The Trip To Japan, What To Read And More

Tomorrow I’ll leave for Japan. It will be a 7 days trip followed by a two days stop in New Zealand. I always wanted to go to Japan. As a teenager I was fascinated by martial arts, by the samurai life code – bushido – and by the Japanese culture all together. As a student I started to learn hiragana and katakana by my own although my chances to go to Japan were nearly zero at that time.

Despite the fact that I had this deep wish to go to Japan, something always seemed to interfere and I had to postpone this. I postponed it so much that I barely thought I will always step foot over there. But one month ago I decided it’s time to do it. No more delays, no more excuses no more nothing: just buy the tickets, book the hotel and go. As part of my goals for 2009 this trip was suddenly simply unavoidable.

The main reason for going to Japan, apart from my all life wish, is to stretch myself, to pursue my personal development path. If you’re new here you may want to check out a full post I wrote about travel as a personal development tool. After I got back from the trip to Thailand I was so dismantled, so puzzled yet so refreshed and energized that I just couldn’t avoid to travel anymore. It’s part of my lifestyle now.

What To Do In Japan

I don’t plan my trips. I usually book the plane tickets and the hotel and this is basically all I know for sure in advance. Sometimes I take one or two guided tours just to get a glimpse of what they can offer. In Thailand, for instance, I booked a guided tour for the Floating Market in Damnoen Saeduk and I was pretty happy with it. In Japan I will only have a one day guided tour to mount Fuji, the rest is at my will. I will stay in Tokyo for the most part although I don’t exclude some one night stops in other cities, especially Kyoto.

I would really like to get some of the sakura zensen feeling (the cherry blossom celebration) but it seems I will be a little on the edge with that, from my information the climax of this was last week. Sakura zensen is one of the most interesting things to see in Japan, both from what I read and from what I heard from other people who were already there.

I will definitely visit everything would raise my interest and I won’t limit myself only to Tokyo, although I have this feeling that Tokyo itself will be really overwhelming.

Read moreThe Trip To Japan, What To Read And More

A Raw Food Diet For Your Soul

By now it should be no secret for the readers of my blog that I am a raw vegan. At this specific moment I have more than 6 month of eating only raw, unprocessed and uncooked food. My health has improved dramatically over the last 6 months. I lost 14 kilos in the process and I sleep like a baby. I had a nail problem at my left hand, a tiny exfoliation that started to slowly aggravate in the last 3-4 years. Never knew the reason, just observed helplessly that my nail started to lose consistence. In the last 2 months this condition has been completely reversed, my nail is practically complete again. During May last year I had a horrible cold, with more than 5 days of high fever (40 degrees Celsius). I never had the tiniest cold since I started the diet, although I was exposed to viral contexts.

The main reason for that dramatic change in my “physical layer” is my diet, without any doubt. It’s the way I eat that improved my physical health in such an incredible way.

Overloaded With Toxins

After more than 6 months of observing my body reaction to my raw food, I can affirm that my main improvement area is in the toxins speed elimination. I can feel that my body is having less toxins than before, and when it happens to have more than normal, it eliminates the extra toxins much faster. I can’t explain exactly how it does, I can only tell you that I experience states of lightness and elasticity. I feel like I’m cleaner and more functional than before. It’s not only my weight and my body elasticity, it’s like my whole body mechanism is functioning at a better rate.

Our divine machine, the body, it’s a sublime project. We humans could only aim to create substances as complete or as functional as our human tissue. When we can create something good, we do it incompletely. Every food supplement out there, a part from providing you with a list of  allegedly needed ingredients, insert into your body loads of incomplete, toxic structures. Each thermal modification of our food (apart from allegedly making it available for more time) fundamentally affects its base molecular structure. Every “improved” food contains in fact much more harmful substances, making your body working extra hours to eliminate them. And this extra stress weakens your sublime machine that you call your body.

I guess there is some point from where we don’t feel this effort anymore. After this point we’re actually overloaded with toxins. Our body surrendered and it’s only a question of time until the weakest link will fall apart, creating an illness. I’m not a doctor nor do I intend to pose into one. I can only speak from my firsthand experience on this topic and this is what I do.

A Raw Food Diet For Your Soul

Well, the other day I had out of the blue this thought: what if my emotional layer would also be fed with only raw, unprocessed emotions? What if I impose a raw food diet on my soul? What does that actually could mean? What would be the obstacles? What would be the expected results?

Without claiming that I already started such a diet, I will try to write in this post my possible answers to all those questions from above. So, let’s start it:

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Raw Food Primer

It seems that I’m not the only one interested in keeping a raw food habit around here. Not only the twitter reactions I got after publishing my last article on raw food, but even a comment on my blog seem to show quite an interest on this topic. So, I decided to write a post in which I’ll describe the basic requirements for starting a 30 days raw food challenge.

Please keep in mind that I’m not a nutritionist, I’m only sharing my personal experience here, which may or may not apply to your situation. If you are going to start a raw food diet in order to overcome a medical condition I highly recommend you to consult a doctor first. In this post I’m assuming that you are already a moderately healthy person, with a normal emotional balance who’s trying to improve something in his eating habits. This disclaimer in place, let’s get started.

Raw Food Goal

If you’re starting a raw food challenge please make your goal really clear. Not only in terms of duration, but also in terms of raw food / cooked food balance. I am on a 100% raw food diet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have it the same way. Maybe you’ll want a 75% raw – 25% cooked diet, which may be a little easier in the beginning.

The milestones described in this post are for a 30 days challenge on a 100% raw food diet, so feel free to adjust them downward if you’re going to have only 20 days 100% raw, or 30 days on a 75/25 diet.

Having a clear raw food challenge goal is very important. You’ll know every moment how far or close you are from the finish. You will also know how to evaluate the changes.

This goal will include the initial assessment of your situation. This assessment contains a realistic image of your current eating habits (all meat, lacto-ovo-vegetarian, etc) and your current health condition, including your current weight. It will be important to re-evaluate your assessment after the challenge. Take the time to write this in a secure place, even if it will take you an hour or two, it will pay off well in the end.

Raw Food Gear

Eating raw doesn’t mean you don’t process your food. You just don’t cook your food by exposing it to high temperature. But you will cut it, blend it, mix it, whatever. And for that you will need some gear. It’s possible to make it without those modern appliances but it would be quite difficult.

You will need at least one big blender for making smoothies, and a mixer for chopping roots or sauces. I call blender the one with the knife inside the recipient, and mixer the one with the detachable knife and handle. Maybe they have different names in your culture, but I guess you got the idea. You can also use an all-in-one tool, as long as you can chop, blend and mix together fruits, water and vegetables. You will also need a juice maker, but that’s pretty straightforward.

You don’t need to have super professional tools, but keep in mind they will be used a lot so if you don’t have them yet, please buy on the higher price scale. It’s easy to get caught in a “this juicer is broken again, I won’t continue this silly raw food diet, coz I don’t have the tools” pattern, so make yourself a service and buy good stuff.

You will also need a lot of storage space. Eating raw means eating fresh and eating more. I had to bring in another refrigerator after I realized I won’t go back to cooked food, only to accommodate the produce for my own meals. I also conquered around 1 square meter from our kitchen space for storing fruits and gear.

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Raw Food Update – Almost 6 Months Later

After a series of 6 articles about The Making Of An Online Business, I thought it would be wise to write about stuff that has been ignored for long time here on my blog, and also about something a little more personal than business advices. Although they seem to have quite an audience, these advices are not my primary goal for this blog. As I always said, this blog is a continuous search for a personal path.

And that personal path lead me almost 6 months ago on the raw food track. My loyal readers know already what does that mean, but for the new ones I will outline some of the raw food specifics. I don’t eat meat, not any animal food like milk, eggs or cheese. I don’t eat processed food, anything cooked is outside my view. I only eat fruits, vegetables and seeds. The only exception is honey, which is the product of… I don’t know if I can associate it with milk, but whatever, I eat honey.

Although this seems like a very limiting choice of foods, it is in fact a very pleasant one. I eat apples, pears, bananas, avocados and all kind of fruits I can find. I eat a lot of roots like celery, carrots and parsley. I incorporate garlic and onions any time I can and of course I eat a lot of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and capsicum. I discovered several months ago that pine buds are a fantastic food, along with almonds, nuts or pumpkin seeds. During winter I eat a lot of dried fruits like dates, prunes or raisins and of course oranges and mandarines. In fact, I do have a greater variety than before.

Raw Food And Health

I plan to have a complete medical test later this month and I will write in detail the differences from my last medical test. Please note that before going raw vegan I was a lacto-ovo-vegetarian for more than 3 years. I did have some cholesterol anomalies and I did had a colon sensitivity which was in fact pretty disturbing in the last 4-5 years. Before being a vegetarian I was a complete mess in terms of eating, I was also a regular drinker in my early twenties and I guess this can leave pretty powerful marks.

There are visible effects of my health even without the medical tests, which I guess they come clean this time. First of all, the weight loss is constantly at same level. I am 1,82 tall and my weight is between 79-81 kilos regardless of what, when and how I eat. During the first three months of being raw vegan I lost 14 kilos. This is a fantastic benefit and it will well worth a raw food diet even if it would be the only one.

My sleeping patterns are completely upgraded. I can go to sleep anytime now, have around 7 hours a sleep and then wake up relaxed and ready to go. Doesn’t matter if I go to bed at 23:45 or at 21:00, I do sleep 7 hours and feel ok. I had a lot of issues with my sleep before, I either overslept constantly, either made white nights every other week, in order to “win” some time. Not anymore. I literally sleep like a baby.

Oh, and one other thing to mention about my health, which I think it’s pretty important. During last month we were traveling for the holidays. While in Switzerland, Bianca caught a serious cold. She was feverish (around 39-40 degrees Celsius) for 2 nights in a row and had to have antibiotics. Usually, when somebody in the family has a bacterial infection like that one, all the family is picking it up. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t pick it up this time.

The other day, after 2 weeks of kindergarten, Bianca caught another infection (we were warned about that, every time a kid starts socializing like this, there will be an adaptation and immunization period). Didn’t caught this either. While Bianca’s immune system is starting to build up seems like my immune system is already better than before. It’s important to know that last year during May – just two months before starting to eat raw – I had a horrible illness in which I had almost a week of high fever, and it was a bacterial infection. So, it’s definitely a big improvement here.

I’m sure that my body is now in better shape and all its functions are better than 6 months ago thanks to this raw food habit. I also think that there are some better protection processes taking places in my body, but it’s too early now to write about this. I will monitor these patterns closer and see how it’s going. It’s basically about how my body reacts to a serious increase on stress (being it a fitness session, or a bacterial infection). I’m sure there is something much better going on, but without more details I can’t be sure and I really don’t want to go delusional here, keeping it only to the facts for now.

Read moreRaw Food Update – Almost 6 Months Later

Raw Food Update – 4th Month

It’s been more than 4 months now since I’m eating only raw food. That means eating only fruits, vegetable and seeds, unprocessed. It’s been quite a while since I’m doing this and I’m glad I did it. In today’s post I’ll try to outline some of the consequences of this lifestyle.

Raw Food Is A Lifestyle

Yes, that’s the most important thing about eating raw. It’s more than a diet. It’s more than an eating habit. It’s a lifestyle in itself. Eating raw food had a lot of impact in all areas of my life. The most noticeable effects were those related to my physical body. I will not insist on that, I’ve already published some graphs of my weight loss in the 3rd update about raw food. I will just mention that my weight remained steady, between 79 and 81 kg, no matter what I ate.

But as I said, it was not only the weight loss. My sleeping patterns improved dramatically. I can wake up every morning at 6 AM and have a full day without noticing fatigue. I can do all type of work, not only intellectual, and feel balanced and lucid. No matter if I do some DIY work in the garage, involving use of heavy machines, so to speak, or if I work on my social network or do some blogging, the overall energy level is still high.

Sometimes I wake up at 8 AM, but that’s because I fall asleep after midnight. I still feel ok. Sometimes I wake up at weird hours, like 4:43 or 5:32, several days in a raw. I have to find a way to cope with that. Sometimes I stay in bed, and sometimes I wake up and try to do some work, or to read or to surf the web. There are days in which I try to take the afternoon nap with Bianca. I don’t feel that strange feeling of oversleeping, even if I do take a one hour nap in the afternoon. I wake up alert and energetic.

In fact, this energy level is so much higher that I sometimes forget other people do experience spikes in their energy level. I noticed that before but it become much clearer in the last month. Right now I can feel if somebody has a energy spike or an energy whole. Most of the time those spikes are related to cooked meals – man, I feel so satisfied with this, I need to be lazy for a half an hour -  or to coffee. I don’t have this type of up and down energy line anymore.

My body appearance has also dramatically changed. Not only I dropped that ugly belly for good, but I can see that the muscles on my body are now in the correct place. I need to reboot my gym practice though, and I could hardly wait for it. I didn’t started right now because I know there will be an adaptation period of at least one week. And in one week we’ll going in Switzerland for the Holidays. We’re expected to stay there more than 2 weeks, have the New Year Eve there, and that would just made the first gym week useless. I’ll start it next year.

Read moreRaw Food Update – 4th Month

Overcoming Cravings On A Raw Food Diet

Soon I’ll have the 4th month anniversary of my raw food diet. This has been an exciting time for my body and mind and I think it’s only the beginning. The positive effects I outlined in my other posts describing the health benefits are going steadily, while the side effects, like detox simptoms are slightly … Read more Overcoming Cravings On A Raw Food Diet

Raw Food Diet Update – Three Months After

So, today is my 3 months anniversary of being a raw foodist. It’s been actually a full 90 days – and a little bit over – since I haven’t eaten any cooked food. Actually, I had two exceptions, outlined in my first post about raw food, but they were of little significance. Needless to say … Read more Raw Food Diet Update – Three Months After

How To Make Fake Meat On A Raw Food Diet

Well, this is not exactly a tutorial for how to make fake meat, and, to be honest, I don’t even know what fake meat is. The fact is that today, mostly by chance, I found myself eating something that fantastically resembled to chopped meat. No, I’m still on my raw food diet allright, don’t worry, but it just happened that one of my meal courses for today came out like this, with a surprising, both visually and as taste, meat similarity. And I just thought you might be interested to know how I did it. I read a lot about people struggling to get on a raw food diet, and one of the most popular complaint is about the “awful taste” that raw food may have. Completely and totally wrong, at least from my experience: raw food can imitate, if you want, all the familiar tastes in the world: from chopped meat to pancakes. But, for now, back on my “fake chopped meat” story, let’s start this the easy way…

After my first 60 days of raw food diet, I made a commitment on trying to “cook” more. Cooking refers to the fact that I felt the need for more elaborate meals. In the first two month I only ate fruits and vegetables and the only processing I’ve done was blending all together. Quite spartan. The main goal was reached and that was to completely switch to raw food, but after that, something interesting happened. I started to feel the need to spend less time preparing the meals, while at the same time I needed something more elaborate, a regular meal, with main course, second course and dessert.

One week ago I made my first raw food chocolate and since then I made it again twice. Each time I experimented a bit and each time the chocolate came out better. And several days ago, not knowing how and what exactly am I going to “raw cook”, I started to make some stock. I thought it would be a good idea to store some of the main ingredients for my meals, like celery (and that would be the white root, not the leaves), carrots and avocado, after I blend them. Sort of a “fast food raw food” ingredients. I processed them with a slicer and chopped into small, rice like, parts. It took me about 25 minutes, and this is what it looks like:

Storage for fast food raw food cooking
Storage for fast food raw food cooking

The next days I started to take a spoon from there, a spoon from the other casserole, and try to play a little with quantities and taste. I will be honest and share with you that I initially aimed for some dumplings, but I didn’t know how to bring into the mix the dry, cereal-like part. Will see later about that.

Read moreHow To Make Fake Meat On A Raw Food Diet