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The HealthiHER Weight Loss Diet Plan for Vegan Women
First, let me start off with I don’t believe in diet plans. I believe in healthy and sustainable lifestyle changes not weight loss diet plans for women. My healthy lifestyle philosophy is the ability to intuitively connect with your being as a whole, tune in, decipher the cues and then seek out what it is you need in order to live a healthier life. This is when true, lasting and healthy change is available to you. Changes you have invested in. Changes you are committed to because they fit into the larger vision you have for your life. That to me, when creating healthy change in my own life or working with other women, is more important than any weight loss diet plan could ever be. Plus, you never have to throw the baby out with bath water this way. Simply incorporate what works for your life and ditch the rest.
For women looking to make small yet impactful shifts in their eating habits, behavior modification along with lifestyle changes will help them reach their health goals in a sustainable way. Let’s start with a very basic example: when I first started weaning myself off potato chips and French fries (believe me, if I can do it, you can too!) I started by substituting with boiled potatoes and pairing with my favorite dipping sauce. Was it the exact same thing? No! BUT it DID satisfy the craving AND I ultimately was one step closer to my goal.
As of today, I’ve lost almost 20 pounds and I am very proud of my progress. I love my body more and more everyday not just because I have lost weight but more importantly because I know I am HealthiHER. This has always been my main goal: loving myself more and treating myself better along the way.
This didn’t happen overnight. It took planning and most importantly it took a whole heck of a lot of self love. Because when I was giving up foods I LOVED, what is really came down to was MY HEALTH or the temporary pleasure / comfort I would get from eating that food!
Let’s pause here and unpack this for a bit because there are two things I’d recommend you’d understand if you want to make lasting behavior change. The first is to change the way you think about removing certain foods from your diet such as french fries or potato chips. In the statement above, I intentionally call out the following thought, a very common and typically shared sentiment which is “giving up foods you love.” The issue with this statement is it sounds very negative. But here’s the crazy thing, you probably don’t even realize it’s negative. So, here’s how to switch it to a more positive thought: “as I work towards my weight loss goals I am excited to incorporate new foods into my diet which will replace other foods that aren’t so good for me.” See how one is framed negatively, while the other is framed in a positive way? This is the first key to successful behavior change: changing the way you think and the science backs it up too! Take this study for example, from the research journal, BioPsycho Social Medicine, incorporating techniques such as cognitive reframing along with other Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques have been used successfully to produce long term weight loss goals. These are the exact same techniques, shared within the HealthiHER Framework.
The second thing to unpack here is the comfort some of us may get from eating. According to the British Psychological Society, Adam & Epel, 2007, chronic stress can lead to stress eating due to the comfort it provides. “So comfort food will feel more comforting – sweet foods taste sweeter and we want more of them.” Which is certainly something to take note of as you monitor your overall health and not just assess weight loss as a health goal.
Your actions follow your thoughts. Which is why it’s so important to start any lifestyle change with the way you think. As you begin to align your thoughts to your goals you’ll notice a shift in your behaviors. But during this shift you’ve got to stay committed. It takes commitment, especially in the beginning when it is so easy to go back to old habits like fast food. It takes understanding your cravings and knowing when and what to substitute for them. Will you eat perfectly every day?! No. But if you are committed, you will certainly do your best to ensure that you’re sticking to the plan more days than not.
So, what’s the secret?
- Knowing what to eat
- Understanding why you’re eating it
- Start juicing!
- Improving energy levels
Let’s discuss each of these individually.
Meal Plans & Recipes
I’ll be honest. I’m not a big fan of meal prepping. I am, however, a fan of menus and planning out my meals in advance which is where meal plans come in. For me, I’ve found, at times, meal prepping can be too much. The sweet spot is when I have planned my meals in advance, and I have purchased the groceries I need for the week. This is successful meal planning for me. Prepared enough to have what I need on hand and flexible enough to switch it up.
Here are some tips for successful meal planning:
Review your schedule for the week. Understand if you have time to cook or if you’ll need more to-go options on hand.
Look in the fridge, pantry and freezer. Starting here will help you understand what you already have. Use this to begin your grocery list – we’ll touch on this more in a bit.
Know what’s in season and what’s out of season. For vegan women, this is especially important since we’re likely buying more produce. Understanding which fruits and vegetables are in season vs. out of season will not only help you save money but will help you maximize the flavor for any recipe. Here’s a great guide, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to help you navigate our seasonal produce. Life Hack: buy fresh seasonal produce and all other produce purchase frozen.
Get inspired by healthy, yummy vegan recipes. Browsing your favorite vegan blog for delicious vegan recipes should help motivate and inspire you to create a healthy menu you are excited to dig into for the week. Even taking a few minutes to get some ideas and create a list will be a huge step forward. Just remember, it’s wise to cook enough so you have a few meals from one recipe. The goal is to save you time. So prepare and plan for leftovers.
Make your grocery list. After knowing what’s in season and what’s out of season make your grocery list. Be sure to make the list aligned with the recipes you’ve planned to cook and a few healthy snacks sprinkled in. These healthy snacks could include snickers bites, sour patch grapes, vegan deviled eggs or any other healthy plant based alternatives you can think of.
Go shopping! This, of course, is the fun and necessary part. If you’re like me you may enjoy going to the store and browsing the aisles for new ingredients and brands while grocery shopping. Or maybe you like getting in and out. Or perhaps you skip the grocery store all together and you order your groceries online. Either way the most important part is to read those labels! The more you can identify the ingredients the better. Because at the end of the day you are way more likely to know what almond flour is compared to thiamine mononitrate. See what I mean?
Start cooking. Use the recipes you’ve gathered and get cooking. One way to be HealthiHER when cooking is using less oil. You can substitute oil for broth which actually ends up making your food even more flavorful. For example when sautéing broccoli, instead of adding oil to the pan, add about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth along with minced garlic and use this to sauté the broccoli.
To me, nutrition is more about your behaviors and habits than what you eat. Here’s the thing: many of us don’t eat mindfully. Instead we grab a bag of chips and binge watch (and eat 👀) the latest show on Netflix. This type of mindless eating behavior causes us to consume empty calories that we likely wouldn’t have otherwise consumed.
Instead we can shift to a HealthiHER behavior by focusing on more mindful eating patterns. Things like brushing your teeth may become so second nature that we aren’t mindful. Begin to train your brain when you first wake up to notice the seemingly small habits you have. Becoming more aware of these behaviors and habits can help you make a positive shift towards your health goals.
But if you ever notice yourself falling back into behaviors and habits which aren’t aligned with your health goals – believe me it happens to the best of us – here’s an action plan to help you get back on track:
- Become more aware. Knowing what you did is important so you can understand how to change to the habit.
- Give yourself grace. Don’t be so hard on yourself, this could backfire. But also don’t be too soft. Find a balance.
- Write down your triggers. What triggered you to go get those fries instead of sticking with your meal plan?
- Identify what you will do next time you are triggered. Write it down, the hand-brain connection is powerful.
- Keep going. Doing your best to stay on track, review your goals and focusing on what you will do to get it right next time is the key.
You can become more aware of your eating, fitness and hydration habits by simply tracking your daily activities. Since you likely have your phone with you almost everywhere you go, a good tracker to use is one that can be downloaded and accessed using your phone.
Once you’ve become more aware of your habits the next thing to focus on is loving and accepting your body. The goal shouldn’t be to change yourself to look a certain way. Rather the goal should be to optimize your health in the best way possible for you! Embrace your body. Love your body. Be grateful for all the wonderful things your body does for you day in and day out. If you want tools and techniques on how to do this, the HealthiHER Framework might be the best path for you. I share an easy to follow vegan meal plan and fitness guides designed to help you find your healthy weight to live confidently.
After becoming more aware and reframing your negative thoughts to be more positive, the next thing to focus on is developing and sustaining the healthy habits you need to succeed. Developing habits and routines around fitness, diet and mental health will help to align and propel you towards your goals.
Here are some healthy vegan recipes designed to help you develop the right meal plans that align with your goals:
- Lentil Breakfast Sausage paired with whole grain toast and fresh fruit
- Portobello Mushroom Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
- Soy Chorizo Tacos
- Thai Chickpea Salad
- Kung Pao Chickpeas
- The Best Chickpea Salad
Need help developing a comprehensive plan to fit your unique journey? Learn more about the HealthiHER Framework to get started today.
A large part of beginning to eat healthier and live a HealthiHER lifestyle is getting rid of what no longer serves you. This may include harmful habits like drinking and smoking, negative thought patterns and the toxins hanging out in your body. Yes, it’s true, you likely have an undesirable amount of toxins you need to flush from your system. Especially if you’ve never done a cleanse before.
One way to cleanse is through juicing. Juice cleanses are an easy way to gently flush and detox your digestive system. That said I wouldn’t recommended jumping into a cleanse without preparation. Instead follow these steps:
- Start drinking more water.
- Reduce the amount of caffeine you usually consume. Use this time to start incorporating green tea into your diet.
- For a week or so prior to your cleanse, include more raw fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. An excellent way to do this is by preparing at least one green smoothie per day.
- One or two days prior to your cleanse, eliminate meats and dairy from your diet entirely. If you are used to consuming meat and dairy with every meal, start a few days earlier. This will help your digestive system accept the plant-based cleanse quicker.
- If you’re still consuming processed foods – you should definitely consider limiting your intake. Processed food provides you with no benefits and can be responsible for many health problems. Start to examine labels and beware of hidden sugars, even in foods labelled natural.
Once your body is prepped and ready it’s time to start your juice cleanse! Here are a few examples of the type of cleanses you can do:
- Kidney Cleanse
- Anti-Aging Cleanse
- Energy Cleanse
If you want to access these cleanses and more, join the other gorgeous women committed to their health and get a bonus Juicing Guide for Beginners.
- Pineapple Green Cayenne Juice
- Carrot Juice (+ carrot cake donuts!)
- Green Apple Energy Juice
- Beets & Blueberries Brain Booster
If you aren’t ready for a cleanse just yet try this instead: Begin to incorporate juices into your diet everyday, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach Here are a few easy juice recipes to get your started.
Everyone suffers from fatigue and exhaustion in their lives for many different reasons. Whether it’s because they work too hard or don’t get enough sleep at night, or because they have a lot of mental baggage that drains their energy, or they maintain an unhealthy diet.
One of the leading causes of chronic fatigue is eating an unhealthy diet. If you eat the wrong kinds of foods often, you can begin to feel tired and overly exhausted. In order to eliminate fatigue and enhance your energy levels, you need to avoid those foods that make you feel tired and heavy.
Here are some tips on how to improve your energy levels:
- Consume Food That Give You Energy – Foods that contain complex carbohydrates and are high in protein help to increase your blood glucose levels and keep them at the right level, providing your body with energy for a more extended period.
- Eat Foods that are Rich in Magnesium – In order to break down the glucose in your blood and turn it into energy, you need to consume Magnesium. Along with converting glucose into energy, magnesium is necessary for the other 300 biochemical processes that take place in your body.
- Eat Small Snacks Between Meals – It is far better for you and your energy level to eat small meals with snacks in between, rather than eating less frequently, but overeating at every meal. This is what is known as power snacking.
- Drink Plenty of Water – Water keeps your body hydrated at all times which can help to prevent fatigue. To take full advantage of the power of water, you should consume at least eight cups of water daily.
If you want more tips on how to improve your energy levels through diet and exercise consider purchasing the HealthiHER Framework. You’ll learn how to enhance your energy levels, live confidently healthy and find your healthy weight.
Lastly, another critical component to a HealthiHER lifestyle is fitness! Fitness is whatever you want it to be. Move your body – that’s the key! Here are some fun fitness resources I’d recommend to get you started:
These are some great ideas to get you started! What I’ve found going to these classes is once you start getting into a routine it’s much easier to sustain the workouts by yourself. Getting started is usually the hardest part. If you want a few lower impact ideas consider:
- Salsa Dancing (or any kind of dancing really)
- Jogging / Running
- Jump Rope
- Cleaning / Gardening / Chores
The point is to simply get your body moving for a prolonged period of time. So get out there and get started! Your heart is depending on that healthy stress to keep your body going.
Overwhelmed? Don’t worry, as you continue on your journey to becoming a HealthiHER you, you will master your routine. But, it won’t always be easy. Breaking bad habits never is but as long as you commit to staying aware, identifying your triggers and growing you will get there! Believe me, I have broken many bad habits related to health and wellness and I know if I can do it so can you! Wishing you the best on your journey to becoming a HealthiHER you.