Posts tagged ‘change’

July 24, 2013

Be Raw, Y’all!

ImageOk, so I confess that I am not a full-time raw foodie; however, I dabble in the lifestyle every so often. Raw foods are some of the most nutrient dense choices and beneficial nourishment  options available. Some would say that raw foods are what we were intended to eat… others, however, prefer to cook what they eat. Whatever your preference, I challenge you to try some of these raw recipes and experience the benefits—if only temporarily—of raw foods. Why would you do that? 

ImageA raw foods diet is made up of fresh, whole, unrefined, living, plant-based foods: fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, which are consumed in their natural state, without cooking or steaming. Contrary to popular belief, a person consuming a raw food diet draws enough daily calories from fruits, which are high in calories, along with liberal amounts of vegetables for their high mineral content, and small amounts of nuts and seeds.

ImagePeople who adopt this diet are often referred to as “raw fooders” or “raw vegans” (or in my case, when I am practicing this style of nourishment, “weird.”) Hey, you’re not really living unless you’re called “weird” or “odd” once in your life, right? Other benefits of taking this nutritional road less traveled (especially in America, where more than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese and where 23.9 million children ages 2 to 19 are overweight or obese) include cleansing your internal organs.

How’s your liver these days? Have you checked in with your colon? If you’re experiencing any gastrointestinal issues, skin imperfections, exhaustion, or unexplained moodiness, your internal systems may be gasping and working overtime, trying to wash themselves of toxic gunk left over from the standard American diet. (Abbreviated to the S.A.D. diet by some) By consuming more raw foods, you basically eliminate any constipation or other “plumbing issues” you might be experiencing. You also reduce toxic build up because everything you consume now takes under 24 hours or less, to travel through your body and deliver nourishment appropriately.

Scared to take the raw plunge because you’re an athlete and you need your energy? You might like to know that athletes can perform successfully at an elite level by following a raw food diet. James Southwood, international kickboxing champion, Brendan Brazier, Canadian professional triathlete and Kenneth G. Williams, third at the Natural Mr. Olympia are all raw food practitioners. Likewise, Suzanna Strachan admittedly leads a vegan lifestyle of 75-90% raw and has demonstrated extreme athleticism in Ms. Fitness competitions and ex-model Carol Alt convinced her Russian hockey star husband Alexei Yashin to go raw. Apparently adding more raw foods to his diet increased his athletic performance!

Surely, you’re intrigued to give it a try. Think about it this way:

  1. You save time by not cooking
  2. You experience an inexpensive detoxification process
  3. You can make it a spiritual experience with prayer and fasting (consuming fruits and vegetables only)

In closing, here is a favorite Raw recipe to try—especially for you pizza-lovers. (Compliments of www.youngandraw.com)

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 Garden Veggie Crust

2 Local Red Bell Pepper

1 Small Sweet Yellow Onion

2 small Yellow Squash

4 Garden Carrots

2  Cups Sunflower Seeds

1 tsp. Paprika

1/2 tsp. Coriander

1/2 tsp. Cumin

1/2 tsp. Himalayan Salt

Instructions: Process all of your ingredients in a food processor until you can form small sized patties. Place on your dehydrator sheets and form whatever shape you like, patties, bread etc. Let them dehydrate for 5-8 hours depending on how moist or crisp you’d like them to be. I recommend more crisp for a pizza recipe.

Sun-dried Tomato Basil Pizza Sauce:

Half cup sundried tomatoes

2 small chipotle peppers *optional

2 small vine ripened tomatoes

1/4 tsp. himalayan salt

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup fresh basil

Instructions: Process or blend until the mixture is smooth and warm.

Pine Nut Parmesan

1/4 Cup Pine Nuts

1/4 tsp. Nutritional Yeast

1 Garlic Clove

Pinch of Himalayan Salt

Few dashes of onion powder

Instructions: Put ingredients into the food processor or blender and pulse/blend until you have a finely ground parmesan.

Not all recipes are this in-depth either… These days I am running to long days of filming or training, and nothing gives me a better combination of energy and vibrance (due to the sustainable ratio of protein, carbs, and fat) like an organic fruit and veggie nut smoothie or a crisp and satisfying spinach salad with quinoa and cranberries. YUM!

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In health and complete weirdness, Lacey Pruett

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July 3, 2013

Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes!

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“But Lacey, it’s scary to change the way we eat.” These are words a great friend spoke recently at a catch-up lunch date. The words resonated with me long after I cleared my plate of fabulous quinoa salad and hummus. (You do not have to clean your plate, Lacey… repeat!) As we chatted life, kids, work, fashion, and yes, nutritional advice in the sunshine on the patio at Nick and Sam’s Grill in Dallas, Texas, I didn’t immediately hear the fear in my friend’s voice. I figured that, like most people, she was sharing that her hurried life, differing preferences and personalities of family members, and list of professional and personal obligations left no room for preparing healthy food at home.

For the sake of time, I’ll share that the lunch date came and went without any action plan or new revelation to make implementing healthier choices easier or more convenient.  The evening, I finally heard my friend. She called a little after 8:00 p.m. to share that her evening was filled with yelling, crying, and bitterness, all stemming from a meal she prepared, with love, for her family. Something can’t be right… so much anger and fearful emotion over food? Are we making things too difficult? I stopped my inner-questionnaire and listened to her story.

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She was four weeks into a new fitness plan, and became interested in the way I balance my nutrition. As her coach, I saw much improvement with our workouts simply because, before our work together, she didn’t workout at all! This is a passion of mine—to get sedentary people moving. Success! Once she saw the difference in her physique, she wanted more. She became eager to see what her body was capable of if she fueled it with optimal nourishment. Heck yeah—I’m excited to show her! Full speed ahead… until the evening of the somber phone call, that is.  Her words; her story:

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After work, I made a quick stop at Sprouts (a neighborhood farmer’s market shop) to grab something to make for dinner. I got the good chicken, the good bread, and the organic produce for a nice salad. I even got hummus and the good crackers for an appetizer, I thought we could enjoy as dinner finishes cooking. I even got a bottle of organic wine, which we never opened because the evening went south. I got home and got to work in the kitchen. The kids weren’t letting me concentrate, so I got short with them a few times.

They started bickering the minute (her husband—no names necessary) walked in. He put his things down right on my salad prep area and asked, “what the heck is going on here?” I didn’t love his tone. He grabbed a light beer before I could even show him the wine. Frustrated I went back to the appetizer tray. I proudly called everyone to the table and presented the appetizers, but nobody was interested. Strike two in my book, after the chaos my husband walked into. When we sat down to dinner, everyone’s facial expressions summoned tears to well up in me that I sucked back in time to ask, “What?”

Dinner looks boring… where’s the gravy… is this it… comments and questions shot out like bullets. I was done. I told everyone they didn’t have to eat it if they didn’t want to but that I wasn’t making anything else. The kids disappeared, and (her husband) asked why I was making such drastic changes.

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It occurred to me that we all find our “nutritional ah-ha moments” at different times, and that pacing change is best for long-term success. A former business leader comes to mind when I reference The Golden Rule: Treat others we you would like to be treated. Who wants to immediately and abruptly change what you eat and drink? Who wants to be told they can’t have something? My friend was trying to make too many drastic changes all at once, too quickly, and without any notice and very little helpful resources. I would have definitely given her my copy of, “How to Make Your Family Read Your Mind.”  Although her heart and intentions were in the right place, her delivery needed some work, and she needed a sprinkle of my creativity dust to encourage the household transformation along in a positive manner.

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Together, we realigned, reorganized, and re-energized her effort and excitement for implementing positive nutritional changes for herself and her family.  I want to share some of my favorite tips, in case you find yourself in the same spot as my friend, or if you’re ever the recipient of a good-intentions-meant chicken breast with a side of not-a-chance-I’m-eating-these kale chips in the future. Enjoy, and remember to find your own happy pace with a fit and fun lifestyle.  –Lacey

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  1. Make it fun! Implementing nutritional changes (or any changes) has to be fun, or most won’t be interested, much less excited. For example, add a fun salad side or a favorite dish made with a healthier recipe. No need to announce until everyone mentions how yummy it was.)  Decide to have a vegetable at every meal and let a member of the family choose the veggie each night.  If you’re going out, announce that everyone will be sharing, and ask them to pick a buddy to sit next to and share with. Use your imagination and tailor ideas to your family’s personality.
  2. Make it Flavorful! Use spices, herbs, and healthy oils to create flavorful sauces, dressings, and toppings. Seeds add a crunchy punch to veggies and meats. Trying to pass off mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes? Adding Italian herbs, garlic, or Greek yogurt and sea salt can help your effort. Who knew how yummy cinnamon is on spinach!?  (Simply shake spinach, a little olive oil, sea salt, and cinnamon in a freezer bag and POOF!)
  3. Communicate! Send your family members an email, text, Tweet or Pinterest board of options for dinner and ask them to select three favorites. Implement these into dinner so they have an investment in the change. Special note to moms (and step-moms): I’d refrain from posting anything on their Facebook wall, or sending photos of food options to Instagram, or otherwise communicating with them in public, on public forums… even if you think you’re hilarious, which, I’m sure, you are.
  4. Take it Slow! Implement healthy options a few times a week, then have a healthy meal each day, and soon you’ll be able to incorporate healthy options at every feast. We have appetizer night to reduce portions, make creative finger foods, and have the freedom to take dinner outdoors or to eat while playing a game together. Celebrate each week’s healthy changes!
  5. Theme Days! Who doesn’t enjoy a great theme party or costume party. A great way to introduce chickpeas, new greens, alternative protein options, and other healthier alternatives is to make it “Mediterranean Night” or “Asian Evening” or by enjoying another culture’s fare. What a great way to share the world with your family and educate them on other countries and foods. Did you know that breakfast in Egypt is often purchased and consumed at a street stall, and that it’s usually bread wrapped around assorted fried vegetables: eggplant, beans, tomatoes, and peppers? (Nobody would know if we grilled ours…) Also, according to folklore, pretzels were initially created as a gift to children who recited prayers correctly.  The pretzel shape was supposed to signify arms folded across the chest in prayer. One or two with almond butter could make for a great incentive for young children!