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!