Raw vegan mealprep (week 7)

I’m not a raw vegan and I’m not going to be one. This is not a detox, I don’t believe in detoxes. I’m just a curious girl who wants to know how my body reacts to a week of this raw vegan food. There’s also another side to it, I’ve been having bad skin and I blame parts of my diet, so I want to see if it gets better in this week.

Raw veganism is a lifestyle without eating meat/fish, eggs and dairy (some say also no honey but that’s always a debate and I never eat honey anyway). Besides not eating animal products, all food is eaten raw. Most raw veganists will say food that reaches 48 degrees C or 118 degrees F isn’t raw anymore. The thought behind it is that enzymes stay active which is healthy and aids digestion (I’m not convinced about this, but I give it the benefit of the doubt. My views: enzymes are proteins and proteins are broken down and digested in the stomach). Some foods, like nuts and chickpeas can/should be soaked and some also sprouted before eating. A just published study has come to the conclusion that heating your food to high temperatures might cause the increase of Alzheimers disease and other ‘Western’ diseases. (Observational and Ecological Studies of Dietary Advanced Glycation End Products in National Diets and Alzheimer’s Disease Incidence and Prevalence, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease). So eating more raw and less heated products might indeed be better.

The thing is that it’s difficult to be 100% raw, so most will eat 60-70% raw. My own prep for this week also isn’t 100% raw. I have a lot of roasted almonds in stock and those raw ones were really expensive and I had already spend some extra money on other raw foods so I thought what the heck, I’ll eat the roasted ones. I also added peanutbutter powder (which is made from roasted peanuts) to the crackers and cookies, because I wanted to add some protein. Lastly, I added a scoop of tahini to the hummus, which is made from roasted sesame seeds. My biggest concern with this week was that I wouldn’t get in all my needed protein. I’ve calculated some meals in myfitnesspal and saw that my daily protein intake will be about 50 to 60 grams, which is kind of ok for 1 week (normal nowadays is between 100-150 gr for me). I’ve decided to add raw vegan protein powder for after my workouts.

So what do raw veganists eat?

Well, the base is of course veggies. Lots of them! Second will be fruits, then legumes, nuts/seeds and grains. I’ve been looking for recipes, but most recipes out there are of pies, chocolate bars and other snacks. I found some great recipes on www.rawmazing.com though. I also found a great recipe for sprouted chickpea hummus and cashew ‘cheese’. My week might not be a typical ‘raw vegan’ week, as I have viewed so many blogs and accounts on internet, I saw most just eat veggies and fruit. I’m not willing to risk such a great calorific deficit, and such low protein levels, so that’s why I made the crackers, cookies, hummus and cashew cheese (all raw!).

I just bought a dehydrator (which started my interest in raw veganism) and it is great for making those raw cookies and crackers! It also does a great job dehydrating the nuts after soaking. The walnuts really turned out yummy and crunchy. If you’re interested in cracker and cookie recipes, just google raw vegan dehydrator cracker/cookie and you’ll find a bunch of great recipes! I made my crackers with zucchini, bell pepper, chia seeds, salt, flax seeds and sunflower seeds (and a bit of non-raw peanubutter powder). For the cookies I used a pear, an apple, a small amount of coconut flour and oatflour, peanutbutter powder, flax, chia, raw cacao nibs and raisins. As you can read, no sugar or sweetener added to the cookies and they’re delicious! How? The dehydrator removes the water from the batter, so the apple and pear sugars become really concentrated and give sweetness to the cookie. I’m definitely going to keep making these great cookies and crackers!

I’ve included my mealplan with shopping list, and also an empty plan to use for yourself:

Mealprep plan raw vegan week

Mealprep plan (empty plan to use for your own meapreps)

I made some things on forehand, like the cashew ‘cheese’ (it has to ‘ripen’ for 2-3 days), the hummus (the chickpeas had to soak and then sprout for a couple of days) and the cookies/crackers/plantain/dried apples/dried nuts which all had to dry or soak->dry in the dehydrator. As you can see I only fully prepped for my workdays, but I planned the other days too because of some of the things I have to make in advance.

Mealprep breakdown: PicsArt_1423665351289

  • Breakfast: layered oats
  • Snack: dehydrator cookies, dehydrator apple slices and veggies
  • Lunch: dehydrator crackers, sprouted chickpea hummus, ½ avocado and a bunch of green veggies
  • Snack: apple, nuts and a Roobar (raw, vegan, wholefood bar) on 2 days.
  • Dinner: dehydrator plantain chips, raw cashew cheese, dehydrator crackers and green veggies
  • Snack: a pear.

I will add at least some tangerines, dates and a banana here and there. I also bought sunwarrior protein powder (which is raw vegan), I’ll drink that after gymming.

How did the prepping go:

I made the crackers, cookies, apple slices and plantain in advance during the days before prepping. I made the cashew cheese with this recipe (it is incredibly delicious, and I’ll continue eating it!).

Breakfast: (you need 4 big jars)

Puree 4 bananas and 6 dates, put it in a bowl. Add 70 gr of oats,1/2 liter almond milk (add more when it’s too thick), 40 gr flax, 40 gr chia seeds, 15 gr hemp seeds. Divide this in 4 bowls. Now add 15 gr of grated coconut to the ‘white’ bowl. Puree a cup of kale and cup of spinach and add it to the ‘green’ bowl. Add 2 scoops of raw chocolate protein powder and 15 gr of raw cacao nibs to the ‘brown’ bowl. Add a cup of pureed berries to the ‘red’ bowl. Taste all the bowls and add a bit of raw agave to the ones needing it. Now scoop it in the jars to create the layers, I added 15 gr of raisins somewhere in between and topped it with blueberries. It’s a lot of work, but the colorful layers make me happy in the morning haha!

After this I devided all the greens (spinach, kale, lettuce, aragula and bean sprouts) in the 8 tubs. I divided the cashew cheese by 4 and put them in the small jars. I cut the avocado (put them in an extra bag), and put the crackers and avocado in the tub. I made the sprouted chickpea hummus:

Sprouted chickpea hummus:

PicsArt_1423665294734

Chickpeas sprouting in the jar

1 cup of dried chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of tahini (not raw!), 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 clove of garlic, salt and pepper. Start with soaking the chickpeas for 1 day in tap water on room temperature. Then you put them in a sprouting jar or just make one by punching holes in the lid of a jar (I used 2 jars for this batch). Place the jar in 45 degrees and somewhere where there’s light (doesn’t have to be direct sunlight). Now rinse the chickpeas twice a day with tap water and put them back in the jar. They start sprouting after about a day, I waited until the sprouts became a bit bigger then their own size (picture). Then put all ingredients in a food processor and processed until it’s creamy (add a bit of water or oil when it’s too dry). I put the hummus in my lunch tub.

I cut the veggies and put them into tubs with a bit of water. I portion everything and place it on the table for picture taking (very essential lol!).

PicsArt_1423665385152

Breakfast/snack/lunch closeup

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Clean eating

So what is this ‘clean eating’ everybody is talking about? It certainly isn’t cleaning your food really well before eating lol! But I’ve found so many definitions and ‘rules’ for clean eating, it kind of gets a forest of information out there and you’ll not know what to follow. In no way I say my own vision is the right or correct one, I’m just going to say something about how I envision clean eating (aka just healthy eating in general).

Paleo-vs-Clean-EatingWhen  you look up clean eating on the internet, you’ll find a lot of lists of food to avoid, or even worse, food that’s forbidden. You’ll find a 30 day clean eating cleanse or the ‘whole 30’, which is practically the same to me, or the Paleo diet. Personally, I believe in moderation. Yes, of course, I would love to be able to eat clean 100% of the time, but then life happens and social situations occur and there’s also the inner fat girl that just wants to eat pizza and drink wine. So I’ve learned the hard way that by forbidding myself to eat something ‘unclean’ I will end up eating a truckload of it, so that doesn’t work for me personally.

Of course, there are foods that I’d rather not eat and are ‘unclean’ in my eyes, which is to me simply everything that’s been processed. It comes down to: all types of bread and pasta, white rice, all types of dairy, processed meats like burgers or sausages, all ‘diet’ products, anything with white flour or sugar in it, like cookies or nutella, fast food and probably some other things I forgot to mention. I’d rather not eat dairy because it seems unnatural to me to take another species mother milk that’s meant for its baby, but that doesn’t mean I never take it, because cheese is one of my weaknesses. (I know generally dairy is allowed in the ‘clean eating society’.)

So to me, it’s all about that balance, I try to eat as natural as possible, but allow myself to eat certain unclean things on a daily/weekly basis.

So why is this important?

Well, to start, clean and whole foods contain a lot of nutrients. Yes, a nice big steak contains more calories than a skinny chicken sausage, but have you read the labels of those sausages? Most of them only contain 40-50 % meat, they add all kind of things (mostly white flour and other unclean things). In the end, you’ll get more nutrients (protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals) from the steak than you’ll get from the sausage. If you look at losing weight, people might choose the sausage because it contains less calories. I think this is a very important mistake many make! We are surrounded by ‘diet’ products, low fat this, sugar free that….. and they all try to convince us it’s healthy. You might be able to lose weight with it, but at what cost? It’s time for us to stand up to those big brands and say: NO! We want real food and if I decide to take something ‘unclean’, I’ll go for the real deal, full fat/sugar dark chocolate and wine, or a really cheesy pizza.

Basis for a clean and healthy lifestyle:

Vegetables, fruit, legumes/beans, whole meat, whole fish, eggs, nuts/seeds, whole grains (including brown rice) and starchy veg/roots like (sweet) potatoes.

Mealprep week 6 breakdown

I always start with the fact that I don’t think everybody should mealprep, I’m writing this because I want to show people a way that most think is impossible or very hard. It can be done and it’s not even that hard! For more tips go and check out this mealprep 101 post. I kept it relatively easy during this weeks mealprep. So what did I make:

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Breakfast: superseed oats with pb and a banana (and I add blueberries and goji berries): With pb:7 pp, 275 kcal, 23 gr carbs, 13 gr fat, 16 gr protein. Without pb: 5pp, 224 kcal, 22 gr carbs, 9 gr fat, 14 gr protein. Check out this post for the exact recipe.

Snack 1: carrots and 1/2 bell pepper. 0pp, 64 kcal, 1 gr fat, 12 gr carbs and 2 gr protein.

Snack 2: banana-protein bread, The whole bread contains 1441 kcal, 30 gr fat, 179 gr carbs and 101 gr protein. A 1/6 slice (which is BIG) contains 5pp, 240 kcal, 5 gr fat, 30 gr carbs and 17 gr protein. Check out this post for the exact recipe.

Lunch: sweet potato, chicken, tomatoes and sugar snaps. My serving is 8pp, 408 kcal, 6 gr fat, 37 gr carbs and 47 gr protein.

Snack 3: 2 clementines. 0pp, 54 kcal, 0.4 gr fat, 11.2 gr carbs and 0.8 gr protein.

Dinner: yellow brown rice, cauliflower and a pork sausage (100% clean). 7pp, 348 kcal, 11 gr fat, 30 gr carbs, 28 gr protein.

Nutritional information of 1 day: 27pp, 1389 kcal, 36 gr fat, 143 gr carbs, 110 gr protein.

IMPORTANT: this is a VERY basic mealprep. I will add at least 1 questbar to get to my daily allowance, but will add more food on the days I workout. This is meant for an average women to lose weight when already close to goal. This will NOT be enough for an average male or female who doesn’t need to lose weight or for a very obese person! Calculate your specific needs on www.iifym.com.

Instructions:

I’m not going to write a complete shoppinglist anymore, because the chance somebody wants to do this exact prep is very small and it’s a huge time investment on my part. So generally, I do my preps like this:

I wake up Monday morning and start with the breakfast prep (recipe over here). Sometimes I already put everything in the pan on Sunday evening for easy and fast cooking. I eat 1 of the breakfast, then I’ll go shopping for the rest of the ingredients. When I come home, I pop the chicken (4 200gr pieces of boneless chicken) in the steam cooker, while I peel and cut the sweet potato (4×125 gr). I add those in the top layer of the steam cooker. Total steam cooker time is 60 minutes. Meanwhile, I preheat the oven and make the dough for the banana-protein bread (recipe over here). When the bread is in the oven, I wash the brown rice (4×30 gr) and boil it with tumeric, salt and hot curry spices for about 30 minutes. I also throw the sausages in a pan and fry them slowly for about 30 minutes (turning them from time to time). Usually around this time I have some waiting to do, I’ll use this for cutting/cleaning my veggies and put them in the tubs. Now some of the things are finished, I’ll let it cool down before I put them in the tub. I let the bread cool down partially and slice it into 6 pieces (eat 1 right away, nom nom). Let everything cool down properly before you put the lids on! Divide your portions using the weighing method I describe in my mealprep 101 post!

Enjoy!

How to get abs…..

ab-abominations-1Surprise, you already have them! Or you are some kind of freak of nature, born without abdominal muscles, which would really suck, sorry! Look at this hot example of abs, click on it if you want, it takes you to a great article that I also refer to later in this post.

I read the sentence ‘I just want abs’ all the time and it always creeps me out. Why? Because there is a whole industry based on a lot of nonsense ways to ‘get abs’. The abroller, abtronic, even my gym has its hourly ab-15 minutes. You go to fitness sites and they’ll tell you to do a certain amount of exercises for a certain amount of days and you’ll get abs as a result. Let me tell you, this is all BS!

First of all, by saying ‘I want abs’ most people mean, ‘I want to have a flat and tight stomach with some visible abdominal muscles’. Most abs are covered by insulation (aka fat) so they’re not visible. Training your abdominal muscles till you drop will NOT automatically melt away your stomach fat and show some shizzled abs. Why? Well, abdominal muscles are just like any other muscle: you give them regular heavy training and in time (yes, time….) they will grow a bit and get more definition. Bigger muscles burn more energy, that’s true, but in comparison with the whole body, the abdominal muscles are just tiny and won’t contribute that much to fat burning. You will need other ways to lose your fat and show off your amazing midsection!

Abs are made in the kitchen

Many people write this and though I understand and agree with the thought behind it, technically it is not correct, because you already have abs. The thing is, you need to eat healthier and less calories to lose your fat and at a certain fat % your abdominal muscles will show. This is different for everybody, the same can be said about the way your abdominal muscles look (4pack/6pack)! A much better sentence would be: Abs get trained in the gym and will show itself when you stop putting so much crap in your mouth.

Personally, I would rather call it ‘core muscles’. A strong core is very important for a fit body! Having a strong core will give you great posture and prevent injuries. Training lower back and side muscles is equally important as training your abdominal muscles! Did you know that by doing a lot of free weight and (standing) single arm/single leg exercises, you already train your core? Did you know that doing endless sit-ups doesn’t really take you anywhere? You can read a great article about ab-mistakes over here. If you ‘want abs’ go and read it!

Oh, and if you don’t feel like doing those exercises and reduce eating crap, you can always get ab implants:

AOGe4Ad

 

Plantain-peanutbutter patties

I’m trying out other ‘clean’ carb sources and though plain fried or baked plantain is already really tPicsArt_1422432782215asty on itself, I created this recipe to have some variation in my repertoire. It also makes a yum snack! Just so you know, these patties stay kind of soft and don’t get hard and crispy. This recipe makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information:

Weightwatchers: 5pp per serving. Per serving: 206 kcal, 4,5 gr fat, 112 gr carbs, 6 gr protein.

Ingredients:

  • 300 grams of plantain (it doesn’t matter if it’s getting a bit soft or growing legs like mine)
  • 1 big or 2 small onions
  • A piece of gingerPicsArt_1422432879341
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 25 gr natural peanutbutter (mine has no additives)
  • 30 gr natural peanutbutter powder (mine has no additives)
  • Salt, pepper, chilli and curry powder
  • Optional: non-stick spray or some oil to fry (not calculated in the nutritional information)

PicsArt_1422432846892Instructions:

Throw all the ingredients in a food processor! Yes all! Process until its smooth-ish. Take a non-stick pan (I have a Stonehenge pan which I adore because almost nothing sticks to it!). Bake/fry the patties on low-medium heat. They WILL burn if you use high heat! When the top is starting to look a little bit dryer, flip them gently as they are still a bit soft. Heat for another minute or so and remove from the pan.

Enjoy! PicsArt_1422432813801

Swimming makes you fat??

Today I want to write something about swimming. To start, I LOVE swimming, always have and always will. My mom called me a water rat when I was young (in a loving way of course). On holidays I could spend hours in de pool, playing, swimming, doing water ‘acrobatics’. Later on in life, I started speed-swimming when I had my knee injury and couldn’t do normal sports out of the water. I was actually not bad, but stopped due to time and motivational problems.

Last year, when I started my weightloss and getting fit journey, I started swimming once or twice a week before work. I did it for 45 minutes and then felt really accomplished. Until I read an article with the title ‘swimming makes you fat’. I was like: What?? I thought I was being very good by swimming, it’s easy on the joints for a very obese person, but if it makes you fat then why should I do it? I read the article and did some of my own research and found the following:cust_bg_87_1399620442455

Swimming on itself doesn’t make you fat, BUT: most people who go swimming to lose weight, do it in a slow pace and because of the weightlessness you actually don’t really get your heart rate up so you don’t burn more than when you sit at your desk. The problem is that people THINK they had a great workout, and tend to eat more to compensate the calories they never burned, so they can actually gain weight.

I wanted to see if this was true, so I bought a heartrate monitor that could get wet and works in pool water. I measured my heartrate during my 45 minutes in the pool and guess what, I didn’t even get into the first zone on the monitor. I was shocked, I thought I had some great workouts in the water, meanwhile I could’ve just laid in my bed (ok, I admit, I’m a lazy person). So instead of quitting swimming, I changed my routine. I did some reading and read a lot about HIIT (high intensity interval training). I did the following: I started with 5 minutes higher tempo swimming, the kind that will raise your heartrate to level 1. Then I did 30 minutes of HIIT. Normally you use the clock for HIIT, like 30 seconds fast and 30 seconds slow, but that’s kind of difficult in the pool. I chose to swim my fastest (the type that will leave you out of breath) from one side to the other and then swim medium speed back to my starting point then did this until 30 minutes were finished. After 30 minutes I did a 10 minute cooling down swim. This way, I burned about 300-400 kcal during this 45 minutes.

Currently I don’t swim anymore as weightlifting and climbing takes all of my time. I do think swimming can be a great cardio workout for very obese people or people who have injuries (and the elderly), because it’s easy on the joints, tendons and muscles. What you need to remind yourself of (if you want it to be a workout), is that it’s only a real workout when you raise your pace and get a bit out of breath. Personally, I’ve stepped away from the cardio-only view and started weightlifting to aid my weightloss. You can read about it in this post. I also wrote something on how to start weightlifting in this post. As you all know, exercise is great, but if you don’t control what you put in your mouth, it won’t make you lose weight: you can’t outtrain a bad diet!

Banana-protein bread recipe

So I’ve been looking for a good alternative for questbars. I love my questies, but I’ve been eating soooPicsArt_1422188847215 many of them, some days up to 3 or 4! I track everything, don’t worry, but it’s been heavy on my wallet. They used to cost even more over here, now it’s about 20 euro’s for a box containing 12. I’ve tried a couple of different homemade protein cupcakes, but in the end it wasn’t really what I wanted. Until I found a basic recipe for a nice bananabread by the lovely @jonboklofffitness on instagram. I adjusted the recipe quite a bit to fit my needs, here it is! It is so delicious! It contains more carbs than a questbar, but hey, it tastes good and has 17 grams of protein in 1 slice! The whole bread contains 30 pp, and because I want it to be 5pp like a questie, I divided it by 6, but those are huge chunks, so it’s easily divided by 8 or 10, making it a lot lower in pp per piece. I used oatflour and coconut flour. You can experiment by using different type of flours, but adjust the amount of ‘wet’ content when you use less coconutflour, because this type of flour makes stuff more dry and your PicsArt_1422188885239bread needs more wet ingredients to compensate.

Nutritional information:

The whole bread contains 1441 kcal, 30 gr fat, 179 gr carbs and 101 gr protein. A 1/6 slice contains 240 kcal, 5 gr fat, 30 gr carbs and 17 gr protein.

Ingredients:

  • 2 bananas
  • 80 gr of oatflour
  • 70 gr of coconutflour
  • 4 egg whites
  • 15 gr of raw cacao nibs (or the powder)
  • 20 gr of peanutpowder ( I used the natural type, with no other ingredients besides peanuts)
  • 1 apple (pealed)
  • 2 scoops of protein powder (I used 1 scoop of peanutbutter flavoured and 1 cookies and cream flavoured, my protein powder is 3pp per scoop)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground cloves
  • Vanilla extract (or use a bit of pumpkin spice to replace all these spices)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150 ml of water
  • 15 gr goji berries (optional)
  • 15 gr mulberries (optional)

Instructions:PicsArt_1422188947971

Put the oven on 180C or 350F. Use a food processor to puree the following ingredients: bananas,apple, cacaonibs, goji berries, peanutpowder and mulberries. Put it in a bowl and add the eggwhites and the water. Put all the dry ingredients (except for the baking powder) in a separate bowl or plate and mix them a bit. Now add the flour mix slowly to your bananamix and use a mixer if you have one, because it clots easily. Now add the baking powder and mix shortly. Put everything in  cake-tray, or any type you want to use. Baking time might be less for those flat large trays! I used a silicone one, because you don’t need oil, paper or anything because nothing sticks to it! Now spread everything evenly and bake for 35-40 minutes. After this, I put the oven on 140 C or 280 F and let it bake for another 15 minutes. Let it cool down a bit before you cut it!

Costs:

Somebody commented about the costs, worrying that the flours and berries are costly and that this is an expensive bananabread. I was also kind of curious on how much it actually costs to make this, so I calculated everything, except the salt and the spices, because I don’t really know how to calculate them. The most costly thing was actually the eggs, as I used the best forest bred organic eggs. If you use egg whites from a box like I know you can buy in the US, the costs will significantly reduce. I used specific oat flour, but you can also process normal oats in a blender or mixer until its like flour, which can also reduce costs. The costs might also be different in different countries, but I don’t believe they will differ much! The whole loaf was 4.83 euro, which is 5.44 dollar. 1 slice would be 0.80 euro or 0.90 dollar. For me, a questbar is about 1.67 euro/1.88 dollar so it’s half of the price I would pay for a questbar.

  • Mulberries: 250 gr is 5.90 euro, 15 gr is 0.35 euro
  • Goji berries: 500 gr is 7.99 euro, 15 gr is 0.24 euro
  • Bananas: 2 for 0.40 euro
  • Apple: 1 for 0.50 euro
  • Oats flour: 1 kilo is 2.90 euro, 80 gr is 0.23 euro
  • Coconut flour: 500 gr is 3.90 euro, 70 gr is 0.55 euro
  • Eggs: 6 eggs for 2 euro, 4 eggs are 1.33 euro
  • Cacaonibs: 500 gr is 6.96, 15 gr is 0.20 euro
  • Whey protein powder: 1 bucket is 81 scoops is 34.90 euro, 2 scoops is 0.86 euro
  • Peanutbutter powder: 454 gr is 3.90 euro, 20 gr is 0.17 euro