Welcome, I have been working on a program to help myself and hopefully others to live a healthier lifestyle with the intent of feeling more energetic and having a healthier weight based on lifestyle choices and not about being on a “diet”. After starting and quitting a well-known weight loss program for years, it has left me feeling like obtaining a healthier weight is impossible.
How many of you have started a weight loss program feeling so motivated and excited, then as time goes on, it becomes boring, you feel different from friends and family in what you can and cannot eat, feel like you are on a diet with so many restrictions and then feel like success is so impossible. Have you ever felt like what is the point in starting a new program because I never having succeeded in the past so what make this time any different? Well, I have. What negative thoughts but perhaps they come from years of trying and sometimes succeeding to only fall back into old habits.
I think that it is important to take time to look closely at why we do what we do, where our motivation for change comes from, our readiness to make changes and to have the support from others to make changes. Weight loss is not only about what you put in your mouth and the calories you burn. If it was that easy, there would not be the weight issues to the extent that they have become.
I have decided that I have to make some healthier changes for myself and my family. I would love for you to join me on this journey and maybe learn a few new things with me.
Each Sunday I will have a new post with new suggestions, goals, recipes and information. I would love to hear your comments and questions.
So here it goes. Let’s move into a new lifestyle of healthier living, not perfection, but making changes and choices that are supporting our health.
Buy a journal, one that you love because it is now your friend and companion to write thoughts, food and feelings down into.
We are going to take some time of self-discovery the first week and set a goal. It may sound like we are going at a slow pace but I believe that making a bunch of changes all at once makes it more difficult to manage changes long term.
The first thing that I want you to do this week is set aside “you time”. I will let you decide on the amount of time but even 15 minutes is a start. Choose a time during the day that you can dedicate to you and schedule it in like you would an appointment, attach a reminder if you enter it into your phone or computer. Use this time to do something you love to do, read a book, take a bath, take a walk, plan your week, whatever you want to do but make it your time, own it, enjoy it and do not feel guilty. You are important.
Secondly, I want you to take a few minutes to write a pros and cons list about making these lifestyle changes. This will help you decide on your readiness and motivation to make changes. Keep this list handy and when you feel like it is a difficult time, look at all of the pros that you wrote down that make this an important and healthy journey.
Celebrate your successes as I know how hard it can be to break old habits that have been a part of your life for a long time.
This will get us started on our first week! Have a good week. Please make comments as the week goes on!
So, if you are thinking of starting a vegetarian lifestyle (I hate the word diet), there are a few points to consider.
You have health reasons
You are concerned for the welfare of factory farm animals and how they are being raised is effecting your health
You want to incorporate healthier meals
What about my family, are they on board?
What about my friends, are they going to support me? (It’s very important to have some support)
This will not be easy at first, I am not going to lie. There are going to be some drastic changes depending on how much of a meat and potatoes eater you are now. You will need to rethink recipes, you will need to rethink how you eat out and you will need to make sure you are eating properly and this will take a bit of time.
There are a few different types of vegetarianism, could one of these forms suit you the best?
This is the most restrictive type of vegetarian diet. Vegans not only eliminate all animal-based foods but avoid dairy products of all types as well as eggs. They also restrict animal products in their clothing choices, products for the home and cosmetics.
People who adopt a lacto-vegetarian diet abstain from all meat products, including eggs, but continue to eat dairy products.
Lacto-ovo vegetarians avoid all meat but allow themselves to eat both dairy products and eggs.
One of the least restrictive forms of vegetarianism is the pescatarian lifestyle where you avoid all meat products with the exception of fish. Many people don’t consider pescatarians to be true vegetarians since they allow themselves to eat seafood. They also consume dairy products and eggs.
You will also need to like or be open to trying beans, lentils, grains, nuts and seeds and dark green leafy vegetables. These will be the staple of your vegetarian diet. If you are the only vegetarian in the house meal times will be more work and more dishes, but that is what you have kids for. Involve the family in your meal plans, have at least one meal a week that is vegetarian, this will make it easier on you and will open them up to a new world of delicious food.
So to get you started here is a couple of websites and books that I use frequently when looking for inspiration:
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
Way to Cook Vegetarian by Cooking Light
Forks over Knives by Del Sroufe
www.apinchofyum.com (this is not a all vegetarian site, but the have some great lentil recipes)
Next week we are going to tackle the number one question you will be asked as a vegetarian.
“Where do you get your protein?”
Well here we are at the last week of Refresh your Friday. I hope you enjoyed what Leanne and I shared with you and gave you some ideas of your own, things to be thankful for and funny video’s, they always make my day. So here are my last 5 things for this week.
Vitamin D. Now that the days are getting shorter and we aren’t out in the sun getting our daily dose of Vitamin D, it’s important in the winter to take extra. Vitamin D is a very important vitamin as it has a dual role as a vitamin and a hormone. It’s two primary functions they are to increase calcium absorption and regulate calcification and mineralization in the bones. If you have an underactive stomach, this can interfere with the absorption of vitamin D, which is a fat soluble vitamin. Always have your vitamin D levels checked as this is a fat soluble vitamin an can build up in your system. Check with your naturopath or doctor as to what they think is a safe level to take, but some say not to take over 1,000 IU a day.
This vitamin is stored in the liver, so a deficiency will not be noticeable for months. If you are dark skinned you will need less then light skinned people.
We do our best to always shop local, we need to support our local farmers, they work very hard to bring us a wide variety of produce, meats and dairy. Head out to your local farmers market this weekend and see what they have. Pick a new vegetable and give it a try, you may find a new favourite.
I may have bought a few new cookbooks over the past couple of weeks and my lovely husband brought we one back from London (enabler). This weekend I am going to be trying a new recipe from each one. Your challenge this weekend is to find a new recipe yourself, whether online, in a cookbook that has been sitting on your shelf or one from a friend. Try something new.
Eating together as a family. Every night we eat together as a family, chat about school, how our days were, what happened at work, funny things that happened, etc. This is the one time our family is connected and focusing on each other. With so many electronics occupying our kids and ourselves time, this is an important part of the day for us. We sometimes play a game of “What movie is this line from” and we take turns saying a line from a favourite movie and then guessing the movie. Makes dinner fun and there are lots of laughs.
Tell me, what do you do to stay connected as a family?
The beautiful colour of the fall trees, I hate raking and bagging it all, but it looks so lovely.
So, I gave you a few challenges today, let me know how they go. Check back on November 1, Leanne and myself are going to have new series starting, we are each doing something different. You will need to tune in to see what we are doing and follow along.
I think many of us wonder about how to build a great smoothie that is nutritionally beneficial yet tastes great. I found this chart compliments of Young and Raw and think it makes building a smoothie so easy. The combinations are endless.
On November 1st, join me for the start of my Vegetarian Workshops. Are you one of these people?
looking to change to a vegetarian lifestyle
interested in decreasing their meat consumption and looking for alternatives
seeking better health, could this be an option?
My hopes for this workshop are not to convert the ones that don’t want to convert, but provide accurate information, tips and tricks to implement to make the transition easier, how to cope in a split household and many more.
I don’t want to debate whether a vegetarian lifestyle is better for you or not. You can find studies that prove that it isn’t and prove that it is. You can also find studies that prove a gluten free lifestyle is great and studies that prove that it isn’t.
We are not going to worry about gluten free options, lactose free options, paleo or any of the other in ways to eat, let’s focus on the basics and then we can go from there. I truly want this to be a great place to come and exchange ideas, get information, recipes and not feel judged about our choices.
Check back on November 1st and see what our first topic is.