Hello health and wellness seekers!
Happy New Year! The holiday season was super busy for Bekah and I. The kids had so much fun! We attended some pretty amazing dinners and gatherings with family and friends. We started off the holiday season really strong, indulging in plenty of vegan holiday options and substitutes; however we defiantly were not perfect. Slips up did occur. I want to resolve to better mix my social life and my personal life choices to prevent future slip ups.
With the season coming to an end, Bekah and I are ready to recommit to our plant-based vegan diet in order to become healthier and stronger in the New Year. We would love for others to join us, even if it is just for 30 beautiful days.
What does vegan mean?
No eggs? No cheese? No Meat? Yup! No Animal Products or By-products. Don’t freak out, this is a good thing and everything is going to be ok (especially for our animal friends). Be prepared to cleanse your body, cleanse you soul and lose weight.
Being a vegan is a hot button issue, I have experienced all kinds of different reactions while on the vegan train. I have been on a plant based diet for many years and for many different reasons, but the 100% vegan aspect has been a work in progress (especially while pregnant and breastfeeding). This being said for the last year I have been committed to eating a mostly plant based diet and 80% vegan. I have never felt better, my athletic performance is better than ever, my energy is higher, my meditation practice is easier and I feel lighter (I actually am lighter!). These results are why I love following a vegan lifestyle. You just cant beat how great you feel mentally, spiritually and physically.
Number 1 reason people fail at being vegan?
They don’t eat enough! Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and nutrition yet low in calories so you have to eat a lot of them. The problem is most people focus on what they can’t eat and therefore don’t add in enough vegetables and fruit. A better approach is to focus on what you can eat and less on what you can’t eat. As you find ways to add fruit and vegetables to each meal you will be forced to reduce the intake of animal products and processed carbohydrates.
There are a lot of fears when it comes to this lifestyle. Here are the most common one that I hear.
Where will I get my protein
I hear this question all the time. I have been in the fitness industry since 2001 and I have a ton of personal, client based and fitness culture experience when it comes to protein. Now let me share a secret of two with you which may blow your mind. First fruit and vegetables have protein in them! Secondly, you don’t need as much protein as you think. I learned this after 10 years of living a high protein and low carb diet. I was always carrying at 5-10 extra pounds. When I relaxed on the protein and upped my complex carb intake my body balanced out.
Too much of a commitment
Nobody is perfect 100% of time. I am not a perfect plant based vegan all the time, but I am striving to become better and better every day. I do not think you need to be dogmatic in your own life; you are your own boss after all. So don’t go for perfection, go for progress. Live, learn and fine tune as you go. Chalk all your mistakes up to experience and do not look at them as failures. Remember no lifestyle change has to be forever, you should be always striving for optimal health and that might mean you need to tweak and adjust as you grow and change over time. It does not have to be all or nothing. Beyoncé and Jay-z recently tried on veganism for a challenge. Jay-Z blogged about 22 day commitment to a vegan diet and why he thought it was an important challenge to take on. If you want to read more of Jay-z post I will place the link below.
People always ask me if it takes more time to eat a plant-based diet and I don’t lie…it does. I don’t eat prepackaged or processed foods, so I do make most of my meals from scratch. But, listen it is worth it. It may take a little extra effort but you can work it into schedule. I usually catch up on my “Real of Housewives” (yes, I watch and love them all: Atlanta, Jersey, Miami, OC, New York) while I chop raw vegetables for my EPIC salads, vegan pastas, soups and stir fry.
Let’s do it!
We have lots of recipes in our Vegan Recipes section. Remember when you eat a unprocessed, plant based vegan diet, you need to up your portions and eat big! Trust me, you will get hungry if you don’t double up on your fruit and vegetable portions.If you like to eat…buckle up because plant based people can eat!!!
Here are some of my go to meals:
- Greenie Baby: Handful of each: kale, celery, cucumber. 1 banana, 2 dates. 3 cups of water and 1 cup of ice.
- Fruit plate. Choose 1 type of fruit or mix and match (eat citrus on its own). This fruit plate needs to be large! You need enough calories to keep you energized, try to get in at least 3-4 cups of fruit.
- ALT: Avacado, lettuce and tomato sandwich. If you are a savoury, eggs and toast type of breakfast person this may be your best choice.
Easy: Read Skinny Bitch, this book is an easy read. There is a lot of information and although I think the diet uses too many fake meat substitutes, you will learn so much. The book covers all sorts from the harms of diet pop to the state of the poultry industry. You can order this book on Amazon.
Moderate: Read Crazy Sexy diet. This book is also an easy read, but the diet is more advanced than “Skinny Bitch”. The author Kris Carr is young and beautiful yet has been living with terminal cancer for 10 years now. Despite her incurable cancer she feels better than ever from a plant based vegan diet. You can also get this book on Amazon.
Advanced: Watch Earthlings. This movie will change the way you look at food and the treatment for animals forever. Warning it is very hard to watch. Animals are earthlings just like us and the conditions of slaughter houses in North America are nothing short of disturbing and sickening. If you do eat meat please know where it comes from. Most cities have great farms that believe in the ethical treatment of animals and we encourage you to find a farm in your area that has these values and beliefs.
Remember at the end of this challenge you may choose to continue this lifestyle or you may just choose to cut down of your animal product consumption. At the very least do your research; you make sure you know where your food comes from. Turning a blind eye does not protect your well-being or the well-being of others.
Lastly enjoy the challenge and remember at health, wealth and baby we love you wherever you are on your journey xo
Jay-z post- http://lifeandtimes.com/22-days-challenge