Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Changing My Lifestyle - The Challenges

I've talked about how I decided to change my lifestyle during the last few weeks of 2013 before. Now, I've been vegan for around 6 years (maybe longer) but being vegan doesn't necessarily translate to eating a good diet. There are plenty of cakes, biscuits and high fat faux meat and cheese products that are designed or just happen to be vegan. Prior to this I persuaded Mr B that we should join a gym in November, and I've been trying to go as much as being a mom to a toddler will allow.
I've been a longtime fan of vegan health 'advocates' such as Dr Mcdougall, Neal Barnard, Happy Herbivore books etc. I decided that I'd start out following the 'wholefood' and low fat meal plans from Happy Herbivore that provide 1200 calories per day and now I've found a combination of meals I like I'm sticking to them as well as trying a few new recipes with books that fit in with the principles. I'm also trying to make sure I drink enough water every day.
I've posted pictures of yummy looking food I've been eating and how much I'm loving it, but what I haven't talked about is how hard it has been at times. Whenever I look at other people's weight loss stories, I never feel like they are giving people a realistic view. It's always 'the weight loss' or 'health' plan I followed was wonderful, it's so easy etc. Now I'll also point out that there are other reasons I wanted to make changes apart from weight loss. Since having a cholecystectomy in 2006 I've suffered with Post Cholecystectomy Syndrome which for some people only lasts a few weeks or months, however I ended up being in the small percentage that seems to suffer with it for years. I've tried a list of dietary modifications suggested by my doctor as long as my arm, with varying degrees of success. Going vegan a year or so later helped somewhat, but not totally. Following the very low fat, wholefoods vegan diet and cutting out gluten has been the most successful yet!

As you can see from the picture of weight badges (I'm a massive Fitbit fan and have been using it combined with their scale for ages) I have lost weight. I'm really proud of what I've achieved so far. It hasn't been all easy though, and I'm writing this post now as it's been especially hard the last week or so. It's the first difficult patch I'm facing after doing this for over a month.
I think what I'm finding most difficult at the moment is that Mr B is still eating the vegan foods I'd gotten used to eating, that I've now cut out. We've been mostly cooking ourselves separate meals in the evening, and although what I'm eating is yummy it's quite a test of willpower to watch him eat pizza (or whatever it is that evening). He's been really supportive and tried to help me find suitable foods, but it's difficult still having those 'bad' foods in the cupboards! It's also a practicality issue - after a full on day of playing with a toddler I don't fancy standing in the kitchen and cooking for ages. In the past this would just mean Mr B would make dinner, but that's not really an option now. I need to find more quick and easy options!
Which things test your willpower when you are trying to eat healthy?


  1. Hi Cherry, I have the book which you suggested and I'm trying to put together some daily menus. I would be interested to know what you have chosen for your daily plan. I know exactly what you mean, the faux cheeses are my temptation and they are high in fat, so a plant diet is the way to go for weight loss.
    My DH will do anything to help me shop and prepare low fat vegan food, as long as he doesn't have to eat it!

    1. Hi :) I followed the Happy Herbivore meal plans ( for a couple of weeks to get an idea of what and how much I should eat in a day to start with, but I only did two or three as you have to pay for them each week. I now use a mix of meal plan and book recipes. Breakfast is usually porridge (1/2 cup oats, 1 cup unsweetened plant milk, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 apple cored and chopped, sprinkle of raisins), but on the weekend I make blueberry muffins or carrot cake pancakes as both the husband and toddler like them too (from her books). Lunch is sometimes a nacho salad bowl (from light & lean) or something similar on a wrap. Dinner I'll just pick a main meal from one of her books, or some of the others I have that also fit in with this way of eating (Forks over Knives Cookbook, Dr Mcdougall stuff). I've been having fruit as snacks or in a hurry things like Nakd bars and Bear fruit roll ups. Hope that helps!