Although it's been quiet around here for quite a long time, some exciting things are happening behind the scenes that I wanted to fill you in on. The first thing is that I was filmed to be on an episode of "The Doctors" that will air on October 1st. You can check the website for details on when the show airs in your region. Just change the default zip code of Los Angeles (at the top of the screen) to your zip code and the information is provided. The topic is can you simply go Vegan and get healthy? I'm there to weigh in on what it really takes to achieve lasting health and weight loss.
In some other good news, I am very excited to tell you that I am losing weight and a steady and slow pace. I'm thrilled! Since I began my private coaching with Chef AJ five months ago, I have lost a total of 16 pounds. But way better than the weight that I have lost is that my brain is healing. I kid you not, this has been a life altering experience. I can now be in a room full of sweets and not eat any of them. Yipee! For some people it's bread, for some it's alcohol and for some it's chips. Whatever it is that you are powerless over, I know how you feel when you don't want to eat those things and you find yourself literally unable to resist eating them. It's a horrible feeling. It chips away at your self esteem. You wonder what the hell is wrong with you. It sucks.
It doesn't mean that I don't look at my trigger foods and think, "Oooh, I'd like a little taste of that." I do have those thoughts. But those thoughts are quickly replace with, "Wendy, you know that you would never be satisfied with just a small piece of that cake. You would eat it until you felt sick, and then there would be no stopping you later in the day and every day after that." Do I want to go back to a place where my brain is messed up? Hell no! So this kind of self-talk has been a big part of my healing.
And healing my brain has not just been about the foods that I'm not eating anymore. It's really important for me to have complex carbohydrates at every meal, even with my morning pound of veggies. Potatoes and real whole grains are my friend, not my enemy, as I was led to believe. But processed carbs? I avoid them like the plague. Even whole wheat bread and whole wheat pasta. They just don't work for my brain chemistry.
I also want to add that mealtime around HGK is much simpler than it's ever been. My children are getting older and school demands and activities are filling up many more hours of my day. My day job continues to be more intense than it has been in many years. I just don't have the time to do any of the elaborate cooking that I was doing a few years ago. While that does make me a little sad, and my husband a little deprived, we are all satisfied with very simple meals right now.
Lastly, I'd like to share with you the experience of Kim, the winner of the one hour coaching session with Chef AJ from my last giveaway. Kim has lost 7.2 pounds in 30 days and found the session very motivating. Just one hour of private coaching from Chef AJ can make a big difference in your recovery. Here's Kim's story:
"I was the lucky winner of one hour of coaching from Chef AJ, along with her book “Unprocessed” and DVD’s entitled '30 Day Unprocessed Challenge.' This experience was very helpful for me. It took about a week for us to get our telephone session scheduled. I chose telephone over Skype or Facebook because sometimes my wifi/internet isn’t reliable.
My coaching session with Chef AJ was on August 11. Before our session I completed an in-depth client intake questionnaire and a 3-day food diary. I had already devoured all the many hours of information found on the DVD’s and I’d also read her book, so I had a good idea of what her advice would be. Per John Pierre’s advice, I made a vision board so that I could look at it daily for inspiration.
We started our session by determining my goals, commitment and support. Back in 2010 I lost 36 lbs following Dr. McDougall’s Maximum Weight Loss (MWL) plan. Life happened and I regained about 8-10 lbs. I became less diligent about sugar, flour products, nut butters, and vegan snacks. And I liked the occasional glass of wine too, along with sushi once a week. I was deluding myself that the tiny amount of fish in my sushi was ok. I clarified that I was ready to fully commit to Chef AJ’s Ultimate Weight Loss (UWL) plan.
Chef AJ went into great detail about calorie density and how it works for satiety. She gave me tips to use in my everyday life for certain situations I explained. I took copious notes so I wouldn’t forget anything she said. In her usual no BS style, AJ told me I must eat more veggies and stop the sugar, wine, nut butters and vegan snacks. Intellectually I already knew this but talking with her really motivated me. You can tell she is so passionate about her message of health and that passion is contagious.
I started following UWL five days later on August 16. I waited until then so that I could have everything ready to go and time to purge things from my kitchen. I won’t say that it was easy to get up in the morning and eat veggies but once I made it a habit I got used to it and enjoyed it. I’m still only able to eat 11-12 oz of veggies in the morning because it totally fills me up. I then do my best to have another 12-16 oz of veggies at lunch. A few times I found that I was hungry before lunch so I would just have a potato. Dinner usually consisted of a salad and either potatoes or rice with beans and homemade salsa. If I was hungry after dinner I would just have a cup of herbal tea and that would usually satisfy me. I’ve found I sleep better if I’m done eating at least 3-4 hours before bedtime.
Keeping it simple works best for my life. No recipes were needed. I used frozen veggies and cooked them in the microwave. I always had brown rice and Yukon Gold potatoes ready to go in case I got hungry. I’d spend a few hours after grocery shopping prepping fresh veggies for the week ahead. My snacks were fresh fruit like grapes, bananas, apples and berries, or baby carrots and sugar snap peas with a bit of homemade hummus. I ate plain, simple, easy food. I do use a lot of seasonings, including salt sprinkled on top of the food only. Chef AJ said that, for me, it was most important to up the amount of veggies I was eating and if I had to have salt to do it then I could have a little. The only thing I drank was unsweetened tea and water. No wine and surprisingly I didn’t miss it. It took almost four weeks for my sugar cravings to subside but they finally did. I’m still working on my salt addiction but I believe I will eventually conquer it.
My husband has been tremendously supportive of my efforts and didn’t try to tempt me to eat anything off-plan. Even before starting UWL, we only ate out once a week and that was for sushi. During the first 30 days we didn’t eat out at all. I believe he got sushi take-out once but I didn’t eat any of it. I never felt deprived during that time. If I got hungry, I ate. My mother-in-law stayed a few days with us last week and I fixed pumpkin pancakes for the two of them. She was astounded that I didn’t have pancakes but instead ate veggies!
After being totally committed to UWL for 30 days (and still counting!), I lost 7.2 lbs. It’s a great start and I plan to lose 20-30 lbs more. I am doing this primarily for good health not necessarily to lose weight and look better although that’s a nice benefit. I want to be as healthy as possible after watching my mom die from breast cancer and my dad from heart disease.
I whole-heartedly recommend coaching with Chef AJ! We’ve corresponded since our first session and I’m interacting with other folks on her Facebook group for clients. I keep getting more motivation from listening to her free teleclasses. Actually talking to Chef AJ was the 'kick in the pants' I needed to receive. If anyone is still thinking about going WFPB with no SOS, just go ahead and do it to the best of your ability. Thanks again Chef AJ and Wendy for giving me this opportunity. — Kim"
All of Chef AJ's clients can also be added into her private Facebook coaching group for extra ideas and support. If you'd like to contact Chef AJ, you can find her at www.eatunprocessed.com.
I hope that you are all doing well and finding this information to be helpful along your journey. Please let me know in the comments section what's going on with you, your successes and what you're struggling with right now. Together we can conquer this thing!