so as I sit here, eating my fresh made kale chips, i thought to myself, it’s time Andria. time to tell them of your changed ways.
a blog like this needs a foreword:
1) I was raised in a hunting, fishing, camping. help your dad clean the elk he brought home family. that’s my upbringing. keep in mind.
2) I’ve spent a good part of my life with some sort of candy item in my hand, eating fast and furious and not really caring what goes in, as long as its FAST!
PS – this is not a short blog. deal with it.
many years ago, when a freshman in college and nannying for a local family, I remember being awestruck when I was in their home. Im not kidding you EVERY ITEM they owned was organic, had a weird label i didnt recognize, they had recycling (which i had NEVER done) and what the crap, a compost?! who the frick were these hippies!? i remember telling my friends in disbelief people could be so hippy, they separate their food for compost. I think I threw everything in the main garbage, just because.
so fast forward to my life now. over the past 3 years, I’ve kinda prided myself on the fact that i dont care what I eat mentality. for the most part, I spent many many days building my business working 12+ hour days and literally not eating a meal until I was about to pass out or eat my arm, then I’d race downstairs and microwave something. sometimes i’d throw some frozen vegetables in a pot. but for most meals, decision for a yes or no would be, “can it be cooked in 7 minutes or less.” I’ve spent a lot alot of time in airports, in hotels, in peoples homes I am not the cook and generally just eating 99% of things in my car. If that speaks to you, you know that convenience is key. I’m pretty sure I could have been a spokesman for Luna bars (never again will i consume those, ugh). So pretty much, I thought i ate well, however…now i know different.
for about a year, a huge part of my daily routine was ibuprofen. and that was because I had daily headaches SO bad, I cant even tell you. I had to go to Urgent Care several times, had reoccuring sinus infections, carried tissues with me everywhere (it becamse the joke of the house, just ask my roommates) and one time it got so bad I was laying on the floor, alone, eyes closed, crying…not even able to drive myself in to the Urgent Care bc I thought my head was caving in. For a while, I thought I had to have a brain tumor or something! this is just not normal. so this went on FOR A YEAR. maybe longer, i dont know. and then. i shot a wedding on one of the islands and Kate Ford came along to 2nd shoot with me. As we drove out of Seattle, i must have just popped some Advil, because we got to talking about my headaches, and she simply replied oh ya, i had that too and then i just gave up dairy, and it went away! WHAT?! are you serious. so we got into a huge discussion about food, and it was my first moment of learning a bit of how food actually impacts your being. the next day, I did not put the massive amount of MILK & CREAM into my coffee, and OMG, no headache. literally what a miracle. i tried it out for a few days and still, no headaches. (this was a HUGE deal to me after a year of them) and then I kinda forgot and had pizza a few days into my test. BOOM. instant same headache over my eyes, eyebrows and I realized, this is it! It was dairy. balls. this was like a death sentence of my enjoyment. I ate SO much dairy, dairy like no one’s business. ice cream, you are my first true love. but really it wasn’t (and isn’t) worth it. so I gave it up, I’ve learned I can have ONE or TWO bites of things and that’s it. Any more and the looming headache will return. I’m not even going to get in to how our bodies are not made to process, digest milk from another animal. Look it up.
- DAIRY REPLACEMENTS: I made the switch to Vanilla Soy Milk (now Vanilla Almond milk, bc my Dr says we shouldn’t have daily soy) and then coconut or almond creamer for the coffee. That’s a huge change. Obviously I’ve cut out most all cheese, yogurt, bla bla you get it. Most places are great about leaving it out of your meal if you mention you have an allergy – but I wouldn’t say its the easiest thing to avoid, but Oh So Worth it.
- CHALLENGE! if you find yourself with headaches, constant runny nose, sinus infections, colds…..I CHALLENGE you to taking dairy out of your diet for a week and see. I know, its a scary thing thinking about not being able to go to Molly Moons, but man it is worth it.
- HERE AND NOW: I am so happy i found this out, its honestly made one of the BIGGEST changes in my life, if you had daily headaches for a year+ …not having them is pretty cool. Plus I haven’t had ONE sinus infection (i had 3 in one year) and you wont find my pockets stuffed with tissues. win! If you think this is a crock of sh*t – i will say, it is not! I feel like this is the most real proof that what you eat affects you. well, in MY case.
Ok. so that was a breakthru for me. but GET READY.
THE LEAD IN: i dont know what it is, but i’ve always kinda thought gluten-free, allergic-to-everything people were a load of CRAP and just enjoyed being high maintenance. we live in seattle, people love being weird about anything. watch portlandia, that’s basically seattle. i first heard about this gluten train when i lived in Australia, most all the swedish girls (international school) were ‘allergic to gluten’ – that was in 2008, basically no one in the US had EVER said anything to me about gluten. but the swedes are always ahead, plus look at them, they’re all gorgeous. dont eat shit food, so maybe we should follow the swedes. ANYHOW. so i kept hearing about this damn documentary, “Forks Over Knives” on twitter. people wouldn’t stop about it. and then one of my friends was doing a 60 day juice cleanse and writing a blog about it. 60 freakin’ days. So i watched the dang documentary and it KNOCKED MY SOCKS OFF. completely off. and then I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and I almost died. and then she and I met up for a catch-up hang & juicy time. she and I talked about the changes in her life, and i literally just couldn’t stop the things i’d learned from these two documentaries.
- the correlation between meat and dairy and disease.
- how a plant-based, whole foods diet is the healthiest way of eating that has ever been studied, but it’s more effective in promoting health and preventing disease than prescription drugs, surgery, vitamin and herbal supplementation, and genetic manipulation.
THE REALISTICS: These movies were supported by leading Dr’s, hella facts figures and tests. i cant even get into it. You just need to watch them and get started on your learning. I will tell you this, my mom has had breast cancer, my uncle has lou-gerhigs, grandpa had several heart attacks, and my other grandpa, we lost to a terrible battle with Parkinsons. Nana and Boppa (not blood related) both have battled/am battling cancer. so, um, yeah. we have some disease in our family. but the weird thing is, all of them are ative, “healthy” americans, not overweight, nothing really wrong with them aside from these diseases. what the heck, there has to be something else that contributes to disease. One of my BIGGEST FEARS IN LIFE is getting a disease. For the most part, we think its just like the most unlucky lottery. But from what I’ve been learning, I 100% believe that many diseases are completely preventable (I’m not a Dr. please dont think I know everything). I would also like to mention my mom DID NOT go thru chemo or radiation with her breast cancer, she went against Drs orders, had the mastectomy and killed that mother effing cancer with DIET and extreme immune support. She has been cancer free for 9 YEARS and I’m hella proud of her.
I just kept thinking to myself, if I could do something relatively small effort wise compared to the pain or early death I’d have by possibly getting cancer, heart disease, etc. WHY THE FRICK WOULDN’T I MAKE THAT CHANGE?!! Well its not that hard, I literally changed my ways over night. It just seems too obvious. I couldn’t ignore it anymore. The facts were there, I am flabbergasted that we dont know more of how messed up America is about eating. It’s ridiculous. The amount of processed, genetically modified, absolutely nothing real-live-living goes into our bodies, we live on fast food, microwaved meals, frozen galore. Man, dont even get me started, I get so excited.
SO. this is what happened.
threw out all my processed food.
bought a juicer.
started going to costco and spending $80 every 1-1.5 weeks on fresh fruits and veggies
juicing like no one business
day 3 – BOOM. waking up completely energized, like AWAKE. not needing coffee. like literally FEELING AMAZING. i couldn’t believe it/handle it.
continued to learn, read, watch.
visited a naturepath after thinking I had mono again. turns out it was some weird virus. was recommended to get on vitamin D, b-12, adrenal support* (more to come on that, below)
my mind is so clear. what is this. hard to explain, my brain just feels slippery and clear and working great. I’ve never NOTICED that before in anything.
pretty much am eating 95% as a vegan. still learning. loving it.
making food at home, I love and enjoy – all while still being vegan. woo!
learn more. really commit to only buying organic produce.
start shopping at Whole Foods. realize I’m spending $20-30 more on groceries but that its worth it.
so that’s been my last two months. i know what you’re thinking, you’re effing crazy, I’m NOT turning Vegan. Yea i know, seems drastic doesn’t it. But getting cancer results back would be pretty drastic too. I am NOT am not saying that I think I have just guaranteed myself a disease free life, no. BUT based off the tiny amount that I know so far and being THAT impacted by the facts of how putting REAL LIVE UNPROCESSED food into your body can impact you and your life, man, I couldn’t ignore it. Literally two documentaries have changed my life, whoa. But more than that, I feel incredible. LIKE incredible. I dont think we really ever realize how tired we feel most of the time, or at least i didnt, until I started eating clean and understanding how the body is SUPPOSED to feel. Like a well oiled machine. Not tired, slow and wanting to sleep 24/7. Because of my lifestyle, traveling, go go going all the time, I’m pretty used to being ready to fall in my bed at 8pm, but I can honestly say I’ve NEVER had so much energy in my life that I have when Juicing. never. So the proof is in the pudding. really. I wouldn’t be doing this if it didnt actually make a huge impact on my life.
EXTRAS: after I visited my naturepath Dr. (first off all, this is the ONLY Dr I’ll be going to now. I cant say how many times I saw a normal Dr with my effing headaches and sinus infections and all I was ever given were drugs. and THEN the first person I talk to that understands the body and food, the NEXT day my headaches are gone for good. It is not a crock of sh*t, it works and I’m never going back). So I happen to also be taking some herbal supplements and such and I feel awesome about it. Here’s what I’m taking recommended by my Dr.
- Liquid B-12 complex // liquid vitamins are the BOMBEST. you just drop it in a drink, cant taste it. no swallowing pills. amazing.
- Vitamin D // also a liquid (I was Vit D deficient with my blood tests that came back) If you live above the equator, you should take Vit D.
- Adrenal Support // I have liquid and pill form. This is only something that a naturepath would catch. She suggested it to me because of my fast-paced, pretty high stress lifestyle, that my adrenal glands may be fatigued and so I’m on it and love it.
- Calcium // pill form.
- Women’s Food Based Multi-Vitamin // pill form
- pop a emergenC into some water, for Vitamin C
- Organic Wheatgrass powder // put a scoop in my water, hello hella energy. (i use hella in my vocab as a joke, dont get it wrong)
- Goji Berry Juice // fountain of youth juice, what.
So i guess that may seem like I’m taking a lot of pills. But they are all food based, natural. Nothing is going to harm me and I feel great taking these things as a precautionary, something to keep healthy and give me the nutrients I need to be well rounded.
FINALLY, IN CLOSING: I literally could talk for like 30 hours on this. I feel pretty passionate about this topic, am constantly learning more and loving it. Currently trying to get my boyfriend to match my energy about eating this way, which is proving to be harder than I thought. And just soaking up what I can with the knowledge out there. If you dont know yet, I’m a pusher and I will push whatever I love onto others, so that’s this. I am so excited to be able to share something that has literally rocked my thoughts on health and eating. I feel like it is so common sense that what we put into our bodies impacts us tremendously, and the less fake, processed, genetically modified foods filled with chemicals and hormones that DO affect us and increase disease, the better off we will be. I am pumped to continue to share my new ways and thoughts. and would LOVE to hear from you guys out there on these topics. Are you vegan? Do you juice? Have you recovered form a disease? Do you think I’m crazy?
some random foods/blogs/things i’ve really enjoyed so far.
- My favorite juice mix: Orange, Sweet Potato, Carrot
- you DO NOT need to have exact recipes for juicing, you really cant mess it up. just go as you please and taste test.
- 2nd Favorite: Celery, Cucumber, Orange, Fuji Apple, Lemon, Spinach. = amazing, fresh, I love this in the mornings.
- I do not eat anything that tastes like sh*t, so get it out of your head that all food enjoyment is gone. I only eat things that taste good.
- Forks over Knives has a HUGE selection of vegan recipes
- Netflix has bounds and bounds of eating, raw food, documentaries = amazing.
- Read/watch/learn about The Gerson Theory / Gerson Method = PS it can cure cancer. I CANNOT believe more people dont know about this, them and i think its a total crime more Americans (heck, people!) dont know about this.
- Mix Oat, honey, chocolate chip and honey (and some powdered sugar) into a ball, stick em in the fridge = amazing oat balls!
- Kombucha – dooooo it. Grape Chia, yum.
- Chia Seed // a mayan staple, loaded with fiber, can replace eggs in baking, can be put into anything!
- kale chips!
- I juice with a Breville Fountain Elite, its $299. Seems pretty damn steep, but I wanted one that would last and chomp thru anything. (my first juiceman juicer broke within a month)….
- JUICER UPDATE: I know have an OmegaVRT350 Juicer // my Breville started going 100mph all over the counter, not sure how that happened. But i returned it to Bed Bath & Beyond and UPGRADED a bit (blessing in disguise it broke!) so now I have the omega, which is a slow turning juicer so it doesnt heat and ruin essential enzymes like the spinning Breville kind. I really like it so far. PROS: it is way quieter, smaller and yields more juice. CON: the mouth is smaller, so i have to cut things smaller, which takes more time. But overall, so glad the other one broke so i could upgrade!
- this is EXTREMELY random but i have your attention, so: FYI. a few years back I found out I was allergic to sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), the foaming agent in soaps, toothpastes, etc. So I ended up needing to get this funny little toothpaste called Squigle. I have been always one to get frickin’ canker sores (inside the mouth, not herpes folks) and i neer knew why – well this is the link! hello SLS is an abrasive that is used in cleaners AND soaps and toothpastes. once I started using Squigle, I have completely stopped having canker sores. just an FYI, its amazing.
- My Naturepath Dr. is Melissa Larson in Ballard (a Larson in Ballard? go figure) ….she is great. young, totally easy to talk to. you get a FULL hour with her for an appt // not waiting 3 hours only to see them for 7 minutes like my other experiences.
- ***I am not saying this is for everyone, or that everyone CAN/WILL do this. I’m not even doing it 100% because it can be unrealistic as much as I travel, or in the case I’m a guest at someone’s home for dinner NOR am I preaching this to you on an ethical standpoint (although some treatment/conditions of where we get our meat SICKS me out ) …I am just sharing as it is applicable to me and how I’ve seen changes in my own life. I am not a Dr. I am not telling you all disease is caused by diet – if anything, I hope I could speak into your heart about just considering making some changes and seeing how you feel. the cool thing is, HOW YOU FEEL is a really tangible thing you can see from this. just test it out if you think its a crock. I spent 2+ hours writing this because I think the information available is life changing (literally). Your life and the length and condition of it, could be changed by becoming educated. It’s empowering. GO YOU.***
Yes, this takes more effort, more thought. It isn’t necessarily always cheaper (however if you’re eating out less, than yes it is!) but I think we pretty much often have it backwards. spend hundreds/thousands per year on new clothes, trips, things, and we want to spend the LEAST amount of money on food that we can (or at least that was my often thought) but once we really understand how food fuels us to leading a healthy and ENERGIZED daily life as well as preventing possible disease – I feel like it only makes PERFECT sense. so it is a commitment, but in my mind, a very worthy one.
i have never thought of myself as an “unhealthy” eater, however, moreso, an “uneducated” eater now that I look at it. As most of us are, America really is under the fog of what real health is, I am so happy to hopefully be the starter for me and my future family to educated eating that make a real life impact in our lives. from what I’ve learned and seen in REAL LIFE, in my own life, there’s no going back.
I am officially one of those crazy hippy all natural seattle people and I love it.
i would literally LOVE to hear any tips or thoughts from anyone. please dont be shy!