Category Archives: Health

Lets Talk Fodmap’s!

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The low Fodmap eating plan is gaining popularity very quickly, and for good reason.
It seems like every second person has IBS or IBS symptoms these days and unfortunately medical practitioners cant “fix” the problem altogether, they can however help give you advice or medication that can help ease the symptoms.

I had IBS every single day for four years before I asked for medical help. I am still embarrassed that I waited that long but research has shown that the majority of sufferers wait a similar amount of time before seeking help.
If your symptoms are occurring for a prolonged period of time, seek medical advice because when your bowels aren’t working correctly, a lot of nutrition can be lost along with a lot of other medical concerns.

I was introduced to the Low Fodmap Diet roughly about one year ago and it has taken up to now to get into a habit of eating this way but I can tell you that this has helped more than anything I have tried in the past.
The thing I struggled with when changing my diet to eating low Fodmap foods was that some healthy “superfoods” I was eating daily was actually causing my body more harm than good. I eat a large amount of plant based meals and I am a huge health lover so when I was told to give up kale, broccoli, MANGOS!, apples ect. I thought this sounded extremely unhealthy at the time.
But I can’t stress enough that everyone’s body is completely different and no one diet is healthy for every individual. Take sesame seeds for example; One of the highest sources of calcium and contains amazing healthy fats to feed to brain and body but at the same time someone can have a life threatening allergic reaction to sesame seeds.

So what are Fodmaps?

The complex version is Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Disaccharides And Polyols which fall under a group of carbohydrates.
Foods that contain these properties can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine which then ferments in the gut and causes bacteria and gas.

Below is an image of some that are safe on a Low Fodmap Diet and foods that you should avoid.

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I highly recommend this diet for IBS suffers, it has helped so many people be able to live comfortably with IBS.
As always I would love to know your thoughts on this eating plan.

Lisa x

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Fight For It!

self worth
A couple of months ago I wrote a blog about how I got my period back. I still smile about how ridiculously happy I was that I finally got my period back after all the years I neglected my health to serve a deadly disease.

I was stoked because that meant my body was getting healthy again. I was delighted that I did it naturally. I was thankful that it meant my body will now be receiving more nutrients out of my foods like calcium. But to be honest with you, I was probably more excited about the fact that I wouldn’t have to put on any more weight. I was at the minimum of a healthy weight range for MY body.

My partner would argue with me saying that I still had two more kg’s to put on for the sake of if I were to lose weight due to illness.

I knew what he was saying was correct as many health professionals have said it before and also just out of common sense but I felt I had reached this huge step and I didn’t want anything to rain on my parade just yet.

The next day I got servery sick. Yep, totally blame everyone who argued with me.
I got a horrible stomach bug that lead to gastro. I was literally forcing down cracker and vegemite and any foods I could stomach so I wouldn’t lose weight. I know that when I become underweight my inner demon (ED) becomes stronger so I was determined to not give in.

Anyways, regardless of my efforts I lost the weight I put on.
I had to work hard to gain it back but it took a solid 2 months.

So I started a battle with myself to gain the extra two kg’s. I fought for my health, my happiness and myself worth.
Fight
Everyone has the right to be healthy and happy. Every single person is worthy of love and acceptance.
Read that paragraph again: Everyone has the right to be healthy and happy. Every single person is worthy of love and acceptance.
For some reason I was limiting myself all of this.

I am proud to recognise now that two kg’s isn’t just weight that goes onto my thighs. Its 2 kg’s that protects me. It’s a TINY bit more of me to love and accept. It’s really not such a big freakin deal when you put your self worth first and choose to make your health your absolute number one priority.
I’m not going to lie and say that it was an easy choice to accept: to go above my minimum healthy weight for my body. For someone who has suffered from an eating disorder for most of their life that would be very rare. But it is a choice I have made. (One point for me and a kick in the ass for the ED.)

I want to really get through to you today that you have a choice in anything in life. You may not choose to become a victim of an inner demon like an eating disorder but you certainly have a choice to fight and get your health and happiness back.

Every time you look at yourself and you make a harsh comment, fight back and correct yourself by saying that you choose to see love in everything you look at.

It’s not an easy battle to fight every minute of the day but it’s certainly worth it.

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“Ironing” Out The Vegan Assumptions

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Hi Lovelies!

As you may have noticed, I have had a HUGE break from blogging.

Unfortunately I have had a couple of health problems and I had to put recovery as my number one priority. Therefore blogging was put on hold.

People assume that my health concerns happen to many vegans. Actually I have heard many people stop eating a vegan diet because of these health issues.

Today I want to put all of those “typical vegan” assumptions to an end and if you have come across the same health issues as me, I want to reassure you that you don’t have to change or question your vegan diet and lifestyle.

Let’s cut to the chase, after a few months of feeling dizzy, stupidly fatigued, daily headaches, nose bleeds and bruising easily than usual I was diagnosed with anaemia and very low protein levels.

A lot of people commented about my vegan lifestyle being the culprit of my health concerns and some people were really surprised considering my passion towards health and nutrition.

To be 100% honest with you, I wasn’t surprised when I was diagnosed. I knew what it was when I had all the symptoms but I just kept putting off going to the doctors because I thought I didn’t have time to go. I didn’t put my health as my number one priority.

So some say all I need to do is ditch the vegan diet. To that I say bull crap!
That’s the lazy way. That also doesn’t guarantee that I won’t become anaemic again.
When I was younger and forced to eat meat I was diagnosed anaemia. The time that I had the highest iron levels were when I first became vegan!

I became ill because I simply used my busy schedule as an excuse and also my lack of organisation skills for prepping food for the week.

Along with being busy I changed my exercise routine which also required a change in the nutrients I needed.
I began lifting heavy weights again (YAY for weights!). The past few months I have loved the feeling of getting back into weight lifting and seeing my body become stronger. Having said that, I wasn’t seeing fantastic results even though I was dedicated because I didn’t change my diet to suit my new routine. I wasn’t replacing enough of the iron that I was using from my training and I wasn’t repairing my muscles properly with the protein it needed.

So to say that all vegans are prone to being anaemic and being protein deficient would be a decent lie.
Anyone is capable of having defiencies if they don’t look at their own individual health needs that fits their body and lifestyle.

It can take around 3-4 months to fully recover from having anaemia and although I am nearly two months in, I already feel a lot better.

I hardly ever get dizzy anymore and I am seeing great results in my strength.
After months of not wanting to go on protein powders because I don’t like eating preseritives and anything that isn’t natural, I finally came across a protein powder that I am happy with.

It’s made from pea protein, coco and Stevia. THAT’S IT! It’s extremely clean with only 3 ingredients and comes with 23.3g of protein per serve!
I have been buying it from Bulk Nutrients for those interested to check it out, though be sure to see if they can post out of Australia as I am not 100% sure on that one.

As for iron, I have been loved up with spirulina and for now I am also on an iron supplement.
My health and welling is my focus before anything else these days and it feels great to have that type of respect for myself and my body.

As always I’d love to hear your feedback and also if anyone has had a similar concern.

Be kind to yourself,
Lisa xx

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Why You Cant Neglect Your Inner Wellbeing

Hey lovelies!

First of all I want to shout out a huge THANK YOU to everyone who showed their support through my last post.

You have no idea how much your comments and kind words mean to me.

Lately I have been a little extremely slack on my blog posts, and today’s post will shed light as to why I haven’t been as frequent as what I would like to be.

One of the things I am currently working on is getting shit done.

Let me explain…

I am a fantastic procrastinator. When there is something that I know needs to be done but I don’t want to do it, I simply put it off.

Apart from the issue that some things never get done, the real problem is that I get so much anxiety about the tasks not getting done. I then create multiple problems within that one task which could have been rectified before any other problems could occur if I didn’t put it off in the first place!

When I’m stressed about certain tasks and issues I tend to change my focus away from it and head towards something much worse; body image.

It’s extremely common for people who suffer/suffered from an eating disorder to slip into unhealthy habits when times are tough.

Usually when you are in a stressful situation, you don’t have much control over it. By listening to ED’s voice and becoming strict with your diet makes you feel like you have at least some control within your life.

It’s important to know that it’s the eating disorder that gives you the false idea that controlling what you eat will help control other areas within your life.

For the past couple of months I have focused a lot more time and effort into my physical health, and haven’t spent enough time on my inner wellbeing.

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely proud that I have finally reached my goal weight and got my period (you can read about it here) but I found that neglecting the inner health, there is now a build up of emotional work to catch up on so I don’t fall back into ED’s habits.

I am a huge believer that your inner wellbeing is the most important factor when it comes to over-all health. Too often people think that disease and illness come from external factors, but I truly believe that your mind is the biggest influence.

When I write on The Raw Serenity, I feel as though I am brought back to reality. I focus on how I am feeling and what is authentic to me. I tend to respect and listen to what my body is telling me and appreciate everything it has done for me. That is what The Raw Serenity it all about.

If you are a regular reader, you would be aware that at the end of last year I quite all drama in my life.

Only happy and positive people and experiences were welcome in my life. By manifesting this desire I now have a very positive network of friends that help keep negative thoughts at bay but I also find that when I need an instant hit of positivity I go straight to my Pinterest boards.

I find by just looking at my boards that I have created helps bring me back to reality and stops the negativity. I also find some pictures of animals impossible not to laugh at!

My next post is a delicious salad I recently created. It is packed full of flavours, textures and superfoods to support your mind and body.

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa

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What My Period Taught Me

I’m one of those people who is a little too open and honest about personal topics. The topics that other’s would consider awkward.

So people who know me weren’t surprised when my news of getting my period (after being absent for 2 years) nearly went viral.

Now I completely understand that it’s not glamorous to talk about your menstrual cycle, I get it. But what is glamorous, is being healthy.

Getting my periods was my indicator that I was at my ideal weight .My body was absorbing all the nutrients it needed to function properly and recover from the neglect and abuse I once put it through.

I don’t agree with an exact goal weight that comes from using the BMI. Everybody is different and functions better at their own individual weight.

One of the many arguments with my doctor over the years was about getting me to my “goal” weight. Go figure! (no pun intended).

My doctor was all for the pill. In fact, every doctor I spoke with recommended the pill.

This was because when a woman doesn’t ovulate and her hormones are out of balance, calcium and other nutrients aren’t properly absorbed by the body. This then can lead to fragile, brittle bones  and one day osteoporosis.

So by going on the pill and reaching a certain weight that is based on the BMI is exactly what I was being forced to do.

I didn’t want anything to do with the pill. I didn’t want a synthetic period that hides the real issue as to why I’m not getting my own period. I was also aware that the pill takes away many other nutrients from your body and don’t even get me started on how it affects my mood.

Using the BMI as a reference often got me fixated on a certain number based on others when I should be learning to listen to my own body.

I’m glad I stood my ground and stood up for my beliefs on this one.

I have learned to trust my body and not to compare it to others. I won’t lie and say it was easy because it was painfully hard, and some days it still is but knowing that the hard work has paid off, I know now that it was worth it.

Something common among people who suffer from eating disorders is their interest in health and nutrition.

Friends and family often don’t understand this because it is completely contradicting.

Many suffers of anorexia are very knowledgeable about nutrition. Many pursue it as a career, but in the peak of their illness, the meaning of health is disordered.

Its common that suffers often started their diet with the intension to get healthier which then turned into an eating disorder.

When the results from a new diet become visible and your health and energy levels are improving it’s easy to get carried away and take it further.

Not everyone requires the same nutritional needs. This is also why I am against common weight loss diets and programs because everybody is different and requires specialised programs to suit their own unique needs.

For example, the diet and exercise program that once helped me shed a little weight, gave me more energy and helped my overall health and wellbeing became toxic when I stuck with the diet for a long period of time.

When your body weight drops below a healthy level, the fat around your brain also drops so the way you think is altered.

When all fats, including the healthy fats are completely removed from your body, you are more prone to depression. Your body won’t receive all the nutrients that it needs. Energy levels drop and before you know it your overall health is spiralling down and soon it becomes out of control.

So even when people, like myself ate extremely healthy foods during anorexia and through recovery it doesn’t mean that your “healthy” diet is healthy for you or the person next to you.

This is the one thing that took me a long time to deal with.

Through recovery I ate an amazing diet.

Friends and colleges were amazed by how many nuts, avocado’s, seeds and oils I ate every single day and said if they ate that much they would balloon.

Why anyone would say that to someone with an eating disorder is beyond me but as much as that pained me to hear those comments, my body needed those nutrients to help my brain and my body recover.

With all of those amazing healthy fats and wholesome nutrition, I put on weight but it happened extremely slowly. I didn’t balloon at all. (Though some days I felt like I did, which was all in my disordered thinking).

So now that I have reached my goal weight and on the way to being glamorously healthy, what now?

Stay tuned…

As always, I love reading your comments!

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa x

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The Sweet Blogosphere

Did you know that I have never had a conversation with another vegan in person?

Well it’s true (unfortunately).

I have an incredible family and gorgeous friends, but I often feel like I am alone because we are on completely different journeys through life.

It wasn’t until I started blogging that I felt as if I was surrounded by positive people who are going through the exact same obstacles and journeys that I was going through.

This is what I love about the blogosphere; It connects you to each and every one of your soul mates.

From having no one who understands to having so many people walking in the same shoes as you feels incredible.

Maria from Little Miss Cornucopia nominated me for my first ever award! The Super Sweet Blogging Award.

It is such a great compliment and she has warmed my heart by nominating me.

So thank you Maria for your heart filled comments on my blog and also for the nomination!

Rules for the Super Sweet Blogging Award:

  1. Give credit to the person who nominated you.
  2. Nominate a Baker’s Dozen (13) other blogs. ( I think I’ll only be able to nominate a few)
  3. Post the award on your blog.
  4. Answer the following 5 “Super Sweet” questions:
  1. Cookies or Cake?
    I am a cake lover for sure! At the moment I’m loving my Ridiculously Healthy Banana Muffins.
  2. Chocolate or vanilla?
    Chocolate because I am obsessed with Cacao. I don’t go a day without it! The health benefits of raw organic cacao are too good not to have in your diet every day.
  3. What is your favourite sweet treat?
    Cacao Delights and Banana nice-cream.. I just can’t choose between the two!
  4. When do you crave sweet things the most?
    The late afternoon and in the evening
  5. If you had a sweet nickname what would it be?
    My nickname through high school was LuLu

Nominations for the award:

Vegan Sparkles:
This girl is a like a breath of fresh air. I love her bubbly personality and her love of delicious, healthy vegan food. Did I mention she is an awesome Aussie!

Peace, Love & Greens:
Lola is very dear to me. She’s another Aussie, wellness warrior and knows the importance of connecting with your inner self. Her comments have inspired me and kept me going. I look forward to meeting her in the near future.

This Rawsome Vegan Life:
The queen of raw foods! This chick knows her stuff when it comes to taste and she throws out the stereotype of raw vegans eating only rabbit food. She eats a huge variety of mouth watering meals. Inspiring.

A Dash Of Meg:
I love Meg’s positivity and her weekly High-Five Friday.
She encourages people to be proud of themselves and have a healthy fulfilling life.
I love her passion for health and fitness.

Celery and Cupcakes:
Jemma shares her love for health, fitness, food and fashion. One thing that really inspired me was that Jemma is always honest and overcame the guilt of not exercising for an “X” amount of time. I’m so proud of her that she has learnt to respect her body and give it more self love! Very inspiring.

I am so glad I have been able to connect with all of you and these awesome girls.

Together we can all help and inspire others to live their own authentic lives filled with health and happiness.

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa

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Ridiculously Healthy Banana Bread/Muffins

Hey lovelies,

Recently I have been a little quite here on The Raw Serenity and I do apologize for that.

I have been caught up in other commitments and I will admit I have neglected my “down time” which I now know is extremely important to prioritise!

Anyways on the positive side, I have tackled some serious obstacles of mine.

I have taken on some foods that I haven’t eaten in a very long time due to listening to the lies of my eating disorder and I have been trying to remove all of the bullshit brainwashing about certain foods and diets.

The media has been telling us for years that carbs put on weight. They have made us become frightened of eating any type of carbohydrate.

Just like fat, not all carbohydrates put on weight. We need a certain amount of carbohydrates daily in order for our bodies to function correctly.

More than any diet claims there is, the claim about fruit making people put on weight irritates me the most.

That irritates me just by mentioning it, so anyways the main point is ,I am not denying my body of certain foods anymore. Instead I am listening and fueling my body with a wide variety of healthy, whole foods from every food group.

Another claim that frustrates me is that vegan food can’t be delicious and also healthy whole foods can’t taste nearly as good as the processed, refined foods.

So to argue the point, I have created ridiculously delicious and nutritious banana bread /muffins!

They have:

  • No added sugar
  • Fat Free
  • Wholegrain
  • No artificial colours or flavours
  • No artificial sweeteners
  • Organic

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Organic Wholegrain Spelt Flour
  • 1 tsp baking Soda
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp pink Himalayan salt (or regular sea salt)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 Almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • ½ cup date syrup* ( see recipe below)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ tsp organic vanilla extract
  • 2 cups over ripe mashed bananas ( roughly 5 medium bananas)
  • 1 tbsp stevia

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Combine dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add wet ingredients into the bowl and mix in with a spoon or hands (don’t over mix).

Pour mixture into muffin liners or bread tin and bake for 20-25mins.

* I made my own date syrup by using two handfuls of dates into the food processer and slowly adding water until it resembled a syrup consistency

So I hate to tell you I told you so but really this recipe proves the point that healthy vegan baking is truly amazing for your health and your taste-buds.

What is one health claim that you are  often correcting for people?

Be kind to yourself,

Lisa

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