Since I’m a self-certified meatatarian (It’s a personal choice) we wanted to feature someone who is my polar opposite (food-wise) so our followers can be made aware of the benefits of all sorts of different eating lifestyles. Finding a lifestyle that works for you is the key. Today we wanted to feature my long time friend Amber who I am proud to say I have watched transform over the past few years, putting herself and her health above anything else.
Mel: So how would you describe your diet?
Amber: I wouldn’t describe it as a ‘diet’ it’s more of a lifestyle change. I’m raw-vegan which is all about eating food in its natural state or very close to. Being raw-vegan is actually very easy and very simple once you learn a few tricks of the trade. I never have to cook anymore, I just prepare foods. Making pies only takes me twenty minutes and I can eat it for breakfast because it’s only fruit and nuts.
Mel: That sounds nice and simple. So what turned you onto this diet?
Amber: What got me into this lifestyle was definitely meeting some new people who were already on the program. Just reading the 80/10/10 diet book and watching some YouTube videos had me sold. When you really think about it most of the foods people eat today are so over processed you really don’t know what you are eating. With a raw-vegan lifestyle you know exactly what you are eating and I really like that. I didn’t eat meat or dairy often so that was easy to give up. The bread and grains and pastas and cookies and candy – now that was the hard part!!
Mel: Ahhh yes the sugar laden foods are always the hardest to give up. What health benefits have you noticed since going raw-vegan?
Amber: The health benefits that I’ve noticed are huge over the last two years. Right away I noticed more energy and a clearer mind. As I continued to eat this way obviously I noticed weight loss – almost 30 pounds over the two years without working out, simply accredited to a lifestyle change. My body handles stress better and I don’t find myself in as much pain as I used to. My skin has done a 180 and I barely ever wear makeup – Mel you’d know that’s a big one for me. Now that I also incorporate calisthenics into my daily routine my mind body and spirit feel more aligned, I’ve learned to love myself more and accept the things that I can not change. Obviously some of this just comes with age and time but being raw-vegan definitely helped clear my mind. It’s hard to explain but once you go raw you can just tell. My other raw friends and I had a discussion the other day about how to explain this part of the lifestyle and we came to the conclusion you just can’t explain it it’s something that needs to be felt.
Mel: We also heard you have access to a yoga swing! (Seen in photos) What is that and what physical benefits have you gotten from it?
Amber: I don’t actually have the yoga swing yet but I did make my own by using an old sheet and making the main swing part but my man has an actual yoga swing that I use quite often. It is amazing and I have noticed more flexibility in my body, more peace within myself, and an overall leaner physique. A yoga swing is a great way to get your daily stretches in and make it fun. It’s also great for inversion which is amazing for your inner body parts – helps to realign your intestines which start to droop over time making it harder to digest properly. It also has saved me trips to the chiropractor time and time again.
Mel: So, as we all know, nobody is perfect so when you have a hankering what is your go-to indulgence?
Amber: Haha – Sometimes I really crave something like a pizza but I will eat a vegan gluten free pizza, always pick the best option and I always read the ingredients list. If there are more than two ingredients that I don’t know I won’t eat it.
Mel: What would be one simple way people could incorporate more raw food into their diet?
Amber: The simplest way to incorporate more raw foods into your diet is to juice. You can juice for yourself at home which is a bit time consuming but worth it for me. I enjoy doing juicing and when I use pineapple (which is almost daily) I use the pulp to make raw pies. You can also go to places like Natures Fare, Choices or Whole Foods for green juices and they are amazingly tasty and relatively affordable. I was drinking one 16 ounce bottle per day which cost me approximately 9 dollars so they don’t overcharge at all. Another easy way to incorporate raw is smoothies. Replace one meal a day with a green smoothie it’s simple, affordable and yummy. My favorite is a green-a-Coloda smoothie. I use every green I have in the house so usually kale, spinach, cilantro and cucumber. I add coconut water, pineapple, coconut milk, vegan protein powder, mangoes and raspberries. I add flax seed oil as well as maca, spirulina and lucima for a superfood boost. Those last three ingredients have big flavours so if you aren’t used to them add very small amounts at first to help introduce yourself to the flavour. Also with maca be careful, I had a strong reaction to it for a long while and had to build my tolerance. It can make you feel very nauseas and make your heart race if you aren’t used to it. It took me a full year to incorporate it into my diet at a full dose so sometimes these things take time. (Note maca can be used to treat thyroid issues but please consult your local supplements store for dosage information)
Mel: What would a day in the life of Amber look like?
Amber: I start my day with a 32oz green juice or smoothie depending on my mood. Green juice consits of kale, spinach, celery, cucumber, pear, pineapple and honeydew – it tastes like Hawaii haha. Lunch is usually two peppers, yellow and orange, with hummus – I’m addicted to this right now. Dinner is most often a huge kale salad with shredded beets, carrots, tomato, onion, hemp hearts. I always toss in a bit of turmeric for its anti-inflammatory and other amazing health benefits. Then whatever organic salad dressing I have in the fridge or decide to make. If I’m not feeling a salad I will make raw sushi – shredded coconut flakes mixed with a bit of water and tamari to get that sushi flavor with shredded beets, carrots, avocado, green onion rolled up in seasnax seaweed wrap – so yummy! For snacks throughout the day I eat fruit, oranges, apples, kiwis, grapes and sometimes a hand full of raw nuts.
Mel: Wow, I’m hungry talking about this. How do we make these pies you were telling us about?
Amber: My raw pies consist of a crust made from pitted dates and nuts (my fave is walnuts cause they are cheap and taste the best in this recipe) – mixed with a scoop of almond butter, blended, then pressed into a pie plate. For filling I take fruit and blend with soaked (for 5 hours) macadamia nuts or avocado or both. Pour into the crust and freeze for atleast an hour. For apple pie I just shred apples in my processor, add vanilla and cinnamon and sometimes some goji berries and add that to the crust – this one you can refrigerate instead of freeze.
Mel: Amber thank you so much for sharing your amazing, healthy lifestyle with us and our online family. Before we let you get back to your pies and yoga swing we want to ask you one more thing 🙂 What do you enjoy the most about Sister Act Fitness?
Amber: Haha of course! What I like most about Sister Act Fitness is the support I read from everyone. Life isn’t a health competition it’s about support and love which I find very important in sticking to a healthy lifestyle. Plus I love reading your gals posts – you two are both hilarious!
Sister Act Fitness thanks Amber so much for doing this interview – we look forward to having more of our friends, family and followers share their lifestyle stories in the near future.