Posts Tagged ‘dieting’

What Does a Raw Food Coach Do?

This is a question I get asked whenever I explain what it is that I do. What do you do when you coach people who want to eat more raw food, and not necessarily 100% raw? What is a raw food coach exactly?

Let me illustrate this with…

The Unavoidable Sports Metaphor

Sporty, sports.

Look, I hate sports metaphors as much as the next gal. But here’s the deal: all of us can use a coach at one point or another in our lives.

A teacher. A mentor. An adviser. A consultant. A coach.

You might not know this, but I’m a black belt in the martial art of Tae Kwon Do. As a youngster I used to compete in tournaments, and even went as far as the United States Nationals.

My favorite part of competing was the patterns competition. Though I did enjoy my share of sparring.

Until quite recently, I don’t think I ever really appreciated the importance of having a coach. In the ring, when you’re fighting and just trying to catch your breath you really don’t think about your coach much.

When you win, you don’t attribute it to your coach. If you lose, you don’t blame your coach. You know you’re the one doing the butt kicking (and receiving it!).

But it sure feels good to know that there’s someone on your side. Someone watching your back. Someone who is keeping her eyes on your strengths and weaknesses, and telling you about it.

Your coach has a higher vantage point than you do. Instead of being caught up in all the action, your coach can see what’s coming. She knows what you need and she can guide you to excel.

On top of all that, your coach is experienced. More insights, a sharper eye, and targeted advice just for you.

Who Needs a Coach, Anyway?

We’ve all become accustomed to the idea of athletes getting coached. Tiger Woods, one of the best golf players of all time still has a coach.

Do you think that Tiger Woods could do alright without coaching? Sure he could. But he doesn’t, because he is committed to being his best and he knows a coach is the way to keep him accountable and continuously growing.

Actors get acting coaches, business owners get business consultants, and yes if you want to eat healthy high-raw meals you get a raw food coach.

When Things are Humming Along

I remember after I first went raw as an experiment for 30 days, I felt incredible! I was practically floating. I was getting better grades, losing that excess weight… and just feeling good in general.

That’s when I decided to “indulge”. While in New York City, my mom and I decided to visit The Magnolia Bakery. I hadn’t had anything super sugary (other than my beloved raw treats and desserts) for at least two months by then.

I ate three bites of a chocolate cupcake. It was the cutest cupcake I’d ever seen. But my body had such a violent reaction, I instantly regretted it.

I got the worse rash I had ever seen. My stomach got completely red, full of little bumps. I didn’t feel so hot myself, and I just put the rest of it back in the box.

Honestly, I realized it wasn’t worth hurting myself over a cupcake. Not when there were plenty of delicious and healthy raw alternatives. The type that didn’t give me major rashes or cause me to breakout like nobody’s business.

Woops, There Goes the Wagon – and You’re Not On It Anymore

Falling off the raw food wagon?
Photo by Renee

I’ve fallen off the wagon many times. I’ve had those days (or weeks!) when I thought maybe this whole raw food thing wasn’t for me.

Then there were times when I just wished I could get back into eating more raw foods. I literally stayed awake in bed imagining eating sweet and savory foods.

I didn’t have anyone to keep me accountable or keep me on track when I was going raw. I had never even heard of coaching at the time, well except for sports coaches.

A Raw Food Coach Can Keep You Accountable

Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables has been the biggest turning point in my life. There were times I wish I had someone to keep me accountable, to listen to my binging horror stories, and to steer me in the right direction.

Luckily, I learned from my mistakes along the way. Now I can help others who may be struggling with their direction and old habits.

If you’d be interested in learning more about raw food coaching, leave a comment below or email me and we’ll go from there.

Love, Nathalie

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Healthy Foods vs. Unhealthy Foods

Photo by Gordana A. M.

One of the reasons people turn to raw food is because they are looking to eat more healthy food. That’s definitely one of my main reasons for giving raw food a try. (Remember that when I say raw food, I don’t necessarily mean 100% raw.)

Lately, I found myself giving out this little piece of advice: eating raw food doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthier than other ways of eating.

Hear me out…

There are a lot of other things that go into your health, other than just the “label” you apply to your food. So for instance, you might be eating raw food, but eating too much of it. Or you might be eating raw food, but eating too much of one category and not enough of another.

Neither of these scenarios is very healthy.

Or, you might be eating raw food but not drinking enough water, sleeping enough, or exercising enough. And then there’s your emotional and mental well being, all of which play into your overall health.

Now, let’s take a closer look at what healthy foods are.

The Healthy Foods List

Here is a basic list of healthy foods that most people can agree on:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Fresh leafy greens
  • Cold pressed extra virgin oils
  • Raw nuts and seeds
  • Sprouts
  • Seaweeds and sea vegetables

Now we can split hairs and argue that we should include other foods, depending on what lifestyle you follow. For instance some may want to add superfoods, others may want to add in raw dairy or meat, you get the idea.

But I think we can all agree that these are basically healthy foods. Especially fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Unhealthy Foods List

  • Processed “white” foods like white breads, white pastas, etc.
  • Refined white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame
  • Addictive substances like MSG, and other “taste enhancing” chemicals
  • Processed, denatured fats and oils that the body cannot deal with

Alright, so the unhealthy foods list is incomplete. That’s partly because it would take too long to include everything that might potentially be unhealthy. But it’s also because we don’t all agree on what’s unhealthy.

Some people go around telling themselves that they’ll be healthy if they eat “Everything in Moderation“. And while the adage that eating everything in moderation probably held true 100 years ago, it certainly doesn’t hold today.

There are more chemicals and ingredients that I can’t pronounce on a label for dried raisins than ever before. Dried raisins!

Imagine what’s in super processed junk foods for a minute. It’s not pretty.

How to Include More Healthy Foods and Less Unhealthy Foods

I honestly believe that in order to eat more healthy foods we need to leave some of the unhealthy foods behind. If you’re too full from eating an entire bag of chips and a 1L bottle of Coke, then you’re not going to be inspired to eat an apple. Let alone a salad.

Letting go of foods that aren’t good for you is a lot more complex than it might seem at first. Why? Cravings. That’s why.

I’ve been eating healthy foods for over 3 years now, and I’ve learned a thing or two about cravings. Get on The Cue list, and you’ll be the first know about my cravings busting techniques.

Love, Nathalie

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21 Ways to Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Diet

1. Drink Green Smoothies.

If you’ve been here before, you’ll know how much I love green smoothies. Blend 60% whole fruits, 40% green leafy veggies, add water, and you’ve got yourself the best tasting veggie dish ever.

Raw Zucchini Pasta
Fresh zucchini pasta!

2. Use vegetables instead of pasta noodles.

You can get a Spiral Slicer or a Mandolin Slicer at most cooking stores, but failing that just use a vegetable peeler to create fun noodle shapes out of veggies. Try zucchini, spaghetti squash, and eggplant. Top with your favorite pasta sauce.

3. Dehydrate some Kale Chips.

Instead of reaching for those starchy potato or corn chips, why not get your greens in? You can dehydrate your own kale chips with a dehydrator, or alternatively use your oven on the lowest setting. You’ll find the kale chip recipe here.

4. Guzzle some Green Juices.

Green vegetable juice is on equal footing with green smoothies. (Read the juicing vs. blending post.) You’ve got all of those nutritious green minerals and vitamins, and they’re going straight into you without the fiber.

5. Puree vegetables into soup.

You can either use a blender or a juicer to make fresh, yummy veggie soups. Try a mix of carrot and cucumber and add your favorite spices, or give it a little kick with some fresh ginger.

6. Try new vegetables and find creative ways to eat them.

See what’s available in your area and surprise your senses with exciting new vegetables. Why not chop broccoli up into salads? Shred some turnips, or use Bok-Choy as a dipping veggie.

7. Shred carrots, cabbage, and other “tough” veggies into an easy slaw.

With a food processor or by hand, shred those tough “winter veggies” into an easy to enjoy slaw. You can top it with your favorite salad dressings or invent your own. Plus it’s so easy to grab some in a container when you’re on the go.

Beautiful Swiss Chard
Photo by Tamara P.

8. Marinate vegetables.

Chop up some of your favorite vegetables and marinate them for a few hours to soften them up and give them that extra taste. I like a mix of olive oil, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. I’ve marinated mushrooms, broccoli, string beans, asparagus, and the list goes on.

9. Make your own pasta sauce, and add chopped or pured veggies.

If you usually buy pasta sauce, why not chop or puree your own fresh vegetables into it to make it that much healthier? Alternatively you can make fresh veggie pasta sauces with your blender.

10. Steam a sweet potato.

This isn’t raw, but then this isn’t about being 100% raw. If you’re craving that warm comforted feeling, reaching for a steamed sweet potato is a healthy non-processed starch way to go.

11. Add a green powder to your drinks.

If you’re on the go and fear not being able to get enough greens in, then green powders are the way to go. I recommend a blue-green algae like Spirulina, and there are tons of other great green powder products. Add them to your water, smoothies, or on top of salads.

12. Make an avocado chocolate pudding.

Check out Erin Huggins’ take on a raw chocolate avocado pudding, rocking the yum. It’s so easy to make and kids will love it!

13. Eat celery sticks and other veggies with almond butter and a drizzle of sweetener.

Turn ordinary vegetables into satisfying sweet, salty, crunchy snacks. Experiment with different nut butters, and your choices of sweetener like raw honey or stevia.

14. Cut up greens & other veggies and add to grain dishes.

It doesn’t matter if you eat cooked or raw quinoa, brown rice, or barley, you can still use this tip. Simply chop up fresh vegetables like spinach, cucumbers, and other veggies and put them into your grain dishes.

15. Drink Raw Gatorade.

Instead of reaching for a sugary drink after a work out, why not embrace the fruit and veggie duo in Raw Gatorade? To make raw gatorade blend water, bananas, and celery.

16. That’s a wrap.

You can make tons of great vegetable rich entrees with wraps. Simply wrap veggies up in a leaf or a gluten free tortilla, and add your favorite sauces or spices. Even the wrap itself can be a vegetable, like a collard leaf, a cabbage leaf, or even a lettuce leaf. Yum!

How to Sneak Vegetables
Photo by Darwin Bell

17. Make veggies available at all meals, and not just as a side dish.

Yes, that means breakfast too! The key to eating more vegetables is to treat them as a central theme to all meals.

18. Make a vegetable sandwich with anything that won’t fall out.

When eating out ask for a vegetable sandwich instead of the extra heavy meaty variety. With a veggie sandwich you could end up with a lovely looking salad, between 2 slices of bread. You can make raw bread in a dehydrator, so don’t discount this option if you’re all raw!

19. Make your own veggie salad dressings & dips.

When you blend your own salad dressings, you can sneak more veggies into the dressing itself too! Try blending avocado, cucumber, as well as sea vegetables and add some spices. Yum.

20. Have sliced veggies on hand at all times, and get yourself a good dip for snacking.

We’re a lot more likely to reach for the veggies instead of the chips if they’re already in snack form. When you get home from a shopping trip, wash and cut your snacking vegetables and store in the fridge for easy access. Then either make your own delicious veggie dips or have a healthy alternative on hand for when the snacking strikes!

21. Eat your salad before your main meal.

This ensures you get your veggies in before you get full. Plus a good salad before a meal will keep you from overeating the foods that aren’t as good for you.

Looking for more in depth Veggie Sneaking Tips?

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Love, Nathalie

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