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Saturday, 27 August 2011

Post Boot-Camp Ponderings

Yesterday was the last day of boot-camp, so I'd like to dedicate this post to describing some of the conclusions I have made about the vegan diet (and the combination of this way of eating and the daily exercise). Over and above anything I might say here, I really do recommend that you try a boot-camp for yourself; I have personally found the process extremely rewarding. And there's one starting really soon! Check out Jo's website for more details.


So, without further ado, here are my conclusions:


Vegan diet:
  • Vegan food is not bland
  • In fact...Vegan food is AMAZING. I have made more amazing meals in the last month than ever before, because I have not had the convenience of just smothering everything in cheese. I have discovered herbs, spices, and textures in vegetables and fruit that I did not know existed (see my post on banana ice-cream, for instance). Guacamole, for instance, makes a delicious and healthy substitute for cream / cottage cheese, and is a sensational addition to baked potatoes. Yum! (In fact, I've just had some avo on toast for breakfast. What a simple treat :) )
  • I have noticed a distinct increase in energy levels
    My skin has been noticeably happier (very clear, and it's almost had a glow to it!)
  • I have lost more than 1cm off both waist and hip measurements (perhaps that's not a significant figure; bear in mind I have hardly been counting calories!!)
  • And well, how shall I put this: on a vegan diet, digestive tract issues are a thing of the past.
  • I also have a deep respect for the considerate nature of being vegan: consideration for the planet, consideration for animals - it has genuinely made me feel like a nicer human being to find less harmful alternatives.
Exercise
  • A 15 minute power-walk is a fantastic way to start the day. Even if the air we walk through isn't necessarily 'fresh' air, it is just so wonderful to be outdoors, breathing, working up a sweat!
  • 15 minutes of yoga / tibetan rites / karate / strength training each day has paid dividends. I can feel that my core is significantly stronger, and my previously non-existant upper body strength is, well, getting there (one push-up at a time)
  • I am sure that the daily exercise has also contributed to my increased energy levels (everything in balance)

Conclusions:

  • Balance is key. A conscious exercise programme combined with a healthy diet have both contributed to my increased energy levels (lack of energy was one of my biggest complaints, before). 
  • I have also been sleeping much better - a lot less tossing and turning, no more sleep-talking (seriously!) - both of these for me were signs of restlessness during sleep, before. Again I think this deeper sleeping is due to both exercise and diet.
  • A boot-camp is seriously worth a try (follow this link for more info on the next one)!

So, what have I decided about my own life??

Well, I'm still sort of muddling through that question, one day at a time. I would like to keep incorporating vegan ideas in my diet, but not as strictly as before. For instance, I might order a pizza without the cheese (you wouldn't believe how delicious this is - really!! I actually had a pizza last night with cheese, and in all honesty, cheese on a pizza is neither here nor there...), but I'm not going to fuss if the restaurant uses a few eggs in their pizza base recipe. This might sound hypocritical (I sincerely do invite your comments on this) - I guess I'm just aiming for a practical, non-prohibitive diet in which I am free to make considerate and healthy choices, but am not constrained to doing so. You see, I think the moment I constrain myself, I will start to miss what I "can't" have. So my philosophy now is really that there is nothing I can't have, but I will hold on to the lessons I have learned in this month, about flavor, health and ethics. These lessons will definitely guide my choices in terms of what to eat, and how to live.

So folks, that's what I've learned. As always, I totally welcome your comments and questions. I think it's important to learn together, from one another :)

Have a wonderful Saturday!
xx




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