So, here are a few of my take aways from that trial …
(1) Because I eliminated processed foods which are usually loaded with sodium, and oils I found food a lot more bland. The pro is that I’m learning to cook with a lot more spices and use fresh herbs (I love BASIL and CILANTRO).
(2) It’s hard to be social and be out with friends – food is a HUGE part of our society, culture and the way we bond. Although there’s definitely a growing population of vegans and people who follow WFPB lifestyles – the food industry is a bit slow in catching up – although it is growing. However, for the time being – it’s hard to go out dinner and stick to your basic salads – it gets boring after a while – and let’s be honest – when you’re vegan / WFPB most of your friends aren’t willing to compromise and go to that type of restaurant to eat – I literally had a friend say “if I’m gonna spend money to go out and eat, I’m gonna eat meat!” – well ok then!
There were some options at most restaurants that I could eat – the one restaurant had baked brussel sprouts as an app, Les Enfants Terribles in Montréal had a grilled cauliflower but it came with squid ink (so instead of sending it back I ate the parts that weren’t covered in ink – which as an aside, I’m not particularly fond of). I usually gravitated toward a salad or quinoa dish – less the cheese – which was hard for me because I LOVE cheese!
The restaurants I went to that focussed on this way of eating were my favourites — Rawlicious and Pure Juice Bar + Kitchen. For quick eats I usually grabbed a naked burrito from Fat Bastard, rice paper rolls from my fave Viet / Thai place or some kind of bowl from Freshii. And, yes I did eat at home as well – but being an empty nester now – I tell you it’s NOT enjoyable cooking for ONE ☹️. Even A&W is hopping on the band wagon — they landed the popular vegan Beyond Burger at nearly 1,000 A&W Canadian locations on July 9th – I haven’t tried it yet – if anyone one has – can you comment below how you liked it?
(3) The other thing I found was that I literally needed to eat meat. At the time I was participating in the WFPB trial I was severely anemic and was taking iron supplements, but I didn’t seem to be getting enough through plants, legumes and beans. So, my Naturopath asked me to reintroduce beef into my diet for the iron (I went on to eat 2 Sweedish meatballs per day).
(4) To be successful, you need to be planful – you need to make time to meal prep your lunches and dinners. Most of my breakfasted consists of either an Ezekiel 4:9 bread with homemade almond butter, banana, crushed mixed nuts and hemp and a bit of agave nectar OR a homemade carrot cake oatmeal bowl. Also, instead of allowing myself to get overwhelmed by all of the reductions to my menu, I kept it simple by just continuing to make the things I liked which are already WFPB or modified them in ways that they can be made into WFPB.
(5) I drank a lot more water than I ever did – I inched my way up to the 72 oz per day – I still drink this about of water per day.
My Fave Cook Books …
I had a few staple cook books that I turned to time and time again — they are: Forks Over Knives (Spring Edition), Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck (this is actually quite entertaining) and Rawlicious.
I haven’t stuck to the WFPB diet 100% – but I do eat wayyyyy less meat than I used to. Which is a step in the right direction …
I have cut other things out of my diet all together and have started making a lot of my foods now – fresh – with my Vitamix (blessing – yes, it’s worth the price of a small car!). I make my own homemade almond butter, fresh strawberry jam, and my own hummus – to name a few. I gave up dairy milk and switched to coconut or almond milk and I don’t buy wheat bread – I eat sprouted grain bread.
So, despite not being 100% WFPB yet – because of my participation in this trial, I have made much better changes to my diet – and it helped kickstart my eating habits back to the way they once were. So, I would consider that a SUCCESS!
Do any of you have any favourite WFPB or vegan dishes I could try?
Some people think plant-based diet, whole foods diet is extreme. Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme.
Last week myself along with about 19 other colleagues started a trial whole food, plant based (WFPB) diet. The trial is for one month, and we are to stick to the diet with a rule of 80/20.
8 days in and I am starting to believe more than ever that so much of what we eat and how we think about eating and food is far removed from food’s primary purpose: which is to nourish our bodies. I used to think of food as an event (going out for dinner), or a fancy smancy new place to try, or to be honest a pain in the a$s because I really detest cooking – but not for what it’s truly supposed to do.
I think most everybody has watched the documentary on Netflix called Forks Over Knives (FoK) by now – if you haven’t I STRONGLY recommend you do. Even if you don’t do the WFPB thing – it will at least help you make better food choices going forward and cause you to pause before you eat. The best we can hope for is to make more informed decisions about what we choose to put in our bodies.
If you’ve been living under a rock for the past little while FoK essentially talks about how researchers explore the possibility that people changing their diets from animal-based to plant-based can help eliminate or control diseases like cancer and diabetes.
What To Eat and What Not to Eat, That is the Question!
The WFPB lifestyle (I’m not calling it a diet, because this is not a fad, this is a lifestyle change … for the better) means that for the next 3 more weeks we can not eat:
no meat (red, white or fish) – the doctor monitoring our program says to eat nothing from anything that had a pulse or parents
no dairy products
No (or minimal) processed foods
and pretty much most things in the middle aisles of the grocery store – which I already tried to do anyway
So, what do I eat?
It’s pretty simple: whole, unrefined plants. That’s it.
Why Did I Agree to the Trial?
Each of us in the study group decided to participate for our own varying reasons. Mine was to lose weight, get out of this general feeling of unwellness/malaise that I have been feeling and to kick start my metabolism – the way I used to feel – full of life and energy to burn.
The documentaries and research I’ve watched/read were information insofar as the benefits to living this lifestyle. Some of the documented benefits to a WFPB diet include:
an increase in energy and alertness, weight loss
decreased pain, inflammation, blood pressure, cholesterol to name a few
And most importantly a reduced risk of:
Some cancers, coronary artery disease, type II diabetes as well as proven reversal of: inflammatory bowel disease, Coronary artery disease and Type II diabetes
Armed with this information, I was eager to get started – I headed out to pick up some new cookbooks.
My 3 faves are: Forks Over Knives (Spring Edition), Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck (this is actually quite entertaining) and Rawlicious.
I re-watched all of the documentaries on Netflix such as: FoK, Fed Up, Food Inc, Sick Fat and Nearly Dead I and II.
Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.- Hippocrates
So, What Are My Findings to Date?
A week in and this is what I am finding so far:
1- Because I have eliminated processed foods which are usually loaded with sodium, and oils I find food a lot more bland now. Pro is that I am learning to cook with a lot more spices. My taste buds are adapting and I am enjoying the natural taste of the food as they were intended not drenched in olive oil etc.
2- I haven’t had any headaches or anything from the detoxing effects – this is probably because I gave up coffee about 6 months ago and turned back to green teas.
3- Dining out while eating plant-based can be wholesome and enjoyable – said no body in their first week of this diet! Many restaurants now offer vegan options, but mainstream menus aren’t yet created with WFPB diets in mind. So when I’m out I mainly stick to salads or veggie sides. There’s actually a great restaurant where I am from called Rawlicious – it’s a raw vegan restaurant – there are locations across Ontario and New York, I believe.
4- To be successful, you need to be planful – you need to make time to meal prep your lunches and dinners. Most of my breakfasts consists of either an Ezekiel 4:9 bread with homemade almond butter, banana, crushed mixed nuts and hemp and a bit of agave nectar OR a homemade carrot cake oatmeal bowl. Instead of allowing myself to get overwhelmed by all of the reductions to my menu, I am keeping it simple by just continuing to make the things I like which are WFPB or modify them in ways that they can be made into WFPB.
5- I am drinking a lot more water than I ever have – I’m not yet at the recommended 72 oz of water per day, but I’m at about 60 oz, I’m inching closer to that goal.
6- Any “sweet tooth” I have, can usually be cured by my new fave – dairy free – ice cream and it’s super simple. Frozen strawberries, frozen banana and a bit on homemade cashew milk. Ta-da!
I will keep you posted as the remainder of this trial unfolds – I am anxious to get to the end to see if I actually can see and feel a difference by putting the right kinds of foods into my body and to see if there’s a difference both on the scale and in some of my blood work.
Have any of you tried the WFPB diet yet? Any recipes to share?
This iced coffee recipe is super easy to make and is loaded up with protein, so you’re getting your caffeine boost and protein all in one. My version uses vanilla-flavored protein powder and has a fairly strong coffee flavour.
Gather Your Ingredients
(makes 1 serving)
1 cup of ice
1 cup chilled strong-brewed coffee (using the cold-brew method, or simply prepare a strong cup of coffee ahead of time and refrigerate)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup milk (I used Almond Milk)
Creamy French Vanilla Isagenix Isalean Shake: Low-glycemic shake with energy-fueling carbohydrates, good fats, vitamins and minerals, and 24 grams of high-quality protein.
Superior branched-chain amino acid profile
Active enzymes to help ease digestion
Essential trace minerals
Natural ingredients with no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners
No trans fat
Isagenix Premium Blend Coffee: Infused with Minerals, Green Tea Extract & Coconut Oil. Slow roasted. Fairly traded. 100% Arabica Coffee. Green tea extract, coconut oil and minerals are added to improve both the quality and flavour. The green tea complements the coffee’s natural antioxidant powers, while trace minerals offset acidity and the coconut oil adds a pleasant, buttery finish.
Simply combine all ingredients in a blender (I used a Nutri Bullet) for about 30-40 seconds or until all ingredients are blended.
If a thicker consistency is desired, simply add more ice.
I’ve been feeling all kindsa crappy , the past few months, since I put on some extra weight. I definitely have become “Dauphinzed” (but in all fairness, had I lived somewhere else, the outcome would have been the same). I’m not gonna lie, I loved it – it was fun to let loose, eat what I wanted and not have to worry about counting calories and I got to eat chicken wings, I frigging love chicken wings!
I’ve found that it’s become a lot easier to gain a few pounds than it is to lose them these days. The foods that I ate without care in my 20s and 30s now stick to me (sigh). Combine that with not exercising as much I definitely ought to and getting out of my norm, habits and routines, it wasn’t hard to see where I was heading … Excess Pound Town!
I hadn’t stepped on a scale in months, but I knew that the clothes I wore while I lived in Toronto no longer fit me, and those that did were super tight (again sigh). I estimated my weight gain to be around the 15 lbs mark (sigh again).
The thing with eating poorly is that it literally makes you feel like a big bag of sh@t. We’ve all heard the old adage “you are what you eat” and we all know that what you eat and how you feel, have a close connection. I was noticing that I had decreased energy and stamina, I was feeling tired all of the time – like I just couldn’t get out of 2nd gear – I was perma stuck – but hey, I had chicken wings! lol
I want to get back to me, to being healthy, to eating healthy, quit with the junk food cravings, ditch the large double doubles and get back to my green teas. Toss the diet Pepsi and get back to my yummy, nutritious lemon/cucumber or strawberry and mint water. I WANT MY ENERGY BACK! And guess what? It’s not hanging out in a bag of Doritos (although I am quite fond of the sweet chilli heat flavour!). I know that I just have to get back into my old habits. When I eat healthy, I don’t crave junk food.
Most importantly maintaining a healthy weight is important for overall health and can help you prevent and control many diseases and conditions.
I decided to embark on a weight loss journey and get back to me. I need to flush my body of these toxins and properly nourish it. I need to get back my mental clarity and energy.
Last week, I stepped on the scale — total weight gained 20 lbs! 20 freaking pounds in 14 months! That’s 1.42 lbs gained per month! Now, some of you say – “omg, like your still a normal size”. True, that I am. But, being a healthy weight for your body (I have a small frame) is different for me than it would be for someone else and what makes you feel good is subjective and individual to the person.
For example: I used the CDC calculator to determine my “normal” body weight. Based on my height and weight, my BMI is 23.8, indicating that my weight is in the Normal category for adults my height.
But, it also says that for my height, a normal weight range would be from 111 to 150 pounds! Like what? A 39 lbs difference?
So that’s what I am trying to say. I don’t feel comfortable at this weight, even though it is still within the “normal” range. I feel more comfortable at my previous weight – which too is within the norm.
Anyway, back to my point … this is doable. It’s only 20 lbs, if I dig deep I can totally lose this weight by making the same simple changes I had to, to lose it in the first place!
10 simple ways to kickstart your weight loss:
Swap the to go order – stop eating out! And, for the love of all things holy – stop with the chicken wings!
Skip the inside aisles – all the healthy goodness our bodies need are all contained on the outside aisles.
Get fit in 12 – I’m not gonna lie. I hate working out – we DO NOT get along. I cannot begin to tell you the number of $$$$ I’ve waisted on unused gym memberships and workout videos. So I opted for reality — I downloaded The 12 Minute Athlete (free on the App Store). I have no reason to not do this 2x per day. Heck, I may even do three!
Kick the habit – stop with the empty calories in your large double double – a Large Timmy’s is 280 calories! Opt for black coffee or green/white tea options
Purge – purge your cupboards to make sure you’ve gotten rid of all of those yummy temptations!
Pile on the veggies – I used to love pizza topped with arugula and yellow/red peppers – so switch to it rather than stuffed crust and pepperoni (omg, Pizza Hut lunch, I’m gonna miss you! )
Walk with Spot – or in my case, Ellie, even if it’s just around the block for 20 mins per day
Cut out white starches – white bread, white rice, white potatoes etc.
Drink +++++++ water
Learn to love salad- I’ve always loved salads so this one is an easy fix. When choosing your leafy greens, the greener/darker the better! Opt for spinach, kale or arugula rather than iceberg lettuce. Ps: stay away from Cesar salad. My fave salad right now is spinach, arugula, strawberries, watermelon, hemp seeds, chia seeds, spicy Thai tuna or Cajun chicken and Kraft Asian Dressing
These little things will start making a difference in no time at all. Furthermore …. I added a little oomph to my journey!!! AND because of it, I’m already noticing a huge boost in my energy levels, I feel like I have energy to burn and I’ve already lost 4.3 lbs. I’m totally looking forward to the rest of this journey …. Stay tuned …
~ I wish I could lose weight as easy as I lose my keys, pen, cell phone, temper and even my mind