Since Monday, I've been trying to re-adjust my diet to the way I was eating when I just got into raw foods last year. The months following that time were the healthiest months of my life. In a mere 6 month period, I dropped down to the goal weight I had been aiming for for who even knows how long. I was also full of energy all the time, had a more positive outlook, and slept and woke up totally refreshed and without an alarm clock (which is saying a lot for a young person, given 99% of the rest of us sleep until the early afternoon and still feel groggy).
In short, that diet was much more of a "high raw" diet than what I've been following over the passed 6 months. In the early stages, I focused almost exclusively on fruits and veggies, and limited healthy fats through nuts, seeds, and avocados. The more recent stage has descended into a raw unbaking frenzy of sweeteners, coconut butter, and nuts, on top of the fruits and veggies. Not even my daily workouts could keep up with that kind of recipe testing (and mostly tasting). I guess I lost track of the whole "in moderation" thing that I keep talking about. Now, I'm trying to get back on track.
To sum it up, I'm going back onto that fresh fruit & veggie diet of the early days, and trying to keep my healthy fat intake under 15% of my daily intake solely in the form of nuts and avocados. I'm also sticking with 90% fresh foods and only about 10% dehydrated goodies. I've only been doing this seriously for about 3 days now and I feel amazing already.
Of all the random things I have done in my life to optimize my fitness levels/stay healthy/lose weight/you name it, one of the things I have never done is calorie count. I always considered calorie counting an over the top habit, somewhat obsessive, and often probably downright depressing. However, I've recently been going through personal coach Steve Pavlina's 2008 30 Days on Raw Food experience, and his daily nutritional info logging made me curious about what my own daily diet would look like in numbers.
To find out, I simply typed in "calorie counter" into my trusty search engine and clicked on the first one that was listed, Calorie Count. After inputing my day's worth of food, I found that the results were not depressing at all! In fact, they made me feel awesome. I now find calorie/nutrient counting really fun. For example, yesterday, I got over 300% of my daily recommended intake of Vitamin A and C, stellar levels of iron and fiber, and healthy amount of sodium without ever using salt or Bragg's. I thought calorie counting was something bad, but it totally made me justify my choice to go on a raw diet! With all my nutrient levels so high, why would I do anything else? I feel so vindicated.
On the flip side, I also am learning that both yesterday and today, I should have eaten more calcium and potassium rich foods. Rather than looking at it as something unfortunate though, I'm going to work on that today and try to get all my levels up to 100% or more. It's like a new awesome nutrition game, where the winner is always me.
Like most things, calorie counting should be done in moderation, in a healthy way. It should not become obsessive, frustrating, or depressing. Instead, it should be taken as something positive to work on or as something which only helps you re-enforce how healthy you already are. I've definitely revised my opinion of calorie counting from being a bad fad. I doubt I'll be doing this for long because it's pretty time consuming. However, right now, it's a fun thing I'm trying out to figure out my nutrient levels. It's also definitely taught me a lot after only two day. I'm going to try to keep it up for at least 1 week and see what happens!
On the exciting food item of the day note, I made Andrew raw zucchini hummus for dinner topped with the first calendula flower from my new herb garden. Calendula is most notoriously known to be really good for your skin, but is also good to regulate a woman's menstrual cycle and harbors some pretty strong anti-bacterial properties. Besides, it's fun to eat flowers! Just make sure you've grown them organically!