Friday, June 29, 2012

My current diet plan

I want to start posting about what I have been doing lately to lose a few pounds (of fat!), improve my fitness level,  and still enjoy the foods I eat. For anyone familiar with the McDougall diet, this is basically my own subset of that plan. The major components of high complex carbohydrate, low to moderate protein, and low fat still apply. For all the macronutrient ratio oriented folk out there it breaks down to an average of something like 75% CHO/15%Pro/10% Fat. 

I would say the main differences are that I include some vegan convenience foods such as plant-based meats and cheeses, morning coffee with soy creamer, and restaurant foods such as fresh spring rolls, veggie pho, vegan pizza, and the occasional breakfast at Wayward Vegan Cafe :).

Another big difference is that I have found that the only way I have ever been able to lose ANY weight has been to track my food in a diligent manner. By track I mean to physically put pen to paper and write down every single thing I eat and drink each day. Dr. McDougall does not advocate counting calories, and in a perfect world that might work for me someday, but for now I have to go with what I know will bear results for me.

I also am trying to get into the habit of weighing myself daily. There is plenty of controversy over this subject as well but there are reasons for the sayings "What gets measured, gets managed" and "ignorance is bliss" and I have found that when I find the thought of weighing myself distasteful there is usually a reason for it :o/.

Just to give an idea of what a days worth of food looks like:

Pre-workout snack: 1/2 ww english muffin with apricot jam, coffee with 3 Tbs silk creamer (140 cal, 4 grams fat)
Breakfast: Scrambled lite tofu, steamed kale, hash browns (250 cal, 1 gram fat)
Lunch: Faux Pho (mushroom rice noodle bowl w/o oil packet, steamed broccoli, mushrooms, onions, and more kale) (250 cal, 0 fat)
Snack: Large pear, chai tea w/stevia and 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (150 cal, 1 gram fat)
Dinner: Papa Murphy's vegetarian pizza without cheese (2 slices, 500 cal, 5 grams fat)

Daily totals: 1290 cal, 11 grams of fat (7.6% calories from fat)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wow, It's been almost exactly a year since my last post! A lot has happened in that time, some good some not so good, but ultimately I feel like I am finally headed in the right direction (at least in thought). One thing I have really struggled with is the concept of right livelihood. It is a buddhist concept that states that right livelihood requires making your living without dealings in any of the five businesses the Buddha describes as harmful which are humans, weapons, meat, intoxicants, or poisons. Although I am not a buddhist in any formal sense of the word, it is the religion I feel most closely reflects my view on the world which is that we are all just small pieces to a larger puzzle and in effect
It is important to me to live the most compassionate and nonviolent life possible. The Jain word for this is Ahimsa which translates to "dynamic harmlessness" which means to not only avoid doing wrong but to always aspire to do the most good in every situation.

I am currently making a living at two jobs. One is just a tad bit shy of being amazing (more about that later) and one involves violating three of the five businesses the Buddha warned against. Namely the selling of meat, intoxicants, and poisons. Ever since I made the choice to become vegan I have struggled with working at a place that sells literally tons of animal flesh, secretions, and other by-products of the animal industry (soaps, cosmetics, cleaners, leather, wool, etc.) The job pays well and the hours are flexible which allowed me to attend college to study nutrition and still earn enough money to pay the bills. Basically I feel like a sellout because I have compromised my ethics for a paycheck. And it's not like I am not suffering from it, every package of enslaved, tortured, slaughtered animal that passes through the check stand is a constant, wrenching reminder :(.

I know that what I need to do is to spend my time looking for other work that does not require violating either the buddhas or my own beliefs on right and wrong. I have thought about trying to get a transfer to a different department that is not so hands on with the animal products but in reality I would still be working for a company that profits from the commodification of sentient beings. Stay posted.....