The Diminishing Vegan

Veganism and Weight Loss

Tag: Diet

Whole Foods Plant Based

I made a number of New Years Resolutions for 2017, as laid out in my post in January found here. I set a word for the year, Simplify. At some point I will do a proper catch up but today’s post ties into this, I’m going to discuss the difference between Vegan vs Whole Foods Plant Based, and where I lie on this.

Vegan is generally for ethical reasons, this could be ethics relating to animals, or the  future of the planet. Vegan is not a diet as such, although you can follow a vegan diet. The word vegan transcends diet to cover your whole lifestyle, it is a lifestyle whereby you avoid the use of animal products as far as possible in all areas. Vegan does not equate to healthy though. I think assumptions are made that if you can’t eat animals/dairy/eggs what can you eat? Surely it’s just fruit and vegetables (and pasta grains etc). No! shout the vegans, there is a huge amount of vegan junk food, accidental or deliberate. (I’m forever grateful for the accidentally vegan co-op doughuts for example).

Whole foods plant based is a diet, however, you can be a vegan following a whole foods plant based diet. WFPB does relate to what you eat, which is mainly natural plant based foods in their whole form. They don’t need to be organic, or raw. Just whole, and plant based.

What counts as plant based?  Fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes and nuts. What isn’t plant based? Animal products, meat, overly refined foods such as sugar, white flours, and some would say oil. Why do people choose a wfpb diet? Namely health, there is mounting evidence to say this is our optimal diet for short and long term health. (Much of this evidence is reviewed on the website nutritionfacts.org, check it out if you haven’t, Dr Michael Greger is a total legend in the nutrition world).

So where am I on this scale? I would say I am a vegan, who tries to follow a Whole Foods Plant Based diet around 80% of the time, with 20% being still vegan, but not whole foods. Pasta, I just can’t quit you! (although I do try to have wholegrain as much as possible)

How does this fit in with my New Years Resolution? Well, I have a number of personal reasons for moving towards wfpb. I truly believe it is the healthiest option. I also believe it is the only way I can lose weight, whole foods are nutritionally dense but calorifically low. This fits in with my propensity to eat a lot, large portions of wfpb is preferable to large portions of junk on a purely calorific level.

Additionally, I like to remove some of the needless decisions from my life. So I simplified my weekly meal plans to a mostly plant based diet (and have mostly stuck to this). This has became increasingly important now I am working a full time job. I know what I’m having every week (with a little editing), it’s fresh, healthy and filling.

I feel there are so many benefits to eating plant based, recently people have been saying my skin looks great. People at my new job were shocked when I revealed I had a teenage son and was in my mid 30’s. I know, I know, they could (probably are) just being polite, but I do feel as if I am looking healthy. Skin, eyes, hair. I can really only put this down to my diet. I’m full of energy, don’t really get tired (until bed time), don’t struggle out of bed at 4:45 am, pretty much always manage my step goal, housework, time with kids. My head is in a good place, body feels it too, and again, I think this comes back to what I’m putting in my body.

Now if I could cut the impromptu takeaways/crisp sandwiches/jam doughnuts down to maybe 5% I might actually be lose more weight!

Chickpea Omelette | Breakfast

Back in my pre-vegan days I ate a lot of eggs, in fact I found eggs to be one of the things I missed the most when I first made the switch. I’ve tried the follow your heart vegan eggs and found them to be overpoweringly eggy tasting, which was a shame, I was hopeful I would love them! (Although at £7 a box, I’m kind of glad I didn’t!) This week a recipe for a chickpea omelette popped up on my facebook, the picture looked delicious and they are something I’ve wanted to try for a while and I just kept forgetting about them. The omelette itself turned out to be incredibly quick to make, and really delicious.

Chickpea Omelette

Ingredients

  • 25g Gram Flour
  • 1 tsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/4 cup of water

Method

Mix all of the ingredients. Whisk well to get out the lumps in the batter.

Heat a frying pan with some spray oil, pour in the batter. Cook on both sides.

As a filling I used mushrooms, onions and a tiny bit of vegan cream cheese, and I served it with baked beans.

chickpea omelette

Slimming world wise this is 5 syns, 4 for the flour and 1 for the nooch, but in my opinion it was worth every syn. Not quite like an omelette but enough to satisfy, and very tasty. Remember to give me a follow on instagram, facebook and twitter for more.

Vegan Slimming World – Week 5

I reached the end of my mostly SP week, with two days spent at vegfest eating rather a lot I still managed to lose a pound! I did stick to it religiously around those two days, and I didn’t go completely off the rails either, although I ate way more than I generally do I guess. So losing a pound is pretty good.

I need to get my weight losses higher though, this one pound a week is very frustrating. I know that people say 1 – 2 pounds is all that can be expected, but man I just wish I could lose a little faster. When you have so far to go, 1 – 2 pounds a week seems like forever. If I lost at that rate it would take me to nearly this time next year to get to my goal target weight of 10 stone, I currently have 87 left to lose.

SP was good! But it felt restrictive as a vegan, while there is a fair choice of beans, lentils etc, I struggled to make things using these and tended to stick to either baked beans or quorn over the week. I only had pasta, rice and potatoes once though on my non SP days, and I think this must have helped my weight loss. I do think my suspicion about eating too big portion sizes of these foods was probably correct. Last night I weighed my pasta to a 85g dry portion, still large, 70g is the recommended, but instead of worrying about how big it was I knew, I checked the calories and saw it was well within normal ranges.

I’ll share my SP food diary for the 5 days of last week that I followed it, and maybe it will help any other vegans who are thinking about some SP time.

Wednesday

Breakfast – HexB for bread, 1 syn for maple rashers, spinach and tomato speed, 10g vegan cheese HexA

Lunch – Stir fry veg speed, quorn fillet protein, melon speed, soy sauce free

Dinner – carrots, turnip, brocolli and cabbage speed, gravy 1.5 syns, homemade haggis (recipe coming up) – protein and speed, porridge second HexB

Body Magic – None

Syns used – 2.5

Thursday

Breakfast – Bread – HexB, Maple Rashers – 1 syn, tomatoes, spinach, tangerine and melon speed, 10g Vegan cheese – HexA

Lunch – Bread – HexB, Fry’s Sausages – 0,5 syns, tomato, spinach, onion and mushrooms – speed, baked beans – protein

Dinner – lettuce, courgette, jalapenos, tomatoes, cucumber – speed,  chilli beans and quorn – protein, hot sauce – 1 syn

Apro yoghurt – 2 syns, fruit – speed

Body Magic – 45 minutes gym, 15 minute dog walk

Syns used – 3.5

Friday

Breakfast – Porridge and Chia – HexB, Rice milk – HexA, Alpro – 0,5 syns, Agave Nectar – 0.5 syns, Berries and plum – Speed

Lunch – Bread – HexB, beans leftover – protein, salad – speed, hot sauce – 1 syn

Dinner – Veg casserole – speed, cabbage, brocolli, turnips and carrots – speed, chickpeas – protein, dumplings – 8 syns

Body Magic – 15 minute dog walk

Syns used – 12

Monday

Breakfast – Porridge and Chia – HexB, Rice milk – HexA, Alpro – 0,5 syns, Agave Nectar – 0.5 syns, Berries and plum – Speed

Lunch – Pre-made shop sandwich – 10 syns (removing 6 for HexB), tangerine – speed

Dinner – Fry’s sausages – 1 syn, Baked Beans – Protein, Pepper, Carrots, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, celery – speed

Body magic – 15 minute dog walk

Syns used – 12

Tuesday

Breakfast – Bread – HexB, Baked Beans – Protein, Mushrooms, Onion, Jalapeno- Speed, Hot sauce – 0.5 syns

Lunch – Stir fry pack – mostly speed, quorn fillet – protein, hot sauce – 1 syn

Dinner – Baked Beans – protein, Wrap – HexB, pepper, onion, mushrooms, tomato, jalapeno – speed, linda mccartney pulled chicken – 2 syns, bbq sauce – 2 syns

Body magic – 15 minute dog walk

Syns used – 5.5

I’m not going to use SP this week, but I am going to start weighing my portion sizes of rice, pasta, potatoes, poha, cous cous etc, just to keep an eye on these and make sure that they aren’t affecting my weight loss.

Also,  I thought I would share my most liked nine pictures from Instagram last year, the amount of beans in these is hilarious!

Vegan Slimming World - Week 5

Lastly, next week at our Slimming World Group is the Christmas party and we are to bring food. Any ideas on what to take that is vegan and slimming world friendly to a taster would be appreciated! I have no clue at the moment.

Vegan Slimming World – Progress Update 1

I keep forgetting to post my meals, but after this week is done I will get straight back on it. So, how is slimming world going as a vegan? Mostly a very positive experience. I had a gain last week, 1.5 pounds, of which I was fairly surprised. I had eaten *mostly* to plan, although if I’m completely honest with myself I was probably eating an extra ginger nut or two here or there, I didn’t think it would be enough to get a gain though. I had also been exercising the afternoon previously, which I’m telling myself could have lead to fluid retention, but I think I need to accept that my eating was slipping a little too much.

I almost left the group before the meeting, I just felt thoroughly disheartened, but then Jean, my consultant spotted me sitting alone and came up to speak. She was completely supportive, offering advice, she had looked through my food diaries and gave me some feedback there, and she suggested I use the S.A.S log. For anyone who doesn’t know what they are, they are a daily tool that you use to identify areas of weakness and self sabotage. They go beyond the standard food diary, you log everything that enters your mouth, syns, speed/protein/free etc, and some further information. I love cataloging things so I was up for that!

I also had been reading about SP days. I could be completely wrong, but I feel that I have been going overboard on the free food, rice, pasta and potatoes mainly. I know these things can be eaten freely, as long as you have a lot of speed food, but I think sometimes my portion sizes can’t be right! So Jean explained SP to me. The aim is to fill your plate with half speed food, and half food marked as protein. Now, for me, as a vegan, that is actually quite difficult. Foods that are marked with a P that are sfv follow:

  • Quorn Mince
  • Textured Vegetable Protein
  • Tofu
  • Aduki Beans
  • Baked Beans
  • Black Eye Beans
  • Borlotti Beans
  • Broad Beans
  • Butter Beans
  • Cannellini Beans
  • Flageolet Beans
  • Haricot Beans
  • Lentils
  • Mung Beans
  • Peas
  • Pinto Beans
  • Red Kidney Beans
  • Soya Beans
  • Split Peas

There you have it, not a lot of choice really I guess. I’m hoping quorn vegan fillets are included in this as I’ve recently discovered that they are quite tasty. My main P additions have been baked beans (I think I’m a little obsessed with them!), Kidney Beans, Quorn fillets, Lentils and I currently have a block of tofu in the fridge for next week.

S Fruit and Veg is easier, it includes mostly all veg, other than parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweetcorn and a couple of other things. Fruit mainly includes everything but bananas, blueberries, grapes, kiwi, mango, pineapple and a few other ones.

You can eat limited free food, but they do say this will affect the SP plan, so aim to stick to S, or P. You also get your standard one Healthy Extra A but you get two Healthy Extra B’s! I’m enjoying the flexibility to have porridge/more bread. Additionally you have your standard 5 – 15 syns. This picture below illustrates how your plate should be looking, image source.

SP Plate

So far this week I have followed SP Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, however I have a big weekend this weekend, I’m volunteering for The Vegan Society at Vegfest Scotland, and I’m afraid to say that I’m going to eating off plan. However, I have saved up some syns, I have 26.5 saved from the last 3 days, plus today and tomorrows, but realistically I expect to be off plan. Today I will only be there in the afternoon, I’m getting a takeaway tonight which I will try to keep to noodles and veg, but tomorrow myself, my daughter and niece are heading up for the entire day, and being surrounded by pre-prepared food that I can actually eat is just too much for me to ignore. So I will eat, mindfully, but not too mindfully, and hopefully the last few days, and next Monday and Tuesday will have staved off a gain. Fingers crossed!

For anyone who has had a gain on slimming world, if I could offer some advice, it would be to stay at group regardless. After Jean had spoken to me I decided to stay, my friend then appeared after weighing and she had also had a gain, in fact much of the group had. Being in that group situation of mutual frustration but supportive has really kept me going this week. That is the reason I go to slimming world. The food plan is great, the stuff they give you is handy, but the support you get from the group leader, and those who attend the group, that is what is invaluable. Two people also reached target, and seeing them achieve that makes me believe it will be me one day in the not too distant future.

Weight Loss Plateau – Weight Loss

The frustrations of being stuck on a weight loss plateau

There are many annoying things in life worse but at the moment I am being plagued with being stuck on a weight loss plateau. My weight has refused to budge bar one or two pounds up then back down to the original weight for months now. I am becoming incredibly frustrated with the whole process. Some days I eat a little too much, but most others I eat at a deficit required to lose weight, around 1500 calories with 10,000 ish steps, but still my weight does not move. I am not a fan of enforced starvation, I love food too much, but this needs to change or else I will still be trying to lose weight when I’m 40 (and I really am ready to be in a body of normal size).

So, although I have heard that weight loss is 90% diet and 10% exercise, I need to change things up. I am not doing enough exercise. Now that I am working full time I am struggling to have balance in my life, but I must sort this out before a bad routine sets in permanently.

Starting next week I am going to add swimming into my routine, plus, I’m going to try to hit my step goal every single day. Work is harder physically than uni was, and I have been getting lazy with my early starts too, often waking up too late to take the dog out for a walk and having to get my son to do it later, so I will add this in. One 30 minute fast walk in the morning, swimming twice a week in the evening and any other exercise I can fit in.

Regarding the diet, I have been doing okay but I feel I’m eating too many things like bread, sweet things, just generally being a little lazy when what I really want to do be doing is leaning a little more towards the whole foods plant based side, rather than the quick, on the go side. I won’t be able to do this overnight but I will be moving this way so keep an eye on my instagram to see how it goes. I have a wedding to attend next month, plus I am volunteering at some upcoming vegan events and would really like to lose some more damn weight and smash through this weight loss plateau!

My next post will be about the wedding I recently attended, plus how it feels to have lost 50 pounds.

New Vegan Website!

Hi, I’m Fiona and I have decided to create a new vegan website to chart my weight loss journey. I’m currently 49.5 pounds into a 130 pound weight loss target, nearing the half way point. I’ve hit a bit of a plateau and decided to start this site to get me going again.

I guess from the title it’s obvious to see that I’m a vegan. I went vegan almost 7 months ago and it has became an important part of my life. I am an active instagram user and post pictures of my meals. I like to try out new recipes and test them with my family fairly regularly.

I really am looking for this site to be a mix of veganism and weight loss, and would love it if anything I have to say helps anyone else with either of the two main points.

I’ve still got such a long way to go and hope some people will join me for the ride!

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