What I Ate Today For Weight Loss On A Plant Based Diet

Just another quick post to show you another full day of what I eat for weight loss on a plant based diet (and more specifically while for the most part following the Starch Solution). For the video clips of everything I ate you can check out my Youtube Video at the bottom of this post.

I still really enjoy everything that I am eating, look forward to every meal and snack, never feel deprived or like I am dieting and the weight is coming off! I am so happy!

 

Breakfast

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In all honesty the majority of the breakfasts I eat include hashbrown potatoes. What I do change up from day to day is the combination of veggies I add to them. This time I have added in some fresh kale, red pepper, green onion and tomato. I also had about 1/2 an orange and a glass of water with fresh squeezed lemon juice.

 

Lunch

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For lunch I had 1/2 a sandwich on whole wheat bread with some roasted vegetable spread, cucumber, tomato and alfalfa sprouts. I also had some homemade creamy tomato soup. When I make the tomato soup I just make the base soup itself and then depending on what I already have made in the fridge and what I am feeling like I will add in some sort of pasta or other grain (rice, quinoa, barely etc.) to the soup to change it up a bit from day to day. In today’s soup I was trying to use up some things from the fridge so I have some whole wheat macaroni noodles as well as some potatoes with red pepper, kale and green onion which were leftover from dinner last night. To drink I had some water (and on a side note I do try to drink a lot of water throughout the day in general, not just at meal times).

 

Afternoon Snack

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For my afternoon snack I had some Martin’s Family Fruit Farm Crispy Apple Chips. These are SO yummy and crunchy! There is nothing added to these at all (ie. sugar or oil), they are just dehydrated apple. I found them at Costco (Canada) a couple of weeks ago and am so happy I did. They have really helped curb my craving for regular potato chips which are a HUGE weakness of mine.

 

Dinner 

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For dinner I made homemade veggie burgers using a new recipe I found on the HotForFoodBlog. They were SO delicious. I had the burger on a ciabatta bun with lettuce, tomato and a little bit of Veganaise. On the side I had (no oil added) oven baked fries. I just cut up russet potatoes into fry sized sticks and bake them in the oven. On the fries I had some vegan gravy (I was lazy this time and just used a packaged gravy mix). To drink I was very naughty and had a glass of Diet Pepsi…still working on giving that up.

 

Bedtime Snack

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I usually have a snack a couple of hours before bed and this time I had some Pretzel Crisps with Garlic Hummus. These taste amazing with the hummus. Not sure why but something magical happens when they come together as one! No this hummus is not fat free or even low fat but I really love it so I try to use it sparingly (most days). The Pretzel Crisps I buy from Costco but I have seen them in smaller bags in other grocery stores. I have seen a few different varieties of these as well but if you are trying to keep it plant based double check the ingredients because I believe not all of their varieties are dairy free/egg free.

So that is it for what I ate today! I will continue to do these every now and then so stay tuned!

Katie

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What I Ate Today On The Starch Solution

I FINALLY have a “What I ate” post for you! If you follow me on Instagram at all you probably already have a general idea of some of the things I am eating these days but if not this will be a bit of a look into what a typical day of eating might look like for me. I definitely do not eat the exact same thing everyday so I will try to get another one of these done again soon. Today was a bit light on the potatoes compared to a lot of days!

 

Breakfast

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For breakfast today I had dry fried (no oil added) frozen hashbrown potatoes with some chopped fresh red pepper and green onion mixed in. On the side I had half a slice of whole wheat toast with a very thin layer of natural peanut butter and some slices of mandarin orange. To drink I had a big glass of water with some fresh squeezed lemon juice (I drink this every morning with my breakfast).

These hashbrowns are not fat free, they are store bought and do have a bit of oil on them. I haven’t been able to find these in fat free yet and these are the closest thing to that I have come across so far. They are fairly low fat and fry up really nicely because of the small amount of oil on them. I do sometimes dice up my own potatoes instead but these are great to have on hand when you just need to quickly get breakfast made. I usually also add in spinach and mushrooms but I just didn’t have any left in the house at the moment. I also often change up the colour of pepper and type of onion as well.

 

Lunch

For lunch I had some Happy Planet Thai Coconut Soup over top of some white basmati rice and corn kernels. On the side I had some oven warmed whole wheat naan bread with an ever so thin layer of Earth Balance spread and a touch of garlic salt. I also had some cucumber slices with a bit of garlic hummus and a couple of my mom’s homemade beet pickles. To drink I just had water.

I usually eat brown rice instead of white rice but I am totally out right now. A trip to the grocery store is in order very soon!

 

Afternoon Snack

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I was feeling a bit hungry right before I started getting supper together so I had a small handful (half a serving at most) of Luke’s Organic Superfood Tortilla Chips. These are a much healthier alternative to the ordinary tortilla chip and are so delicious. Sometimes for a full on snack I will have some of these with garlic hummus, hummus mixed with sriracha sauce or tomato salsa. We buy big bags of these from Costco.

 

Supper

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For supper tonight I tried a new Thai Green Curry recipe from the actual Starch Solution book (apparently I have a Thai theme going on today). To keep this fat free the recipe calls for using a non-dairy milk such as soy, rice or almond milk and adding coconut extract to get the coconut flavour (instead of coconut milk). I had never tried this before and it was great! I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. I didn’t have all of the specific veggies the recipe called for so I just added and substituted with what I did have on hand.

Essentially what you see above was made with white basmati rice, almond milk, vegetable broth, coconut extract, low sodium soy sauce, Thai green curry paste, broccoli, carrot, onion, garlic, peas, corn, red pepper and yellow pepper. It was really delicious, I will definitely be making this again!

 

Evening Snack

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It is a couple of hours before I head to bed and I am feeling a bit hungry so for an evening snack I am having some beans in tomato sauce (the kind you buy canned) with a couple of Luke’s tortilla chips stuck in there to scoop them up. For the remainder I will just use a spoon! I find beans of any kind to be very filling and satisfying. The perfect snack to hold me over until breakfast tomorrow!

 

That is it for what I ate today for weight loss on the Starch Solution. I hope you enjoyed and found this post helpful. I also made a Youtube video of everything I ate today so for a little more footage on the actual preparation of my main meals check that out!

See you again soon!

Katie

My Weight loss Journey: Stats Update #1

 

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Hi guys! I finally have stats update #1 for you. It has been 3 weeks since I posted my starting weight and measurements and the time has gone by really quickly for me. So without further delay here they are:

Original Stats From: November 6, 2015

New Stats From: November 27, 2015

3 weeks has gone by already!

 

Height: 5 feet 7 Inches

Obviously this isn’t going to change! 🙂

 

Previous Weight: 180 pounds

New Weight: 175 pounds

Down 5 pounds

 

Previous Waist: 34.5 inches

New Waist: 33 inches

Down 1.5 inches

 

Previous Hips: 44 inches

New Hips: 43 inches

Down 1 inch

 

Previous Bust: 39 inches

New Bust: 38.5 inches

Down 0.5 inches

 

I am very happy with my progress so far as I really feel like this is the easiest 5 pounds I have ever lost. I also did not have an expectation that this was going to be some quick fix lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks type of thing. I want this to be a new way of life for me and something I can stick to. If I can achieve slow and steady weight loss while feeling perfectly content with how I get to eat everyday then I have no reason to complain. On a side note I was also super lazy these last 3 weeks and honestly didn’t get any exercise in at all other than chasing my little one around. So starting Monday I am really going to try to get myself on some sort of regular fitness routine.

What I am thinking of doing is a higher intensity, 20 minute or so fitness video, 5 days a week. I am going to use a different video each day for every 5 day cycle just to keep things varied and interesting. I plan to use videos from a variety of my favourite Youtube fitness gurus because they are effective, plentiful and best of all free! I hope to incorporate strength training and cardio and they will all be routines I can do at home in my living room using my own body weight or free weights that I already own. I will try to remember to put up blog posts regularly to let you know which videos I am really enjoying and how I am doing with reaching my goal of working out 5 days a week. In all honesty however, I am really trying to keep up an attitude where I do not beat myself up for missing a workout here and there. Life is to short for that!

In terms of my eating and sticking to the Starch Solution I have been doing pretty well. Like I said I feel like this is the easiest 5 pounds I have ever lost and it is all because I have been sticking to my high carb, low fat, plant based diet at least 90% of the time. I never feel like I am going hungry, I never feel deprived and I don’t feel like I am “dieting” to lose weight. I get to eat foods that I love and I get to eat them whenever I feel hungry and until I am satiated.

Some of the other benefits I have noticed so far from this way of eating have been drastically increased energy levels, clearer skin and the eczema which I have on my legs calming WAY down. I have suffered from chronic crazy itchy legs from eczema for about 13 years, often to a point where it effects how I sleep, and right now it isn’t bothering me much at all. I really hope that eventually I might see it go away almost if not completely!

Anyway I will leave it at that for now and if you have any questions just ask! I will try to get up a post very soon with some good detail about my go to meals at the moment. To get more frequent updates on some of the things I am eating check out my Instagram account as I post food pictures on there quite often.

Until next time!

Katie

(P.S. I finally have my Youtube channel up and running. I only have a few videos up there right now and none of them weight loss/diet/fitness related yet but those ones will start coming soon!)

My Weight Loss Journey: Explaining my diet for weight loss and better health in general – Part 3 of 3

**To read this series from the beginning you can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here**

In this final part 3 of the series I want to talk about the Starch Solution, how I came across it and why I decided to go this specific route. 

I know many of you are going to scream and shudder when you see the words “Starch Solution” on this page because for some reason we have been trained to think of carbohydrates as something evil, waist expanding and untouchable. I myself was definitely guilty of thinking that way about them and really quite unhappy about it because I love carbs, especially potatoes, and the more I restricted them the hungrier I felt and the more I wanted them. I am not really sure why it never fully occurred to me before that perhaps the carbs were not the actual problem….maybe it was the crazy high fat butter, sour cream, cream sauce, hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, cheese, mayo etc. that we put in, on and around them. When I think of carbs I think of things such as vegetables, fruits, grains and potatoes all of which are for the most part nutrient dense, low in calories, low in fat and low in sodium. And these were the things that I was supposed to believe were making and keeping me fat??? It just doesn’t make sense!

So when I was first starting to think about making the transition to a plant based diet I was all over the internet looking for resources on how to do this so that I am getting in all of the vitamins and minerals I need such as iron, calcium, protein, vitamin B12 and so on and so forth, as well as optimizing my intake of healthy foods all while losing weight. Initially in my mind I was thinking “oh great, here we go again with trying to survive off of no dressing salads and non-starchy vegetables”. No matter how unhappy you feel about your body it is hard to get excited about a new way of eating, plant based or not, when you think you are going to be hungry and unsatisfied all the time.

With these negative thoughts in my mind I decided to head over to Youtube to check out some weight loss success stories, as these often help keep me motivated. I stumbled across this video with a before and after photo as the video thumbnail showing this girl’s 55 pound weight loss. What especially caught my eye is that this girl had pretty much the exact same body type as I do! She was a bit heavier than I was but in a way I felt like looking at her before photo was like looking in the mirror. And even better she looked fabulous in her after photo so I of course had to check it out. This girl was Hannah Janish (High Carb Hannah on Youtube).

I probably spent well over an hour sifting through her videos which were a lot of documentation of what she ate to lose the weight, recipes (she has great ones) and explanations as to why she eats the way she does. Luckily for me it turned out she was vegan, so of course following a plant based diet, and after having gained a lot of weight on a diet called Rawtill4 had discovered and switched to The Starch Solution by Dr. John A. McDougall, which was how she lost all the weight. I was so intrigued because in her “what I eat” type videos her meals looked delicious and were centred around starchy foods (rice, beans, potatoes, pasta, bread, and other whole grains and starchy vegetables). Basically all of the “evil” carbs I loved and felt satisfied by but had been avoiding because I thought they were making and keeping me fat. I NEEDED to read this book to see what this was really all about. So off to the library I went and since I am writing this post here today obviously I was hooked!

As I cannot properly do the information justice here, I really recommend that if you are interested in looking into this way of eating for yourself or just learning more about it that you read the book and/or check out Dr. McDougall’s website (here) which has all the basic information and background on the Starch Solution for free. A great start on the website would be to choose “Education” from the menu bar and then choose and read through “The Free Program”. There are also tons of Youtube videos of conferences, meetings, interviews etc. with Dr. McDougall speaking about the Starch Solution, why he believes so strongly in it (backed by scientific evidence), and how to follow it.

Without going into all of the science and evidence as to why this is an amazing diet for a healthy life (Dr. McDougall is the expert on that so please defer to him there), in a nutshell the Starch Solution is a way of eating that is low fat, plant based and each meal and snack is centred around a starch or combination of starches. For example potatoes, whole grains (ie. rice, quinoa, barley, oats, millet, wheat), beans, corn, and other starchy vegetables (ie. carrots and peas). This is all of course rounded out with non-starchy vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and so on and so forth. Oh and yes…you can eat bread and pasta! There is no counting calories or restriction on how much you can eat or how often but you are supposed to listen to your body and follow what is called “intuitive eating”. This means only eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. This does not mean stuffing yourself silly until you feel sick! If you are like me it may be a bit of a process learning how to eat intuitively and really listening to your body’s hunger cues. In the past I have definitely been guilty of eating just because I was bored or craving something, even if I was not actually hungry. I have also been guilty of eating until I am way to full for the sake of finishing what was on my plate or because what I was eating was so good I didn’t want to stop.

So anyway, to me the Starch Solution sounded fantastic. Yes trying to keep things very low fat can be challenging but more importantly and what wins out for me is that I find starchy foods to be the most comforting, delicious and satisfying. They keep me feeling full longer so I actually end up eating less at the end of the day and I don’t feel deprived which is such a relief. In the past when I have eliminated carbs and tried to live off of mostly non-starchy vegetables and lean meats I had to eat so much to feel full and then felt hungry again in no time at all. It was so frustrating! If I can lose weight and feel fabulous while still eating as much mashed potatoes and gravy as I want (low fat plant based versions of course) then I am in! (Oh and stay tuned because I have a vegan gravy recipe that is super low calorie, super low fat, easy to make, from scratch  and that is just as good if not better than the real thing.)

Well there you have it, this ends my 3 part introduction to my new way of eating. I hope it has been somewhat interesting and might be helpful to someone else out there wanting to make a change or try something new. I am happy to answer any questions I can about all this so please don’t hesitate to ask. Moving forward I will try to keep you up to date on what I am eating and any changes if any to my plan along the way. I am excited to also start sharing some of the amazing recipes I have come across and formulated to keep me on track and excited about this journey!

Happy Eating!

Katie

My Weight Loss Journey: Explaining my diet for weight loss and better health in general – Part 2 of 3

**To read part 1 of this 3 part series of posts on my diet you can do so here **

In this part 2 of the series I want to talk about some of the challenges and successes I have had so far in transitioning to a plant based diet and what I predict may be some challenges in the future. 

I started transitioning my diet away from eating animal products many months ago so this isn’t brand new to me anymore and I have already faced some challenges and difficulties and learned a lot along the way.

The first step I took in making this change was to stop eating meat but was still keeping dairy and eggs in my diet. I didn’t find this step overly difficult for the most part as I really was not a huge meat eater to begin with and quite honestly except for maybe a couple of meals during the week I felt like having to prepare meat wasn’t worth the effort. I did however always really enjoy, as unhealthy as they are, the occasional hot dog, bacon cheeseburger or crispy chicken burger so still today if I smell something like that cooking my head sometimes immedietely  goes back to saying “man I could sure go for one of those!”.

The second step, which was more difficult and continues to be the most difficult for me, was to remove the eggs and dairy. Aside from the more obvious eating an egg, a slice of cheese, butter on your toast or sour cream on your baked potato for example, it is a bit mind blowing how many products out there have eggs and/or dairy in them. From condiments, to sauces, to baked and packaged goods, junk foods and so on and so forth. It really made this whole process seem a bit overwhelming. How was I possibly going to be able to this?

Well I took a walk down the “natural foods” type aisles at my local grocery stores and found that there are a lot of alternatives for meat, eggs and dairy out there, some of which are essentially just “mock” versions of animal based products, and many of the them (at least the ones I have tried so far) are actually quite convincing! A lot of these products are however quite often just as loaded with fat, calories and sodium etc. as the animal product based versions. That is why you may know some people in your own life who decided to become vegetarians or vegans that are still just as overweight or even heavier than before they made that change. Just because you don’t eat meat, eggs or dairy doesn’t automatically mean you are going to lose weight! If you eat a diet mainly comprised of high fat, high calorie, nutrient deficient, processed and junk foods there is a really good chance you are going to gain weight regardless of where these foods come from.

I am trying to eat whole and minimally processed plant based foods so for the most part I am trying to avoid these unhealthy and processed “mock” foods. However if I am cooking the odd meal where I am trying to make sure I keep it totally plant based but want it to taste like it contains animal products and am planning on just indulging versus ensuring this is healthy for me, sure I will use these alternatives. If I am totally craving a hot dog then I will eat a veggie dog and if I am making pizza and really want that cheesy texture and flavour on there I will use a plant based cheese. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to keep on track over the long term! You will also always find in my fridge a plant based mayonnaise (we like the Vegenaise brand) and plant based margarine (we like the Earth Balance brand). I am following a low fat diet and these items are certainly not low fat so when I do use them I use them very sparingly.

So given all of the food options and amazing recipes out there for following a low fat whole foods plant based diet I generally find it quite easy to maintain this way of eating when at home or in a situation where I can easily control the food around me. Where it becomes a challenge is when I am going out to eat at a restaurant and have no control over where we go or when eating at someone else’s house. Most restaurants I find myself at do seem to have a few vegetarian options but these often are still super high in fat and include eggs and/or dairy in them. So if they cannot be modified to exclude those items then although not ideal I will compromise and just try to pick out the best vegetarian option they have. I find the bigger challenge actually to be when eating at someone else’s house. I am just not in a place yet along this journey where I am confident or comfortable enough to exclaim to my family and friends, most of which eat a typical North American/Western diet, that I won’t eat what they have made because it contains meat, eggs or dairy. I am so uncomfortable with being “that” person so I just gratefully eat whatever has been prepared for me.

To be honest, I am kind of at a loss where to even begin having that conversation with my friends and family because I fear that many of them will be quite hostile towards the notion of following a plant based diet and will make a big production out of it anytime we have a meal together. I live in a VERY pro-meat eating and anti-vegetarian/vegan part of Canada. My parents and several members of my extended family raise beef cattle for a living so you can possibly imagine how that conversation would go!

Just to clarify as I do not want to confuse anyone, I am not at this time making any kind of proclomations here that I am vegan or vegetarian. From what I understand, those are all encompassing lifestyles that go beyond just the food you eat and that you do not knowingly deviate from under any circumstance. Maybe someday I will get there as I feel my heart leaning that way, but for now I am approaching this purely from a personal health standpoint. I am so not perfect and although I really try my best each and every day to stay on track with eating this way I know there are going to be days and certain situations where I will eat something that is either plant based but not healthy or low fat, or something that isn’t plant based at all. However rather than beating myself up about it I am just going to try to make sure that I get back on track as soon as I can and keep going with it.

I am going to end this post here before I write a whole book! I will try to get part 3 of 3 up very soon which will explain a little bit about “The Starch Solution” which is the specific form of plant based diet I am following. That will end the formal introduction to my diet and then I will get to showing you some of the awesome recipes I am using and what I am actually eating from day to day. If you have any questions or want to know more about all of this stuff please feel free to ask. Check out my “Contact” page in the Menu for my email address and other ways to get in touch with me directly.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Katie

My Weight Loss Journey: Explaining my diet for weight loss and better health in general – Part 1 of 3

How I have decided to change the way I eat as a part of this journey, and hopefully for the rest of my life, would be considered pretty drastic and/or extreme by many. Quite frankly if you told me a year ago that I would be giving this a try I would have said you are crazy, that’s impossible, and not for the reasons some of you may be thinking.

I have no intention of starving myself, constantly counting calories, eliminating carbs or feeling hungry all the time. I have done all of that before and I was miserable! Sure I lost weight but most of the time I was what do they call it now…hangry (thats hungry+angry if you are not up with the lingo). Those methods just weren’t sustainable for me.

The most sustainable success I have had in the past and basically what kept me at a reasonable weight for the past few years prior to having my daughter was following a clean eating lifestyle for the majority of my meals and snacks. No calorie counting or starving, just eating when I was hungry and mostly fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean meats, low or non-fat dairy and cutting out the processed and junk food (90% of the time anyway). My main original resource for transitioning to a clean eating lifestyle was “The Eat-Clean Diet” books by Tosca Reno. One of the most interesting things I learned from Tosca’s books was that what your body looks like is 80% nutrition, 10% training and 10% genes. That blew my mind! It made me really see how important nutrition actually is in determining how I look and that if I wasn’t going to be moving my body on any given day for whatever reason I don’t need to feel so guilty about I just need to keep my eating on track.

Although successful in the past with this way of eating I am changing things up a bit. Seeing my life flash before my eyes during my illness (stay tuned for a blog post on this very soon) lit a big fire in me that I need to do more to really take care of my health. Not that I could have ever prevented what happened to me but being so sick and in the hospital SUCKED. I don’t ever want to be back there for something I could have possibly prevented if I had just changed the way I fuel my body.

So all that being said, the big change is that I have switched to a whole foods plant based diet. Still essentially a clean eating lifestyle but no longer consuming animal products or products that contain animal products (even lean or low fat). I did not come to this decision quickly or take it lightly. My husband and I did so much reading and research. We read books, articles and research studies, watched documentaries and followed people living this lifestyle on their blogs and youtube channels. For us personally we just kept coming to this same conclusion time after time, for the sake of our health we need to try to eliminate the animal products from our diets the majority of the time if not entirely.

For anyone interested in doing their own research on plant based diets and the benefits of eating this way some of the mainstream resources I found very helpful were:

  • Dr. John McDougall (both his book “The Starch Solution” and his website which has tons of information and free recipes “www.drmcdougall.com”)
  • Forks Over Knives (both a book and a documentary which I believe is on netflix)
  • Dr. Joel Fuhrman (both his book “Eat to Live” and his website “www.drfuhrman.com”)
  • Dr. Esselstyn (www.dresselstyn.com)
  • Other documentaries “Hungry for Change” and “Food Matters”

I understand that not eating animal products is still a really hot button issue out there today for many people and for many reasons so please don’t feel like I am criticizing or judging anyone who doesn’t agree with me on this. I get that what we eat and why is a very personal choice that is our own to make. This has not been a super easy transition and I am sure it will present plenty more challenges on the road ahead for various reasons.

So to avoid making this just one massive brain dump of a post, since I have a lot more to say about this before I just leave it to mostly what I am eating, cooking and baking type posts when talking about my diet, I have decided to break it up into a few parts to keep it a bit more organized. In part 2 of this 3 part series I will talk more about the challenges and successes I have encountered so far on a plant based diet and what I predict might be some challenges in the future. Then finally in part 3 of 3 of the series I will talk more about the Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall, how I came across it,  and why it really spoke to me as the more specific version of a plant based diet that I feel fits me personally and will be most sustainable for me over the long term.

So anyway please bare with me on this, stay tuned for more posts to come very shortly and I promise they won’t all be weightloss and diet related!

Until next time,

Katie