Raw Food Psychology

7 Tips for Eating Healthy On The Road (Or in the Air)

A lot of our conditioning around food comes from living a hyper-busy life. Think about it: if you had 12 hours per day with nothing to do, you might start making new types of food from scratch instead of reaching for fast food and instant meal solutions.

Fast food, planes, travel
Photo by Brian Wallace

One of the most busy times is during travel, when food is either an inconvenience or turns into a massive drain of energy.

If you plan on traveling this summer on vacation, for work, or to visit friends and family then this article is for you.

Here are my tried and true ways of staying healthy (and not getting sick!) while you’re traveling.

1. Drink lots of water

I’ve written at length about how much water you should drink every day, and how to drink more water. But drinking water becomes exponentially more important when you’re traveling.

That’s because we tend to be more rushed, to be thrown out of our routine, and to forget to hydrate. It also happens that you never know when you’re going to have access to a source of drinkable water, so always carry a reusable water bottle with you.

2. When in doubt, eat less

One thing I noticed when I travel is that people seem to eat more. Either because the plane / train is trying to sell lots of snacks, or because there’s nothing to do.

I’ve been there before: between a long flight, a never ending bus ride, or a 10 hour car ride… there’s not much to do unless you’re the one driving. So you dig into the snacks in an effort to stay awake or keep your energy up.

What does all of this increased snacking lead to? First, it causes major stomach traffic jams because you’re eating different foods in quick succession. It also leads to major bloating and constipation. It’s no wonder travel messes with our regular bowel movement schedules.

That’s why I recommend you keep your snacks and meals to within a few hours of each other. Bring a book or take a nap instead of entertaining yourself with food.

3. Research juice bars and restaurants

One thing I love about the internet is that you can research the restaurants and juice bars before you even set foot in a place. Make sure that the local listings are accurate, since restaurants and stores open and close without necessarily updating their sites.

I love “Happy Cow” for vegetarian and raw-friendly restaurant reviews. You can search by location and drill down from there.

If you end up at a restaurant that you didn’t research then check out my article on how to eat raw when you eat out.

4. Bring something you can eat on the go

One thing that is predictable about travel is the uncertainty. You never know when you’re going to get a chance to refuel (your car or your body) and that means preparation is key.

Although I recommend keeping snacking to a minimum, it’s better to have your own snacks on hand than to react to your hunger and eat something really unhealthy.

Here are some travel-friendly foods to pack:

  • Baby carrots
  • Sliced veggies: celery, cucumber, bell peppers
  • Dried nuts and seeds in a trail mix
  • Larabars
  • Dehydrated green smoothies
  • Fruit: apples, berries, citrus

5. Go to the grocery store

As soon as you arrive to your destination, make a trip to the grocery store. Most of the time you can grab a few staples, something green, and be on your way in less than 20 minutes.

It makes a huge difference when you have your go-to fruits and veggies for breakfast or snacks. If you can get your hands on a blender or juicer, then all the better. If not, don’t worry – you can always get back on the wagon when you get home.

6. Sleep and rest generously

This isn’t so much about food as it is about giving your body what it needs, but it does tie in to what you eat.

You see, if you don’t get enough sleep then you’re going to be reaching for something sugary or caffeinated to kickstart your body. That’s not the way to go, because it leads to a vicious cycle of sugar ups and downs and will definitely not leave you feeling refreshed.

So make sure you get some good shut eye while you’re traveling.

7. Focus on water rich foods

If you’re going to be veering off your usual way of eating, make sure you’re compensating with lots of water rich foods.

That means if you’re having something a little dehydrating like some wine or coffee, then follow it up with some fresh coconut milk or a green juice. (Both are great hangover cures too!)

Instead of having something salty like salted peanuts, reach for sliced munchable veggies.

Are you counting your miles?

Frequent Flyer?

Remember to stay grounded and take some time for yourself when you’re traveling. If you want to see someone who knows how to keep a regular schedule even when he travels, check out my friend Chris Guillebeau.

He’s on a mission to visit every country in the world, and he’s keeping to a vegetarian diet while doing it. He’s also got a great guide for anyone who wants to get lots of frequent flyer points without the flying.

Where are you off to?

Now I’m really curious about where everyone is going. Personally, I’m going to Miami, then Ottawa for the Healthy Living Festival, then back to Quebec to visit my family.

Family is a theme that runs throughout my travels this time, what about you… why are you traveling and where to?

Love, Nathalie

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Is The Raw Food Movement Breaking Apart?

If you happen to follow any other blogs in the raw food movement, you may have noticed that there is a bit of a split happening between strict raw veganism and non-vegan raw foodists.

Is there a movement away from Raw Veganism?

(Click here to watch the embedded video about raw food.)

It’s a very interesting phenomena, and I think it’s one that really needs to be addressed. Gena Hamshaw from Choosing Raw wrote about her commitment to being vegan and how she was vegan before going raw. I respect her position and determination, and love the piece she wrote about her stance on the issue.

On the other hand you have people like Anthony The Raw Model and Daniel Vitalis who are into the more primal way of eating, including animal products. They are also to be respected for openly discussing their own trials.

Where I Stand on the Issue

As you know my approach to raw foods has never been one of all-or-nothing. Because of that, I don’t see this split in the raw food movement as being such a monumental shift.

The truth is that I think a 100% vegan raw food diet is great if you really need to cleanse or purify your body. Most of us do at some point, if the food industry is anything to go by.

However, I don’t think it’s perfect for everyone in the long term. I think that different people have different body types, live in different climates, and have access to different quality foods.

I am very much in tune with the animal rights movements and treading lightly on our planet.

However I don’t think that adhering to 100% raw veganism is the only way to champion those causes. If you think about it, you can be a good steward of the earth even if you do consume animal products.

Raw Veganism For Health Reasons

Chances are you came to the raw food movement to improve your health, and I think that it is a great starting point to changing unhealthy habits.

I also think that it is your responsibility to do your research and eat the way that makes you feel your best, and if that means taking supplements or eating something that is not raw and/or vegan then I say go for it.

The raw vegan diet is very idealistic, but the truth is that most of us don’t live in an idealistic society.

I admit it, I am an idealist and I wish that it could be as simple as surviving only on raw vegan foods.

With books like The Vegetarian Myth coming out and more research and discussions about how environmentally friendly a vegan diet can be, I think it’s necessary to take a step back.

Raw Veganism and Animal Rights

I know of monks in China who are completely vegetarian. Still, there are other monks who choose to eat animals because they say that eating only vegetables does not limit the amount of harm done to other life forms like bugs, worms, etc.

Of course the real problem is not so much the fact that some people choose to eat animal products at all. But rather the way animal products are sourced unethically.

We are growing animals in factories. These dark conditions are certainly no way to raise animals, let alone animals to be eaten.

So here’s my take away point

You are an individual and you are allowed to research, experiment, and see for yourself what works best for you and your body type.

If that includes raw dairy products, a little bit of meat or fish, or some ethically sourced eggs then I say go for it.

Some of the most nature-respecting native peoples were hunters who ate animal products. They never abused the earth and they made the most of their position as shepherds of the planet.

It’s our time to do the same.

If you’re going to take care of yourself, you need to care of the planet as well.

That means eating organic, grass fed, ethically sourced animal products if you choose to do so.

That also means including lots of raw fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.

Finally, breathe deep…

Just because there is division in the raw food movement, doesn’t mean that eating fruits and vegetables raw is less effective or less important for your health.

I believe it’s important to get everything out in the open and to really dig deep.

Love, Nathalie

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What Do You Do When You Want To Go Raw But Your Spouse Doesn’t

I’ve seen it many times: one person decides to go raw, but their spouse or partner isn’t on board. This causes undue friction, arguments, and problems.

Then what used to be a perfectly happy couple turns into a quarreling relationship. All over the seemingly simple topic of food.

If this situation sounds a little too familiar, don’t worry I’ve been there before. In fact, after I decided to go raw my boyfriend Robin and I almost broke up. We were two compatible people that had suddenly developed incompatible lifestyles.

How to Mend The Food Divide

Time and again I’ve heard that it’s easier to get someone to change their culture, their language, their political standpoint, and their religion than it is to get them to change their diet.

Unfortunately for us, that reality is not likely to change in the next few minutes while we’re talking about it.

So what’s a gal to do if she wants her boyfriend to eat more raw food? Or what’s a man to do if he wants to embrace a high raw or all raw lifestyle, but his wife thinks he’s gone off the deep end?

You’ve got to mend the food divide.

You can learn all the tips and tricks in the world on how to eat raw while going to non-raw restaurants, how to make raw desserts, how to use a dehydrator to make raw snacks that resemble commercial ones… But unless you mend the food divide, your relationship will remain shaken.

Food as Display of Affection

Before going raw, Robin and I used to share cooking duties. If he was cooking I would wash and prepare the vegetables, rice, and so on. If I was cooking (which was rare, since I wasn’t a good cook!) it usually meant baking or making an instant meal.

After I discovered raw food, everything went topsy turvy. Suddenly I was the one making most of the food, and Robin felt slighted.

There’s something inherently rewarding in making food for the person you love.

If you decide to increase your raw food intake you may inadvertently rob your partner’s chance to show their love by preparing food for you.

No wonder changing your diet creates so much chaos!

10 Ways to Solve The Food Divide So You Can Have Harmony At The Dining Table

Luckily, Robin and I found a way to make the changes work for both of us. And we’re ready to share the details with you. I’ve also enlisted the help of the lovely Annie Lin, a certified relationship coach.

We’re holding a free teleseminar about this very important topic, happening January 21st at 8pm ET / 5pm PT.

Sign up and get the details for the call here.

The call will be recorded and made available as a recording. So make sure to get on the list so you receive your recording after the call!

Love, Nathalie

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5 Profound, Yet Simple Ways Juicing Can Transform Your Life

This is a guest post by Henri Junttila.

If you’re familiar with drinking freshly-squeezed juices, I think you already know the powerful effects it can have on your body. What most people don’t notice are the effects it can have on the non-physical you.

Benefits of Juicing
Photo by Alfonso

Four years ago I had my first real date with juicing. You see, I bought an Omega 8005 Juicer and started throwing everything in it. The results were interesting, but not particularly tasty. You live and learn.

After awhile I decided to go on a juice fast, which is where I noticed the 5 subtle, yet profound ways juicing can transform your health and consciousness.

1. Intuition

Intuitive knowing sounds mystical, but for me it’s just a feeling or thought that suddenly bubbles up. When I’m doing something I might get a thought or feeling helping me decide which apple to buy or even which country to live in.

When I was on my juice fast my intuition became stronger. It was interesting, almost like having someone there to help guide you through life.

2. Courage

Fear penetrates even the most hidden parts of our lives. We tend to look at fear with fear, but how much would your perspective change if you looked at it with a fresh pair of eyes? Because what is fear? For me fear just shows me where my belief systems are not aligned with who I want to be.

Two of my biggest fears are public speaking and not having enough financially. When you go deeper and observe them, they are really not as big, bad and mean as you think they are. This awareness is amplified many times when you’re juicing and it allows you to break through these barriers and exercise courage.

3. Clarity

As you put less and less strain on your body, it starts to cleanse, detoxify and heal, which leads to enhanced clarity, focus and other mental functions. During my juice fast and when I juice daily I notice more clarity and an increased ability to make decisions.

Clarity is not only important in making decisions in your day to day, but in your life as well. What is your life purpose? What is your passion? What would you do if money didn’t exist? As I juiced, things suddenly started to become a lot clearer. Now, I am not saying I know everything about my life, just that it got a whole lot easier ;).

4. Awareness

Meditation is an awesome awareness expander, but cleaning up your body does that too. I remember walking down a quiet road in Spain (I lived in Spain then and will again soon, but that’s another story) and noticing new trees.

Had these trees appeared out of nowhere? How did they grow up so fast? I finally concluded that it was my awareness that had expanded. It’s almost as if I had been awarded the keys to a new world, the world of hidden trees.

(Editor’s Note: Maybe some of those trees were planted through my Tree Planting Initiative. If you could go back and in time, and all that. Ahem.)

5. Gratefulness

I was never the grateful type when I was younger, but as I’ve gained a few pearls of wisdom throughout the years I’ve noticed that being grateful feels awesome and is extremely uplifting.

If someone as anti-gratitude as me can become 87% more grateful on a juice fast, I’m sure you would notice it even more. How did I come up with 87%? I made it up, don’t you just love statistics?

To Juice or Not to Juice, That is Not the Question

We already know juicing rocks, so the question is: what benefits have you noticed from juicing? Any health benefits, healings or even subtle, transformational shifts?

About the Author: Henri Junttila is the founding father of the Wake Up Cloud, a place where you can discover your passion in 5 days and get conscious about your life.

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How to Stay Raw When Dining Out at Restaurants

Naomi and Nathalie
Naomi & I

One of the questions I hear often is how do you stay raw when you eat out at restaurants? There are a pieces to this puzzle, so tag along with me as I explain my rationale.

I was inspired to answer this particular question today, because I had a great time meeting up with fellow bloggers and twitter friends last night.

With great company like Naomi & Jamie Dunford, Lynn, Mark, Jon, and Russell food was the last thing on my mind. Yet the question still lingers…

How to Pick the Right Restaurant

Picking the right type of restaurant is important, especially if you are going with people who aren’t all raw or who don’t know you’re raw.

The idea is to go for a type of restaurant that has salads. Or at least some sort of non-cooked vegetable options. This usually rules out some of the Indian, and Asian restaurants. Those tend to have vegetarian or vegan options (great if you’re not 100% raw) but not so many raw options.

I recommend you check out Italian restaurants, steak joints (really!), mexican restaurants (for guacamole), and other restaurants that happen to serve salads.

How to Order a Raw Plate Without Stressing Yourself Out

Now the tough part when it comes to ordering at a regular restaurant is not getting caught up in your mind games.

What do I mean by that?

It’s something that I’ve noticed happening in my own mind quite a few times, and that other people seem to pick up on.

When you look at the menu, you’ll be tempted to say:

“Screw it, I don’t have to eat raw tonight!” and just order something else to fit in or reward yourself. (Rewarding yourself with food is a whole ‘nother blog post!)

If you do order a salad and other people ask you questions like:

“Don’t you feel like having something else? Aren’t you sick of eating salads?”

You’ll start feeling left out, kind of down, or just plain jipped.

I seriously encourage you not to fall into that trap. The truth is that every time I order a salad at a decent restaurant, I’m really happy with it.

I tend not to enjoy restaurant salads if they are “cheaper restaurants” because then you get a few pieces of iceberg lettuce and two non-ripe tomato slices on top. (Think truck stop restaurants here.)

But with higher end restaurants or steak houses you’re going to be getting some quality veggies.


Making a Special Request

What I’ve had success with is asking the waiter for something special with my salad. Here are a few examples of orders I’ve made at restaurants that have made my experience much better.

Double Your Salad Order

I ordered two “house salads” and asked them to be put into one big bowl. The waitress asked if I was really sure about that… she probably didn’t get that request very often.

The house salad was about half the price of a regular entree, and to me it made sense to just double it and have a full meal. It turned out great, I felt satisfied, and I got lots of really great tasting greens.

Add Extra Veggies

Another great option is asking for vegetables that you see in other dishes or salads to be added to your green salad.

If you see that they have avocado in a sandwich, and they have red bell peppers as part of another dish, you can just ask them to throw some of these into your basic salad.

That adds bulk and really makes it a fuller meal for you. Sure, it might cost you a bit more but most salads tend to be on the less expensive side of the menu anyways.

Feeling Good About Your Choices

I often worry that I’m going to want to eat what other people have ordered. Honestly, this happened to me even before I went raw.

It’s just my monkey brain trying to convince me that my life isn’t perfect, and that I should be doing things differently.

The truth is that when I focus on the present moment, and commit to enjoying every bite of what it is I have in front of me, I really don’t care what other people order.

Now when people imply that the restaurant doesn’t have any good raw options I can say I’m really happy with my order.

More Importantly, You Should Enjoy Your Company

Remember that most of the time when we meet up with people at a restaurant, we are doing so to connect with people.

To enjoy each other’s company. To get to know each other. To share stories, laugh, and really treasure each other.

It shouldn’t be all about the food, though that can be fun too.

So the next time someone invites you out to eat, do a little research about the type of restaurant that has salads you might like, and go for it!

Enjoy your time together, and make the most of the present moment. It’s the only one you’ve got.

Love, Nathalie

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