Thursday, May 31, 2012


As I have walked this journey, many have often expressed how difficult it is to transition to a raw vegan lifestyle and marvel at how I seem to have adapted with ease.  My response is honest, it is not difficult.  It is about making simple choices.  Right now, I am 99% raw.  I occasionally have eaten a prepared hummus while dining out or consumed a few nuts that were not raw.  I do not concern myself with this overall percentage as each day, I am on target.  This because I start daily with a focused simplicity to eat whole foods.  Throughout these postings, I have previously referenced keeping it simple and short, sweet, or satisfying. (KISS).  "Kissing" yourself if the best approach to not only raw vegan transition, but to anything you face in life.  Of course, there will always be fancy, decadent, complex dishes that mimic cooked or animal based meals which requires some form of talent to create, however, just a piece of fruit or whole vegetable will suffice.  Worrying about converting exquisite, complex works of art with way too many ingredients can lead to failure as one can easily begin to walk the path of procrastination while attempting to obtain everything they think they "need" to create mini masterpieces that will just be eaten in less time than it took to construct.    Save the fancy for every now and then.  Treat it no differently than consumption of a special dinner during an
evening out.  Realistically, how many of us, raw or not, eat fancy gourmet meals every day?  That being said, let's get back to kissing.  Make an honest effort to keep things easy.  Focus on just one simplicity and expand as you master it, one at a time. As simple as life seems to be, we've all somehow managed to bog and burden ourselves with materialistic, unnecessary objects and artificial deadlines.  It is important we learn to un-complicate our lives. Apply the Kiss to every aspect of your life -  keeping each component simple will relieve your stresses.  Kissing your life is loving yourself.  A peace-filled, zen based life will calm your soul and quiet your being.  I believe we were intended for simplicity.  Yes, I enjoy some technology as much as the next person, however, everything should be placed properly in its place and not take precedence over the simplistic way of life.

Fast Food for Real

In our modern world, fast is the way, steadily increasing its pace.  We want everything quick, we want it fast and we want it convenient.  I find it perplexing that the very people who obsess with the fast life do not consider fresh whole fruit and vegetables "fast food".  How is it not?  Live food is the same as the "value menu" cholesterol
 increasing, artery clogging, fat filled burgers and fries when it comes to convenience:  no prep time, easy to pick up and take on the go, relatively cheap and you can feed your entire family for less than $10. The crucial difference is that whole, live, raw foods are actually GOOD for you, free of fats, sugars, increasing instead of decreasing energy.  When eating real fast food, you don't have to worry about triggers, dis-ease, and illness.  The first stumbling block when converting to veganism is always trying to figure out what to eat.  My suggestion is simple:  stop worrying. Nothing complex to determine.  Pick up some real fast food - an apple, bananas, celery, cucumbers, dark green leafy plants, etc.  

Life Uncomplicated

As you simplify when, how, and why you eat, begin to apply these techniques to the other aspects of your life.  It doesn't make you different, it just makes you uncomplicated.

"Instead of thinking outside of the box, get rid of the box" ~Deepak Chopra

Uncomplicate your life, remove your boxes, get off the grid and make your life as easy as you can.  Reduce your stress and any object that you associate with it.  For example, people find it strange that I do not own a cell phone.   It was the first thing I got rid of when I began to simplify my life. I understand the practicality of a cell phone, however for me, it represented the stress of always being on call. I admit, when I first let it go, I felt I had made a mistake, yet I felt compelled to stick with it.  Quickly, as I re-educated and re-programmed my needs versus my wants, I discovered I no longer needed it.   I haven't had one for nine years now and enjoy the freedom of not being attached to it. Except for the younger generation, most of us grew up without a portable phone and life was grand.  This simple exercise led me to begin to align my thought processes in tune with needs and wants.  The stress and complications come with forcing wants into needs.  Mastering the ability to distinguish between the two is empowering.

The Power of Simplicity

John Lewis, the Bad Ass Vegan, first introduced me to the concept of active simplicity during the Rawgust raw food celebration in the summer of 2011. He created a mental challenge to eat simple.  It spoke to me.
Appreciate simple life....
It fell in sync with my walk.  It became my mantra.  This past month, another friend, raw vegan super athlete,  Jeff Sekerak, launched a new initiative, Power of Simplicity in which he highlights how empowering it is to live, eat and be simple. When you live simply, you gain a power.  It allows you to "see" for as you stand present in your moment, you are able to observe all around you and make conscious decisions with wisdom instead of in haste or in stress which most often leads to more stress and waste of valuable time.  A simple life is a powerful life.  It  gives you appreciation of the gifts provided to us through nature - grass, trees, water, air, love, life. Use this power to make choices to transition from complication into simplistic hedonism.  Enjoy the taste and smells of sweet succulent fruit, the burst of energy from pure nutrients, the feel of  natural clothing, the quiet from unplugging the television, the sound of crickets at night, birds in the morning, the satisfaction  water provides,  the tranquility of release.  Taking one step toward simplicity will envelope and cleanse every other aspect of your life.  Give yourself a kiss...think about what you can do right at this moment to simplify your life, it can start with eating an apple and instead of a bag of chips.  

"The journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step" ~Lao Tzu

Yoga:  Pranayama - Breathing Techniques
The simple act of breathing is one of the most crucial components in any yogic practice. Breath is the key to life.  Without it, we cease to exist.  Breathing is one of the most simplistic things we can do effectively.  Pranayama literally means control of lifeforce.  Yogic breathing techniques balance the mind and the body.  Control of breath oxygenates, creating greater levels of consciousness as well as reduces stress, improves mental clarity and aids digestion. 

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