I just got back from Europe last night, where I had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. When I travel I don’t worry too much if I go off the raw food and my normal diet, because I think it’s important to be flexible and just enjoy travelling! I was in the cold and beautiful far North of England, surrounded by English moors, castles from the 13th century, and small fishing villages. Admittedly it was way more play than work, and I let loose- eating my share of cooked food from vegetable soup, to 3-bean chilli, to (gasp!) rolls with butter!
I feel happy and jolly- though bloated and a tad heavier than when I left. No worries! The holidays and trips are times to indulge a bit. I’m sure some of you are feeling the same way after this holiday weekend. Now it’s time to detox though, and get back on track!! I came home to find this email from one reader. I answered her email, then thought that many of us women could benefit from the same info.! So I decided to post my response back to her below (along with some funny “tough” pics from a recent shoot! ).
I have gained weight over the past few years and plan on incorporating raw food and yoga into my life to help get the weight off. Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated.
Below is part of my response back to her:
As for the weight gain, we’ve all been there! I used to count calories and fat grams and obsess about my weight until I properly understood nutrition and how food affects the body. It was so miserable! I was never quite happy with my weight and it was often in my mind.
I feel so grateful and blessed to have come across some great knowledge of nutrition. Here are my first dozen easy weight loss/maintenance tips (I’ll post another dozen soon!) that I’d love to share with you:
1. Yes, absolutely incorporate more and more raw food, which is easy to digest, nutritionally dense and keeps you full and healthy. The basis of the raw diet is greens, so definitely check out my easy green smoothie recipe, and start trying to have one every day for breakfast or lunch.
2. Avoid all dairy products. Dairy is pasteurized and very difficult to digest and break down- sucking tons of our precious enzymes. It is also mucus and acid-forming. It is my personal experience that it is very hard to lose weight when consuming dairy!
3. Avoid all “fake” sugars- Splenda, Sweet ‘n Low, Equal, etc. These are very hard for your body to recognize and break down. 0 calories does NOT mean will not promote weight gain.
4. Stay hydrated- drink lots of water 20 minutes either sides of meals, but drink MINIMALLY with meals (so as not to dilute the digestive enzymes).
5. Practice yoga!! Besides the deeper spiritual and mental benefits, I have personally found it to be the most rewarding and beneficial physical exercise. Look out for my yoga video, filmed in Bora Bora, that should be out in January or so. You can do a version of the same series I practice along with me that will keep you toned.
6. If you are going to eat cooked food, don’t combine protein with starches. Instead combine protein with greens, like salads or sides of veggies. Proteins and starches together are really hard to break down. For example- if you are going to eat fish, eat it with a salad or a side of spinach. Sushi- with the combination of fish and rice, is very hard on the system. I used to never think about food combining. But when foods are combined well and digestion is easy, minerals are more easily absorbed and toxic waste can more easily leave the body. When the opposite is true, then backup occurs and this is usually coupled with weight gain and/or difficulty in letting excess weight go.
7. Avoid all soda- especially diet colas!!!! B Vitamin and mineral-leaching, acidic, etc. etc.!
8. Try to consume 1-3 lemons every day. You can squeeze them over salads, in water, etc. Lemon helps regenerate and support your liver by benefiting bile formation. Since your liver is your main fat-burning organ, lemon therefore promotes optimal fat metabolism.
9. Don’t eat fruit for dessert after you eat a cooked food. The simple sugars in fruit break down much faster than the denser cooked food, and will cause backup and fermentation in your digestive system (See #6).
10. Instead of consuming desserts with processed sugars and pasteurized dairy, try some of my good desserts. They incorporate stevia and metabolism-boosting ingredients like coconut oil, and these healthy deserts keep you from feeling deprived while you are losing weight!
11. Chew really well- liquify your food. Be a slow eater. Not only will you be able to extract more nutrients from your food, but you will feel full before you’ve overeaten.
12. Eat fibrous, filling salads for dinner. Try my hearty and nutritionally super dense kale salad recipe, which I eat for dinner at least 4 nights a week. It is so satisfying and delicious!
Try a wide variety of foods so you don’t get bored- I’ll keep posting more recipes too. Once you get over the hump, you’ll feel great and your cravings for certain foods will be less and less. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions about these first dozen tips.
All my best, Kimberly