Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What have I been up to?

I set a challenge for myself this year to try one new vegan recipe per week.  I have been trying a few new recipes but not really keeping up with the one a week, and I certainly haven't kept up with blogging the recipes I have tried.

The recipe-per-week challenge stagnated a bit when dear husband decided he wanted to lose some weight.  I decided to go along for the ride and over the last 7 weeks I have finally lost that 5kg I have been wanting to lose for a long time! It really wasn't that hard which makes me wonder why I didn't do it years ago. Though I guess the thing that made it easier this time was doing it with dear husband as our pooled motivation seemed to have a more than additive effect and was enough to keep us both going strong. 

So for the last 7 weeks we kept to a very healthy and fairly low calorie diet.  Typically it went some thing like this:
Breakfast: 3 Wheat Bix with low fat soy milk, or two wheat bix and half a banana
Lunch: Hummus and mounds of raw veggie
Afternoon snack: A handful of nuts eg almonds, brazil nuts, cashews
Dinner: Stir fry with tofu/tempeh, or a mountainous salad with 2 veggie sausages, or a big bowl of legume+veggie soup
Supper: Mini fruit platters (yes I know that all the conventional weight loss wisdom says not to eat carbs like this late at night but that is when my sweet tooth attacks and demands to be fed)
Extras during the day if hungry: low fat soy milk, or more nuts, or fruit
Exercise most days: alternating cycling, light weights, jogging, and what we call "body resistance" which includes things like sit-ups and squats
Not much experimenting with new recipes other than hummus and a few variations on the soup, so I haven't had much of interest to blog about by the way of new recipes.

I just happened to be reading Skinny Bitch around the middle of this 7 weeks.  It was recommended to me by fostermummy in a comment on a previous blog post.  I found it an interesting read (review to come on Mandy Reading Room).  As much as I am very happy to promote a vegan diet as a fantastic tool in a healthy lifestyle, I am not sure that promoting it as a weight loss tool is really a good idea.  It is very important on any low calorie diet to make sure that all your nutritional bases are covered.  I am concerned that if people switched to a vegan diet primarily for the purpose of losing weight they may not meet all their nutritional requirements.  This may result in them feeling lethargic, losing muscle mass as well as fat, and at the extremes may even result in anaemia or other health problems. 

Unfortunately people who suffer side effects of a "bad" vegan diet sometimes become one of those people who proclaim that "vegan diet are no good for you".   I wish that all the omnivores who suffer side effects of their "bad" meat eating diet would go around proclaiming that eating meat is bad for you - but perhaps the noise of this would be enough to cause tectonic plates to move so maybe I better not wish for that.

Also, it is blatantly obvious that switching to a vegan diet certainly does not guarantee that you will lose weight.  I am sure I am not the first person who actually gained a little weight in the excitement of trying lots of lovely new vegan recipes like Bounty Slice, Ginger Kisses and Midnight Cookies.

That's not to say that cutting out meat and eggs and dairy can't help you lose weight.  It can.  I just feel uneasy about a vegan diet being promoted as the means to the ends of losing weight.  But I guess that if the result is more people switching to a diet that is better for our planet and results in less animal abuse - surely that is a good thing.

I think I need to think about this a bit more!

1 comment:

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