Friday, May 2, 2014

What's Your Diet Like?

I'm not talking the most popular diet on the market right now, I'm talking your diet as in the food you put into your mouth everyday. Until a year ago mine was whatever sounded good or whatever I wanted to eat. I tried to keep it healthish but wasn't overly concerned with what I was eating.

I started following Tone It Up loosely in February 2013. I was just looking for a way to tone my muscles to go along with my running. I started reading about their nutrition plan, following members of their community on Instagram and started to adapt some of their suggestions for a healthier me. In April 2013 I decided to join in on their Bikini Series to get ready for summer. I didn't need to loose weight but I needed to tone up so this was perfect.
    A little about Tone If Up from my perspective. It is a company started by two friends. They provide free workouts and tips; they are trainers at your finger tips from the comfort of your home. They have created a community of women who support and love one another. They encourage their members to meet up and get to know each other. The nutrition plan and their workout DVDs cost but they provide so much that is free. I had huge success from just adjusting my eating and doing their free workouts imagine the success I would have had if I followed the nutrition plan! If you are looking for an amazing support community to help you stay on track check it out I very seriously doubt you will be disappointed! I hope to purchase the plan someday but until then I have a different diet that both my husband and I adopted in June of 2013.

I was in Texas in the middle of June visiting some family and family friends when my husband decided to watch the documentary Forks Over Knives. He was at home working and not on the trip with us. I was stuffing my face with fajitas, queso, and all the other yummy stuff when he called to tell me about it. Since he had had some digestive issues that landed him an overnight stay in the hospital the previous May he knew something needed to change. After all we are too young to have digestive issues! He watched the documentary on a recommendation from his brother and just like his brother he was hooked. So that phone call he made to me was to tell me that when I got home we were going to try going mostly vegan with our diet. We weren't going to become total vegan but we were going to cut out all meat and dairy products.
              There was a quote in the documentary "If it walks, hops, swims, crawls, slithers, had eyes a mom and a dad. Don't eat it!" -Dr. Terry Mason-Chicago 
Andrew (my husband) didn't demand that we change, just suggested that he'd like to try it and I wasn't going to say no. I want my family to be healthy so I was on board. I also ate all the "crap" food I could before we got back from our Texas trip!

The transition to a vegan diet was tricky for me. It wasn't because I missed meat, I wasn't a huge fan of meat to begin with. I almost hated the transition because for the first time in my stay at home mom wife cooker of dinner life I was comfortable cooking food. I could just throw spices on something and turn it into a yummy meal! I finally had cooking success but now I couldn't cook meat or use any dairy products. What the heck was I supposed to cook? My brother-in-law gave us this really yummy black bean taco recipe and I think I made it 3 times a week at first. We started searching out vegan recipes on the internet. We found the blog Oh She Glows, Angela was a life saver! She has awesome recipes that are easy to follow and are SO YUMMY! I got ideas for meals from other places too but her stuff never fails me! When we invite friends over for dinner I make one of her recipes. I haven't had anyone complain about the lack of meat yet! With that we were on a mostly vegan diet all in the matter of a month. We would still eat cheese every now and then and had trouble giving up pizza or sushi (we still haven't given them up!) but for the most part we were successful and feeling good. I don't cook meat at home ever and I'm not missing it. I am now happy to cook and not include meat. It's so much easier and I have less worry about cross contaminating things.

It was more difficult to stay true to our vegan eating habits during the holidays but we did okay. We are not going to make a fuss and cause a scene because we choose not to eat meat. When we are invited to parties or are at family functions we fill up on vegetables first and if we need it eat a small portion of the meat they have. We don't make a big deal of it because we aren't those people. If we want to we bring our own veggie burgers to a cook out. We don't skip out on things just because there won't be "anything for us to eat." That is why we don't claim to be vegan!

Our diet change and our boy. He still gets milk. He still gets to eat meat and cheese or whatever he wants. It was a little difficult for us to transition as much as we did; we couldn't put that on him too at just 2 years old. He is a good little eater. He always has eaten his vegetables and loved them so this is how the transition has gone for him. I give him what we eat. That's it. I make something and I put it on his plate for dinner just like I do ours. He normally eats the same thing that we eat but there are some things that he won't eat. He hates quinoa, its a texture thing for him. I still always put it on his plate but he doesn't eat it much unless I mix it in with something that hides it! He asks for spinach on his pizza and peas with every meal! He loves nuts, beans, peas, carrots, smoothies, broccoli, hummus, rice, spinach, peanut butter & jelly and spaghetti! He also loves pizza, hotdogs, turkey, hamburgers and chicken. We don't keep anything away from him but we do try to limit the amount he does have. Except juice we don't let him drink juice that comes from the store with all the sugar and crap in it. He doesn't need it and he doesn't miss it!

Staying consistent is only hard because we get lazy. If we fight the lazy then we stay on track. The world we live in has made it so easy to just quickly grab food but there aren't very many quick vegan options. If I don't cook at home we end up slipping and not staying on track. For the last two months we have been doing terrible and I can see the difference in our waist lines. Summer is just around the corner so it's time to get back on track. My goal is to get there and stay there. I feel better about myself and I can tell that my husband feels better about himself too. I'd like to think that in a year from now I won't want to eat cheese or anything else.

One of the points in the documentary Forks Over Knives and the book Eat to Live is that these foods are slow killers. I'm not here to argue one way or the other just to share my story about my families transition. There are days now that I almost feel guilty for feeding animal proteins to B or to myself. It hasn't kept me from eating animal protein but it has forced me to think harder about what I am putting into my body. I want to live longer and maintain a healthier life and I think cutting out animal proteins in our diet is going to help a lot with that!

Don't get me wrong, we aren't perfect but we are working on maintaining our vegan diet 100% of the time!

Here is a picture of our little family on the 4th of July last year. I was down about 10 pounds and he was down between 15-20 pounds. Muscle definition on me was all thanks to Karena and Katrina with Tone It Up!

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