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Archive for August, 2007

Let’s Get Ready To CR-umble!

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

The results of our informal poll are in:


What’s your level of interest?
I would contribute 9
I would purchase 13
Neither 3


Maximum calories per serving?
unlimited 3
500 5
400 3
300 8
200 3


Should it be RAW?
Yes 8
No 13


Should it be soy free?
Yes 5
No 15


Should it be gluten free?
Yes 12
No 10

So, let’s see… How to interpret? :)

First of all, the aye’s have it. Our little collective is eager for this to come to fruition! And although there is a camel hump in the calorie limit picture, I think we owe it to those seeking the high nutrient to calorie ratios of CRON to serve as an example. Incidentally, the recipes in the first edition easily meet this goal, so I know it’s possible:

The other clear winner was soy.

Now, for the tough ones. This is where I reveal I didn’t vote yet, in case I needed to break a tie. ;) And a tie we certainly have on the gluten-free question. Here are my thoughts.

This was a weird one. Early on, “Yes” was the definitive leader. This made me happy, as both myself and VDL are gluten free. Then, suddenly, toward the end, the “No” votes shot up into a dead heat. My plea is that we do make it GF. Many people are plain ‘ole allergic or otherwise reactive to the stuff. They want to know how to obtain adequate protein intake on vegan CRON without resorting to seitan (once a favorite of mine for this purpose). Surely baked goods aren’t the issue here, right?

The raw vote is pretty close as well. Of course, you know in which direction I’m inclined. Maybe we can toss this one about more?

Also, I realize I forgot to ask about low fat or sodium. I think I just assumed, since that’s how it’s done around these parts. If you need any help converting a recipe, just let me know.

In the meantime, I am now accepting submissions. Please send your favorite vegan CR-friendly recipes to cron-recipes at vegandonelight dot com. If you’d like to include a bio, your story, your website, pictures (of the food and/or you), etc., that would be great too! If you have the numbers, go ahead and submit those as well. Otherwise, don’t worry, I’ll crunch them.

(As an aside, I recently negotiated a special coupon for my readers for 10% off their orders at Old Will Knott Scales. Simply enter the code VEGANDONELIGHT at checkout. They even made a personalized image for us, over there in the right margin. Sweet!)

Vegan Calorie Restriction

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

I am delighted to see from the comments and through the society email lists how many vegans and even raw foodists are practicing Calorie Restriction with Optimum Nutrition!

In light of this, I have been bandying around the idea of creating a 2nd cookbook (or uncookbook, as the case may be) of vegan CRON recipes. This one, however, would be a collaborative effort.

I’m envisioning a compilation of personal favorites from readers of this blog. The basic requirements are only that they be originals of your own creation, “CRON-friendly” and, of course, vegan (even if you don’t eat this way all the time, surely you have some meals or snacks that qualify).

It would also be great to include a little biographical information on each contributor. For example, how long have you been practicing? How’d you get into it? Etc..

So, what do you say?! Does this sound like something in which you’d be interested? Those whose recipes make the book would be given a free copy, and I plan to set up a single-member affiliate program for the CRS, such that they receive 10% of sales.

This calls for some polls! :)

The polls are now closed. See the results in the next post.

in practice

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

Recently, Mike J. asked if I’d be willing to give some detail on my typical diet these days. He is embarking upon CRON and felt an affinity to my approach, including the trend toward higher raw. I agreed to make another “day in the life” post. As promised, here it is.

There is always a temptation when composing such a snapshot of your diet to do just that (i.e., compose, fib a little) or at least pick some stellar day from the last month. I assure you such is not the case here. I have quite randomly chosen yesterday. Although the corn on the cob was a treat, the third of an avocado, which used to be, has become a daily standard this summer.

What follows may disappoint some, as it is neither 100% raw (gotta have those beans) nor an example of extreme CR. On the other hand, my family will surely find comfort that I’m not starving myself. ;)

Breakfast lima beans (yep), banana, butternut squash, soy nuts, flax seeds, pomegranate juice, spirulina
Mid-morning plums, rice protein powder
Lunch konjac pasta with broccoli, onions, garlic, peppers, mushrooms, brewer’s yeast, corn on the cob, collards, 3 oz red wine
Afternoon peach, 1/2 mango, 1/3 avocado, lettuce, chicory, dandelion greens
Dinner konjac pasta with tomato/mushroom sauce, onions, garlic, peppers, beet, turnip, green beans, summer squash, collards, kale, beet greens, mustard greens, tomatillos, 1/2 cucumber, 3 oz red wine
Evening lima beans, carrot, red cabbage, apple, blueberries, strawberries, sunflower seeds, cacao powder, spirulina

I eat all the fruits and vegetables raw. The lima beans, of course, are cooked, as are the tomato/mushroom sauces. And, the brewer’s yeast and rice protein powder probably do not qualify as “raw” either. The cacao powder supposedly does. The coffee, consumed throughout the day, is also non-raw. I am comfortable with this balance.

Just for giggles, since everyone is always talking up their “percentage” (as if they’ve really calculated it), I ran the numbers. About 500 calories of the almost 2100 were from heat-processed foods, putting me at 77% RAW.

The macronutrient profile for yesterday looks pretty typical for me:


click image to be taken to the details

Most nutrient levels are off the charts! The only ones requiring supplementation are vitamins B12 and D. I also take others like herbs, resveratrol, etc..

Addressing Mike’s request for a little CRON history, I started at the beginning of 2001, still a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I devoured (pun intended) the seminal work on the topic, Beyond The 120-Year Diet, during the holidays (a gift from my father), and it set the wheels in motion.

My BMI, for what it’s worth, is at the lower end of the healthy range (a little less than 20). I exercise daily, either 30 minutes on the treadmill at 5 MPH (4 days) or upper-body work on the Bowflex (3 days). Sometimes both. On weekdays, I get up early and squeeze it in before work. According to Tony’s method, I am practicing at least 8% CR, possibly up to 18.6%, depending on how I categorize my activity level. On the email lists hosted by the Calorie Restriction Society, as in the raw food community, the (f)utility of assigning a percentage and how best to do so is a frequent debate. Some just say, take in as few calories as you can without adversely affecting quality of life (QOL), all the while tracking your nutrition. By that measure, what I do is not at all strict; I’m never hungry, so I could eat less. But, damn, the summer bounty is just so good! :)

CRON Resources:

Kitchen Food Scale
Tanita Body Fat Scale
Vegan Done Light

Nutrition Software – I like DietPower for its ease-of-use, graphing, goal setting, metabolic rate tracking, etc.. Try it free for 15-days and see if you agree. Then remember this tip to get your discount:

how industry redefines health food

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

A short and sweet post here as time is of the essence. I want to bring to your attention a very important presentation which VegSource is making available online for the next seven days only. (After that, it’s going into their DVDs of this year’s best lectures from the Healthy Lifestyle Expo.)

In this 80-minute slide show by Jeff Novick from the Pritikin Center, he speaks clearly and with humor about the tricks of the trade in food labeling. As a former Kraft Foods account manager, he should know! You’ll definitely want to

watch this one

to learn how to really read those labels! And if you’ve ever struggled to explain how deceptively dangerous processed foods are to your friends and family, just send them to this talk, and let Jeff do the work. :)


My Cookbook:

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