Posts Tagged ‘wheatgrass’

Common questions answered on the RawOrganicFood lifestyle

**What exactly does it mean to have a RAW food based lifestyle?

Technically, a RAW foodist is anyone who consumes 70-80% of their total daily caloric intake from RAW foods. In my short journey to this next phase of health I have been consistently asked about eating meat etc. I started eating meat in very small portions. I feel that the key to optimal health and longevity (which is why I started this blog) lies in the ability to listen to your body and nourish your body with a balanced diet.

I will follow this up with the fact that there is no “correct way” to do this. It is up to you, your level of knowledge, your current health status and your lifestyle that will determine the appropriate balance. You must also learn to listen to your intuition to help determine the appropriate balance. The key however, is to eliminate the over consumption of highly processed foods which are vastly abundant and clearly deteriorating our health.

**What exactly is considered a RAW FOOD?

Raw food is anything that has not been processed by chemicals in any way from its natural state nor has it been heated above 105 degrees F.

RAW food is known to be rich in nutrients and live enzymes which help the body to establish its perfect homeostatic balance which will lead to  the bodies own ability to repair and heal itself and reach ultimate potential in health.

I have had first hand experience with this truth. When I used to weight train – I had a tremendously long and difficult recovery time. After including lots of RAW foods and juices I found that my recovery time cut in half.

**Does a RAW food diet have to be Vegan or Vegetarian?

No, you do not have to be … you can consume RAW milk, eggs and meat technically and you would still be considered  eating a RAW food diet. This not practical and for many, undesirable, due to the uncertain sources of the dairy, eggs and meat products.

I cook my meat but I do not bake, broil, fry or grill. I use a slow cooker or boil for a short period of time. The key is to preserve as many of the nutrients as possible however you are still degrading the enzymes so it is important to balance your diet  with RAW foods as well.

One can use RAW honey, jelly and bee pollen. A Vegan would not even eat that.

This leads me to my next question which I see a need to clear up.

**What is VEGAN?

Vegan is a lifestyle with which one does not consume (eating OR using) anything that comes out of an animal or insects.

A true vegan would not consume honey, royal jelly or bee pollen much less dairy or eggs.

This stems from ones own belief system than from health concerns.

**What are some of the common downsides to a RAW food diet if not implemented correctly?

One of the biggest issues is the over consumption of carbohydrates and natural sugar rich foods such as: Fruits, honeys and other natural sweeteners such as Agave Syrups.

I have found the best benefit of RAW foods to come from vegetables and dark leafy greens in my diet as well as a variety of sprouts and RAW nuts and seeds.

It depends on your lifestyle and what you are trying to accomplish – precisely how to adjust your RAWORGANICFOODDIET.

**How has this transition in my life been received and my response to it?

Many have come to me for consultations and more information on this new path. They have been eager to learn from my experiences and use them to improve their overall health and diet.

Others are stuck in a vicious cycle of repeating the same thing over and over… they perhaps are not ready to take it to the next level. This too, is ok. It is imperative that you are ready, willing and able to take on the tough task of changing old habits.

It is a hard concept for some to grasp- especially those that knew me at 275 pounds of what I thought was solid muscle… I was a huge meat eater and thought the more protein ingested the better.

Now – I am 45 pounds lighter… and have completely changed my diet, health and lifestyle habits. Funny thing is, I used to think I was healthy. Only through my constant seeking of longevity and vitality did I find that I was not fully matured on my road to health.

The key here is that you never stop learning. When you stop learning, you stop growing. Therefore, many of the practices and ways that I used to teach have since changed as my knowledge base has increased.

I learn, I implement in my own life, and I pass it on.

The Alex who wakes every morning thirty minutes early to juice and prepare raw salads and foods for the day – is a far cry from the Alex that used to ingest pounds and pounds of meat and cooked foods during the week. It all comes down to putting the body in an optimal state of health to be able to perform the countless functions it needs to daily with as little stress possible.

It is about overall health and vitality.. energy and repair, and minimal stress and a little less about size, strength and false images of health.

I hope that I was able to answer some of your questions here today and I look forward to sharing my journey with you. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions at all… I am pleased to answer any general questions. For those that are more specific or in depth I am open for consultations.

In health,

Alex Poptodorov

RAWORGANICFOODDIET enthusiast

 

 

The beginning of my RAW FOOD lifestyle

There was a time in my life where I would have stared you straight in the face and laughed had you ever told me I would turn a raw foodist. I was always used to being called by names such as BIG GUY, TOUGH GUY…. you name it. It became a chore for me to keep up with this image. It started to become my identity. I was always into health and wellness and for many many years I thought I was in the top 10% of healthy individuals. I was involved heavily in competitive bodybuilding, Powerlifting and Olympic style weightlifting. The latter having been my favorite. I held the assumption that the bigger I was, the better I would be at all three.

Well, I was wrong. MANY signs started to pop up letting me know this and for a while… I was in denial. I had nagging aches and pains, annoying injuries  and I was irritable all the time. My energy was literally non existent and I began to rely on 2-4 Black eye (double shot) Venti coffees from Starbucks PER DAY. This became an every day ritual just for me to be able to get by.

I blamed these happenings on other things. I was tired. Overworked. Perhaps slightly stressed. Last year and the year before were difficult on all of us with the economy and I passed it off as “NORMAL”.

August of last year I suffered a non training related back injury that resulted in me stopping my Olympic Style weightlifting training. I made the decision to let my back rest and heal and opted for a Bodybuilding show to keep me involved in my sports. The training is not nearly as intense and I could easily work around my injuries while it healed … well, so I thought.

I began to hurt myself in another way… here is the beginning of my journey to RAW food nutrition.

My wife and I competed in the Tampa Bay Classic. Again, it was a sign of health to body build and I wanted to do so for myself and to give our clients something to strive for. I felt as if I was being healthy by ingesting literally pounds a week of chicken in prep for this show. I ate cooked meat every couple of hours, all day long for WEEKS on end. I was literally stressing my body out with an over consumption of meat and little nutritional value as I was (unbeknownst) to me COOKING it all out! I was also cooking out all of the nutrients and enzymes from the vegetables I was ingesting everyday. In addition to stomach upset, bloating, gas and constipation (UGH but true) I was becoming increasingly irritable.

I managed to get through the prep stage for this show and literally a day after walking off stage – my body just shut down.  While I looked “amazing” based on societys standards at a lean 4%, I felt like I was dying inside. My joints ached tremendously and my mind finally clicked that my body had enough! I was dehydrated – my digestive system was not functioning properly taking nearly a week to have a bowel movement. I was even taking herbal supplements to try to help with this and my body would not respond. I was beyond exhausted. No stimulants or coffee would do the trick. I literally remember laying in bed, not being able to get up to workout or do anything. I remember clearly thinking – if this is the price of health… it is not worth it. After much research looking for an answer to my dilemma it literally smacked me in the face. THIS WAS NOT HEALTH. I, being a fitness professional for 16 years failed to see that health was far beyond the shell- it starts at a cellular level.

It starts with feeding your body the nutrients and enzymes that it so clearly needs. I began to dive into books, studying for hours on end, researching on the internet and contacting (and spending hundreds of dollars) on phone consultations with some of the worlds leading experts in true natural health, vitality and longevity. I was able to extract the answer to my problem. I was adrenally exhausted and feeding my body way too much MEAT and dead food.

I began to set a plan in place to reverse the effects of the damage I had done over the years. You must understand especially if you are currently in the position I was in that it takes time. This is a process of rebuilding and repairing your body back to health. After much research on food, enzymes and nutrients it was clear to me that FOOD was going to be my medicine. This is the only true medicine there is. How and what you feed your body will determine if you will live a life zapped of energy and little zest with disease looming in your future or if you will flourish and be vibrant, and FULL of energy! I went through this very process myself and I am a living testament to the fact that this does work if initiated properly.

My plan that I aggressively followed was as such:

After reading and researching the countless benefits of NUTRITIONAL JUICING I began to research (for almost 2 months) what the best juicer on the market was. I purchased this machine that would be an integral part of my healing.

In the morning, upon waking I would go straight to my juicer to make fresh wheatgrass juice. Second, I would pull out about ten to fifteen different kinds of vegetables (ALL ORGANIC!) and make a liter and a half of juice per day. Depending on your body, your level, your goals and your toxicity level- this will determine the best juicing recipe for you. There are countless combiniations.

I would drink about 1/3 of this juice and store the rest in a glass, airtight container for later use throughout the day.

Third, after drinking my juice I would make my superfood smoothie. This is a combination of a special recipe I created that includes a blend of superfoods and the highest quality plant based protein. The smoothie provides the nutrients needed to help sustain my muscle mass and my training style along with excellent recovery.

For the rest of the day, I would make large “LIVE” salads with nuts, seeds, sprouts, vegetables and healthy oils.

The first 2.5- 3 months were the hardest. Within days after starting my program I began to experience the heavy detox effects such as breaking out, several lethargy, blisters (YES!) around my lower spine which I later found out from my Holistic doctor was a sign of viral and bacterial infections from over the years. Mind you, I never had any sickness or infections besides the regular flu/cold that would hit once or twice per year. This did not stop here. I also got bad breath (never had it) headaches, body aches and so on. You get my point. It was not pleasant. What is more shocking however, is that I am considered ABOVE AVERAGE on the health spectrum. What do you think is going on inside the body of someone who drinks regularly, using drugs (ANY KIND) or smokes… not to mention the countless people out there with horrible eating habits or illnesses?

Towards the end of the second month during the last week, I started to hit rock bottom. I had so little energy I could not get out of bed. The blisters on my lower back were getting larger and growing in number to the point that I almost went to a Dermatologist… they looked like cancerous moles. Just when I thought something was incredibly wrong- and all of this good I was doing was going unaccounted for – the most amazing thing happened.

I remember waking up one day – after a restful nights sleep (unlike any I had in years) and I was full of energy! My complexion was amazing – the spots on my back were almost gone and had completely disappeared after 2 days! At this point I weighed 218 pounds down 52 pounds since the beginning of this journey. I have not weighed this little since Jr. high but it felt natural! My joints stopped aching like they once did – nothing ached! You must remember I was floating between 270-275…. ! This was not the weight my structure was supposed to support. It was an overabundance of muscle fueled by DEAD food.

At 218 lean pounds and with a fresh start on life – it was time to rebuild… the truly healthy way! I have been in the “rebuilding” phase for the past three months. My weight is up to 225 and my strength is climbing steadily as well however, my energy, my workouts and my recovery from workouts are unlike anything I have experienced before! AMAZING!

This is a type of transformation that not many have experienced. Usually people who embark on this journey are very sick or terminally ill. Pretty much, this type of healing is their last resort. For me, I was blessed to recognize the signs and symptoms before my body responded with heavy disease. Basically, from what I have gathered from those similar to me, it takes about 6 months to one  yearfrom the time you start to detox to completely rebuild and reach peak performance. Stay tuned for videos, blogs posts and updates on my journey.

Today – I see the ultimate benefit of RAW FOOD nutrition and juicing … it is a part of my life and from this point on always will be. I have experienced in a short period of time and journey and transition to ULTIMATE HEALTH that everyone should experience!

PS- watch the video below to see my performance in my first (in TWO years) Olympic Weightlifting competition on the platform! This was my best performance yet with more to come – all done on a RAW/ORGANIC FOOD and nutritional juicing diet! Just amazing!

Thanks for being a part of this journey with me!

In RAW health,

Alex