Toward the end of April, I reached a point where I was ready to make a change. I don’t know if it was the fact that I was knocking on 30’s door or what, but I didn’t think I looked my absolute best. For months I really tried to pay close attention to the foods I was eating. I eat predominately whole foods, with the occasional junk food indulge. Oh, and I love carbs— who doesn’t?! I was ready for weight loss and I was anxious to figure out how to do it without starving myself or feeling like I was missing out.
It seemed like no matter what I was eating, I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. I didn’t want to start counting calories, I wasn’t interested in paying to start some new “diet program,” and I didn’t want to completely rid myself of junk food (let’s be real) to achieve weight loss. I wanted to eat foods I enjoyed, work out, and see results.
That’s when I came up with the idea of eating two raw meals and one cooked meal per day. I knew this would be somewhat of a challenge, but I was up for it. Having the freedom to eat one cooked meal (of whatever I wanted) would keep me from feeling deprived and eating raw actually added a great deal of simplicity to my everyday routine.
By now I’m sure you’re wondering what a typical day might look like… here’s what I ate last weekend:
- Breakfast- simple green smoothie: spinach, mango, banana and almond milk
- Lunch- fried chicken platter from Remedy Diner
- Dinner- 2 apples with peanut butter
- Breakfast- Strawberry, mango, and banana smoothie with almond milk
- Lunch- Burger+Fries from Burgerfi
- Dinner- 1 mango and an apple
Monday (a more typical day):
- Breakfast- Chia seed pudding topped with strawberries and blueberries
- Lunch- Sweet Potato Spinach Thai Curry and brown rice
- Dinner- green smoothie (mango, spinach, banana, and almond milk)
So as you can see, I was definitely still eating good! I will say however, the weekend outlined above was a little out of the ordinary. On Saturday, a friend was in town, so I wanted to indulge. On Sunday, my husband and I thought we were going to a cookout only to find out that it wasn’t really a cookout and both of us were starving. Burgerfi seemed like a good idea.
To be completely honest, when I first started this I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I love cooked food. I enjoy cooking and the thought of eating so much raw food boggled my mind. Thank God for the internet and creativity! I’ve never been one to constantly eat the same thing all the time, so I knew variety would be absolutely necessary. I’ve always been obsessed with pesto, so one day I decided to make a (mostly) raw pesto meal. I say mostly raw because nutritional yeast is not technically raw. But perfection is not the goal here, people. For me, as long as my meals were 95% raw, I was good.
Another one of my favorite meals were these amaaaaazing veggie spring rolls with peanut ginger dipping sauce. Throw all of your favorite veggies in some rice paper and prepare for ALL the deliciousness! The sauce is really easy to make and so are the spring rolls. This was a meal I didn’t mind eating daily. Because it was so easy to make, I actually looked forward to it. For variety, you can switch up the veggies as you’d like. Some of my favorite veggies to include are avocado, cabbage, peppers, and carrots.
As for drinks, I kept it really simple. Water, water, and more WATER! If I wasn’t drinking water I was drinking a smoothie or fresh juice I’d made. I’ve never been one to drink my calories (with sugary juices, sodas, or alcohol), I’d much rather eat them so I certainly wasn’t going to stop now!
Of course, what I ate was only part of the progress you see in the photos above. I started working out more too. Prior to this, I probably worked out 2-3 times per week. I now workout 5-6 times a week, usually 6.
My husband started a new eating/workout regimen which led him to getting a membership at Planet Fitness. This means I was able to have access to the gym too as his plus one! I workout with him at Planet Fitness usually 2 days per week. On the other days, I enjoy working out at home doing exercise videos from YouTube. I actually REALLY enjoy it! Here are a few of my favorites:
I’m no fitness expert, but I’ve heard that it’s important to continue shocking the body. For that reason, I try to mix up my workouts so my body doesn’t get used to the same routine. PopSugar Fitness on Youtube has a variety of workouts that offer tons of variety. If you enjoy burning calories by dancing, DEFINITELY check out Fit Body By Ashley. Her workouts are so much fun and half the time it doesn’t even feel like a workout! She uses mainstream music and she’s easy to follow.
I also credit my Apple Watch with helping me keep track of my progress. I typically burn about 600-800 calories per day. At work I try to walk 1 mile, in addition to working out for at least 30 minutes.
From this experience, I realized how important it is to consume more raw, whole foods. I’m not saying that not eating raw foods is bad, but it’s clear that making a conscious effort to eat more of them made a big difference for me. Therefor, I plan to continue eating as many as I can. I think I’ve finally learned what balance is!
Consuming so many raw meals definitely helped to cut down on the amounts of processed foods I was eating, in addition to my intake of salt, sugar, and oil. All of which can be common reasons for weight gain. I have a friend who gave up ALL salt, oil, and sugar and has since seen major results.
Working out consistently has always been a struggle for me. I repeatedly hop off and on and off and on the wagon throughout the year. I’m hoping that now that I’ve found workouts that I actually enjoy, working out won’t seem like nearly as much of a chore.
I’m no expert in fitness or weight loss. I can only tell you what’s worked for me. I set out to lose a few pounds without starving myself and giving up “fun foods” and I did exactly just that! Now let’s see how long I can keep this up…
What are your tips for weight-loss? I’d love to know!