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How I Lost 20 Pounds – No Calorie Counting

After Hurricane Maria, I gained 20 extra pounds in a very short amount of time.  This also coincided with a surge of digestive issues like daily bloating, regular cramping, indigestion, and heartburn.  I go into great detail in my ebook, Beginner Vegan about how I lost all the weight and completely eliminated what was symptomatic of a very unhealthy body in just 6 months.  In it, I offer my master grocery list, 20 of my favorite recipes, my specific diet plan {without any restrictions or calorie counting} tips and encouragement.  Today, I want to outline what a typical day looks like for me since losing and maintaining my weight almost a year later with a focus on longevity and sustainability.

Morning: I drink water and warm lemon water {or warm water with a big splash of raw apple cider vinegar} as soon as I wake up to flush out toxins and rehydrate after 6-8 hours of fasting.  I will typically wake an hour before needed to deeply stretch, mediate and focus on my breathing.  This alone has been a significant positive shift in my life.  You could also take this time to journal, do yoga, go for a morning swim, etc.

Breakfast: 30-60 minutes later, I drink a 40 oz green smoothie.  I eye ball the entire thing but make sure it contains more greens in it than any other ingredient.  Moringa from our backyard or barley grass juice powder are two of my favorites.  Tip: Alternatively, I will purchase organic or local greens like chard, collards, kale, or spinach in bulk, wash them in a solution of vinegar and water then chop it up to freeze.  This dwindles down the volume and you can pack even more greens into your smoothie.  I use fresh coconut water or turmeric/ginger/black pepper tea as my liquid base then add in frozen ripe bananas and hemp/soaked chia or flax with a handful of whatever fruit I have growing or is in season.  The key is to get as many greens in as you can throughout the day.  Most of us don’t get nearly enough greens in our diet.  To add in more healthy fat or calories, you could also add in avocado, dates, or coconut meat and perhaps double the smoothie if this will act as a meal replacement for lunch as well.

Lunch: I will either mono meal as much fruit as I desire until I’m satisfied or drink another 40 oz glass but this time filled with a dense green juice.  I try and omit any fruit from this as it absorbs and digests better this way.  If I’m still hungry, I snack on raw unsalted nuts or a smoothie bowl.  The trick is to eat enough.  I’ve heard from way too many people that failure came because they were never full or satisfied.  The trick is to fuel your body with healthy, nourishing, energizing foods and to eat until you’re completely satisfied.  I eat intuitively and sometimes, that’s eating an entire watermelon, especially during these hot summer months.

Supper: My husband and I always strive to enjoy this meal together.  We eat without distractions and begin with what we’re grateful for.  Gratitude doesn’t seem related to losing weight but it’s actually essential.  Making a connection with your food and slowing down to appreciate and be more mindful allows you to be present while you nourish your body and not just eat on auto pilot, making you more susceptible to binge eating.  85% of the time, I pick something from my Beginner Vegan e-book.  Again, enjoying the meal until you’re satisfied – never calorie counting but rather, listening to your body.  Afterwards, we go for our long nightly walk where we connect, share our days with each other and get some fresh air and blood circulation before we wind down for the night.

This gives me the option to enjoy meals out.  I order what I want without guilt.  Guilt is an ugly monster that can set you back.  As long as you’re being accountable, staying active and consuming to nourish and fuel your body, you can reward yourself now and again.  I also make sure that one day of the weekend is exclusively dedicated to something strenuous like a hike, snorkel or swim and spent entirely outdoors in nature.  I also limit my sitting time throughout the week.  If I’m working online, this means I’m often typing while standing up and taking breaks to garden, walk Nala or blast some music to dance out stress.

Success comes in progression and is not achieved overnight.  Start small.  Make healthier swaps, work in increments.  It’s not about a fad or crash diet, it’s about a healthy mentality and sustained lifestyle.

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