Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Confusing World of "BAD" Foods

At any given time, I'm probably avoiding a certain food or two, at least on the weekdays.  Avoid carbs, avoid oils, avoid fats, avoid fruits, avoid bread, it's so utterly confusing.  Just when I feel at peace with the way I'm eating, I'll read something and completely change my mind.  This is why I feel that diet books are dangerous, because they all say different things.  This is still all in the context of a vegan diet, but even in what can appear to be a restricted way of eating, there are so many opinions about what we should and shouldn't be eating to be healthy.

The latest thing I read was an article on Happy Herbivore  about the reasons you might not be losing weight on a vegan diet.  Lindsay acknowledges that while some people drop tons of weight on a vegan diet, some people - gasp - gain weight.  Yeah, how about tons of weight.  I don't blame veganism for any weight gain I've had.  Veganism signified a time when I really started caring about my body AND the planet, and I stopped doing a lot of destructive, selfish habits that kept me relatively pudgy but not nearly as overweight as I am now.

I do fully believe that "dieting" is a recipe for weight gain, because there's restriction and eventual abandonment of what the "diet" was.  That's why I'm really trying to eat a healthy diet that I would eat if I were at a comfortable weight.  That means no cutting out normally healthful foods, but maybe eating less of them.  The items in this article that stuck out to me are ones I tend to eat often.  It makes me wonder just how much I need to cut back to be successful.

Oils.  I read Eat to Live, and I tried to be "oil free" for awhile, but I feel very restricted when I do this.  I like to use a little bit of olive oil on salads, and I don't see myself cutting it out.  I do know that oil is extremely calorie dense, and I should be cautious about it.

High Fat Plant Foods.  Cutting out tofu, avocado, tempeh, nuts, seeds, olives?!  That is pretty much the basis of my diet.  While I understand that these foods have higher fat content, I really want to try to find a way to eat well and lose weight.

Alcohol.  I know this is a culprit for me, and I need to work on how I use alcohol on the weekends.  A few drinks spread out throughout the break can be ok, but I really need to watch it.

Coffee.  This is perhaps one of the biggest challenges for me.  I loooove tea, but I also love coffee.  I tend to have a cup or a cup and a half in the morning with a splash of almond milk.  I went for a long time not drinking coffee because I thought it was contributing to my weight gain, but I think a cup in the morning will be ok.

I'm pretty much on board with a lot of the other things presented in this article, but it just highlights things that throw me off my game.  I'll read something else tomorrow and be even more confused.

With all of that said, let's focus on food today.


After I mentioned last night that I was inspired by Ashley's Post over on Writing Chapter Three about Rising Early, when my alarm went off this morning, I almost had a change of heart.  I laid in bed and thought, "What will I tell the blog readers if I don't get up?"  Now, I don't kid myself that I have hundreds of readers that care, but I know there are a few of you, so I got up!  I'm so glad I did, also, because it was beautiful outside and I had a nice run.  When I got back, I made lunches and took a shower before I usually get up out of bed.  It felt great, and I felt ahead for the rest of the day.  I also had a cup of coffee!

Nutritional Information
Calories: 251, Carbs: 35 g, Fat: 6 g, Protein: 10 g


bento box + fresh brewed tea + book on ipad = HAPPY DANA

If there are any of you out there that know in the back of your mind something that you really need to do to be healthy, but you aren't doing it, all I can say is DO IT ALREADY!

Lunch was lovely.  The jackfruit tu-not salad is really delicious, and I chowded down on some fresh veggies and Sabra hummus.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 386, Carbs: 62 g, Fat: 9 g, Protein: 12 g

I brought a luna bar again for a snack, and this one was pretty yummy.  I am still on the fence about these, but they do give me energy and keep me full through yoga.  Sometimes I think of them as a candy bar, and sometimes I think of them as a healthy treat.  Today, let's say healthy treat.

The good thing about having a food blog where you track your food every day is that you can identify eating patterns that are great and ones that are not so great.  It's also all relative, as sometimes I'm eating "low carb, high fat" and sometimes I'm eating "high carb, low fat" and other variations.  You can see how a girl can get confused.  Here are just a few examples...

Sometimes I have a "good" day eating low carb
... and more low carb
sometimes I eat a lot of avocado
and sometimes I fall off the wagon and feel good, while also eating a lot of avocado
sometimes lunch is out of my control, and I give in to bad food
there are days when every meal is eaten out
and there are days, more often now, where I cook everything from home

Reflecting on all of this is good, and I strive to be more consistent.  Ending the day with beer and pizza, or Mexican food won't kill me, but it's not even something that I should be doing once a week.

I headed over to Barefoot West for a sunset yoga class, then I headed home for food and reading.


I wanted something light, so I went with a duo of salads, quinoa and tu-not.

I spent all of yoga class thinking about painting and setting up a good schedule to actually complete some work.  I need to do that.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 456, Carbs: 59 g, Fat: 16 g, Protein: 17 g

Nutritional Information for the Day
Calories: 1273, Carbs: 182 g, Fat: 37 g, Protein: 47 g


  1. I have been vegan more than a decade, do not drink coffee, tea or any alcohol and not only I did not shed a pound going from veggie to vegan, but I have gained (and then lost) weight a few times in the years. My built has always been pudgy!

    I am tired of it though: soon enough it may become unhealthy if I end up in the overweight zone so, inspired by your blog, I am now trying to shed some weight.

    You are not along in the vegan world not to understand what is "bad". For what I am concerned, it is all things in moderation: and that I think is my problem! Moderation is not one of my virtues!

    1. pudgy vegans unite!!! i think you're absolutely right, moderation is key! i think it's good for people to know that veganism isn't a magic weight loss diet. i had bad habits when i ate meat, and i can still have bad habits when i don't.

  2. This post resonates SO very much with me. I've also been restricting something in my diet for as long as I can remember. I yo-yo with whatever kick I'm on at the moment and I know that's not the healthiest way to be by any means. I, too, gained weight after going vegan. I was at my preferred weight when I was vegetarian and gained about 10-15 pounds after going vegan that I've not been able to shed. But, I can't imagine being any other way now. I'm proud to be vegan and love the life I'm living, so I hate being dissatisfied with my weight. Thanks for this post!

    1. :) I think all my yo-yo and restricting is the bigger reason I have always been overweight. It's definitely been hard for me to shed weight as a vegan, but I also can't imagine living any other way. We just have to focus on healthy, whole foods and move more! :)

  3. You take the words right out of my mind! I think about this all the time now. I went vegan 4 years ago and since then I have gained 10-15 pounds. I became a junk-food vegan last year and that is partially to blame, but I still seem stuck between these 10 pounds! (150-160lb weight.) My BMI says I am overweight, but I am a VEGAN! It is hard to figure out what to "eliminate" when as vegans, we usually eat healthier than ALL our peers and we have eliminated ENOUGH. It is frustrating and annoying sometimes, but I agree with all you say. We can do this, somehow, right? (or I am going to turn into a raw vegan or a fruitarian. lol)

    1. it's soooo hard! i am tired of cutting out this and that. i need to figure out where the balance is! we can do this!

  4. Also, I love the bento box. Where did you get it?

    1. i got it online about 5 years ago. i'm not really sure where..I'll look though!

  5. I struggle no oils and very low fat foods opposed to the avocado, nuts, etc. It's hard and totally unenjoyable to me. That jackfruit tu-not salad looks good. Do you have a recipe on your blog for it?


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