A Vegan’s Guide to Weight loss
The holidays, as great as they are, always seem to add a couple pounds to my waistline. It’s all those delicious treats, cookies and candy that surround us in the late months of the year.
Thank goodness January gives us the perfect opportunity to cleanse and detox, get back on the wagon and eat right, exercise, and shed those extra pounds.
To get back on track, I have some healthy weight loss tips taken from one of my very favorite vegan books, The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone. If you haven’t heard of this book yet and you’re interested in the kind life approach (being kind to your body, each other, animals and the earth) you must go buy this book as soon as possible (It will be worth the purchase, it’s also a cookbook!)
After reading her book I immediately lost 10 pounds just by 86ing most of the processed crap out of my diet. Not only will you lose weight, but you will have an abundance of energy, all from natural foods that this gorgeous Earth provides for us. None of this sugar-free over processed and refined junk, just real food. I promise once you eat the real stuff, you’ll never want to go back!
Eat up your veggies and whole grains! I guarantee you will never get hungry and will have so much energy! Some grain examples: Brown rice, quinoa, barley, millet, oats, wild rice and the list goes on. For veggies, try to get what’s in season. Many people believe that our bodies are also “in season” and react positively to local produce.
Eat up some delicious daikon! Daikon is in the raddish family and is a natural diuretic. You can use it in soups, stews, vegetable dishes, and even tea!
Try Alicia’s amazing weight loss tea:
½ cup grated (into pulp) carrot
½ cup grated (into pulp) daikon
¼ umeboshi plum
1-2 drops of shoyu (fancy name for soy sauce.)
¼ sheet nori, ripped into small pieces (optional)
Bring the carrot, daikon, umeboshi plum, and 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat, and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the shoyu and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add the nori, if using. Drink hot once a day for 10 days. After that, drink three times a week for three weeks. If you want to continue, a couple of times a week should do the trick.
Chew your food properly! The more and better you chew the more energy you will get from the food and the more satisfied you will feel.
Do your best to eliminate white sugar out of your diet. White sugar is addictive and can slow down weight loss. Transition to sweeteners like brown rice syrup to break your white sugar habit.
Keep fattening and indulgent foods out of the house for a while; Even if they’re vegan. It’s ok to have something sweet every once in a while but keeping things in the house will only tempt you to indulge.
Cut back on the salt consumption. Seasoning should taste mild. Too much salt can set you up to overeat or crave strong sweets.
Eat a big nutritious breakfast in the morning. This will start your day out right and keep you full and energized, cutting the chances of an afternoon binge. For example, this morning I had a big bowl of fruit (1 banana and 1/3 cup blueberries) and topped it with some soy yogurt and granola. It was absolutely delicious and it kept me full until lunch. Oatmeal is also great but try to avoid the sweetened and flavored stuff. Regular ‘ol oatmeal is awesome with fruit, there’s no need for the extra sugar.
Don’t be too hard on yourself! If you mess up, don’t give up everything that you’ve worked for. Just sit down, take a break, and snack on some veggies and grains and you will feel much better.
Don’t eat anything 3 hours before bedtime.
Do some kind of fun exercise three to five days a week. Whether it’s a jog around the park, or a yoga class at the studio down the street, get out there and move your body.
My Bonus Tip
Cut back on the caffeine for a few weeks. Try to get your energy from the food you eat and not the stimulants and sugar in your lattes. Plus, with less caffeine, you will get a better night sleep, which is proven to aid in weight loss. (If you’re a Starbucks junky like me, try cutting back to 2-3 cups a week and substitute decaf for the regular stuff.)
If you follow these tips for the next few weeks you will see dramatic results in your body, mind, and spirit. Good luck and I wish everyone a very healthy and happy new year!
Vegan Stat of the Week:
97% of egg-laying hens are confined to battery cages. Even if you’re not vegan, please be conscious of the food you buy, where it comes from, and how it’s maker or gardener is treated. The easiest way to do this is to get to know the folks who sell you your food. Make friends with your local farmers and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
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