100 lbs Lost (again)!

100 lbs Lost (again)!

What a great way to end the week! I woke up to see I reached 100 lbs lost, again lol!! I gained 23 lbs back after last July and have been working on losing them since January but didn’t want to push myself as hard as I did before, I just wanted to let the pounds fall off more naturally and on their own. I managed to lose about 12 of those lbs before May and then it stalled for a few months. When I went vegan on May 4th, the weight started to move again without any effort, I was just eating and enjoying food.

For some reason, reaching this milestone feels more important to me than last time I reached it. I went about it in a different way through my eating and have not only healed the relationship I have with food, I have gained so much more compassion. I feel like I’m finally living up to my values and core ethics I have held for so many years of my love for animals.

Being vegan is more than just a way of eating, it’s an entire lifestyle of living as cruelty free as possible. I get asked often I have any “vegan weight loss tips” and to be honest, I have none other than just eat whole foods and stay away from processed junk. You can be a junk food vegan as easily as you can be a junk food non-vegan! I went vegan for animal ethics and the environment, the health benefits and weight loss are a bonus. I cannot express how much passion I have for veganism and the community, it has truly changed my life in more ways than I could count. I now understand why people say vegans are angry all the time, we aren’t… we are just extremely passionate and want everyone else to see what we see.

I have always had a deep love for animals but still ate them, like many do. I was guilty of carnism and speciesism. When I realized that I was putting my taste buds above the life of another, it was a connection that I had missed before and once my perception changed it was an easy switch for me to go vegan. I had originally planned to go vegetarian and ease into going vegan, but the same day I decided on that was the same day I learned the sad truth of the dairy industry. I won’t go into details here, you can do the research yourself just like I did. If you would love some recommendations, I started off with the book Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. I’ll do a post of recommended books, films, and links soon!

Anyways, I’m rambling… I just wanted to post this milestone and share!

 

Vegan Spicy Rice & Potato Soft Tacos

Vegan Spicy Rice & Potato Soft Tacos

I don’t often keep track of the recipe’s I make, but today I (kind of) did and thought I would share on the blog! It’s not precise at all, more of just some guidelines lol!!

For lunch I whipped up rice and potato soft taco’s, I normally use refried beans almost daily but I wanted something different and I love potatoes… so I used those for my base. FYI: if you’re a new vegan double check the refried beans! A lot of people assume refried beans are already vegetarian but most are not and contain lard. I only buy refried beans that say “vegetarian” or contain no lard in the ingredients. I get them in a can since it’s cheap and I’m usually too lazy to make them from scratch. My favorite brands are Rosarita’s (usually around 88¢ a can where I live) and Amy’s (they are higher in price but so good).

Potatoes

  • One white Yukon Gold potato
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Seasonings: chili powder, turmeric, cayenne, red pepper flakes, ground cumin

Everything Else

  • Peanut oil (for the pan)
  • Cashew sour cream (recipe here)
  • Chopped romaine
  • Smear of hummus
  • White rice
  • Hot sauce
  • Flour tortilla

I diced up my potatoes, threw them in a pyrex bowl and tossed in the olive oil and seasonings. I didn’t keep track of how much I used of each seasoning. I did just a dash of cayenne, the rest was a sprinkle or two. Added a little peanut oil to warm pan and cooked the diced potatoes in that on low for a while till they were soft and browned. While I made the potatoes, I made a pot of rice. All I have on hand was Jasmine rice, so that worked!

You can add or take away anything on this, will add refried beans next time!

What I ate in a day!

What I ate in a day!

I’ve been asked a few times if I could do a “what I eat in a day” post and the other day I actually remembered! Hah! I decided to try photographing everything I ate one day, minus my million iced coffee’s I have during the day. I mix up my meals day by day, obviously, but here is an idea of some things I eat as a vegan!

BREAKFAST

I make a smoothie almost every morning! It’s been a go-to for a while now and I don’t think I’ll change it anytime soon. I also make the same smoothie each time. I’m a massive creature of habit and rarely get bored with meals. If I don’t make a smoothie, I usually make overnight oats… which I may make for tomorrow morning!

So this morning I had my smoothie and then my first iced coffee for the day lol! I can’t even tell you how many I drank today, I love coffee, hence my blog name! I use almond creamer in my coffee by the way, I want to try coconut creamer though!

Smoothie Recipe: unsweetened almond milk, spinach, strawberries, chia seed, hemp seed, peanut butter, banana, ice

LUNCH

My lunches vary, some days I’ll do a huge salad or a finger food plate of fruits and veggies. Today I cut up some russet potatoes into wedges, tossed them in olive oil, garlic/parsley seasoning, sea salt, and black pepper. Then baked them directly on the rack at 425º for 37 min (including the preheat time). This is a slightly modified recipe by High Carb Hannah. I added more wedges to my plate after I ate these haha! So good!!

AFTERNOON SNACK

Fresh fruit (strawberries, dragon fruit, cotton candy grapes), dried apricots, and raw cashews. I love “finger food” snacks and lunches. I’ve been trying to get back in the habit of snacking on fruit and nuts, some days I don’t snack if I make heavy meals though. I like to grab a handful of cashews or almonds during the day since they are good protein.

DINNER

I made this last night and it was so good that I had to repeat tonight! Quesadilla fried on the stovetop in some peanut oil. Stuffed with veg refried beans, Follow Your Heart cheese, hot sauce, rice, romaine, and green onions. It’s seriously amazing! I start my quesadilla’s in the microwave to melt the cheese a tad so it sticks the tortilla’s together a bit. Then I put a tablespoon of oil in a small pan, cook each side of the quesadilla for a few minutes, until brown a bit and done! You get great restaurant style quesadilla’s with that crispy shell but gooey insides!

After dinner I had a big bowl of pineapple!

So… close!

So… close!

… I miss this blog lol! I have been trying to keep my vegan adventures separate so as not to bore any readers I have on this blog… but you know what? It’s part of my whole journey, while my vegan journey is not running related, this is still my blog where I talk about my journey, life, and adventures. I plan to work on this blog a bit and bring it more up to date with my current life (banner links, etc) and hope to carve out some time this weekend to do this!

I’ve been feeling awesome the past two months. I get asked often “what do I eat in a day?”… “what are my favorite foods/recipes?”…etc. So I figure I will try to do several posts on food, lifestyle, etc. If anyone has any questions about a vegan lifestyle or food, feel free to comment any questions you have! If you are interested in health and plant based eating in general, watch What the Health on Netflix! It came out recently and the film is absolutely eye opening, even some of it shocked me and I was already vegan lol!! I have recommended this film to family and friends many times, it’s that good!

While I mentioned before that I’m not focused on weight loss, I am still working on it, but I’m just not making it a priority anymore (logging foods, watching calories, etc). I’m letting the weight fall off as it sees fit and it has for sure been doing just that! I woke up this morning to see 221 lbs on the scale, that means I’m down 99 lbs so far and only one pound away from where I left off last fall!!! Crazy, I never thought I could reach the 100 lbs lost milestone again. Before I went vegan, I was yo-yoing back and forth with my weight but never could get under the 227 lb mark. I felt like I was never going to get back to where I was.

This week I lost 3.6 lbs (from Friday to Friday) and I’m shocked!  Some weeks it’s only a 1/2 lb, some a little more. Then some weeks I get a big drop. I’ve lost 10.4 lbs since going vegan on May 4th, that’s an average of 5.2 lbs per month.

I stuck with about 90% whole and tried to eat more nutrient dense packed foods. The other 10% includes vegan cheese here and there, as well as store bought condiments (even that is pretty limited). I make my own cashew sour cream and cashew parmesan, I’m going to venture into making my own almond creamer and milk next week! When I think of it, I eat pretty well! I’ve been getting more picky with the foods I buy and try to limit buying packaged foods (unless they have a good ingredient list, like real food items).

I’ll try to work on a post where I show “what I eat in a day” type of thing!

Hello, Weekend!

Hello, Weekend!

Thought I would pop in and say hi! Things have been going great, yesterday marked 50 days vegan! Woot! The weight has been coming off naturally now, I no longer have to give my eating a full focus since I pretty clean and I would say 90% is whole foods. I’ve lost close to 8 lbs since going vegan, which doesn’t sound like a lot but after losing 90+ lbs already, things slowed down so as long as it is going down I don’t care how slow it goes lol!

Dinner last night was Nekter Juice Bar, I grabbed a smoothie bowl and it was simply amazing!!

I’m still not running, but I did get an exercise bike from my grandpa, he wasn’t using it and it was practically brand new! I haven’t been on it as much as I planned but I need to set some goals to get on this bike and at least get 30 minutes in each day, at least through the weekday.

I have to say though, I’m really not stressing out about getting exercise in and such, summer is hard enough with the kiddo home so I will get in what I can and just focus on healthy eating. I’m looking forward to going back to the gym in August though, I do miss it lol! Lifting at home is not working, I had a feeling it wouldn’t too. I just can’t get motivated to do weights at home vs. at the gym. When I’m at the gym, I’m there to work out and that is all… no distractions, no excuses, just get in the work and leave. At home, it’s too easy to fall into the “I’ll do it later”…. “coffee first”… “I don’t feel like getting dressed for working out”…etc. So instead of force it, I’m just going to enjoy the summer!

My birthday was on Wednesday, I turned 34! I still don’t feel like I’m in my 30’s, never got the whole “adulting” thing down haha!! Bob bought me flowers and I used some birthday money on some new tarot decks and books.

Some Updates!

Some Updates!

Howdy! Things have been going excellent in my little world! Thought I would update the blog this morning on what I have been doing. Today marks 40 days since going vegan (will be 6 weeks on Thursday) and I haven’t felt better!

Last week I lost 3.4 lbs without even focusing or trying, just eating good food and enjoying. It’s been liberating, to not log food or focus on calories. I was never a calorie counter, but I did keep a close eye on my caloric intake through my health journey and would hoover at the 1,300 calorie mark (my splurge days were around 1,500). I mentioned before that I did log my foods the first week when I switched to vegan, not for calorie watching but I wanted to watch my nutrients (protein, calcium, iron, etc) and be sure I was hitting those goals, also what foods helped what, etc. I recommend anyone doing this when you switch to vegan!

I may do a little post on Jess Uprooted about tips and such on how to switch to a vegan lifestyle for anyone interested! I would love to share what I have learned, what worked for me, etc.


A little weight loss update! Since I switched to vegan, I have lost 6.4 lbs. Weight loss isn’t as fast as it used be now that I’ve lost 95 lbs and I’m ok with that! This morning I am only 5 lbs away from reaching the 100 lbs lost mark again, finally!

What I find interesting, is that last year around this time I was also trying to reach 100 lbs lost and I remember hoping to reach it before my birthday on the 21st, but I didn’t end up reaching this goal until July. I have a feeling I will reach 100 lbs lost in June this time, but time will tell… Aunt Flo is right around the corner and she tends to unpack quite a heavy suitcase (meaning, I usually gain 3-6 lbs that week) lol!

Also, I stopped running after June 21st last year and picked it back up in the late fall… Currently, I haven’t really ran in over a month, I did do a .34 mile run a couple weeks ago but I’m not really counting that. I’m repeating these patterns again just like last year, but there is a new key player in this right now… it’s my relationship with food, which has changed drastically for the better. I’m still losing weight despite not running. Last year when I stopped running, I also stopped eating healthy and the pounds started adding back on (around 23 lbs in total). So, while I’m not running right now, I’m still losing weight! Glad history isn’t repeating itself entirely lol! I feel like my new found relationship with food and my new lifestyle with veganism will only help me this time around.

Running has been on my mind all weekend! I want to run, I just hate running on the treadmill. I didn’t mind it when I had a choice to run on the treadmill or outside, then I didn’t mind jumping on it. But now that I have no choice but to run on it… I don’t want to. Funny how that happens! We are hitting 113º by the end of the week and I just can’t do outside running, no matter how early I go out (which is hard anyways since my daughter is home for the summer on break). I’ve learned that 50-60º is my comfort zone outside when running, 70º is ok, but anything over 80º and I start having breathing issues with wheezing and a tight chest.

I have several virtual runs to do but I’m not worried about them, I will do them each when I get back into running. They will be there on my shelf in the packages until then. But I do want to do one on July 1st, it’s the Rise Up 5k that I signed up for. It’s a live event that is going on in 300 cities and also had a virtual option. I want to run the same day everyone else is, so I will be doing this virtual run that day… I don’t care if I have to walk it all, it will get done on my treadmill since the cause means so much to me. You can read about it here – you can use my code 22129 to get 10% off too!

Morning (mini) run!

Morning (mini) run!

This morning I bit the bullet and got dressed… for a run *gasp*!?! I had my heart set to do just 1 mile, something short to get back into it after a month off running, but my room electrical breaker had other plans. Not even a 1/2 mile into my run, I blew the breaker lol! It’s ok though, I didn’t finish my run but I will call this a successful one because I felt fantastic. It didn’t feel like I took a month off, feels more like I didn’t run in a day or two. Last time I took time off (even just a week or two), I felt like crap… legs were like bricks, I was sweating a ton, and I just hated every second of it… it felt like I took a year off running.

But this time I felt refreshed and great, I happily blame this on veganism! This was my first “run” after going vegan and I’m looking forward to getting back on the treadmill tomorrow… for a full run lol!

I did take my time on this (mini) run and stuck with a 60:45 run/walk ratio. I’m about a minute slower in pace on the treadmill which will be a mental game this summer as I will be on it all summer until fall (end of October-ish). But my goal is to just run and enjoy it this summer, not worry about pace. Hoping after a summer of treadmill running will help me when I hit the pavement again in the fall. Will be an interesting test! I also have a pile of virtual run medals to earn this summer, so I have lots of motivation!

After my mini run, I did some weight training for upper body… haven’t done that in three weeks or so, I’m sure I’ll feel it in the morning but I didn’t do a long session at all. Just lifted while waiting for the internet to reset after I flipped the breaker switch lol!

What’s New?!

What’s New?!

Ok, just saw that it’s been awhile since I’ve updated the blog! Oop’s! So what has been going on? Let’s see… I’m still eating 100% vegan, just passed my first full week (on day 9 today) and feeling awesome!! I did a weekly update post on my other blog all about what has happened in the first week here.

As some of you know, I joined in on a Dietbet that my friend was hosting on the 1st and I wanted to update how I was doing! The goal is to lose 4% of my Dietbet starting weight by the end of the month, which was 9.3 lbs. Since the 1st I have lost 5.4 lbs… 4.2 of those lbs were since the 4th when I went vegan! I have 3.9 lbs left to lose on this Dietbet and I’m starting to see that I may just reach that goal! I was bouncing back and forth for a few months and since changing my eating the weight is now dripping off me.

I have been eating mainly whole food plant-based (WFPB) and feel fantastic! Other than that, I did both weight training sessions this week and have only two more weeks of the gym until summer break starts and I will be using the home gym so I’m trying to work my butt off in these last few weeks lol!

I’ll admit, I don’t think I will be updating this blog as often once summer starts unless I get my running mojo back. After my knee became sore several weeks ago, I fell off track with running despite my knee feeling better. I know my running mojo will return so I’m not worried at all or forcing it, just focusing on weight training, bike riding (which I’ve been slacking on), and my eating. Last year when I fell off the running wagon I fell off with my eating too and gained those 20+ lbs, so when I did get back to running… it was rough! This time I am not falling off track with eating thanks to eating vegan! I stopped tracking calories about 2 days into this vegan adventure and eat a ton, the weight is still dropping off daily… I know I will plateau eventually though like with any weight loss.

I will, however, be updating my vegan adventure blog (Jess Uprooted) a lot this summer. I’m treating it more like a journal so I’ve been posting everything from grocery stores hauls, food reviews, what I’m eating, etc. I may eventually combine both blogs but for now I’m keeping them separate. Again, you can follow that blog over at www.jessuprooted.blogspot.com! I do have a handful of virtual runs to do this summer, I purposely saved these so I have some focus when I get my running mojo back…. I can feel my mojo slowly returning though!

Pure Joy and Happiness

Pure Joy and Happiness

First off, I feel so bad that I haven’t been updating the blog as much as I normally do lol! I haven’t been running this week or biking, my knee’s have been iffy so I’m trying to take it easy on them. I saw my last post was on the 3rd and some things have changed since that post! As of May 4th, I have gone full vegan with my eating (today marks 3 days) and I feel better than I ever have. I’ve been lactose-intolerant for over 20 years but never got off dairy, since getting off dairy fully now I have had zero issues with my stomach, bloating, or daily cramping!! Why I didn’t do this sooner, who knows. I have always been a massive cheese and sour cream lover, so I never thought in a million billion years I could get off it.

Since I lost my password and sign on for the small side blog I was doing on my vegetarian (now vegan) adventures, I did set up a new one through Blogspot. If you are interested, you can check it out here – Jess Uprooted.

This week I may not have ran (except Monday) but I did get both my weight training sessions in on Tuesday and Thursday! Kicked some major butt! I mentioned that I joined in on a DietBet that a friend is hosting and when I signed up I thought for sure this would be really hard to lose 4% in 30 days… I am now feeling very confident in this challenge! I am down 3.6 lbs since May 1st and 2.5 lbs of that was lost after I switched to vegan on the 4th! It’s literally melting off me! Not only am I eating cruelty free, but I’m helping the environment (which is very dear to me), losing weight, and eating a ton more. What a great combo lol! I have never eaten so many calories in my life while still losing weight. I used to average about 1,300-1,500 a day… right now I average about 1,700-1,900 calories a day. I’m eating a lot more so I meet my daily nutrient goals, I have been eating very clean and a lot of raw foods.

7 Days Vegetarian

7 Days Vegetarian

First off, I’m a dork… I started my other small blog on my vegetarian adventures, then reset my MacBook yesterday and have no idea what email or password I set up for it. So, I won’t be updating that blog now lol! I have tried everything and nothing works, so I’m taking that as a sign to keep it all on this blog. After all, this adventure is health related so it fits here on the blog.

My foods have been awesome this past week! I’m on day 7 of vegetarian, which has swayed now to more vegan… I would say full time vegetarian – part time vegan right now. After today I can officially say I have been at this a full week! I can’t remember what I said on this blog or the other, but I decided to start transitioning more towards vegan and use the rest of this year to transition if all goes well. I tried in the past to go vegan and failed due to lack of knowledge on preparation… I have also tried to go vegetarian in the past and failed after a day or two, again due to lack of knowledge and preparation. This time, it has been insanely easy for me. Maybe I’m just ready? Who knows, all I know is that I am loving it! While I am still eating dairy, I have been limiting it a lot and have already switched my coffee creamer to an almond vegan creamer that I love (Califia Farms Pecan Caramel almond creamer – but want to try the vanilla next) and found a ranch that I like (Daiya Ranch). So those two switches were easy after I found a substitute. Cheese is next to find! I heard Chao and Miyoko have great ones, so I’ll be trying those soon.

Two things I have learned so far
Food is fuel – I’m understanding that choosing what to eat based on nutrients is key
Live in the moment – There is no use worrying about what I will eat down the road at a restaurant or something. Focusing on what I have now has helped me focus on the now and not the past or future.

My approach right now is to slowly switch over to 100% vegan (food) and replace non-vegan items in the kitchen as we run out, no use wasting what we already have. Once I get the food part down and am eating vegan fully, I will start working on other aspects like household products, makeup, etc. I’m trying to really make this an easy switch and not one that will overwhelm me.

I’m a massive picky eater so trying new foods is like giving me a spoon of poison, I freak out, no lie. The past few days I have actually opened up to trying more foods starting to look forward to it! I’ve always had this irrational food fear of Larabar’s since they contain dates… I’ve never had dates, so naturally as a picky eater I feared them and swore they were gross before ever trying one… well, I had a Larabar today and what do you know, I LOVED it! (It was the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, so good, I have others in the pantry to try too)

Tonight I am cooking for once, Bob usually does the booking, and I found a stir fry “mix and match” recipe so I’m making a sweet & sour sauce with sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots, onion, green onion, and garlic over basmati rice topped with cashews. I was going to pick up the Beyond Meat grilled “chicken” to add to it but I’m not ready to try faux meats yet lol! Baby steps!

Another thing, I’m down 1.2 lbs! Woot!

I have been reading two books and a million websites for info! The books I’m currently reading are Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and The 30-Day Vegan Challenge by Colleen Patrick-Goudrea. Both books are fantastic so far, I’m halfway done with Eating Animals and just started the other. I’m looking forward to adding more cookbooks to my collection and other vegan books full of info!

A few people have asked me if I’m finding it hard to get protein in and at first I was nervous about that part but now I’m not worried at all. But, I am still eating greek yogurt in the morning so once I find ways to add in more protein I will be swapping that to almond milk (which I just bought, Califia Farms… what can I say, I’m a sucker for this brand and their packaging lol). But right now, I’m not worried at all. I’m currently taking a supplement for B12 and iron, but I was taking that before I started this whole transition. I do want to get blood work done before I get too far into this change so I can compare later on!

Anyways, I just wanted to do a quick update on the blog here about what I’m doing! Feel free to ask me any questions, I’m an open book!