One Month Vegan

What a whirlwind! 

My first two weeks vegan felt great – I felt nourished, inspired, vibrant. (A little self-righteous the BF says, as it’s pretty hard not to let the dogmatic vegan mindset sneak in. The vegan police are always watching!!) Towards the middle of the third week I lost a lot of that vibrancy. I felt tired, sluggish, totally unfocused and like I walking around in a shell of my body. My headache frequency increased massively!! I logged 6 headaches at a 7-10 severity in the span of two weeks! As I write this I’m wincing through about a 7.5 headache. On top of this, I’ve been hungry – like ravenous- all. the. time. 

This is 1000% not okay with me. Something’s gotta give. 

The hunger is likely just a side effect of adjusting to a new diet. I don’t think it’s because of stepping away from restricting, because honestly I wasn’t restricting that much before and when I was it was short lived. The excruciating hunger pangs were probably due to a mindset of limitless food availability and a genuine want for nutrients. 

The headaches – and by that I mean a hot prod being screwed through the back of my skull to the back of my eye – I can’t explain. I don’t know what is causing the increase in frequency and severity of them, but I really really hate it and it’s a pretty clear correlation to this diet change in my mind. I had them before, but they were very much under control and now they are not. 
My weight fluctuated between 221lbs and 226lbs the whole month. As of today, August 1 2017, im sitting at that lovely 226lbs. 
I have drowned myself in information about food science, nutrition, disease prevention, fitness etc etc etc in these past four weeks. I’ve held on to this behaviour for most of my life but this month really brought forward the detrimental effects of my habit. I study so much and crave for so much knowledge – most of which I’ve already learned and/or heard before – but I don’t do it. I don’t apply anything! Maybe it’s because there’s so much information that it’s overwhelming so I don’t know what to listen to. Or maybe that’s a super convenient excuse. 

Bottom line is, dreams don’t work unless you do. 

It’s time to get to work. 

It’s been 7 months of talking about it, blogging about it, instagraming about it, annoying the hell out of everyone in my life about it, and here I stand, severely overweight, doing nothing but drive myself crazy over it. Enough is seriously god damn enough! 

Stop obsessing over every little detail. The best exercise is the one you will actually do – the one you actually enjoy. The best diet is the one that nourishes you – the one you’ll actually eat. A birthday is a day to celebrate, not a day to nosedive into a hell you’ve been to time and time again and that you keep fighting tooth and nail to climb back out of . It’s a day. You don’t have to keep fighting. You just have to stop giving up. You don’t have to believe in yourself, because that’s probably pretty hard to do right now. You just have to believe in the you that you are going to become. Envision her. Embody her. Be kind to her. She is you. 

Advertisements

Day 197

This year just keeps flying by!! 

I’ve been really focusing on intuitive eating/releasing from the “diet mind” within the borders of plant-based vegan eating. I did really well! But as always the weekend poses delightful temptations like pastas and tacos and coconut ice cream. That’s okay! Part of the process of letting go of a diet mindset is no longer thinking of food as good and bad, healthy and “cheat” foods. Food is food. Want it? Eat it! It’s really really really okay. 

A lot of chronic dieters will be familiar with the “last supper” – the night before going on a diet where you binge and binge on all the foods you’re about to forbid from yourself,  then punish yourself the next day by not eating, purging, or over exercising. It totally works because the morning after you feel like absolute hell and never even want to look at food again. You’re convinced that you can totally do a 365 day water fast, like that guy who lost half his body weight by doing just that! Eventually though, the gusto passes and the cycle repeats and repeats and repeats for years until you finally pick up a book titled “Big Girl : How I Stopped Dieting and Got a Life” (as I mentioned in my last post). When the moment comes that you are compelled to pick up a book like that, you know your time has come.

What intuitive eating – or really just normal people eating – emphasizes is that nothing is off the table. Food is just food. And what kinda sucks about that is that once you’re past the novelty of being “allowed” to eat whatever whenever, some of the “bad” foods you thought you would die without are kinda disappointing. This happened to me with pasta. I’ve never in my life been truly mind blown by a bowl of pasta, yet it was one of my go-to binge foods! It’s pretty meh. (Aside, of course, from my brother in laws pesto!) 

Same with meat for me. Meh. Chicken is sooooo slimy!!! Always! Turkey tastes like actual ass to me and is always dry. Fuck cold cuts. The one and only time I ever had a foodgasm from meat, was when I was in Paris eating duck in a garlic butter sauce. Even then, it was probably the sauce that gave me the lady boner of a lifetime. 

When you’re used to this type of mindless, tasteless eating, eating for volume and not for pleasure as we so often do in this facts paced North American society, it’s hard to admit once you wake up that a lot of the food you think you like is actually a load of crap. 

This is work. Constant work. Sometimes you don’t wanna “be mindful”. It’s exhausting!! Sometimes you just want want a big disappointing bowl of gross pasta. That’s all fine. It’s totally okay to have gross pasta anytime you want! The point is that you gotta keep showing up, every day. You gotta be okay with what your body is telling you. When you’re used to being a couch potato and your body suddenly starts saying “HEY!! I wanna go for a run!” you sometimes think “are you freaking kidding me!? That means I’ll like…improve and stuff. I’ll get better at this thing I love doing but am not yet comfortable admitting I like because that means my life is different now. It means my life is not just eat, work, Netflix, sleep. I don’t know how to deal with that right now.” 

And that’s ok too. Just keep showing up. 

Total weight loss to date: -28.4lbs 🙂 

A celebratory haircut! Bangs! 😍

Vegan diaries – week one

7 full days oil free whole foods plant based vegan complete! 

It has clearly been anything but deprived. This coconut based ice cream was a delicious treat for my mildly sore throats this weekend.

Lots of raw fruits and veggies, delicious Mexican inspired lentil black bean veggie …dish.

Home made 100% vegan oil free pad Thai!

Typical work lunch of berry smoothie and raw veggies with guacamole. 

Amazing bean salad we found at Costco for convinience!

Always room for dark chocolate!


This was day 1 ^ and I hadn’t yet decided to to take the full plunge into vegan, and had only committed to vegetarian at this point so there’s some dairy pictured above. 
I haven’t felt this good in a long time. I tried running just to run- not timed or tracked in any way and I felt unbelievably amazing! My knees did not ache, my lungs breathed with their full capacity and I felt like I could run forever. Hello marathon training! 

I’ve been trying to cultivate a home yoga practice with the goal of getting into crow pose and today I did!! It wasn’t perfect but I got both feet off the ground and balanced for about 5 solid beautiful seconds! Haha! 

I feel nourished and clean. This is only the beginning 🙂 


Post crow pose excitement! 

June

Hello friends! It’s been a while. I’ve been in a cocoon of self discovery and thought. Look at me, showing my millennial-ism!

This month I’ve been influenced by three things:

  1. My own deep-seated desire to live a truly optimal life, connect to what is actually important to me, and feel good daily.
  2. This book: Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life (by Kelsey Miller) https://www.amazon.ca/Big-Girl-Gave-Dieting-Life/dp/1455532630
  3. This documentary: What the Health http://www.whatthehealthfilm.com/

These are two amazing sources of knowledge and inspiration and I highly recommend both of them for different reasons. How I Gave Up Dieting and Got a Life speaks to me as a fat child hiding in the pantry eating handfuls of chocolate chips. It speaks to me as a young adult who intellectually knows better than what the diet industry stuffs down my throat day in and day out, yet am still influenced by pretty pictures online that spiral me into a pit of self loathing. It is funny, it is courageous, it is inspiring, it is worth your time to read it.

What the Health speaks to me as the girl who was vegetarian/vegan for 7 years, then met a boy and fell asleep for 3. When I was vegetarian, I was still fat. I was a “carbovore” meaning even though I didn’t eat meat I still ate like shit. Potato chips are vegan, guys. I believe that when I started eating meat at the time I met my boyfriend, I did so in part out of insecurity. I liked him, I liked his family and I wanted to be a part of it and I thought this was the only way. Meals are a big deal. Sunday breakfasts at his grandmas house, piled high with chocolate dipped bacon. Summer barbeques with grilled steak and chicken galore. I believe that when I started eating meat I felt better and stronger simply because I was at least eating real food! Meat and veggies not just white pasta and moscato wine. (True story). Now, as I come to the decision to once again be true to my own beliefs, comfortably settled in my relationship and my place in his family, I can fearlessly embark on the journey of eating a truly plant based, vegan diet.

Recently I’ve been thinking about my own longevity. My grandmother died almost one year ago and she had a very long and heartbreaking battle with Alzheimer’s dementia. I loved and adored my grandma very much and her death cut me so deep – not her actual death (I was glad she was finally released from the hideous clutch of this terrible disease) but watching the life slowly slip from her eyes day after day for years. This is not a fate I wish upon even my worst enemy. This is a disease that I want to spend every ounce of my energy preventing for myself. So I started doing some research…

Disclaimer: Although this is my blog, I am not going to use it as a soapbox to mitigate my own propaganda campaign. If you are interested in the benefits of veganism, in the role that government corporations have in keeping us sick rather than preventing illness, then I invite you to conduct your own research or watch a documentary like What the Health that wraps it all up in a neat little bow (with very little gore, if you are worried about that). I will only discuss what I have personally been feeling this past month.

The diseases that worry me the most are Alzheimer’s, genetic factor 5 lanolin blood clotting disorder (DVT – deep venous thrombosis), and diabetes/heart disease because they all run in my family and I personally have been diagnosed with DVT. In all my research, despite the many factors that contribute to each of these diseases, the common denominator for PREVENTION and in some cases treatment and reversal is a plant based diet. 

Dude, where do you get your protein?

1. ALL PROTEIN COMES FROM PLANTS. Animals eat plants. We eat animals. Therefore: we eat recycled plant protein through animals.

2. No human who eats an adequate amount of calories is protein deficient. We have been sold the idea of needing copious amounts of protein from the industries that stand to gain the most from our consumption of it. And bodybuilders.

End of soapbox.

In the past few months I have flirted with the idea of going back to veganism, but in a much more conscious way than I previously lived. I’m not about to go back to mowing down on a pound of spaghetti every night. I’ve declared it aloud several times, to the dismay of my boyfriend, who simply knows no other way. Take meat and animal products out of the equation and suddenly its “there’s no food in the house only ingredients!” He also chooses to be informed yet ignorant – which I have been for the past three years of our relationship, so I can respect the choice. At least you are aware, what you choose to do with that information is up to you, no judgement.

While he is away, I don’t eat meat. It doesn’t even cross my mind. I would never cook it for myself. I do not crave it, or feel as though I need it in some kind of primal way. Yet I notice how much better I feel without it, and how immediately awful I feel once it is back in my system. The awfulness subsides after a few days and the dull, constant minor fatigue and weakness becomes the new normal once again. Why do we do this? We find something that feels good, that feels right in our bodies and then we just…fuck it. Is it too much work? Is it because it’s hard to have a household with two different diets? Is it because it just… tastes good? Is that really enough to continue making ourselves sick?

I don’t think so.

In conjunction with a lot of talk about veganism is a lot of talk about the keto diet, which I’ve touched on before. I brought this up to a good friend who is studying biology and thinking about a career in medicine. Ketosis is the state of the body when it has no more glycogen (from carbohydrates) to burn, so it starts burning fat. That’s the goal of the diet. However, once the body has no more fat to burn, it starts burning muscle and organs for energy. This extreme only happens when you are not eating anything, say, on a fast, so eating a keto diet (meaning eating almost pure fat) will not propel your body into a state of literal starvation because you are still taking in calories. What it will do is increase your risk of heart disease and various cancers and you could potentially drop dead from a heart attack benching 500lbs at age 35. But ya look goooooood.

 

Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food. – Hippocrates

 

I sincerely hope this did not come across as an attack, a judgement, a soapbox or anything other than a genuine invitation to dig deep within yourself and within the world to find what truly makes you feel good in a holistic way. For me, finally, once and for all, that means a plant based, unprocessed diet. I am at peace with that decision, therefore I will not make any excuse to deviate from it. Not even for taste. Not even for poutine on this beautiful Canada Day. It’s just not worth it.

I want to end on a meditation I learned from my Moksha days. Never before has it whispered so loudly in my heart:

“Life and death are of supreme importance. Time passes and opportunities are lost. Strive to awaken. Awaken! (do not squander your life)”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 165

Some of the girls at work have noticed that I’ve lost weight, that I’m looking healthy. (YAY! Non scale victory!) naturally they wanted to know how I’m doing it. “What’s your secret? What diet are you on? What workouts are you doing? Are you doing the apple cider vinegar thing?” Ew. No. The secret is there is no secret. The fitness industry makes millions of dollars perpetuating the hope that there is a secret, a magic pill, just one little thing we’re all missing, and it’s just not true. The key is listening to your body. Give yourself permission to eat. Give yourself permission to eat. Move your body in any way that you can commit to doing regularly. Something you actually enjoy, something that challenges you but does not hurt you. If there’s any secret it’s this: be consistent.  

You didn’t get 10,20,30,100 pounds overweight in a day, so do not expect to lose that much weight in a day! My friend showed me a magazine article that said: “Lose 10LBS in 24hrs!” It’s this kind of sick, predatory nonsense that keeps us at war with our bodies. If these articles speak to you, step away. It is not meant to help you. It is meant to dig you deeper and deeper into self hate and is just one stepping stone on an endless path of lies and trickery. If this or the scale or calories or your measurements have a hold on you, fuck it. Don’t weigh yourself if it makes you want to give up. Don’t read the magazines if you deeply desire to look like the girl in the magazine (pst, she doesn’t even look like that!) Don’t count calories if it launches you into an obsessive pattern of always thinking about food and stressing about how much less you can eat. Do not spend another second at war with your body. You will reach your goals, provided they are realistic and safe for your body, with time and consistency. 


This is a hard lesson to learn. I know it in my heart, it’s always in the back of my mind, yet it is so tempting to log just a little bit less food each day. It’s tempting to listen to beautiful people on instagram who sell fat burners. But don’t. Turn away. Listen to your body when it tells you to move, to eat, to rest. That is all you need. You are all you need. 

So sweaty. So good. 

Day 159

My phone – my sweet, sweet, pristine, otter box protected phone…is gone forever. It was an LG G4 and it got stuck in a boot loop. No geek squad could revive her. She fought the good fight. May she rest in pieces. 

That means all the pictures I had for this week’s post are no more. 😦 that means I’m using an iPhone. *shutter* 

Anyhoo.. regardless of the incident I’ve had a great week! I’ve been working out consistently and staying on point with my eating habits, even to the point of lying about having allergies to my boss to get out of eating pizza. I told him I was allergic to gluten, soy, dairy and…peanuts!? What was I thinking!! I love peanuts! 😦 

I wouldn’t usually do this – I believe in food freedom and not feeling confined to rules and restrictions. It’s a lifestyle, and that means long term habits not short term suffering. People can be really pushy though, and that day I just really wasn’t feeling it – I’ve been avoiding dairy and it’s felt good! I didn’t want to know what a big glob of pizza cheese might feel like after so long without so I said no. (Politely) He insisted, so I made up some allergies. I’m a weirdo, I know. 

I have hit a small weight loss plateau – I’ve been stuck at the same 224.4 for a few days after dipping down to 223 last week. I’m making some adjustments, and will be eating a smidge more, while lifting a little heavier. 

It is so important not to starve yourself when/if you see this happen. If you stop seeing/feeling results, the answer is almost never to eat less, especially if you’re using my fitness pal which generally keeps your calories around your BMR rate – meaning you’re only eating enough to keep your body alive at a cellular level. That doesn’t do much good for your metabolism and it certainly does not support your goals. Give yourself permission to eat! 

**i am not a registered dietitian**

Day 153

Helloooo June!! 

Sometimes you just need some good old fashioned vitamin sea. 

Aaaaand sometimes that results in a wicked sunburn…

It’s alright though, because now it’s a golden tan! 💁

I had a lovely time back home, soaking up the sun and seeing my friends/family. Since my BF doesn’t have work or school right now he decided to stay and keep visiting on the island, so I get the apartment to myself and lots of time to hang out with my momma! 

Such a 180 from last week. I feel energized and alive, and happy to be so. Life doesn’t feel like a mere pla- 

(i feel you, Pheobe) 

Life feels good again – like there is a fully spelled out p-l-a-n. 

Some of us can’t fly by the seat of our pants. I need to know what’s going on. 

I never thought I would be this way. I always tried to be “wild and free” until I finally accepted things about myself that aren’t so easy to accept. I’m anxious. I need a plan…daily, monthly, yearly. I like spreadsheets and data points. I once made a powerpoint presentation on why I thought it was a good idea to get a pet goat!

 I think of myself as “type B” easy-going, but there’s a little hamster on a wheel inside me that propells the “type A” tightly wound soul within me. And that’s okay. 
Check out the glorious noms I had back at home: 

Feta watermelon salad, bbq chicken and salad, cobb salad, salmon burger with side salad. 

Salad? Salad. (salad)
In the month of may I lost 8lbs!! May starting weight: 232 May end weight: 224. Yay me! 

It’s so important to stay focused even when you feel down. That’s what helps to lift you out. Know what you truly want, be relentlessly focused and nothing can stop you. 

Here’s to June!