I don’t think anyone would expect me to say this but, since I’ve become vegan, I’ve been putting on weight. It’s true. I’m was about 15 pounds heavier than I was before turning vegan. Most people think that vegans must be skinny and close to death (definitely not true) because they are only eating “rabbit food”. Putting on this weight has concerned me and I’ve been wondering what’s happening. Recently I’ve figured it out and the weight has dropped off without me feeling hungry or deprived, and I’m still vegan. I’ve learnt a lot about the ideal diet for me. I’m sure the ideal diet for each person can be different, but maybe what I’ve learnt can help you to.
What went wrong?
When I turned vegan the number of food choices available to me declined significantly. I began compensating for this a variety of ways that violated things that I’d learnt sometime ago. I was justifying this to myself because I was eating vegan and it couldn’t be too bad (right?).
Let’s be clear about one thing, being vegan doesn’t mean eating healthily. It’s very easy for a vegan diet to be very unhealthy. A vegan diet on it’s own is in no way the ideal diet.
Once I eliminated some of the bad dietary practices I’d allowed back into my diet, the excess weight I’d put on just started disappearing and it did this quickly and easily. I didn’t have to starve myself. I could eat as much as I needed as long as I followed the rules that work for me.
The following 5 points are the basis of my ideal diet.
1 – Raw
I know that raw food is the best food for me and I’ve known this for a long time. As far back as January 2014 I wrote a post (All my ailments have gone!) that explained how good the raw food diet was for me and I’ve written a lot of other posts on the benefits of raw food (see these Raw Food posts).
So how did I drift away from raw food? Mostly because I was vegan and was searching for something satisfying. It started mainly in restaurants where even the salads mostly have cheese and/or egg in them. So I’d find something on the cooked menu that didn’t have cheese or meat. This got me used to cooked food again and I found myself liking the cooked choices. Before you know it, I was searching the restaurant menus for anything that was vegan (often only one option) and ordering that. I’d forgotten to consider if it was a good choice for me because I thought I had no choice. If I wanted to eat with my friends, this was the only vegan choice.
What I’d failed to realise was than most restaurants would adapt a salad to make it vegan and often add some nice stuff to make it even tastier. The reality that I have to accept is that I was enjoying eating some of the unhealthy cooked options that I’d found and I could justify it to myself because it was vegan. I was wrong in doing that.
2 – Avoid bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and sugar
Another key for my ideal diet is to avoid (eliminate if possible) bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and sugar. This is something I also learnt many years ago from a book by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman (Fantastic Voyage). I read this book back in 2004/2005 and it presented me scientific study after scientific study that demonstrated that reducing meat intake, eating more fruits and vegetables and avoiding bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and sugar had a universal positive effect on our health and significantly reduced the chances of contracting all the common major diseases. I tried this diet and the effect was astounding and it was one of the reasons I decided to start this website.
So how did I forget about this and lose my way? Little by little. After becoming vegan I began to justify departures from this more and more. I started to allow myself to eat bread, rice, pasta and potatoes because “there wasn’t much else I could eat”. Before I knew it I was eating these things almost all the time.
That’s stopped now. I was fooling myself. I’ll eat them very occasionally, but they are basically out of my diet now.
3 – Avoid alcohol
Another thing I know for sure doesn’t do me any good is alcohol. When I drink alcohol, I don’t feel too good (in general, not just the intoxication effect) and I put on weight much more easily. Again, I’ve know this for a long time (see Too much alcohol?? from September 2013, and Alcohol Invasion and Detoxification and Detoxification Through Avoiding Alcohol – Step 2) but I’d slowly allowed it to slip back into my regular habits.
I’ve returned to mostly eliminating alcohol from my diet now. Not completely. I’ll still drink alcohol in social situations, but I’ll avoid it most of the time. It doesn’t help me. It just holds me back.
4 – Organic
It’s hard to measure the direct benefits of organic food, but I’ve been studying and evaluating it for quite some time (see Detoxification Through Organic Food – Step 1, We Deserve Organic Food and the other links below). Organic foods are nicer to the environment and keep artificial fertilisers and pesticides out of our body. Not only that, they also keep a lot of unnecessary chemicals out of processed foods. I’m quite sure that the compounded effect of all these chemicals we are normally exposed to is one very serious reason we see increasing chronic illnesses these days.
Eating organic has a huge effect on reducing the toxic stress the body is under, and that’s a really positive step towards health. The body knows how to be healthy, as long as we don’t get in the way.
Eating organic is something I still do ok at. I have an organic food (fruits and vegetables mainly) delivery every week and, when in the supermarket, I buy organic options whenever they are available. However, it did let it slip a bit. I’m working back towards full organic again now.
5 – Vegan
Lastly, being vegan feels like it’s good for me. The choice to become vegan was fuelled by animal welfare concerns, not by diet. However, not eating cheese, eggs, milk, etc. doesn’t cause me any problems. In fact, I feel lighter and better because of it. When I think of eating cheese or milk, it doesn’t create any great desire. I’m sure my body is happy not consuming cheese and meat and it’s very important to carefully, and honestly, listen to our bodies..
The Ideal Diet
My ideal diet is defined mostly by the five points above. Many people would say that this seems boring and they wouldn’t enjoy it. The trouble is that eating is not an entertainment system, it’s a refuelling process. When I eat food in line with my ideal diet, I feel like I’m choosing the Premium fuel option at the petrol station and I distinctly feel better in myself. It must be the right thing. On the other hand, when I eat the apparently “entertaining” foods, I feel bloated, lethargic and grumpy.
Real raw, vegan foods are actually the best things this planet has to offer. All the foods we eat (apart from artificial chemicals) must start as something nice and nutritious provided by the Earth, before it is processed and cooked into something else. Even the animals we eat have to consume raw, vegan foods to grow their meat. Raw vegan foods are the building blocks of life.
The joys of raw, vegan foods can be easily summed up if you consider something like the perfect strawberry. It’s beautiful, tasty, vibrant and a real delight. No chef can make a strawberry. They only come from Nature.
You don’t have to follow my suggestions, by any means. Please just be honest with yourself and find your ideal diet. I’m pretty sure that if you introduce more raw, organic, vegan foods into your diet, you’ll be quickly heading in the right direction.
- Ray Kurzweil and the beginning of my Fantastic Voyage
- Simply Raw
- The Price of Organic Food
- Organic Food – a different view
- Organic food for a better future
- Wheelchair To Walking By Changing Diet
- Autoimmune Diseases – Medicine Gets Them Wrong
- Chronic Disease Isn’t Normal
- Just give me a sign, any kinda sign
- My Daily, Raw, Green Smoothie
- How did I become a vegan?
- Dr Mercola’s comprehensive nutrition plan
- 29 Reasons to use Spirulina daily – from Dhruv (at luminanthealthcare.com/blog) who seems like a good guy with a Masters in Pharmacy trying to get some good information out there on his blog