Occasionally, I get asked “what do you eat?” I understand that it is a natural curiosity especially for those starting out on their health journey. But a classroom or lectern are poor places to truly answer such a question and I typically demur. Actually, I have trouble with the question. In my opinion, we all need to tailor our diets to our personal needs and my diet should never be your diet. Just as on the outside we all dress differently, on the inside our organs and glands are also unique. Rather, I recommend we listen to our bodies and be guided by the signals we get and then feed ourselves accordingly. That being said, I also understand the value of comparison and example. So finally, I have given in. What follows is a sort of typical day for me with the focus on food. I hope you find something in it for you.
Often, I begin my day by jotting down notes of my thoughts just prior to waking. I’m a busy entrepreneur with lots of goals and plans and a long list of to-dos. Frequently, my thoughts relate to the days priorities. Things are always changing, so it’s hard to keep resorting the list. The most important things tend to bubble to the surface in those early morning thoughts. So I try to capture them.
I haven’t used toothpaste in decades. Instead I brush my teeth with mouthwash. But not just any mouthwash. You can find some wonderful herbal formulas that include anti-bacterial and cleansing agents such as peppermint and anise oils, grapefruit seed and cinnamon extracts, golden seal, calendula, aloe vera, etc.
Before I exit the bathroom, I smear some wheatgrass cream over a sore on the upper right side of my nose. It is a basil carcinoma – a simple skin cancer. But I am not having it dug out the conventional way. I am treating it with an herb called black salve. It is so aggressive, it will exhume the cancer. I’ve done this several times. The cancer disappears but later returns. So obviously the salve is not strong enough or does not penetrate deep enough. But the wheatgrass cream (whose active ingredient is an extract of organic wheatgrass juice) cleans up the wound and beautifully restores the skin to nearly normal condition.
Now it’s time for my first food of the day. That’s easy. Agua; and lots of it. I drink a liter of water within 20 minutes. It is an intestinal flush. It clears the stomach and intestines. It works! Just remember to keep within dashing distance of the nearest water closet. I also take a systemic enzyme every morning. These enzymes devour errant proteins and help detoxification. Take them on an empty stomach. The big name brand in this category is Wobenzym. I take a vegetarian version called Medizym (www.Medizym.com). Wait 30-60 minutes before taking any food to give the enzymes a chance to work.
Now it’s exercise time. My minimum routine is a 35 minute run. My first food of the day is juice. My standard recipe is an all green juice made from kale, celery, parsley, lemon, and ginger. Sometimes I juice for two days at a time using a storage technique of my own invention where the juice temperature stays at just a few degrees above freezing. Sometimes I get my juice at the local juice bar. They know my recipe. However I get it, I consider juice my most nourishing meal of the day. As an alternative, I keep a stash of the best frozen wheatgrass juice in the freezer. I also use the only “freeze-dried” wheatgrass in the world that is of exceptional quality. (You can find it in the UK under the Xynergy label.)
After juice I work until I need a break and then it’s time for a smoothie. I consider my smoothies whole meals that require little chewing. They are just as satisfying and arguably more nourishing. If you look in my Power Juices Super Drinks book, you’ll find about 100 of these blended drinks dedicated to treating different ailments. A typical smoothie for me includes bananas, lecithin granules – alertness, focus, better mood, mental clarity, and nutritional yeast – highest source of B vitamins, and oat bran. Some days it will just be Klamuth lake Blue Green Algae, plus the banana. Other times it will be organic raspberries and blueberries, some of our best anti-oxidant foods, with the nutritional yeast and bananas. All these drinks include a powder probiotic formula that includes acidophilus and bifidobacterium. The probiotics are the most expensive part of this liquid meal. I lick the glass clean to make sure I get all 5 billion of these little guys! Note: I never add a sweetener. The fruit is all the sweetener I need. I just add water to taste. Whatever the recipe, this is a concentrated liquid meal. I sip this drink over the course of maybe 30-45 minutes. It creates a satiety that lasts for about 3 hours.
This often carries me through to dinner unless the work level is too high or the stress level too taxing. If so, I will snack on something simple and easy to grab. Often that is nuts and dried fruit; today it was pumpkin seeds and banana chips and goji berries. International Harvest makes delicious trail mixes that offer a variety of dried fruits and nuts. My favorite is the Go Take a Hike! mix. Other days I have a bar. Bar foods are easy and offer quick satisfaction during the hectic pace of busy day. I try new ones often because there are so many. Yesterdays bar was white chia seeds with cashew butter, several berries, and agave syrup. Today’s bar is called Miracle Reds. It contains goji, pomegranate, acai, mangosteen, cranberries, brazil nuts, dates, agave nectar….you get the idea (www.MacroLifeNaturals.com).
When I complement these bars with a hot drink, it keeps me satisfied until dinner. I take two to three hot drink every day. My afternoon drink today was a green chai tea called Organic Hojicha Chai by Eden Foods. I often add “mylk” to my teas. Today I added coconut milk, but it could easily be rice or almond milk. I don’t make my own mylk very often because it is too wasteful of the nuts and almonds (my favorite mylk) and is very expensive. Instead, I prefer to make almond yoghurt or “cheeze.” This way I get to use the whole nut; there is no waste and because it is fermented, it lasts a long time. Back to the hot drinks: chai is my favorite and I also love ginger and licorice. When I’m in a more decadent mood, I’ll heat up a roasted grain drink that includes roasted barley, barley malt, and chicory. It’s a simple caffeine-free recipe. When add mylk and Stevia – the natural non-sugar sweetener – it is super satisfying for former coffee drinkers.
Well, I hardly have space left to tell you about dinner. But it’s not that important because I’ve already taken in all the nourishment my body needs for the day. Dinner is more ceremonial – a social event one has with family and friends. I’ve been 100% raw so far all day, but dinner – the non-essential meal – is where the cooked foods enter. It could be a steamed vegetable or a cooked grain. I’ll tell you how to minimize the cooking below. But first, if you want to have grains and beans on a raw diet, you must sprout them. Sprouting broadens the raw diet to include the world of grains and beans. This adds a level of balance and stability to the diet that enables more people to maintain it for the long-term. Even still, you should moderate your portions because some types of raw grains and beans can be difficult to digest even sprouted. If you feel the need for more of these foods, then low-cook them. Here’s how.
Boil water in an empty pot. Turn off the flame. Pour in the rice (or your favorite grain), put the lid on and come back 4 hours later. Many grains will be entirely softened at this point. Or you can warm them up and soften them some more. This approach minimizes the destruction of nutrients and increases the digestibility.
You may ask, but you haven’t mentioned sprouts? Remember, sprouts is more than alfalfa. It includes grains, beans, vegetables, and seeds. My favorites are the green leafy (mini) vegetables. I would rather have a salad of my own alfalfa sprouts than store bought lettuce. There is no question for me that home-grown buckwheat and sunflower greens tops any lettuce I can buy. But when the backyard lettuces are in season, I devour those, too. Since I test seeds for a living, my refrigerator is stocked with whatever I test. Sometimes it’s empty. Sometimes it’s overflowing.
My favorite foods? Sesame seeds and raw tahini. (Our highest source of calcium!) I love seaweeds – dulse, nori, wild Atlantic nori (Laver), and hijiki. Then there’s Italian olive oil, green olives, apricots with almond butter, guacamole, cilantro. My most common cooked foods are: rice mylk, wild rice, basmati rice, mochi, and Lundberg’s Seaweed Rice Cakes. I enjoy making cashew yoghurt, sprout breads and crackers (see my Kitchen Garden Cookbook), and kale and zucchini chips dipped in sesame sauce and dried in the dehydrator. And I get weak in the knees whenever I’m within sighting distance of cacao covered goji berries. But twice per year, I lead a juice fast and remind myself that not eating, can be even more satisfying.