Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tasty Tuesday: Raw Tacos

In San Diego, we have a tradition on Tuesdays called Taco Tuesday.  Unfortunately, most tacos are a recipe for ill health and disease.  The shells (likely made from GMO corn) are deep fried then filled with hormone-laden beef, cheese, and other disease-causing ingredients.  When I first went raw, I really missed eating tacos.  I discovered that collard greens can be used as a taco shell, but have soon discovered that Napa cabbage is even better, because it has milder flavor than collard.  Here is a modification to the recipe I used to teach in my raw classes:

Taco Shell:
4 to 6 Napa Cabbage leaves

Taco "Meat" filling:
1 cup of walnuts (soaked and chopped)
1 cup of mushrooms (chopped fine)
1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (blended into a sauce)
1 Tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp of chili powder
1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
1 tsp of sea salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside

Raw Salsa:
1 cup of chopped tomatoes (favorite variety or seasonal)
1/2 cup of chopped onions
1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
1/4 cup of cilantro (chopped)
1 Tbsp of olive oil
1 Tbsp of lemon or lime juice
1 tsp of sea salt (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Raw Sour "Cream":
1 cup of cashews (soaked for 2 to 3 hours)
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of lemon
1 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp of onion powder
1 tsp of sea salt (optional)

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Fold the cabbage leaves in half making a taco shape.  Fill each of the "tacos" with the "meat" so the bottoms are filled nicely.  Add any desired veggies (i.e. marinated mushrooms, shredded cabbage, lettuce or cilantro).  Top with desired amounts of salsa and sour "cream."  Serves two to three people.  Enjoy!

Mystic Merman

Sunday, January 22, 2012

21 Day Fast: Day 21

The last day of the fast was certainly one of the hardest.  I spent most of the day working, so that kept me occupied.  I don't know how people do fasts when they're taking time off.  Personally, I need something to keep me busy and preoccupied.

Going to a potluck certainly didn't help.  There was a lot of great food, but I tried to keep focused on the great company.  Kale University's launch party was amazing.  I sipped my green juice and discussed this great project with some of the 50 or so people that showed up for the party.  At 7 pm, the founders of the university launched the website and discussed the passion, purpose and potential of the project.  What a great resource this is going to be.

So, today I'm eating solid food again.  I started off with an orange and a grapefruit.  Later today, I'm going to the store to pick up some greens for a salad tomorrow.  I'll likely stick with fruit today, but will break the fruit fast tomorrow with a nice salad.  I usually eat an avocado by me second day, which is quite heavy, so I think I'll wait until Tuesday.  I really want to give myself a chance to ease into eating solid again.  Thank you for following me on this healthy journey.  Be healthy!

Mystic Merman

Friday, January 20, 2012

21 Day Fast: Days 19-20

Wow!  I'm getting so close.  I have to say, I'm having a rougher time than I did on my 30-day fast.  I'm really sick of green juice.  Making it a juice feast (with some blended superfoods and aloe) has made it easier, but I think warmer weather makes for a better fast.  I'm really disappointed in my weight loss (12 pounds), but I know that was all fat, because I've been gaining muscle from my workouts.  I also understand that the body's metabolism can slow down during a fast because of the lack of calories.  It may have been too soon after my last fast.

When I start eating solid food again, I'll probably lose weight a lot quicker.  On Sunday, I'll likely break the fast with grapefruit in the morning.  By the evening, I'll probably have other mono fruit and start in with a salad on Monday.  I'm really looking forward to solid food.

Right now, I'm enjoying (sort of) a dark green juice.  My friend Sara from work gave me a huge bag of home grown greens that are really amazing.  I juiced these (celery and kale) with apple, carrots, cucumber, cilantro, parsley, mint, ginger, lemon and red bell pepper.  It's very strong, but super alkalizing.  I know I'm getting a massive amount of nutrition to my cells.  Tomorrow, I plan to have a citrus juice combination blended with Spirulina and fresh aloe.  By the evening, I'll have my large green juice and then head off to the launching party for Kale University (www.kaleuniversity.org).  What a great way to end a juice fast!

So, I'm now off to the gym for a short cardio workout followed by a lifting workout.  My biceps are bigger than they've ever been (which is not saying much)!  Looking forward to stepping out on the beach this summer with a new body.  Be healthy!

Mystic Merman

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

21 Day Fast: Days 17-18

The last two days have been challenging.  I definitely feel more discouraged on this fast, because I'm not losing the weight that I lost on my 30 day fast.  It may be because it's winter and pretty cold, so my body is hanging on to fat.  However, I know that I'm gaining muscle from my workouts.  There's a nice body developing under the fat. :-)

This evening I'm having a very powerful green juice with a lot of greens in it and very little sweetener.  One of my weaknesses tends to be sweet fruit, and I've definitely had a lot of sweet drinks on this fast.  My green juice tonight is really bringing me back into balance.  I think I'll really try to focus on greens for the rest of the fast.  I have some more oranges to juice tomorrow, but I'll probably blend them with fresh aloe gel which can help reduce the quick sugar absorption.

My workouts this week have been consistent, but less intense.  My shoulder has been hurting for some reason, so I've had to do lighter weights.  I'm also focusing on cardiovascular more to prompt more weight loss.  Once I start eating again this weekend, my energy should be back to normal and I can really step it up to the next level.  If the days start to warm up again, the trails of San Diego will be calling me.  Next week, I have plans to hike Cowles Mountain with a friend.  Sometimes, it's hard to get motivated to do hikes when it's cold, but I always feel amazing when I get out there.  Be healthy!

Mystic Merman

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

21 Day Fast: Day 16

Day 16 was a breeze.  I had juice throughout the day and also did some supplements, like MSM with camu camu berry powder.  It was a busy day at work, which makes it easier not to think about food.  The weather has been colder here, so I made a hot cup of tea in the morning as well.

Last night, Brandi from Raw Foods on a Budget presented her program at my house.  We had a potluck, but several of us were still on a juice fast, so there was lots of juice around.  Brandi's presentation was great.  She covered a lot of points about not wasting food, eating less, connecting with local farmers and so much more.  Then, she gave a food demo on how to make raw donut holes.  Fortunately, I got the recipe, so I can make it when I'm finished with the fast.

I'm also excited to practice and share some of things I learned at her presentation.  Staying on raw food doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming.  I'd like to apply these principles to my diet over the rest of the winter and spring and blog about the results.  Hopefully, I can inspire others to eat more raw food and make significant changes in their health.  2012 promises to be a great year!

Mystic Merman

Sunday, January 15, 2012

21 Day Fast: Days 13 - 15

I got a little behind on my blog for the 21 day juice fast.  Today is day 15.  The last three days have been great.  I've had good energy, worked out every day and consumed large amounts of juice from citrus to green juice, with a couple of kombuchas thrown in there.  With only six days to go, I'm feeling confident and healthy.

My workouts have been more intense over the last couple of days.  On Friday, I had another upper body work after about 15 minutes of cardio.  My chest, abs and back muscles are pretty sore, indicating a great workout.  This morning I got on the elliptic machine for forty minutes and burned 600 calories.  Then, I spend another fifteen minutes on the treadmill going up hill and burned another 200 calories.  Apparently, after 30 minutes of cardio exercise, you really start to burn fat.  So, I spent about 20 minutes this morning in fat-burning mode.  I love it!

For the rest of the day, I plan on doing green juice and drinking large amounts of water.  I'll probably burn a lot more calories, because I also have to clean my house for a raw potluck tomorrow.  Brandi from Raw Foods on a Budget is giving a talk at my house on how to save money on a raw food diet.  I'm looking forward to it.  Be healthy.

Mystic Merman

Friday, January 13, 2012

21 Day Fast: Day 12

Day 12 was another rough day.  On Wednesday evening, I took a sublingual Vitamin B12 tablet.  I usually take these in the day, but I hadn't taken one for several days, so I thought I could use it.  Unfortunately, B12 gives you energy, so I couldn't fall asleep for a couple of hours.  Since I get up around 6 am, yesterday was a tough day.  I had low energy and all the green juice in the world couldn't bring me out of my stupor.

I did manage to drag myself to the gym after work.  I got on the elliptic machine and plugged my headphones into it.  The only thing worth watching on the 6 television screens in front of me was an episode of Sex and the City, which I've never seen.  I decided to see what all the hype is about.  I have to say, television has gotten worse in the last twenty years.   What a ridiculous show!  No wonder I don't watch TV.  Life is so much better. One good thing, though.  I became so engrossed in picking apart everything about the show, that when I looked down to the machine I was on, I had gone 45 minutes.  I finished at 50 minutes and 550 calories, sat in the sauna for 15 minutes and headed home to go to bed early. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

21 Day Fast: Day 11

Day 11 proved to be the easiest day so far.  I had more energy today and very little craving for solid food.  I didn't think the day was going to go well, because I hit the snooze button an extra time this morning.  Once I was up and in the shower, I felt pretty good.  By the time I got to work, it felt like it was going to be a good day.

I started the day with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in water.  On my way to work, I drank about a half a liter of water.  About an hour into work, I made some herbal tea that helps the body detox.  The tea had ginger root and some berries in it.  I also added some Cat's Claw, Pau D'arco and Chanca Piedra.  These teas help the body to expel yeast overgrowth, build the immune system and remove calcification from the joints, as well as break up stones in the gallbladder and kidneys.

Before lunch, I had a cranberry kombucha, which is also great for detoxification and the cranberry cleans out the urinary tract.  At lunch, I made a huge green juice (about 32 ounces) with collard greens, red bell pepper, carrot, apple, cilantro, parsley, celery, cucumber, zucchini and lemon.  I sipped on this for the next hour while working.  This is a great combination, because it's very hydrating, it's full of electrolytes, and the herbs and lemon help detoxify and alkalize the body.

After work, I was feeling very energetic, so I went straight to the gym.  Tonight was definitely the best workout I've had since starting the fast.  The first thirty minutes consisted of a combination of walking and running on the treadmill.  After walking for two minutes at four miles per hour, I sped up to a run at six miles an hour for two minutes, then back to a walk for two minutes, and back to a run, etc.  This was all done at a four percent incline, so my heart rate got up to about 155 during the run.  Overall, I burned about 450 calories in thirty minutes.

Then, I hit the weights, spending another thirty minutes on my upper body.  This included a rotation between my chest, my abs and my back.  Basically, I did three sets of one muscle group, then moved onto the next muscle group.  Once complete, I repeated this rotation using different machines to work different areas of the muscle groups.  In total, I did three rounds of three sets for each muscle group.  I'm sure I'll be sore tomorrow, but it'll be worth it.  I really feel like my body is getting stronger and fitter.  I didn't weight myself tonight, but I will tomorrow or Friday to check how much weight I've lost.

Tonight, I'm having a more simple juice for dinner.  I blended grapefruit juice with camu camu, MSM and spirulina.  I didn't put much in the juice, but it was enough for some nutritional support.  Tomorrow promises to be a great day.  Be healthy!

Mystic Merman

21 Day Fast: Day 10

I got very busy last night and this morning and wasn't able to post about Day 10.  Things went well, although my energy was low.  I skipped the gym, did some shopping for greens, took a short walk and went to bed a little early after reading my current health book.  Stay tuned for Day 11.  Be healthy.

Mystic Merman

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

21 Day Fast: Day 9

Day 9 passed by with ease.  I had juice and tea in the morning, then a kombucha for lunch.  After work, I went to the gym and had a great workout.  I'm feeling stronger and cleaner every day.  I've lost about 7 pounds so far, which is exciting, since I'm gaining muscle.  That means the fat is coming off. 

After my workout, I went home and made a huge green juice.  This was one of the tastiest juices I've made so far. Here is the recipe:

1 whole fennel root
4 apples
2 limes
1 carrot
1 large cucumber
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch of cilantro

This is a great detoxifier for the liver, the kidneys and the intestines.  I think I'll have to make this again.  Be Healthy!

Mystic Merman

Monday, January 9, 2012

21 Day Fast: Day 8

Yesterday was a day of rest.  I had a huge glass of orange juice in the morning and then went to the gym with a friend.  I didn't push myself too hard for my workout and then relaxed in the pool and sauna.  After stopping to pick up a couple of kombuchas, I went back to my friend's house and relaxed for the rest of the day.  A nice calm Sunday with juice, dogs and a good movie. 

Mystic Merman

Saturday, January 7, 2012

21 Day Fast: Day 7

I'm heading up to North San Diego County for the weekend.  I just packed my car with the citrus juicer, my Green Star, a bag of citrus and a bag of greens.  Preparation is the key when you're on a juice fast.  This morning, my friend and I are doing a Zumba class, which I've only done once.  It's a great workout, but difficult to keep up with the steps.  It's all about having fun!

I think one of the main reasons my energy has been a bit low this whole week is that I chose to stop taking any supplements.  My body was getting used to getting B complex, vitamin E, amino acids, etc. every day. Now, I'm just getting nutrients from my juice, which is fine.  I definitely am looking forward to taking my supplements again though in about two weeks.  Only 14 more days to go!

Mystic Merman

Friday, January 6, 2012

21 Day Fast: Day 6

Just a quick note before I go to bed.  I had citrus juice, green juice, kombucha and apple cider vinegar all day today.  I even made chocolate macaroons at work for someone's last day without eating any.  Tonight, I went to the gym and spent an hour working out.  I've lost about five pounds.  This weekend will be all about exercise, juice, relaxation, and inspiration.

Mystic Merman. 

21 Day Fast: Day 5

Day 5 was much easier, although my energy fluctuated throughout the day.  I continued my citrus juice in the morning, along with green juice in the afternoon and evenings.  Also, I've been drinking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in water first thing in the morning.  I also had an apple cider vinegar drink later in the day.  Kombucha is something that can really get me through the day as well.

For weight loss, I'm not really sure where I stand, although I can tell I'm losing weight.  I haven't been to the gym this week due to the lovely weather outside.  Yesterday evening, I walked again.  I do plan to go to the gym tonight, however, so I will weigh myself to figure out how much I've lost. 

Over the next week, I am going to add coffee enemas to the regimen.  While juice or water fasting, you're not taking in any fiber, so the bowels don't get as much movement.  Doing coffee enemas expedites the removal of waste and toxins.  I have previously posted about coffee enemas, but you can see the procedure here.  As with anything I recommend, please check with your health care provider if you have any health conditions.  Be healthy!

Mystic Merman

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

21 Day Fast: Day 4

Day 4 was certainly much easier.  I had more energy today and less hunger.  This morning I had a shot of apple cider vinegar in water to get those digestive juices flowing.  After an hour at work, I made more of the citrus I've been doing every morning.  For lunch, it was another green juice and a shot of wheatgrass.  For dinner tonight, I went to my friends' house and had green juice.  We talked about their new project Kale University (www.kaleuniversity.org) and discussed the daunting ignorance of the general public of how their diet effects their health.

For exercise earlier, I was going to go to the gym.  Because it was such a beautiful night, something kept me from spending an hour or so inside a gym.  So, I went to the park and power walked for an hour.  What a beautiful way to spend the evening.

Mystic Merman

21 Day Fast: Day 3

Day 3 of the fast was a little easier than day 2, but I still had very little energy.  After having citrus juice and green juice during the day, then having my car smogged in the afternoon, I went home and laid down on my bed to read.  I ended up falling asleep and sleeping through the whole night.  I think I got about 11 or 12 hours of sleep last night.  I guess I needed the rest. 

Day 4 promises to be a little better.  I'm already feeling stronger and will probably go to the gym tonight.  I'll post at the end of the day.

Mystic Merman

Monday, January 2, 2012

21 Day Fast: Day 2

Day 2 was a little bit harder than day 1.  In the morning, I made a huge glass of orange juice and blended it with a little bit of Spirulina powder.  This sustained me for a couple of hours, but then I became very hungry and started having major cravings.  While I was shopping for vegetables for my green juice, I picked up a Kombucha and an apple cider vinegar drink from Braggs.  This satisfied me until I could get home and make a green juice.  After blogging, I plan to make myself another green juice and go to bed early.

As I was feeling a little weak today, I decided not to do anything too strenuous.  I went to the park and took a nice walk.  It was a beautiful January day, with clear skies and temperatures in the mid-sixties.  The sun felt great on my skin and helped ease some of the cravings.  For the rest of the day, I read a book I'm reading right now about natural healing.

Tomorrow should be a little easier than today.  Going back to work will help me focus on other things besides food.  I plan on having some grapefruit juice in the morning and doing my green juice at lunch.  After I work out, I'll probably have a shot of wheatgrass.  One of the things I really need to remember to do is to drink more water.  The juice satisfies my thirst, so I tend to go for hours without drinking anything.  However, water is essential for detoxification, so I will focus on drinking a lot more water over the next few days.

Mystic Merman

21 Day Fast: Day 1

I can't think of a better way to bring in the new year than with a fast and a friend.  I spent my first day of 2012 with my best friend.  Being off work for the first two days of the fast is very helpful.  Yesterday, I had water and fresh squeezed orange juice for most of the day.  When I got home last night, I made a large green juice for myself.  This helped balance out the toxins that I'm already expelling.

For exercise on the first day, I walked for a couple of hours with my friend.  We walked along the beach and the pier and talked about our plans for 2012.  For me, this is the year that I truly begin to take care of myself on every level.  This blog has been really important for the last few months in preparing me for my best year yet.  My health and my progress are now the most important things to me, and I finally have the will and the momentum to remain focused and sincere.

Stay tuned as I continue to discuss my progress, goals and challenges over the next year.  Be healthy.

Mystic Merman