Friday, 27 September 2013

Juice Fast/Feast- Week 4


This week was a tough one, I've had high highs and low lows, usually swinging between them rather fast. I've been quite stressed and considered keeping the juice fast going to 30 days but after my appointment with my natropath today I'm feeling very good about ending the juice fast. I did want to keep going longer and when I'm bouncing with energy and wanting to go for a run it seems like a great idea but then I get so tired or burst into tears and question everything. I'm not saying these are juice related emotions- they're definitely mine during this stressful point in my life but I just need to keep positive about how much juicy goodness I've been having and keep this a win! I've been filling my body with fruit and veggie juices for almost a month now and that's a great thing!

Starting weight: 89kgs
Week 4 starting weight- 82.3kgs

What have I been drinking?
An average of 5 x 500ml juices a day plus water, herbal tea, miso/mushroom dashi soup, lite soy/almond milk in teas and V8 and coconut water including:
Spinach kale lettuce celery orange (lots of this since I had the green ice cubes)

Watermelon lime mint juice
Green vegetable juice (out, I forget what was in it, sorry!)
Beetroot, orange, carrot, ginger, celery, broccoli
V8 vegetable juice

End week 1 weight- 85kgs (-4kg)
End week 2 weight- 84.5kg (-1kg)
End week 3 weight- 82.3kg (-3.2kg)

End week 4 weight- 81.5kg (-0.8kg)
Total loss- -7.5 kgs 

High points: I'm feeling less bloated all over, my waist is tighter and smaller, I feel much better within myself and my body. The weight loss for me is a real high point, this extra weight is not comfortable and my body wants it off too! My skin has been amazing through this fast, I think I must detox through my skin because I've never had so much stuff work it's way out of my pores! All my skin is silky smooth and has been more resilient to the Aussie sun. I've had only minimal hayfever symptoms, nowhere near as bad as usual and my vision is still crisper and the world looks brighter!


I also have a much greater appreciation for food and NO desire to eat things that aren't good for me. Example: I have watched many people eat recently (going out to dinner with friends while fasting isn't the best idea by the way) but I've seen people eat deep fried things, chips, desserts etc and they honestly don't even look like food. The smell of the oil in the chips was repulsive and the sugary smell of the desserts was enough to know I would have one hell of a sugar headache if I went near it! 

Low points: My stomach has been up and down this juice fast- I have a feeling it's stress not the juice. I've been forced to cook and watch others eat which at times can be very tempting (my husband made this wonderfully crisp fresh apple and walnut salad the other night and I was so ready to dive in!) but it's not so bad. I've had a white tongue and mouth ulcers which have been quite painful and interrupted my sleep and have been bruising very easily. All in all, I'm very glad I did this but it was more challenging that my previous juice fasts.

So at day 26 that's my juice fast done and dusted. I'm sure I'll do another, not quite sure when but I'm really looking forward to some yummy food now! I'll let you know how I transition out of juicing and back to eating... usually I give my body a bit of time to make the adjustment and go easy at first. If you're ending a juice fast I really suggest you do the same!

Love and Smiles,
 

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Juice Fast/Feast- Week 3

And the juice fast keeps going! Week 3 was great! Much easier than week 2 and I'm feeling much more positive about continuing it longer. I'm very happy I managed to maintain the juice fast while I was away at the beach and keep up the greens even if the juice selection was more limited because of it.

Starting weight: 89kgs
Week 3 starting weight- 85.5kgs (yes, I did gain again, I blame the salt in the V8 juice)

What have I been drinking?
An average of 5 x 500ml juices a day plus water, herbal tea, miso/mushroom dashi soup, lite soy milk in teas and V8 and coconut water including:
Spinach lettuce beetroot mandarin red capsicum juice
Spinach lettuce orange
Spinach lettuce pineapple
V8 vegetable juice

This week was a little limited in my juices because I decided to run away to the beach. I juiced about 5kg spinach and 5kg of mixed lettuce (thanks to Costco's amazing sizes) before I left and froze them into green ice cubes to take with me. I know it's not ideal but I grabbed some bottled no sugar fresh juice and just added them in. Who says you can't juice without a juicer!

End week 1 weight- 85kgs (-4kg)
End week 2 weight- 84.5kg (-1kg)
End week 3 weight- 82.3kg (-3.2kg)
 

High points: My collar bones have made an appearance! The bloating has gone down so much I'm finally looking more like myself. I'm feeling much better about my weight this week. I've been staying away from the scales (daily weighing can really mess with your head, I'm all for weekly weigh ins even if I have a hard time sticking to them). I've been really enjoying cooking for other people this week. When I fast I really miss cooking so what can be a chore becomes a nice treat. I've been really motivated to re-watch vegan nutrition lectures and read up while I'm away. Another bonus to juicing is not having so many dishes! I've had the energy for lots of walks and fun on the beach, my skin has been more hardy (I usually burn to a crisp in the Australian sun) and is still lovely and soft. Still only minimal hayfever symptoms and vision is still looking good.

Low points: Stomach as been iffy this week, some days it's fine, others it's really not. I have a feeling it may be IBS/stress related because I really doubt it's the juice. The major temptations this week have been watching my father and husband enjoy multiple ice creams, fish and chips, crisps, chocolate, pancakes etc. I can't not spend the time with them so I'm just getting stronger and proving I don't need or want those things. Still got the furry tongue and mouth ulcers, I've got one right on the end of my tongue! I've had a few panic attacks this week- apparently I'm just testing my limits in the hopes of improving things. Here's hoping I start seeing the benefits of digging into my mind soon!


There's week 3- again, if you have any questions ask away.

Love and Smiles,
 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Juice Fast/Feast- Week 2

And the juice fast keeps going! Week 2 went quite well, even if it was a bit of a challenge and the weight loss was minimal I'm still happy with my effort and the amount of goodness I gave my body.

Starting weight: 89kgs
Week 2 starting weight- 85.5kgs (yes, I did manage to gain 0.5kg on a juice fast)

What have I been drinking?
An average of 5 x 500ml juices a day plus water, herbal tea, miso/mushroom dashi soup, lite soy milk in teas and V8 and coconut water including:
Orange passionfruit and greens juice
Mango orange beetroot greens juice
Pineapple coconut and greens juice
Orange passionfruit greens and beetroot juice
Peach passionfruit beetroot greens juice
Spinach, lettuce, beetroot, mandarin, red capsicum
Spinach celery orange mango
V8 vegetable juice

End week 1 weight- 85kgs (-4kg)
End week 2 weight- 84.5kg (-1kg)

High points: Once again I had a wonderfully productive work week and I've had lots of energy for exercise and have been walking lots. Skin's still feeling great- really super soft and a nice colour. I've been waking up early, I think 4 was the earliest but I still have stacks of energy and a clear, fast mind for work. The body's feeling good, less bloated, stronger. Still motivated to exercise, loving the hula hoop, walking, yoga, dancing, singing, cleaning, anything really. Still only minimal hayfever symptoms and vision is looking good.

Low points: Not much weight loss this week, I know I should be focusing on health not weight loss so I've tried to stay off the scale as much as possible and focus on my lovely soft skin and less bloated body. Feeling a bit grumpy and sore this week, quite possible related to the time of the month rather than the juice fast. Upset tummy, been cold and grumpy some days but warm and happy others. I seriously considered stopping this week because I had some insane hunger and thoughts of binge eating but luckily I realised it was just hormones- which also explains the lack of weight loss! I went to the chiropractor and with her manipulation some of my kidney/bladder pain returned. Still got some furry tongue going on and mouth ulcers. Still feeling quite cold and tired at times even with upping the cals. I'm quite emotionally exhausted at the moment, been having lots of nightmares as usual but they're getting to me, I believe I'm testing the theory dealing with things makes it worse before it gets better!

There you have the week 2 wrap up- again, if you have any questions feel free to ask!

Love and Smiles,

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Juice Fast/Feast- Week 1

So even though my long term plan is to eat like Dr. Fuhrman suggests I'm currently doing another juice fast and I thought- what better way to keep on track than to blog it?

As many of the readers of Almost Skinny Vegan Food would know I'm a juicing fan and have documented previous juice fasts hereherehere and here. I've found it really helps to record my progress so that's what I will be doing here. The longest fast I've done prior to this was 3 weeks/21 days and since my work is currently at a low point I'm hoping I can push this one out for longer- assuming I'm still feeling good about it all that is! Perhaps I could do a 30 day or even 60 day one? Have any of you juiced for that long? Would you suggest it?

My challenge is walking that fine line between obsession and attention to detail though- so I'm really focusing on keeping this blog a positive, healthy space to help keep my weight loss on track. In the interests of keeping myself sane and healthy my natropath suggested upping the amount of juice, adding in fruit as well as veggie juice, adding a little protein powder and chia/flax seeds seeing as in the past my skin has deteriorated while fasting. So I'm not going for perfection, I'm going to add in the extra fats and protein where needed and just try to keep feeling good!

Starting weight- 89kgs

I began by limiting my food intake a couple of days before beginning juicing, reducing quantity and eating more raw fruit and veg.

What have I been drinking?
An average of 5 x 500ml juices a day plus water, herbal tea, miso/mushroom dashi soup and coconut water including:
Pineapple cranberry juice
Greens mango orange juice
Pineapple coconut greens juice
Zucchini celery spinach pineapple juice
Strawberry spinach celery pineapple juice- NB strawberries do not juice well, they just mush and come out as a thick juicy pulp.
Strawberry spinach celery orange mango juice
Spinach celery blood orange juice
Spinach celery orange mango
V8 vegetable juice

End week 1 weight- 85kgs (-4kg)


High points: Got loads of productive work in while juicing, more energy and a clearer mind, made the time to go to the gallery and do some things that make me smile. Waking up earlier (5:30), feeling more alert and staying up later (11). My skin has been super soft, my husband can't stop touching it so that's a definite improvement. My body is feeling flatter, less bloated- I'm loving it. More motivated to exercise, loving the hula hoop, walking, yoga, dancing, singing, cleaning, anything really. Minimised hayfever symptoms- fingers crossed that continues. I even think my vision might be improving- not sure if it's my mood or my eyes but everything looks brighter and clearer.

Low points: Feeling a little hungry and nauseous at the beginning of the week, watching others eat out, feeling exhausted while detoxing and pulling an all nighter, getting dizzy when getting out of bed too fast... but that happens to me when I'm not juicing too! Had some trouble concentrating while I adjusted to the increased energy levels but perhaps that's still a plus? Got some furry tongue going on, not a fan but no matter how much I scrape it, it won't come off. Got a mouth ulcer too. Feeling quite cold and tired at times, aware I might need to up the calories.

So there's the week 1 wrap up- if you have any questions feel free to ask!

Love and Smiles,
 

Monday, 23 September 2013

Juicing!

I love juicing. I try to juice most mornings, like a pre-breakfast breakfast to give my body a punch of nutrients and hydration to start the day but it also makes a wonderful afternoon tea. In general I juice on an empty stomach and then have a meal about an hour later because while juices are packed full of goodness they're fairly light on calories and are absorbed quickly and don't keep you full for as long as a meal or smoothie. I find juicing helps me make better food choices throughout the day and puts me in the right mindset for a healthy productive day!

Why do I juice?
Primarily for the health benefits and to add extra serves of veggies to my diet. Juicing removes the insoluble fibre and allows you to absorb the nutrients quickly and efficiently. It takes less energy to digest juice and is much easier on your tummy. Juicing allows you to consume a much larger quantity of veggies, can you imagine sitting down to munch on 4 carrots and 8 cups of greens in the morning? Nope! But juice it and it's a yummy way to start the day.

What juicer do I use?
I've used a centrifugal juicer- we were given a Breville as a wedding present which served us well until it jumped off the counter. These are quick and work best for large quantities of carrots, apples, oranges etc. but they have problems with leafy greens (which are the things you really want in your juice!)
Hand crank masticating juicer (for wheatgrass), these are slow and annoying but you're usually only using them for small amounts of wheatgrass.
and I've settled on an electric masticating juicer- we have an Oscar Vital Max which has served me very very well. It's the best vegetable juicer I've used but it's not as good with juicy fruits like strawberries which it tends to mush. It also has attachments that allow you to make nut butters and frozen fruit 'ice cream's.

No matter which juicer you choose remember to clean it well after use to avoid any mould!

What do I juice?
My favourites are carrots, baby spinach, lettuce, mandarins, pomegranate, cucumber, pineapple, beetroot, red/orange/yellow capsicums etc. but you can juice almost anything! In general it's better to juice your veggies and eat your fruit so I try to use the fruit minimally to sweeten the juice (alternatively you can use stevia). I try to aim for a max of 1 serve of fruit per juice.

Joe Cross has some great resources on his site on how to prepare juice, tips and ingredient substitution!


How do I store my juice?
In air tight glass mason jars, filled right to the top to eliminate the most oxygen possible to allow them to keep in the fridge for up to 72 hours or freeze for a week (don't fill it to the top though). Additionally when produce is available/cheap I juice large quantities of things like greens and freeze them into ice cubes to add to future juices.

Stay tuned for my upcoming juice fast updates!

Love and Smiles,

Sunday, 22 September 2013

My Ideal Food Day

I try to eat a wide variety but there's always that part of me that likes a 'plan', an ideal to aim for. Success is not marked by achieving it, rather having it in mind helps me make the right decisions- for instance if I know I'm planning on having some fruit 'ice cream' for dessert after dinner I'm much less likely to indulge mid afternoon just because the fruit looks good or the almond butter smells divine etc. 

I don't want this to be triggering in any way, I don't want you to compare what you eat to what I aim for but I do want to share my interpretation of Dr F's info. 

Breakfast: 
or Smoothie and

Lunch:
Fruit

Dinner:
Soup/Stew/Hot Pot/Curry/Casserole/Stir fry etc. with beans/whole grains/starchy vegetables (not too much tofu!)
 

Dessert:

So there's my ideal food day, what does yours look like?

Love and Smiles,


Saturday, 21 September 2013

The Diet Plan and Goals

The blog's up- we're off and running so you're most likely asking what's the diet plan?

My plan is to focus on health rather than numbers (even though I will be tracking my weight weekly) and try to fill myself up with so much of the good stuff that I don't want the bad stuff. I'm not on a time schedule, there's no little black dress to fit into just a desire to live a long healthy happy life!

My main influences are Dr. Fuhrman, Dr. Campbell, Dr. Esselstyn, Dr McDougall and my natropath. I align myself more with the nutrient dense plant based views of Dr. F rather than the ultra low fat higher carbohydrates of Dr. McD. I have a healthy respect for both as Dr. McD's style is much more manageable for some people (like my husband) and having some flexibility between both styles allows the wiggle room needed to make meals work for us both.

A note on fats- I've tried eating a very low fat plant based diet multiple times for months at a time, only getting fats from the minimal amounts in grains, beans, fruits and vegetables but my body seems to have problems with this. I always see the same results, my skin cracks and dermatitis returns, I get sunburnt more easily and my nails crack/split and hair falls out more.. oh and my mood is much harder to stabilise. On the other side of things I was raw vegan for about 6 months and I found the larger amount of nuts I was relying on didn't do me any favours either. They upset my tummy and sucked my energy levels. So I've experimented on myself and the results are in: Claire needs nuts and seeds! but not too many.

source

Here's a little background: I used to have another weight-loss blog. I had a love/hate relationship with it. It was more of a diet dairy than anything else, I was writing to let the crazy out of my head but knowing there were others that understood my crazy thoughts and ramblings was wonderful. Unfortunately it took me down quite an unhealthy path and my issues with food got worse until I reached a point where I really needed to refocus on all my positive feelings towards food. So I started Almost Skinny Vegan Food! It was a place I could share healthy recipes and focus on getting lots of healthy yummy foods in my life rather than feeling guilty or dwelling on bad decisions (because having a 'treat' just wasn't an option). With this blog I'm tempted to dive headlong into order, calories, restriction, weighing again.. but I want to keep a healthy mindset! I want to keep this a healthy weight loss blog and keep this journey on a safe road.

So I will be eating to nourish my mind, body and soul. I will focus on making good decisions and being proud of them and try to avoid my perfectionist streak! I'll be making sure I get some exercise in daily- even if it's just a walk or playing with my hula hoop and I will also attempt to increase the amount of time I spend meditating.

Goals
To glow with happiness and great nutrition!
Good health- in both body and mind 
Only eating when truly hungry
Eating whole foods- mainly raw fruits/vegetables
Aim for 50%+ raw
Eat only nutrient dense foods
No refined fats/oils = relatively low overall fat
No added sugar
No added salt
Peace of mind- acceptance, no guilt, no excessive counting calories or weighing, just harmony with food/body. 
Exercise- Regular enjoyable activity, maintaining structure and consistency.
65kgs 20% Body Fat
 

source
These are my food aims:
* No snacks
* No fruit juice/dried fruit (Still keeping up the veggie juicing though!)
* No refined foods (white flour/bread/pasta)
* Daily salad
* Daily green veggies
* Eat so much off the good stuff you're not hungry for the bad things!
* Daily healthy dessert (I'm thinking fruit ice creams)
* Sweat daily! Doesn't matter what type or how much, just get some exercise in!
  • 7.5 cups/0.5lbs Raw Vegetables +
  • 4.5 cups/0.5lbs Cooked Vegetables +
  • 1 cup Starchy Vegetables OR Whole grains
  • 0.5-1 cup Beans/Legumes
  • 4 serves/6 cups Fruit
  • 1 tbsp Flax/Chia Seeds
  • 1/4 cup/1oz Raw Nuts/Seeds
  • Sodium under 1000 mg

What do you think of my plan? Are you doing something similar? Different?
If anyone would like to share their journey or join me you are always more than welcome! Feel free to leave comments or email me.
 
I hope you're all well, happy and getting lots of fruit and veg in your diets!
Love and Smiles,

Thursday, 19 September 2013

"Confessions of a Binge-eater" and low FODMAPs

I thought I should start by giving you all a bit of background to my disordered eating. I wrote a guest post for Sarah at Welsh Girl Eats entitled Confessions of a Binge-eater a while ago now, but it will give you all a better feel for where I'm coming from. (If you're not up for a read basically cycles of binging and restricting).

I'm happy to say things are still going well, while I do still struggle with overeating (even the good stuff) I'm worlds away from where I used to be. I do still face challenges with trigger foods, emotional eating and phases of really not caring if I am eating myself to a slow suicide but that's another reason for this blog! To keep motivated even when I'm feeling blue. Here's hoping it can work that way for you too!

My stomach and I have not always seen eye to eye. I've struggled with IBS like symptoms linked to anxiety/depression, disordered eating and suspected food intolerances for as long as I can remember. Recently I've adopted a low FODMAPs style diet- you can find more info here. This has helped HUGELY! Omitting onions, garlic and apples has been the single most influential factor for me and if you're struggling with digestive issues I can't recommend giving it a look enough.

I hope that gives you a better background for understanding my rumblings on this blog, as always, if there's ever anything you're curious about feel free to contact me!

Love and Smiles,

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Welcome!

Welcome to Almost Skinny Vegan Diet! the sister blog to Almost Skinny Vegan Food

I've decided to start another blog dedicated to my weightloss journey to a) help motivate me and b) share my journey with others- without annoying my ASVF readers who just want recipes! 

So here you have it, an entire blog dedicated to my diet. I want to keep this a positive place so I'm going to be trying my very best not to count calories, think negatively or dwell on unachievable goals- I am going to share my healthy, yummy food choices, document my progress and celebrate positive changes and steps in the right direction. 

If there's something you're really keen to see here please let me know! I'm not sure how often I'll be posting at this point, I'll just go with the flow and see what works but for now may I suggest having a peek at my about page to see my goals?

I wish you all well with your food journeys!

Love and Smiles,







p.s. What do you think of the new header? x
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