Lessons from my 10 Days of Plant-Based Eating

My dad was a butcher and I grew up eating and loving meat, So, the plant-based challenge was definitely a challenge for me.I wanted to do it because it makes sense to me that eating a whole food plant based diet is a good way to eat. I love the science of nutrition and I like to “practice what I preach”. I did not consider this a “diet” but a lifestyle choice and I was hoping it would lead me to continuing with some new habits.

What we do know from repeated studies and concrete data is that eating a heavily plant based diet has many health benefits. It’s shown to reduce and or reverse heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, arthritis, auto-immune and more.

For this plant-based experience I had no meat, chicken, dairy, eggs, alcohol or processed food.

What I discovered was not what I expected. I assumed I would release weight as that is what I hear people do that go vegetarian or vegan or raw. That did not happen. In fact the days that I had extra grains like brown rice or quinoa, I gained weight.

Nuts and seeds are a go-to source of protein, but are quite calorie-dense. Good protein sources are lentils, with 18 grams of protein and 230 calories per cup or soft tofu with 16 grams of protein and 150 calories per cup of cubes. It is good to stir-fry, broil, steam or grill these protein options to avoid the extra calories that come from breading or frying. Flavor them with herbs, spices, soy sauce, canned tomatoes, vinegar and citrus, rather than with sugary sauces or fatty dressings.

Here are my personal take-ways so far from my plant-based experience.

    1. Every one has a unique metabolic blueprint and one way of eating does not work for everyone.
    2. Just because a particular food is vegan doesn’t mean it’s automatically healthful or low in calorie.( Soy ice cream, chips, pizza made with refined flour and vegan cheese, white bagels, vegan butter and cream cheese, vegan cookies and cakes are all as calorie-dense as non-vegan versions of these foods.)
    3. I personally do best on a low carbohydrate eating plan.
    4. To go plant based you have to be super organized with your protein sources (nuts, protein powder for shakes, vegetables)
    5. I can gain weight when my carbohydrate content goes higher.
    6. Plant based plans contain a lot of carbohydrates, so I had to choose low glycemic carbs and watch portion sizes.

I’ve always suggested that if we can be more present and aware- more mindful, so that we can become our own best nutritionist. There just isn’t any one diet that is the best and fits all. If I am present and aware, instead of eating unconsciously and in a hurry, then I can pay ore attention to how the food is nourishing me. Does the food you eat provide you energy, or deplete your energy? Do you have mental fogginess or feel more mentally clear? Is your mood more positive or negative? Do you feel normal or bloated? These are all signs… pay attention. If you’re loaded up on caffeine, that is also a sign.

So after this challenge I will definitely be more plant-based than I have been and that was one of my goals going in.

 

My New Year Success Promise

dream-bigI don’t set New Year Resolutions. They seem short term solutions that are easy to break. Instead, I go quiet for a while and reflect on the VALUES I want my life to represent and then live by these values.

If there was a core value system I live by it is represented by these few words..

Dream Big, Work Hard, Stay Focused and surround yourself with good people.”

We all have unique gifts and talents and I am so blessed to be able to support individuals to tap authentically into their own highest potential and  inspire others to tap into theirs…thus creating a ripple effect of  inspirational conscious commerce and change. (We are really doing a disservice to the world if we don’t share our unique gifts.)

I recommend checking out the book The Big Leap: Conquering Your Hidden Fear + Taking Your Life To The Next Level. In the book there is an ultimate success  mantra which is an affirmation to remind us that our success contributes to other people being happy too.

“I expand in abundance, success and love every day as I inspire others to do the same.”

A few ways we block our own potential:

  • Not acting on creative inspiration
  • Overeating, overdrinking, overdrugging, numbing out
  • Negative self-talk
  • Listening to + believing negative talk from others
  • Letting overwhelm stop us from even starting something

Because being your best self is awesome.

Top Ten Benefits of Coconut Oil

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACoconut oil, like other plant-based oils, does not contain cholesterol. The vast majority (more than 85%) of the fats in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides. These medium chain fatty acids (MCFA’s) found in coconuts has tremendous health benefits; they are easy to for the body to burn as fuel for energy and have anti-microbial properties, in addition to other important traits. Helps our bodies fight off yeast, fungus and candida. Positively affect our hormones for thyroid and blood-sugar control.

Here are Ten Ways Coconut Oil Can Help Your health

  1. Can help improve insulin use within the body.
  2. Coconut oil can boost thyroid function helping to increase metabolism, energy and endurance.
  3. It increases digestion and helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
  4. Increases the good HDL cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels.
  5. Has a positive antioxidant action in the body.
  6. Wonderful moisturizer for skin and hair.
  7. Works in both baked goods like zucchini and banana bread and with vegetable
  8. Coconut oil can withstand the heat – making it a better cooking option.
  9. Promotes satiety, as its presence in the stomach delays gastric emptying, causing us to feel full for a longer period of time.
  10. Coconut oil can be used as cream to naturally heal dry and flaking skin for those with eczema and Psoriasis.

To reap the many benefits of coconut oil, it is best to choose organic unrefined coconut oil.  Unlike olive oil, coconut oil is thermally stable, and the antioxidants are not lost through the heating process.