Happy New Year!

2008 was the year for a few big changes for me… I tried eating loads more raw food, ending up at around 80% minimum daily. My health improved: I didn’t catch any colds or flu at all, & my immune system improved to the point where allergies, like hayfever & hives that have been reoccurring my entire life, vanished entirely. I hadn’t been able to wear earrings for an awful long time without my ears swelling up, & now that problem has gone, too… which is great as I’ve recently had my hair cut short!… &This year I lost my grandpa about a month before my wedding, who I’ve been pretty close to my whole life. It was a bit of a shock, even though it had been coming for years… As a “coupled” person… We got married. We began starting talking about possibility having children, & suddenly I was pregnant with our daughter. We paid off our home loan… All in all, 2008 was quite intense.

In 2009 there are going to be a few more changes… Our daughter is arriving, probably at the end of March via homebirth if everything continues to go smoothly. I’ve never spent much time around kids, so it could well be a steep learning curve! We are looking to buy a house for extra space & room to grow fruit & veg in the yard, & we’re currently planning on renting out our renovated unit.

Other than that, my New Year’s resolutions for 2009 thus far are:

#1 Smile more icon smile Happy New Year!

That’s about as far as I’ve got! No specific plans as yet. I’m currently reading some personal development books to refine my other resolution/life-improving-type ideas!

I have considered going “100%” raw. There seem to be a few benefits to hitting that mark: a bit more energy, even less sleep required, & many people report it’s easier to maintain all-raw than minimum-80%-ish raw that I’ve been doing, to avoid sliding back into old, over-cooked habits. However! I’ve decided against this for a few reasons… We still intend to travel more extensively in the “developing world” & there are some issues surrounding clean water & such for washing/preparing fresh produce, so we want to keep our digestion used to some cooked food when raw isn’t always safe or available. Vegan is easy, raw: not so much in certain circumstances & remote areas. I also feel like I have plenty of energy already & I sleep around 6 hours already before waking up fully refreshed (or, lately, around 8 on a few “old tired pregnant lady” days!), which is enjoyable. I’ve also found living food usually has richer, preferable flavours, so sliding back doesn’t seem to be an issue for me. We put on pretty close to a “high raw” brunch on Xmas day with family & friends, aside from some bread & crackers on the side (but made raw crackers as well!). My husband, however, prefers a bit more cooked – his sensitive digestion is more sensitive to nut fats & seeds, & likes to eat more broken-down carby foods to fill up – eg. soups, cooked gluten-free & low-gluten bread, while I prefer raw soups & dehydrated bread – I seem to be better with some extra fat & extra moisture-rich raw food in my diet… We both love raw desserts, though! However, with the huge increase in living foods, he can now also tolerate gluten foods now, which is handy when we’re out & about, although we still avoid it at home -  gluten-free is certainly a lighter feeling, digestion-wise, for both of us, & offers more variety. We both feel we need to concentrate on getting back into exercise more than just dietary issues insofar as health is concerned – working on raw has distracted us a bit there! Being pregnant has also meant no rock climbing for me! & I can’t belay, either. So. I suppose I do have another resolution:

#2 Get back into regular exercise ♥

&, as stated previously on a few occasions:

#3 Blog more regularly icon wink Happy New Year!

I daresay you should expect a few more personal posts, photos, & child-related posts in addition to recipes & such this year!

Entertaining &/or useful related links:

Hope you’ve all had a lovely holiday period. &Have you come up with any great resolutions for 2009? I could do with a few more ideas. Please tell me about them!

Addendum – a note on sugar:

I don’t eat it these days. Anything that’s a processed sugar (or from an animal, obviously). I left this out of my initial post.

That leaves me with agave nectar & stevia as basic sweeteners, which are low-GI & healthier than all the rest, along with a few thousand types of fruits & veg, which are even healthier. Not eating forms of processed sugar means I don’t get ups & downs from ridiculously high-GI, low-fibre junk. I don’t crash after eating a piece (or, um, 10) of cake, because I only eat cake with low-GI sweeteners – usually raw cake, too, so there’s a good lot of fibre, non-deranged fats, & minerals in there, too. Of course, a non-raw cake can be just as easily made using agave or stevia or some sort of unprocessed fruit sugar/paste (eg. dates).

Trying out a living food diet, leaving out sugar (“raw sugar” is heavily processed & not raw, also) is an obvious component to those who have adventured down that road, but perhaps not to others. I thought I’d miss that sort of sugar, but – between the agave & the dates & the fruit – I didn’t miss it a bit. Pretty fascinating (at least to me!) given my cake-baking, cake-lovin’, cake-crazy history. It feels good, this whole feeling better thing. Leaving out processed junk like sugar is probably a significant part of that. &Probably a significant contributor to the whole reduced allergies/hayfever business.

The way I see it, the only thing I’m depriving myself of are post-sugar indulgence crashes & revolting cases of bed-ridden hayfever & itchy, snotty allergies whenever the seasons change: 4+ times a year. I’m trading a few minutes of the convenience of chomping down on a sugary, fattening cake or cookie for hours a day – nay, weeks – of feeling on top of the world where health is concerned. Not exactly deprivation! Especially since the healthier alternatives are at least as good (outside of some truly epic failures at a certain hippie Gold Coast beachside café I could mention… Srsly, what are you folks doing? You make it look/taste so difficult/bland!)… In the case of a lot of the raw desserts & cakes, I’d have to say they’re way better & richer in flavour.

If there are any exceptions, I guess it’d be when I eat out & someone has added a pinch of sugar to a sauce or dish that I’m not aware of… So pretty darn rare & insignificant. It’s not an ethical issue, unless it’s palm sugar or something from a bee. The popular Skinny Bitch books are a big proponent of leaving out sugar as well (I recently read Skinny Bitch: Bun In The Oven & it really is one of the best – & most refreshingly, helpfully, wonderfully, brutally honest – pregnancy/baby/nutrition guides around).

pixel Happy New Year!
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  • Marie Greene

    My resolution for this year is just one thing- to set one goal a day and then achieve it. I have a tendency to set WAY too many lofty goals and I can’t keep track of them all. This way I can focus on each day, and live it to the fullest. So far so good.

  • http://veganza.com/ Renee

    That’s a great approach! Good luck :)

  • Courtney

    Congrats on 2008 and good luck with 2009! I wish you the best of luck, and I look forward to future blog posts!

    Courtney

  • http://www.creativelifeskills.blogspot.ca/ Laurel Alanna McBrine

    Sorry for the re-post – I had the wrong website attached to the last one!

    Congratulations on becoming a mom – arguably the most significant passage in a woman’s life!

    It is inspirational to hear that you are able to avoid sugar so completely. I am trying to kick a pretty severe chocolate addiction. Do you recommend any sugar-free recipes for chocolate using stevia or agave nectar as a sweetener? I like stevia for lemonade (for some reason the acidity seems to cut the aftertaste), but I find it a little noticeable and not so tasty in hot chocolate.

  • http://veganza.com/ Renee

    I’ve had some great raw chocolate that’s made with agave nectar &/or yacon syrup (another good low-GI sweetener, even more raw-friendly & better than agave, but rarer & more expensive thus far). I’m more fond of carob these days, though. I blend up almonds + dates + carob or cocoa/cacao + cinnamon + water to make a sort of “hot chocolate” occasionally, & I make a “black forest” slice/cake out of much the same, with shredded coconut & minus the water. I’ll post the recipes for those soon…

    I’m not a fan of stevia! I don’t like the aftertaste. My husband can’t taste the aftertaste, or it doesn’t bother him, so clearly it varies for people! I’ve heard if you grow it, dry it, & pulverise the leaves yourself you don’t get the aftertaste… but I’m not sure about that…!

  • http://www.creativelifeskills.blogspot.ca/ Laurel Alanna McBrine

    Thanks for the suggestions – your recipe ideas sound great! I will look forward to trying them out.

    I have never heard of yacon syrup – will have to see if I can find it up here in the far north.

    I think I will try growing some myself next summer! I’ll let you know how it goes :)