5 Easy Ways to Lose Weight

If someone told me losing weight was as easy as eating plants, I would have started a lot sooner than I did.

If someone told me I would feel better if I cut out bread, meats, and dairy from my diet, I would have done so a lot sooner than I did.

If someone had told me I would CONTINUE to lose weight, even when I ate foods that weren’t good for me, just because my diet was plant-based, I would have done so a lot sooner than I did.

Photo by webmd.com

Photo by webmd.com

These five easy steps are what I wish I had known 30 lbs ago:

1.) CUT IT OUT.  Eliminate red meats, sausages, pork, poultry, then chicken, tuna, and seafood.  Go one at a time.  Then cut out white breads/pastas of all kinds, especially the ones with sugar and preservatives.  Then get rid of dairy products, which are full of fat and hard on the digestive system.  Immediately stop consuming foods with artificial flavors or colors (like sodas), anything processed or fried, anything full of fat (I had to stop making pies because my pie crust recipe used Crisco), and anything with unpronounceable ingredients.  If you can’t find it in nature, don’t eat it. Click here to tweet this

2.) ADD PLANTS TO YOUR DIET.  Any kind of plant – green leafies, cooked carrots, beans of all kinds, fresh or frozen berries, nuts, seeds, and LOTS of fruit.   These are your cancer-fighters, your blood pressure lowering soldiers, your blood sugar stabilizers…you get the idea.  Your body will function so much better once you get on a plant-based diet.

3.) Exercise when you can, but aim for 3 times per week.  I was able to walk 3 miles 3 times a week and saw tremendous changes in my muscles and body shape.  Besides just feeling good, you will LOOK good, too!

4.) Don’t count calories.  Forget about how many points something gets or is this on so-and-so plan.  Just eat plants and get rid of all the other junk in our American diet.

5.) Don’t obsess.  This is a journey, not a destination, so there is no race to the finish.  Food is made to serve you, not the other way around.  It’s designed to make our bodies function so we can live LIFE.  You won’t be perfect every day, so accept that.  Give yourself some grace.  Stick to the 80/20 rule if you are going to splurge – 80% of what you should eat (plants) and 20% of what you WANT to eat.  Losing weight and eating whole foods can become a “god;” an idol; an obsession that your life revolves around and distances you from  your loved ones.  God never intended food to be divisive – see THIS ARTICLE from someone who shared her own journey from food idolatry (shared with permission from the author).  There are more important things in life than food.

If someone had told me losing weight was easy, I would have started on this journey a whole lot sooner. Click here to tweet this I hope this has helped you make progress toward your healthy goals.  If you know someone who has struggled with their weight and wants to learn more, please pass this on!  Let’s all help each other make progress toward our health goals.

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Throw Away Perfectly Good Food?

In a moment of nostalgia over Christmas Break, I bought boxed cereal.  Besides Cheerios for our toddler, I haven’t purchased boxed cereal since I began eating better (about 9-10 months now).  The cereals I bought were for my aunt’s famous party mix recipe, a holiday favorite with my family.  You mix butter, Worcestershire sauce, Lawry’s seasoning salt, and lemon pepper seasoning together, then drizzle over several cups of toasted wheat, toasted corn, and toasted rice cereal, as well as pretzels, cheddar-flavored crackers, and a can of mixed nuts.

Photo by jakesglutenfreestore.com

Photo by jakesglutenfreestore.com

Do you feel blah yet?  Just writing out those ingredients makes me feel like shouting, Ugh!  Definitely NOT gluten-free.

Anyway, the recipe only used about a half a box of each kind of cereal, leaving half-empty boxes in my cabinets.  I moved them around for a couple of weeks, thinking my daughter might try them (she didn’t like them and really doesn’t even eat Cheerios any more!).  I eventually moved them to the top shelf, where they have sat for the last two months.  Last weekend, we made a big Sam’s trip and I needed more room to put extra peanut butter, coffee, yeast, and other bulk items, so I had to move those half-empty boxes.  Know where they ended up?  The top of the fridge in the basket where I keep foil, plastic wrap, and sandwich bags.

As I grew frustrated with moving the boxes out of my way each time I needed the foil or sandwich bags, I remember yelling at my husband, who offered his help, “I don’t need help, I need more room in this kitchen!”  At the time, I was too upset to realize I should just throw the cereal away.  We don’t need this food.  There’s a reason it has been sitting on the shelf, untouched, for nearly 3 months now.  I should just throw it out.

But the “Don’t Waste Food” voice in my head says, “I can’t throw it out – there’s nothing wrong with it!  It’s perfectly good food!”

I think we all know the answer to that – perfectly good for no other animal consumption.  It’s enriched, bleached, nutritionally-deficient, full of salt and sugar and all kinds of unpronounceable things…no other animal will eat this perverted form of wheat/corn/grain that humans eat and call “yummy” in all kinds of cakes, breads, and baked good.  (See my post on The Shocking Truth about Wheat.)

So join me in a victory yell for throwing out those half-empty boxes of junk.  I finally did it!  Thanks for letting me share my progress toward eating healthy, whole foods.  Good luck to you as you make progress toward your healthy goals today!

10 Foods To Help You Give Up Gluten For GOOD!

This is a reblog, with permission from the author.  Find her blog, Officially Gluten Free, here – http://officiallyglutenfree.com/2014/02/04/10-foods-to-help-you-give-up-gluten-for-good/.

Keep in mind that anyone eating a vegan diet needs to alter this list.  See Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live book for reasons why animal proteins are harmful to your health.

10 Foods To Help You Give Up Gluten For Good

 Keeping yourself satisfied with delicious food, is one of the keys to going Gluten Free. 

The bread and cookie cravings do go away eventually. In the meantime, you just have to keep your self satisfied with delicious Gluten Free food. There are still plenty of great things to eat, if you can’t have gluten. You just have to find them.

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Planning meals ahead, cooking your own meals at home, packing a lunch and planning your shopping list before going to the store, are all great ways to keep you on track.

Here’s a list of 10 foods that helped keep me satisfied, while getting used to my new Gluten Free diet.

1. Nuts, seeds and dried fruit 

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Premixed fruit and nuts are an easy snack, for when you just need something right now.

2. Dark Chocolate

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Any kind chocolate as long as it’s Gluten free.

3. Sweet Potato Fries

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Oven baked sweet potato fries are perfect for those days you want something starchy.

4. Popcorn

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Try using white vinegar and salt instead of butter for a lighter snack.

5. Fresh fruit and Yogurt

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Satisfying, fast and easy.

6. Veggie Sticks with Dip

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Pre-cut and left in the fridge for an easy snack.

7. Cheese and Pickles

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Make yourself a fancy cheese plate. Add your favorite pickles and olives.

8. Eggs

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Hard boiled or deviled. Pre boil and leave in the fridge for the week.

9. Gluten Free Corn Flake Breaded Anything

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Giving up breaded food was one of the hardest things for me. Being able to make my own chicken Fingers at home helped a lot.

10. Gluten Free Pasta

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There are many brands of Gluten free pasta available. Find the one you like the best for pasta salads or spaghetti and meat sauce.

What are some of the things that helped keep you satisfied for the first month of going Gluten Free?

How to Go Gluten-Free

As a part-time Eat to Live disciple (part-time as my budget allows! Some months I have to make our meals stretch with pasta or rice…), I have made an effort to eliminate breads from my diet. I quit buying store-bought bread and began making homemade bread for my husband’s lunchtime favorite: PB&J sandwiches. When eating out, I refuse to eat the bread/rolls/fillers before my entree comes. I stopped buying graham crackers and Cheerios for my daughter to snack on.

In preparing a meal for a new mother with a baby who suffers from a terrible acid reflux issue, I just stumbled upon The Gluten-Free Goddess’ blog. It’s filled with TONS of recipes, as well as important details on the GF diet. She also teaches you how to bake with GF products and provides a cheat sheet of GF essentials.

What I loved the most about her site is the link entitled, “How to Go Gluten-Free.” Check it out! It’s filled with great information to help guide you through what can be a very confusing maze. Here’s a link to her blog: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/p/how-to-go-g-free.html

Good luck on your journey to nutritional wellness.

 

My (Mostly) Gluten-Free Habits

Recently, my mom discovered this book called Eat to Livehttp://www.drfuhrman.com/weightloss/why.aspx.  It is not a “weight loss” plan, but a complete overhaul of your eating habits.  The plan (without stealing Dr. Fuhrman’s thunder) advocates eliminating all animal products from your diet for the first 6 weeks, eating only vegetables, fruits, and legumes.  Then, after that, you add in a piece of lean meat here or there.   There is a lot more to it, but that’s the “meat” of it.  🙂

Notice there is no mention of grains.  No wheat.  No flour.  No corn (which is a grain, not a vegetable!  It passes right through you, so there is no nutritional value to it, in my opinion.).

I decided to ease into the plan, and, among other things I changed, I ate only one grain product per day.  I soon realized that after eating the one grain product per day, I felt sluggish and slow.  I was lazy and my brain could not work as quickly when doing simple calculations (like what is the cost per each diaper at the Dollar General?  See that post here.)  When exercising, I often felt unmotivated and tired, not putting my full effort into it.

So I quit eating bread products (whenever possible).  No cookies, cakes, Cheezits, Cheerios, biscuits, tortilla chips, saltine crackers, etc.  I am amazed at how quickly the extra pounds have come off my mid-section and thighs, and how energetic I feel throughout the day.  I used to think I had to have a nap after lunch every day.  Now, without the post-lunch-hour laziness, I can power through the afternoon, writing extra posts for my blog, selling more items on eBay, or reading the latest book I got from the library.

My friend told me about her daughter’s gluten allergy and how my friend often eats a gluten-free diet so her daughter doesn’t feel like an outcast at the dinner table.  She told me she notices the same things – increased cognitive function and physical energy – when she omits grains.  She encouraged me once to try it, and I sorta thanked her and said, “Maybe someday.”  I just wish I had taken her advice and started this sooner.

A lot of people change the way they eat after a bad report from the doctor, or after a heart attack, or after realizing they can’t fit into certain chairs, or after realizing they can’t walk up a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing.  I didn’t have any of those things happen to me (thank you, God, for my good health).  I didn’t see the need to change the way I ate.  But I am so glad I took the challenge.  I feel empowered to keep going and to keep shedding the pounds (Right now, 9 months after my daughter was born, I am within 4 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight!).

So when are you going to change your life by changing your eating habits?  Check out Dr. Fuhrman’s book, Eat to Live.  This has not been a paid endorsement.  These are only my opinions and observations on how God has blessed me more than I could have imagined by going (mostly) gluten-free.