So I figured it would be difficult to write about what I eat, especially if I were to do a "What I eat in a Day" type of post. YouTube has so many of those and I watch them to get ideas of what plant based thing to eat. I guess this will be about my plant-based "diet" and what my nutritionist tells me to do. So let's crack into it...
In my last post I mentioned that am mostly plant based. This was at the suggestion of my Primary Care Physician. If you aren't sure what plant-based is, I am probably not the best person to ask. Ha. My interpretation of it is like a level of being vegetarian. It is focused more on the vegetable aspect as opposed to no meat or meat alternatives.
I spent about a month or so just researching and making sure I ate more vegetables. Did I lose weight on that alone? Absolutely not. I do count calories. I use the MyFitness Pal app to track my intake as well as my weight. I use Google Fit to track my exercise and my weight. So here's where my Nutritionist came into play.
Nutritionist: "So how many calories are you taking in daily?"
Me: "Well, I set the app to have me lose half a pound a week, so about 2,300 [I can't remember the exact amount. Cut me some slack, it was like 4 months ago. What even is time?]"
Nurtitionist: "Ok. And I'm not seeing plant based diet in your log."
Me: "I've been researching and will be switching over this week."
Nutritionist: "Cool. You're taking in too many calories. Stop that."
Me: "Fair point. What should I be taking in?"
Nutritionist: "1,700 is what I recommend. Make sure at least half of your plate is a non-starchy vegetable. Let's follow up in a month an see where you are."
Me: "Sweet action. See you in a month."
*this is not an accurate depiction of the conversation we had
So how I do all of this? Basically I don't eat meat until dinner. This is because I have a husband and he is not making this change with me. Also, I like meat. Breakfast, lunch, and any snacks are meatless. I specify "meatless" because I still take in eggs and dairy products to an extent. Breakfast might be scrambles eggs with a lot of spinach or Greek yogurt with some fruit. I've cut back on my cheese intake because in trying to stick with a calorie deficit, cheese has too much of that.
Lunch is typically whatever I can pull together. I found that Aldi have really good plant-based meat alternatives. I worry about my protein intake so this helps. So I might do a spicy "chicken" sandwich with a heaping side of broccoli or a makeshift salad with black beans and some feta cheese.
So in doing that and not exceeding 1750 calories, I have lost almost 30 lbs. I also exercise, but that will be in a different post. I hate the restriction, but it does force me to think more about what I'm putting into my body and reminds me of what my goals are. It also keeps me from the crazy amount of overeating I used to do
Someone out there: "But I hate vegetables! How would this even remotely work for me?"
My answer: find what you DO like and work it in. I managed to have quite a bit of wasted food doing a trial and error on what I like, don't like, and can tolerate. Also, always trust the power of oven roasting or air frying. A little oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder. Mix and spread on a sheet pan and in the oven for 20-30 min or until some of the veggies are crispy *chef's kiss (for real, I got a friend to like brussel sprouts with this recipe).
You can also find and adjust some recipes to make them meatless. This week I did a tortilla soup to eat for lunch a couple times during the week. I did a stroganoff with just mushrooms and onions, a Japanese style curry with veggies and lentils, a chili with lentils, and a shepherd's pie with lentils. Don't be afriad to try it.
Let me know if there are any questions and I'll be more than happy to try to answer them!