I was a skinny bitch for one week!(Watch the video here!)
Hahaha, okay not really. But I did follow the Skinny Bitch way of eating for 7 days, as I had mentioned in a previous post to see if it would make a difference and I'm happy to report back to you guys about how it all went! My fiancé and I started this plant based diet (no dairy, no meat) as a little experiment after hearing great things about it. We had done a lot of research and the general claims were that:
a) You feel better, lighter, happier.
b) You have more energy and your mood improves.
c) Your body benefits hugely. A glowing complexion, weight loss and stronger hair and nails were just some of the promised side effects.
What did we learn?
Like I said in my last post, this was a challenge for both me and Jonathan because he is a big meat eater and I am a self-confessed cheese lover. But nonetheless we stuck to it pretty strictly (minus a slice of cheesecake...it was only once, okay?) and here is what we learned:
1. Eat more whole foods.
Something that came as a huge shock to us was actually finding out what's in the food we are eating. Before, we would eat SO much processed food. If you do your research about the ingredients and READ the back of the things you're putting in your mouth, this will really open your eyes and probably horrify you too. I found Skinny Bitch's list of harmful ingredients extremely helpful with this. I couldn't believe some of the preservatives we had been putting into our body and how dangerous they can be. It's really scary :( To avoid this, we started eating A LOT of whole foods. For example, fresh fruit, nuts, raw bars, smoothies made with JUST the fruit, organic veggies and so on.
2. Cook from scratch.
This is something I'm still working on. But I'm getting better! Before, I would buy ready-made meals, sauces from jars, microwaveable rice and very processed foods full of preservatives and salt. I absolutely do not like to cook, however going vegetarian makes things easier because one of the main reasons I didn't like it was because of handling meat. It just makes me feel sick...I don't know how people actually prepare whole chickens to be roasted in the oven. It makes me want to gag! That's a dead body!! Ewww... Hahaha, I just hate it! So this actually worked to my advantage because veggies aren't gross, nor do they have any bones/skin/dangly body parts...aah! (Okay they do have skin...but not the kind I'm talking about!)
3. Buy organic and wholegrain.
We tried our very best to NOT shop in Tesco for main ingredients like fruit and vegetables, however it's difficult with it being so close to where we live and the farmers' market is only once a week. However we tried to shop organic as much as we could, and I firmly believe that organic foods make you feel better. We also shopped at health food stores for the first time! This was a fun experience, and trying out all the new foods became like an adventure.
So, what exactly did I eat?
Here's a sample menu of what I ate for the last seven days.
Breakfast: Porridge with light soy milk, half a banana, a handful of blueberries and a sprinkling of cinnamon. A fresh cup of Starbucks coffee (black).
Lunch: Bagel with hummus and sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
Veggie burger with tomato and lettuce.
Afternoon Snack: Fresh fruit with peanut butter/dried fruit/raw veggies and herbal tea.
Dinner: Bean fajitas with onion, peppers and tomato sauce, served in a wholegrain wrap
Pasta with organic chunky vegetable sauce and lentils
Veggie stirfry with black beans, chili, mangetout, baby corn, carrots, broccoli and onion.
Evening Snack: Raw Nakd bar/root veggie crisps/popcorn and herbal tea.
We also cut out ALL soda/fizzy drinks. I haven't had a Diet Coke in almost two weeks! I substituted that with water (about 8 glasses a day). Jonathan drank Innocent smoothies with hemp protein powder every morning and took a multivitamin as well. I've never been a fan of supplements, so I just tried to get all the vitamins I need in the foods I ate! :)
What side-effects did we experience?
1. We both feel much lighter, healthier, and more positive. We also have a lot more energy now, and we are going to bed earlier and waking up earlier than usual! Both Jonathan and I feel perkier, more awake and better about ourselves. We don't feel bloated or uncomfortably full after eating anymore. I did experience one episode of terrible bloating, on the third day and I believe this was down to getting so much more fibre in my diet. It passed after one day and was gone by the next morning.
2. Our skin is GLOWING. This was an absolutely huge benefit for both of us, and possibly the most noticeable after such a short amount of time. Literally, one day after starting this way of eating I started getting all these lovely comments on my videos about how my skin was glowing and asking what highlighter I was using. I did not change my makeup routine at all. I was not using any highlighters, or illuminating products. I used the same foundation (Bare Minerals), blush, bronzer, skincare routine, etc. The only explanation I can think of for this glowing skin is my diet. Also, Jonathan's complexion has become brighter, and more glowy as well! He has gotten so many comments telling him this in recent videos. It's amazing!
3. Weight/fat loss. I did not set out on this diet to lose weight AT ALL, because I didn't want to and I'm happy with my weight. So I made sure to eat a lot more to make sure that didn't happen. However, Jonathan has already lost 5lbs (and he kept chicken in his diet for the week). My weight fluctuates between 115-120lbs, depending on the time of the month and it stayed at 115lbs which is the lowest I ever am for the whole duration of the week. Having said that, I somehow also magically lost an inch from my waist! This came as a big surprise, as I was not expecting it at all. It's usually 24" and when I measured it at the end of the week it was 23". It just goes to show that measurements are so much more accurate than weight! :)
What's the plan now?
I definitely want to continue on with some of these eating habits. The health benefits are just too good to ignore, and we definitely don't want to go back to eating the way we were!
I've decided to go continue to eat a meat and dairy (for the most part) free diet. I will, however eat fish, goat's cheese, feta, mozzarella, parmesan and ricotta. What can I say, I'm half Italian! I can't live without my good cheeses :) But I will try to only eat organic and source my cheese from farmers' markets. My parents actually always did this, I just never even noticed! I will probably never buy cheddar, milk, cream or butter again and will only eat organic eggs.
He has decided to keep dairy products out of his diet and limit his chocolate intake as well. (I don't think he could ever completely cut out chocolate :) Jonathan has always had bad reactions to dairy anyway, so this has had a huge effect on how he feels and he wants to keep it that way! He is also going to continue to eat chicken and fish but avoid red meat.
Albi and Sina
Hahaha, bet you didn't think I would include them did you?! Honestly though, their diet has changed too! They get fed fewer scraps (now that we don't really eat meat or cheese anymore) and instead they snack on raw carrots, apple (these two are great for their teeth!) and the odd time they get a little lick of some peanut butter. Obviously they get fed their regular dog food as well but certain human foods are okay.
(Others are NOT! Just in case any of you didn't know, grapes and raisins are extremely dangerous, as well as mushrooms, onions and too much dairy/salt. So please, be careful what you feed your puppies!)
This concludes my rambly and lengthy post on my diet! I hope it wasn't too boring...I will try to include more pictures throughout the day of the food I eat and incorporate them in later. Let me know your thoughts on all of this and please feel free to share your experiences! Have you ever done something like this before? Or changed your eating habits for one reason or another? Is this something you're thinking about doing too? If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask me in the comments!