Healing food addiction on a low-fat raw vegan diet

Have you met Jade Tornquist yet?  This extraordinary woman got sober from alcohol, then went on to heal her food addictions on a low-fat raw vegan (fruit-based) diet eating a ton of raw fruits and vegetables.

She is now a passionate animal rights campaigner.

Jade Tornquist – A story of recovery from alcohol and food addiction

To support her own journey she decided to create a Facebook group, which now has well over 30,000 members.

In this interview she shares her story of recovery and how she is healing her food addiction one day at a time…

Post your comments on this interview below!  I’d love to hear your thoughts, your experiences with emotional eating, compulsive eating or food addiction.

 

Jade’s Youtube Channel is The Rawsome Truth

And her Facebook Group is Raw Vegan Fruitarians 4 Life

Travelling in Thailand as a low-fat raw vegan

Fun with elephants in Chiang Mai thailand

We’re just back from our family holiday in Thailand.  Been back almost a couple of weeks now and adjusting to the reality of being back in Australian winter 🙁

If you’re raw vegan or high raw vegan and you want to go travelling, then Thailand would have to be one of the choicest holiday destinations.

I did NOT want to leave 30 degree temperatures to return to tops of 12 🙁

There is an abundance of fresh tropical fruit and all sorts of veggie options.  It’s super cheap and pretty much every restaurant will serve you rice and stir-fried veggies or veggie curries if you include some cooked vegan food in your diet.

Local Chiang Mai market fruit haul

There are dedicated vegan restaurants in most of the main tourist destinations where you can get delicious salads, young  (drinking) coconuts and fruit shakes (warning – always request for no sugar or they will put sugar syrup in it!)

I put together this video highlighting the best parts of my trip and the food, to show what you can expect travelling in Thailand, particularly Chiang Mai and Ko Lanta, where we spent our time.

Let me know your thoughts on this video and what topics you’d like me to address in upcoming videos! <3

Overt fats and flax crackers on a low-fat raw vegan diet?

Last week I had this question come in about raw fats:

Dear Anthea –

Thank you for your videos. Excellent education.  Any chance you can please do a video for us on eating raw fats and raw vegan dehydrated foods like flax or coconut wraps. Also coconut meat, avocados and nuts/seeds. Thank you so much.

– Anna

So I decided to make this video…    (And I left this silly wide-eyed thumbnail still of me up just so that I don’t take myself too seriously 😉

 

In a nutshell, I don’t eat a whole lot of raw overtly fatty foods like nuts, seeds, avocados and coconut.  Left to my own devices I can tend to overeat on these types of foods and they don’t make me feel good 🙁

So I plan my food and include a small amount only (around 10-15% of calories) and that helps keep my energy levels high.

I also don’t eat a whole lot of flax crackers or onion flax wraps, even though there are so many lovely recipes out there, and I share why in this video.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below..

What is “ENOUGH” protein on a raw vegan diet?

I got an email from someone last week who was confused by my raw vegan diet.

“But why don’t you eat any quality vegan protein?”  she asked.

Her question was indicative of a fundamental misunderstanding that most people have about protein.

So I decided to make this video for you to explain about protein, amino acids and our real need for them and whether or not we can get enough on a low fat raw vegan diet.

This is the result…

 

In this video I talk about the amount of protein that the World Health Organisation says we need daily for optimal health, and it’s far less than you think.  I also share some great resources that helped me determine EXACTLY how much protein I need per day.  And just how much protein you would get even if you ONLY ate bananas all day.

Let me know your thoughts on this hot topic in the comments section below…

Do Raw Vegans need to supplement Vitamin K2?

Raw vegans could be at risk for deficiency since K2 is only converted minimally from K1. A great vegan source is natto, fermented soybeans, or a supplement.

A lot of people are worried about getting enough calcium on a raw vegan diet.

However, in my years of researching the raw vegan diet and mentoring people to health I’ve never found that insufficient calcium is an issue.

What is a potential issue, however, is making sure that the calcium we consume gets to where it needs to go:  into our bones, instead of building up in our arteries and veins and other tissue.

We need calcium in our bodies, but we need it to be in the right places.

We want strong bones, not calcified arteries leading to atherosclerosis causing heart attacks and strokes.

That’s where Vitamin K2 (aka Menaquinone) comes in.

K2 guides the calcium we consume in our foods (or supplements) to the right places in our bodies.  A vitamin K2 deficiency can mean that calcium ends up depositing itself in our arteries, varicose veins, as heel or bone spurs.  It has been shown that some cancers like lung/prostate/leukemia are more common where K2 is lacking.

K2 deficiency also increases testosterone production and can cause insulin sensitivity.

Calcium supplements have been shown to cause 20-30% more heart attacks and strokes, and insufficient K2 intake may be the reason why.   If you supplement calcium supplements then it would probably be a good idea to supplement K2 as well.

What’s the difference between K1 and K2?

Vitamin K1 is important for blood clotting, and deficiency is easy to determine but rare.  If you’re blood doesn’t clot easily you likely are deficient.  Symptoms include easy bruising and bleeding.  It’s easy to get K1 though, from eating green leafy vegetables, and it’s present in fruit to a smaller degree.  But we don’t need much.

Vitamin K1, on the other hand, is very commonly deficient and deficiency is difficult to detect.  Often it can go undetected for years and then all of a sudden the person will suffer a heart attack or stroke.

That’s a first warning sign I never want.

Symptoms are decreasing bone-density, calcifying arteries, varicose veins, heel spurs, bone spurs, increased testosterone and insulin sensitivity.

Do raw vegans need to supplement K2?

There is some debate amongst raw vegans about whether we need to be supplementing or not.   Some say that, provided our gut bacteria is working well, that we can convert the K1 in leafy green veggies into K2.

Some say that the amount of K2 provided by converting K1 is so miniscule that it’s insufficient.   Dr Kate Rheaume-Bleue, author of Vitamin K2 and The Calcium Paradox is one such expert and author that says we shouldn’t be relying on K1 to effectively convert.

There are a few reasons why modern humans easily become deficient in Vitamin K2:

1)    Widespread anti-biotic use interferes with our gut bacteria colonies and prevents K2 from being produced internally.

2)    If we were to eat grass-fed animals or animal products such as egg yolks, butter, organ meats, goose liver, and some types of cheese, we would get some K2, but generally people are eating grain-fed animals instead and these aren’t sufficient sources of this essential vitamin.   (**As vegans we can’t rely on getting our K2 from animal sources at all.  And why would we want to eat those things, and suffer other deleterious health effects, if we could meet that nutrient need from vegetable matter?)

3)    We don’t consume as many fermented foods as humans in the past did.  Fermented foods (some) are a good source.   More on this later.

4)    Our consumption of transfats interferes with our ability to metabolise K2.

As you can see from the above, if you’re eating a raw vegan, fruit-based diet, avoiding all animal products and fermented foods, you could be at risk for K2 deficiency, even if you’re eating a lot of leafy greens.

As a raw vegan you probably don’t consume transfats, but you still may have lingering compromised digestion from antibiotic use in the past (or more recently).  And if you’ve made a choice not to eat fermented foods, that rules out another good source of K2.

If you want to try fermented food for K2 then Natto (fermented soybeans – not raw) is an excellence source.  Just ½ an ounce per day will give you all you need.

I bought some recently from the Asian supermarket and it really wasn’t too bad.  People will tell you it stinks and has a strong flavour.  It doesn’t.  It’s really quite bland and if you mix it with a little tamari it tastes quite nice.  It’s not raw though, so if you’re wanting to be 100% then it’s not for you.

Personally, I like to do my research and make my decisions based on what I feel to be right given the variety of evidence on the table.

If you don’t like natto as a source then you might purchase a K2 supplement in the form of MK-7 (which basically means it’s a long-chain form found in fermented foods).  It will be vegan, so you don’t need to worry there, but absorption may not be quite as effective as eating a food-based source.

It’s really up to you.

How supplementing Vitamin D can be a problem

More and more these days we are aware that many people are deficient in Vitamin D, particularly those in the northern part of the northern Hemisphere where days are shorter and people are working indoors much of the time, and not getting enough sunlight on their skin.

So people are turning to Vitamin D supplements, which are important, but the problem is that while Vitamin D causes you to absorb more calcium, it has no control over where the calcium goes, and without K2 that calcium could well be depositing in their arteries.

Another good reason to make sure you’re getting enough K2.

I’ve really just covered the surface level information here about vitamin K2.  If you’d like to explore more then I recommend reading my friend Val’s very comprehensive blog post about this vital topic, and checking out Dr Kate’s book.

What are your thoughts on K2?  Do you think you should be supplementing?  Are you concerned you may not be getting enough?  What are you doing to take care of your K2 needs?  Share in the comments section below…

Raw Recipe – Creamy No-oil Tahini Salad Dressing

A creamy salad dressing makes all the difference when it comes to creating the yum factor. Here’s a super simple recipe that will last for at least a week or two.

 

On our fabulous group coaching call last weekend, one of my Fresh Start 90 Day program members, Robbie, was saying that she struggles at night time staying on her plan because she just doesn’t have time to even think about what to put on her salad to make it taste yummy.

Here’s my go-to super-simple and delicious salad dressing recipe that you can make a batch of and use every night for a week if you want to.

It’s kind of like a creamy vinegarette 🙂

It doesn’t contain any oil and you can measure out 4 tbsp (or 2.2 oz) of it per meal, if you’re following Bright Line eating guidelines with your raw vegan meal planning.  The garlic, ginger and pepper are optional.

And if you’re strictly avoiding salt then you can leave out the Tamari as well.

Here it is!…

Creamy Tahini Dressing (No Oil)

3.5 oz Tahini
7 tbsp  Apple Cider vinegar or lemon juice
2.5 tbsp Mustard
3 tbsp Coconut aminos
2 tbsp Tamari
1/2 cup water
1 garlic clove (optional)
Pepper (optional)
Ginger, grated (optional)

Directions:  Measure out all ingredients and put in your blender.  Pour into a sealed jar container.  Serving size is 4 tbsp (or 2.2oz) for a large family sized salad (the size I usually eat for my dinner meal).

Enjoy!

Please try it and let me know what you think in the comments section below…