Tag Archives: Food

Plant-based Sex Drive?

One of the most fascinating changes I’ve experienced since switching to a mostly plant-based diet is that my sex-drive has really revved up!

This was very unexpected, but such a delight. I find that even the preparation of food is so sensual. Everything smells more profound and the feeling of the different textures brings so much pleasure. Cutting, slicing, breaking apart, peeling, stripping, washing; it has all become a kind of dance – a series of steps that I take towards manifesting a delicuous end result. .

By the time I am ready to put all of these ingredients into my mouth I am already feeling amazing. Food prep has become a kind of foreplay. I actually look forward to getting my meals ready. It is no longer a thing I rush through to get it done.

No. Now I have a relationship with each ingredient and begin to understand how it adds to my life. It is purposeful. Intentional. It fills me up. Supports my life. And I feel better than ever because I pay attention.

I have never had this experience with food. To actually feel as though I’m forming a relationship.  To feel more sensual because of the food I eat. It is amazing.

Has anyone else ever experienced something like this with food? Please share 🙂

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Exploring Plant-based Diet

I’ve always been an animal lover. I was the kid who brought home every injured or stray animal I found in the woods behind my house. I’d try my best to fix their broken wing so they could fly, dress their wounds, nurse them if they were abandoned by their mothers. I wanted to be a veterinarian for a long time until I learned I’d have to put animals to sleep.

I wouldn’t consider my family to be raging meat eaters. In many ways we had the Mediterranean diet with my mother’s family being from Lebanon. We did like meat and had it with dinner almost every night. My family also hunted and fished so we shared the successes with each other to help feed each family.

However, I do really like grilling and if you asked me what my favorite food is, I’d tell you a bacon cheeseburger with the works. So, imagine my surprise when I found myself so impacted by a film that I started eating an almost 100% plant based diet and I’m feeling better than ever.

If you’ve not had the opportunity I’d recommend you watch the movie “Forks over Knives”.  In this movie researchers explore the possibility that people changing their diets from animal-based to plant-based can help eliminate or control diseases like cancer and diabetes.

What struck me was witnessing how the animals were not just poorly treated or kept in way too close quarters, they were flat out tourtured. All just so I could have meat on my plate. Something broke in me and I couldn’t do it anymore. I was focused on finding alternatives. Nowhere more than in the USA are we lucky to have the options we do. 

Many people think that having a plant-based diet is more expensive than animal-based, but I put this to the test and found for $50 I could pick up enough food for over 1 week (see pic below).

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I found that making 48 oz of green smoothies each day allowed me to get a huge portion of veggies and fruits in that I’d never have the time to eat. For example, one smoothie might include, – kale, swiss chard, carrots, bananas, mango, orange, and aloe pulp. Typically, I like to make them in the evening so that often I drink 32 oz for dinner and then put a 16 oz one in the fridge for breakfast. This works better for me because then I’m not rushing around in the morning trying to peel and chop.

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Green Smoothie will change your lifestyle for the better!!

It is way easier than I thought to eat plant based. I thought I’d be starving. I’m not. One of the other things I do is minimize processed food because let’s face it, potato chips can be considered plant-based technically. I use fresh ingredients whenever possible so I control what I add to my body and make sure I’m not substituting one bad thing for another.

For meals I eat balanced ingredients. For example, yesterday I made a salad with avocado (healthy fat), black beans (protein), cucumbers (veggies), and tossed it with a little olive oil, pinch of salt and vinegar. It was very filling. Sometimes the hardest part of change is convincing yourself that a different way wil work. You think you’ll be hungry but you’re surprised to find that when meals are plant-based and balanced you can feel satisfied without that heavy disgusting feeling.

I’ve noticed some great effects as a result of not participating in animal torture / eating mostly plant-based. I’ve lost weight, my eyes and teeth are whiter and brighter and my nails are longer and stronger. My wrinkles have softened around my eyes and mouth, I have more energy, I am calmer, colors and sounds are more vibrant, I am more compassionate because I’m living in accordance with my values and feel more connected to animals like I used to, I’ve cut my sleeping meds in half, I get outside everyday for workout of some kind.

Get this! My ob/gyn doctor told me that he cannot feel any tumors in my uterus anymore (they’ve disappeared!!!) and it is as if I never had a surgery years ago to remove a 5lb fibroid because everything feels perfectly normal! This is just mind blowing to me. I’ve had problems here for as long as I can remember. It was so bad that I needed surgery to remove that gigantic tumor. Now I start eating plant-based and the new ones have disappeared and everything feels normal – as if you’d have never thought there was ever a problem!?!

I am really becoming a believer in this way of eating for more reasons than one. I have to say I’m not being too hard on myself though and trying to do everything all at once. I still eat eggs and cheese occasionally. I eat Morningstar Grillers as a substitute for my cheeseburger. I’ve left go of the bacon, but I still add a piece of cheese and load it up with bbq sauce, and horseradish mayonnaise.  This, surprisingly,  does the trick for the beefy cheeseburger craving.  I also imagine I will still eat fish / seafood for quite awhile until I could get to a place where I could give that up.

I think the key is adding more plants to your meals and substituting where possible. If it is too drastic and there is not enough support, it will be hard to stick with it. I wanted to add that for those of us who want to do something good for ourselves,  environment, animals, but need to make a big change in habits and increase knowledge before doing so. One step at a time. Think of where you can add the good stuff and subtract out the not so good.

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Most importantly,  be good to yourself. Treat yourself with love.  Eat what makes you feel strong and creative and balanced and helathy. This is a whole new way to see food as love. You’ll probably be surprised to find that as you do right for yourself, you’re helping others as a by-product of your choices.

Now that feels good 🙂

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Roasted Red Peppers: Do it Yourself!

Love roasted red peppers? Think they’re too good to be easy to make at home? Think again.

How to make your own Roasted Red Peppers. 3 Easy Steps!!

1. Cut peppers in half, scoop out seeds, place face down on aluminum foil lined cookie tray. Roast for 25 min. 450 degrees until charred and wrinkly

2. Put peppers into glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool. This moisure trapping / cooling will help you alot in the next step (science! )

3. Remove skins and place “naked peppers” in your favorite meal OR to save for about 1 week, place in your favorite jar or storage container with their own juices and a couple of teaspoons of olive oil. Refrigerate.

That’s it. Fuggetaboutit 🙂

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Step 1
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Step 1b
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Step 2
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Step 3

Try it and tell me what you think!

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

Soul Food

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Ok. First things first! I’m bragging on this slapped together recipe. It’s sooooo good. My Jamaican neighbor keeps me supplied with “Jamaican Kale” throughout the summer and I constantly try to find new things to do with it.

So, what’s in it?:
Bunch of Jamaican Kale
A few roasted red peppers
Can of Atrichoke Hearts
1/4 c. Feta cheese
Sauteed in olive oil with crushed garlic, pepper & salt
Put on top of a whole wheat pita and enjoy!

I was in a funk still today. This getting over my ex thing is harder than I thought it would be. I mean could I jump into another relationship?  Sure. I could distract myself with casual flings. I could pretend that I never felt anything for him. I could drink heavily to dull the hurt. There are a lot of not so great things I could do that would only make things worse.

Or….

I could take care of my soul. I could eat well and enjoy the scents of cooking a meal with fresh ingredients. I could play music and compose again, I could reconnect with people I’ve lost contact with. I could exercise and pamper myself. And frankly, I can take care of myself intimately until someone who really lights my soul on fire takes over other duties as assigned 🙂

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Me "playing" my dad's guitar

I know everyone is different when it comes to coping with things. I personally take awhile to get over the end of serious relationships. I am a very sensitive person in that I am very emapthetic so I really feel things. I’m not the type that can turn that off. Its just part of my make up. I always want things to end well. Often, I struggle to understand why people wouldn’t do everything they can to bring about peaceful endings.

I am a mess of a person like we all are in some way, I guess. I’ve got quirks and dysfunctions and sometimes I wonder how to make it through this world a prisioner inside my own head.

I think most of us are just trying to move through life and sqeeze as much pleasure out if it as we can. We hope to know our greatest pleasure in our own lifetime. We assume it will reveal itself as another person who looks deeply into our soul and says, “I accept you” and sticks around forever loving you for being that person.

In the meanwhile, I think the greatest thing we can do for our single selves is love the hell out of ourselves; getting to know and accepting every nook and cranny until we’re completely irresistible.

I’m starting to think it’s not about being perfect or figuring out what’s wrong with you. The road to fulfilling life cannot possibly be among the pages of self-help books aimed to fix you. I have done this my whole life and I’ve really just managed to feel worse about myself. I mean what if the only thing wrong with me is that I don’t accept myself fully? What if instead of focusing on what needs to be fixed, I focused on accepting the person who is there and loving her to pieces? What if I fell in love with her “as is”? I wonder what would happen if we all did that?

If you’re like me and haven’t found a partner that loves (aka fully accepts) the person you are and finds you irresistible enough to want to spend forever by your side, let’s make a pact.

We will give ourselves the love we want from someone else. We will treat ourselves right. We will do for ourselves what we want from them. We will go alone to places we want to go together with them.

This way when he/she comes along we will recognize them as the right fit because s/he treats us that good.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge: Big Results Only 1/2 Way There!

Hey All!

Thought it was a good time to post some more results from my 30 day green smoothie challenge since I am now at the half-way point.

I am ecstatic with what has taken place in just a couple of weeks.  I’m now on Day 16 of 30 and I’ve lost an inch around my waist and an inch around my hips!

I thought I’d share some pics to show you my results thus far 🙂  You’ll notice those not so lovable “love handles” are starting to disappear!

Day 1 - 30 Day Smoothie Challenge.
Day 1 – 30 Day Smoothie Challenge.
Day 15 - 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge.  Lost 1 in. around waist and hips!
Day 15 – 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge. Lost 1 in. around waist and hips!

It amazes me how much of a difference it makes in such a short time to replace just one meal (breakfast for me) with a green smoothie.

In addition, because I don’t crave the things I used to, I’ve been eating healthier overall so I’m making different food choices in general.

If you’re curious about what I’ve been using in my smoothies and some of the other foods I now include in my diet as a part of this lifestyle change, well here ya go:

Morning Smoothie:
Choice of green (Kale, swiss chard, spinach) AND
Fruits: 1 each of these three fruits: bananas, mangoes, oranges

Note: Sometimes I also add 1/2 scoop of casein protein powder and 1/2 scoop of whey protein powder to get protein right away in the morning and to keep the hunger at bay.

Other foods recently added to my diet:
avocados
apples
low-fat cottage cheese
100% whole wheat bread
natural peanut butter
honey
watercress
carrots
dates
tuna (canned in water)
turkey bacon
mushrooms
80 calorie 2x protein greek yogurt
lean chicken or turkey
low fat soy milk
eggs (hard-boiled usually cause it’s faster 🙂

….and when I’m lazy Michaelina’s 300-400 calorie frozen dinners, which I’ve found are better to have on hand because they keep you from calling for delivery or heading to the drive through for lunch!  Saves money and calories 🙂

I also drink at least 1/2 gallon of water per day to keep flushing out my system and keep it hydrated.

Though I hate to admit I haven’t been to the gym much in the past two weeks, these results are without exercise!  Imagine what could be lost if that were added.  I’m going to shoot to add exercise in during the next 2 weeks and see what happens.

Green Smoothie will change your lifestyle for the better!!
Green Smoothie will change your lifestyle for the better!!

So, overall 2 weeks into the 30 day green smoothie challenge, I’ve lost inches, gotten better hair skin and nails, have more energy, stopped craving crappy food / ordering delivery, and started to add a whole lot of other healthy foods to my diet.  I find that I eat less than I used to, I’m way more satisfied, and I’m actually craving healthy food.

If you’ve never done this challenge before and you’re looking to make some lifestyle changes, I hope that this convinces you to give it a try.

If you have any questions about making smoothies a part of your day or  if you just want to give me some kudos for changing my lifestyle :), please feel free to leave comments below.

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉

30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge

Over the past couple of months I feel like I began packing in the food as if I were going to hibernate sometime in the near future.  If anything sweet or carb-loaded entered my visual sphere, I was taking it down!  I know I’m not alone in this.  It seems to hit almost everybody when the cold weather moves in.

Unfortunately, I didn’t hibernate so I was left to go through my day feeling really sluggish and noticing that I’ve been gaining weight in the process. I decided something needs to change.

greencsmoothiecompressWelcome to my 30-day green smoothie challenge!!

My plan is to replace one meal per day with a green smoothie in order to reboot my whole system.  Additionally, I will make every effort to replace my unhealthy snacks with fruits and/or veggies instead.

Originally I thought I’d start on Jan. 1, but I said why wait? and started on Sunday.  So, I am actually posting here on day 4.

Current ingredients:
(makes 32-40 oz)
2 handfuls of kale or 2 cups of spinach
1-2 carrots
1 mango
1 navel orange
1 banana
water to smooth it into a drink
optional: 25 g casein protein powder, 25 g whey protein powder

DAY 1-3

The first few days, I didn’t notice much except going to the bathroom a lot more.  This concentrated amount of fiber has got to come out somewhere 🙂 Also, I felt really hungry like my body was rebelling and telling me to turn back now and order some Veal Parmesan with Spaghetti.

DAY 4 

By day 4 I notice a lot of other interesting changes.  First of all, my taste buds seem to be changing.  I’m actually craving veggies and fruits.  My bad cravings are going away – ie. no interest in cheese! I am a cheese-a-holic so this is unbelievable! Also, I have a low interest in dark meats like beef (even my dear old friend Veal Parm is not calling my name like it used to).  Instead of wanting chocolate when I’m craving something sweet, I pick up a piece of fruit.

This is a pretty interesting  experience for me.  It seems like you can actually change what you crave by changing what you eat. It is not some fixed thing that you have to spend your time resisting when you decide to change your eating habits.

Before doing the green smoothie challenge, changing my diet still left me craving the not so great food choices.  Just 4 days into it, my brain seems to be naturally choosing better options.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress and if you have a story you’d like to share about  your own green smoothie experience, please comment below!

Here’s to a healthier, happier 2014!!

With love from aneternaltraveler 😉