Last week, our guest writer Simone chatted to us about her upcoming four week vegan diet challenge with The Happy Heart Course and told us how she was feeling about tackling the lifestyle change. Well, she's a week into the challenge and the good news is that she has yet to have any meltdowns or suddenly start gnawing at the leg of an unsuspecting cow.
So, shall we see how she's getting on? And how those scales are balancing up?
Great news - I’ve made it through week one unscathed. And you know what? It was actually much easier than I had expected it to be.
Now, I’m not going to lie - days two and three were pretty flippin' tough. I had a terrible headache and felt drained, and it’s safe to say that I was far from a joy to be around. But low and behold, on the third day, I woke up feeling refreshed and full of energy. It was kinda like my own mini resurrection. And as the days went on I began to feel better and brighter (but wasn't sure about lighter as I made a pact to only weigh myself once a week).
Yes, I have some hunger pangs occasionally but I’ve come to accept that it’s good to feel hungry and to anticipate my next meal rather than feeling permanently full.
The variety of recipes has really helped. Without wanting to remind you of a Peter Andre and Jordan duet, there’s a whole new world of recipes out there and it’s been fun discovering new cooking techniques. You’ll see from the photos that it’s been far from bland and boring. AND I can eat as much of the food as I like. Hurrah!
Yes, you need to be organised (but seeing as I’m a ‘Monica’ that part came easily to me), and the best news for this caffeine-addict was that I could still have my coffee (vital to stop me being a zombie) and even a glass of wine or two (as long as you don’t go overboard). I haven’t missed meat at all and my sugar cravings have been satisfied by the delicious treats that I can make, such as the Raw Energy Balls (oooh, matron).
I thought I knew everything that there was to know about nutrition but it turns out that's far from the truth. What I’m loving is that the Happy Heart Course is challenging my beliefs. The organisers of the course, Stephen and David Flynn, really make you think about what you’re putting into your body and why you’re doing it. One of their main sources of reference is ‘The China Study’ by Dr. T Colin Campbell, and it's well worth a look. This isn’t necessarily about assigning labels such as ‘vegan’, it’s purely about eating a plant based, wholefood diet with the aim of improving your quality of life.
And I’d highly recommend that you take 4mins out of your day and watch this video from them as they can explain the course a lot better than I!
By now you’re probably thinking, ‘Get to the point! Did you lose any weight?’ and the answer is…….drumroll…...yes, I lost 5.5lbs this week *high fives everyone in my vicinity*!
But you know what? It’s starting to be not really about that anymore. See, I think that I’m finally beginning to understand that my body is a system that’s all connected so you can’t just focus on one element. You can't simply say, ‘I want to lose weight’ or ‘I want to lower my cholesterol’. The honest answer is that once you start being healthy, you get a whole plethora of benefits, including weight loss and increased energy levels. You even get some peace of mind.
So my new goal is to be the best version of me that I can be. Not just for my own sake, but also to set a good example for my daughter.
So onwards I march into my second week, feeling positive and hopeful. See you next week!
Have you tried a similar healthy-eating plan? And can you identify with those dreaded sugar withdrawals? Share your experiences with us in the comments!