Raw Vegan Cleanse – KaengRaeng Review

DayBreak
Mango, Pineapple, and Banana “DayBreak” mixed with banana, ice, and water
Sprouted Quinoa, Sprouted Almonds,Sprouted Pepitas, Banana, Raw Coconut Nectar
Sprouted Quinoa, Sprouted Almonds,Sprouted Pepitas, Banana, Raw Coconut Nectar

 

Being raw vegan would be easy if you stayed home all day or lived next door to a Whole Foods Raw Organic Salad Bar. Otherwise, it’s pretty damn hard to eat a strictly raw-vegan diet, be social, and live a normal life in DC.  I’ll admit, I faltered. Everything was vegan, but not raw. I had some cooked eggplant and some dark chocolate pretzels yesterday. Onto the cleanse…

Feeling: The fiber content in these shakes is NO JOKE! I was gurgling and bubbly and digesty all day long. If you’ve ever eaten one too many FiberOne bars, you know the feeling. But hey, I asked for the Master, and I’m guessing it’s more fiber than the Beginner! When your tummy is all bubbly though, you want to avoid eating, which in turn makes you consume fewer calories, and detoxes your body! Yay!

Flavor: These shakes are pretty darn tasty. My favorite is the yellow one called DayBreak and it has pineapple, banana, and mango. It tastes really great actually blended with ice water and a banana! It reminds me of Jamba Juice. The worst is the IntoTheBlue, as it has the least fruit flavor, yet still makes a nice icy treat on these hot summer days.

Conclusion: I was 120lbs the day I started drinking these shakes. This morning I was 118lbs. Now I know weight can fluctuate by water and so on, but that scale has refused to remove that “2” for a while now, so I was happy to see it down under 120! My goal weight is between 105-110, which is healthy for my 5’4 stature. I will definitely focus on more raw-vegan foods in my diet, and realize that it’s not too hard! I sprouted nuts and quinoa for the first time, so this cleanse really sparked my interest in raw foods. Plus I bought some raw Nori sheets to make some raw-vegan sushi. These cleanses and detoxes always get me into the kitchen and remind how much I love HEALTHY, LOW-CALORIE, NUTRIENT-DENSE foods!! Thank you K.R. for that!

Lessons Learned:  “Raw Vegan” gets a bad rap, but you don’t have to be 100% to get the benefits. Fresh fruit on a hot summer day is not only an amazing meal, but is very refreshing. Raw fruits and veggies are totally underrated, and I will be stocking my fridge and stomach with more raw foods for now on. It’s not like I didn’t do this before, I will just be increasing the ratio of raw to cooked. Sprouted foods are also on my to-do list for now on, since I realized it wasn’t hard to do. I bought some pseudo-grains to start sprouting and eating this coming week. I looked at the ingredients and saw Psyllium husks as the fiber. I will definitely be researching a good organic one to add to my smoothies for now on. I feel like the fiber from the husks was a big part in keeping me full and satisfied. I also have a huge sweet tooth and realized I need to be going straight to fresh melon and strawberries instead of craving a cupcake! I mean, again, I already know this, but we derail. We are human. Discipline is hard. And will power is limited. So we must be hold the whip and keep ourselves in line if we want to be healthy, thin, and fit! Right?

Suggestion to KaengRaeng: I really like the shakes. I wish I could buy a single one here or there from the store. I don’t necessarily want to do 3-days straight of gut busting, fiber-filled, fruit smoothies all that often.  I’d like to supplement a few days a week with one of these shakes as a meal replacement. Would it be possible to sell them in single packs at Whole Foods or online? The price is also steep. Honestly, I’ve wanted to try KaengRaeng for a while, but could not (and still can’t) afford the price. I think single packets on Amazon and a lower price would have me coming back for more!

Thank you KaengRaeng for the cleanse and detox! I hope this review helps you as much as it helped me! 

 

Clean Eating: Grocery Shopping

When you decide to start eating healthy, you have to tackle the monster of grocery shopping. It is daunting with all the fat-free, sugar-free, low-cal, and diet foods. Which vegetable do I pick? And how do I even use it? Well I’m here to help you out! First off, I’d like to say you can always email me from my contact page and I’ll give you free advice and answer your questions to my best ability. And if I don’t know the answer, I’ll research it and get back to you. My main goal is to be a helpful resource for weight loss, fitness, wellness, and overall health. Mind. Body. Soul. Now let’s tackle that shopping cart mess.

I’ll show you what my grocery shopping loot looked like today. Hint: I used the Thrive Forward Food Staples list as a guide. Don’t mind my blurry phone pic. :/

Screen shot 2013-01-11 at 10.51.38 PM


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I shop mostly at Trader Joe’s and go to my local health food store for my specialty items. I don’t have a local farmer’s market so I do the best I can with the budget I have. The list goes as follows, just in case you want to eat exactly what I’m eating haha.

  • Organic Kale 
  • Organic Baby Spinach
  • Organic Avocados (4)
  • Organic Cucumbers (2)
  • Organic Fuji Apples (2lbs)
  • Organic Tri-Color Peppers
  • Organic Naval Oranges
  • Organic Button Mushrooms
  • Organic Meyer Lemons (2)
  • Organic Grape Tomatoes (1lb)
  • Organic Raw Almonds (1lb)
  • Organic Unsulfered Unsweetened Mango
  • Organic Unsulfured Unsweetened Tart Cherries
  • Organic Bananas (3 Bunches) (Ripen and Freeze for Smoothies)
  • Chia Seeds
  • Organic Hummus
  • Jalapeno Cilantro Hummus
  • Reduced-Fat Veganaise
  • Organic Popcorn
  • Silken Tofu (3)
  • Spicy Chipotle Sweet Potato Fries (Craving these, not normally on the list)
  • Organic Roasted Vegetable Pizza (Vegan, Again, not normally on the list.)
  • Nutritional Yeast, Fortified (Buy once a month or two months, depending on usage)
  • Organic Green Tea (For Kombucha Home Brewing)
  • Organic Vanilla (Will last 1-2 months, for Chia Cereal/Pudding)
  • Gardein Orange Chicken
  • Gardein Buffalo Wings
  • One bottle Probiotic Coconut Pomegranate Elixir (Special treat)
  • 3 Cartons Silk Unsweetened Non-Gmo Almond Milk (30/Calories/Cup) -I forgot my almond milk, which I buy from Wal-mart because it’s the cheapest there.

And that’s the gist of it. This will last about two weeks for two people, except for the things like almonds, chia seeds, yeast, mayo, vanilla, and bread. Those will last up to a month or more. The produce will be gone and I’ll eat the frozen stuff and then go shopping again. Total cost was $123.12. So averaging out to under $5/day of organic food for two people. Who says healthy is expensive? Not me!

What Do You Make? I’ll make salads, scrambled tofu, dip the cucumbers in the hummus, snack on the tomatoes, carrots, almonds, and dried fruit. I’ll eat the apples and juice apples/oranges/spinach. I usually roast/grill my bell peppers and put them in a sandwich, wrap (still in the fridge from last shopping trip!), or my salads. I also dip them in hummus. The mushrooms will be grilled up. And that’s about it. Most of my meals are smoothies, salads, sandwiches, wraps, or appetizer plates of raw veggies and hummus! And when I’m feeling junky, I go for the Roasted Veggie Pizza, but even that WHOLE pizza is 750 calories, with very little fat (good fats!). I’m simple. Once in a while I’ll make some crazy recipe, but most of the time I’ll fail at that. I like to just snack on raw veggies, make dinners in under 10 minutes, and use my time wisely on other things. . . like helping You.

Not Shown Here; But I eat daily: For supplements I use Vega One, Vega Sport Protein, Pre-Performance Drink, Maca (starting tomorrow!), and Orange Dreamsicle Super Greens. I try and drink a VegaOne shake each day, either mixed into my breakfast/dinner smoothie or as dessert before bed. It has all the vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to get your digestion going and your body feeling great. I have 3 flavors now but always stay stocked on at least one. I use the protein powder after my intense workouts that last over an hour, or just as a snack to feel full before a meal or going out to eat. I’m starting my Maca powder routine tomorrow, adding it into my smoothie. I drink a smoothie either for breakfast or dinner, depending on how I feel. I attempt to drink one serving of the Orange Dreamsicle greens (seriously this stuff tastes amazing for a wheatgrass/chlorella/etc. blend) every night, but don’t always make it.

If it has a commercial, it’s probably not great for you. Have you seen any of these products in a commercial? No. They don’t need a commercial. You see them and know they are healthy. Kale doesn’t need a low-cal label. Oranges don’t need a “100% Vitamin C in Every Serving” ad. And bananas don’t need a big sign on them saying “great for smoothies and snacking.” They sell themselves, rightfully so.

Thrive Forward: Now if this is all too much to read and you’re feeling really lazy. Just look at the pictures and watch this video.

Busting Protein Myths in a Plant-Based Diet

Clean Eating 101
Busting Myths About Plant-based Protein

You know what really grinds my gears? When people tell me I’m not getting enough protein because I don’t eat meat. They assume I’m not getting enough vitamins, minerals, or iron. They challenge my diet and look down on me because I’m eating a huge plate of vegetables instead of the sausage and potatoes, pepperoni pizza,  or burgers and hot dogs. Little do they know, I’m eating a better protein source that has more vitamins and minerals than their plate!

If you’re debating going vegetarian or vegan this year, keep in mind the following truths:

Plants have plenty of protein. In fact, it’s better to get protein from plants than meat.  Why? Thrive Forward explains:

  • Low in saturated fat
  • Free of the growth hormones and antibiotics found in animal proteins
  • Alkaline-forming
  • Easy to digest
  • Better for the environment

Contrary to common belief, there are complete protein sources from plants, such as quinoa, soybeans, and Savi Seeds. Most of the time (but not always) you can eat a variety of plants to get a complete protein. (A complete protein means it contains essential amino acids. This just means your body can’t produce these amino acids on its own.) When you eat an assortment of foods, you don’t only get a variety of amino acids, but a ton of different vitamins and minerals. This helps you stay nourished, energized, and healthy. It is better for your body to get a rainbow of vegetables. Your arteries do not get clogged. Your fat level stays low. And your plasma stays clear.

“But I’m an athlete. I need 7lbs of chicken a day to build muscle.” This is entirely false. The leader of Thrive and Vega, Brendan Brazier, is an Ironman Triathlete AND a vegan.  You can build plenty of muscle using plant-based carbs, fats, and proteins. Look up vegan body builders; they are a whole culture of people who go against this belief.

Apply It–>Show Me How You’re Thriving 

I’m challenging you to replace your next meal with a plant-based protein source instead of the animal-protein. Try black beans, quinoa, brown rice, mushrooms, kale, spinach, hummus (chickpeas + sesame seeds), or even a Gardein product.  Don’t just take out the meat you’re using and consider that a veggie meal. Replace it with something delicious! Get creative! Take a pic and post a link below.

I love to make a sprouted grain bread sandwich, with hummus, sprouts, and grilled/roasted veggies. Use some fresh avocado or Chipotle Veganaise. Have some chopped raw veggies on the side, like baby carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers.

Thriving Forward: Eating Clean with More Kale

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Delicious Kale Chips – Replace your Lays with these Kays!

 

Cheezy Kale Chips
Cheezy Kale Chips

 

Eating Clean
Eat Clean, Try Kale

It has taken me a while to come around to Kale. I’ve had some experience with Kale in the past few years, but never dared to make it myself. And when I tried, I usually failed and had to pretend it was great. The best recipe I made with Kale (before this salad) was Creamed Kale. But now I want to replace my baby lettuces with Kale more often, and have finally found a way to do that.

I’ve found out that there are different kinds of Kale, and some are better for cooking, like Tuscan Kale, and others are better for eating in a salad, like this Dino Kale. The leaves are less bitter, more  pliable, and quite tasty with the right massage! So be sure to get the right Kale for your recipe.

After making the Kale Chips above from Thrive Forward (click on pic for recipe), I wanted more Kale.  Since I’ve had Kale Chips before I knew I liked a spicy-cheezy flavor, so I added Nutritional Yeast Flakes and Cayenne onto the original recipe from Thrive. Feel free to use whatever spices you choose. I was tasting it raw before baking into chips and decided I wanted a salad of it for dinner. Here’s the recipe!

2 Cups Dino Kale, washed & de-spined
2 Different Colored Bell Peppers, halved and chopped (Save the other halves for dipping in hummus!) 
2 Palm Shoots, Jarred from Trader Joe’s 
A handful of Smoked Sun-dried Tomatoes
Juice of one Lemon
Organic canola oil, in Misto Spritzer
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Himilayan Sea Salt 

  1. Turn on your George Foreman Grill or Oven Broiler and place the chopped peppers on. Let cook/warm while you do the following:
  2. Place the kale in a large bowl. Spritz a few seconds of organic canola oil onto leaves. Douse in spices & lemon juice, and dig in with your hands. Massage the kale until it starts to shrink and deflate. It will become softer and tastier. 🙂 Feel free to pick up a leaf and take a bite. 
  3. Chop the palm shoots to bite-sized pieces. 
  4. Take the peppers off, throw everything into a bowl, and toss.  

Enjoy eating clean. Buy a veggie you never have before and experiment with it. Have fun with being healthier. Don’t make it a chore or pain.

Have you ever tried Kale? What did you think? What’s your favorite lettuce to use in salads? 

Thrive Forward Program

Main-Marquee-Surf-WITH-FADE1
Thrive Forward

I want to help you in every way possible. Something great has come along that is assisting me and I want to spread the joy.

Brendan Brazier has launched a fully FREE, educational, video series to teach you everything you need to know on leading a healthy plant-based whole-foods diet. It reminds me of taking an online course in college, yet everything is free and well organized! The forum is Twitter and Facebook

A little about the creator:

“Brendan Brazier is a former professional Ironman triathlete and two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion. He is now a successful performance nutrition consultant, the bestselling author of the Thrive book series and formulator of the award-winning Vega line of plant-based nutritional products

Recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on plant-based nutrition, Brendan has dedicated his life to spreading the word about an ethical, environmentally-friendly, and healthy lifestyle through plant-based foods. Brendan currently works with elite athletes all over North America, including athletes in the NFL, MLB, NHL, UFC, PGA and several Olympic athletes. He has appeared on CTV and CBC in Canada, and NBC, ABC, and FOX in the United States.

Thrive Forward, Brendan’s latest endeavour, is the next generation of Thrive in 30— his original free online program that helped over 70,000 people harness the power of clean, plant-based nutrition to feel their best.”

 This program is not about counting calories, worrying about your weight, or fretting over a latte. It shows you a complete step-by-step overhaul to your health, from how to shop to how to sleep.  The subjects are as follows:

I highly encourage anyone and everyone to watch these videos, read the references, and make the recipes. Share this with your family and friends. Share it with the world. We need better nutrition, facts, and myths busted out there. These videos will do that. I’ll be posting my personal experiences on Twitter, so keep an eye out for my photos of shakes, trail mixes, kale chips, and more. If you look now, you can see plenty of links already!

Have fun!

Best Health,

Nicole

rainbow salad
Rainbow Salad – Click for Recipe

 How are you thriving forward this year? Are you trying to eat cleaner, increase your energy, or buy locally?