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Thursday, April 10, 2014

My 80 10 10 Journey

I didn’t just start eating this way all of a sudden. It was more of a bumpy road, but certainly enlightening. I was a vegan, however, I wasn’t so healthy. In 2012 I started eating healthily. I stumbled upon fruitarianism which led me to read about 80 10 10 (80%+ from carbs, 10%- from fat and 10%- from protein. It should be low in sodium as well). At first I wasn’t eating high carb, low fat. I went fully raw or so I thought but I was consuming high fat foods like avocados and nuts and seeds. I did this for about a year and I lost so much weight because I simply wasn’t eating enough. Everyone was telling me that I looked sick but I was happy that I weighed so little. I had struggled with weight for so long that weighing way less felt so awesome and victorious. I felt literally sick, I couldn’t think straight and I had no energy. I would seriously drag myself to the gym where I worked out really hard (very very bad combo). 

In August of 2013 I decided to give 80 10 10 a go. I still wasn’t eating enough but I was seeing results. I started feeling much better and lively. I also started incorporating 80 10 10 cooked foods into my diet. In October of that year I finally decided not to restrict my calories anymore. It was a very emotional journey really. I started gaining weight and that was a nightmare to me. I hated it and I just felt so betrayed. On the plus side, I felt amazing. I was happy most of the time, I could finally focus and I actually accomplished things and wasn’t out of energy all the time. I used to have irregular periods now I don’t thanks to this lifestyle. My face looks healthy and I am in general a more positive person because of it. 

I’ve embraced the weight gain (which will eventually come off on its own) and therefore accepted myself the way I am. Ever since that happened all sorts of good things came into my life. I haven’t weighed myself in a while now but the last time I did I was 73 kilos. It’s, of course, impossible to be obese on this lifestyle and the reason why I’m gaining this much weight is because I come from a background of calorie restriction and yo-yo dieting. My metabolism is slow due to past eating habits. Even though I gained weight I won’t ever be obese eating this way. I feel satiated all the time and I never worry about my calories anymore (unless I’m not eating enough). I eat somewhere between 2600-3500 calories a day. (Women should eat no less than 2500 cals. and no less than 3000 cals. for men). It’s best to eat more at the beginning. When I was transitioning I used to consume up to 4000 calories. 

My meals consist of fruit and cooked starches, basically. My staples are dates, bananas, seasonal fruit, potato, rice and rice noodles. On the other hand, my back up staples are, Turbinado sugar, whole wheat, pasteurized juices, pasta and oats.

I would feel miserable and very depressed if I didn’t eat enough (usually below 2700 calories). I would feel as if everyone is out to get me. My eye-sight would be terrible and I would look sick! Let alone not having enough energy.

I keep hydrated, now. When you get the hang of it you won’t go back. You’d start noticing when you need water (back when I didn’t used to drink much, I couldn’t tell when I was dehydrated). In general, I have three liters of water per day. Sometimes more. But I can definitely tell now when I need water. I would feel sluggish and basically dehydrated. Yes, I would feel dehydrated! 

Don’t be intimidated to eat and drink this much. It might be a bit challenging at the beginning but you can do it. And if you’re not already a vegan maybe you should go through a transitional period first (being vegetarian then vegan then high carb, low fat vegan). Also, keep in mind that falling off the wagon is just an expression. If it ever happens just get back on! It’s that simple. Don’t be down on yourself and feel like a failure if you don’t stick to this lifestyle 100%. Just make sure to eat clean and healthily (whole foods, cooked starches, no salt (substitute with lemon juice), fruit and eat as little as possible of heavily processed foods, in other words don’t consume foods that have preservatives, added salt and artificial coloring agents).

Working out shouldn’t be a chore. Just be active throughout the day and make sure you eat enough. And anyway, if you’re active and you don’t eat enough your body will make sure to let you know that you need fuel. Of course, you can join a gym just don’t overdo it. And pick a sport or an activity you enjoy. Do not force yourself to workout but be persistent and consistent.

Sleep is essential too. Get 10-12 hours of sleep each night. Personally, when I don’t have enough sleep I feel grumpy and really tired! 

People will think you’re crazy especially the people you live with. Don’t let that discourage you. People teased me for gaining weight on this lifestyle and gave me dirty looks for eating a lot. Sometimes I even avoid eating in front of them because I know they will criticize me and I don’t want to feel judged. I just don’t need that kind of stress in my life. I do believe this is the way to go nevertheless, and I won’t go back. Know that you’re not alone in this. There are a lot of people out there who follow a high carb, low fat diet. Check out 30bananasaday.com it has a lot of helpful tips and you’ll find people like you.

In summary, don’t restrict your calories; just smash down the carbs! Get rid of stress in your life, get enough sleep and keep hydrated. Make sure to go out in the sun every once in a while too ^_^

Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about. Although she eats fully raw, consuming enough carbs and low fat is what matters. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

An update

I know I haven't been posting much and it makes me feel bad but here's an update!

This year has been great! I finally can tap into being healthy while enjoying my life. The 80 10 10 lifestyle makes me feel great and healthy but one thing I'm hating right now is the weight gain. I'm not sure if I posted this before but around June 2013, I started eating a lot of low fat vegan foods and stopped restricting my calories (2500-4000 cals). The result? Some weight gain (apparently being obese on this lifestyle is nearly impossible) but I feel great and energetic. I stopped going to the gym around two months ago because I just thought I should take a break and now I'm going to go back very soon. The thing is I can't fit into my old clothes but I'm trying not to think too much about it and focus on what's going to happen in the long run.

Just a quick reminder; a high raw/carb, low vegan diet or 80 10 10 is a vegan diet which breaks down like this: 80% or more of your daily caloric intake should be from carbs, 10% or less from fat and 10% or less from protein.
Some people eat only raw fruit and vegetables and some eat a combination of fruit, vegetables and cooked starches but both consume roughly the same percentages.
On this diet one can eat as much carbohydrates as one chooses or wants. Excess carbs get burned off by dietary thermogenesis.

Since I feel great on this lifestyle I'm starting a website about it. It will include tips, FAQ, and my daily diet and exercise routines and some helpful links. I will also start a YouTube channel. I'm not sure how this is going to go since I'm camera shy but I'll try my best. This website will be basically about my experience and progress on this lifestyle.

I will post more details soon, so stay tuned!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

My Living Well Magazine Article

This article is mainly about food standards in Jordan. When I initially contacted Living Well Magazine I had the intention of writing about Veganism, but since this subject is too "extreme" to most people here we agreed that I write about "health." Of course a lot of editing went into it and I'm not sure I should be taking credit for it but I did the writing and the research.
This is the article --> You Are What You Eat

Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Vegan Response

This is a response to a friend of mine who shared this video about meat eating being natural. 

This is the video:


And here's my response:

"Homo-sapiens have evolved to eat meat that’s a fact which nobody can deny. I can’t say eating meat is natural because this will only force me to assume anything that we keep practicing for a long period of time (millions of years in this case) becomes natural behavior which will exclude any “unnatural behavior” like being a cannibal for instance. Consuming dairy isn't natural in either cases but this doesn’t rule out that consuming animal products is in fact harmful to the human body.

The whole intestine length bonanza might be ridiculous, I give you that. But the reason why modern humans have bigger brains is because they stopped spending a lot of time eating and had more time to do other things. Also the fact that cooked food gets digested faster which provides the body with nutrients faster. That is what I think at least.

These are interesting documentaries:

Australopithecines Robustus died out because they ran out of food, Australopithecines Afarensis, which are the ancestors of humans, were mainly herbivores. Meaning; they ate mostly plant foods but had very little animal foods.

The inhumane treatment of animals is something to consider as this is a violation of basic animal rights. I don’t understand why people would rather remain savage when they have the option of having better health by consuming whole plant based foods. We don’t need to eat meat to survive, our ancestors started eating meat because they didn't have any other option (that’s how I see it at least) and they had some of it (meat) unlike most modern humans. We have the brains to grow plants now.

There’s also the argument about the taste of meat. We adapt, we weren't born to love meat we were taught to love it. Thinking you won’t stop liking meat probably won’t help but it’s worth trying to think that maybe eating meat isn't healthy instead of feeling threatened of your meat being taken away. What matters is what you believe. Look at it this way, most people when they start being vegan dread the fact that they’re going to be eating foods that don’t taste good. Over time and when they allow themselves to like certain foods their taste buds adapt to the taste and they start liking these foods.

Also, it’s worth mentioning how people find a dog being dead disturbing but not the fact that they still consume dead flesh of other animals. Some might argue that the animals we eat are herbivores and somehow find it justifiable to eat them but that’s not true; chickens and fish are omnivores! Moreover, in a lot of countries eating horses and rhinos is considered disgusting.

The last picture of a baby biting on a cat’s tail doesn’t make sense. Why aren’t most people eating cats? They find it disgusting to do so which brings me back to saying we are adaptable and our preferences are merely preferred behaviors that we get used to doing.

On another note, being vegan is sustainable because it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and provides more food for the masses. Being vegan doesn’t require as much energy as being a meat eater as we grow plants to feed the food we’re eating but if we become vegan we stop wasting plant foods on cattle and other farm animals.

Global Warming: Meat the Truth

Of course, I might be wrong but this way of eating makes me feel great, as it is sustainable and nourishing. It has been working for me so far and I’m happy with that :)"



Related links:
Livestock Account for 51% of Greenhouse Gases
Australopithecus Afarensis (Lucy)
Australopithecines
Australopithecus
What did our ancestors eat?