Kicking the Coffee Habit, Making Kefir, and going Green!

Wednesday, Jan 09, 2013 at 16:53

TriathlonOz - Michelle

A few things in my life I wanted to change this year included getting on top of my hydration (always a problem); put a stop to my coffee addiction; and control my evening sugar cravings.

I made a few small changes to my nutrition in August, then some more in September and before I knew it, all the goals were achieved. I’ve also discovered my cholesterol levels have dropped so suddenly that the doctors are asking what I’ve done. But these ideas weren’t my own – I have a network of friends who are raw food vegans and whilst I enjoy meat, eggs, and yoghurt, I have embraced the positive benefits of eating more raw vegies, more fruits, and experimenting with some of the “new” ingredients, eg. raw cacao (the source of chocolate, without the sugar), stevia for natural sweetness that does not affect your insulin (which is what creates food cravings), flax (linseed) meal, flax oil, coconut oil, and the best thing of all - Kefir.

I am someone who has always avoided supplements and multivitamins so my preference is to get an optimum food intake. So much more available research and information over the last few years has made this quite an interesting pastime for someone like me that is interested in nutrition.

I kicked the coffee habit first - after discovering Rooibos tea. Then, in September, I had the opportunity to attend a casual nutritional info session at Helen Airey's house. The talk was about cellular health and the importance of getting RAW food (vegetables and fruit) into your diet 80% of the time. It was an inspiring session that resonated so very loudly within me that I eagerly listened to the 2 raw-food vegans preach on. I was soaking it up. We even sat down to an enormous buffet of incredible raw food treats that they'd made to share with us. Some savory, some sweet. One taste of the date & cacao slice and I knew I was in the right hands. Give me more info!

Very shortly after this info session, I started making some of the changes I'd heard about (but I had no intention of going vegan, and not convinced about ALL that I heard). I just picked the eyes out of the info and found things that suited me and gave those a go. Firstly I wanted to make my own kefir. Helen gave me the starter kefir so I could begin culturing my own fresh batches at home (more info below), I dusted off my juice machine and starting experimenting with putting green things in it, and then a week after that, I started taking Juice Plus supplements (upon suggestion from Helen, who had just become a distributor). I found the green vegie juices instantly made an impact on my hydration levels - they say you should "pee clear"... well I am able to do that every day now without flooding myself with extra water than normal. I also picked up a tip to put a little pink Himalayan salt into a glass of water.

From September onwards, there were all sorts of new dishes coming out of my kitchen but with the extra emphasis on eating more raw foods I found I needed to graze constantly so it meant being organised. NOTE - we still ate cooked meat, chicken, fish etc in our evening meals but absolutely no packaged or processed products, no commercial diary, no bread, biscuits etc. Lots of nuts, fruit, seeds, quinoa, oats, & salads etc as we would normally but the subtle little tweaks and exclusions made quite an impact.

But the Kefir is the wonder food. I just love this stuff. I love making it, and other than the cost of the milk, there is no other cost. You have to get someone to give you the starter kefir grains but then you just add full cream milk and let it stand on the bench for 24 hours. It’s a live culture, so it naturally becomes lactose free, and is the world’s richest source of whey protein (you strain the curds and whey, drink the whey to replace your usual yoghurt, cream, milk or use it as a base to make cold dressings and sauces) and reuse the curds to make another batch each day. Any leftover whey goes in the fridge. I love this – no more protein powder expenses and totally natural. And it is soooooo yummy!

For Xmas I got a blender (WOW!) and a food processor - Breville Kitchen Whiz Pro (double WOW!), which will make some of this food prep much easier and quicker. Love it!
Some wish for it, others work for it!
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