So you want to be a vegan?

Well, not really. So what is your point then, I hear you ask. I tell you what my point is, my point is we eat too much meat and dairy. All of us (well apart from the veggies and vegans amongst us of course).

I was raised on a 90% vegetarian diet and I can tell you this for fact, you and your children do not need meat to grow. Those of you who know me in person are aware that I did quite well in the growing department. For the rest of you kindly reading my little blog, I am 6ft tall (that is 1.83 meters if that’s your bag), now that is a little on the tall side for a woman. Admittedly it helps that I am Dutch (we are the tallest in the world aparantly) but even for Dutch standards I am tall. Which surely proves my point quite nicely, you do not need meat to grow!

You also don’t need meat to be healthy, my mum is the proof of that. She isn’t tall, but she did suffer from high blood pressure and was put on medication which, she was told, it’s almost impossible to come off. Now, my mum is a bit like me (or I guess I’m a but like her), tell her she can’t do something and she will do anything in her power to prove you wrong. So after checking with her doctor she cut out the following foods:
– all meats
– salt (almost all cause you need a little bit)
– most dairy apart from a bit of soft cheese every now and then
– most processed foods
– most refined sugar
Now 6 months later she has not only lost nearly 2 stone (about 10kg) she has also been taken off her medication completely! Within 6 months she has brought her blood pressure down to a normal level purely by changing her diet! That’s amazing right?

So you don’t need meat to grow or be healthy. It is also very very bad for the environment and the way most animals are treated is just damn cruel! I have watched a few documentaries lately about how our food affects our lives, the lives of animals and our planet and there are bits that I just don’t want to be a part of anymore. Meat is the first thing, but also milk, cheese and eggs. I have always used free rabge egss thinking, that’s fine right? Well, I guess it is if you are happy for the little male chicks to be chucked in a massive grinder when they are still alive! If you want to know what I am talking about watch Vegucated (it’s on netflix) and is very interesting.

From childhood we have been overloaded with messages like:
“Milk makes your bones grow strong.”
“You need meat for protein.”
“Eggs are healthy.”
Our parents also grew up with these messages so it is hardly our fault that we build our diets around what we have been told is healthy. But who are these messages coming from and how factually correct are they?

It isn’t until you educate yourself properly that you can make informed decisions on what you want to feed yourself and your family. There aren’t many things we have control over in this life, but one of the things that is completely in our control is what we decide to eat.

My decision was that I wanted to cut my own meat and dairy intake by 90% and I can tell you, it isn’t only easy, it makes you feel great! I have more energy, my skin looks better, I have lost quite a bit of weight without being hungry for even a second and I feel better for choosing not to be such a big part of an industry that should be ashamed of itself!

If you want to live a long and healthy life (and who doesn’t want that) you need to start by giving your body what it needs. Make sure you know what you put in your body, read labels and if it is full of stuff you don’t recognise, don’t eat it. Don’t assume you need meat and dairy (cause you don’t) and I promise you will feel better for it!

If you want to find out more about veganism, healthy eating or how we can use nutrition to fight disease, the following documentaries are a very good place to start (all are on netflix)
– Vegucated
– Hungry for change
– Food Matters (this is my favourite and will really open your mind)

Happy eating everyone!


Proper fess up

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t delighted (or more likely bored) you with my diet adventures recently.

I could come up with all sorts of excuses for that, but I’m not going to. To be honest (and I do like a bit of honesty) I got bored of it. I know I had only been on it for 3 weeks but I just couldn’t be bothered anymore.

I’m not going to give up on it altogether, I’m just going to have a little break and see if I can stay at the same weight without the diet. I’m sure I’ll jump on it again in a few weeks time but for now I am curious to see whether I can keep up the changes I have introduced to my diet (like no more cheese sandwiches for breakfast – boo!) and just being a bit more aware of the food I eat.

So the new aim is to stay below 180lbs without dieting.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Fess up
Fess up no.1
Fess up no.2

Fess up no.2

It’s been great having access to my bike again, Elisabeth loves to go for bike rides and I really enjoy it too. Unfortunately, the seat at the front of the bike is too small for her now so soon she will have to go in a seat on the back. She is really excited about this, but I will miss the moments where I kiss her head and feel her hair all over my face.

Next week is going to be a bit of a disaster with regards to the counting of calories, because on Friday it is Elisabeth’s second birthday – woohoo! We’re not having a big party this year, but we do have cake baking plans, and cake needs to be eaten, especially birthday cake! It already started today because my inlaws had invited us over for a tea party for Elisabeth’s birthday. We all had fun and I was glad I decided not to worry about calories today.

Luckily the weigh in this morning was much better than expected so I have a bit of room for error this coming week.

Weight: 183lbs
BMI: 24.8

Week 1
Weight: 180.4lbs
BMI: 24.5

Weight: 177.2lbs
BMI: 24

Not bad, I don’t think. Anyway, must go, I have a passport to renew!

Fess up
Fess up no.1

Fess up no.1

Morning! As promised an update on how I am getting on with the eating less – moving more plan, and I’m pleased to say it has been quite good actually.

Last Monday and Tuesday weren’t that great, I was in a grouchy old mood when I came home. This wasn’t completely unexpected as food and my mood are generally very closely connected. When I was 9 or 10 I was diagnosed with hypoglycaemia, which basically means my blood sugar was too low. If I didn’t eat something every two hours, I would become really grouchy and I’d start snapping at everyone. In recent years my blood sugar has been fine, but when I diet, this childhood enemy always raises his ugly head, which is why I don’t tend to diet. Looking back on my food log for those two days, I should have divided my food better over the course of the day, I can’t get through the afternoon on a banana if I’ve had my lunch at 11.30.

From Wednesday onwards things were much better, I made sure I had a filling snack in the afternoon to keep the moods at bay and that really made all the difference.

All week I have logged everything I have eaten and it has been quite interesting, I always knew I ate a lot (obviously, otherwise we wouldn’t be here in the first place), but when you keep a log of everything it gives a real clear picture of our eating habits and it makes it quite easy to pinpoint where you can make a big difference.

Because I do not believe in short term diets, I wanted to make some solid changes to what I eat. One of the changes I have made so far is my breakfast. I’m a real breakfast person, I happily get up half an hour earlier to make sure I can have breakfast and a cup of tea (or two, or three). The only times I leave the house without breakfast is when I have had such a bad night with Elisabeth that only a McDonalds breakfast and a strong coffee will give me enough energy to get through the morning, and I haven’t had one of those in a very long time. Anyway, on normal days I tend to have toast……with cheese……or a sandwich …….with cheese. Not great, tasty, but not great when you are trying to lose a few pounds. So I have replaced that with oatbran with apple, cinnamon and a little sugar. Tasty and a lot healthier than cheese sandwiches.

The exercise has been good as well, I haven’t been out for a run yet and I haven’t been to the gym (mainly because I am not a member and they frown upon people using their facilities without paying) but I’ve done a lot of walking, some cycling with Elisabeth (Thanks Lau, goed idee!) and I feel much better for it!

Anyway, part of this plan was for me to share my weight with you each week so here goes.

Last week:
weight – 183lbs
BMI – 24.8

weight – 180lbs 4oz
BMI – 24.5

Needless to say I am delighted with the result, I was only aiming to lose about 1 lbs a week so 2 lbs and a bit in the first week is nice. So the aim for next week is to go under 180 lbs.

Happy days!

Fess up

Fess up!

Time to fess up.

I weigh 183lbs. There, I’ve said it.

Before you judge me, please consider that I am 6ft tall so it is now as bad as it sounds. However, I just looked in my diary and the last time I weighed 183lbs I was 7 months pregnant!……that’s not good!……that’s bad! Although in my defense, 183lbs at 6ft puts my BMI at 24.8 which is still considered normal, but only just, and I’m not happy about it. The only slightly amusing thing about weighing 183lbs is (well, I find this amusing, I doubt anyone else will) is that I am 183cm tall and weigh 183lbs, but that’s not all, 183lbs also just happens to be 83kg, that is a lot of 83’s.

Anyway, I am not going to try and make excuses for the weight gain, I had a baby and replaced sleep with food, what can I say.

Over the last 12 months I have made a few attempts to lose some weight, but I haven’t been very successful, the one thing that I have achieved though is to stop the steady gaining of weight that had been going on ever since I stopped breastfeeding Elisabeth in November 2011. But now is the time to make a proper effort, and thanks to the encouragement from Meghan who blogs at Ratnam Residence, I thought I would start something I have never done in my life…….calorie counting…….and I will write about it every week to let you know how I am getting on. Hopefully telling you all about my weight each week will embarrass motivate me enough to keep going. I will also make a real effort to do more some exercise.

I would love to jump on the fitbit train, but I just don’t want to spend the money so I will attempt to do it without. I do have an ‘old’ Nike+ ipod sensor laying about, which should give me some idea of how many calories I am burning when I exercise, which will probably mainly consist of walking and hopefully the occasional jog. And as far as the calorie counting, I guess pen and paper will do just fine.

My ideal weight is about 160lbs, but let’s be honest, that is never going to happen, so instead I have come up with 2 challenges. The first one will be to get to 175lbs and stay on it for a few weeks, just to get going and to make sure that once the weight comes off, it will stay off. The second one will be to get to 170lbs. This would make my BMI 23.1 which I think is perfectly acceptable and should also leave some room for a little weight gain during holidays and xmas without going into the overweight category.

I don’t plan to massively restrict what I eat, as I eat quite healthy already, but I do need some adjustments in the portion size department! Also getting into an exercise routine will hopefully not only help me shed some weight but will also make me feel better and more energetic in general. Fingers crossed!

That’s it….I’ve had enough!

Today Elisabeth is 17 months old exactly, and I am about 17lbs (if not more) heavier than I should/want to be. I know, I know, it is perfectly normal to carry a bit of baby weight, and I know I am not fat, although this is mainly because I am tall and therefore get away with putting on quite a bit of weight before it shows, but I only fit in about 10% of my clothes. And even most of the 10% fits badly. So that’s it…I have had enough.

I have 2 options:
1) Buy a lot of new clothes
2) Lose weight

As I reduced my hours at work to look after Elisabeth, my income has also reduced. On top of that, due to my height, buying clothes in the UK is a total nightmare. Therefore, the most viable option is to lose weight. Normally this is not a problem for me as I love exercise. I used to enjoy long distance running, until I messed up my knee (running a half marathon on torn cartilage is definitely not something I would recommend). I also used to love cycling to work, until pregnancy made me so tired it was impossible to keep up. So I am no stranger to exercise, and I do want to get fit again, it is just hard to find the time and the energy.

Dieting is not something I have ever been able to do properly, of course I can eat healthy and not eat too much chocolate, but being constantly hungry is not something that agrees with me. If I don’t eat enough I will either get a migraine, or I will just pass out. Also, when you don’t get enough sleep you need to get energy from somewhere and food is an easy energy source, and out of all foods chocolate seems to provide the energy fastest – so guess what I have been eating?

In short it is going to have to be a combination of the two, eat a bit more sensible and try to squeeze in some exercise. How? I have no idea. But from Wednesday, as this is the end of my holiday, I will be giving it a real good go.

Please let me know of anything that worked for you, or share your pain if you’re struggling with the same thing.