Gaining Instead of Losing

8 05 2012

And so begins week 20 of my switch to a plant based diet and an increased exercise regiment.   This week I gained a pound.  Ugggh!!!

Since the very beginning, I have dreaded writing this post and after 19 weeks it has finally happened.  The weight loss has just completely bottomed out.  Over 60 pounds down and now it is becoming really difficult.  I’ve essentially lost no weight in the last 3 weeks.  And because I publicly am broadcasting what I’m doing, it does really upset me so see the needle not moving or in this case going up.

Last week I gave up wheat (mostly) and that made me very hungry.  A lot more hungry than I had been feeling previously which probably highlights just how much wheat I had been eating up until this point.  Soy is no longer an option for me as I seem to have developed an allergy to it.  It seems like the list of things I cannot or should not eat has grown larger than the list of things I can/should eat.  As someone who has always loved food, it is becoming depressing.

I see a lot of room for improvement.  I still use food as something to calm me.  I will eat something high in protein / plant based fat late at night before going to bed.  It is not uncommon for me to eat nuts or seeds at midnight.  It’s just not  smart.  I need to find another way to better relax.  I need to put myself to bed earlier too.  I’ve been so busy with the many things I’m involved in that it is not uncommon for me to go to bed at 1 or 2 AM lately.  I’m not doing my body any favors by getting such little sleep.  My schedule continues to be too busy for me.  I’m way over extended and have no one to blame but myself.  So many good things to do and so little time but I absolutely must put that same energy into getting healthy.  That has got to be my focus.  If good health is in place all of the other things I love to do will be more successful and more easily accomplished.

65 pounds down…that is where I failed the last time I tried to lose weight.  I put it all back on and then some.  I’ve worked too hard to lose this weight.  I will not do that again.

So as of today I’m hitting the reset button:

No more cheat meals until I hit the 300 pound mark (and I have a ways to go – 39 pounds)

Exercise 5x a week – no ifs, ands or buts

No wheat….period

at least 7 hours of sleep a day


I will get back on track starting right now.  I will inherit the life I was born to live.

A Week of Eating Plant Based

27 03 2012

Enough people have asked me what a typical week of eating plant based foods looks like so I’m going to give you a rough example of mine. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m a creature of habit so this may not offer enough variety for some. But truly, your week’s menu is only limited by your imagination. With the internet, it’s never been easier to go plant based. There are tons of sites for recipes out there. Eat the plant based foods that you like and start building from there. Eating this way, takes time. On a sunday night, it can take up to 90 minutes to prepare veggies to have for lunch that week. It can be a pain but it is worth it. Don’t forget your B12 supplements!

Breakfasts – Cheerios! There are healthier cereals out there I am sure but I’ve always liked these since I was a little guy. I can eat them dry on the go or with coconut milk (I have the unsweetened stuff, try it for a week, you will get used to it). Organic Steel Cut Oats is another option. Raw vegetables or grilled / sauteed zucchini (one of natures most perfect anti-inflammatory foods is the perfect way to start the day). Breakfast is a good time to have fruit. Many mornings I will have a veggie wrap….with mustard!

Lunches – Wraps – I love them (although I admit it’s getting a little old lately). A raw veggie salad with a mustard and balsamic dressing (I go through an amazing amount of lettuce each week). Cabbage, broccoli rabe, lentil or split pea soup. Vegan pad thai or another one of Dr. McDougall’s packaged vegan meals (found in many health food aisles in the grocery store, I try to limit the processed stuff but this doesn’t seem too bad and low sodium options are sometimes available). Sometimes hummus or baba ganoush. Stack of tomato slices with layered basil (I most often go oil-less). Broccoli slaw.

Snacks – raw veggies (peppers, string beans, carrots, cucumbers and/or celery (a negative calorie food). Fruit – an apple a day…., seeds and nuts. Dry roasted edamame (I live on this stuff – high in protein and fiber but not fat). Dry roasted chick peas and similar snack foods can be found at your local Wegmans, Whole Foods or health food shops. Vegan pumpkin muffins, homemade vegan fruit bars.

Dinners – Vegan stuffed peppers with ground soy “meat”, brown rice, quinoa, beans, corn and tomato sauce (make 4 at a time and get several meals out of it). vegan tacos or taco salads. Soups and salads. Black beans (or other) with hot sauce and liquid smoke (a great simple, quick and tasty way to get your protein and fiber). Pasta is an awesome treat when eating this way (just check the labels). Grilled veggie sandwich on crusty italian bread (I’m limiting my bread but this is too good to pass up once a week). Veggie burgers or similar products like chik’n nuggets, hot wings, etc.(read the labels) about once a week for a little variety. Veggie stir fry. Sautéed veggies in veggie broth.

Give it a try for three weeks and see how you feel. I’m willing to bet that if you go completely plant based for three weeks , by the time you are done you will have lost weight, and feel a whole lot better with increased energy and well-being. And if you find that it is not for you, at least your body will be thankful. You can do totally do this, if you put your mind to it.

besides, you don’t want to eat this anymore, do you?:

Never Trust a Fat Guy For Diet Advice!

4 03 2012

I’ve spoken to several people recently who have expressed an interest in trying a plant based diet.  This makes me excited that people  are willing to give it a try.   I think in trying it is where you will find its benefits (better than just reading what I think about it).  I feel that it is important to reiterate this disclaimer though:  things like protein, calcium and iron are obviously extremely important.  Eating a plant based diet requires us to be extra vigilant in making sure we are getting the things our body needs every day.  If you don’t like veggies, this is going to be a very hard road for you.  People who are going to have the greatest success with this are the ones who are going to eat the most varied amount of healthy foods.  Red, yellow and green veggies are not just pretty to look at, they provide so many different and important vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants.  Spinach lovers and others who enjoy leafy greens are going to get a lot of needed iron that way.  People who enjoy beans are going to get a lot of low fat protein. Soy is another source of protein although you will find different schools of thought regarding its use.  Nuts and seeds are other more fatty (but delicious) options.  Dry roasted edamame are a great lower fat alternative with 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of dietary fiber per 1/4 cup.  Vitamin supplements including vitamin D and especially B12 are extremely important.

I have faith that if people are willing to try going plant based, most will take the time to seek out ways of getting things they need.  If you are a finicky eater, the good news is, that after several weeks of going plant based you tastes will acclimate to your diet and trying new things that you think you may not like might begin to resonate differently with you.  If that doesn’t happen, consider a hybrid alternative where some lean meat is consumed.  Many people have success that way.  If you can’t do that, just try working more plant based food into your current diet.  That’s a good start.  It’s all about what you are personally trying to accomplish.  I’ve taken very poor care of myself for a long time so I need to be stricter now.  In general though, I find the middle path is the best.  Because my situation was bad, I needed to go more extreme.  In the future I may pare it back some.  I’m not so concerned with what I will be eating in 5 years from now.  I’m just thinking of today, tomorrow, this week.  One day at a time.  That’s enough.

Everyone has their own path.  When chosing yours, be healthy, be adventurous and be brave.   Don’t neglect to seek out the advice of your doctor and/or a nutritionist.  They are extremely important.  I’m not a guru.  Don’t trust someone my size to lead you to the road of better health and wellness.  I’m just someone who is trying to get healthy.  I have but one or two pieces of the puzzle.  The road is definitely here and there are many people on it.  Talk to them, get ideas and then experiment and see what works best for you.

Whatever your goals are, you can accomplish them when you are willing to make the change.  I recently read that failure happens not because people don’t have the willpower, it happens because people aren’t ready to commit themselves 100% to making the change.

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