Plant Based Meals in Less Than 30 Minutes | Week 6

Plant Based Meals in Less Than 30 Minutes | Week 6

Today is about several topics including plant based meals in less than 30 minutes, does motivation work, and what I eat in a day.

What I eat in a day is highlighted in the video as well as a few blunders that I corrected afterwards, like how I apparently “cook” green smoothies.  I'm not really sure what I was thinking by saying that, but nevertheless, and for the record, I typically don't cook my green smoothies.  That would just be gross.

Plant Based Meals in Less Than 30 Minutes

After reading through comments and questions from you all, I picked a couple today to discuss. Question #1 – “Do you cook a lot on a plant based diet?”

This of course is dependent on each individual person, but I try to keep my meals around 30 minutes for cook time at most. I'm a busy woman with work and all so taking time after work when I'm exhausted to cook doesn't always seem so appealing to me.

So here's how I get around cooking all the time:

When I cook, I make sure I cook leftovers so I can store in the fridge or freezer for another day. Typically I only REALLY cook about 2-3 times per week and the rest is just prepping or heating up. On the weekends I'll cook a little more elaborate meals that might take longer, but I always make sure I cook leftovers. I love me some leftovers.  Saves loads of time!

My second tip.  Instant POT!

Instant Pot speeds up cooking times and you can make some delicious meals in a fraction of the time.  My new fav lately is Red Lentil Chili over rice!  O – M – G!

I will also cook my breakfast of steel cut oats in the Instant Pot.  One thing I can't ever seem to master on the stove is steel cut oats.  Oh, it will cook, but for longer time, but my pain in the rear is the bubbling with the lid on that overflows the pot.  No matter what I do, I can't seem to figure that one out.

Instant Pot to the rescue!

How Do You Stay Motivated?

Question #2:  “How do you stay motivated on a plant based diet and lose weight?”

Well, I don't really believe in motivation anymore.  Motivation has never gotten me anywhere except excited about something that later felt deflated.  I never learned how to really eat and lose weight in a way that was sustainable so even though I lost the weight under all kinds of motivation, I inevitably gained it back.

Instead of motivation, I look within and make changes.  Changes that are lasting and don't require a cheerleader to keep me going.

I hired a holistic health coach, became a holistic health coach myself, and changed my mindset.  I learned how to free myself from the sabotage, the yo-yo dieting, and stopped the cycle of abuse.

My life now revolves around intentional living, asking myself questions, and tuning in to how I feel and also manifesting what I want my day to look like.

Visual-of-Your-Day-2

I start out each morning with a very quick journaling exercise with questions that prompt things like:

  • Visualizing my day
  • How do I want to feel throughout the day
  • Instead of a laundry list of “to-dos” – what are 3 things I can do today that will absolutely feel great to accomplish.

Then at the end of the day, I evaluate how my day was and also end it with gratitude.

Journaling quickly about 3 – 5 things I was grateful for that day allows me to focus on the positive in my life rather than the negative.  Throughout the day, I'm actually taking a mental note of things I'm grateful for so I can jot it down in the evening.

What we focus on, whether positive or negatively, tends to be what manifests in your life.  So I choose to focus on the positive and the outcomes of creation by focusing on positive visuals.

Week 6 Weight Loss

I've completed 6 weeks now eating a whole food plant based diet!

This week, I lost 2 lbs for a total weight loss of 16 lbs.

Do you cook a lot or do you look for fast meals at home?

Weight Loss Doesn’t = Happiness | Week 5

Weight Loss Doesn’t = Happiness | Week 5

Have you ever been on a diet, lost all this weight only to put it back on again?  If you were so happy, then why would you gain all that weight back even when you said you wouldn't go down that road again?

Weight loss doesn't equate to happiness!

Weight Loss Doesn't Make You Happy

Losing weight might seem like it's making you happy, but I'm here to tell you that it does not make you happy.

What creates happiness is YOU and all the moments in between when you're losing weight.

How many times have you said, “I'll just be happy if I could only lose 30 lbs”  or “When I get to my goal weight and a size 2 I'll be happy!”.

Guilty as charged!

There have been many times I've said these phrases and I really did think that I would be happy.  However what if you could be happy now – without having to wait until you lost weight?

Happiness is what we're looking for.  In most everything we do, we do it because we think it will bring us happiness.

How to Create Happiness Now

Creating happiness now is all about shifting your focus and intentional living.  Once you decide that and implement your plan to focus on the things you love now, rather than later, then you can have happiness now.  Even with a body that is over weight.

Of course we all want to lose the weight so we can be healthy.  I get that.  We'll feel better.  We'll be able to wear great clothes.

What I'm talking about is having that feeling now rather than later.

You can have happiness now by focusing on these key areas:

  • Mind
  • Body
  • Business

Your Mind Happiness

Look at ways to reduce stress in your life and quiet your mind.  What do you enjoy?

Meditation?

Deep breathing?

Yoga?

Taking a walk?

Playing with your kids or pets?

Soaking in a hot bath with candles and great music?

Find something that relaxes you and add more of that to your life.  Even if you can only do it once a week.  Just start somewhere.

Deep breathing can be done for as little as 1 minute a day a couple of times a day and you'll see the benefits.

The point being – create happiness now through small baby steps.  We're all busy so just adjust small increments of time if you're super busy.

Your Body Happiness

How can you eat healthy and still love the foods you eat?  Focusing on foods that are whole food and replace some of those comfort foods will help you to feel satisfied and not “craving” the junk food.

Eating a whole food plant based diet has changed my life.  No more counting calories or counting anything.  I just eat when I'm hungry and make sure I'm getting plenty of fruits and vegetables and that it's whole food – not processed.  In fact, I LOVE sushi!  Love it, love it, love it!  Since I'm no longer eating fish – I veganized that sushi and whipped into tasty goodness.

It makes me happy to taste foods that are satisfying and filling and that I know won't do harm to my body.

I feel happy focusing only on food for menu planning, but not for a list of rules and regulations that leave me feeling deprived, hungry, and wanting to bail on this way of eating.

Food is definitely there for nourishment, but it's also very pleasing to us and can bring us happiness when we know what we're eating makes our bodies feel better.

Maybe for you it's been so long that you have no idea how good you can feel eating a healthy group of foods.

Find areas of movement aka “exercise” that you enjoy and do more of that.  There's no need to force your body into something that it really truly hates.  If you don't enjoy it – you won't do it.

Sustainability in creating happiness is the key.

Your Business Happiness

Whether you have your own business, work for an employer, or you're a stay at home parent or possibly a student – all of those roles in your life is your “business”.  You're the master of your business.  You control its outcome.

Creating happiness from a healthy lifestyle spills over into our “business”.  Holistic happiness is in our mind, body, and our business.  It effects our relationships and our social well-being.

What can you do differently in your “business” to make your day go smoother?

Work less hours.

Set boundaries.

Start a list of your big goals instead of being a task master.  Less to-dos!

Smile more.

Get a way from your desk and take a lunch break and go for a walk or enjoy your lunch outside.

“Free journal” ideas for your business using a time of about 2 minutes and write down everything that comes to mind without thinking about it or judging it.

Focus on the areas in your business that bring you joy.  The joy is what your going to think about that evening when your head hits the pillow and you think about all of the moments in your day.

Week 5 Weight Loss

I've completed 5 weeks now eating a whole food plant based diet!

My challenges this week were recovering from that nasty flu and still focusing on eating healthy.  While I wasn't feeling too hungry, I know I needed nutrition to keep my strength and to also reduce the dehydration I was feeling.

This week, I lost 2 lbs for a total weight loss of 14 lbs.

What are some of your challenges with eating healthy or sticking to other diets?

How to Plan Your Meals Traveling on a Plant Based Diet | Week 4

How to Plan Your Meals Traveling on a Plant Based Diet | Week 4

I've been raving about the upsides to plant based eating; however there may be one downside – traveling while eating a plant based diet.  Now I'm up for challenges and I took this one head on.  Even I needed to learn how to plan my meals traveling on a plant based diet.

Challenge #1:  Lack of plant based options that are readily available, i.e. there is not afast food, plant based restaurant on every corner.  You have to look for healthy options.

Challenge #2:  Airplane food!  Need I say more?  It's not fresh and there isn't a vegan option.

Challenge #3:  Eating out with colleagues, family, or friends who aren't vegan.  When trying to find a restaurant that can accommodate everybody's food likes – it can be challenging, especially when you're the only vegan.

How I Planned Healthy Food Options for the Plane Ride

Knowing that the airline wouldn't have options suitable for a healthy plant based meal – I struck it out ahead of time to plan my food and the container to put it in.

I searched everywhere online for just the right organizer to store my goodies for traveling.  Bento boxes were at the top of brain as a resource for storing the foods.  I needed something that traveled well, kept my food separated, especially for items that were wet, and provided generous compartments.

On Amazon.com, I found a bento box called Modetro Ultra Slim Leak Proof Bento Lunchbox shown below.  It has a sealing lid so that each compartment wouldn't leak liquids into the other compartments or even worse into my travel bag. It also comes with a very slim, form fitting bag that you slide the bento box into, zip it up, and has handles.  It easily slid into my travel bag with my laptop.

Airline travel lunch

Next on the list was packing my lunch.  I opted for “finger foods” only because I didn't really have anything prepared, like a salad, or sandwich items, so this worked out well.  Carrots, blueberries, dried figs, homemade red pepper hummus, artichokes, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, almonds, and lastly organic tortilla chips for scooping up the hummus.

Even the flight attendants were asking me where I bought the bento box.  It worked out really well and traveled well too.  No spills!

Airline travel lunch

While leaving Seattle and flying high above the clouds, we got the most beautiful glimpse of Mount Rainier.  Watch the video for more footage and beautiful pictures of this awesome sight.

Mount Rainier Screenshot

App for Finding Vegan Restaurants

Another way I planned was to download an app called HappyCow – which I sometimes accidentally call “Holy Cow”.  I can't tell you how many times I called it Holy Cow when I filmed this weeks video and then had to cut it all out!

Anyways…. this little gem will use your GPS to find restaurants around either fully vegan, fully vegetarian, or with vegan/vegetarian options.  One of the things I love about this app is the planning feature of creating a trip ahead of time, researching restaurants in the app and adding it to your trip.

The beauty of adding the restaurants to your trip is knowing ahead of time what's available so you can make quick recommendations when traveling with others.

Happy Cow App Screenshot
We ended up finding a really great restaurant called Chelsea's Kitchen with a fabulous vegetarian taco plate that I veganized aka hold the dairy, hold the cheese please.

Chelseas Kitchen

Ethan's Vegetarian Tacos came with roasted brussel sprouts – yum – cauliflower, greens, grilled vegetables, and kale coleslaw (hold the cheese).  Oh, and these little homemade corn tortillas to die for!  It was so good, I ate their twice while in Scottsdale, AZ.

Besides being dehydrated – due to not wanting to drink a ton of water then constantly have to excuse myself to the ladies room during my meetings – I did pretty well with eating healthy.

While it can be challenging to travel on a plant based diet or vegan diet, it's completely possible with PLANNING! I keep saying it so I hope you're hearing it – planning is key to success especially in the early days of learning how to eat more plant based foods.  Once you figure out the places you can go to on the run, then you don't have to plan as much – for those of you who are more inclined to be spontaneous.

And by the way, grocery stores are the ultimate fast food.  You can head straight to the produce department, grab some fruit like blueberries, strawberries, a banana (you don't have to buy the whole bunch), bag of ready to eat carrots, the bulk bins of nuts and seeds, a ripe avocado, a bag of fresh or dried figs, a container of grape or cherry tomatoes, and the list can go on.

I think you get my point.  You have choices.

Week 4 Weight Loss

It's been 4 weeks now since I fully went whole food plant based and I feel incredible!

Even with challenges thrown in my way, I still lost weight and I found away to mitigate the challenges.  Since my focus is on getting healthy, I didn't let these challenges overcome my mind and give in to eating foods that are unhealthy.  Instead, because I feel so incredible and know this is a lifestyle, not a diet, I'm eating foods that feel nourishing (including healthy carbs and fats), and I don't feel deprived.

That is key!

This week, I lost 1 lb for a total weight loss of 12 lbs.

Week 4 Weight Loss

What are some of your challenges with eating healthy or sticking to other diets?

Lost Weight Eating Mashed Potatoes and Gravy – Week 3

Lost Weight Eating Mashed Potatoes and Gravy – Week 3

Whoever said carbs are “bad” for you apparently has never lost weight eatting mashed potatoes and gravy.  They probably are not on a whole food plant based diet either where eating as much as you want of fruits and vegetables – until full – is normal.  I'm here to tell you that you can lose weight eating healthy carbs.

Superfood Oatmeal Breakfast

In order to get the day started off just right – I love me a hot bowl of oatmeal.  Not only is it filling, but it's tasty, warm, and nutritious.  I remember growing up in Texas where mom always cooked oatmeal for breakfast with raisins scattered throughout.  She had a method to adding the raisins.

You can't just add the raisins on top of the cooked oatmeal.  Oh no.  There's a secret to the raisins.

First you have to add the water to the pot for you oatmeal and then toss the raisins in and let the water come to a boil, then add your oats and cook as per instructions.  Then your raisins will be warm and soft.  Such yummy goodness.

Plant based oatmeal

Once your oatmeal is ready, I add a little bit of honey for sweetness and stir well to spread the amber colored honey throughout the oatmeal.

Next, I add my superfoods of about a tablespoon of chia seeds, a tablespoon of hemp seeds and then top with some fresh organic blueberries.  Did you know chia seeds come from the mint family?  These tiny black seeds having some amazing benefits:

  • Lowers triglycerides and supports healthy cholesterol levels
  • Lowers blood pressure and reduces heart disease
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • High in plant based omega 3s
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Helps to regulate glucose levels
  • Great source of fiber

Buying Organic Fruits and Vegetables

Many years ago when I was learning more and more about nutrition, my cousin would implore me to buy organic.  I realized the health benefits, but my pocket book was saying “no”.

Instead of buying everything organic, I started off slow and bought a few things organic at first, like bananas and corn.  It got to the point where I could taste the difference between organic and conventional foods (sprayed with toxic pesticides) and I began buying more and more organic.

I just tasted better.  More fresh.  Sweeter.  Juicier.

Buy organic

Now I buy almost everything I can organic and have adjusted my budget over time.  My mindset adjusted as well.  Where I thought I couldn't afford it – I could.  I changed my priorities.

So I say to you, if you aren't already buying organic – start!  Just buy a little at a time.  It's so much better for you.  If you're reading this, then you're interested in getting healthy.  Getting healthy also means getting rid of toxic chemicals sprayed on your food.

Buy local.  Find local farmers.  Join a CSA.  There's all kinds of creative ways to buy organic, whole, nutritious, toxic-free food.

Week 3 Weight Loss

It's been 3 weeks now since I fully went whole food plant based.  I wouldn't change it for anything.  I don't even miss meat.

I'm eating more healthy carbs and foods that are filling.  The key is it's whole food and it's plant based.  My stomach feels full.  My mind is alert and it doesn't have that “diet” brain where it's all fuzzy due to lack of carbs.

I'm cooking more but also keeping it simple so that meals are cooked in the Instant Pot so it takes less time.

This week, I lost another 3 lbs for a total weight loss of 11 lbs.

Can you believe I ate mashed potatoes and gravy this week?  Rice?  Bean chili poured over rice?  These are all healthy carbs and contributes to my fullness and not feeling deprived.

Week 3 weight loss

Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy

Now on to the recipe for the mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy that I made in the Instant Pot.  Quick.  Easy.  Delicious!
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy that's completed whole food and plant based.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the Mashed Potatoes:
  • 4 medium russet or yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk (I used soy)
  • Salt
  • For the Mushroom Gravy:
  • 16 oz portabella mushrooms
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. For the Mashed Potatoes:
  2. Chop the potatoes into about 8 chunks per potato.
  3. Place into the Instant Pot with the vegetable broth and garlic.
  4. Close the lid per instructions and turn the steam valve to sealed.
  5. Select "Manual" mode/button and change the time to 4 minutes.
  6. Once the Instant Pot beeps that the 4 minute cooking cycle is complete, take a towel over your hand and move the pressure valve to "venting" and allow the pressure valve to come down until now steam is coming from valve.
  7. Carefully open the lid.
  8. Mash the potatoes with a masher or a hand blender and add soy milk to your liking as you mash.
  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. Transfer mashed potatoes to a separate bowl and clean out the Instant Pot to use for the mushroom gravy.
  11. For the Mushroom Gravy:
  12. Place all ingredients in your Instant Pot.
  13. Close the lid per instructions and turn the steam valve to sealed.
  14. Select "Manual" mode/button and change the time to 4 minutes.
  15. Once the Instant Pot beeps that the 4 minute cooking cycle is complete, take a towel over your hand and move the pressure valve to "venting" and allow the pressure valve to come down until now steam is coming from valve.
  16. Carefully open the lid.
  17. You can thicken the sauce by turning the Instant Pot to saute mode and letting it come to a boil with the lid off.
  18. Combine ¼ of water or juice from gravy with 2-3 T of corn starch or flour, and when the gravy is boiling, add the mixture.
  19. Stir well and let cook for 1 minute.
  20. Serve over mashed potatoes.

Are you eating a whole food plant based diet?  If so, tell me how you're doing below in the comments.

Plant Based Mukbang Breakfast Week 2

Plant Based Mukbang Breakfast Week 2

Have you ever eaten a plant based Mukbang breakfast?  While my mukbang was rather small – not the traditional Korean definition of eating large quantities of food in front of viewers – I did, however, interact with the camera for my YouTube video on making my tomato hummus toast and all things happening in week 2 of my whole foods plant based way of eating.

Plant Based Mukbang Breakfast

Years ago I would eat this very simple breakfast of toast with cream cheese slatherd on top and sliced tomato laid over the cream cheese.  My mouth just waters thinking about it.  Since I'm eating plant based now, I thought, “Why not use hummus instead of cream cheese?” – and so tomato hummus toast was born.

Somehow my explaining how to make tomato hummus toast morphed into just a simple discussion, not only on the plant based breakfast itself, but also a recap of the week – as I eat my breakfast.  I've seen mukbangs before and am somehow intrigued by the notion of watching people eat – but only when the topic is something I enjoy.

If you want to see more plant based mukbangs – let me know in the comments below or in the video comments.  I kind of had fun with this and can show you more of what I eat throughout the week.

I hope you enjoy my vegan, plant based mukbang breakfast and how I've still lost weight any carbs this week.

 

Tomato Hummus Toast
 
Prep time
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This is a very simple breakfast to make when you're in a hurry. You can either make your own hummus or buy an whole food organic brand.
Author:
Recipe type: Plant Based, Vegan
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 2 slices of whole food organic bread, toasted
  • 4 slices of organic whole tomato
  • 4 tablespoons Hummus (whole food organic or homemade of your choice)
Instructions
  1. Toast your bread until golden brown.
  2. Cut the tomato into thin, round slices.
  3. Spoon the hummus onto each slice of toast. You can use more or less depending on your liking.
  4. Place 2 tomato slices on each piece of toast.

 

Crazy Changes to My Body in Two Weeks

I'm really enjoying this incredible way of eating.  For years now I've drifted towards eating more and more plants rather than meat.  When I had a food sensitivity test many years ago, it noted that I am highly sensitive to eggs and dairy.  Consequently, it was then that I began changing my diet and testing how my body reacts to foods.

Literally, after only two weeks of eating whole food plant based, my body is experiencing some incredible changes.

My joints feel loose and not stiff.

I have so much more energy and I'm not as tired anymore.

My mind is more alert and I appear to be thinking more clearly.

Increased Energy and Alert

I'm just so surprised at how quickly I'm feeling better which is a great testament to how you can heal your body with proper food and nutrition. I'm just so happy that after all the diets and mental anguish related to serial dieting – that I'm finally free of the self sabatoging, judgement, and shame.

For me, this is a lifestyle – it's not a diet.  I no longer believe in diets and the confusing information out there that lead us all to confusion on how we should or shouldn't eat.

Breathing Increases Metabolism

One of the beautiful messages I learned while getting my certification as an eating psychology coach – was that simply taking the time to breathe more increases the oxygen in our blood, increases metabolism, and reduces stress.

Simply – it causes you to slow down and really think about what your eating.  When we eat, even with low level constant stress, our bodies can still gain weight even if you're eating healthy food.  Have you ever gone on vacation and ate whatever you wanted only to come home thinking you must have gain at least 5 pounds, yet you lost weight?

Breathe to reduce stress

It's called the relaxation response.  Your body relaxes on vacation.  You're enjoying life and taking the time to slow down, breathe more, and destress.

So next time you eat, take some deep breaths before you begin and maybe a few during.

What I Eat When I'm Hungry Between Meals

In order to make sure that I'm not left completely hungry between meals – or if work gets so busy that I can't run downstairs to grab something – I make a fruit and vegetable bowl in the morning to sit on my desk all day.

It usually consists of blueberries, a banana or apple, grap tomatoes, maybe an orange, some sliced cucumber and hummus, dried figs, and raw almonds.

Through out the day I can snack on this gorgeous bowl of color and still feel full.  Now compare that color to baked piece of chicken and tell me this isn't prettier.  Yum!

Result of Eating Whole Food Plant Based After Two Weeks

Even though I'm insanely busy with work, staying dialed into a plan and working that plan is creating a successful result again this week.  I'm experiencing more fullness which is probably attributable to adding more carbs – like potatoes and rice.  Imagine that – potatoes and rice and still losing weight.  That will be another blog post sometime.

This week I've lost 3 more lbs for a total of 8 lbs.  I know losing this amount of weight this quickly won't be the norm.  I presume it will begin to level off at some point to a more slower, consistent loss each week.

Week 2 Plant Based Weight Loss

Let me know in the comments how you liked my vegan, plant based mukbang and anything you all might have questions on so I can continue to add more to the videos each week.

My Meals this Week:

I've been making many of my meals, like rice, potatoes, bean chili, mushroom gravy, etc in my Instant Pot which I highly suggest.  It creates delish meals in fraction of the time and under pressure giving it more flavor.  This will replace your rice cooker, your pressure cooker, and your crock pot.

  • Instant Pot Vegan Mashed Potatoes:  MakeRealFood.com
  • Instant Pot Vegan Mushroom Gravy:  KlunkersKitchen.com
  • Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowl with Rice:  VanillaandBean.com
  • Chocolate Cherry Green Smoothies using my VitaMix Blender
  • Tomato Hummus Toast (recipe above)
  • Bean Chili and Rice using the Instant Pot.  I literally just threw in beans, canned tomatoes, onion, and spices for the chili and then served it over rice that I also cooked in the Instant Pot.
  • Fruit/Veggie Bowl with tomatoes, blueberries, banana/apple, dried figs, carrots, almonds.
  • Raw fruit and veggies

Equipment Used to Film this Video:

Whole Food Plant Based Eating | Vegan Week 1

Whole Food Plant Based Eating | Vegan Week 1

Here it goes – my first – real – YouTube video on eating whole food plant based.  This is such a vulnerable moment for me.  Eeekkk…

I decided to start documenting my journey on this whole food plant based way of eating via videos in addition to the blog.  It's been an interesting experience and I'm learning quite a bit.

Okay, so on to the topic for this week.

Week 1 – Whole Food Plant Based Eating Video

Eating whole food plant based is about eating healthy and not eating processed foods for weight loss and just plain ‘ole, getting healthy.  Watch the video below.

 

Over the last several years I haven't focused on food, even though my mindset completely changed, whereas I no longer judge myself, shame myself, or feel depressed.  However, I was so scared to “focus” on food for fear of spiraling out of control back to that deep, dark place of sabatoge, loathing, and judgement.

I never want to go back there again!

Blood Test Results Send Me Over the Edge

A couple of months ago, I received some blood test results that were alarming, but fixable with losing weight and getting healthy.  I was border-line diabetic, my blood pressure was a tad high, my cholesterol was in the danger zone, and well, I'm overweight!

My doctor basically told me to go on a diet and I literally started crying in her office.  There was no way I was heading back down that road of dieting.  It's not something that I could do and I explained it to her – the years of serial dieting and anguish.

The truth is that something has to change.  I had to lose weight and get healthy unless I wanted a life full of medications and most likely an early death.  It was time for me to start focusing on food.  Just thinking of it freaked me out!

I called my holistic health coach to have a chat on a game plan and get my head wrapped around this.  I needed her to help me through this part of my journey so I didn't veer of course and into the serial dieting again.

Pushing Through My Fears

More than anything I believe that weight loss is the result of our happiness instead of it being the other way around.  We think that losing weight will make us completely happy.  It can, for awhile, but if you don't focus on what got you to the point of being over weight and learn from that path, then you'll gain the weight back – like I did all those years ago.

Happiness Buddha quote

So fast foward to this week.

My decision to eat a whole food plant based diet is based on how I know my body feels when I eat plants rather than meat.  I've also had a food intolerance test which shows my body creates inflammation when I eat dairy and especially eggs.  Over the last 7-8 years, I've slowly drifted towards primarily eating a vegetarian lifestyle, but ate quit a bit of processed foods.

Whole Food Plant Based

Result of Eating Whole Food Plant Based in One Week

Eating whole food plant based compared to vegan means not eating processed foods.

Consequently, it's actually been quite easy, but I did learn that planning my food really sets me up for success.  With my work schedule, I have to take the time to plan out my food, buy the groceries, and prepare the meals.  I also try to finds recipes and meals that are easy and don't require a lot of prep time.

In the beginning, I felt pretty lethargic and I was SUPER hungry at night.  I would even wake up in the middle of the night hungry.  I presume this is just my body adjusting; however I did add some more carbs, like potatoes and rice and more beans to bump up the fullness factor.  That seemed to do the trick.

Even eating these carbs, I lost 5 lbs this week.

Vegan weight loss week 1

Admittedly, it was easy.  If you compare to a typical “diet” where you follow a bunch of rules, I'm eating as much as I want of fruits and vegetables and feel pretty satisfied, except for those hunger pains at night – but I'm pretty sure I've never felt hunger pains so this is all new to me. HA!

Let me know what journey your own below and are you eating a vegan or whole food plant based lifestyle?

My Meals this Week:

  • Cauliflower Coconut Soup which was delish and so quick to whip up:  Dr. Hyman's Blog
  • Ginger Mushroom Summer Rolls from Thug Kitchen Cookbook:  http://amzn.to/2jnsmpS
  • Grilled Romaine Chop Salad from Vegan Bowl Attack Cookbook:  http://amzn.to/2isPB1L
  • Mexican Bowl of quinoa, black beans, cilantro, cumin, and fire roasted tomatoes all heated up in one pot.
  • Oatmeal with superfoods for breakfast.
  • Roasted Cauliflower Tomato Soup from Vegan Bowl Attack Cookbook:  http://amzn.to/2isPB1L
  • Veggie and Tofu Chilaquiles from Thug Kitchen Cookbook:  http://amzn.to/2jnsmpS
  • Fruit/Veggie Bowl with tomatoes, blueberries, banana/apple, dried figs, carrots, almonds.
  • Raw fruit and veggies.
  • Green smoothies

Equipment Used to Film this Video:

Small Consistent Steps to Dramatic Results

Small Consistent Steps to Dramatic Results

If I have learned anything at all over all these years of personal growth it’s that small, consistent changes is what gets me to my ultimate goals.

In the past I would be so down on myself for not meeting my goals, especially as it concerned my health and weight loss, and then jump from one diet to the other in hopes that this new diet would be THE diet that FINALLY woke me up and worked for me.  Amazing how that never happened.

Why?

Diets don’t work!

Diets don’t give you the tools to manage your life.

Diets don’t give you the tools to eat healthy and nourish your body.

Diets don’t give you the tools to wake up your brain and figure out how to make lasting changes.

Diets don’t give you the tools to create an extraordinary life.

Diets don’t give you the tools to stop numbing your feelings and bolting for food, or cigarettes, or a movie, or video games, or whatever it is you use to check out of life.

Diets don’t give you the tools to stop being sick and tired of repeating the same process over and over without real change.

Diets don’t give you the tools to create intimacy in your life.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.  Diets are a temporary fix – a patch that might feel good in the moment, but doesn't get down to root issue.

If you want permanent, lasting change in your life then the diets have to stop and you need to get on the train that takes you to discovering your remarkable power.  You are more powerful than you know and you can wake up that power when you start taking baby steps, or small consistent changes, to  create this dramatic impact in your life.

How to Make Small Consistent Steps

It took me getting vestibular neuritis to fully understand this concept of small consistent changes, but once I discovered it and applied these baby steps, my life dramatically changed.

The number one objection I hear when I’m coaching clients around taking action is the time it takes to make changes.  Time is a huge factor when we think about implementing anything new in our life.  We live in a society where we have packed our days full of activities, but also meaningless activities that numb and provide little benefit to bringing more joy into our lives.

I hear you loud and clear.  I’ve been there, done that, and got the gold metal for procrastinating, complaining about the time it takes to make changes, and guess what?  I was fooling myself.  I was telling this web of stories to myself about how little time I had.

Here’s how much time it will take you each day to start taking small consistent steps.  You ready?

5 minutes!

That’s it – 5 minutes.

I know we ALL have 5 minutes to spare.

I’m sure you’re wondering, “What in the world can I do for 5 minutes that will dramatically change my life?”  Yep, that’s a great question and truly valid.

Wait for it, wait for it…….

5 Things You Can Do for 5 Minutes a Day for Dramatic Impact

Meditate:

This can be simply focusing on your breath, quieting your mind, or closing your eyes and focusing on your vision/dream.

Gratitude Journaling:

Focusing on what you are grateful for is a practice that will get you out of your tiredness and start focusing on the positive aspects of your life.  What you focus on is what your draw into your life so start focusing on the things you’re grateful for that bring you peace and happiness.  Be clear, descriptive, and detailed.  If journaling isn’t your thing then close your eyes before you sleep at night and write it down mentally.

Body Love:

One of my many rituals is to give my body some gratitude for what it does for me on a daily basis.  For all the years that I shamed it and complained about a body part I didn’t like – it was time to forgive and to love and show it how much I appreciate it.  For this exercise I will tell each body part how much I appreciate it and why I love it when I’m soaping up in the shower.  Now that’s a freebie of time because you’re already taking a shower!

Self Care:

This is one of my favorites.  Many times when we’re down on ourselves we stop taking care of our bodies.  Go grab your favorite lotion and give yourself a foot massage or rub lotion all over your body.  Give yourself a facial or a manicure and pedicure.

Stretch or Walk:

Simple stretches or walking allows you to reconnect with your body and listen to.  Start with 5 minutes and notice how you feel.

See, that was easy right.  Five minutes is nothing.

What you’ll notice though as you start to reconnect with your body and focus your awareness on healthy, positive decisions, is that you are feeling better, calmer, and more positive. You have more energy.  So you start adding another 5 minutes until next thing you know you’ve increased your time to 20 minutes a day of one small consistent change or several.

I’m sure you can think of a multitude of ways to provide more self care and actions that can be turned into small consistent changes that will result in a dramatic change in your life.

Let me know below what small consistent changes you enjoy and have implemented.

How I Got Fit for the Summer Season

How I Got Fit for the Summer Season

I did it you all! I got fit for the summer season and I’m ready for all the summer activities. It’s amazing how great it is to feel so good about yourself when your fit.

I’m talking about mind body fitness. It’s been almost one year since I stopped dieting and I’ve never felt better. My mind has done a lot of stretching, a lot of heavy lifting, and it’s fitter than ever before.

About a year ago I decided that it was time to stop dieting and through working with my holistic health coach I was able to learn how to achieve happiness no matter what my body looked like and no matter what size pants I put on each day.

Freedom From No Dieting

Freedom.

The power to take action without feeling from restraint or control; personal liberty; the absence or release from ties.  – Dictionary.com

That’s the best word I can use for this new outlook on life. Freedom.

I’m free from ever placing self-limiting rules that cause me harm.

I’m free from body shaming.

I’m free from being angry at myself for another year gone by without losing weight or the weight I “should” lose.  (Hate that judgmental word “should”.)

I’m free from the self-hatred that comes from not feeling in control of myself and wondering why I don’t have self-control.

I’m free from the fear that gripped me when people would see that I gained weight again for the millionth time (slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean).

I’m free from wondering what new diet will finally work (because diets don’t work).

So yeah, I’m fit for summer season, because I’m not worrying what I look like and I’m not worrying about starting another diet to lose weight quickly before summer season.

Instead I’ve:

  • Showed my body some love
  • Accepted myself as I am – I am perfect just as I am (my mantra)
  • Started eating consciously
  • Slowed down my eating
  • Meditations
  • …And some more empowering exercises that I’ve learned in coaching.

How You Can Get Fit Too

How many blogs have you scoured to figure out how you can shed those pounds quickly before it’s time for the summer clothes and vacations ahead? How many Pinterest boards have you perused to find the perfect body you want to model yourself after?

I get it. You’re reaching for the one thing you know will work this time. You’re hopeful, you're motivated, you have self-control, and you know that this time it will work. This new diet is going to save you.

Honey – let me stop you. It’s not. Only you can save you.

No diet is going to show you how to feel all the feelings you want to have when you lose those pounds.

No diet is going to show you how to be happy now.

No diet is going to allow you to learn how to reach down inside your gut and pull out the truth.

No diet is going to make you happy. Period. End of story.

You might think you’re happy while you’re losing weight and you might be happy when you’ve lost all the weight (I was), but then “life” gets in the way and you ultimately begin to go back to eating the way you did before you lost all the weight (I did).

So what do you do? How do you stop this craziness?

First, you have to be absolutely serious that you are done with diets and the craziness and want to leave that behind.  This is a must!

Second, start to eat consciously. Eating consciously is simply listening to your body for what it wants to eat rather than bolting to the kitchen for food and eating in a numb state.

Third, read this book called  “The Slow Down Diet” by Marc David. Hint, it’s not really a diet.

Fourth, hire a health coach to walk you step-by-step through this journey on a plan customized for you. Diets don’t do that – it’s a one size fits all. A coach will help empower you to find your happy now so you never have to diet again.

The truth is, I still have a lot of weight I would like to release in order to be more healthy. The difference between me wanting to be more healthy and wanting to lose weight by dieting is on opposite spectrums.  No longer do I obsess about losing weight.  Now I only think about how the foods I'm eating can help me to get healthier.

Since my mind is now healthy and I’m eating more consciously, the weight is starting to come off without me even thinking about it. How amazing is that!?!

If you’re serious about jumping off the hamster wheel of dieting, send me an email on my Contact page so we can set-up a time to talk about what it is exactly you want to achieve and how I might be able to serve you in that capacity.

5 Reasons Why I Love Green Smoothies and You Can Too

5 Reasons Why I Love Green Smoothies and You Can Too

On the occasion when I don't have my green smoothie, I can feel a difference in my body, so for that reason alone, I'm going to tell you the 5 reasons why I love green smoothies and you can too!  Maybe you'll fall in love with green smoothies once you notice how amazing you can feel.

I'm always trying new foods, new ways of eating to see how my body responds to food.  I've learned to be more observant about what my body craves and how it interacts with certain foods.

I fell in love with green smoothies years ago and ever since then it's been a staple in my diet almost every day.

5 Reasons Why I Love Green Smoothies and You Can Too

Chocolate Green Smoothie

Photo courtesy of VanillaAndBean.com

#1 It's a Great Way to Eat Chocolate and Get Your Greens

It was the chocolate that got your attention wasn't it?  Me too.  I love chocolate and… high quality chocolate, especially raw cacao chocolate which is an amazing superfood.

It's full of antioxidants, magnesium, iron and if you've ever noticed what a great mood you're in after eating chocolate – well that would be the phytochemicals that make you happy.  I love me some phytochemicals!

If you want to learn how to make an amazing Chocolate Green Super Smoothie – Traci over at VanillaAndBean.com will show you step-by-step how to make a delectable chocolate green smoothie with chocolate, peanut butter (can it get any better with chocolate and peanut butter), bananas, apples, cucumbers, greens, hemp seeds, and more.

#2 Green Smoothies Make My Body Feel Alive

When I eat green smoothies my body feels so energized, alive, fully awake, and present for the day. Many times I'll make a really large batch of green smoothies – about 64 ounces in my Vitamix blender – and drink it all day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then snack in between on other foods like nuts, seeds, fresh vegetables and fruit.  Maybe even some steamed veggies for dinner.

Once I decided to eat green smoothies for 90 days – it was a challenge I completed for myself just to see how eating mostly raw food would affect my body.  Though I didn't feel eating raw food was sustainable for me, I loved how I felt and the energy it gave me daily so I decided to continue with eating green smoothies.

#3 Green Smoothies Make My Mind More Alert

I've observed that when I eat green smoothies, especially if I eat them throughout the day, my mind is more alert, more calm, and energized.  Rarely will I even drink coffee on the days that I have a green smoothie, especially a chocolate green smoothie with all it's yummy superfood properties.  Rarely will I add any protein powders, except for Amazing Grass Chocolate Green Superfood which has a ton of superfoods all mixed together, but instead I'll stick with superfood like raw cacao, maca powder, hemp seeds, chia seeds, goji berries, acai, camu powder and more.

There's a wonderful book out there that will also show you how to create your own superfood smoothies, Superfood Smoothies – 100 Delicious, Energizing & Nutrient-Dense Recipes.  The only thing I would suggest to change with the authors recipes is to just add your greens to the existing recipe.  The author will make the smoothies without greens and only superfood so add whatever greens you want.  It doesn't matter what greens, just add what you like.

If you're new to green smoothies, then start with spinach, which you really can't taste in smoothies, and then progress to your grassier greens like parsley, beet greens, kale, and chard when your taste buds change.  You'll be amazed how quickly your tastes will change and you'll start to crave the greens.  Love me some greens!  My favorite is kale and swiss chard together with parsley and some cucumber.

#4 Green Smoothies are the Ultimate Fast Food

In this day in time when everyone is on the go and we're looking for something to eat quickly, we tend to grab the fast food items because it's quick and easy.  Instead, if you stock your fridge with your green smoothie items and prep the greens and fruit as soon as you get it home from the store, then you will have the quickest and healthiest meal – faster than you can jump in your car, drive to the local fast food chain, and bring the food back.  Seriously!

Though we all need to take a lesson in slow eating and paying more attention to our body, what we're eating, and eating in a more relaxed state – the fact is that there will be times when we just need something quick.  So why not grab a green smoothie for some “fast food”.  You can literally throw into your Vitamix you soft fruits first, hard fruits next, superfood, greens and then a little water, blend in about 20 seconds, pour and drink.  Now that's some super “fast food”!

Not only is it fast, but healthy and makes me feel alive, alert, refreshed, and just beautiful eating such good foods and taking care of my body.  It's some fast food body love.

#5 Green Smoothies are Great for Digestion and Um…. Elimination

Green smoothies are amazing for digestion.  It's easy on the body and gives your body some excellent nourishment and fuel for your cells and organs.  Your body will digest the green smoothies fairly quickly which will also help you to detox your organs and body.  That would be called – well – poo, poop, elimination, #2, dingleberries, and – well I think you get it.

The point is, eating green smoothies regularly will make you regular – HA!  Once your body adjusts to eating green smoothies and you've gone through the detox phase, then your “poo time” in the bathroom will no longer consist of you sitting there reading a book.  You'll be in and out in no time and that's the way it should be with your bowel movements.

If you're new to green smoothies, then review my how-to on starting with green smoothies and also check out some of my green smoothie recipes.

I hope you enjoy trying out green smoothies.  Let me know in a comment below if this is your first time trying green smoothies and what you like about it.

Image: Daniel

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Loving My Body in the Pursuit of Happiness

Loving My Body in the Pursuit of Happiness

As I'm sitting here writing this post I had a thought, “Oh, I haven't eaten in awhile, I should probably go eat.”  But then I checked in with my body – something like this, “Am I hungry?  Do I feel hungry?  Are there any hunger pangs?” The answer was “no”.

I am somewhat amused that I kept thinking about eating, repeated the questioning on whether I was hungry, and then decided not to eat.  The absolute coolest part of this is that it was pretty darn easy.

It hasn't always been that way though.

It was easy because I've been working through this “checking-in” with self to see what my body says before I do anything.  It really is a day-by-day thing for me to react by listening to my body rather than automatically running for food, but guess what – it's getting easier!  Each day that I have a success, each day that I work that listening muscle – I gain strength and the ability to push down the gut reaction to bolt for food.

Pursuit of HappinessSo much of this is what I have learned through holistic health coaching along with learning to be completely present instead of always trying to live for the future.  So many times I would tell myself, “If only I could get down to my goal weight, I will be happy”.  There were many things I would say, “If only……I would be happy.”

What I have learned more than ever is to be happy now.  Create happiness now regardless of the weight you are at and what weight you want to be in the future.

What do you love to do?  Do whatever you love and enjoy yourself.

What foods do you enjoy eating?  Eat it and relax.

Do you love going on a hike or cycling around the neighborhood?  Do it!

What beautiful clothes can you wear?  OMG – in the past I wouldn't buy new clothes because I thought I didn't want to spend so much money on clothes only to lose weight on the next diet and have wasted all those dollars on clothes that are now too big for me.  It doesn't matter!  Buy those clothes now.  Enjoy yourself.  Look beautiful NOW!  Live for now.  Don't put it off or else you might find yourself never having felt beautiful, loved, relaxed, and enjoy activities you cherish just because you don't weigh a specific amount on the scale.

Doesn't that kinda sound silly when you think about it?  A stupid scale is determining your happiness and how you will live your life?  Really?

Throw the scale away.  Do it now!  Stop reading this post, get up and go throw it away or at least put it in your attic.  Don't let that scale run your life.  It's a machine.  It's not a part of you, it's not what makes you beautiful.  It's not something to cherish, to love, to hold dear.  It's not an extension of your beautiful spirit.

Instead start learning to trust your body again.  Listen to it.  Love it.  Ask it questions.

This is how I think of it.  If you look at your body as a house for your spirit, a living, breathing, body that came into this world as a child – it's a little child that you – your spirit – was given to take care of during your journey here on Earth.  To me it's no different than me giving birth to a child and taking care of that baby.  Loving it, teaching that child to love, teaching that child to play, to dance, to create happiness, and enjoy life.  I would protect that child and not let anybody harm it or say nasty things to it. I would cherish the moments I had with that child knowing that one day, the child will be gone and life will change as I know it.

Now instead, replace child with “my body“:

Loving it, teaching my body to love, teaching my body to play, to dance, to create happiness, and enjoy life.  I would protect my body and not let anybody harm it or say nasty things to it. I would cherish the moments I had with my body knowing that one day, my body will be gone and life will change as I know it.

How does that resonate with you?

Loving My Body in the Pursuit of Happiness

Ever since I decided to live for today, be happy today, my life has changed in such an amazing way.  I feel so much gratitude and freedom living this way.  Pursuit of happiness = Body Love!

  • I gave up diets.  No more diets.  I eat what I want, when I want based on what my body needs.  This is the checking-in method, I described earlier.  I know you've already done this before.  Think about when it's hot outside – what do you crave?  Usually something cold, like melons, ice cream, salads, or sandwiches.  When it's cold and windy outside it feels good to wrap your hands around a bowl of soup or make some chili.  It's the same thing.  Ask, then listen to your body.  Learn to trust it again.  I've embraced the uncertainty and because of that a whole new world has opened up.
  • Through some incredible vision work I did with my coach, I wrote down all the activities and things in my life that I knew would create happiness for me.  Then I started to implement these small little changes into my life daily – just a few at a time until every area of my life was effected by happiness each day.  For instance, my skin really needed lotion from the dry weather in Arizona, so each day I made sure I rubbed lotion into my skin.  I started meditating daily.  I started walking more with Lily (my fur baby).  I started enjoying foods again rather than going for the quick and easy.  As I concentrated on happiness – my life started to change.  Food started to play less of a role in my life.

I'm no where near my goal weight yet, but it doesn't matter anymore.  I'm happy with who I am right now.  Yes, I still want to have a healthier body which means carrying less weight – that hasn't changed – but how I get there has changed dramatically.  Now I don't obsess about it or put my body through ridiculous exercises and deprivation of food to achieve wholeness.  I'm happy.  I'm perfect just as I am.

As I've learned how to change my perspective on dieting and weight loss, I've also received so many requests from women to help them through the same process.  So I decided to enroll in the Institute for the Psychology of Eating.  I asked all of you if anybody would be interested in being a part of my free coaching and to apply as a practice client.  After reviewing numerous applications, I accepted four women into my free holistic health coaching session over the next 3 months.

I'm so THRILLED!  Just so amazing how many of you were interested and how courageous you were to reach out for some help.  I'm truly humbled to be a part of your journey.

I‘ll be opening up some spots in late February 2015 for additional clients.  Join the wait list now to be notified as soon as spots open up for new clients.

Let me know how you are creating happiness in your life and how it effects your relationship to food below in the comments!

Image:  TBYH

Embracing Uncertainty Transforms My Relationship with Food

Embracing Uncertainty Transforms My Relationship with Food

Today I discovered how embracing uncertainty and the discomfort that comes with it has allowed me to release the outcome in life and transform my relationship with food.

For most of my life, at least adult life, I've worried about the outcome of events and would always try to mitigate the details in between to produce the result I wanted. I hated uncertainty. I stressed. I worried. I had this feeling that only I could “make” something happen. This became more prevalent in my life as I climbed the corporate ladder, as I aged, and am the sole supporter of myself.

I lived in fear of financial uncertainty, of relationship uncertainty, of location uncertainty. (more…)

My No Diet Days Are Making Me Lose Weight

My No Diet Days Are Making Me Lose Weight

Whah?  Losing weight without dieting? Huh?  Yep, you heard me right.  My no diet days are causing me to lose weight and feel pretty amazing – like I have this freedom I've never experienced before.

Who would have ever known that not dieting could create weight loss.  I didn't know how to lose weight without dieting before I met my holistic health coach.  New diets are what I gravitated to in the past – one after another, rules to live by and eat by. (more…)

Apply for Free Holistic Health Coaching to Transform Your Relationship with Food

Apply for Free Holistic Health Coaching to Transform Your Relationship with Food

I was going to start this post out with a very clever, and very sterile reason, about how to transform your relationship with food, but dang it – I’m just going to be bold and speak quite frankly.

Aren’t you tired of diets? Aren’t you tired of all the the conflicting information out there that tells us what food is good and what food is bad? I’m just sick of it! (more…)

How to Lose Weight Without Dieting with 5 Simple Changes

How to Lose Weight Without Dieting with 5 Simple Changes

In the last several years, through the ups and downs of dieting, I have learned more than ever that diets do not work.

It pains me to say that it took this long to figure it out especially when I consider myself a person with some intelligence – at least I’d like to think so.  Instead of subjecting myself to a constant string of diets that result in failure, disappointment, and more weight gain, I learned how to lose weight without dieting by changing the way I think about my body and food.

As I started to make these simple small changes in my life, the weight has naturally started to disappear. (more…)

How I Discovered That I Am Perfect Just The Way I Am

How I Discovered That I Am Perfect Just The Way I Am

Good news!  The vestibular neuritis is getting better each day.  I'm almost – almost – feeling normal again.  I still have a bit of a lag and when I'm tired, like today, I can tell my brain gets a little dizzy.

I'm off to enjoy my home, Seattle, and spend some amazing times with my cousins, soak up the cool weather, breathe in the fresh air, hike some mountain trails, and take in the views of green mountains, blue water, and all the nature the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

It's been 10 months since I've been back home since my move to Scottsdale, Arizona.  I miss it so much! (more…)