Went out for lunch in Chesterfield today with 2 wonderful friends. We chose to visit Wetherspoons in Chesterfield Town Centre – we know it as The Portland Hotel. Before lockdown this was our usual haunt to meet up every 3 to 4 weeks. It’s a great place to meet because no one minds that we spend 4/5/6 hours there, drinking refill coffees (not often I drink anything other than water these days) and having lunch. But more importantly, having a good old catch up, reminiscing, laughing and joking around, along with a good dose of mutual therapy – a safe and supportive place to offload – priceless! What’s the old saying, “laughter is the best medicine,” It most definitely is – along with wfpb!
On to what to eat. I was about to choose the Rainbow Quinoa Salad – comprising quinoa, grilled butternut squash, pink cabbage, black eyed beans, black rice, yellow cherry tomatoes, red Roquito pepper, pumpkin seeds and kale with a dressing (sounded delicious). I was about to ask what the dressing was when my friend who was ordering on the app told me it wasn’t available – that was disappointing! I will definitely be ordering it when I next eat there. So, back to the drawing board – found a Beyond Burger meal! Having read so much about plant-based alternatives that big companies are producing to meet the needs of an ever growing demand for plant-based products, I decided to give it a go – for research purposes you understand!! As you can see from the photo below, the food looked decidedly underwhelming, but the actual plant-based patty was very good. As I’ve said before, when I eat out, I try to be as compliant as possible but I don’t stress if I can’t meet that standard.
I always advocate keeping things simple and by chance in the early hours of Monday morning when I was struggling to sleep I came across ‘fatmanrants’ on Facebook. Tim and Heather Kaufman are a couple who were considered morbidly obese and have turned things around by adopting a plant-based diet/lifestyle. Their blog ‘fatmanrants’ has documented their journey and provides inspiration, advice, tips and recipes to anyone who has or is thinking about adopting this lifestyle. On this occasion they were talking to Joseph Alexander who has lost 245 lbs on a whole-food plant-based diet. His story resonated with me because he believes in “keeping it simple.” He described how he has the same breakfast every morning, often has leftovers for lunch and said if he didn’t have to cook for others in his family, he would readily eat the same thing for dinner every evening. I try very hard to keep my own meals very simple but I do have a bit more variety than Joseph. As I stated in my last blog, I recently changed my own breakfast after eating the same thing every morning for over 10 months. I now have oatmeal (porridge) every morning, with a variety of fruit, flax seed and a drizzle of maple syrup. I love it and it keeps me fuller for longer than my previous fruit only breakfast. Tim Kaufman’s motto is – “Eat plants and move your body, all ya gotta do is a little more than yesterday” If you are looking for inspiration, I recommend you check out ‘fatmanrants’ and Joseph Alexander – among many others. As Heather and Tim Kaufman say, “if we can do it, you can too.”
My grandson who adopted a vegan diet a few months ago stating he no longer wanted to eat animal products, went off plan for a while and started eating some dairy. Last week, he told me he he felt his mood slipping back to pre vegan diet days so was ditching the dairy again. Wow, such insight! So proud of him for recognising that what he eats impacts the way he feels. There is so much evidence out there about a strong connection between gut health and the brain. We could do worse than listen to what our bodies tell us.
Reading the ingredients on the pack of ‘fake ham’ the grandson had bought, he exclaimed, “what, I’m eating insects?” The ingredient, ‘Locust Bean Gum!” Googled it – a natural food additive derived from the seeds of the Carob tree. Result – grandsons mind at rest! The gum, also called carob gum, acts as a stabilising and thickening agent. It has a sweet, slightly chocolaty flavour. I’ve got some being delivered today.
I don’t preach, I don’t judge others for their food choices, (I hope I don’t come across that way) but I will talk about my own choices when asked. My influence on my families food choices comes purely from me living it. One grandson deciding on a vegan diet and the other two gladly trying more and more plant-based meals. One in particular will comment on something “smelling good nana” as he walks into the kitchen and will identify ingredients before he sees the food – that makes me smile.
Next month, November, I will have been living wfpb for a year! While the weight loss has slowed down, my enthusiasm for this lifestyle change has not diminished. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this isn’t a diet in the way I’ve always used diets in the past. There is no end date and for me there’s no going back to my old eating habits. I’m feeling way too good to contemplate a return to my previous unhealthy lifestyle.
My immediate goal, in the spirit of Tim Kaufman is to eat more plants and move a little more than I did yesterday!
Thanks for reading, please like, share and feel free to comment. I really appreciate your input.