My Progress On A Low-Fat High-Carb Diet
Posted in DIET & NUTRITION

My Progress On A Low-Fat High-Carb Diet

Tracy talks about her experience going on a variety of different kinds of low-fat vegan plans (Raw Till 4, The Starch Solution) Successes, failures, random thoughts…and fun factoids about the nutrition found in red wine.

What I Ate Today On A Low Fat High Carb Plant Based Diet
Posted in DIET & NUTRITION

What I Ate Today On A Low Fat High Carb Plant Based Diet

I wanted to share this day’s worth of eating on a low-fat, plant-based, starch-centered diet. This is mostly a dinner meal prep video with some discussion about my current size and my weight-loss objectives.

Weight-loss On A Low-Fat, High-Carb, Starch-Based Diet
Posted in DIET & NUTRITION

Weight-loss On A Low-Fat, High-Carb, Starch-Based Diet

Tracy talks about her struggle with weight and body image and the various diets and programs she has been on to try to lose the excess weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. She also explains why she has decided to commit to a low-fat, high-carb, plant-based, starch-centered plan to achieve optimal health and weight results.

Whole-Foods Thanksgiving
Posted in BLOG

Have A Healthy, Happy Thanksgiving

For many people Thanksgiving dinner is the single biggest family feast of the year. It represents a time of gathering together, rebuilding bonds of love and friendship, sharing thoughts and feelings of gratitude for blessings received, and the centerpiece is always the meal. Food is an important element in our lives. It can garner memories from childhood that warm us and make us feel nostalgic. Many who cook use their culinary creations as a meaningful show of love and affection for those the food has been prepared for. And when we consume dishes that have been carefully prepared to be especially delicious it makes us feel loved. It is no wonder, then, that we associate so much emotional connection with the Thanksgiving feast! That being said, however, the traditional Thanksgiving fare most of us are accustomed to eating on this day is usually a far cry from “health food”. Many dishes are heavily prepared with unhealthy fats and saturated with sugars of every kind. The turkey is probably the healthiest part of the meal, since it is essentially pure protein and in that sense, “real” food, without a lot of added ingredients (if we aren’t counting the grain fed diet, antibiotics, and hormones most are raised on). Most of the side dishes, from the mashed potatoes loaded with real butter and heavy cream, to the stuffing…normally white bread cubes with lots of fat and little nutritional value…to the white-flour, milk, and butter dinner rolls, to the candied yams, and normally ending with pies (baked in white flour and hydrogenated vegetable oil shortening – read trans fats – crusts) topped with piles of whipped cream, meringue, or ice cream. I read recently that the typical Thanksgiving dinner for an average adult runs right around 3,500 calories! OUCH! Sooo…I’d like to challenge you this year! I know it can be a daunting task to want to alter long-held tradition. One which will inevitably be met with substantial resistance from family members. So, rather than try to talk you into doing anything too overly difficult which could result in conflict and contention, I have a more subtle suggestion…try taking baby steps. Especially if you are relatively new to the high-raw foods lifestyle, and particularly if you are the only family member following such a path. Here are some practical application things you can do to make your holiday meal HEALTHIER while still maintaining peace and harmony in your home, all the while offering the same delicious and satisfying, comfort foods your family is used to for this most important meal: 1. Substitute unhealthy sugars, such as white sugar, brown sugar, and corn syrup with healthier sweeteners such as stevia, pure maple syrup, dehydrated cane juice sugar, agave nectar, molasses, etc. 2. Substitute unhealthy fats, such as margarine, shortening, and most refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils with healthier fats such as coconut oil (especially for cooking), cold pressed olive oil (mostly for drizzling over warm or cold foods and in dressings but not for cooking),…

Marijuana_Raids
Posted in BLOG

My Response to A Time When Marijuana Is Legal

This issue is so massive that it makes me tired, just trying to figure out where to begin my response. I guess the best place to start would be to suggest you listen to our audio interviews with Superbowl Champ, Mark Stepnoski, and Yale Law School educated, Seattle criminal defense attorney, Jeff Steinborn. You can find those interviews on our AUDIO INTERVIEWS page to get some real, concrete insight into this whole issue. Let me say that I am not a regular cannabis consumer. I certainly _have_ smoked pot—more than once. And I also inhaled. So, I’ve had plenty of first-hand experience. And it’s not the evil, addictive, demon-drug the government and big-industry have made it out to be. Do your research and get the facts. Don’t believe the propaganda. Then come to your own, educated conclusions. The following excerpts are from the May 27, 2013 edition of the NY Times and are letters to the editor. READ THE FULL TEXT for yourself here. I will reply, per item below, in the body of the text – NYT -“To the Editor: Bill Keller gets it right: the question is no longer whether marijuana should be legalized, since whatever system emerges is going to put children at risk. Pot is high risk for children because the part of the brain that censors dumb and dangerous behavior is not yet developed, while the pleasure-seeking part is fully functional. So teenagers will do risky things, like driving while high. They’re also far more likely than adults to become addicted.” TPJ – There is so much wrong with what Mr. Rosenthal states here, as fact, that simply is not true. At least he starts by saying that the question is no longer whether marijuana should be legalized. But that’s the only lucid part of his statement. That he goes on to say that whatever system emerges is going to put children at risk infuriates me. This assumption is a red herring intended to elicit an emotional response and isn’t based on fact. The most significant threat to children currently, where marijuana is concerned, is the potential for arrest, possible conviction, and incarceration, of themselves or their parents, and the emotional damage resulting from being forced through the legal system. Add to those risks the HUGE side-effect of being denied access to government-funded student loans for attending college, something not even rapists and murderers are denied access to, and you begin to see the real risk to children. His claim that the part of the brain that censors dumb and dangerous behavior in children is not yet developed is laughable. I’m not a scientist…but I have raised seven children to adulthood…so I have a little experience in this area. And let me tell you, even a 2-year-old knows all too well what dumb and dangerous behavior is. Children are very good at preventing harm to their person, and recognizing when they have done something they shouldn’t have.  Contrast that with the fact that violent crimes are committed,…

Nov. 19, 2013
Posted in BLOG

Raw Foods and Menopause

In 2000, at age 38, for the first time in my life I started experiencing some strange health challenges. We had recently moved to a 20 acre piece of property we purchased in Central Oregon and were drinking the local, city water while waiting to put in our own well. Shortly thereafter I began experiencing muscle weakness in both of my arms and dizziness that became nearly debilitating…especially whenever moving from a horizontal to a vertical position, or when rolling over in bed at night. Kind of like an ear infection would effect your equilibrium.  It didn’t take long for me to figure out that it might have something to do with the water I was drinking (strange that no one else in the family had these symptoms, though…) and I quickly started purchasing 2.5 gallon dispenser jugs of purified water to consume. The pain got better almost immediately. But the dizziness persisted…not nearly as badly as it had been before changing to the purified water…but it still clung to me, off and on, for several years afterward. In late 2006 my younger cousin, Floyd, who was 40 at the time, was diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a softball. This had a significant impact me, both emotionally and psychologically. I desperately wanted to find a way to help him beat that illness. Combined with the fact that my father had suffered a double heart attack, several years earlier, at age 60 and was experiencing a gradual, but progressive, decline in his health, I was motivated to begin research on ways to heal the body through diet and nutrition. This is when I found the Raw Food lifestyle. And without going into all of the history surrounding that (I’ve already written about that experience in detail on my other blog: http://tracyjprez.wordpress.com) I will say that over the next couple of years I followed that lifestyle with quite a bit of personal success. But it caused a significant challenge with my family, who did not embrace the idea of eating mostly raw foods, and this resulted in a fractured home-life, when it came to meals and food consumption. So, in early 2008 I gradually began eating more and more cooked foods. During this same time frame I began noticing that my body was starting to experience some definite hormonal shifts. I wasn’t FEELING any different, but my monthly cycle was becoming sporadic, so I knew that something was changing. I hadn’t really experienced much weight-loss on raw foods during my first attempt following a high-raw diet, but most of my strange symptoms did go away, and I really LIKED the lifestyle.  However, due to the situation with my family and other factors, I was lead back to eating mostly cooked food again. By January 2009 my weight was at an all-time high of 193 and I was feeling awful about myself. I’m tall, 5 feet 8 inches, so I can carry more weight than most women without looking especially…

Gary Marriage-Men
Posted in BLOG

Equality, Marriage, and Gay Rights

Let me start by saying that I believe these are three, separate issues that should not be further complicated by intertwining them, because they are each so simple, yet seem to be made utterly complex in today’s society. Personally, I don’t understand the confusion. Since I live in the United States of America, I will address these issues as they relate to the laws of our land. But bear in mind that I feel these rights apply to our very humanity, so in that sense, should not alter from one country to another, but should be instead be universal in their application. Allow me to address each issue, individually: 1. Equality – The most famous sentence from The Declaration of Independence is found in it’s second paragraph and reads: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (see http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html)  So, according to the law of the land, there really is no debate here. “All men (humans) are created equal”. Period. 2. Marriage – The loudest complaint I hear on this issue comes from the Religious Right/Conservative community, claiming that it is imperative that “the sanctity” of marriage be protected. Their defense normally goes something like this: “Marriage is a sacred covenant between one man and one woman.” And they base this assertion on passages of scripture, most specifically; Genesis 2: 22-24, which reads: “Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.”  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” But I also hear people quoting a similar verse; Matthew 19: 4-6, which reads – “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’  and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ?  So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” So, I want to be completely clear on something that I haven’t heard anyone else really focusing on. My position is this – Ok. Fine. I agree with them. Let MARRIAGE remain a “sacred union” between one man and one woman. But before you get defensive, hear me out. Marriage _SHOULD_ be ONLY a sacred union. Between God (thus the designation “sacred”, ie; related to God) and His (I specify gender here because we are discussing marriage, which is primarily a religious convention/tradition of the Abrahamic faiths…whose god is male) followers. I find it kind of interesting that we hear so much talk about…

pulling-hair-out
Posted in DIET & NUTRITION

I am really damn frustrated!

Ok, so, I haven’t been writing much lately and the honest truth is that I am frustrated as hell with diet and my weight. Ugh! So, I guess I”m just going to have to tell the story. By February 2009 I reached an all-time high weight of 193 pounds. And I decided something had to change. I’d been following a mostly raw foods lifestyle for close to 2 years at that time, but unlike other raw foodists who reported losing tonz of weight, I hadn’t lost the weight I wanted to lose. At 5’9″ tall, I can carry more weight than most, but still, my ideal weight hovers somewhere between 140 and 160 pounds. So, at best I was 30 pounds overweight and I was feeling it. I decided to get serious about the weight loss. And by mid-summer of that year I had lost the 30 pounds and was down to 160. Weight-wise I felt great! I was thin…people were telling me that I was skinny…and I felt good in my clothes. The unexpected turn in that story is that I began experiencing symptoms. Many of which I would later lean were a result of pre-menopause and hormonal imbalance…but I am quite sure that many of the symptoms were also due to my diet. I had a perpetual deep muscle pain in the back of my left thigh, and I became severely anemic. My energy dropped dramatically and my monthly period was lasting two weeks to a month at a time. I was fatigued and light headed. And during my period I felt a deep pain from my abdomen clear through to my lower back. And I began having such extreme joint pain in my knees that I believed I would have to live with rheumatoid arthritis for the rest of my life. I also developed horizontal ridges on my fingernails…a symptom indicative of iron and vitamin B12 deficiency. My husband and I decided it was time to reintroduce more red meat into my diet. Since that time most of those symptoms have been eliminated…but some new ones have taken their place; I’ve started having nighttime numbness and tingling in my arms and sometimes my legs. I have also experienced pain in the left side of my neck. And had chronic charlie horses in my left toes. And occasionally I have felt a slight flutter or pressure in my chest. These symptoms all freak me out because my dad had a double heart attack, and then more recently, my brother who is my elder by 10 years had a heart attack and was diagnosed with diabetes. I have tried to be so careful about what I eat that it blows my mind to think that I might be pre-diabetic…but I’d be crazy to not consider that this is a strong possibility. So, my weight… I have regained almost all of the weight that I lost and kept off for over a year and a half without effort on the…

Raw Foods
Posted in DIET & NUTRITION

My Experience Going 100% Raw

I feel it’s important that I tell you about my own introduction to the raw foods lifestyle and why I ended up developing the Eighty Percent Raw Plan. The process started on September 6th, 2001. My husband and I were on a business trip to New York City just 5 days prior to 911. It was just a quick over-nighter so early the following day we made the long flight back to Portland. Four days later we were on yet another business trip to the east coast, but this time our destination was Tampa, Florida. We arrived late on the evening of September 10th and, as you know, at 8:00am the next morning all hell broke loose. The gravity of our situation quickly sunk in as we realized that we were stranded in Tampa, 3,000 miles away from home. Our teenage children were in Portland dealing with the situation all by them selves and we had no idea what to expect next.  In addition to all of this, I received a phone call from my oldest son in Texas, who had recently enlisted with the United States Army National Guard Reserves, informing me that he was on red alert awaiting orders to report for Basic Training. Needless to say, I was in a high state of anxiety, but doing my best to stay calm and balanced. What a relief it was three days later to learn the airport in Tampa was re-opening sooner than anticipated and we would be able to return home within the week. Once again in Oregon we tried to adopt an optimistic attitude that life would get back to normal, but like everyone else, the foundation of our reality had been severely shaken. And it wasn’t long before it became glaringly apparent that this experience would not be without its own deep seated repercussions. Long story short, one month later on October 10th, 2001, I found out for the first time what it feels like to have a spontaneous panic attack. Little did I realize at the time the impact these episodes would have on my life for years to come. This whole sequence of events began a domino effect that would ultimately lead to the development of my Eighty Percent Raw diet and lifestyle plan.  But at that point in time all I knew was that something inside me had broken and I wanted nothing more than to fix it. Fortunately I was raised by a mother who taught me at an early age to trust in my own intuition and the wisdom found in nature. We weren’t a family who went to the doctor for every little cough or cold that came along. In fact, I can probably count on two hands the number of times I visited our family physician during my childhood and adolescent years. Though I did occasionally take over the counter pain relievers or allergy medications, I was trained to prepare home remedies and concoctions based on natural herbs and…