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SURVIVING VEGANUARY

Surviving Veganuary 2020

We are well underway into the new year, schools are in session, most of us are back to work dreading the packed trains and congested roads in the morning. Already nearing the halfway point for the first month, I’m sure many of you have come to realise that your new plant – based lifestyle isn’t as hard as you may have first thought. However, tackling those mischievous cravings for a simple yet so delightful cheese toastie could end in crumbs… So to help you march your way to the end of January here are our top tips for getting you there!

 

Planning + Preparation

Just like with the majority of things in life, having a plan and being prepared for what is to come will increase chances of success (By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail). So set a little time aside and figure out what you will be eating over the next week. Stock your fridge and cupboards so that you already have the ingredients to cook your meals. We all have those times in the day where we might be at home and start to feel peckish, so not quite hungry enough for a full meal but enough so that it bothers you to get up and look for something to eat. Having plenty of vegan friendly snacks available at home will stop you from giving in – The same goes for when you’re at work! Prep meals and bring vegan friendly snacks.

 

Focus On What You Can Eat

A great place to start when trying a vegan diet is to attempt replicating the foods you already love by substituting out what isn’t vegan friendly. Veganism, especially over the last few years, has gained a huge amount of popularity, making it easier than ever to find meat and dairy alternatives, allowing you to focus on the things you really enjoy about veganism and so block out your old cravings for foods like eggs, meat and dairy.

 

Do your Research

It’s important to educate yourself on the reasons for switching to a vegan lifestyle as it gives a real purpose for why you’ve decided to change. There are plenty of documentaries out there now, such as: ‘The Game Changers’, ‘What The Health’, ‘Cowspiracy’ and ‘Forks Over Knives’ all of which are on Netflix. However, remember that these shows have a bias (that may not be evidence based) so doing your own independent research is best, to decide of being vegan is for you, or just something you want to try more of in the future. Having a ‘why’ or a purposeful reason for doing something will reinforce your resolve, making your decision to be vegan more important than that cheese toastie you were craving.

 

 Experiment!

The possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking, there’s just so much variety! Have fun experimenting with different recipes and explore cuisines you’ve never had. Keep it varied and make sure to include Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins (The 3 macronutrients) as well as your Vitamins and Minerals (Micronutrients). Where there’s variety you will be sure to get all your needed Macro and Micronutrients. A few to be considered a concern when referring to a vegan diet are Protein, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin D and Vitamin B-12. However, there are vegan protein powders and multivitamin tablets that are widely available. Other sources of protein are soya, tofu, chickpeas, beans, nuts, seeds, lentils and quinoa. Variety in what you eat is so important as you want to consume as many nutrients as possible.

 

Let Bygones be Bygones

It’s alright if you make a mistake along the way so try not to dwell on it if you do! Substituting such a large proportion of your diet from foods you have been eating for years to foods you may have never eaten before is a drastic change in lifestyle, so you can’t expect it to go perfectly – especially if it’s your first try. The important thing is to not give up, keep going and try to do better next time. We believe in you!

Veganuary will be over before you know it, follow our top tips to survive the rest of the month and finish strong, Good Luck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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IS BEING VEGAN HEALTHIER??

The push for us to eat less meat is growing, and many have opted for a plant-based life.

For some its ethical, for others it’s a way to spend less, for others it’s a belief that being a vegan or veggie is healthier.

 

BUT IS IT?

 

I think you need to do your research if you’re going to cut out all animal protein and opt for plants only. If you’re vegan and all you eat is fast food, highly processed fake meat, minimal veg and poor-quality fats then your health isn’t probably going to be great.

Not all veggie or vegan food is created equal, many of the foods can contain loads of preservatives, bad fats and fillers that can make you feel worse and aren’t good for your health (the same is true for all processed food products).

On the other hand, if you know what plant-based foods contain the proteins you need, if you eat a variety of fruit and veg, good quality fats and organic soy products you will probably be much healthier overall.

The same goes for meat eaters – eating meat won’t make you unhealthy but if your diet is highly processed, low in fruit and veg and quality fats then yes it can lead to that.

 

You can have the same healthy approach to nutrition whether you’re a meat or a plant eater. Eat real food, eat as much unprocessed food as possible and eat a variety.

I think you can be healthy eating meat or eating plants.

Food is your first medicine, the food choices you make today will have an impact on your health, skin, weight gain/loss, mood and energy levels. So be smart and nourish your body with quality over quantity.

 

Find a great cookbook, vegan or otherwise; and go shopping to make healthy meals not just for convenience.

Make a plan around what you want to eat; and keep it simple.

 

This post isn’t pro vegan or pro meat – it’s pro health.

 

Have a think about how healthy what you eat is?

Could it be better?

What changes do you need to make?

Are you switching to vegan just to be healthier?

Have you made a plan around how you will accomplish this without meat?

 

Don’t blindly do something without first doing some of your own research.

 

Just something to think about.

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APPLE AND PEAR PIES

healthy eating, healthy recipes, deserts

Apple and pear pies:

 

A low fat, natural sugar sweet treat. 109 calories per portion.

 

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

1 medium apple

1 pear

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp finely chopped figs (or dried figs)

1 tsp honey

0.5 tsp ground cinnamon

2 sheets filo pastry

Coconut oil cooking spray

(can add Oppo low fat ice-cream on side)

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180C
  • Peel, core, thinly slice apple and pear and combine with figs, lemon juice, honey and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Divide mixture between two small ovenproof shallow dishes and cover with foil. Bake for around 10 mins until fruit starts to soften.
  • Remove foil and place a sheet of scrunched up filo pastry on each, spray with the oil and bake for 30 mins till golden.
  • You can add chopped nuts if desired.

 

Nutrition:

Total calories per serving: 109 calories

Carbs 23.5g

Total protein 1.6g

Total fat 0.7g

healthy eating, healthy recipes, deserts

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ENJOY YOUR CHRISTMAS – GUILT FREE

personal training, weight loss, fat loss, Winchmore Hill

ENJOYING CHRISTMAS – NO GUILT

 

The hardest part of the year to be trying to lose weight is the 2 weeks from Christmas to New Year. It’s getting colder, the days are shorter, you crave stodgy warm food and leaving the house to exercise seems like the hardest thing to do.

 

Add to that Christmas Parties and celebration drinks after work. The meal you eat Christmas day and the rest…. The New Year’s Eve celebrations and pretty soon your gaining weight not losing it. You feel depressed that you failed and indulged in things you wouldn’t normally do, you feel fat, lethargic and not motivated to move.

 

BUT

 

It doesn’t have to be that way. I am not saying you should be counting calories on Christmas day and that you can’t drink and enjoy yourself. I think being able to enjoy ourselves socially without guilt is so important for our emotional and spiritual health. What I am saying is that you can navigate this season well and come out of it still on track and motivated to keep going.

 

If you want to avoid excess weight gain this Christmas season, but still enjoy yourself without the guilt here are a few tips.

1. Planning – like anything you need to look at your calendar and mark down the social events you are committed to. If it’s a restaurant, look at the menu and pick the best options. Maybe switch your alcohol to sprits to reduce calories. Maybe have just a starter and a main and leave the dessert. Or if you have a sweet tooth opt for a main and a dessert.

You could share a dessert with a friend which halves the calories and allows you to enjoy eating it at the same time.

All you need to do is be mindful, think about it a little more and you can still enjoy your night out without compromising too much on the goal you made.

 

2.Be Realistic – This time of year is one to celebrate so weight loss may just have to be put on hold for 2 weeks to allow yourself to enjoy the season. If you can’t take time out to indulge a little once a year, then maybe you need to rethink your priorities.

2 weeks of relaxing, indulging and socialising will not undo 12 months of effort and hard work. What it will do is make you happier.

Do away with the guilt and just enjoy the moment and the people you are with.

You have 50 other weeks in the year to work on losing weight.

 

3.Increase your training – If you know that you will be eating more than try to combat it by increasing your training. It will help keep you in a positive mindset and lessen the guilt you feel from all the parties and food you will consume.

 

4.Be on it with your meals – Another way to offset the social activities is to eat well around them. Plan your meals so you are spot on and don’t deviate from them. When you can be good be very good. This allows you to enjoy going out and spending time with family and friends – No Guilt.

 

5.Go walking more everyday – Another good way to increase the calories you burn is to go walking every day – Aim for 10000-15000 steps at least every day over December and January. Walking increases the calories you burn but it doesn’t increase your hunger like other exercise can. If you burn 300 more calories a day from walking on top of what you already do; that’s 2100 kcals more a week you burn which goes a long way to helping you out with the added parties and food.

 

6.Don’t be on a diet Christmas Day – One sure way to ruin your day and leave you with a whole bunch of guilt is to stick to your calories on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. Is it really that important in the grand scheme of things that you count calories on these days?

Can you eat less on other days to allow yourself to eat more?? YES

Can you forget about weight loss for 2 weeks and just chill out and have fun?? YES

Can you still be sensible and not over indulge and still enjoy yourself?? YES

 

Don’t burden others with your clean eating ways and perfect calorie intake – let them enjoy the food even if you want to sit there eating food from a Tupperware container.

 

It’s time to chill out, enjoy yourself but not go too crazy – use the tips above to your advantage that way instead of piling loads of weight on you can maybe stay the same but you will look back on this Christmas and New Year as a great time – GUILT FREE.