Women will always have a million reasons to shed those kilos, whether it be social pressures, healthy aging, or to fit in the clothes worn before kids came along. One thing is true: most women (and more specifically, most moms) want to lose weight at different stages and several different times in their lives.
Most women will literally starve themselves into a diet regime and count calories, which usually equates to not eating the right types of food and lack in balance of nutrients. It is proven that this eventually leads up to a failed attempt in losing weight.
The problem is that the diets that people follow are mostly eliminating diets, meaning they restrict so much food that they end up eliminating some nutrients or entire food groups.
This causes an imbalance in the body and leads to bad choices in eating food that shouldn’t be consumed. It’s a vicious cycle that comes with the typical result of: “I diet constantly, but I never lose any weight”.
The best way to lose weight is to make your body come to a balance so that it self-automates itself back to its healthy weight. It sounds confusing, but this means giving the body all the nutrients needed to make a slow and steady loss of weight.
So, this is not about starvation or counting calories – it’s more about nourishing and healing the body by consuming the right types of food.
Plant-based nutrition plays a special role here, since, from all types of food, unprocessed food is the one with more nutritional content. We are talking about giving a lot to your body, rather than taking away from it. With this method, we are getting more nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, fiber and energy. Plant-based nutrition also gives the benefits of proper digestion and elimination with a maximized absorption of nutrients that will help you avoid cravings.
The smarter way to lose weight is to start eating more “living foods” – all you need is a little bit more creativity, time, and effort.
Here are 5 tips to help you start eating more “living” – or plant-based – foods:
1. Include more nuts and seeds
Most people think nuts just make you fat, so they should be avoided. Now with many studies about nuts and seeds, we have discovered that they are not only delicious, but they also provide us protein, healthy fat, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants! Plus, in raw and vegan cuisine, they are used a lot to replace dairy products, so you will see nut cheese, nut milk, nut dip and desserts that are nut-based. So incorporate organic nuts and seeds! It is also important to soak the nuts for a few hours before using in dishes or consuming, to make them digestible and absorbable.
2. Include more vegetables, in all meals
If most of your meals have vegetables, you will find the benefit of having more fiber and more nutrients and antioxidants. Most of the people will eat vegetables only once a day, during lunch or dinner, but why not in breakfast or snacks? Try to include vegetables first thing in the morning too – green smoothies packed with spinach and fruits are a great example. For snacks, look for plant-based snacks like wraps using lettuce leaves instead of processed tortillas. You can also make a vegetable dip with vegetable sticks or vegetable crisps.
3. Reduce processed food
Most of the food-processing methods reduce the amount of nutrients of the original food. Nutrients and enzymes diminish using high levels of heat, light or air. In most of the cases, this type of food has added sugar, fat, and oil. Plus, processed foods have some substances to help the food last longer or taste better, which usually makes your system work double to get rid of those substances that are strange to the body. This is why we highly recommend you to stop reducing your regular processed food consumption and start adding your real plant-based food consumption instead. That way your body will not be craving for more, which is the effect of processed food in your body.
4. It’s not about eliminating animal protein, it is about including vegetable protein
We are not promoting to eat only vegan or raw foods, though it is smarter to increase your plant-based foods to help your body get all the natural, unprocessed benefits. This includes protein as well, because you can find protein in plant based food. Some of the best sources of vegan protein are in sprouts, green leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts, spirulina and chlorella, and some mushrooms. If you are interested in not only raw but cooked vegan sources, we recommend high in protein grains such as quinoa, lentils, beans, etc. These different options and sources of protein come with other great nutrients add up to a smarter diet rich in vitamins and all that your body needs to consistently lose weight.
5. Get new tools (not just for your salads and smoothies – there’s more than that!)
If you want to start to make your own raw vegan dishes, you have to use your creativity and also some equipment that will make it all easier and fun. First, get yourself a powerful high-speed blender to make nut milk, nut cheeses, dips, sauces, and smoothies. Also, a food processor is a great idea considering the different textures you want for your food. A juicer will be another useful tool, not only to use for juices but also for dressings, sauces and even soup. A dehydrator is the key appliance when it comes to raw food, because of the wide range of dishes you can prepare using it. This tool also gives you the correct temperature to heat the food without diminishing its nutritional value. Cheese cloth or fine strainers can also help you on soups or nut milk. Finally, you can add to your collection a mandolin and/or a spiralizer, to cut vegetables in different ways, and expand your creativity with presentation and recipes even more.
So what is the best mindful gift you can give to yourself, your mom, or your friends this Mother’s day or any other day? Just a mindset change and looking more towards plant-based nutrition. We aren’t suggesting you to become 100% a raw vegan foodie, though we would love to see you give your body back the balance by making your diet fuller with real whole food, rather than processed foods.
About the Author
Bochakorn began her education in conventional medicine as a nurse, then shifted to embrace natural healing and integrative medicines. Her training and certifications abroad include: Nutrition and Western Herbal Medicines, Acupuncture and Moxibustion.
During her therapeutic sessions, she may also incorporate other aspects of integrative medicines when required, including: acupuncture, cupping therapy, moxibustion, nutritional, supplements and herbal recommendation.