Tuesday, November 5, 2013

5 Month Health/Diet Update

So it's been over five months (!!!) since I cut out all animal products and gluten from my diet, due to health reasons and I thought I'd give you an update on how I've been doing. Some of you may be wondering if I stuck with it.... Well I have! And now you may be thinking "What the heck does she eat??" I eat a LOT of fruits and vegetables, salads, quinoa, lentils, beans, gluten-free pasta, nuts, superfoods like goji berries and cacao, gluten-free steel cut oats, hummus, peanut butter (with bananas), lots of guacamole (love it!) with GF tortilla chips, almond or coconut milk instead of milk, raw chocolate (for a treat!), GF pizza with vegan cheese, GF bread, the list goes on. I try and focus on what I can eat instead of what I can't. I'm also not too strict with myself, for example on Thanksgiving I had mashed potatoes with real butter (I forgot to bring vegan butter and didn't want to ask the host to make me a separate dish) and I had a few chocolate Halloween treats last week (I gave in to the temptation) but I didn't feel very good after. Because I eat so healthy 90% of the time, when I put something into my body that has a lot of sugar or something that is really processed, or even something my body is not used to eating anymore I can really feel it! I like eating food as close to its natural state as possible. (The way we were meant to eat it!) But I will also indulge once in awhile and get GF fries with vegan gravy and a Coke at one of my favorite restaurants. But that's about as un-healthy as I get. I just don't crave that many un-healthy foods anymore because they don't make me feel good. It's as simple as that!

The pro's of eating a Vegan and GF diet:
-After a week of cutting out all animal products and gluten/wheat I started to think clearer. Not sure if that makes sense and it's hard to describe. I just felt "lighter" I guess and my brain wasn't as foggy.
-Speaking of feeling "lighter," I lost 5 lbs. right away and then gained a couple back. I also noticed fat starting to disapper from my body, especially in the stomach area and my clothes starting to loosen on my body.
-I have soooo much energy! I'm still drinking my super smoothie every single morning which charges my batteries and if I don't drink it, I definitely feel it. And before I started my new diet I used to feel really lethargic in the afternoons around the 2 p.m./3-ish mark but I don't anymore.
-My IBS symptoms have decreased dramatically, I no longer get those pains that made me have to curl up into a ball.
-Because of all the fruits and vegetables I'm eating and because I'm juicing a lot, my skin is brighter and I honestly feel it has a bit of a "glow" to it. I've also noticed the fine lines around my eyes starting to soften.
-My nails are so long and strong! They used to be so weak and brittle! I think the ingredients in my smoothie have helped with this.
-I do not count "points" or calories or fat grams or any type of numbers anymore, I don't need to. I listen to my body now. When I'm hungry, I eat. When I'm full, I stop. 
-Because I've been eating healthier, D. has been eating healthier. I've also learned how to cook which he is happy about! I was so bad before (I once started a fire while boiling water) but I'm getting pretty good at it because it's something I have to do if I want to survive ; ). D. still eats meat and dairy and bread and all that but he does enjoy my recipes. Sometimes he'll add chicken or salmon to a dish, if he wants.

This is my "healthy bowl" which is always stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables. Actually I have two bowls like this, filled to the brim all the time since I use a lot of produce for juicing.

And the con's:
-The most difficult part of changing my diet was the reaction I got from my family and relatives at first. All of them are meat eaters. My parents even own a buffalo farm. So a lot of family members couldn't understand how I could stop eating all animal products (I was a Vegetarian before that so they were used to me not eating meat already) and things like bread, and buns, etc. "What do you EAT?! Lettuce?! What do you eat at a RESTAURANT? What if you go over to someone's house for dinner and you can't eat ANYTHING? Where do you get your protein and iron from? That diet can't be healthy! How can you live without meat, diary and wheat?? Are you doing this to lose weight? Because you don't NEED to lose weight!" - These are the types of reactions I got. I just had to tell them that I'm doing this for health reasons and I feel so much better eating this way, it's my choice. I can bring my own food to other people's houses if I need to. And not to worry, I make sure I get all my vitamins from the foods I'm eating and supplements, if needed. People shouldn't judge! I don't judge anyone for eating a couple of Big Macs, why does anyone need to judge or scoff at me for making healthier choices? Luckily my family is now much more supportive and I think they have a better understanding of why I've changed my diet. My Mom even made me a GF and vegan cake for my birthday, which was delicious!
-Going out with friends for dinner. Most people can have anything they want at a restaurant but with my diet I can have maybe 2 or 3 dishes on the menu, unless I go to a Vegan restaurant or one that has a Vegan, GF option. But most establishments only have one or the other, not both! So that's a bit difficult...
-I have to really take the time to prepare myself, for example, if I'm going out of town and staying in a hotel, I make sure I have enough healthy snacks to eat and have researched restaurants I can enjoy a meal at. This was really easy for me to do when I was in California in September, there were soooo many options available to me! And they had Whole Foods' stores everywhere. We don't have any in Canada : ( So I go to Planet Organic, which is about 1/3 the size of a Whole Foods.

I am also still working out about 3 or 4 times a week going to Pilates and Barre classes and I actually started teaching group Pilates Mat classes again at a Pilates studio in my city! I love it! I missed it so much. I've stopped doing the Tracy Anderson DVD's, they are too hard on my knees : (.

To wrap up this post, I am really enjoying the benefits and results of my new lifestyle. I know I call it a "diet" but really it's a whole lifestyle change and I think I'm going to stick with it for the long haul. It's been somewhat of a challenge but it's been so worth it.


J. said...

Great post and thanks for the update. You are very inspiring!!!!!! So glad that you are feeling great.
:) J.

alison*elle said...

Congrats on your success so far! Sounds like the changes in your diet have really made a difference.

xo, alison*elle

Catita said...

I really enjoyed your post, I've also been thinking of eating healthier ever since I got pregnant and like you say, its important you stock up on fruits and veggies and know where to get your supplements from. I am nowhere close to being vegan, not even vegetarian but already having a few veggie meals a week is an improvement!
I just have been having a hard time lately NOT indulging in my cravings...it's really bad and as yesterday I saw what I thought were early signs of stretch marks I freaked out and today went to the groceries to buy a tons of fruits and veggies and I am looking into buying a juicer now.
I am really proud of you for your healthy lifestyle, you obviously have always looked great but I think I noticed that "glow"! Keep it up!

Kisti Belle said...

Congratulations! I'm also trying to eat an higher veggie diet but I eat it with chicken and maybe some little bits of meat. I really like hearing that this can really change your body!!

Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe said...

Congrats on sticking with it, Marie! Sounds like all of these changes have had very positive effects, which helps you to keep up with them. I remember when I decided to go vegetarian for one year (several years ago) and I got SO much flack from my family. I think they whined about it for the entire year! But I did notice that I felt a lot better in terms of my digestion and I never felt lethargic like I would after a big meal including meat. I have since gone back to eating meat, but much less and rarely any red meat. I'm not sure I could ever become a vegan though, I just love dairy too much! It sounds like you are at a really great place in your life! Very inspiring to read!

Marie a la Mode said...

Thank you everyone for your comments and support! It's been quite a challenge but the changes I feel and see have been worth it! xo

JennaStevie said...

It's awesome to hear things are going so well for you! It's always great when you see the results of hard work and eating healthy. I know I feel a million times better when I eat healthy.
The only thing I get concerned about with these lifestyles (because I know its not just a diet!) is getting vit d and calcium, but I'm sure you're smart and supplementing! It's a lot more prep work for this but when you have any sort of health issue that it can clear up (IBS for example) it totally is worth it!

Kendra C said...

This is a great post Marie! I am gluten intolerant so my gf eating isn't by choice, but knowing what I know now I wouldn't go back to eating it even if I could!

I have a lifestyle blog where I post gf recipes and juicing recipes if you want to stop by some time!



Melanie said...

I really need to eat more veggies in my diet. I have always wanted to cut out meat, I'm just trying to do it little by little.

xo Mel
turquoise blonde

Closet Fashionista said...

I'm so glad things are going so well for you, it really is amazing what changing your diet can do for you. I read something about a woman drinking 3 liters of water a day and her skin looked AMAZING because of it.

I really do need to start eating healthier, but it's so hard for me because I'm really picky about what I eat and I am not very good at keeping to plans, ha ha....I'll do it eventually.

Kastles said...

Good for you lady!!!
<3 Kastles

Sarah said...

Thanks for the update, glad it is all working out well for you! I definately eat better now than I used to but I still need to improve - alot! Im just not as educated about all the better for you healthy alternatives....guess I should start looking into them!xx


aislin said...

this is such awesome news to read!
after realizing my boyfriend has a severe gluten allergy (along with a severe lactose allergy), the eating around our house changed drastically. and i couldn't be happier! it's great that there are so many more GF products out there now, and we've had lots of fun deciding on which is the best (and which is the worst ... i'll never be able to love GF bread haha).
i agree with Jenna about the vitamins, you've definitely got to watch your iron and calcium when cutting out both dairy & meat.
keep on it lady! especially if it has you feeling this amazing :)

Natasha Janzen said...

So glad I read this :)
This week I'm doing a "cleanse" I've been wanting to try for the past two years. It's the only cleanse I'll try though because I get to eat real food and some meat still (no added/unnatural sugars, no red meat, no bread/pasta, no cheese, no soda...the list goes on). I often wonder how people can go without certain things (like cheese!) haha...I know I will never be able to be full on vegetarian or vegan, but I'm starting to find some recipes I like that "follow the rules"...and I do try to go gluten free with certain things....well not so much gluten free, but processed free (since so many gluten free foods used processed flours like white rice flour)...so I now grind my own flours so that I know I'm getting the whole thing, and all the nutrients haven't disappeared.
OK I don't know why I'm talking so much! Enough about me...I'm just glad to see that people can thrive at cutting back foods they once loved!!

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