Sharing and hopefully Inspiring others

10When you experience something great, you tend to share it with your friends and love ones. When you taste a heavenly snack, you brag about it to your friends and colleagues.

I think this is human nature. We share, we talk, we preach, we advocate, we recommend, we refer, when we experience, see, taste or feel something great, something worth remembering, something extraordinary.

So imagine how I share with passion about plant based lifestyle to my family, friends and colleagues. I can talk on and on about it. I have the intense desire to share and to talk about it because I experience the difference between my old life and now.

My old life means indulging on burgers, fries, fried foods, pizza, hot dogs, daily mugs of coffee and so on. When stressed, I craved for burgers or ice creams. When tired, I relaxed by watching TV and gobbling chips and burgers. After a tiring work week, the best way to recharge was to oversleep on weekends and to eat pizza and fried chickens at nights. 

When I ditched this old life and started embracing plant based lifestyle, the result is inevitable and it doesn’t go unnoticed too. My colleagues became curious. My friends began asking questions. My family was amazed. And the best part, I started to feel good and more energetic than ever.

So when an old good friend talked to me about his cholesterol issue, I shared about my new lifestyle. He was honest enough to ask for help, for support, for encouragement, to do the overdue lifestyle change. Hey, I am not a health guru, not at all, but I share what I changed in my life and how good it feels. I sent him real life testimonies to read and documentaries to watch to help revolutionized his mind. I really hope that he reads or watch those stuff I sent to him. 

Anyway, this journey, the lifestyle change, is actually a mind game. 

I realized it has to start from the mind. You have to convince your mind. You have to feed your mind with encouragement, with hopes, with possible results, with inspirations, with health benefits, and so on. Once your mind starts to believe it, then it becomes easy.

Now when I see dairy products, I remember the Fork Over Knives and What a Health documentaries I watched. Because you learned the downside of consuming dairy products, your mind automatically refuses to entertain the idea of drinking cow’s milk or eating cheese. Your knowledge became like nagging thought, a voice within your head, that never stops until you resolve that you are not eating that yummy double cheese burger. 

Last month I received an email from my old good friend updating me about his health status. (Sorry, have to delete some of the other details to keep his identity confidential.) This was after a month of encouraging him to exercise daily and opt for healthier versions of his food. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

From: XXX

Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2018 9:29 AM
To:
Subject: Happy

Hello, you need a big hug..  my cholesterol went down from 290 to 180, you pushed me so hard to take good regular healthy food and that’s the result,

Also regular exercise and many factors have done this good turn around. Thanks 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Also a colleague, whom I always have lunch together, has now been cooking most of the time vegetarian dishes with almost without oil. She discovered that it made her skin clearer as her pimples became lesser.  She gave the credit to eating less meat, dairy products and fried foods. 

However, my ultimate goal is to share this healthy lifestyle to my son. This is one of the legacy I want to leave to my son. We are what our parents were, right?

I am glad though that my six year old son somehow grasps already the importance of avoiding processed food. I am one proud mama when I see him reading the ingredients written on the packet of snack which he picks from the grocery store. Then he will request me to buy it for him giving a justification that it is good because the packet is all natural, no preservatives and no added sugar.

I am not a devout person however I still believe that our health is our greatest blessing and we ought to be good steward of this blessing.

So let’s continue to live a healthy lifestyle and hopefully we encourage others to do the same!

Cheers to healthy living!

 

Sharing healthy lifestyle means LOVE

HelloEcstatic. 

I think that’s the word I can describe best  my feeling today.

You see, my sister and I shared similar passions. 

The passion to travel and to experience new culture. 

The passion to help less fortunate students. 

The passion to treat others equally and generously.  

The passion to hang out in coffee shops to work and brainstorm ideas. 

Lately, as I try to engage in sports (and wish to pursue an active lifestyle), I am embracing her passion for active lifestyle too. And oh, because of this, I start to appreciate the guys she likes. You know, those guys who are sporty, active and easy going peeps. (peace sister! lol!)

The passion for great and yummy comfort food! 

But since a ditched my old eating habits, I have now my own definition of yummy food. I turned away from ice creams, rich-dairy pasta sauces, baked goodies, burgers, fries, pizza and fried chicken. 

Nowadays my yummy food is pasta topped with spinach sauce or flourless muffins or vegan mac and cheese. 

My sister is also on the heavier side like I used too. With all these great results that I am reaping from plant based lifestyle, I keep pitching (non-stop, lol!) this idea to her. 

Try it for a week. Or maybe just for three day. Try water frying your spices instead of using cooking oil. blah.. blah.. blah.. 

I was trying to evangelize her about the ‘awesomeness’ of this lifestyle. I wanted her to experience what I am experiencing. But I failed. 

But when we met earlier this month in Nepal, I knew she saw the difference in me even though she wouldn’t admit it. I have somehow kept off my weight for the last one year. 

I was 83 kilos (I guess more but I stopped weighing, afraid to be confronted of the real score in the weighing scale) before I started my lifestyle change journey last March 2017. Now I weigh between 66 – 67 kilos. On days I disregard healthy living I balloon to 68-69 kilos. 

But still, I am proud of what I have achieved, not only about the weight loss but importantly the fact that I manage to keep the weight, without really bouncing back to 83 kilos. 

So just imagine my intense desire to take my sister on board in this journey.

As mentioned in my previous post, Nepal has given us a ‘fitspiration’ resulting to a plan to trek Poon Hill this August 2018 to celebrate my 40th birthday. I can’t wait to see the Himalayas range! Promise, I will post an ‘instagrammable’ photo with the Himalayas backdrop. LOL!

Because of this plan (well,  the real plan really is to trek to Annapurna Base Camp some time next year), it pushes us to be physically healthy. We have to. 

So for the last few days my sister is doing her own way of transformation. And today, I was sooo happy when she messaged me that she wanted to be a vegan. Hooray!!! 

Big sister here is more than happy to support her! 

As you know, I follow a vegan diet with no cooking oil and processed food. She can’t imagine food without cooking oil. How can you possible whisk some yummy food without cooking oil (and dairy products), right?  

The supportive sister offered her help. I suggested to come up with one week plant based menu. Since she lives back home in Philippines, it means I have to consider the the local ingredients. 

And earlier today, she cooked her first vegan dish without cooking oil! bravo!! 

So let’s see where the WFPB (whole food plant based) diet will take her. 

I really hope that we will trek together more places in the future. I am optimistic that Poon Hill trek is just the beginning of so many more trekkings and hikings adventures. 

Cheers to healthy living! 

 

 

What I eat for lunch?

Yesterday morning my colleague and I happened to be in the same elevator on our way to the office. 

We have known each other since 2014, when he joined our company, but we are not really friends. Aside from work related conversations, oftentimes it is just a simple ‘hi and hello’ in the office. 

So imagine my surprise when he complimented me about my physique; that I really trimmed down. 

I thanked him for his compliments and told him that it was a choice. Then I started my litany about my food choices, my exercise, and so on. 

This was not the first actually. What’s even surprising is these guys are conservative ones. They normally keep distance with women and conversations with them are just around general topics, nothing personal.  

I am guessing that their desire to know the secrets behind my weight loss is somehow desperate to the extent that they break their norms. Or maybe my weight loss achievement gives them a glimpse of hope. Like me, when I saw my college best friend lost a significant weight, I oftentimes phoned her and asked how she did it. Though I didn’t change my lifestyle soon despite of several conversations with her, it gave me hope and motivation knowing that someone closed to me had successfully made it. 

Anyway, one of the commonly asked questions is what I usually eat.

After eating oatmeal for breakfast, steamed veggies and fish for lunch and light dinner meal for four months, I began to hate my food. I was so fed up eating the same meal every day. Just the sight of my lunch would make me throw up. 

Slowly I began to crave my old food, the unhealthy ones. You know, the fried and dairy-rich meals. 

At that time, I lost already around 8kg and I had no intentions of gaining back the weight I worked so hard to lose. I knew that if I didn’t find remedy to my problem, then I would eventually fall off from the wagon. 

I needed variations in my day to day lunch. That’s the main solution to my problem. 

And so I started researching. YouTube was a big help. 

Then I found vegan oil-free soups. It opened a whole new world for me. 

And then, there’s the cheese. Oh so yummy cheese! The first one I tried was the vegan Parmesan cheese. Then the cheesy dipping sauce.

I discovered also baking. With zero knowledge, I tried my hand with my first ever oil-free and dairy-free bread.  I was so happy when it turned out good! Good means the food is edible to others who are not on a diet like me. lol! 

Here’s some photos of my lunch meals. 

1

I love pasta topped with dairy-rich sauce. When I discovered this vegan and oil-free mac and cheese, I was ecstatic.  I have this now as my ‘to-go’ food when cravings strike.

3

This is just steamed veggies topped with my leftover cheese sauce from the mac and cheese recipe.

Mac and Cheese

This really looks like a real burger patty, right?  This one is made of chickpeas.

Mac and Cheese (1)

This reminds me of my fave fried rice 🙂

Mac and Cheese

My all time favorite soup! This is made of spinach (lots and lots of it!), green peas and coconut milk. Yum!

 

 

 

Stress equals carbs overload

Stress (1)

Carbs overload, and it’s all processed carbs. 

This has been my escape goat for the last three weeks. Bread over breads. White rice. High caloric lunch meals. 

This is a detour, major detour, from my usual oil-free whole food plant based lifestyle.

And now, I feel guilty every time I devoured in processed carbs and oily meals. Not only that, I feel bloated too like my tummy didn’t have time to digest my food before my next meal. 

I winded down too in my exercise routine. 

Instead of aiming of eight (8) kilometers everyday, I ended up achieving four (4) kilometers only. 

I am scared. I felt like I am falling back to my old self. I really don’t want to weigh 83 kilos again. 

I knew if I continue eating like this, I will be back to where I was in no time. 

The culprit of this is my new workload. I am stepping out in my comfort zone, embracing more work and responsibilities. The sad thing, it is not financially compensated. 

You know those colleagues of you who kept whining; who have grievances for being overworked and underpaid. I am afraid that I am heading to that truckload of unhappy employees. **sad face**

So I am not very optimistic with my November results. I don’t want even to weigh and look at the numbers. For sure, it doesn’t reflect any promising results. 

Indeed exercise and food have direct impact to our weight. When I become lax, additional weight starts to creep in. 

But despite of this, there’s still a good thing that happened this month. 

I have been drinking green smoothies for breakfast for the last three weeks. After having oatmeal breakfast for more than five months, its flavor began to fade. It tasted bland. Perhaps I was not creative enough to spice it up. 

But I am happy now with my newfound breakfast meal. I am able to consume more fruits and veggies specially those that I really don’t like.  

And the good thing about this, I stopped drinking coffee. Yehey! Well, I still do but occasional coffee like once a week. 

What about you? How’s your fitness and wellness journey so far? Are you gaining or losing some weight?

Luv to hear from you! 

Cheers! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revamping my diet : No-fried Foods

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This was originally posted in my Facebook @sportsbraislife  last 4th September 2017.

Whenever ‘sinabawang isda’ (sabaw means soup and isda means fish) was served in our dining table at home, we ended up, for sure, cooking in a rush an omelet. If not, we might crave for heavy snacks after 30 minutes.

Have you tried eating something that you don’t feel satisfied?  That’s what we felt whenever we had this fish soup or any other type of dish which was not cooked through cooking oil.

I could not imagine before what the dish would be without cooking oil. 

A fulfilling meal for us used to be something fried. A fried fish. Fried meat. Fried chicken. Fried hotdog. Fried egg. 

But this changed after I decided to embrace healthy living. I had to let go of fried foods.

It was not easy.

I started with boiled food. Boiled corn on the cobs. Boiled sweet potato.

Then I tried steaming which later became the main cooking method I used for my lunch meals. Steamed veggies like broccoli, asparagus and young corn. Steamed fish.

One of my family’s childhood fave dish is potato omelet. Potatoes are sliced into cubes and cooked in cooking oil, then it is mixed with beaten eggs and fried it again. Yum!

I cannot let go of this dish, our all-time favorite breakfast dish.

So I started experimenting. I cooked the potatoes in the same manner as we used to cook except that I replaced the cooking oil with water. Instead of frying the mixture of potatoes and eggs, I baked it.

Of course, the taste is not exactly as yummy as the fried one but still, I am happy with it.

That’s what I have been doing now in all my meals. I replace the cooking oil with water.

For instance, when my soup requires some frying of garlic and onions, I do it in the same way as the normal process except that I use water.

You can start the change slowly. Maybe you can incorporate few days in a week of ‘‘no-fried foods’ until your taste buds get used to it.

After minimizing my ‘fried food’ consumption, I noticed that I began to crave less and less of fast food meals. Burger and fries used to be my comfort food. Whenever this was served, I couldn’t resist to gobble it.

My addiction to coffee was lessen also. Believe it or not, I used to have headaches whenever I skipped coffee drink in a day. But nowadays, I can hardly finish one cup of coffee in the morning.

Yes, I still have coffee but only in the morning and usually half of the cup only.

Whenever you have your weak moments and you feel like indulging on fried foods, just think about its impact to your health.

Clog arteries that can lead to strokes
Increase the risk of heart diseases
Key dietary contributor for cancer, diabetes and hypertension

If it is not really possible at all, then at least minimize your fried food intake. Cut the portion into half.

The most important thing is that you start now; that you take the initiative now before it is too late.

I realized that healthy living is a journey. It is a choice that we make every day. Don’t be depressed if you make a wrong food choice today. Just make sure you don’t do it again tomorrow and the following days.

Cheers to healthy living! 🥂🙂

Revamping my diet : Eliminating white rice

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This was originally posted in my Facebook @sportsbraislife  last 28th August 2017.

 

food… food… food…

On Thursdays (our weekend here is Friday and Saturday), I used to indulge in ice creams, Pizza Hut or Burger King. It was my way of culminating a stressful work week.

My definition of food indulgence was finishing half portion of the 1.5liter of Selecta Quezo Real ice cream or the combo meal of mushroom Swiss burger with French fries dipped in mayo and ketchup, and mozzarella sticks as dessert. Ooh my, I can still imagine the creamy saucy mushroom Swiss burger.

So when I finally decided to live a healthy life, I started by eating more fruits and vegetables. Honestly I didn’t embrace any type of diets except to choose healthy meals and snacks.

First and foremost – I eliminated rice from my day to day living .

You know us, Filipinos. We cannot live without rice and oh, not any other kind of rice, only white rice. Just imagine that white steamy rice with fried fish. Ah, that’s so yummy and filling!

Though in my younger years (since college), I was not generally fond of white rice. My colleagues used to tease me that my main course was the dessert because whenever we had lunch in the cafeteria, my first stop was the dessert section. After eating some slice of cakes or pies, then I would head to the main course section.

If available, my preference had always been sweet desserts and pasta on my plates. A perfect meal for me!

But when I got pregnant, I returned to eating rice to keep my hunger pangs at bay. Unfortunately, it continued for years until I started to revamp my diet last March 2017.

My definition of ‘revamping my diet’ is choosing more plant based food and minimizing oily and processed food.

The first thing that went out from my usual meal was the white rice. I was aware that I ate way too much of this every dinner.

So I challenged myself. If I managed it in my younger years without rice, so I should still be able to do this, this time.

Honestly, I think the big factor that I lose 10 kilos in the first 3 months is because I eliminated white rice from my meals. My average weight before was 83 kilos. After 3 months of revamping my food intake and keeping regular ‘casual’ exercise walk (slow pace walk for 30 minutes), my weight was down between 72 to 73kg, depends on what time of the day I weighed.

Now I still do eat white rice but only occasional like once a month (sometimes not even a morsel of rice in a month) and it will be just like 2-3 tablespoon only.

Why I continue eliminating rice from my meals?

 I feel less bloated.

 My tummy significantly reduced. It is flatter now. Don’t be misled though – I don’t have a flat ‘washboard abs’ tummy at all but compared before, my tummy is less bulging now.

 I dropped my jeans size from size 16 to 14.

 I feel lighter.

Our nanny, who claimed to be my food controller , witnessed by transformation from being obese to overweight (LOL!). One day she told me, naively, that she never thought at all, never in her wildest dream, that it is possible to live without eating rice.

Please don’t follow this if you cannot cope up without rice in your meals. Perhaps I am just lucky that I am fine living without this. I think the key here is eating rice in moderation.

I am not a believer of deprivation. If skipping rice or any of your favorites makes you miserable, please by all means, eat it. Don’t deprive yourself. Savor delish food and indulge in your fave dessert but always in moderation.

Disclaimer: I am not a licensed nutritionist, health expert or health care professional. What I share here is based only on my own experience of losing weight.