How's it going friends? How was your weekend? Mine was pretty great! I was pretty busy with life stuff which is why this post didn't happen sooner. Whoops! The thing that matters is that you're reading it now, right!? As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted to do a more detailed post about Raw Till 4. I got a lot of people who were interested in it. I was surprised and super excited. So here it is! I began learning more about Raw Till 4 at the beginning of this year. I happened to stumble across it on accident and became very interested in the concept. Here's a rundown of what it's all about. Each day you eat raw fruits and veggies, mainly fruits though, until dinnertime. Each fruit meal should be around 1,000 calories and restriction is not allowed. You eat in abundance! Any fruits that you're hungry for or craving, eat 'em. Then for dinner you eat a cooked meal of rice, potatoes, pasta, etc. with a minimum of 500 calories. As many of you know, I do not promote counting calories and I do not talk about them much. A large portion of people who ask me about calories are those who restrict or have a negative view on calories. I am a huge advocate of counting calories in a positive way. Making sure that you are eating enough plant foods is a crucial part of succeeding on Raw Till 4, especially in the beginning. I no longer count calories like I did in the beginning stages of Raw Till 4. But I do on random occasions just to make sure that I'm consuming enough. Raw Till 4 is a lifestyle that will heal your mind and body. Almost everyone comes from a past of unhealthy eating; eating disorders, dieting, a diet high is processed foods, etc. By transitioning into the Raw Till 4 lifestyle, you're healing your body from all of the past damages that you have done. The goal is to consume a majority of your intake from carbohydrates such as fresh fruits, some veggies, and some cooked starch foods. Your macronutrients should be in the range of 80% carbohydrates, 10% fats, and 10% proteins. Carbohydrates are a main source of energy which we use to power through our busy days. Carbs are not bad, they're fuel! Our bodies do not need excess amounts of fats or proteins. I usually eat in the ratio of 90% carbohydrates, 5% fats, and 5% proteins. I don't worry about getting enough protein and I'm fine! I recently had my blood levels checked and everything was great! A typical day would consist of fruits such as dates, bananas, melons, berries, etc. for breakfast and lunch. For dinner you would have a large portion of potatoes prepared how you prefer or a large bowl of rice with fresh or steamed veggies. Monomeals are also great, especially in the early stages of Raw Till 4. A monomeal is a meal consisting of one single food, such as 10 bananas. And no, you won't overdose on postassium. That's impossible! By eating one plant based food, you're giving your body a chance to ease up on the digestive process and heal from past damages. Ten bananas are a lot easier for your body to digest than eating a wider variety of fruits and veggies at once. I do a lot of monomeals! Usually 2 out of my 3 meals each day are monomeals. This is just a suggestion to help the healing process of your body and I find that it really is beneficial. Food combining is important as well. At first it can be a little confusing and overwhelming but you learn it quickly. Some fruits do not digest well with other fruits. For example, melons have a high water content and are best when ate alone. Definitely a favorite of mine! By "carbing up" throughout the whole day, your body will no longer crave "bad foods" or mindless snacks. I never ever thought that I wouldn't crave or take a gluten free vegan cupcake or cookie when offered. But I don't really have many desires for those foods anymore! I eat to feel good and eating pure carbohydrates does that. But I do eat cakes, cookies, etc. on rare occasions when the opportunity allows itself and think it's totally okay to do every once in a while. Being strict with any part of your life isn't healthy, in my opinion. It's all about balance! Food isn't the only important aspect of Raw Till 4. Hydration is so important as well. It's recommended to drink around 3-4 liters of water per day. One in the morning upon waking up, one before each meal, and more as desired. Drinking plenty of water hydrates your cells and keeps your system moving smoothly. By consuming a diet high in carbohydrates you will be filled with energy. It's great! You will want to exercise and be active. I typically workout every other day but I am active each day. On the days that I workout I usually ride my bike or go for a run. Keeping a consistent exercise routine is important. Consistency is the key to success. Sleep and low stress levels are important in life as well. Get enough sleep! Sleeping 8+ hours per night is so important. Sleep improves your physical, mental, and emotional health and well being. By not getting enough sleep, you're letting your body become rundown which lowers your brain function, immune system, etc. No good! Keeping your stress levels low is a huge component too. By reducing stress and increasing sleep you will notice a difference in your overall health and happiness. I have come to a realization that most things that I stressed about in the past are not things worth worrying about. Becoming more in tune with your body by eating more plant based carbohydrates opens up a whole different side of you that you will find comforting and relaxing. As many of you know, I believe that knowledge is power. The more you know, the better off you'll be! I find that to be true in all aspects of life. That is why I'm writing this to share with you guys! I did a lot of research prior to transitioning into all of my different lifestyles. Before going gluten free I read a lot about it, same with veganism and Raw Till 4. You are much more likely to succeed at anything if you prepare and become educated on the topic. Plus, learning new things is fun! Here are some of my main sources of knowledge and inspiration. These have all helped me immensely and I hope that they're able to do the same for you! ________________________________________________________________________________ Freelee the Banana Girl - I happened to stumble across Freelee's channel one day. She's quite popular in the vegan community and is a great help. She is passionate about veganism and her main goal is to get the message out and help others. ________________________________________________________________________________ Raw Till 4 Facebook Group - This group is truly wonderful. I'm not a big fan of Facebook in general but this group makes Facebook so awesome. The group has over 20,000 members and is growing each day, so great! Raw Till 4'ers come together on this page to support and help one another. You have the option to post a food diary and the admins of the group are so generous to help lead you onto the path of success with this lifestyle. Join and check it out! ________________________________________________________________________________ Cronometer - Cronometer is a great website for calorie counting (in a healthy way!!) and tracking your nutrient levels. The only calorie counting site that I'll use. They have a phone app as well! ________________________________________________________________________________ Rice and Raw - Rice and Raw is another Youtube channel ran by a girl named Sasha. She has a lot of great videos that I watched during my initial transition stages. They were all such a help. She's very knowledgable and so fun to watch! ________________________________________________________________________________ ADAPTT is one of the best websites on the internet, really. Created by Gary Yourofsky, an extremely passionate man who is out there spreading the vegan message. Great site with tons of great information! Not really related to Raw Till 4, but a super awesome site nonetheless. ________________________________________________________________________________ Banana TV - Banana TV is a Youtube channel that offers information on a large variety of topics such as diet, exercise, lifestyle, etc. ran by Cayley and Nicole. They're informative and love helping out when help is needed! ________________________________________________________________________________ Food Combining Chart - I linked this above but feel that it is very important to follow! ________________________________________________________________________________ Create N Plate Youtube - You guys can check me out on Youtube too. I haven't really promoted my Youtube channel yet, until now I guess. But I post some things mainly about Raw Till 4 and a vegan lifestyle. Check it out! ________________________________________________________________________________ That's all for today! As you can see, I highly recommend and love Raw Till 4 along with many others. Check out #rawtill4 on Instagram and look at all of the awesome food that people are sharing. So fun! If any of you are interested in starting Raw Till 4 and need a little more help and guidance, do not hesitate to contact me! Comment, shoot me an email, Instagram, or Facebook and I'd be glad to help you out! Thanks for reading and talk to you guys soon!