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Whether you are just looking for a week of healthy plant-based eating, to give your body a break – or are wanting to make the switch into a whole-food, plant-based diet, here is a PLANT-BASED Guide to help you on your journey.
Not only does the guide contain helpful tips and tricks to make the transition easier- it contains delicious Vegan Recipes that will keep you feeling vibrant, energized and satisfied! A week without processed foods does wonders for the body. Just imagine what a month would do! Now imagine a whole year!
A little back story: For several years, I have watched my own metabolism slow down and my weight slowly creep up. Growing up, I was naturally slim and it wasn’t really until my forties that I noticed weight gain that was harder to shed.
When I was younger, losing a few pounds used to be fairly easy. Not anymore! Although I’ve never considered myself to be overweight, I gained fat around my middle that made me feel sluggish and unhealthy that I couldn’t seem to lose. I tried many different diet fads.
But several years ago I tried something different. I actually started listening to my body. Even though the latest trend was to eat often, cut out grains and beans, and eat lots of fat, my body actually felt better and more energized when I consumed fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains & beans, minimized meat, fat, dairy, sugar and processed foods- and stopped snacking.
In the beginning, I just started paying attention to when I was eating and why. I noticed that much of the time I ate when I was not actually hungry. I did a lot of mindless eating… eating whatever was sitting on the counter as I walked past regardless if I was hungry.
Being a caterer, there was always food in front of me, which inevitably ended up in my mouth! I noticed how much I used food as a distraction when feeling anxious, bored, or in need of comfort – and realized I was asking way too much of food – and that no amount could make what I was feeling go away. I had to turn inward and face it. This was the first step.
I also started paying attention to my body – acknowledging what foods left me feeling tired, achy or sluggish and what foods left me feeling energized and alive. And this is different for each of us. Some people thrive on the Keto diet, and the Paleo diet- and I totally get it, but my body just doesn’t feel good on it. We are all genetically different. For some, like me, the very unpopular high carb, low-fat diet actually feels best. Do what feels best. Always.
Most of us can agree though, that processed foods, even so-called “healthy” ones, rev up our appetites even more, making them incredibly easy to overeat. I still, find it nearly impossible to eat only a few chips. 🙂
For me, cutting back on rich meat/ dairy/ fats/ sugar/ white flour/and all processed foods for a period of time allows my body a break, letting it “catch up” with its inner cleaning. Eating plant-based meals, with lots of healthy fruits and veggies, whole grains, plant-based proteins, helps my body to do what it naturally does… balance and heal itself.
Benefits of a Plant-based Diet:
- lowers cholesterol,
- helps heal diabetes,
- lowers inflammation,
- lowers blood pressure,
- reduces cancer risk,
- lowers heart disease
- Is the least taxing diet on the environment. Not to mention the animals!
There is even research out there that states that eating vegan for a 3 month period can actually affect our DNA! Studies by Dean Ornish and others show how a plant-based diet affects the length of our telomeres, and ultimately slow the aging process. Don’t take my word for it, please do your own research and see for yourself.
And while we take this “break” our bodies become better able to absorb all the good clean nutrients we are putting into them. Fresh fruits and veggies are full of prebiotics! And I find that in the process, I start to actually crave these clean foods because I feel better, sleep better and have way more energy.
So this is what I try to do every few months: For 7-21 days, I’ll cut out meat, dairy, heavy fats, white sugar, white flour, and all processed foods – I make all my meals from scratch. This is KEY. (Now, of course, you can transition into the whole food, plant-based vegan diet full time. It need not be a cleanse, but rather a lifestyle change if you so choose.)
In general, I stop snacking and eating all the time- allowing my body time to digest before eating again, adopting a 16/8 fasting schedule (eating meals within an 8-10 hour period, allowing body to rest for 14-16 hours.) This feels so good, and within 2-3 days my energy levels increase.
And yes, occasionally I splurge because I really don’t believe in depriving one’s self of all life’s pleasures. For example, in the past I really loved ice-cream. But I realized I made a habit of it, eating it every night after dinner. Did I really need to eat it every single night?! I decided I would eat it, only when I really really wanted it, which ended up being far less than I thought. (And I switched to vegan ice cream!) I changed the habit of eating it. And I changed the habit of constantly snacking when I wasn’t hungry- substituting this tea, or this apple cider vinegar drink called a switchel!
Slowly but surely, I lost weight for the first time in years. At first, I didn’t actually notice the weight loss, it was that slow. But I felt more energy during the day and slept better at night. After several months, I weighed myself and was astounded. My cholesterol also went down (which is important to me personally, because both of my parents had heart bypass surgery). I’m not promising miracles here, but I think if you give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised- like I was.
In the free, 7 DAY Plant-Based Guide I lay out a list of things to begin your journey. Please don’t feel like you have to do ALL these things in the first week (unless you really want to jumpstart your body). I’ve found that lasting success comes from gradually and gently incorporating these changes into your lifestyle so they become a more lasting habit. This is key.
Weight will come off a little more slowly, but this is a good thing, and this way it will most likely last. So go ahead and start with just one or two things this week. Then next week add another, and then another the following week so it’s not so overwhelming or dramatic. This is not intended to be a “diet”, but rather a lifestyle change for increased energy, vibrancy and gradual weight loss, with a “jumpstart” option if you are so inclined.
For the record, I am not a dietitian and I can’t say that this vegan PLANT-BASED Guide is right for everyone. Please don’t take my word for it, do your own research, listen to your body and make sure this is a good fit for you. We are all so different, and I don’t believe in “one size fits all”. But this is what has worked for me- and I just wanted to share it! (By the way, the guide is totally FREE, just for subscribing to the blog. )
I’m not here to try to convince you to become vegan, just present options. We all know what we need to do to feel our best. There are many paths to feeling our best. Find your own!
My hope is to inspire and motivate you to take inventory of how you feel and perhaps take some steps towards feeling more alive and energized. And to take responsibility for your own health. We only get one body while we are here… let’s show it some love!
Here are a few of my favorite resources that have inspired the PLANT-BASED Guide.
- The Longevity Diet
- The Obesity Code
- Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
- The China Study
- The Blue Zones
- Delay Don’t Deny
- Eat to Live
- Mastering Diabetes
Subscribe to the blog and get my free 7-DAY, CLEAN -EATING GUIDE and make some simple changes starting today! Once you sign up you’ll receive the list of things you can start implementing into your daily routine, along with some simple delicious recipes!
No strings attached, ever. 🙂
VEGAN PLANT-BASED GUIDE
A simple, vegan, 7-DAY, PLANT-BASED Guide with Vegan Recipes! Heal your body, increase your energy, rev up your metabolism and shed weight! Free!
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 4
- Category: Vegan
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Northwest
- whole grains
- plant-based protein and fat
Read the Plant-Based guide.
Clean out your fridge. Clean out your pantry. Round up all your snacks and processed foods and put them out of site (basement, garage,or give away).
Take inventory of what you have that fits in with the guide- and use these things! Grains, beans, produce, etc.
Pick out a few vegan recipes, make a shopping list and prep a few things ahead for the week.
The key is keeping things simple, using what you have on hand -and incorporating fresh produce.
Cook from scratch! It won’t be hard or complicated.
Fill your self up with fresh vibrant food and you won’t be hungry for the processed stuff.
You can do this. 🙂
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