Our idea of what constitutes "food" in American culture has become so skewed that it is almost unrecognizable. Our supermarkets are packed with products whose ingredients include unpronounceable chemicals, dyes, bacteria, and growth hormones. They are irradiated without our consent and contain GMOs.It's time to bring back FOOD. Pure unadulterated organic RAW food.This blog is a documentation of my continuing journey on a plant-based lifestyle.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Double Postage!

 I'm back again for a second posting of the day! I figured I was due for an update on my tummy troubles and my Valentine's Day post was surely not the place to discuss it!

A few posts back I talked about my latest digestive problems, which have seemingly followed me all my life. Sure, like I mentioned, they've improved while on raw but, I have yet to reach a consistantly happy medium. I have found myself continuingly having to cut out my favorite foods (like nuts, granola, raw breads, etc) because I simply have such a hard time digesting them. As a foodie, this can make my food life very boring and can even make digestive problems worse due to stress. D. Chopra says that your emotions can often manifest themselves in your GI track!

Lately, my digestive problems have been the WORST...I mean, seriously, even I was baffled by the extent of what I was dealing with. Never in my life had my stomach been this reactive. I haven't spit up food since I was a kid indulging in a bit too much sugar! What the hell! The floor and the fetal position have been my best friends this week and last. (Don't ask, not sure why I find the floor so comforting, but for some reason it helps to soothe me...think it stems from my childhood which is a whole other story delving into my nerosis.) I have literally been trying everything from different teas to eating more ginger, taking shots of apple cider vinegar, drinking Kombucha, adding inulin, still taking my regular 2 heaping tablespoons of Vitamineral Green, cutting out nutritional yeast. I mean you name it, i've been doing it. And NOTHING seemed to make a difference and my symptoms were just getting worse and worse

To complicate matters, because of my lack of digesting I haven't been sleeping. And everyone knows how important sleep is to the digestive process and overall health. I wake up fatigued and bloated; certainly not how I like to begin my day!

And then, last night I took my NEW digestive enzyme that I've been taking for the past TWO WEEKS (about the time my tum tooks its turn for the worse). And within 15 minutes, I started to feel like someone was stabbing me in my GIT. I took to the floor, per routine. And then, I realized something....IT HAS BEEN MY NEW ENZYMES ALL ALONG!!!! I  did a re-run of the past two weeks and reassessed how/when I started to feel like crap. It was always around dinner time when I usually take my enzymes AND before I go to bed when I take an enzymes again. Duh!

I usually take MRM 100% Plant Based Enzymes and they work beautifully for me. They even contain a proprietary blend of herbs such as ginger, fennel, peppermint, etc. Silly me, I thought I would switch it up and try a new enzyme. I picked up KAL Super Enzymes because it contained HCL and herbs and said it was a double release enzyme for both the stomach and the intestine. This means that part of the enzyme releases its goods in the tum and the other part breaks down in the intestine. It didn't say whether it was veg/vegan which should have been my first indication NOT to buy it, but there was no gelatin and it said it didn't contain anything that was not in the ingredient list. I am guessing that some ingredient not specified was of animal-origin and must have contained some form of dairy. It also burned when I swallowed it, but I thought that was just the herbs or something. Lesson learned. Will be sticking to MRM. Honestly, I want a refund from KAL, i'm so disappointed with this product. Has anyone else ever taken these??

Thanks for all the support and well-wishes during my hellish tummy troubles. Lauren of Ginger is the New Pink has been especially helpful in giving me some tips to help me deal. Thanks Lauren! I will still continue to drink the Rooibos tea, taking Inulin, and eat my raw food because you can never do enough to ensure good digestion!

Speaking of, my lovely Kevinly Kev picked me up two huge heads of red cabbage at the farmers market this weekend so that I can make my own Kraut. I'm excited!! Whenever I eat saurkraut, my digestive issues become almost non-existant...hence my almost perfect, GIT of steel in NYC. I ate kraut by the bucketloads thanks to a wonderful company called Hawthorne Valley Farms from NY. They produce a wide-variety of delicious sauerkraut and I have had the pleasure of indulging in them ALL. I don't even have a favourite because they are all SO good. If you are ever at the Green Market in Union Square, Westerly, or Integeral Yoga do yourself a favor and pick up some of this fermented goodness. Actually, I just found out that they sell buy the gallon now online and I think I might have to purchase some while I wait for my own batch to ferment! I think I am going to be following the Pure2Raw Twins directions for fermenting Kraut/Veggies since they seem to eat them a lot! Kristen's Raw also has an excellent video on making raw, organic, unpasterized Sauerkraut, but she has a crock pot (I guess that's what they call those thingers!) for making her kraut, and I unfortunately, only have mason jars! I'll be posting more on this once I actually get my tush in the kitchen and start fermenting away.

Since I've been dealing with digestive issues my meals have been very simple, but really delicious. I layed off the spices this week and opted for whole foods ingredients like lemon juice, raw garlic, and fresh ginger to flavor my foods. Sometimes it is good to take a break!

Last week I enjoyed this rich, vitamin-packed green smoothie everyday! I called it my Cookies N'Cream since it tasted exactly like the creamy, vanilla shakes I used to enjoy pre-raw and definately pre-vegan.

Cookies N'Cream Smoothie: (all organic)

  • Raw Coconut Flakes
  • Almond Milk
  • VivAgave Vanilla Inulin Powder
  • Wild Organic Blueberries
  • Bananas
  • Baby Bananas
  • Flax Seeds
  • Frozen Mango
  • Spinach

Looks like swamp sludge, takes like love in a mason jar!

As I said my dinners of have been quick to prepare and contain minimal ingredients so as to not tax my digestion.

Marinated Mushrooms and Shredded Zucchini Soup w/ a Lemon-Pesto Broth

Creamy Celery Soup w/ Sunflower Greens & Alfafa Sprouts

Ginger, Curry, Marinated Kale and Nori Strips on top of Creamy Celery, Parsley, & Cilantro Soup

 Fresh Ginger and Garlic Asian Marinated Zucchini and Mushrooms

You know, people say variety is the spice of life, but I happen to enjoy my simple, consistant meals. Sure, I may change spices or herbs here and there, but sticking to whole foods and keeping my ingredient list short really seems to work for me!

Hope everyone has a fanastic, short week! Got to love those government holidays!


  1. Cookies and cream? Oh my gosh, I need to try that!

  2. I love reading your blogs!! Its making me look at what I currently eat and I know I need to change mmy ways asap!! But my problem is I buy fresh food but it goes bad before I can eat it...any tips??

  3. Lauren-
    Yeah VivAgave Vanilla Inulin Powder & Flax seed does something magical for smoothies. I was equally surprised!

    Thanks so much! Changing your eating patterns can be really simple if you plan ahead! I like to buy the food that catches my eye in the store and then I usually spend the rest of the day planning in my head what I am going to be making that week. If you think in quick and easy terms then salad is perfect; you can really jazz it up with extras like sun dried tomatos, olives, raw crackers, avos, fermented veggies/kraut. If you are looking for more complicated recipes try going to www.goneraw.com they have some EXCELLENT compliations of raw food recipes. If you are looking for high raw, but still eat cooked vegan then I would check out www.vegnews.com or just type in "vegan recipes". You will find so much stuff! Also, you have to change the way you think about food. If you are not excited about eating apples make them interesting! Slather them in raw almond butter or coconut butter! If you have anymore questions don't hesitate to ask!


  4. Yeah, a cookies n'cream smoothie sounds good right about now!