Happy Veganniversary!

Happy Veganniversary!

I had been on my diet since September last year and found it motivating to watch TV programmes and documentaries on diets, food and weight loss in general. I stumbled across a movie called Cowspiracy on Netflix and found it eye-opening. It was the environmental aspect that got me thinking. In particular, livestock covers 45% of the earth's land. 45%. Yet people are starving. cowspiracy.com/facts/

I was also horrified to see what our over-fishing is doing to the oceans. At the rate we are going, we could see fishless oceans by 2048!

But the saddest thing to me was when I discovered that 82% of children live in countries where food is fed to animals, which are then consumed by us in the west. To me this is totally immoral.

All over Christmas last year, these facts and figures were going around my head. How I was successfully losing weight at the time, was easy, I was eating lean meats/fish with lots of vegetables - and it was working. I didn't want to scupper that, did I?

I was staying with my son for the festive period and he had been a vegan for a while and suggested I read the book "The Starch Solution" by Dr John McDougall. This convinced me that if I went vegan, I wouldn't suffer any consequences and that I may even get much healthier and reduce my risk of many diseases. amazon.co.uk/d/Books/Starch...

So, not feeling totally convinced, but determined to give it a try, I decided on the 29th December last year to go vegan. I was worried that all that starch would stop my weight loss and that I might even gain weight.

What happened was the opposite! In my first month as a vegan, I lost 12.5lbs. I think that was partly my body getting used to the huge amount of fibre I was now consuming! My body quickly adjusted and the weight loss got back to it's normal 8 or 9lbs loss per month as my stomach settled down. The amazing thing was that I felt so satisfied and I totally loved my food - I still do!

A year later, I have lost almost all of my excess weight (total = 8.5stone), I still have a few more pounds to lose to get to goal, but I am nearly there. My body has been able to build muscle and I am the healthiest I have been for decades. I take a vegan supplement to make sure I get my vitamin B12, but apart from that, my diet meets all my needs and no more animals are being hurt just to feed me - or clothe me.

So, if anyone is still reading after all this ramble and if you are interested in giving it a go yourself. January is a great time to try it as there are others doing Veganuary and there is support online here: veganuary.com/

And, yeah, I get enough protein, thanks!

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41 Replies

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  • Thank you for posting this. It is interesting. I used to be vegetarian at university but not any more. Currently I am ok with eating meat although I do have a couple of days a week where I don't eat meat. As I am on a paleo diet I don't eat diary, grains or anything processed so getting protein from meat and fish is important for me. I'm glad that it worked for your weight loss as well.

  • I was a terrible on-again, off-again vegetarian for decades and I was always slightly uncomfortable about eating meat/fish when that was what I thought I needed to do to lose weight. So it suited both my head and my heart to go vegan and I don't miss anything at all about eating animal products.

    It has been an interesting experiment and I am glad I took the risk.

    I hope that you continue to do really well with your plan, you have done brilliantly so far, so keep it up - 2017 is going to be a great year for all of us! :)

  • Really interesting. Glad it works for you. Happy anniversary. Best wishes for 2017.

  • Thanks RoseT, yes it works really well for me, I love the diet and it is something I know I can stick with for the rest of my life.

    Have a great 2017 too!

  • Well it certainly has worked very well for you ! I'm giving it a try. After purchasing The Starch Solution recently, I completed a one-week vegan challenge, and it was a good experience. After an indulgent Christmas period, I'm ready to climb back on the wagon. I bought the ebook and started the John McDougall Maximum Weight Loss plan today (a stricter version of the Starch Solution), and I have challenged myself to follow it wholeheartedly until 1st of February.

    Happy Veganniversary !

  • Thank you - and well done on going for it. I look forward to hearing how you get on, I am sure it will be successful! :)

  • I love that cartoon :) I too get fed up with people asking where I get my protein or some other nutrient from.

    I've been mostly vegan for about two years, I didn't do it to lose weight as such but I have lost weight on it. The mcdougal books are great, it's funny how 'carbs' as a food group have become stygmatized in certain quarters, whereas I aim to get about 80% of my calories from them.

  • Your way of eating is poles apart from mine. We need to compare in fifty years to see how we're doing.

  • If I am still alive in 50 years time, then I would consider a vegan diet to be a miracle, LOL!

  • Why's that?

  • I'm already 55, in 50 years time that'll make me 105 and with my family history of heart attacks, I am not sure I will live that long. (This is also another good reason for me to avoid animal products as high cholesterol is an issue in our family, amongst other things).

  • It reads like we have a similar family history. However, a scan this year confirmed I have zero heart calcification, so heart disease has little to do with animal products per se.

  • I know, it is so funny, the artist that made the cartoon has a Facebook page and there are loads more excellent cartoons on there, if you want a chuckle. He has the perfect comebacks for some of the more tedious comments/questions! facebook.com/vegansidekick/...

    Yes, I am fuelled mainly by carbs and it is interesting that I have managed to lose so much weight while doing so. Just goes to show :)

  • Thanks, that's a great link

  • Hi LTL, I am not vegan, but have been a vegetarian my entire adult life and have a strong dislike for meat.

    I live with my family who are not vegetarians and that means we cook different meals or different versions of meals most days. That sometimes gets a bit complicated.

    If you live together with other people who are not vegan, how do you deal with it?

  • Luckily I live alone, which makes it a lot easier. If I am with other people, I just try to persuade them to try one of my recipes, or include modern meat substitutes, like vegan sausages are a good way to overcome their worries.

    It does mean, however, that I have to go to more effort when preparing food for other people, but when I make food for myself, I tend to keep it fairly simple.

    I am still perfecting the ideal vegan chocolate brownie recipe. Once I have that down pat, I will be converting all my friends to veganism, LOL!

  • Oh yes, sometimes living alone is much easier. When my children are with their grandparents and my husband is travelling with work, I so enjoy to just cook for me!

    My children are used to lots of food with pulses and beans, but they love meat so I don't think they will be converting anytime soon :-) :-)

  • My partner eats meat but has been very supportive of my diet and regularly cooks vegan food for me as well as meat for herself. I realised very early on that trying to get her to change was just disrespectful and would be source of unnecessary tension so we don't talk about animal welfare or diet choices.

  • My husband is also very supportive - he cooks a lot, more than me I think, and he never forgets to cook something vegetarian for me. And like you, I have never felt an urge to tell him, or anybody else for that matter, what to eat.

  • Glad to hear you have found something that works for you.

    But McDougall's absolute certainty that he is right about everything is worrying. The human body / metabolism is very complicated and there is still a huge amount that we don't know about nutrition and health.

  • I totally agree, Penel, I perhaps should have mentioned that I did tons of research, his book was just a jumping off point.

    Another thing I found really helpful, certainly at the beginning, was a website called cronometer.com where I logged my food and made sure I was getting enough nutrients. It put my mind at rest and was a handy tool.

  • The cronometer.com website is a great tool. I've been looking for something similar for a long while - it's easy to add calories in your head but to find out what nutrients are in each food is fantastic. Thanks for the link.

  • Hi LessToLose, I'm looking forward to following you as you meet your goals! I've been vegan 6 months and now I'm looking forward to losing my excess weight (already lost 8/10 pounds over the 6 months but I wasn't counting calories).

  • Congratulations on being vegan for 6 months already! That is great and I hope you are enjoying the lifestyle. I certainly am.

    Good luck with your weight loss, too, I am sure you will get to where you want to be. I only have those final few pounds left to go and have taken my eye off the ball a little bit as I concentrate on increasing my running distances.

  • It's been really easy to adapt to, just wish I'd done it sooner!

    Hope the running is going well, must be tricky in the wintertime

  • Yes, I wish I had done it sooner, too. The winter running isn't too bad now I have a head-torch and armbands for the darker mornings. I don't run in icy conditions for fear of injury, but generally winter running is OK.

  • What do you use for protein? I use pea protein instead of whey after the gym, I'm not vegan or vegetarian though.

  • I consume beans, legumes, pulses and grains for protein and don't bother with the artificial ones that gym users go for. I mention further up in this thread, that I occasionally do a spot check on my diet by entering a typical day's food into cronometer.com - a site that gives you a breakdown and analysis of the nutrients and macro nutrients of your diet. It shows me that I get enough protein (and nutrients) and I have learnt - much to my surprise - that even plants have protein in them! It all adds up during the day and I get enough to build muscle and function well.

    I think you are wise to use pea protein instead of whey, whey is just a ghastly by-product that has been marketed to the fitness industry.

    I am not anti-supplementation, I do take a multi-vitamin and B12 just to be on the safe side, but that is mostly because I am in a calorie deficit while I lose weight.

  • Are they complete proteins?

  • Some are - like your pea protein - but to get the necessary amino acids it is easy just to combine protein sources, like rice and beans, for example.

  • Ok that's what I was thinking, glad to hear it from someone in the know.

    Thank you.

  • Thank you for your interest and great questions!

  • I might ask you more in the future if you don't mind that is?

  • Hi there, I was directed to your profile by one of the admins as I was concerned about following the NHS 12 week plan, being a convert from vegetarian to vegan since January....but I see it's not so much a plan that tells you what to eat but more of a calorie guide with lots of other helpful stuff...I have a bit in common with you, same age...and live on my own too. I'm pretty lazy about cooking so tend to eats tons of toast and cereal which is not helping with my weight. I need to build up a repertoire of easy vegan recipes...Hope you don't mind me using you as inspiration (I'm sure you won't!) Apia even going to buy the book you mentioned as I'm a real carb addict, low carb diets just don't suit my lifestyle...x

  • I am so sorry to have missed your post, sometimes I don't get notifications, grrr!

    I hope you are still following the vegan diet and it is helping you with your weight loss.

  • Hi, I know this was 7 months ago but just been directed to your post as I have just become Vegan, I was a vegetarian as a teenager and had been thinking about doing it again for a while and then like you ended up watching a bunch of stuff on Netflix (What the health initially) and decided to take the plunge. nearly one week in and Ive lost nearly 5lbs after my weight has been stagnated for about a year so as you can imagine Im over the moon!! Plus like you say Im loving my food and always feel satisfied. Will defininetly check out the book youve suggested, thank you x

  • Yay, I am always so happy to read about another new vegan! It has been the best diet for me in so many ways, both in my heart and in my health!

    I am glad you have done so well in your first week, but do make sure you eat enough. You kind of have to eat more to get all your nutrients and to keep from starving, I find, but so long as you avoid vegan junk food (there is quite a lot of unhealthy stuff available), you will lose weight.

    Oh, and get a B12 supplement - I got mine from The Vegan Society online.

    Best of luck - and any questions, just ask!

  • Thank you 😊 yes I've avoided the Oreos so far πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ x

  • Luckily I am not keen on Oreos, but Bourbon biscuits are vegan and I do get them occasionally. I have just learned that some battered onion rings are dairy and egg free too, my local Coop has them and I have heard that Iceland stock them as well. Not tried them myself yet, but will have them as a treat some time in the future. I like to use those sorts of things for when I have guests and it wows them that such foods are vegan. :)

  • Oooh may check that out, I love onion rings. My husband is manager in our local pub so I've just popped in to see him and the chef literally walked up with a bowl of 'fresh' pork scratchings for me πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ guess he didn't get the memo πŸ™Š

  • LOL - some chefs are really great once they get their heads around the idea, so fingers crossed he will be surprising you with some delicious vegan delights soon!

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