Musings & Contemplations

Another ramble about diets, eating habits and some MORE changes I have made for a healthier lifestyle.

Me two years ago: Hello I’m a foodie who will eat absolutely anything, I am on a budget so food costs are low, I eat a lot of pizza and drink a lot of wine

Me one year ago: Hello I’m a vegetarian, I want to just eat as cheaply as possible and stay healthy. I like pizza but I now eat lots of salad.

Me 6 months ago: Hello I now buy things like organic apples and ground flax seeds, I drink smoothies for breakfast….with kale in them…. and I want to spend more money on food for my health. I still like pizza but now I make things like “Vegan pizzas”.

Me 2 weeks ago: Hello I’m a vegetarian who is mainly a vegan and  I now buy things like hemp milk, I rarely eat pizza and I have been told I’m low on protein in my current diet

Me today: Hello I’m a vegetarian, I drink smoothies for breakfast….with kale, and cashews, and flax and hemp in them…..I spend more money on food than anything else (except rent), I tend to write down everything I eat whilst I am trying to make good habits stick and I have been looking at recipes for “Raw pizza”

Because when I started as a vegetarian I was on a big diet I was in the frame of mind that snacking on apples= good idea, snacking on nuts= bad idea. It was a purely calorie counting exercise without thinking about whether it meant my body was getting what it needed. Sure I lost loads of weight but I was always hungry and also it would lead to binges of bad foods because I’d feel deprived. I also felt that keeping my meals as simple as possible = good idea, adding things like flax seeds, sprouted beans, nutritional yeast etc = bad idea because in my mind that was just an added cost and a bit of a diet fad.

I’ve learnt so much over the last year but I can’t help thinking that I’m seriously over thinking my own diet and I really want to get back to basics! I went to see a dietician/ personal trainer last week who asked me to keep a food diary for the week before hand. I went in feeling pretty smug because I’d had tonnes of fruit and veg that week and not many snacks. The guy took a red pen and a blue pen and he said the red would represent all of my carbs/sugars and the blue pen would represent all of the protein and things like dark greens.

Well my whole page was red except for one morning of eggs, the greens in my smoothies and a bean stew I had for dinner one night. I realised that I have been literally just eating vegetables and carbs and thinking that I was super healthy (vegetable soup and bread, vegetable stew and rice, vegetable sauce and pasta etc etc!). I also ate far too much sugar from fruits so I have had to pick and choose my snacks more sensibly. He showed me some examples of meals where I could improve, for example:

Breakfast: 
Before – Smoothie with banana, soya milk, spinach, strawberries, blueberries
Now – Smoothie with hemp milk, spinach, strawberries, blueberries, 2 tablespoons ground flax and a handful soaked cashew nuts.

Before – Scrambled eggs with toast and ketchup
Now – Scrambled eggs with a big portion of stir fried kale, tomatoes, paprika and chilli

In my lunches I have been adding things like lentil dip or seeds and white beans and for dinner I have cut out the refined carbs by eating more bean based meals with lots of dark greens and colourful veg and the occasional portion of wild rice or sweet potato wedges. I’ve been doing this for approx 2 weeks now and I do feel great, I’m not hungry and I have actually maintained a weight loss. I feel like just tripping it back to basics has helped me, now I just think “Ok this meal contains some protein, something green, something with good fats and not too many carbs”.

I have also been snacking on almonds and walnuts to help keep away any afternoon cravings and this is another way of getting some good proteins, fats and nutrients into my day.

I think having an understanding of food is important but I found myself reading so many conflicting opinions and diet options and foods we should/ shouldn’t eat that I just got lost in it all and ended up eating things that if I had just stood back from all the reading I wouldn’t normally eat. As a vegetarian everyone goes on about protein and I’ve read plenty of vegetarian articles showing how “loads of things have protein in them” and “how easy it can be to eat a lot of protein” which is all true, but you have to know what to eat, understand the different food groups and eat a variety of foods in order to get the right amount of protein.

Learning about food is a life long process and one I plan to enjoy as I go so I never beat myself up about a bad week or worry too much about whether my choices now are the best I can make for myself because in the future I know I will still be making choices, worrying about the environment and having bad weeks of junk food! The thing I do make sure I think about is whether I am moving forward in the right direction or not. For me these small changes I have made over the last two weeks are just another step in the right direction 🙂

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22 thoughts on “Another ramble about diets, eating habits and some MORE changes I have made for a healthier lifestyle.

    • Good question 😀 In this case it’ll make them easier to blend but alot of people soak them even before just eating them whole because it makes them easier to digest! I think thats the main reason x

  1. I think when we approach vegetarianism as an way to lose weight (like I did) we are coming at it from a different angle to the radicals. I must admit I actually really liked the taste of meat and still appreciate the smell of bacon cooking BUT if I want to live a long and happy life with a derierre that fits through the door I have to modify my way of eating because gluttony is my natural state of affairs. Unless you are rampant about animal welfare you are not going to have that real heart and gut wrench whenever you compare meat, dairy and eggs etc. to what you want to eat and so it’s harder to resist. I, personally, love a huge plate of food so changed what was on my plate rather than the size of the plate. Swapping out things for what you can handle is part of the trick and you have to stop trying to identify as “vegan” or whatever the latest flavour is because underneath all of the hype (raw…paleo whatever! its all just food!) YOU have to be able to live with what you are doing long term. Personalise it to your tastes and your requirements and you stand to be able to live with it forever 🙂

    • Very well said!! Thankyou. I am exactly the same I always have quite a lot on my plate but I tend to fill over half with filling vegetables like broccoli or roasted vegetables but it always looks massive!! I totally agree too that you have to adjust your diet to your own routine, your own tastes otherwise in the long run it won’t work.

    • Thank you so much, I’m the same I’m such a foodie and writing this blog as well means I’m always thiking about food and browsing cooking blogs! that’s probably why I find I graze alot during the week!

  2. Brilliant blog, its great to read your ongoing challenges around becoming vegetarian – something I hope to achieve in the future. I know what you mean about the diet, it can be difficult if you constantly calorie count. What’s more important is the healthy eating bit, everything else should follow. Fruit is a big killer for me, I love it. Food is a big expense (or can be) but it’s also one of the most important areas to spend your money on I think.

    • I try not to calorie count but I can’t help it, I do like the control of knowing exactly what I’m eating but at the same time on the weeks when I don’t bother I actually do better, probably because Im not thinking of food everyday haha!! I’m not even a fan of fruit really but was eating it because I thought I was being healthy 😦 I do love apples though!

    • Yeah I’ve read alot about soya milk being bad for you and the dietician was like “noo stay away from soy” so I changed to hemp. I chose hemp because its high iron etc but almond milk is also good for you (but not alpro soya which is pure sugar). Soya milk has a lot of oestrogen in it etc and research shows it can actually change your hormonal balances xx

  3. I also spend more money on food than anything (other than rent). It’s the only body you get and its cheaper to take care of it in the long run. Food is a big part of that.

    • Very true! I still work to a budget but my budget has just got bigger. I find my money goes further when I’m buying real ingredients such as vegetables too instead of processed foods!

  4. you have made great changes! it is a long process, my diet was similar to yours and evolved like yours. i think the more you are interested and learn the more these changes happen naturally. i have to take a page our of your book and start making smoothies like yours. im still a bit scared adding spinach to my smoothies but i will give it a go.

    • It’s definitely a work in process still but I eat soo much better than a few years ago. I used to eat loads of processed foods and now it’s all much more natural. Still have my treats though too 🙂 I don’t think you can taste spinach in smoothies, I add loads and as long as Ive also got berries etc then its nice and sweet. My blender is really old so I have to blend it for ages for the spinach to break down though.

  5. I love Flax Seed! At the moment I have a mix at home which contains ground flax seed, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed and goji berry. I add it to smoothies, pasta sauces, salad dressings, yogurt and any breakfast option. Also, I love chia seeds! So good in smoothies and keeps you full for ages! I want to go more vegetarian and raw, but I still live with my parents who are meat, potato and veg people :S I suppose it isn;t always a fast process.

    • ooo that sounds like the linwoods mix? I had a mini pack of that and it was delicious! I’ve never added the flax etc to savoury dishes before but will have to try it. I found it easier to control my own diet when I moved out of my parents but you could always suggest you cook once a week of something 🙂 x

      • Yes it is that mix! I’ve got the big bag. I tried the little sachets, but they went too fast. You don’t taste the flax seed in savoury dishes, it just adds all the goodness! I do cook for my parents, and I do try and cook them new things and mostly vegetarian dishes, but I think they wouldn’t eat my food if I gave them what I want to eat more of 😛

        • I know what you mean, I cook for Scott and he eats all the veggie foods but I don’t go as “hardcore” veggie as I would if I was cooking only for me! I was tempted to start cooking different foods for us both but then I felt the quality of his meals might slip as Im concentrating more on my own food :p I think just getting a balance is a good start!

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