I know there's an image out there, that vegans are all these pale, wraithlike creatures, wafting around fretting over every bite they eat, and so skinny, and so pale. The reality is, it's quite possible to pack on the pounds eating a plant-based diet, if you don't watch what you're eating. Hmmm, sounds like every other way of eating, doesn't it? And exercise? Yeah, still need to do that.
Del Stroufe tells you just how he ate his way to well over 400 pounds, then figured it out and changed how he cooked: Better Than Vegan: 101 Favorite Low-Fat, Plant-Based Recipes That Helped Me Lose Over 200 Pounds
I love this book for the sauces. You can tell it was written by a chef. Not that I don't adore the home cook cookbooks and bloggers - they are the ones I turn to most - but when I started thumbing through this book I noticed the inspiring sauce ideas first thing.
I was introduced to Christina Pirello by one of my awesome commenters. I browsed her books (she has several) and finally purchased This Crazy Vegan Life: A Prescription for an Endangered Species. It arrived yesterday and I've barely cracked it, but even the introduction made me laugh and nod. She was where I am now.
Major health scare (hers was a diagnosis of a terminal form of leukemia) followed by diet change. Followed by...hey, how come I'm still dealing with my weight?! I'm doing something wrong, and need to figure it out. I've just started the book (after of course flipping ahead to thumb through recipes) and she went through all of this, figured it out. I like her tough love approach. While vegan food portions are ginormous compared to "standard American diet" meals with meat, you do still have to pay attention to calories. Fat is not your friend, and "good fat" is basically bullshit, a happy (but oh, tasty) lie we want to believe. Processed foods are a big part of the problem. Exercise is not optional.
One would THINK that a freaking cerebral hemorrhage would have made me the healthiest health nut person ever, scared straight and never wanting to veer from the healthy path. I wish I had that kind of iron will but I still have to work at it every freaking day, and plan menus and schedule exercise, and I haven't been on top of that in the last year. So Christina's book makes me laugh, nod, sigh...all at once.
I have a great life. I have a great family, a job that I...okay, "love" would be an exaggeration, but I'm fond of the people and laugh a lot, friends, plans for the future. I'm damn lucky to be alive, let alone as healthy as I am, and how can I ever take that for granted? I have a future to look forward to, and dammit, I haven't been treating myself as well as I should. Sad, but true.
So I'm back on the healthy diet wagon, and the exercise wagon, and yesterday morning I walked the dogs in a chilly, misty rain, and then put them in the house and did a fast half hour walk, cold mist splattering my glasses, and you know, it wasn't that awful. I have mild leg tenderness today because I was doing a 12 mph pace, but today the rain was too heavy to even consider repeating, so it was a perfect rest day. Tomorrow will be better. I'll get my ass out there again, because it feels fabulous. It really does. I am revved up and energized and happy for hours after just 30 minutes of moving my ass.