Whole-food vegan diet!
My husband and I started a whole-food vegan diet a couple of months ago.
We're very health-conscious, know a lot about nutrition, and had been vegetarian/flexatarians, but were having trouble dropping the last ten pounds.
Well, giving up meat and dairy cinched it for us.
We both have more energy - I've lost 9 pounds and he's lost 6, so far. We love whole foods - meaning, buy everything whole and make from scratch, but do use canned, organic beans.
I love to cook the amazing vegan recipes I've found. Its all about food combining - putting together combinations of plant foods that give you a full nine-essential amino acid complement! When that gets done, there's no cravings, no urge for snacking - the vegan diet is great for calorie dilution and consists primarily of complex carbohydrates.
My favorite vegan cookbook is "Veganomicon" by Isa Chandra Moscowitz and Terry Hope Romero. I've never cooked a recipe by them my whole family did not love (no, I'm not them and they didn't pay me to say that). I also like the Fit for Life cookbook by the Diamonds - can't live without the New York Goodwich, and everyone else in the family likes it too!
My daughter is 4 and she loves Spaghetti with Beanballs and Snobby Joes (sloppy joes made with brown lentils).
Just wanted to share my success and happiness with this diet. Its not for everyone, but our family is thriving on it. I've never had this much energy in my life!
Way to go with your weight loss!
I lost around 80 pounds on a plant-based whole foods diet. I am around 14% bf trying to get down to 10% at present. I spent my entire life trying every single diet in the book and only gained more weight than I started. A few times I managed to get down to the 180's, but I would shoot back up and eventually hit around 240. When I went on a plant-based whole foods diet, the weight melted off me. I didn't even have to try!
I eat mostly raw fruits and vegetables, with some nuts, beans, lentils, etc on occasion. No soda, coffee, or any stimulants. Just water and caffeine free tea. I am not working on becoming a personal trainer to help others lose weight. It is amazing how easy it is when you eat the foods with the most micronutrients. I realized that when I was overweight, I was starving myself of the micronutrients and my body was craving food for those nutrients and getting way to many macronutrients in the process. My blood pressure, cholesterol, and resting heart rate dropped significantly. I went from a 50% risk of heart attack to a less than 1%! Plus, I have WAY more energy and I have a much more active lifestyle now.
I have dabbled with veganism/flexitarianism. I think the issue that is hardest is going out with friends/boyfriend on the weekend. I also found that being vegan made me eat more nuts. Nuts are delicious and very healthy but too much of anything isn't good, ya know? I guess you guys have figured out how to not overdo it on the nuts.
Do you guys know how much protein you get each day from the veggies/fruits/legumes? I am just curious. A raw foodist told me that there is the same amount of protein in 1 oz of broccoli as in 1 oz of steak. That seemed impossible to believe, but I think that she was talking about an incomplete protein. Have either of you heard of that before?
Do you have any favorite websites for vegan recipes, or a couple of favorite recipes you could post here? I'm an omnivore, but I have been making an effort to include more plant-based foods into my diet. I have been moderately successful in that goal, but I would like to widen my repertoire of vegetarian/vegan main dishes. Thanks!
I think you misunderstood the raw foodist. On a per weight basis, broccoli has has about 1/10th the protein of steak. So, you could have to eat 10 ounces of broccoli to get the same number of grams of protein as 1 ounce of steak. But for the same number of calories, you get about the same amount of protein as a steak. So, 80 calories of steak gets you around 8 grams of protein, and 80 calories of broccoli gets you about 7.5 grams of protein. The rest of the calories from steak are 100% fat, and the rest from broccoli is about 95% carbs and 5% fat.
Protein is not an issue. You don't need to worry about combining proteins or eating more legumes or nuts. If you ate 100% raw fruits and vegetables, which I do on occasion, you would consume around 6%-8% protein. This is easily enough to maintain muscle mass and be very healthy. Remember, a new born baby will grow 350% over the next two years of its life on breast milk of around 4%-5% protein.
Protein deficiency is only seen in causes of severe malnutrition or disease. It is not something you have to worry about if you are eating even a small variety of whole foods. Also, remember that the largest and most powerful land animals are herbivores, and they get plenty of protein.
The going out thing is easily fixed by eating before you go out. Or go out to a place with a selection of whole foods. If all else fails, I order a plate of steamed vegetables, or a salad with mustard as the dressing.
Nuts are excellent foods, but they are high in fat and calories. A handful of nuts for me is easily half a days calories, and I am still hungry. I keep my nut intake to a minimum to lose weight.
I hope this helps,
Your answer helped clarify what the raw foodist was trying to tell me--thanks! I was wondering, do you still feel the need to count calories? I feel like you eat so clean that it would be hard to overdue it on calories with just veggies and fruits.
That is a good question.
When I did my first month of 100% raw food, I didn't count calories at all. I lost probably around 20 pounds, but I was in the 20's. I find that the more in shape I get, the harder it is to lose those extra pounds. I workout more and more the thinner I get, and exercise stimulates my appetite. So, if I don't count calories now, I will easily over eat. I no longer gain weight from over eating because I am so active. Even over last Christmas, I didn't gain a single pound despite eating around 4,000 calories a day. Raw vegan coconut cream pie is hard to say no to:)
I am down to maybe 6 or 7 pounds I would like to lose so I have a 6 pack, but every pound is harder than the previous.
I have increased my protein and fiber to try and help me shred these last few pounds. About 25-30% of the calories in protein are use in digestion, and 60%+ calories of the fiber is not digestible.
I do know many people who have lost a lot of weight on a raw food diet without counting calories. I am going a little further though, in the sense that I want to look very much in shape as I am working on becoming a personal trainer.
From the WHO's website:
In any developed society it is almost impossible to be protein deficient. Even strict vegetarians can easily get all their protein requirements from complex carbohydrates. It is possible if a person consumes only sugar (simple carbohydrates) for extended period of time a protein deficiency may develop. Under normal circumstances a low protein diet is not a health concern.
An infant will need much more protein to grow than an adult. An adult can live with less than 5% quite easily if they are healthy. Minimum daily requirements are often the worse cause scenario for someone who might have absorption problems from illness or genetic factors. It is common to quadruple the minimum daily requirement of healthy people to have a value more suitable to everyone. Did they do this with the recommended minimum protein requirements? I do not know. You would have to contact the World Health Organization directly to find this out. However, eating even a small variety of whole foods will likely easily net you 5%.
I've been following the Link removed (a low-fat, vegan diet) since about the end of February, and charting it here on Fitday. I've lost 45 pounds and the Dr. has taken me off about half my medications. He said he hated to write my diagnosis on my chart because I'm no longer diabetic, and don't have high blood pressure or high cholesterol any more. If my numbers are still good come October he's taking me off medication completely.
I've still got a way to go though, I'd like to lose another 55 to 65 pounds by next summer.
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