I’ve been following a low-fat (no oil), no prepared foods, plant based diet since the middle of March. I was over-weight and just couldn’t lose any weight, even though I had been Vegan for 3 years at that point. I had watched Forks Over Knives and was aware that I needed to decrease my oil and processed foods consumption. However, it wasn’t until I got the book Seven Day Rescue Diet by Rip Esselstyn that I found a simple and easy diet to follow. And that was when I started to lose weight. Was it hard? Well, cooking without oil can be a little bit difficult, but I quickly adjusted. Now I use some water instead of oil and I add more herbs and spices to my food then I ever did before. One of the easy things about this diet change is that I liked all the foods that I was eating. For the first month, I was completely about cooking my own food. These days I will get a pizza with no cheese on it from the local take-out, so no, I don’t feel “cheated”. I will also eat Chinese take-out that has been steamed with no sauce on it.
So, have I been losing weight? Yes! With absolutely no calorie restriction (I actually eat a lot), so far, I’ve lost 23 pounds. For a moderately over-weight woman of over 50 this is huge. I don’t exercise every day, but I do eat all I want every day. Here is a list of my meals for one day:
Breakfast – one shredded wheat biscuit with plain Almond Milk (I eat Post Shredded Wheat), I only eat one because I also have a large glass of water, a banana and a peach or plum. If I’m not that hungry I’ll save the banana for a snack around 10:00 or so. I will eat another banana if I’m hungry later on in the morning.
Lunch – a fairly large salad with either homemade oil-free dressing, or bought oil-free dressing with little to no “extra” stuff in it. I’ll then have a baked potato with a little salt, pepper and garlic on it. And again, I’ll have a large glass of water.
Snacks – if I’m hungry in the middle of the afternoon I’ll eat some fruit. With it being summer, that could be sweet cherries, a peach or plum, grapes or a banana. If I’m really hungry I’ll have more than one piece of fruit. If I’m eating cherries I’ll just have a few (or more) handfuls of them.
Dinner – usually I’ll have a bowl from Seven Day Rescue Diet. If I’m not having that, I could be steaming up some veggies and having them with preservative and oil-free soy sauce and some brown rice or quinoa. I put a ton of spices on my food. I’ve always used a lot.
Desert – I usually have fruit in the evening. Right now, since it’s summer and strawberry/blueberry season, I’ve been having that for a treat. And, even though I normally only eat whole food, I will have the vegan whipped cream on those. Not every night but one or two nights a week.
When I started this diet, I didn’t eat a single prepared food. I made everything from scratch, including hummus. Homemade hummus is really good. I now eat some no-oil, no-preservative guacamole, oil-free salad dressing, and I make veggie sandwiches with vegan sandwich thins. But, I mostly (6 days out of 7) still follow the no-oil, low-fat diet. I now have added plain peanuts to my diet, so that’s really good if you feel like a nosh. I’ve also had air-popped popcorn with a small amount of salt on it – one caveat, popcorn without vegan butter can be pretty dry. I’ve also made potato chips in the microwave – they are really good with some garlic powder on them, but are time consuming to make.
The only issue with eating this way is that you have to actually make your meals. It can take more time than I’m used to, but it also tastes much better than prepared foods. If you want some recipes let me know and I’ll share some with you. The other important thing is that I drink a lot of water. All the time.
As far as health is concerned, I used to have fairly bad asthma and now I don’t. We’ll see how the rest of the summer goes, but the humidity hasn’t really bothered my breathing as much as before I started this eating plan. My fibromyalgia also isn’t giving me as much pain as before. Those were my two health issues, and they seem to be improving. So, I’m looking forward to losing more weight on my goal to a healthy weight. If you have any questions let me know in the comments below.