Monday, 27 September 2010

Phase 2: Veganism and Active Lifestyle

It's officially been four weeks since I have been losing weight seriously and so far, so good.  I've managed to shift from 176.6lbs to 167.8lbs in a month - that's 8.8lbs gone (which is great because 8 so happens to be a lucky number!).  I am ecstatic, overjoyed, proud and motivated and that's exactly why I started to this journey, because before I was a real mess.

Having gone through a small yet significant period of time losing weight, I've been researching and modifying my 'plan' and it's finally time to share Phase 2 with you.  You may recall that in Phase 1, my outlined plan was mostly to do with sleeping well, drinking fluids, calorie counting and moderate exercise, and this has worked fantastically.  I'm about to shake things up a bit because I've come across the most inspiring 'diet' book and it's totally transformed me as a person and the way I think and feel about food and life.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am now officially a Vegan.  Quite a jump isn't it?   You see actually it seemed the natural course of things.  I started off the journey throwing out anything that was processed and I no longer touched food if it wasn't natural.  I stopped snacking, I upped my fruit and vegetable intake, drank a ton of water and cut out red meat.  I did this because I felt it was the healthiest way to live and I knew for sure that that would make me lose weight - guaranteed.  However I also knew at one point I would have to modify my plan due to the complex yet not so complicated biology of the body; hence why I knew there would be more than one phase. 
As it happened, I began to consume less dairy products due to the fact that they were relatively high in saturated fat and so all of a sudden I stopped eating things like ice cream, cheese and butter and then only consuming low fat yoghurt and milk.  Everything was going swimmingly until I came across a certain video that I shall link you to in my next post (the reason for doing this is because I want to talk about the diet itself in detail, in this post we shall just review my plan). 

It happened to be Alicia Silverstone (star of Clueless) talking about her book and her diet - The Kind Diet, which has been out and extremely popular for a number of years.  Of course I was sceptical but it was something to do whilst painting my nails so I tuned in and listened. 

I was in total awe of everything she said and not only was I captivated by the glow of this beautiful woman but I was hit hard because all of a sudden I felt like everything I wanted to be was right there being explained to me.  A Vegan!  In the video she basically briefly goes over everything she writes in her book and talks about how living a vegan is the best way to be human.  She not only talks of weight loss but she talks of animals, the planet, the body and the food.  It was then that I realised that Vegan is what I wanted to become because it made sense to me (and I'm sure it will make sense to you when you read my next post, or if you have read the book!).  I watched the video around week 2 (yes I discovered her video halfway through Phase 1!), trialled it briefly in week three, gave it a good shot on week four and now I am pretty much converted.  I have to say, I am impressed with myself.

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The most important thing is that I feel so good, so good! Being Vegan and eating the way Alicia suggests in the book not only will drop your weight but it will heal you from within and I can totally feel that - so do all the other converts!  The diet consists of almost zero saturated fats, it's low in sugar, plant based, filling and very, very delicious.  It's also a very peaceful way of eating (and living) and you will understand what I'm saying when you read deeper into it.  After one week of The Kind Diet in my life, I quickly dropped 2lbs, my face is slimmer, I'm always energetic (and slightly giddy), my skin is looking incredibly, my hair is feeling strong, my nails are strengthening, my brain is sharper and on top of that, I'm really, really happy.  I've also learned a lot about food and the world just by reading the book so I highly recommend you all to buy a copy.

What really got me is that a lot of what she says correlates to a lot of what Michael Pollan writes in 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' and that book is seriously ground breaking for me.  It all makes perfect sense; be kind to the world and be kind to your body. 

In Phase 2 you will see me:

  1. Embrace Veganism as much as I can (sometimes it's difficult especially in family social get-togethers.  But I will be the best that I can be)
  2. Roughly eat around 1200kcal (but not count obsessively) and a bit more when I exercise.  It's really hard to eat over that on this diet...and I'm never hungry!
  3. Run three times a week or more
  4. Do Resistance training three/four times a week
  5. Aim to sleep minimum 8 hours a night

That's as simple as it gets.  I know a few of you will be curious to know what my food is like and hopefully you will read my next post and you will keep popping back to see recipes and food pictures.  To give you an idea of what I eat these days I will give you a rough outline:

  • Breakfast: A Smoothie / Porridge made with Oat or Soya Milk / Vegan friendly cereals with Oak Milk
  • Snacks: Fruit / Vegetables / Handful of nuts and granola / dried fruit
  • Lunch: Brown rice and veggies / Tabouleh / Beans and Salad / Falafel and Pitta Bread / Sauerkraut, Rice and Veggies
  • Dinner: Bean Stew / Udon Noodles and Veggies / Tofu, Miso and Rice / Soup
  • Dessert: Vegan friendly desserts / Baked Fruits / Tea

That's it folks, join me in my next post for a detailed explanation of the new lifestyle and the book! 

Helen

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