Monday, 17 September 2007

How to lose weight whilst eating great food!

Here's the really good news, you don't have to try!

I want to start by telling you about my transition from vegetarian to vegan but don't worry, for those of you just thinking of taking a first step towards vegetarian then read on as I will address that later in this post. Apologies too if my focus slips as my little boy is trying to take his first computer lesson as I'm writing - being a new mom doesn't mean we cannot do things, it just makes those things that little more challenging...did I say challenging, sorry, I meant exciting....! On a side note, don't let anyone make you feel guilty for having children and a life, you do still exist you know, no matter what your mother might think...!

So, how did I lose weight without even trying to? Well, lets see the back story. I had my first child, aged 31 and nursing was the best diet I had found, I was back in my post pregnancy clothes in weeks. I ate whatever I liked and didn't worry about it. I did manage to work in a regular yoga practice whenever time permitted and did a few sit ups now and then, nothing exceptional, I was just lucky my shape returned quickly. Not so with number two! A few months after the birth and my weight was going up, not down. Now hang on, that wasn't part of the plan! No new mom wants to still look pregnant. Throughout both pregnancies I was a non meat eater, although I did eat fish with Heidi and didn't cut that out until half way through the second pregnancy (and yes I was fine, less mercury in my body to worry about and no vitamin deficiency...). So I was feeling a touch depressed that I looked like the frumpy new mom I always said I'd never look like when I was listening to a podcast about how we are addicted to Cheese (thanks Colleen at Compassionate Cooks for the eye opener). It only took me 5 minutes to decide I never wanted to eat cheese again. I will later talk about why, for now, I'm keeping to the issue of weight loss. So, I said goodbye to cheese, along with cows milk (I wasn't a calf and didn't really think I needed to drink a cows breastmilk any longer) and eggs went too. There was no thought about what I'd gain in return...

1. Rapid weight loss *and the quality of my milk supply went up
2. A figure I'd not seen in a long time
3. A sense of wellbeing and health never felt before
4. A diet free from cruelty and suffering

Wow, just from making informed food choices! I am now a month into my vegan routine and I am thoroughly enjoying learning new recipes and cooking styles. Living where I do I have limited options but I have enjoyed every single meal recently as if eating for the first time. My body feels so light, I realized the heaviness I felt was due to cheese, milk and eggs, weighing me down. My 6 month old is still nursing and I have no qualms about putting him straight on soya or rice milk when he is ready. My 2 year old (after my receiving medical and dietary advice) no longer drinks milk (if you have or are transitioning a child to a vegan diet they will need a vitamin b12 supplement - more about that in another post) and she has started to eat foods she wouldn't go near before. From a diet of egg-bread, cheese on toast and the like, being a fussy eater like most toddlers, she now enjoys veggie chilli, rice-pasta, broccoli soup and basically eats better than any other child I know. As the pics says - no milk, no problem. She is a happy and adorable little girl who I seriously believe has the best diet I can offer her.

Ok, you're not ready for that yet. Well, that's ok, one step at a time. Just cutting meat from you diet will bring a whole new feeling into your life. Meat weighs you down, humans find it hard to digest, infact meat can stay in your gut for a long long time - I'm not planning in this blog to scare you into being vegetarian or vegan, it has to be an informed choice and one you take willingly but if you have read this far I think you know you are on a road you might not be able to stop walking down. When I turned vegetarian, aged 25, I felt a new lease of life. Colour returned to my face which once just looked grey and I got a spring in my step. I no longer needed to lie in bed every morning, struggling to wake up, feeling sluggish as I went about my day. I felt alive but whats more, I felt good about myself for not eating the bodies of animals.

One thing to remember though, beware of junk food. Yes, it's still available to veggies, especially if you have little desire to cook new food. It's easy to buy veggie pizzas and quick fixes and some of it's really good - just not for every meal! My next post will be entitled 'What can I eat?!' and I hope this will offer some ideas of how to make some changes. I am not a great cook. I am married to one however so this helps. Not all of you will be so lucky so you might make use of my tips for ingredients and recipes that I find convenient and really really tasty - even if you have no inclination to become a vegetarian or vegan and are just reading this out of curiosity, why not give some of them a try, it won't kill you, it won't kill anything else and it might even save or extend your life.

Bye for now...

PS. Miller fell asleep in my arms so I was able to concentrate on this post, thanks poppet x

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