Monday, June 16, 2014

Acclimation into a Healthier Lifestyle

Easing into healthy eating, it has been a long journey. I have been a vegetarian as long as I can remember, approximately 20 years. But I have only been vegan for a year and a half. I am so glad I made the leap, not only do I feel much better spiritually and ethically, but I  lost weight and feel amazing physically. However, about six months ago I hit a plateau, nothing was changing and I was feeling tired. Then I started reading Brendan Brazier's book, Thrive, a vegan nutrition guide for athletes. I began to slowly add a few healthier alternatives to my "junk food" vegan diet. I had been living off of vegan cheeses and chips among other things...and there are so many vegan desserts, including Oreos! Adding healthier choices, while eliminating an unhealthy food, one at a time, was the kick I needed. I also began to map my food choices via My Fitness Pal. Once I started recording my food intake I began to see where I hadn't been getting bang for my eating buck. The vegan butter was 100 calories per two tablespoon serving while I could eat 3 cups of blueberries for the same 100 calories. Not that I am an advocate of counting calories, but the application helped me to see that I haven't been eating enough protein and my iron intake is super low. Over the past four weeks I have lost an additional 9 pounds. Now I am usually not focused on numbers, but it feels good to finally get back to where I was pre-childbirth. I have had a long struggle with weight loss and gain over the past 22 years and I believe that I have found a balance and recipe for a healthier life. I run everyday and have increased my portions of fruits and vegetables, I have even made green smoothies! I have begun to cut back on my processed sugar intake. The next great hurdle? Caffeine. But I am no where near to being ready to give that up. See you at Starbucks!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Going Green...

Green velvet smoothie (kale, banana, and avocado)Don't tell my mother, but I think I like vegetables. I tried this recipe from Nava Atlas's Veg Kitchen Site, a green smoothie, made from kale, avocado, banana and hemp milk (I substituted spinach for the kale). After chilling I tried it, amazing. I never would have thought that I would eat vegetable, or even drink them. I prided myself on being a surly child and refusing what was good for me. And yes, this smoothie is chock full of nutrients that I as a vegan need. I add hemp hearts for an added kick and drink my smoothie at lunch with some tofu and multigrain on the side.  Now you really cannot tell my mother, not only do I eat veggies, but tofu as well! Next up, Kale Chips!