(*this could be a long one.....) So I've been on a quest for a year and half to eat healthier both for weight loss and for my health (I don't want any nasty cancer or diabetes coming my way!!!). I started this journey after I read, "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. As cheesy as this sounds that book changed my life because it made me change the way that I looked at food. I wanted to cut out all the processed junk, send high fructose corn syrup into the trash, and was determined to not eat anything that's ingredients list was long and full of things I'd never heard of and sounded like plastic. I wasn't entirely sure where to start and then an amazing little publication came my way, landed in my lamp and saved my taste buds!!! It's a fabulous magazine called "Clean Eating"
So that's where I started. I got excited about cooking and discovered that I love chopping veggies!!! Daniel loved it because we had homemade tasty meals every night that were healthy and good for you. Tosca Reno is a contributing columnist to the magazine and she had a book called the "Eat Clean Diet" so I got that, read it cover to cover and started my eat clean diet lifestyle. I was eating well, drinking TONS of water (and peeing like crazy)- I was stoked... and then.....da, da, duuuummmm- I gained 15 lbs!!!! yes that's right I GAINED on a diet!!!!!!! sooooo not stoked about that!!!!
So I had to re-evaluate what I was doing. Why was I following a diet to what I thought was a "T" and gaining weight? Well here's the answer. After really looking at what I'd been eating I realized that it wasn't the food at all but my portion sizes and my free- for- all attitude, because I thought "well these are healthy good- for- me foods, so I can have meals and snacks and some more snacks!". So I went back on weight watchers (which I had done once before successfully 2 years ago) BUT I was doing it with my "eat clean" foods. So, still no processed foods etc.... but using the weight watchers points system to keep me from overdoing my portions.
Fast forward 10 weeks and 10 lbs less (yeeesssssss!!! and below is my inspiration picture that I keep on my fridge!) and I'm still exploring healthier eating habits.
A little background before I get into the next and current leg in my journey (and the WHOLE reason for writing this particular blog). My fabulous co-worker and friend Jenn became vegan around the same time I started eating clean. I've been inspired by her and am so glad I've been able to witness her journey too!! I've been flirting with the idea of becoming vegan, so I went back to being a vegetarian, which I was for 10 years, in the hopes that I could make the leap to being vegan.
So I picked up a copy of Alicia Silverstone's book, "The Kind Diet" which is a vegan cookbook (and explains the reasons to be vegan and why meat, dairy, etc... is bad for you). I wouldn't say it's mind blowing because I am aware of all the information in the book BUT the way she writes has really inspired me and I feel I can relate to her and she makes me feel like I can make the leap. She's also not judgmental about just dipping your toes in and not just jumping into the lifestyle. That makes me happy because I'm not quite ready to go all vegan all the time. I have an addiction to dairy that I need to kick. I can't help it, I love me some good creamy ice cream! Oh and I can't forget that naughty little cheese. Cheese and I have had a strange relationship over the years. When I was a kid I didn't like cheese at all (or eggs for that matter cuz they smelled yucky) because it was gooey when melted (except for mozzarella on pizza). Then I had a grilled cheese sandwich (can't say what age this was) and from then on I never met a grilled cheese I didn't like. I would love to turn back the clock and not have that grilled cheese that started the love affair, but honestly it was going to happen anyway, you addictive little lump of goodness! So this my friends is why I'm not quite ready to go completely vegan- goat cheese stuffed mushrooms, feta crumbles in salad, cheddar cheese and crackers, jack cheese on a garden burger, blue cheese and apple slices in salad and mozzarella on pizza- the list goes on... Anyway it's a process and we'll see how I do. If nothing else I hope to at least be eating lots of whole grains, veggies and things I've never tried (like nutritional yeast which tastes like parmesan cheese!!!!!!!!)