The Quest for Optimum Health – What I Learned My First Week on a Plant-Based Diet

The past couple weeks have been a bit chaotic as work has been ramping up at the same time my husband and I are getting ready to move out of our house. Oh, and we don’t know where we are going to live when we move out in 2 months.

Yeah.

And of course I had to decide to start a blog in the midst of all this chaos! Very typical of me. 

So it’s no surprise that I had a bit of a meltdown. It began with a panic attack on the drive home from work, a blown-out-of-proportion argument with my husband, and culminated with me screaming at the top of my lungs into a pillow. 

Yet somehow I managed to stick to my diet 100%… I think it’s because my mind was in so many places so I wasn’t really thinking about food. I had meal prepped on Monday and prepared breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for every day of the week. All I had to do with throw everything into a lunchbox as I grabbed my coffee and ran out the door each morning. In the evenings I just reheated the pre-made veggies and grains and tossed them onto a bed of kale or lettuce. 

The program I decided to start with is the Tone It Up nutrition plan. Why this plan? Because I already am a lifetime member, I subscribe to their email notifications, and I saw they were doing a 6-week challenge starting January 1 with all of the grocery shopping lists, recipes, and meal plan guidelines included. I thought to myself, this is perfect! With all the craziness going on in my life, I just need a guide that I can follow exactly. And from past experiences, I had seen success with the program. The reason I never stuck with it is because I eventually got lazy with the weekly meal prepping. 

If you haven’t heard of Tone It Up, it’s a company started by 2 beautiful California-based girls who started making free exercise videos for women on Youtube in order to sell their nutrition plan and a lifetime member-based community. They basically created an empire.

They aren’t vegan, but they have several versions of their nutrition plan, included a vegan version. They also sell their own vegan protein supplement called Perfect Fit that actually tastes pretty good. The general nutrition guidelines are to eliminate processed foods, be “carb” smart by choosing the appropriate time of day to eat carbs, eating 5 meals a day, and staying “lean, clean & green” whenever possible. If you like baking protein muffins, eating protein pancakes, and putting kale in everything, you’ll be BFFs. You can learn more about them out here.

I recommend their program and general lifestyle philosophy if you have a hectic schedule during the week but you have more time on the weekends to shop and meal prep. Also their constant stream of bikini photoshoots make you want to smack yourself for scarfing those McNuggets and downing that milkshake. 

I was proud of myself for staying on track, but I was still feeling… unwell. Probably due to stress. But also because I felt like I wasn’t eating enough raw foods. Every day I ate leftover cooked meals and a baked muffin or Lara Bar.

I knew the feeling I had before when I tried a raw vegan diet a couple years ago. You just feel… alive. Yet my body this week was feeling tired and stressed, and I didn’t seem to be getting much energy from the food I was eating. So I found myself watching raw vegan Youtube videos once again (check out my Resources page for my favorite channels). 

And then it dawned on me… if I’m truly striving for optimum health, and I believe a mostly raw plant-based diet is the healthiest diet possible, then why I am not jumping right in? When I think of the type of diet I want to follow and the types of food I enjoy eating the most, I think of fruitarianism. It’s not just plant-based foods – it’s raw, plant-based foods.  

And that’s not really close to the Tone It Up plan at all, although I have been a huge fan for a long time. Sure, it’s easier to hit snooze in the morning before work because I can just grab a Lara Bar or a baked protein muffin, and I think that totally works for most people. But I still had this strong desire to eat more fruit and raw foods. 

I guess in a way I learned that living food gives you life. The closer you get to eating living or fresh/raw foods, the better you  feel. 

So I addressed the true reasons why I am afraid of going mostly raw.

  1. I have to wake up earlier in the morning to allow enough time to eat a meal and prepare a fresh lunch to take to work
  2. I might face embarrassment of what people will say if they see me eating like this at work
  3. I worry it will cost more money than I am willing to spend
  4. I am afraid of failing because it is extreme

Then I decided I’m going to confront all of these fears over the next 4 weeks. One at a time. 

Week 1: I will set my alarm for 5am so I have enough time to eat a raw breakfast full of delicious fruit, and prepare a raw lunch to bring with me to work.

Week 2: I will overcome my embarrassment of eating an “unusual” way at work by answering questions honestly and focusing on the positive outcomes I hope to achieve with this lifestyle.

Week 3: I will set a reasonable weekly budget for myself based on the previous 2 weeks (what I bought and what was leftover).

Week 4: I will give you my results! If I am truly enjoying the way I look and feel, I will resolve to NOT quit just because it is an extreme or difficult diet to follow. I know that with enough time and practice anything can become a habit. And hopefully, if you are interested in it too, I can provide some tips and pointers. 

So in the mean time I will be sharing some of the raw vegan recipes that inspire me, maybe some of my own, along with pictures of my meals. I’ll also share my progress, experiences and results. Be sure to subscribe to see how I’m doing and follow me on Instagram!

Wholly Yours,

Lauren  💚🍏

 

 

 

 

 

 

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