I've watched the film "Forks Over Knives" more than once. It's a documentary about plant-based eating and how it not only is good for your health and for weight loss, but also has been shown to reduce and even reverse serious health issues.
Somehow I became aware of the Engine2 Diet, started by the son of a heart surgeon who is part of producing that film. I found Rip Esselstyn's new podcast about this lifestyle, which led me to their website:
I am trying out their meal planner. My weight has gone up since Christmas, and Weight Watchers seemed not to work for me. I don't want to count points. I want to be aware of the foods I am eating and what they are doing for my health.
I'm not trying to sell the lifestyle. For instance, I know many people here swear by Paleo and find it effective in losing weight. Different approaches work for each of us, and I respect that.
The approach includes limiting or cutting back on oils, for one thing. And of course, they don't like premade protein bars or shakes. I have cut out the Vega protein bars, mostly because our big box store stopped selling them. But I will continue my Vega shakes in the afternoon until or if I want to cut back or eliminate. Funny thing, how we become so attached to our eating habits. I loved cheeseburgers and gave them up. I loved cookies and gave them up. I didn't think I could "survive" without constantly (let's be honest) snacking all day.
I reduced the amount of snacks and replaced them with herbal teas and raw vegetables. I keep trying to get that water drinking in. Still have some snacks, but far less. So why did I wake up Saturday morning in a panic about not cooking with oil, or no longer eating handfuls of nuts? (I sometimes eat several handfuls of cashews. When I am not being "good".)
I had to stop and think about this. I remember cutting back drastically in a diet plan I participated in a year or two ago, and how it made me an anxious wreck. And my hair started to thin. I am not going there again. It worked, but at what cost? So I tried looking at the possibility of incremental change. Sneak up on ya' change.
So I said to myself, OMG! There are no stir-fry dishes in Engine2 Diet, at least in my planner. But I love stir-fry. So I modified it. I used vegetable broth with a dash of peanut sauce and about a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil for the whole dish:
My husband is in the habit of emailing me a photo of our Planned Overs lunches daily.
Then he sent me this:
A scallion heart. Awwwww...he is a sweetie.
I used lots of garlic and ginger, and expanded the range of vegetables in order to make more bulk. Tempeh, asparagus, red pepper, mushrooms, and zucchini. I had some leftover peas so I added them to the rice and "broth-fried" them, too. I just love using things up. My raised during the Depression mother would be proud of me.
It worked. I didn't give up my stir-fry. I think what I am trying to express is that we have to live and enjoy ourselves if we want our weight loss and health plans to be successful.
And, the meal planner I am using has a blank space for "Add your own meal". I like this.