Aloha! How are you?! I am very excited to talk more in depth on some of the topics we discuss over Instagram and getting to know each of you a little more!
I thought we could start off with a post about 'how on earth do you change your diet successfully'? How do you beat cravings? How do you make it past day one? How can you get to the point where you say, 'I love this... in fact I want to keep doing this!'? How does a challenge become a desired way of life. How on earth does one change their lifestyle, their health, their habits and trade it in for something new?
Well, here is what I did!
Step 1: Ponder, reflect, dedicate: Ask yourself... what do you want? Why? What is your game plan? Do you think it will be challenging? Do you want it more than 'x'. Can you see yourself changing? Do you think it may be awkward at times? How are you going to handle social settings? Will the chocolate in your cupboards or in the grocery check out lines be too tempting for you? If you feel bloated, and your skin starts to break out from detoxing and you’re moody, and everything in your head is saying, 'just give me sugar!!' what are you doing to do? Are all these questions stressing you out? Or are you willing to take the time to truly ponder and devote energy into your health? If so, it’s time to make some doable goals.
I say doable goals, because committing to anything long term is quite intimating. Every time you achieve a goal, then reevaluate where you want to go from there.
No joke, mental preparation could be the deciding factor between whether you are going to make a change or not. It solidifies the desire. Desires that need to develop into a reality and this is where you start.
If you made it past stage one, that's impressive! Good on ya for wanting to work on your health!
Step 2: Get educated. If you are going to make a change... believing and understanding what you are doing is important and will support your efforts and make sure you are heading in the right direction. Here is some homework for you!
Watch 1 or all 3 documentaries- Forks Over Knives, Fed Up, and Food Matters. Check out www.earthyandy.com for lots of info on a high carb vegan lifestyle. To understand the science behind a vegan diet check out www.nutritionfacts.org . Here you will find some of the answers to commonly asked questions such as, 'do vegans get enough protein and from where'?
Step 3. Prepare your realities.. Its time to put your money where your mouth is. You are going to need to go shopping and fill your surroundings with all those things that will set you up for success and that will benefit you. Lots and lots of produce and vegan friendly pantry items. If you need a weekly shopping list and daily meal plans click here.
A good friend of mine, whom I admire very much told me, the only area she does not feel bad spending money on is quality food for her family. This completely changed my outlook on grocery shopping. She was right. I use to feel guilty for spending money on anything that wasn't on sale and picked foods based off price. Where is this guilt from? Food and water are literally what we live on.
It can change our quality of life, it therefore requires quality foods. In the end, wellness is cheaper than illness- at least this is what I tell myself :).
Step 4. What is your 'starting style?' Some people do well jumping in head first while others prefer gradual change. If you are someone who prefers gradual change, try making a goal to always eat your produce before you decide to eat something packaged or processed. This way you are not telling yourself you cannot have it, you just have to eat the produce portion of your meal first.
This will help you get used to making different decisions while simultaneously creating habits. Once you feel comfortable, add a goal of eating a full plant based meal a day. Then add an entire plant based day and gradually you may find that you enjoy your plant based meal portions so much that you do away with the processed and cooked portions of your meal all together.
Over time your taste buds will change and your unfamiliar way of shopping, preparing, eating and food ideologies will become familiar, comfortable and enjoyable! Give it time and try to have fun with it! The benefits will speak for themselves.
Step 5. What and How to eat? If you check out my site, it explains and goes through the details of everything from what and how to eat and why. If I missed concerns or you have questions, please let me know and I would love to address them. Basically what I follow daily are these main guidelines:
No animal products.
Eat raw until last meal of the day.
No oils and low sodium (under 1,000 mgs daily).
5-10% of daily calories from fat for ultimate health and leanness. This is where the health and leanness magic happens. When you have a low percentage of fat in your blood, your body releases insulin differently, which means your food is handled differently and processes much faster and efficiently.
Sweets before cooked dinner, not after, for best digestion.
Aim for 2.5+ liters of water per day
Eat until full and satisfied- no calorie restricting.
Aim for your days to be full of nutrient dense whole foods - fruits and veggies!
It may seem restrictive at first, but give it time and you will find there are plenty of wonderful, delicious foods to enjoy, and in complete abundance!
So there you have it! Five steps to get you started on a high carb low fat vegan lifestyle with the goal of reaching the ultimate in health and leanness.
In case you are wondering how to answer a few of those 'self questions' I asked in step one, here is how I answered them...
what do you want? I want health. I want energy, a well functioning, lean body, I want clear skin, I want to no longer be sick and an emotional roller coaster. I want a complete upgrade in health and life.
Why? Everyone wants health. When your body is functioning properly it effects everything, including your mind and emotions. It effects all areas of life. I want a better quality of life. Let me tell you, I have all the same stresses I did before I started this lifestyle. Some of those stresses haunted me on a daily basis, but do you know what... now that I feel good and my hormones are 'healthy' and I have energy and no more brain fog, I now see things with a new perspective. I am able to deal with life properly, more positively and more efficiently. This results in much more happiness and much less stress.
What is your game plan? To get educated, and to believe in what I am doing, I personally made the goal to go HCLFV for 30 days following raw till 4 guidelines and to document every day. I also told myself I would not tell anyone in case they had opinions which I knew would discourage me. I made a goal to fill my fridge with fresh produce and not let any of it go bad. I had the goal to always choose fresh before even thinking of letting something processed go in my mouth. I made a goal to always have supplies on hand! During the first 30 days there were many times I did not want to continue on, but I told myself I was not allowed to have an opinion until the 30 days were done. By this time I was past the detox stage, everything was looking up, and this new way of life was comfortable. I was ecstatic about how good I was feeling. This is when I allowed myself to reevaluate and I wanted to continue on. Now I can't imagine not living this way!
What are you willing to do about it? Do you want it more than 'x'. Can you see yourself changing? I decided I was all in for 30 days. I didn't care how much I wanted 'x' for those 30 days.
Changing my health was now my number one personal priority. At this time I couldn't see myself changing for life, but I could see changing for 30 days.
Do you think it may be awkward at times? How are you going to handle social settings? Will the chocolate in your cupboards or in the grocery check out lines be too tempting for you?
Yes it will be awkward perhaps. The way I would deal with it is, not to care. In the end everyone eats what they want for the most part in social settings. Its just food right! I tried to go unnoticed at the beginning. I didn't talk about it. I simply didn't eat the portions that were now ''off limits'. At first I even put things on my plate that I wasn't going to eat just to stay undercover. When I was offered something I would sometimes just take it and not eat it and sometimes I would say, 'I am good, thanks, I am really enjoying 'this' right now'. People respond well to this response. People do not care for, ' I can’t’ very well, unless you have allergies. I also decided to bring something to bbq's and gatherings to contribute to the meals and make something that I could eat, like a fruit platter, veggie plate, big salad for example.
As far as checking out, without buying a candy bar.. this was internally awkward for me at first! Every time I made it out of the store without buying a candy bar, I was stoked and I just got better at it! (I know... I'm pathetic..haha)
If you feel bloated, and your skin starts to break out from detoxing and your moody and everything in your head is saying, 'just give me sugar!!' what are you doing to do? I am going to say, yes!! I am detoxing! This is awesome! I am going to welcome all of this as a sign that all the bad and old is leaving my body and I am that much closer to feeling awesome!
Are all these questions stressing you out? Or are you willing to take the time to truly ponder and devote energy into your health? At first, yes these questions and thoughts totally stressed me out! For a really long time actually. It took a lot to really sit down and devote. Asking myself these types of questions and following these sorts of steps is really what worked, and I am hoping it may help you, if this is what you are looking for!
How do you beat cravings? What is your game plan not to cave? Keep eating fruit or something plant based until the cravings go away. Don't make decisions on an empty stomach, because I promise you, at first, you are not going to want a salad, or a smoothie when you are hungry. You are probably going to want salty, fatting, sugar laden foods. Get something like an apple or two into your body, even if you dont want it, before you make any decisions.
How do you make it past day one? Follow these steps, focus on what you can have and forget about what you can't. Evey time you make it to bed, you can say, 'yes I did it'! It gets easier and easier. It is a great feeling.
How can you get to the point where you say, I love this... in fact I want to keep doing this! How does a challenge become a desired way of life. How on earth does one change their lifestyle, their health, their habits and trade it in for something new? Go step by step and you will change over time. I never imagined giving up some of my habits permanently. I never imagined wanting to. Over time, I changed. I can't even imagine buying a coke now! haha. Just go day by day and see where it takes you! If it’s good for you, the results will speak for themselves :)
Well there ya have it! Let me know your thoughts! I would love to hear what worked for you, I am sure many of you have great tips! If you have questions or want to share your experiences, I love hearing them!