Beat the Meat: Let’s go Vegan

By Leigh

I’m your average American. I love MEAT; steaks, hot dogs, BACON. You name it, I want it. For the past weeks I’ve heard, through social media mainly, about the newest documentary on Netflix called “What the Health?”. Most of my friends would post messages about how this two hour film changed their lives; they could finally see the light! I’m quick to tell my plant loving friends “veggies aren’t my thing”, “healthy is plain”, or any countless number of ignorant remarks about why I don’t enjoy eating plant based products. Plus what makes this documentary so different from the others; using footage of the disgusting livestock conditions as a means of encouraging Americans into a healthier lifestyle. I’ve seen Supersize Me, Food Inc, etc and I still eat at fast food establishments with no regard as to where my food is coming from. As I sit at work, starving, because my McMuffin didn’t pack the nutritional punch like I wanted, I started thinking about “What the Health?”. So I found it on Netflix and immediately found myself absorbed.

 

Kip Andersen, narrator and director, started by telling his story. He explained, at the beginning of his researched he assumed that the illnesses that we suffer from (diabetes, high cholesterol, cancer, osteoporosis, arthritis, etc) were purely a result of our genetic disposition. Unfortunately and fortunately, this is not true. Though a small percentage of us do contract illnesses from our genetic makeup, the main cause is diet. It was found that those that consume large amounts of animal product, including but not limited to meat and dairy, from all domesticated livestock such as cow, pig and chicken, have significantly higher chances of contracting these diseases.

 

WHAT?! How is this possible?! My entire life I’ve eaten cheese burgers, chicken wings, deli meat with no concern about the effects that it was having on my body. It took for me to step outside of self before I realized: I’m my own problem. I’m the reason why I can’t seem to get healthy and lose weight. I’ve been going about it the wrong way.

 

Starting today [July 15, 2017] I am going to experiment to see what will happen to my body over the next month by living a semi-vegan lifestyle. As a lover of cheese, processed cheese, that is going to be the hardest thing to give up, so I expect to have some problems with that. Substituting tofu for my beloved steak is going to be so so sad. Right now I sound like an addict and to a certain degree, I am addicted to the unhealthy lifestyle that I live. So with that being said, wish me luck as I detoxify myself over the next 30 days.

 

Have you seen the documentary? Did you love it? Thoughts? Please feel free to leave us a comment letting us know what you think.

Dust Yourself Off

By Jenna

I have a problem. I am a sugar junkie. I like sweet foods. When I am craving sweets, I’m usually craving chocolate. This week I satisfied my chocolate craving by making avocado brownies. Oh man, were they delicious! I made a double batch because I had already mashed up two avocados instead of the one needed for the recipe. I also had used a base recipe which endured multiple changes. Coconut oil is out as a fad and I am using real butter in my cooking when I’m not using another oil. I also had to swap sugars for raw sugar and honey, instead of the called for maple syrup. These changes amounted to a decadent fudgy brownie. They also made sure my already sugar laden treat was even more sinful! I baked the brownie in a bundt cake pan because it is easier to cut up and serve to others.

 

I didn’t make it so far as to serve my creation with my family though. I ate almost a half the brownies on the first day!! That evening I started my spiral into shame and guilt. I had let myself slip up on food and exercise, and my body is paying the price. I fell off the wagon. I am tired, sluggish, and overall lazy. I am trying to get rid of the rest of my indica too so I can get to the dispensary for sativa. I had gotten some Skywalker because I embrace my geeky side rather than remembering I get mad munchies with indica. I gained a whopping 5 pounds back that I had worked hard to lose.

So, today is a new day! I have a plan to getting back on track.

Step 1: Medicate (Aka get HIGH!)

Of course you know that sativa strains can assist you with weight loss! The sativa helps suppress my appetite. Mostly out of coincidence and some planning, I often wait to cook and eat until after I’ve smoked. I don’t feel the pangs of hunger which drive me to reach for a less than healthy snack.

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Step 2: Throw out junk food

I have thrown out the last ⅕ of the still yummy avocado brownie. It hurt to throw that last bit of brownie out instead of eating the deliciousness, but eating it would push me back another day. I also threw out Snack Crate leftovers, more on that in another post maybe. I’m proud of myself that I got all the junk snacks that don’t provide nutrition. There were a few things I kept though. I kept crackers, easy Mac, ice pops, and a little gummy candy because my kids or husband eat those. I don’t typically eat those items, even during my munchie times. While I’m writing this post I’m munching on cucumber with the kiddos.

 

Step 3: Meal Plan

Food is the key to successful weight loss and a healthy body. To that extent, so is a plan for what you are going to eat. When you have a plan for a healthy meal you are more likely to execute that plan. Defrost things a day or two in advance. Use the calendar on your phone to track what you are doing throughout the day. This will let you plan healthy snacks instead of rushing to grab fast food because you and your kids are starving! I have seen the bins in the fridges with the snacks and meals set aside, but those always seem to take a lot of space. Instead, I leave the snacks that my kids, 2 and 1 years old, can grab and eat them without me fearing their quantity or messiness. I don’t plan meals more than a week in advance because life changes too much. I use a weekly whiteboard from the dollar section at Target.

 

Step 4: MyFitnessPal

I have learned that I am most in control of myself when I am accountable for what I eat. Even when I eat the same thing every morning, actually logging the food has helped keep me in the habit of logging my food for lunches and dinners. It also helps that I can simply scan the barcode and the nutrition and serving size is added for me. I can also track my weight loss and goals with the app.

 

Step 5: Water

A healthy body starts with what you put inside. I don’t drink enough water, period. I haven’t tried to do the water challenges. This is what I am working on doing today. I’m not a fan of carrying around a gallon of water with me, but I’m at home most of the time. I have a 24 oz Contigo bottle that helps me keep track. If I can drink a minimum of two per day I’m good. If I can drink 3 a day I’m hitting my “recommended amount”. One thing I am doing different is adding fruit and veggies to my water. My favorite foods to add are lemon, mint, cucumber, and chili powder. (Not all at once).

 

Step 6: Exercise

A short 30 minute, high intensity workout is all I need to get my body rebooted. I need a fast exercise to restart and boost my metabolism. I have a short workout that can be done in 30 minutes and gets my heart rate going. It is primarily body weight exercises that require me to use multiple muscle groups so I can get back on track.

 

Here I go, it’s time to jump back onto that fitness wagon. Once I get my routine started up again, I will feel stronger, more alert, more active, and most of all healthier! Got any questions or comments? We want to hear from you!

 

A Elevated Way to Lose Weight

Jenna’s Story

I am on a journey, a weight loss journey. After my first baby, my body started to rebound and I was actually thinner than when I first got pregnant. Then, life threw a curveball and surprised me with my second baby. The old adage that says it is way harder to regain your post baby body after baby #2 than it was after baby #1 is depressingly true, well, at least for me. My littlest is now 1 year old. I haven’t lost all the weight that I want to lose, but this is still a journey. I looked back on my life and realized the time I gained the most weight was when I wasn’t smoking cannabis. I began to wonder why this was the case. I ran into a wealth of information about how your body works with THC and CBD to regulate and heal itself. So, with that in mind, I began using cannabis to heal myself. Part of the healing process is losing the extra weight.

At 39 weeks with my Little #2 I weighed 210! I am currently 174. Pre-pregnancy for Little #2 I weighed 166. I am near my pre-pregnancy goal and I am out to encourage other women that it is possible. I am documenting my journey because every post I had read was when the final documentation of the woman’s journey. To me, life itself isn’t the destination that encourages other people, it’s seeing someone like you in their life journey as well.

 

Leigh’s Story

I too, am on a weight loss journey. My story went a little bit different. I found out that I was pregnant really late (27 weeks) so I didn’t have the time to prepare like I wanted. In total, I gained 50 lbs while pregnant. Of that 50 lbs, I have been able to lose 10. I’ve heard of people using cannabis to support weight loss but I had never considered it myself. I medicate daily but I can’t say that weight change is from ingesting cannabis.

I’m really interested in seeing what this could do for my body, in addition to regular exercise and a change in diet. My goal is to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight (140lbs) but if I can get to 135, I’d be very very happy. It’s not so much a body image issue, I’m just not comfortable with the mom body. On top of the weight gain, my breast got HUGE. I went from a high C/low D cup to w DDD. I hoped that they would go back to normal, and they have not. I want to get a breast reduction but I want to see what improving my fitness can do for my body first.

Jenna’s Regimen

I had to change my diet and exercise first. I started SLOW! I use MyFitnessPal App to get me focused on diet in regards to calorie intake vs necessity for my goals. By documenting what I ate and taking a quick lap around the apartment complex I started feeling better and losing weight. I soon became satiated with the weight I had loss and felt ok eating a burger on cheat days. At that time I had stopped recording my food and I lost focus. Using cannabis has helped renew my focus and energy on to cooking and transforming my body. I cook at home about 80% of the time, but I know where I can go to get healthy options so I don’t run into a fast food location. I bought a gym membership with a Kids Club so I have no excuse not to go. Figure out when you can go to the gym each week, and put it in your calendar! Find people to hold you accountable to getting your butt in the shape you feel happiest.

Leigh’s Regimen

I’m one of those people that has the hardest time starting a “diet”. I have a stomach that will not be tamed! That’s my biggest problem. When the munchies creep around, I reach for the nearest candy, burger, pizza; ANYTHING I can get my hands on…as long as there are NO VEGGIES. Mistake much! Instead of taking the easy way out, I’ve become dedicated to strictly eating food that I make at home. Then I know what I’m consuming and I can more accurately monitor nutrient intake. In the coming weeks I would like to start meal planning.

 

We will be posting more information and pictures for the encouragement of other women, like us, in the process of our journey. 

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