!

MARCH 29TH! HAPPY 23RD SAMWISE!!

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Studying for my Advanced Macronutrient Metabolism (WOO 😀 ) lipids exam Monday, I have come to find that Samwise knows a lot more about nutrition than I gave him credit for!

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All along, I have been quite skeptical about this whole raw vegan thing, honestly!  People talking jargon about enzymes, alkaline environments, and life force energy and what not.. who knows if it’s all a bunch of hooey?

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I’m going to go through my skepticisms and how with my study of dietetics, nutrition, fitness, and health, they are all proved to be epically favoring a raw vegan lifestyle.

1. Whether or not my body is able to produce enough hormones without taking in any dietary cholesterol

2. Will I get enough essential fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 with 10% calories from fat?

3. Is a fruit based diet going to provide enough protein?  Especially when I train with weights?

4. Can I get enough calcium and vitamin D, even in the winter? And especially since I am not taking in any cholesterol that is potentially needed to make the hormones to create and absorb these nutrients?

5. What about iodine, sodium, iron, fat soluble vitamins, and vitamin B12?

Sam seems to be confident with the answers to these questions.  I, on the other hand, seek more credential evidence!!  Thank you Samwise for staying true to yourself, and for helping me dream big!! By sending me things like this, 🙂 :

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I have found in my more specialized classes this year that Sam and the raw vegan movement are spot on!  I will start off with #1 today, and hit on the others ASAP!

1. Whether or not my body is able to produce enough fat and hormones without taking in any dietary cholesterol on a high carb low fat vegan diet?

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1. Fact: Our bodies are capable of producing all of the cholesterol and fat (not essential fat-essential omega 3 and 6 are from diet sources only) that it needs from adequate calories from carbohydrates.  Yes, cholesterol is a precursor for estrogens and androgens in the body.  The precursor to make fats and cholesterol, (triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterol esters) can all be formed from the precursor Acetyl-Coenzyme A which is a product of glycolysis (glucose (carbohydrate) metabolism)!!!!  I even asked in class whether or not it took more energy for the body to create its own fat or to obtain it from the diet, and Professor Buhman said it was just as easy to create as to metabolize by the diet.  Our bodies are extremely efficient at digesting macronutrients, and our bodies know very well how much fat and cholesterol it needs to maintain homeostasis.  It is incredible.  Eating enough calories from carbohydrates, our bodies can not only create the fat, cholesterol, and hormones it needs, it is also able to maintain peak efficiency, absorption, and overall health and energy!

Let me tell you, this young shredder knows his innerds like the back of his hand, and I’m jealous of his ability to listen to his bodies cues.  FACT: Undigested lipid delays the rate of emptying of stomach contents!  Sam always told me how fat slows everything down, and how if I ate enough carbs I would be set.  Who knew!?

Why does all this even matter?!  EATING THIS WAY CURES CANCER.  We actually just had a lecture today about how vegan diets prevent cancer due to high levels of powerful phytochemicals and antioxidants.  I asked whether this would be implemented in hospitals or not and the guest professor said there isn’t enough scientific evidence to make any recommendations yet.  Womp. Womp. Womp.  ALSO our cells are regenerating all the time!  You literally are what you eat!  Become ageless and energetic! Vibrate on a whole nother level!  I wouldn’t be this passionate about this if the results weren’t as truly incredible as they are :).  Feeling amazing?  Priceless.

Quick fyi about alkaline vs. acidic body environments FACT: Pancreatic lipase requires an alkaline environment for optimal activity.  (Pancreatic lipase is the enzyme that metabolizes triglycerides (fat) in the intestinal lumen.)

MARCH 31!! I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, I’M FEELING 22 !!!!

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Nutty and girls

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HAPPY 22ND BIRTHDAY MARE!!

Mary Mary quite contrary ❤ I am so inspired by you ❤ My sister found a Naturopathic cure to ulcerative colitis and recently has made huge strides in the healing process!! Congratulations!!  Beyond UC- I am the luckiest girl in the world to have Mary for a sister.  She is kind, honest, and gentle.  I know I can talk to her about anything.  She always puts herself last and will do whatever makes her baby sistee happy 🙂  Love you Mare, thank you so much for putting up with me throughout the years!  Thank you for sticking to your values and being such a warm, kind, and honest individual.  Love and miss you! ❤ Xoxoxo

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Sorry ladies and gents, this post might get a little gross… but I think it is a matter worth mentioning!!  Poopie doopies are fantastic little friends that tell you how your innerds are doing!  Listen to them!

Lots of things can cause weird poops:

  • intolerance to foods, like gluten, diary, and soy to name a few common ones
  • not drinking enough water, causeing hardness in there, ow.. you shouldn’t have to push that hard…
  • not eating enough fiber
  • even stress!!

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Scarier things like colon cancer, IBS, chrons and cholitis can also cause weird poopies.

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As traumatic as I thought it was to have a sister with UC, it is terrible to have to live with such an issue that is so uncomfortable discussing.. so.. let’s get comfortable!

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THIS ONE

My sister wrote an amazing article about her experiences and the fantastic holistic cure she came to! : PLEASE READ!!!!

“Coping with UC

I started crying after Dr. Minor told me that I would need a colonoscopy.

“I’m only 20 years old!” I said to my parents between sobs. “Only 50-year-olds are supposed to get this test!”

My parents reminded me how lucky I was to be having this procedure. I agreed. Then I went home and drank cleansing fluid for three hours, rushing from the couch to the bathroom to poop out whatever was left in my colon.

“This isn’t so bad,” I thought to myself. “I’m used to running to the bathroom.”

I had been having stomach pains for years and there was always blood in the toilet, but I was too embarrassed to tell anyone about it. Now I was finally getting my answer: I had ulcerative colitis.

UC is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. It’s in the same family as Crohn’s disease. After I was diagnosed, I was put on multiple medications including Prednisone and nightly enemas. I wasn’t allowed to eat dairy or salads or whole grains. In a family of health-conscious vegans, my world had been turned upside down.

Sometimes I couldn’t handle any food at all and would spend the whole day inside drinking coconut water, afraid of losing quick access to a bathroom if I left my house. “Will I be able to make it 20 minutes in the car without needing a toilet?” When things were really bad, my life revolved around this question.

But I was lucky. I had a strong support system. My father is a doctor, my sister is a raw vegan fitness instructor, and my mother is a healthy cook and avid reader. She was the one who took care of me the most, making me pumpkin bread with gentle rice flour for breakfast and steamed beets for dinner. For my family, there were no limits for how careful we needed to be with my colon. Fortunately, I was diagnosed over the summer, so my family was able to help me cope with my disease. But going back to college had its own challenges.

Adding six classes, a weekly newscast at WMUA 91.1, and a job as an assistant news editor at the Massachusetts Daily Collegian, my life became hectic. I couldn’t eat anything without running to the bathroom immediately afterwards. My doctor at University Health Services put me back on Prednisone, told me to drink Ensure in order to get protein, and wrote me a note to drop a class even after the deadline had passed. “You need to take care of yourself,” he said. And my family felt the same way.

As an assistant editor, I was expected to be on desk once a week, go to meetings twice a week, and write articles. For my desk night I arrived at 4 p.m. and left the office at 3 a.m. after editing all the news stories, designing the layout, and placing the articles.

I didn’t get much sleep. But I loved working at the newspaper. I made many new friends and learned so much about how a daily paper works. I loved working with a team of fun, smart people. It made me feel good.

It was hard to weigh my health against my duties. The newspaper took up most of my time and energy, and I loved it, but it was taxing. My Nana was adamant that I quit my position. “Be good to yourself!” she yelled at me over the phone. “Your health is most important.”

Even though I would go to the bathroom twice during a half-hour meeting or go on a strict diet of bananas and Ensure, I never quit the Collegian. I just liked it too much. And I never dropped a class either. I was so used to being in constant pain and interrupting my day for bathroom breaks that I convinced myself that my health problems weren’t that bad.

That was my Fall 2012 semester. I passed all six classes with a B+ as my lowest grade. I went to Paris in the spring and when I came back for my Fall 2013 semester, I was invited to work for the news section again. I accepted, writing the crime log and student obituaries.

I learned a lot about my disease and myself that semester. My health is important, but so is my college experience. I didn’t want my career to be stalled by my disease. I had been handling it unknowingly since I was 16. I knew that I could manage it.

Things have gotten a lot better since then. My parents did extensive research and found a holistic solution called a fecal transplant. Over my winter break, my mom blended her poop with sterile saline and then poured the mixture into an enema bottle. Five days a week, I would wake up and turn a movie on and administer the enema, lying on my left side so that the diseased area of my colon would be exposed to the good bacteria. Today I only go to the bathroom twice a day! Having my health back is thrilling.

But I can’t go back to guzzling Rubinoff. After all that I’ve been through; the colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, weight loss, strict diets, life without salad; I value my health. I can’t get wasted with my roommates. I can’t just go to bed whenever I want. I can’t eat a whole pizza and feel fine. I’m young but I’m not invincible. This disease has put restrictions on my habits that have forced me to stop trashing my body. And honestly, I’m grateful.

Ulcerative Colitis is an autoimmune disease, so it’s never going away. I must learn how to handle it and go on with my life.”

INCREDIBLE, RIGHT?!  My sister is my inspiration to become a Naturopathic Doctor where I can help people like my sister come to the best treatments! ❤ So excited about her progress!!

This site that my mama sent me has some good advice!  I summed it up a little bit in this article it inspired me to write for the Odyssey,

3 Tips To Pooping Perfectly 

It’s funny how many people ask me what foods to eat to “make them go”. I know girls who have gone great lengths- investing in laxatives and chugging prune juice. Pooping is important people! Poops should be regular (preferably 1-3 times a day), easy, smooth snakes that comfortably come out of you. Fecal matter that hangs out in your gut creates a toxic environment in your system, creating bloating and smelly gas from fermentation, toxins, and unwanted bacteria. Did you know your digestive tract is home the largest immune defense in your body? Pooping perfectly keeps your defenses up, your bloated belly nice and flat, your farts minimal (and not so stinky), long-term colon and rectal health, and boy doesn’t it feel great to take a nice dump?!  Follow these simple guidelines, and your poop should be perfect in no time!

  1. Stay Hydrated- You gotta make sure the waterslide is nice and wet before you can go down! Same deal with the junk in your trunk. To function properly, your intestines have to be well hydrated.  Recommendations are 8-10 cups of water a day; more with exercise.  Try to drink about 3 cups of water 30 minutes before each meal. This will ensure that your hunger cues aren’t being confused with thirst, and will help your food get digested properly.
  1. Eat Gut Healthy Foods- Probiotics (healthy gut bacteria) are the bacteria in fermented foods like kim-chi, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, and more.  The bacteria in these foods (probiotics) help your gut flora maintain a healthy environment.  Whole plant foods like fruits and vegetables provide prebiotics, which provide the bacteria that the healthy gut bacteria (probiotics) live off of.  The minerals, fiber, and fluids from fresh fruits and vegetables create fabulous poops.  After eating loads of denatured breads, fiber-less animal products, and processed foods, your bound to have an unhappy butthole.  Eating whole grains, plenty of fresh (cooked and raw) fruits and vegetables daily will provide the ruffage, nutrients, and healthy prebiotics necessary to maintain a well running digestive tract.
  1. Exercise- There are muscles in your digestive tract, these muscles respond to other movements of your body. The movement of the smooth muscles of your intestine (peristalsis) greatly improves when you exercise. Just moving a little from walking, jumping, dancing, jogging, or walking up and down stairs can get your bowels a’flowin.  If you want to move your innards, you gotta move your outards.

Stinky nasty farts come from a fiber-less fermenting fecal matter. Get your inner groove back on track and pay attention to how much you are eating compared to how much you are pooping. For me, it feels comfortable drinking 4 cups of water in the morning and moving a little bit before I eat breakfast. I know, it is hard to be conscious of these things with all the stresses and fusses of school life. But, try and put it higher on the list; stress on the potty = stress at your darty.  And the best perk: everyone will appreciate your fragrance free butthole :).

There you have it!  Now for the grand finale!  If you’ve got it, flaunt that ish and snapchat your stool! 😛

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Haha, questions or comments, please post below!  Let’s all wish the best for Sam and Mary!!! A happy healthy 23rd and 22nd!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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Kale Quinoa Marinara

Staying in the elegant Purdue Pride home of the McKinney’s, I had the honor to make my kappa sistah Caroline a delicious dinner, dietetics student approved!

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Kale Quinoa Marinara
Serves 2-3.
Takes 15 minutes
Here’s what you’re going to need:

8oz quinoa (I used an 8oz bag of Simply Balanced rainbow quinoa)
1 bunch curly kale
1 avocado
4 tomatoes
1 cup sun dried tomatoes (I used a 3.5 oz bag of Bella Sun Luci Halves)
4-5 garlic cloves (depending on size and preference)
2-3 tbs Italian seasoning (we didn’t have Italian so I used dried basil, thyme, rosemary, dill, and cilantro)
2/3 of a medium-large onion
9 pitted dates

Steps
1. Rinse quinoa.  Boil 1 3/4 – 2 cups of water to make quinoa. Once water is brought to a boil, pour in rinsed quinoa and turn down heat to medium. Let quinoa soak in all the water as it cooks. Takes about 10 minutes.
2. While that’s cooking, soak your sun dried tomatoes and dates by saturating them in warm water for about 5-10 minutes.
3. Put 3 of the 4 tomatoes in a high speed blender, chop the 4th tomato to add to the top of the dish later.  Add garlic, seasoning, onion, and by this time dates and sun dried tomatoes should be softened and ready to add to blender (do not add soaking water). Blend until smooth, unless you like it chunky!
4. Rinse, de-stem, and chop kale well.  Place chopped kale in a large bowl. By now, quinoa should be done cooking.  Put warm quinoa into bowl with kale. Pour fresh tomato marinara into bowl and mix well with chopped tomato and diced avocado.
5. Reap the benefits!!

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Kale is soo high in calcium, iron, protein, folic acid, vitamin K and even more vitamins and minerals! Quinoa is also very high in iron and is one of the two (soy is the other) plant sources of a complete protein amino acid ratio. Meaning, not only does quinoa have all of the essential amino acids, it has them in the ratio that the body needs and uses.  The vitamin C in the tomatoes helps the iron get absorbed quickly and easily, and the healthy plant based cholesterol free vitamin E rich avocado’s monounsaturated fat, helps the body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamin K. A fat free diet can lead to deficiencies in vitamins A, D, E, and K, because they are fat-soluble. Unlike B vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium that are water soluble. A little bit of fat and vitamin C with your salad can help to absorb fat soluble vitamins and iron!

This was the perfect post work out quick, satisfying, mouth watering meal! Eat clean, wake up lean! L&L ! 😉
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Vegan Lentil Sweet Potato Sloppy Joes

My mother

(the brilliant gourmet food always from scratch 100% necessary organic plant based goodness genius)

has been flooding my email with recipes from Food52.  And the site is right, this recipe is easy! It is filling! And oh boy it is inexpensive!

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I know this ingredients list looks long, but don’t worry, it’s mostly from the spice cabinet 🙂 I just had to buy some lentils (cheap in bulk section) an onion, a bell pepper, and a couple cheap cans of organic tomatoes/ tomato paste!

Serves 6

  • 1cup brown or green lentils, soaked for a few hours (or overnight) and rinsed
  • 2 to 3cups water
  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 1cup white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1green or red bell pepper, chopped (about 3/4 to 1 cup)
  • 1clove garlic, minced
  • 2teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1teaspoon mustard powder, dried
  • One15-ounce can crushed, fire-roasted tomatoes (I like the Muir Glen brand)
  • 3tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1tablespoon organic brown sugar or maple syrup (I didn’t add any sweetener)
  • 1tablespoon apple cider vinegar (I didn’t add vinegar)
  • 1/4 to 1/2teaspoon sea salt (adjust according to taste; how much is needed will also depend on the tomatoes and tomato paste you use) (I didn’t add any salt)
  • 1/4teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2cup vegetable broth (or more as needed) (I didn’t add any)
  • 6sprouted grain buns
  • Toppings of choice (Tabasco sauce, sriracha, pickles, onions, sauerkraut, coleslaw, avocado slices, etc.)
  1. Place lentils in a large pot, and cover with water (enough so that there’s at least a full inch or two of water above the lentils). Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the lentils are chewable, but still have some firmness to them. Drain them and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is soft and clear, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, chili, paprika, and mustard, and continue cooking for another minute or two, until the garlic is quite fragrant.
  3. Add the lentils, fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar or maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Add more broth as needed. Simmer until the mixture has thickened to your liking, about 15 to 20 minutes (I like thick sloppy joes, but if you like ’em sloppier, that’s fine, too!).
  4. Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Divide sloppy joes onto the buns and top with toppings of choice, including some Tabasco or sriracha for heat, if desired. Serve.

Doable and delicious!  I added a sweet potato, chopped into little cubes and steamed, have fun making messes with this recipe!

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New Nutrition Facts Label… B.S.

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Although these public policies do mean well- with high hopes of helping people meet their needs and find healthier options- It still seems to me that the Proposed Changes to the Nutrition Facts Label are better… but are not making the changes that truly need to be made…

Original vs. Proposed:

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I am the biggest nutrition nerd that anyone will ever meet, and I still will look at that “Protein 3g” or “Iron 45%” and think “Is this enough?” or “Is this good?”  Considering a recommendation that I have learned for protein is .8 grams multiplied by body weight in kilograms is a good amount.  But what percent of calories would that be?  Like don’t I only need 10-35% protein?  And as if Joe Shmoe knows his weight in kilograms.. or that equation..  bottom line this label is still really confusing and if anyone out there would like to comment and explain it in simpler terms- I would greatly appreciate it.

What disgusts me so much about this is that it is so focused on the science and each individual nutrient- the ingredients are completely neglected.  Kale and bananas don’t have nutrition labels… so are they poof cut off the face of the earth and don’t have any nutritional value?  My friend once bought an “antioxidant juice drink” because it had suchandsuch many vitamins in it.. I was concerned because I bet some oranges and grapes would have just as many antioxidants.. but because they weren’t labeled or advertised as such, they were forgotten about.

Maybe the ingredients, calories, and serving size, should be big and bold on the front, and the nutrition facts smaller on the side?  It’s about time people put down the products and started eating whole food.  REAL food.  These products disgust me and are quite far from the nutritents that our bodies need and are bioavailable to us.  It seems to me, if it has one of these stupid labels on it, don’t eat it.  I hope to be able to grow my own food, and buy in bulk and sprout, and get back to trusting my hunger cues.  Calorie counts are helpful, but if we ate real, whole, natural food- it would be hard to comfortably accidentally take in too many calories.  All of this science is silly to me.. lets get back to nature, shall we??

Raw Vegan Desserts Demo and Recipes! (Oil Free and Sweetened with FRUIT!)

Last week’s Raw Vegan Desserts Demo was so much fun!  These demos are getting less and less nerve-racking :).  I am so lucky to have the opportunity to share how delicious and easy healthy food really can be!

Have fun making these recipes!  And have even more fun eating them! And have THE MOST fun thriving afterwards ❤
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Black Forest Cherry Brownie Bites

Food processor- S blade

  •  2 cups walnuts (preferably, soaked and dehydrated- however there is a law that it is illegal to sell raw nuts made in the US- they are all pasteurized.  Imported may be raw though)
  • 6-7 dates pitted and packed (I used an 8 ounce bag of coconut date rolls, I think there were 7 in there)
  • 1 tsp cherry extract
  • 6 Tbs cacao or carob powder
  • 3 Tbs water (if necessary- I didn’t use any water)

Process until smooth- delicious walnut butter can be made using simply walnuts in a food processor.  Just be patient- it turns super creamy!  Feel free to add dates or your favorite sweetener for sweetener, or a little salt.  The oils really come out and the brownie bites get super squishy and buttery!

  • ¼ cup dried cherries mixed in after blending
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts mixed in after blending

After mixing in nuts and dried cherries, scoop about a tablespoon of brownie dough into mini muffin tins and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.  The walnut butter congeals when you let it chill.

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Mango Nice Cream

High speed blender (like Vitamix or Ninja), or a food processor S blade (if using food processor, will take longer and definitely add a little water or let thaw out a little- might make soft serve, but still delicious!)

  • 3 ripe, peeled, and frozen bananas, chunked into fourths
  • 1 cup thawed frozen mango chunks (throw your frozen fruit in the fridge, nom nom nom!)

Blend until smooth and creamy.

I love brownies and ice cream separately, but I like them together even better!

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Ohhh the decadence isn’t over yet…

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Coconut Macaroons

Makes appx. 15, use a food processor S blade:

  • 4 cups sun-dried coconut
  • 1/2 cup raisin (soaked if available)
  • 1 cup coconut date rolls or medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup apricot soaked
  • 1/4 Tbl sea salt
  • 1/8 cup distilled water (depending on how much soaked dried fruit

1. Blend coconut in food processor until very fine/ oily/ sweet. (this may take longer than you think!  Let it blend until super smooth, about a full 1-2 minutes)

2. Blend (appx. 30 seconds- 1st pulse 5-6 times) all other ingredients

3. Using cooking scoop, make balls and roll in dried coconut

4. chill and enjoy!

Brownie Chunk Chocolate Soft Serve

Brownie Chunks:

Food processor S blade

  • 2 cups walnut
  • 1 cups (about 7) dates
  • about 1/3 cup cacao powder

Blend until super smooth and spread onto a pan or roll into balls and freeze.  After about 20-30 minutes or more, chop into itty bitty brownie chunk pieces.

Chocolate Soft Serve:

Food processor S blade

  • 3 ripe, peeled, frozen bananas, chunked into fourths
  • 2-3 Tbs unsweetened almond milk (or homemade almond milk, or just throw in some soaked nuts, or just water! 🙂 )
  • 2-3 Tbs cacao powder (depending how chocolatey you like it!)
  • vegan chocolate chips or MY BROWNIE CHUNKS! NOM!!

Blend everything except brownie chunks until smooth and fold in brownie chunks!  Top with fresh berries, yuum.

Gotta love coconut macaroons and brownie chunk chocolate soft serve separately… but together- simply heaven.  sweet little love pies. I don’t think I have to tell you to enjoy this one… but do be sure to savor. xoxo

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Strawberry CashewCream Cheeze

imageA Sunday indulgence that loves you back ❤

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wpid-img_20140302_093204.jpgStrawberry CashewCream Cheeze

1/3 cup soaked cashews (if not using soaked, just add water) *
1 coconut date roll (or any soft pitted date)
3 whole strawberries
1 tsp lemon juice

Blend in high speed blender or little food processor, and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.  Top with berries and breathe deep- savoring every bite! ❤

*to make even creamier, try grinding dry cashews with blender or food processor until fine and add water to recipe.  My soaked cashews mixed with the other ingredients were still a nice soft and creamy blended whole with everything else- up to you!  Also, try doubling or tripling the recipe and save leftover creamcheeze in the fridge for up to a week.  Making a bigger batch will make it easier to blend until completely smooth and creamy!

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