i got tired of crying

15 Aug

Good health is so much more than what we eat.  I’ve preached about the “mind-body” connection several times now.  It’s TRUE.  As one of my favorite plant-based warriors, Kris Carr, would say: “It’s also about what’s eating YOU.”  Stress creates inflammation.  Did you know that?  And it also creates acidity.

For several years, I had a job I did not like.  Some days, especially in the past year, it would even cause me to break down and cry. My boss was great, I just hated the work involved.  It didn’t challenge me.  I couldn’t use my creative juices.  I also worked alone, which is difficult for a Type-A, outgoing extrovert.  It just wasn’t for me.  But out of fear, I stuck with it.  I should not have done that. I preach to my health clients that happiness and overall low stress levels is essential for good health, just as much as a healthy diet is essential to good health.  Yet I did not take my own advice.

This past year, my job started to really grate on me more than ever, and cause untold stress.  I found myself crying a lot.  And I found that during those rough times, I turned to food.  Not the good kind, either.  Hence my “Falling Off the Wagon” post, back in May.  After jumping back on the clean-eating wagon, I felt much better, and found myself even smiling at work.  But slowly, those familiar feelings of dread slipped back in, no matter how well I ate.  And that is because I simply did not enjoy my work (that’s stating it mildly).  I started to feel a bit depressed again, and felt cravings toward bad food…again.  Oh, no you don’t!  I knew I had to do something.  I vowed that was my last cry.

So, I quit my job.

And you know what?  My fear proved unfounded.  I kicked my other businesses up a notch and probably work harder now, with more hours, but I am HAPPY.  And just like eating a plant-strong diet, true happiness in your work changes everything.  I now look forward to getting up every morning.  I smile when I wake up, and that smile lasts all day.  Now I meditate as a treat for myself, rather than a means to escape my stressful job.

Now, I’m not telling you to quit your job.  I don’t want to be responsible for anyone not being able to pay their bills.  But I am telling you that you need to make a change if you are miserable, like I was.

are u happy chart

Life is much too short to hate what we do eight hours a day, five days a week.  Find work you love, or at least like.  Especially if your job leads you towards finding comfort in the wrong food.  “I had a shitty day at work, I deserve this slice of cake as big as my face!”  Yep, time for a change!  And maybe I can help, with the following recommendations.  See below.

As a Type A, I get bored easily.  So, I prefer having several jobs.  And I don’t care about “important titles” like I used to.  That way, I’ll never be bored, and I’ll always be happy.

Aside from health coaching (I received my Certification from IIN and loved every minute of their course), I also enjoy being a demo rep for some awesome nutrition companies.

1896788_620256428043185_2098394617_n

If you are interested in doing the same, here’s how.  Go to the website of your favorite protein powder, for example.  Like Vega, Raw Meal, Plant Fusion, etc.  Click the “Contact” link and email them.  Tell them your location and ask if they need anyone to demo their product.  Now, this isn’t for shy people, you have to be outgoing to get people over to your table to try the product.  But I have had some amazing, life-changing conversations with this job.  My husband always asks me, “How many lives did you save today?” after I return home from a demo.  That’s because I get to spread the word about how I saved my own life, and changed it forever, by eating the very stuff I am asking them to try.  It’s a win-win.  I make money and help people at the same time!  I even met a health client this way.  He walked by me and I commented on his cart full of veggies.  He said, “Yep, I’m trying!” and then we talked for awhile.  The rest was history.  He’s now off ALL medications after dropping a lot of weight and ridding himself of processed crap, and living life like the badass he was meant to be.

If you are in Houston, Texas and interested in this type of work, please email me immediately at RebeccaSiekmann@gmail.com so I can get you in touch with my broker.  They are hiring!

Another one of my awesome new jobs is Lyft.

???????????????????

It’s hard for me to call this a “job,” though, because I don’t feel like I’m working.  I feel like I’m simply meeting new friends and truly helping people.  And the Lyft community of drivers is super awesome.  We meet up and have fun together on a weekly basis.

My first Lyft was an elderly man who needed a ride to his doctor’s appointment.  He said he loves Lyft because many cab drivers are “mean” to him, and Lyft is much cheaper.  He was awesome!  I took him to his appointment, the grocery store and then back home to walk his little dog. Love it!  I also like the fact that I am preventing people from driving under the influence.  When people go out with friends and have one-too-many, they request a Lyft rather than chancing the ride home.  Good stuff.

10455063_665202293548598_4254628073237864380_n

So, with Lyft, I drive cool people from point-A to point-B in the comfort of my own car.  I offer them cold bottles of water and crisp organic apples to munch on (I’m known as the “Hippie Lyft” haha!).  This job rocks, period. If you have questions about it, you can email me at RebeccaSiekmann@gmail.com.  Be sure to check to see if Lyft is available in your area first.  If you’re in the Dallas Fort Worth area, hit me up if you’re ready to become a driver, and I will gladly perform your mentoring session!  I was recently promoted to Mentor!

Wanna try it?  Here’s a code for a free ride, up to $25: Download the LYFT app on your smartphone, then click the payment button and enter my code REBECCA1817

Wanna be a driver?  Here’s a code that will get you $100 smackers after you complete 20 Lyfts (they must be done 30 days after you are approved to get the 100 smackers).  Link to be a Driver: http://lyft.com/drivers/REBECCA1817

Code for a Free Lyft: (first download the LYFT app on your smartphone, then click payment and enter my code) REBECCA1817

PLEASE use my special codes above if you want to try it or become a driver, because I get some smackers too, for referring you to the platform as a passenger or a driver.  And guess what I use that money for?

Animal Rescue of course!  Here are my latest foster babies, Jack and Jill.  I cover 100% of my foster animals’ Vet expenses before adopting them out through the Crowley Animal Shelter (the shelter keeps the adoption fee to further help save more animals, I get none of it), so I appreciate you using my code, and sharing it!

So the moral of the story is…

STOP BEING MISERABLE.

LIFE IS SHORT.

FIND A WAY TO DO WHAT YOU LOVE, OR AT LEAST WHAT YOU LIKE.

If you are staying at a high paying job you hate, just to afford a lifestyle you don’t need, then please consider ditching the manicures, pedicures, and various toys you buy to make up for the fact you hate your job.  Think about living in a simple manner.  Ditch cable, go outside.  Ditch the high car payment, get something cheaper and less flashy.  Ditch the expensive vacation, go camping.  Ditch the gym membership, work out at home.  And with that, I’ll give you one last recommendation.  Check out Dave Ramsey.  He was the real reason I was able to quit that job and be HAPPY.  He taught me how to budget and stop spending money stupidly.

Once you enjoy your job, boast good health and have financial peace, there’s only one thing left to do: Love your life.  Get busy loving, y’all!

To Your Good Health,
Raw Rebecca

 

i don’t feel like it

3 Aug

Have you ever woken up in the morning and exclaimed, “I don’t feel like it!” when you think about pulling out your heavy-ass juicer, rinsing the mountains of produce, chopping for what seems like an hour, and then shoving it all down the chute? 

And THEN, it’s time to clean it all up, which we all know sucks, despite what the other bloggers tell us.  Well, I’m not going to sugar coat it, friends.  It’s not fun.  I open my kitchen blinds, blast my favorite music, dance around, and even still then I sometimes find myself sighing out loud and rolling my eyes at all the work involved.

HOWEVER…

Have you ever made yourself a big ole jar full of Mean Green (after all the pulling, rinsing, chopping, shoving and cleaning), drank it up and thought, “I wish I hadn’t done that, it wasn’t worth it.” 

NOPE…

Drinking that live liquid sunshine makes you feel incredible.  Period.  Dead food, although deliciously quick and easy, makes you feel like crap.  Period.  You will definitely think, “I wish I hadn’t done that, it wasn’t worth it.”

I was inspired to write this blog yesterday morning while making a healthy breakfast (seen below in the photo).  I woke up cranky after a poor night’s sleep at work (I rarely sleep well when not in my own bed) and I did NOT feel like juicing whatsoever.  But then I remembered how that juice would make me feel.  I knew it would super-charge my energy, and eliminate my bad mood.  I knew that every cell in my body would benefit.  So I told myself to stop being a baby, and push through.  I did, and guess what? 

I FELT AMAZING.

Keep your eye on the prize, my friends.  Stop being a baby.  Form the habit and reap the rewards.  Juice it up…for life!

photo(112)

To Your Good Health,
Raw Rebecca

i fell off the wagon

22 May

I have debated for hours, actually days, whether or not to write this blog.  People have become progressively meaner, nastier and more judgmental from the comfort of their computer chairs as of late, and I very much dislike having to defend myself or use my block button.  I thought, “I don’t have to open myself up to ridicule or judgment, I could simply continue to share recipes and inspirational quotes on my Facebook page and save myself from the drama and backlash.” Why would I do that to myself?

But then I realized that sharing my story would probably help more than it would hurt.  And for every person who feels the need to spew hatred and judgment toward me, there are hundreds, maybe thousands more, who will find inspiration from my story and perhaps change their life for the better.  After all, I named my page “Raw Rebecca” because I promised I would offer my followers “Raw” truth and “Raw” emotion.  (Yes, that’s right, my name initially had nothing to do with Raw Foodism!  I discovered Raw Foodism long after creating my Facebook page)  But, back to my wagon and how I fell off.

So, here goes…

Starting around the holidays, I began to stray from my mostly-Raw diet.  Quick side note: I am rarely 100% Raw if it’s not Summertime.  A Raw Foodist is someone who eats between 70-100% Raw each day.  So yes, many Raw Foodists do sometimes eat cooked food.  It’s a choice, not a sin.  I actually do not recommend everyone to go 100% Raw because I personally feel that such an overly-restrictive diet can be difficult, especially for those with extremely busy lives.  I also believe we are all bioindividual, so there is no one perfect diet for every BODY.  I simply advocate CLEAN, PLANT-BASED eating (with lots of RAW fruits and veggies).  That simply means you eat all-natural, whole clean foods, and mostly plants.  So, now that’s out of the way, back to the story.  I slowly strayed from my Raw diet because I craved cooked foods during the cold months.  Not a big deal.  There are some great cooked/clean recipes out there.  However, I slowly started to eat cooked comfort foods, like my favorite Peppermint Mocha coffee drinks from Starbucks, Christmas cookies and the occasional slice of ahhh-mazing vegan cake from the Spiral Diner in Dallas to name a few.  I considered these “holiday treats” harmless, as long as I got back on my game “tomorrow.”  Or, as long as I stuck to the 80-20 or 90-10 plan (eating well 80% or 90% of the time, and allowing treats 10% or 20% of the time).  I always thought, “Tomorrow will be different.” But there was always a reason, an excuse…and so…

Tomorrow did not come.

Why?  Because I slowly became addicted again.  Those few cheat days turned into weeks.  I became disgusted with myself and some of you may have noticed a long lapse in my Facebook postings.  I was too ashamed to return.  Because I know better.  I’m a Certified Holistic Health Coach, for Pete’s sake.  What’s wrong with you?  Why don’t you practice what you preach?  You hypocrite!  And right then and there, my self-loathing returned.  My smile sessions and positive self-talk disappeared.  My daily affirmations ceased completely.  I ate more anti-foods to make myself feel better.  Even though I know un-clean foods are just as addictive as drugs, I allowed myself to slowly become addicted again, even while simultaneously helping others free themselves of that same addiction.  It was my dirty little secret.  I would go on the occasional health kick during these few months, after I reached my limit, and start a juice fast or raw cleanse.  But then I allowed my crazy work schedule to interfere and it didn’t last.  And then I went on a few vacations.  Oh, boy. These trips were nothing like my first vacation as a healthy person (see HERE).  They were full of indulgences and alcohol, and with my judgment lacking, I even consumed some meat and dairy, which simply does not work well in my body (I paid dearly for that later, with depression and bowel trouble…well deserved).  I would start off great in the morning, with a green smoothie, but as the day wore on, I would eat and drink whatever I felt like.  I returned home and felt like CRAP.

My old health problems re-surfaced.

After all was said and done, I realized my life was different, and so was my waistline.  I gained between 12-15 pounds.  I was no longer super happy and positive every day.  My bowel movements were very light in weight (healthy poop should be HEAVY and BIG), and few and far between (you should poop every day, 1-3 times per day, not per week).  I was bloated and constipated often, and I did not sleep well.  I woke up almost every morning feeling like I did not want to get out of bed.  I started taking naps again.  My menstrual cycles arrived each month accompanied by pain and bad moods.  I suffered a few nasty headaches, too.  What the what!?  I was turning back into the old Rebecca.  This scared me.  I remembered my constant illnesses and how I haven’t been sick in over 3 years.  I couldn’t go back down that road.  I just couldn’t.  And then, the worst thing happened…

My depression re-surfaced.

Notice I barely mentioned the weight gain.  That’s because the scale does not determine true health.  What determines true health is your daily positive outlook, your energy levels, your self-love, and how you handle whatever life throws your way.  Here’s an example.  I started to truly HATE my Personal Assistant job.  I have several jobs, but this one really started to grate on me.  I fully manage a large estate 2 days per week, which means I also keep it clean.  The “maid” portion of this job started to really depress me during this time, and that depression trickled down into every faucet of my life.  Every time I scrubbed a toilet, I would have to fight back tears, sometimes unsuccessfully.  This is a whole other story, but my husband and I are saving money to open our own business, so I know I will not have to do this job forever.  But knowing that didn’t help me during this hard time.  And that “hard time” I suffered was fully caused by my unclean DIET.

Change is possible, again.

It didn’t take long for me to realize I could change it all…again.  Especially before I gained all the weight back, and needed medication again to get through the day without crying.  No!  I refused to be an overweight pill popper again!  I knew I could be happy again, maybe even while scrubbing a toilet (whoa, let’s not push it, Rebecca).  It took a full two weeks for me to rid my body of the toxins I permitted entry (I did a clean, Raw cleanse).  After that two weeks, I noticed a huge difference in EVERYTHING.  I started sleeping soundly again and waking up with energy and smiles.  I lost weight.  I had energy all day.  I produced bowel movements that would put the healthiest Vegan out there to shame.  My menstrual cycle shortened and the pain/bad moods never returned.  And best of all, I started loving myself again.  My depression lifted!  I resumed my smile sessions  :)

So that’s it.  I fell off the wagon.  Surprise, everyone, I’m human!  BUT I GOT BACK ON.

If my story resonates with you, let me assure you that YOU can also get back on the wagon, and stay on it this time.  The first step is forgiving yourself.  Beating yourself up only causes more negative feelings which can lead to more destructive eating habits.  Accept what you did to get here, and go from there.  I look at it this way: I have eaten the Standard American Diet for over 30 years.  I am therefore still considered somewhat new to the clean, plant-based eating way of life.  So, I’ve done pretty damn good thus far.  See how I’m celebrating the good parts, rather than bashing myself over the bad parts?  That’s important.

You see, in all roads, you will find bumps.  I went over some bumps in my road.  But I survived, and more importantly, I learned from it.  I learned what those “bumps” can do to my “car,” aka my body, and in a relatively short amount of time, too.  I’m actually grateful this happened, because it made me realize more than ever that a few minutes of tasty bliss is not worth an entire day (which can turn into weeks, months and years) of feeling depressed, fat, bloated and lazy.  Bad food is just NOT. WORTH. IT.

I’m too smart to allow something as silly as “taste” to wreck my body and destroy my happiness.  And so are you.  And trust me, once you clean your taste buds from the toxic food you have been eating, real food will taste just as good.  It’s a win-win.

As for my toilet-scrubbing depression, this was me today.  I had to stop and smile because I caught myself singing and dancing while scrubbing.  That’s a big change from complaining and crying.  All because of DIET.  It was this very moment that prompted me to write this blog today.  In fact, I took my lunch break early, and ran to get my laptop.

A clean, healthy diet changes everything.  Literally, everything.  Let’s all stop living our lives half-full.  If you also fell off the wagon, I hope this blog helped get you back on it!  I’m here, waiting for you to join me.

photo(107)

To Your Good Health AND Happiness,
Raw Rebecca

get happier, be happier

2 Feb

I always say that good mental health is very important for all-over good physical health.  The mind-body connection is crucial and remaining positive is absolutely necessary for good health.  But that’s difficult if you’re constantly reading negativity or engaging in silly debates.  I’m talking about Facebook, of course.

facebook-dislike-button

Lately, it seems Facebook has become a haven for negativity and sadly, it’s getting worse instead of better.  I see people being cruel for the sake of being cruel, starting political debates (that will NEVER end well since they won’t change your mind and you won’t change theirs), and acting superior and judgmental towards complete strangers as well as personal friends, all from the comfort of their cushy computer chair. I also see well-meaning folks posting positive updates, only to have them turn into a nasty, negative thread of hot debate mixed with narcissistic bullshit.  ~Sigh~  You know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you?

Perhaps it’s people on your friend list, or perhaps it’s you.  Take a look at your last 50 posts on Facebook and count how many are positive.  How many of them are smile-inducing?  A good bit?  Or are you finding that you mostly post sensitive topics that deal with religion, politics and other fun subjects that really bring people together in loving acceptance?  (note sarcasm) Seriously, go count them.  Are you mostly uplifting your friends, or bringing them down?  Are you creating a peaceful environment for yourself?  Or creating drama and hurt feelings?  Hmm…

If you are often involved in such debates or starting them, there is no way you are as happy inside as you could be and I know from experience.  I sometimes get caught up in them myself.  Do I ever feel better afterward?  NO.  And be honest, neither do you.

So, let’s get HAPPIER!  There is an app called “Happier,” and I’m so grateful I found it. I could not wait to share it with you.

Happier

I no longer look at Facebook as soon as I wake up in the morning, and I no longer check my Facebook newsfeed before I go to bed.  I log into Happier and wake up smiling and go to bed positive and content.

It is so very refreshing. 

Studies prove that people who share gratitude are happier than those who do not.  I keep a gratitude journal and now, I have a gratitude “social network” to match it!  Yes, please!  They even offer a guided 21-day “Happier” course for just $19.99.  The app, however, is 100% free.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like Facebook.  I have met some amazing people through this social network, helped change countless lives through clean-eating shares, and even raised enough money through Facebook fundraisers to save an animal and a child, to boot.

So yeah, Facebook can be great.  But some of the people on Facebook are not so great, and it’s sometimes difficult to delete all the negative people from your feed.  Happier, on the other hand, is a social network full of people who prefer to focus on the POSITIVE things in life and their status updates prove it.  I smile every single time I check my Happier account, and I think you will too.  Because when you see only happy, you feel only happy.

Here is a great testimony from a fellow Happier user.  Note the time reads 2:36 a.m.  My foster kitten woke me up and I couldn’t get back to sleep.  So I checked my Happier and read some happy reviews.  I easily fell back asleep with a smile on my face :)

photo(2)

And here’s another spot-on testimony…

photo(3)

They even send you uplifting emails!

photo(5)

How is that for customer service?  Telling me I’m awesome…twice?  Wow!
The grass is indeed greener on this side.  Hope to see you there!

photo(85)

To Your Good (OVERALL) Health,
Raw Rebecca

 

a raw rant

28 Aug

I recently took a bit of a break from my Raw Rebecca Facebook page because I got sick of it.  Yep, it’s true.  “It” being the fact that I can’t post anything without someone taking issue with whatever it is I splashed on MY wall.  It seems that even the smallest thing can be bent out of shape and turned into a nutritional nightmare with people arguing over what they feel is right/wrong.  I’m sick of it, and the stress it evokes.  WHY is nutrition such a hot button?  Shouldn’t we all be on the same side?  Shouldn’t we all be patting each other on the back for healthier choices, rather than picking each other apart?  I even considered deleting my Facebook page altogether.  But cooler heads prevailed.

After my break, I came back strong, and started posting regularly again.  It felt good, and for awhile, everything was pleasant.  Until today.

996929_428203840621809_977615771_nI posted a photo of a huge plate of fresh garden vegetables with bowls of cut-up tomatoes and cucumbers.  My Mother sent me the photo.  I was so proud of my Mom, I posted the photo on my Facebook page, with the caption: “My Mom just sent me this photo of her dinner. Go Mom! And it’s all from a garden. Local, organic and delicious.”  Now seriously, how could anyone turn this into something negative?  Oh, it’s possible.  Ready for this?

A woman immediately (within about 60 seconds) questioned it, saying they “hope” that’s not all she had for dinner.  As if this is any of her business.  I stayed calm, and asked “Why?” to which she responded, “Because tomatoes and cucumbers do not a rounded meal make.”  Well, thank you, Department of Stating the Obvious.  My Mother eats more than raw vegetables during her daily routine, but even if she didn’t, what concern is it of yours?  Sigh.  I politely responded that sometimes it’s okay to eat big bowls of raw veggies for dinner.  The response: she deleted me.

And then there was the person who gave me shit over posting a healthy, plant-based recipe that included COOKED (oh, no, not cooked!) cauliflower, and then went on to judge anyone who doesn’t eat 100% Raw, because it “was the only thing that worked” for her.  Once this person heard that I don’t always eat 100% Raw, she rudely suggested I change my name, because “it’s misleading.”  I remember sharing that bit with my husband, to which he replied incredulously, “Are you effing kidding me?”

Newsflash #1: I created the name “Raw Rebecca” before I knew that a Raw Food Movement even existed.  The “Raw” part of my name refers to “Raw Emotion,” as I promised I would really put myself out there emotionally, even posting “before” photos of myself that I used to find embarrassing – all in the name of helping other people.  It was a coincidence that I later discovered Raw Foodism and fell in love with it.  Newsflash #2: The vast majority of Raw Foodists are NOT 100% Raw.  Many eat cooked food on occasion, just like me.  The definition of a Raw Foodist is anyone who eats 70-100% Raw.  I explained this to her.  I also told her that a Raw food diet doesn’t work for everyone, as we are all bio-individual.  The response: she deleted me.

And then there was the guy who called me “ignorant” for telling a friend it’s okay to eat mushrooms.  I politely told him I disagree with his stance, and explained why mushrooms are healthy.  The response: he deleted me.

Good riddance on all three accounts.  There are many more, but I don’t want to turn this blog into a book.  You get the idea.

When I first discovered the secret to good health (a clean, plant-strong diet), I wanted to share it with the world.  I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, partly because I couldn’t believe how darn easy it was to lose weight, feel happy every day, and get off all those medications.  I fully admit that I went overboard on occasion, and probably annoyed my friends and family members.  Don’t do that.  Don’t be that person.  And especially don’t be the asshole who blatantly judges someone’s plate of food, no matter if that plate is full of raw veggies or greasy cheeseburgers.  Trust me, you will turn them OFF from healthy eating altogether.

Then we have the Vegan problem.  Yesterday, someone posted a news article on a Vegan page, which discussed how Alanis Morissette is now 80% Vegan, inspired by Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Dr. Campbell’s The China Study.  The ensuing comments included calling this lovely woman “an idiot” for not being 100% Vegan.  Seriously?  Can you imagine if the whole world went 80% Vegan?  The health care crisis would mostly disappear, the environment would be spared, and a LOT less animals would be killed.  We need to focus on what people are doing right, not what we perceive them to be doing wrong.

You know, I’m not perfect, either.  Would you bash me if you knew I willingly ate my Mother’s amazing (non-Vegan) Christmas cookies every December?  Would you delete me if you knew a touch of dairy slipped into my diet while vacationing with my family this past Summer?  Even though I ate Vegan the rest of the year?  If so, you’re the one with the problem, and I prefer that you do just that – delete me.  That type of attitude is incredibly counterproductive.  Even Dr. Esselstyn admits to eating a piece of chocolate every New Year’s Eve.  Does that discount all the good choices he makes?  Of course not.  Again, don’t be that person.  Or, do be that person, if your goal is to turn people right back to eating the Standard American Diet.  And I’m pretty sure that’s not your goal if you’re following this blog.

Do be the person that leads by polite example.  I myself have fine-tuned my approach and subsequently turned more people plant-based (or even plant-strong, eating much less meat/dairy than before) than I ever would have with the holier-than-thou, judgmental approach.  If people see you transform into a healthy, happy individual, they will ask how you’re doing it, without you preaching a word.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t talk about the amazing benefits of a plant-strong diet, because we should.  But watch how you go about it and always ask yourself: will my words help, or will they hurt?  And finally, if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.  This is especially good advice for the newbie plantlings out there.  Follow Mista White’s example and tread carefully.

Special thanks to Paige Marie for allowing my cooler head to once again prevail with her thoughtful remark:

“Rebecca you’ve inspired me for ages and the most important thing you’ve taught me is to be patient with others, especially when they choose to change thier diet or learn about nutrition. It’s too bad others can’t learn from that as well. You are loved and supported by many people here.”

This simple, kind comment made me realize that for every judgmental meanie-pants out there, there’s hundreds of grateful, kind folks who appreciate what I do.  Thanks for that, Paige.

In short, I’ll keep on keepin’ on and try my best to acquire thicker skin.

To Your Good Health,
Raw Rebecca

raw rebecca’s 30 day squat and plank challenge

20 Jun

For those of you who plan to join me on my 30-day Squat and Plank Challenge, today is the day it all begins!

Join my new Facebook Challenge group for daily support: https://www.facebook.com/groups/549093585147943/

944270_143491579174855_1235844063_n

We can do this together!

181039_260999384036619_757197415_n

This blog post serves as a how-to guide for those who wish to learn the proper way to squat and plank.  I just did my squats and I am burning, baby!  Yeah!  Now time for a Green Smoothie with some hemp protein!

Check out this woman’s before-and-after photo…inspiring!  If you want to really see the results on yourself, consider taking a “Before” photo today.  I had my hubby take mine in my favorite bikini bottom.  I can’t wait to see the “After!”  Take a frontal before photo, too, as the planking will trim our bellies.  And remember to sweat every day as well.  Cardio is good for the heart.  A short run or power walk will do.

Let’s get toned for Summer…and beyond!

Our starting date: Thursday, June 20.
Our ending date: Friday, July 19 (but who says we’re going to suddenly stop on this day?)

tumblr_mip1otGOh01rna6xlo1_500

Here’s a great video to teach you how to complete a proper squat.  Remember, if you have back, leg or knee trouble, please talk to your doctor before joining me these next 30 days.


.

And here is how you complete a proper plank.  Yes, you will feel it all over your body!

woman plank


.

To Your Good Health (and Fitness),
Raw Rebecca

vegan cuts…a monthly must-have

11 Jun

I recently tried out a fun and exciting home-delivery service that made me so very happy, I had to share.  It’s called Vegan Cuts (www.VeganCuts.com) and it rocks, y’all!  Essentially, you get a “Vegan Christmas” once per month.  Um, yes please!

IMG_7119

Once you subscribe, a box will arrive to your home once per month, full of delicious and healthy 100% PLANT-BASED goodies.  Whether you are newly Vegan, a seasoned Veteran, or an omnivore who enjoys the finer side of healthy snacks, Vegan Cuts is for you!

It’s so much fun ripping open the box to see what hidden treasures lie within.  I was certainly not disappointed!  My husband and I enjoy road trips and camping/hiking excursions, so we are always on the lookout for some good Vegan fuel.  We hold the belief that variety is the spice of life, especially when it comes to our diet.  Thankfully, our Vegan Cuts box was full of that spice!  We gleefully dove into our box with enthusiasm that rivaled that of the original Ralphie and Randy, minus the pink bunny suit.  And what we found blew Red Rider himself out of the water.

IMG_7116

I had not yet tried the majority of the items inside and I loved them all. I even found a new favorite snack in the Falafel Crunchy Chickpeas.  My husband and I fought over the crumbs.

Vegan Cuts is especially great for folks who live in rural areas and don’t have easy access to stores that sell such awesomeness.  It’s also great for kids, there’s something in each box for everyone!

Check out the Vegan Cuts website HERE and follow them on facebook HERE

HURRY!  Today is THE LAST DAY to sign up for the June shipment!  Get ya some!

To Your Good Health,
Raw Rebecca

win a copy of raw and simple!

13 Mar

I was honored when my fellow Wellness Warrior, Judita Wignall, asked me to be an official recipe tester for her new book Raw and Simple, Eat Well and Live Radiantly with 100 Truly Quick and Easy Recipes for the Raw Food Lifestyle.

Since I loved her first book, Going Raw, I couldn’t wait to see what she had up her sleeve for the next book.  I was not disappointed!

Web Quality Cover Art

Judita Wignall is a commercial actress, print model and musician from Los Angeles who, like me, discovered the healing power of raw foods.  Aside from our undisputed awesomeness (or should I say rawsomeness), Judita and I have some things in common!  We both suffered health challenges and we both cleared them up with clean, raw foods.  We are also both Holistic Health Coaches, on a mission to share the message that anyone can benefit from the healthy lifestyle that raw eating provides.  And thanks to books like Raw and Simple, anyone can do it, quickly and easily.  Oh, and no dehydrator required! 

Judita_3

Raw and Simple offers an easy and informative approach to Raw Foodism.  This isn’t just a collection of recipes.  Raw and Simple starts with three chapters, chuck full of helpful information from Superfoods to Xenoestrogens to Detoxing and more.  Her tips and techniques section will help you understand what equipment you will need, how long to soak your nuts, and even how to open a Young Thai Coconut.  For quite some time, I refrained from making recipes that called for Young Thai Coconuts, because I was downright fearful of opening them.  I finally bit the bullet and followed Judita’s detailed advice, made even easier with photos, and cracked open my first coconut like a boss.

My husband asked for seconds when I made the Heirloom Tomato Stacks on page 115.  This dish was not only fun to put together, but incredibly delicious with flavors bursting from the cilantro pesto and sun dried tomato spreads.  We also ate the leftover sun dried tomato spread on raw herb crackers and as a salad topping.  Delicious!

photo

As a busy Raw Foodist, I especially love this book because the recipes are easy and do not require hours of prep work.  With over 100 original dishes to choose from, your taste buds never suffer from boredom.  You will find recipes from smoothies and breakfast through dinner and desserts.  In addition, Raw and Simple offers meal plans, shopping lists and other checklists that teach the readers how to really use the book to its full potential.  Whether you are trying to transition to a Raw lifestyle or a seasoned veteran, you will love this book.

Some of the ridiculously good and good-for-you recipes include:

  • Maple-Dijon Brussels Sprouts
  • Thai Veggie Noodles
  • Root Vegetable Slaw
  • Cherry-Hemp Muesli
  • Watermelon-Fennel-Mint Chiller
  • Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Colorful Cabbage Salad
  • Cauliflower Couscous
  • Carrot-Ginger Coconut Soup
  • Orange-Cranberry-Apple Relish
  • Herbed Pecan Pate
  • Orange-Almond Truffles
  • Oatmeal Walnut Raisin Cookies
  • Apple Pie Smoothie
  • Winterland Salad
  • Cucumber Basil Soup
  • Creamy Kale Salad with Capers and Hazelnuts

Raw and Simple integrates a raw food platform with holistic health and wellness, thereby providing you with the necessary tools to make the switch and start feeling healthier and more energized immediately.  Start slowly, make one delicious raw meal per day.  You will love how you feel so much, you will be excited to incorporate more and more raw food dishes into your everyday life.

If you’re ready to start reaping the benefits of raw foods, go to my FACEBOOK page and leave a comment telling me why!  What intrigues you about Raw Foodism?  Do you have a health issue you’d like to clear up? Do you need more energy?  Share with me and you could win a FREE COPY of Raw and Simple!  The winner will be announced on my Facebook page in one week.

Please enjoy one of my favorite recipes from Raw and Simple, the Superfood Seed Bars.

Again, no dehydrator necessary!

144SuperfoodSeedBar

Superfood Seed Bar
“This nut–free, mineral–rich bar is just heavenly. It contains all my favorite superfoods held together with creamy tahini and coconut oil. Be careful you don’t overdo it: It is hard to stop with just one. High in protein, zinc, calcium, and essential fatty acids, this makes a great post–workout or anytime snack, and I love that it’s not too sweet. I use low–glycemic coconut nectar, but you can use yacon syrup, maple syrup, or agave if you can’t find it in your area.”

Makes 16 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes

½ cup (118 ml) coconut nectar
1⁄₃ cup (80 g) raw tahini
1⁄₄ cup (59 ml) coconut oil, warmed to liquid
1 vanilla bean, scraped or pinch of vanilla powder
1 cup (140 g) pumpkin seeds
1 cup (30 g) (145 g) sunflower seeds
½ cup (75 g) goji berries
½ cup (80 g) shredded coconut
1⁄₄ cup (36 g) black sesame seeds
1⁄₄ cup (24 g) cacao nibs
1⁄₄ cup (24 g) hemp seeds
Pinch of salt

In a blender, process coconut nectar, tahini, coconut oil, and vanilla until smooth and set aside.

In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients. Add in coconut nectar mixture and mix well using your hands. I recommend wearing gloves. It’ll be pretty sticky.

Take half of the mixture and place it in a food processor. Process until the mixture breaks down into very small pieces. Transfer it back to the mixing bowl and combine it with the remaining mixture using your hands.

Press the mixture into an 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) pan lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm, about thirty to sixty minutes.

Cut bars into desired pieces and store in the refrigerator or freezer if you like them chewier. This will keep for one to two months in the refrigerator or freezer.

To Your Good Health,
Raw Rebecca

little girl chooses animals over birthday gifts

5 Mar

I normally blog about how proper nutrition can change your life for the better, as it did mine.  But today, I was inspired by a child to send a new message that is equally as important as a healthy diet.  A message of selflessness, love and giving.  All of which are also necessary for good health!  Helping those less fortunate, whether it be animals or people, feels good, and when we feel good, we are less likely to put junk in our body, so in a sense, this fits right in with my usual message.

Enjoy this heartwarming story, and please share it.  Perhaps it will inspire other children, and us adults too, to do the same for an occasion that calls for gifts.  If we could all be like my friend’s daughter, little Kiara, and ask less for ourselves and give more, what a world this would be!

Little Kiara Triplett loves animals.  She loves her pets at home…

792171_10151729802978378_1862680385_o

18194_10151576030423378_387002718_n

…but she also loves the homeless pets at the local animal shelter, the Belmont County Animal Rescue League.  She loves them so much, she did something unthinkable for most kids.  She gave up her birthday presents.  For Kiara’s 7th birthday, she asked her friends and family members to bring donations for the shelter animals, rather than gifts for herself.

544107_10151773749253378_287456308_n

Kiara enjoyed a birthday party at the local bowling alley, where the “gift table” filled quickly as her guests arrived, but not with gifts.  The table filled up with pet food, toys, treats and more.

318151_10151773786498378_1775765011_n

Thanks to Kiara’s loving and giving nature, she was featured in her local newspaper!

733855_10151789401578378_158130387_n

Kiara proudly carried the loot into her home to look over the treasure before delivering it to the animal shelter.  She knew that this pile could have been full of shiny and new presents for herself.  But this amazing little girl preferred a pile of cozy beds, pet food and yummy treats for homeless pets because she knew it would make their time there a bit easier.

306190_10151785346098378_1929072994_n

I am so moved by this child’s generosity, I want to give, too.  Perhaps you have a child who gets a weekly allowance and is inspired by Kiara’s story.  Well, they can give, too!  I have created a fund in Kiara’s name so we can make her birthday even brighter with more donations to her favorite animal shelter.

All donations will go to the Belmont County Animal Shelter in Kiara’s name.  Happy birthday, Kiara!  Keep inspiring!

Click this link to check out Kiara’s Animal Fund page, and please share! 
http://www.gofundme.com/kiaras-animal-fund

I hope this story inspires others to do the same.  Most of us have everything we need.  Try asking for donations to your favorite charity rather than gifts for yourself.  As the old saying rings true, tis better to give than receive.

To Your Good Health AND Happiness,
Raw Rebecca

Follow me on FACEBOOK for more healthful tips, recipes and good times!

i am not an orthorexic

5 Mar

Orthorexia nervosa, also known as Orthorexia, is a term (although not listed in the DSM) some practitioners use to characterize people who develop an obsession with avoiding food in which they perceive to be unhealthy.

Today, a fellow on Facebook blocked me because I told a friend it’s okay to occasionally enjoy some mushrooms (a fungi) after he told her she must “stay away” from them “if she wants to be healthy.”  He also took offense when I subsequently listed the health benefits of raw apple cider vinegar.  He went as far as to send me a private message, saying he wanted to “protect people from my ignorance,” because I am promoting “poisons.”  Then he quickly blocked me before I could respond.  I have to admit, I was a bit amused.

I have also received several negative comments after sharing recipes for various plant-based or raw/vegan desserts, due to their sugar, oil and fat content.  I think it’s obvious that such things are treats, and should be eaten rarely.  As such, I will continue to share these recipes.

Although I said I was amused, I was also worried.  Worried for my friends who read the exchange, many of whom have recently embarked upon a healthy change in their diet and lifestyle.  Restrictive “warnings” like this can easily make a person feel overwhelmed and sometimes, depending upon the warning, instill an unnecessary fear.

If you make a healthy meal, and happily share your progress, only to be picked apart for what’s “wrong” with it, you may feel frustrated and think, “To hell with it all, I’m going to McDonalds!”  Don’t let someone sway you back to this stage…

IMG_0689

I personally know people who have done that very thing.  So please, please, please do not let overly-restrictive people like this sway you from your baby steps to good health, which is how I recommend doing it.  Do not try to be perfect, especially in the beginning.  Let yourself evolve slowly and see where this journey takes you.  In the beginning, had you told me I’d end up a (mostly Raw) Vegan, I would have probably laughed.  But that’s how I evolved.  It’s where my unique journey took me.  Yep, a Raw Vegan who sometimes eats those deadly desserts and scary mushrooms, like the ones in this delicious veggie burger ;)

IMG_0760

Remember to celebrate your better choices, too, rather than get hung up on the rest.  If you’re eating a mushroom burger as opposed to a cheeseburger, I’m going to praise that healthier choice, not lecture you for eating fungi.  And get ready.  You are going to hear a LOT of conflicting information, as nutrition is a fledgling science.  You’ll hear from people who think it’s their way or the highway, and there is no room for anything else.  It’s almost political.  And just like real politics, it can make you crazy and want to turn off the tv (aka go back to the Standard American Diet).  Just remember that every little step you take, is a step in the RIGHT direction.  You’re never going to please everyone, so worry most about pleasing yourself.

Now, I am not here to judge people who eat ONLY healthful foods.  If that works for you, then great!  But please do not push it in an extreme manner onto others, especially those just starting out on their journey.  If someone needs an extra apple in their Mean Green juice to make it more palatable for them, praise them for wanting to drink green juice at all, rather than lecturing them for adding too much sugar.  

As for me, I eat a clean, plant-based and mostly Raw (anywhere from about 70-100% Raw) diet, so some may think I am an Orthorexic, but I do not abstain from meat, dairy and processed foods only because I deem it to be unhealthy.  Yes, I know those foods will devastate and injure the inner linings of my arteries, but my reasons for not eating them go further than that.  Quite simply, they make me feel like crap.  Through my own experiments, I have come to the overwhelming conclusion that when I do eat animal-based foods and processed foods, I feel sick, depressed and tired.  And if I eat too much cooked food, I feel weighed down.  I also dislike how animal-based foods are often inhumane and harmful to the environment.  Therefore, it would make sense for me personally to eat plant-based foods.  For my husband and I, life truly is better Vegan!

552451_299462130162648_2112239634_n

But with this being said, I am still not perfect.  Yes, I said it!  I AM NOT PERFECT.  For example, if I am home for Christmas in Ohio, I will most certainly eat one of my Mother’s famous sugar cookies.  I only get them once every few years, and I therefore have no guilt in choosing between the beloved Angel, Star or Christmas tree cut-out and slowly savoring every bite.  Even Dr. Esselstyn from Forks Over Knives (who is so restrictive, he refuses all oils) eats a piece of chocolate every New Year’s Eve.  I think the problems lies in the extremes: eating a whole plate of those sugar cookies, or refusing to eat one at all, if you really want it.  If you’re having one of “those” days, wherein you know that one cookie will lead to five or ten, then by all means, steer clear altogether.  Otherwise, that one cookie will certainly not kill you, as long as you view it as a rare treat and move on, right back into your healthy plant-strong diet.

And I am aware that even vegan desserts often contain a good bit of oil, sugar and fat.  Although I know that sugar and the like is not healthy for my body, and my mind, I still sometimes enjoy a Snicker-doodle cookie…

388418_121252581316938_2005240226_n

…or piece of cake from the Spiral Diner (a yummy Vegan eatery in DFW).  I simply make it a rare occurrence and be sure to split the cake (their pieces are huge) with a friend, otherwise I will feel sick.  It’s all about knowing our bodies and what we can take.  We are all bio-individual.

And I also know that a vegan hot dog on a wheat bun is not exactly healthy for me.  Fake “chicken” fajitas are not great, either.  But I am still going to enjoy them when camping with my husband.  It’s a tradition.  A tradition far healthier than our past ones, which included fatty beef sausages on white buns with a side of mayonnaise-based potato salad and several (yes, several) smores for dessert.  So if you’re making better choices than before, even if they’re not perfect, celebrate it!

IMG_0801

Beer and wine are acidic and high in calories.  But that knowledge isn’t going to stop me from enjoying the occasional adult beverage while tailgating with friends.  Because you know what else I bring on camping trips and tailgating parties?  Green juice!  It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

IMG_0359

Overall, I believe in moderation, not perfection.  I am not an orthorexic and never will be.  And I am okay with that.

Follow me on FACEBOOK for more tips, recipes and good times :)

To Your Good Health,
Raw Rebecca

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 200 other followers