This is the non weigh-in entry. But if this coming Monday is any indication of last week, I am running in to this weirdly ironic conundrum: I am losing weight while feeling WAY fatter. Usually the best indication of if I lost weight is my gut feeling (no pun intended). I usually know before getting on the scale what results I am going to see because I ‘feel’ thinner. Lately it’s been off. I think that this may be due to some issues with feeling bloated. One thing that happens eating vegan is your fiber intake shoots through the roof. (Not that this is a bad thing, most Americans eat way less fiber than we are supposed to eat.) According to many nutritionists, the average American eats 10 to 15 grams of fiber daily as opposed to the recommended 30 to 40 grams. Switching to a higher fiber diet can tax even a healthy G.I. system. I am being told the sense of bloating is normal, but I am considering adding a pro-biotic to see if it helps minimize the feeling. Natural pro-biotics include pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi and Kombucha.
Day 21: ” You say tomato, I also say tomato”
Being Vegetarian or vegan is kind of like marriage. There are lots of different styles and ways of establishing a viable system. My philosophy has always been if it works for you and isn’t hurting anyone, who am I to judge. Same way with eating lifestyles. Some people do not eat any animal products whatsoever including eggs, dairy and honey. Some others not only eat plant based but have also abstained from grains. I know of people who don’t eat red meat and would consider themselves “vegetarian” ( a bit of a stretch for me IMO) My theory is eat however way works best for you, BUT please put some thought into it first. This is why I am doing this challenge to see how the whole process affects me. If I go back to meat and dairy, (something I am still not certain of doing) at least i tried this. I think what will most likely happen is some sort of modified version going forward. But I am still trying to sort out options.
Day 22: “Volume, volume, volume” or “Yes, you can still overeat and be Vegan”
A rookie mistake I have noticed myself doing is overcompensating on volume due to the perceived caloric deficit of eating more vegetables. It creates a mentality that plant based calories are somehow less than standard, While you do have to eat more food to equal the calories of a cheeseburger, you can easily exceed your allowance by assuming you have a licence to do so. And it isn’t just calories, you can overload your digestive system by the increased volume of food. 10 cups of salad may not have a lot of calories, but it is still 10 cups of food you need to digest. What seems to be working for me are more smaller meals that allow my body to process the extra food density, while still tracking the foods to make sure the calories stay within an acceptable range.
Day 23 “Here we come, on the run, with a burger and a bun”
Fast food really does lend itself to eating on the go. We have a plethora of options, most of them awful. And if you are trying to eat vegan, the options become worse. Most fast food restaurants assume you are an omnivore in their menus and even seeming Vegan type items are not so ( I did a whole post on this , you should check it out) McDonald’s french fries for example are cooked in beef tallow. I have ordered a bean burrito without cheese from taco Bell in a pinch, but meat and cheese are hard to avoid at the drive thru. Getting some tupperware and a lunch bag seems the only viable option I know of for long hauls.
Day 24: What’s in a name? Everything
Names do make a difference in how I view things. So henceforth instead of vegan I am using ” Whole plant based diet”. I am doing this just as a reminder to myself to remember that the ” Whole Plant” part is the most important factor. Potato Chips are technically vegan but certainly not “Whole plant’ Refined Foods and Simple Carbs are crap, vegan or not. My simple rule of thumb is to eat plants especially the kind where I can actually see the plant. You can’t see the plant in cookies, “legal”or not.