It’s no secret: I LOVE FOOD.
Since 2019, I have been on a quest to merge my love of food with my obsession over “natural remedies”. It all came about when I went on a vacation and wasn’t blown away with my reflection in the local storefront windows. I also wasn’t exactly elated with the numbers I was seeing on the scale or my body measurements, which were the highest I’d ever had, with exception to the times when I was pregnant.
To condense my long story, I had tried keto the year before for a little while. I’d gone down 11 pounds, but I swore if I ate another slice of bacon, chunk of cheese, or a low-carb vegetable, I was going to stab someone in the eye with a celery stick. Previous to THAT, I’d tried a low-calorie diet. That was an absolute disaster. I would dream of food. I’d watch the clock to see when I could eat again. I remember sitting on my front porch in a daze, wondering about how many calories were in a rice cake. My God.
So starting in the fall of 2019, I started logging my calories, just to see how many I was consuming in a day. I do SO love a good science experiment, so why not try one on myself? I discovered quickly that a big part of my problem was eating calorie-dense, but not-so-filling-nor-nutritious foods like chips, crackers, and dips. As I cut these foods out, my weight started dropping slowly but surely. I discovered that I actually lost more weight when I ate more calories from healthy foods. I also decided to not do any extensive exercise to see how large a role diet played in weight loss. I lost several pounds and then somewhere in the late spring of 2020, that loss came to a halt. In late August of 2020, I got sick and decided with everything going on at the time, it was high time to get absolutely serious with my health. It was at this point that I chose to go the whole foods, plant-based (WFPB) route.
There are several reasons I chose this way to eat. First of all, I had already gotten to the point where eating most meats made me feel physically bad/gross. There were definitely repercussions to having any kind of pork or beef. I’ll spare you the details. Dairy products also fell into that same category. Secondly, I love carbs. I love rice, beans, peas, potatoes, oatmeal, lentils…and I’ll be danged if I wasn’t going to eat them. Last of all, the way I eat has to be sustainable. I am not going to stick to anything restrictive. I am not going to take supplements. I’m not going to group meetings or taking a pill or constantly doing food logs. Ain’t happenin’. The whole point of WFPB is very simple: Eat more plants, and eat those plants in their natural form. In other words, not in the form of pre-packaged and highly processed veggie burgers or veggie chips, etc. The second thing about WFPB is: Eat less fat. This means using very little to no oil in the foods you prepare. Oil is 100% fat and you’d be shocked at what it is added to (just about every processed food you can imagine) and how many needless calories it adds. You’d likely also be very surprised at how most oils are made.
When I made this change last September, that’s when the weight came flying off. I was stunned, really. I got to a weight I had never even imagined possible and one I’d never seen as an adult. In all, from fall 2019 to January of 2021, I lost 26 pounds. It’s true that I didn’t have a lot to lose, but I also had no idea that I was carrying around this much “extra me”. If you like hearing about big weight loss numbers, though, my husband was at his highest weight in 2019, and is currently down 76 pounds! But the fastest part of his weight loss was when he started the low/no-oil WFPB way of eating. At that point, he began losing at an average of 1.5 pounds a week and continued that for 25 weeks! Even more amazing was that his sleep apnea and night sweats disappeared, AND his fasting blood glucose lowered by 60 points. Yes, SIXTY points. He also likes to utilize intermittent fasting to his routine. It is a tool that works well for him.
So where are we today, in July 2021? As all people do, we “fell off the wagon” a little this spring, went on vacation, and let some ‘snacky things’ back in the house. Which of course, went straight to my butt. That’s okay because we’re back on the wagon again. I am within 4 pounds of my lowest weight, and my measurements are only up a half of an inch. Everyone else in the house still looks great, and more importantly, FEELS great. Goodbye to insomnia, digestive troubles, achy joints, migraines, and the like! And don’t come back!
When we tell people we eat a diet full of vegetables, people always, always, always assume we eat nothing but salads. Now I love a good salad, but come on. I can’t imagine sitting around eating nothing but a salad all day. Here are just a few of our favorite meals we’ve eaten in the last few months and all are WFPB:
Tomatoes & Okra with rice:
Getting ready for Rainbow Taco night!
“Not Fried” Rice, with pineapple and cashews:
Roasted veggies, Christmas-style!:
Black-eyed pea and cabbage soup:
Roasted veg and toasted bread with “cheez” sauce:
Crispy black bean burger:
Stir-fry veg and rice noodles:
Fully loaded nachos:
I’m sure my family is so tired of hearing me say this, but EAT A RAINBOW every day! I promise you will feel so much better and you’ll see changes that you won’t even believe!
One last thing about carbs specifically…if you are a carb queen (or king) and you want to get some carby validation, check out Dr. John McDougall’s book, The Starch Solution. Don’t vilify complex carbs! Processed (AKA crap) carbs are the ones to avoid. Don’t throw out the beans with the bathwater!
Wishing you all a wonderful week!