When I say the word ‘diet’, many people have a negative reaction to that word. The word conjures up thoughts of unhappiness, deprivation, starvation and feelings of inadequate willpower.
In my life, the word ‘diet’ simply means ‘what I eat’. I’m never on what people call a diet because 95% of the food I eat is healthy and good for me so you can’t really get fat on those kinds of foods, no matter how much you eat and that naughty 5% doesn't do too much damage!
A clean, whole , plant based diet (ie: the foods you eat) is the true secret to losing and maintaining your weight. You nourish your body instead of destroy it. Stop putting ingredients into your body that your body cannot recognize.
Like many people, I currently have about 7 to 10 pounds I’d like to lose. That puts me where I feel most comfortable but because I’m currently in the ‘normal’ range for my height, I haven’t really been stressing over that last 10 pounds.If you think being on a plant based diet is difficult, restrictive or boring then you need to do a little more research!
I eat all day long (every 2 to 3 hours) and I’m rarely hungry and I’m never deprived. I can always find a vegan version of whatever I’m craving. (Thank you Google!) It makes me laugh when people think I have a limited diet because I'm vegan. I really don't. I just don't eat animals and I don't eat garbage.
That leaves an amazing array of foods I do choose to eat!I make many things homemade so I can control the ingredients … almond milk, nut butter, veggie and bean burgers, soups, and salad dressings. I avoid processed foods as much as possible and I also avoid refined sugars, preferring to use maple syrup, brown rice syrup and sucanat. I also use evaporated cane juice for baking.
Here is a list of things I commonly eat and drink but there are so many more things I enjoy:
Every morning I start with a big glass of ice water with barley grass juice, Natural Calm (magnesium) and lemon juice to get my body going. I sip plain ice water thru the day. I very rarely drink anything besides water. If I do, it will be unsweetened caffeine free tea or almond milk.
Steel cut oats or old fashioned oats with dark chocolate and walnuts or a little nut butter stirred in. I also like it with walnuts and half a banana (freeze the other half for a smoothie!)
A smoothie with almond milk, fruit, flax seed, spinach, maca, cacao and protein powder.
An apple with nut butter.
Homemade soup, side salad and fresh fruit. I try and make some sort of soup every week. I also freeze it.
Night out – two veggie sushi rolls and a side salad with ginger dressing. (This is the only time I ever eat white rice. If your sushi place has brown rice, get that instead!)
Homemade cashew ‘cheese’ on Triscuits.
A handful of fresh fruit and a handful of nuts.
Whole wheat pasta with a tomato sauce and lots of veggies or with lentil ‘meat’ sauce.
Chickpea cutlet with mashed potato, gravy and a veggie.
Miso soup, stir fried rice with lots of veggies and a veggie egg roll.
Vegan nachos with beans, fresh tomatoes, onions and a vegan queso sauce.
Hummus with Triscuits and veggies.
Roasted veggie plate (just toss a bunch of veggies in the oven and roast ‘em)
Night out – Thai food – veggies, sometimes a little tofu, brown rice and a vegan egg roll.
Chia seed pudding made with almond milk and cinnamon.
Low sugar, high fiber, natural cereals with homemade almond milk. (Grape Nuts & Shredded Wheat)
Whole wheat English muffin with nut butter or no sugar fruit preserves.
Night out – Mediterranean food - hummus, falafel, and salad.
Red beans and rice, homemade guacamole and a little salsa with chips for dipping.
Whole wheat pancakes with fresh berries, walnuts and maple syrup.
Vegan mac & cheese.
Vegan ice cream topped with vegan hot fudge or vegan caramel sauce.
Panini with vegan cashew ‘cheese’ , sun-dried tomato pesto and thin sliced veggies on sourdough bread.
A dinner salad with lots of veggies, homemade croutons, beans, and walnuts.
Baked sweet potato with cinnamon, maple syrup and walnuts.
Fresh stove popped popcorn with salt and my vegan ‘parmesan cheese’.
Homemade veggie or black bean burgers on a whole wheat bun. I make these and freeze them!
Once in a while I’ll have vegan ‘meats’ like Field Roast sausages or Lightlife Tempeh but I try to only eat those a few times a year since they are processed. I’d rather eat clean.
Chickpea salad (it’s much like chicken salad) on whole wheat bread or in a salad.
Cookout – vegan baked beans, vegan potato salad, fresh fruit and some sort of veggie burger
Bean tacos or burritos.
Chili with vegan cornbread.
Baked potato topped with vegan ‘butter’, salt, fresh mushrooms and green onions.
Night out - thin crust pizza with mushrooms, black olives and no cheese. I like to bring my vegan nut cheese to sprinkle on top instead.
Vegan cookies, bars, cakes and other yummies! (but not every day!)
Warm brown rice with almond milk, a little maple syrup and some cinnamon.
Junk food – yes, even I eat junk food but it may not be as junky as you’d expect. My junk foods are vegan baked goods, Fritos, non-dairy dark chocolate, cane juice sweetened organic frosted flakes, I even snack on Cap’n Crunch once in a while! If we are out someplace and I can’t find anything else, I might have some french fries. A few times a year I’ll buy vegan ice cream or sorbet but I’m not a big ice cream eater.
Does that list sound like I'm an unhappy, deprived and bored vegan?
Note: Always remember that junk is ok if you rarely eat it. Junk should never be kept in the house if you have any sort of self discipline issue... instead, you should have to make an effort to go and get whatever junky food you are wanting to eat and then you should buy a single serving. Surround yourself with delicious healthy foods and you can't make mistakes!