5 Months on a Plant Based Diet

 

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The 1st of August marked the 5 months since I have stopped consuming animal products. Looking back on the journey so far, there were a few discoveries made and lessons learnt, so I thought I’ll share a few things that might be of some value to you.

WHY

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First and foremost, knowing and reminding yourself why you are doing this is very important. For me, it was a health condition – realising that things are not working as they are and some major changes are needed. I have heard about the benefits of a plant based diet before but somehow did not think it was my kind of thing. That afternoon at the doctors gave me motivation and the reason why. Knowing why you are doing this, is at the core of change. Cause if you don’t know WHY it’s always going to be that one night when everybody’s having Domino’s or that one person who says oh com’on one burger means nothing anyway or you deserve this tub of Haagen Dazs and you just cave in. But knowing your WHY is what keeps you going, gives you that higher purpose and the reason behind you sticking to your choice. It is different for everyone and it might be personal, health or ethical reasons or maybe all of them but it’s important to have the reason for doing this.

WHAT TO EAT THEN

Preparation is key. Experimenting is also key – being open to trying new things. You can actually eat so much and it is important to eat. Vegetables are, in general, lower in calories than animal products and you will need to have bigger portions to feel satiated and make sure you meet your caloric needs. I have been making sure to eat big portions and eat until I am full. The main discovery for me was the number of different varieties of BEANS there are in this world (who knew?!) and that some of them taste much better than others. It’s important to have complex carbs and not limit yourself to having salads only. Beans, potatoes (all different variates), brown rice, mushrooms, quinoa, chia seeds, buckwheat, lentils, rice noodles, tofu, tempeh and I could go on and on. Instagram is a great source of vegan meal inspirations and the key is to try and make all different foods, make sure to season your food, experiment with dressings and you will see how this type of cooking opens your eyes to a whole new way of eating.

WHEN YOU GO OUT

Going out was probably the hardest to figure out, and I am definitely still learning all the above mentioned points as well but one good thing is you will probably be less tempted to go out as the food you prepare at home will taste so great, you will not want (or trust) the food that’s not been prepared by you, however, all the places you go, there is a high chance they already have vegan meal on the menu or if not, you can veganise it – ask to take the dressing out, take cheese out, etc. With a little more thought, planning and research it is definitely doable (I managed to have vegan meals in places like Wendy’s and Nando’s).

And finally, the positives I have seen in the past 5 months:

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Skin – I have actually had the clearest skin in years, no more hormonal breakouts on the chin, jaw line and/or forehead.

Bloating – significantly reduced (even eating more beans, does not give you gas, if you eat them consistently, something to do with the right type of bacteria building up in your gut that helps not only digest the beans but also improves your overall health in various different ways).

Energy – I did experience increase in energy overall as well as the disappearance of the sluggish feelings after meals even after consuming carb based meals twice a day.

Weight – steady and slow weight loss even though my portions were huge for the past five months.

Money – it does work out cheaper. For example – a bag of beans is £1.50 and you’re good for a week, rather than spending £15 on salmon.

Overall, there is still a lot to learn through trial and error, but the below resources have been an immense help. Plant based diet is definitely something to try if you suffer from any ailment as the evidence is eye opening and promising. I encourage you to find your motivation, your WHY and give it a try.

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The China Study by Dr Colli T Campbell

The Cheese Trap by Dr Neil D Barnard

How Not To Die by Dr Michael Greger

Thank you so much for reading, please share your thoughts!

Rita

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So, do you wanna look pretty or do you wanna seem clever?

 

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Have you ever heard something  similarly ridiculous being said to your face or behind your back? I bet we all did, no?

Oh, she’s wearing so much make up, must be really shallow.

Look at this bookworm, she should sort out that skin of hers.

You are paying so much attention to your clothes, you know it’s not that important, there are kids who have nothing to eat.

Are you gonna wear that???

Your friend is more beautiful than you.

Your friend is better at maths than you.

Your lipstick might give a wrong impression to the boys.

He hit her? She must have asked for it, you know how annoying she can be.

Our society is full of crippling opinions, where girls are being put in a boxes and told that as a girl you cannot put certain make up on, have interest in fashion and still want to get a PHD. You are being told that your clothes are distracting the boys. Being constantly compared to your friends and judged on your looks, your smartness and your choices

But it’s time for a change and lot’s have changed since Beyonce confirmed that girls run this world, feminism is not a dirty word anymore and even the House of Dior put it on their T-shirt this season (like the one in the above picture and I want one of these so so bad). In light of recent events in the world there is a major breakthrough: the gender pay gap  (men in senior positions still earn 20% more than women in the same senior position) is being closed and the western world is talking about the future being female. We are dusting off the old approach where we were divided and conquered by the society (constantly telling us to compete against each other, that our friend is going to steal our boyfriend) and coming together to support each other to stand up for each other to empower each other.

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And if your relationships with your friends are not inspiring and empowering, maybe it’s worth thinking if you are with the right crowd, cause you know, you are as good as the 5 closest people around you.

Lets continue to support, to inspire each other and to move forward so we have a better tomorrow and no one will ever say that we cannot be somebody. There should be women’s march every month!

Lots of love!

 

 

Images via Pinterest

Self Care #4 Mind

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We are our biggest enemies – that’s something we all probably heard before and can somewhat relate to. Self love is one of the aspects that help to keep your mind in check. But as well as that, there are some daily habits that can make a huge difference to your mood, outlook on life and relationships.

Practise gratitude – you can think of three things you are grateful for every morning first thing you wake up or even better – write them down in a gratitude journal or a gratitude app. And do the same in the evening – three or more great things that happened today and you feel grateful for. It’s great for your mind. To constantly remind yourself that we are surrounded by amazing things, people and opportunities

Meditate – or practise silence. There are so many different ways of doing it: guided meditation, chanting, eyes closed or open.. Pick one that you feel most comfortable with. I like the silent meditation, where you are trying to focus on your breath and clear your mind of any thoughts. It might sounds like some hippie thing you’re not really into, but once you get over that and give it a shot, it will be worth while. Just sit down comfortably, follow your breath and DO NOT THINK. It’s amazing how many thoughts will come to you at first. It’s like they rush to your mind at 100 mph and try to compete which one is going to make it first.. And once you try your best to sit still for these 10 minutes a day, it magically alleviates not only the mind chatter but has a multitude other proven benefits, like lower stress levels, better mood, sleep and etc.

Do you practise any of the above?

Thank you for reading.

 

Much love!

 

 

Images via Pinterest

Self Care #3 Love

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Image via Pinterest

We all love love. This human emotion is important for our core existence – it’s where we come from and what we look for throughout our lives. I think women generally are expected to be more loving creatures than men, however, when it comes to self love, I think it’s something we should practice everyday. Taking this extra time for ourselves to fill our cup full so people around us could feel it more and we can accept it back in return.

Taking little time out everyday to do something that make you happy can really go a long way, however, it might be a little. confusing where to start. I try and follow the below steps to help me get into self loving mode.

Identify what really makes you happy

I did struggle with this one, cause I was like, well, I do things that make me happy, like watch some TV, chill, have chocolate.. But we should take time to think about what really makes us happy. For example things that used to  make us happy or things that we used to do a lot and stopped for some reason. It might be that dancing class you took at school and stopped when went to uni, or reading books, but now you just don’t seem to find time for that. It can be anything, even something like burning candles that you stopped doing because your other half doesn’t like them. It does not have to be a long list, a thing or two to start with.

Start incorporating those things into your daily life 

It might be a bit of a chore at first, like: you sign up for a class and then you have to make time for it, or you start reading a book and it’s just not as grabbing as let’s say scrolling down somebody’s Instagram feed. The rewards always come slowly and you just have to tell your mind that this is something really good for you and you love doing it.

Persevere 

Then, it’s just about sticking to whatever you chose to do for yourself, like sticking to taking your time to do your skincare routine in the evening, or putting make up on because that makes a positive impact on your day. It’s much like exercise, it’s hard at first, but you keep coming back to it, cause it makes you feel awesome.

And above all, STOP negative self talk

Be really nice to yourself, and make it a priority. Would you say things that you say to yourself when you look in a mirror to your closest friend (put those nasty friends who say mean things aside, they are not real friends and they need to chill out) and think about your nearest and dearest. You wouldn’t say stuff like: oh I wish your skin was clearer, I wish your legs were longer, you have these crooked ugly teeth, your hair is awful today. So you should stop saying this to yourself. It’s million times better to look in a mirror and repeat the words of the greatest Muhammad Ali, say to yourself that you are beautiful. And then add: I LOVE myself and I meant it.

Lots of love!