Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 31

Day 31 and still going strong. I went to see my naturopath yesterday to determine if I am doing everything right and getting everything I need on my new diet. The only thing I think I need to be concerned about is protein. She suggested I should be getting about 30mg of Iron per day as plant iron isn't absorbed as readily as animal iron.

The other thing I learned is that there are certain veggies and fruits you need to consume in smaller quantities when consumed raw as they can interfere with thyroid function. Follow this link to see more:

I thought that it was a joke and then I did more research and yes it is true. I wonder why I have never seen this mentioned in any of the raw books I have read.

So tomorrow starts Day 1 of 28 days of exercise. The rules are simple - 30 minutes of exercise that increases my heart rate to the target range. I need to combine, cardio, strenghth and flexibility training.

I like changing things one habit at a time. It makes like much easier.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 29

I feel plant strong, healthy and happy. I see this as a lifestyle not as a diet. Today I weighed in and I am at 226 versus my starting point of 245 so down 19 pounds in 28 days. That is pretty exciting. My belt has been tightened by a notch and a large part of my wardrobe is opening up again!

I think going vegan for 28 days will be far easier than exercising for 28 days but that will start on September 1st. Why the 1st? It just makes the math easier! :-)

Last night to celebrate the end of my 28 days I had a kale salad and collard wraps

Kale Salad
1 bunch of kale de-stemmed
1 lemon juiced
1 tsp of olive oil
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts

Massage the kale with lemon juice and olive oil and let stand for a couple of minutes, mix in the cranberries and pine nuts and you are good to go.

Collard Wraps
1 bunch of collard leaves
1 cup (uncooked) quinoa
sliced: peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and green onions

blanch the collard leaves
place quinoa and toppings on top of leaves roll and eat

Very healthy and very yummy.

Breakfast this morning was a smoothie (apple, orange and left over collard leaves along with VEGA Smoothie Infuser)

Lunch will likely be a big salad and dinner will be brown rice and lentil pilaf with BBQ'd veggies.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 28

Day 28 and feeling strong. I am now turning my attention towards 28 days of exercise and refining my vegan diet. I think like some of the others I want to start incorporating more raw into my diet.

I am now gearing up to start 28 days of exercise. To be honest up to this point I have never really enjoyed a formal exercise regime for longer than two or three weeks. Throughout my life I have been relatively active, walking, playing with kids, going for bike rides, but I know it is not enough exercise. I need to do at least 30 minutes a day of both cardio and strength training. This is equally as important as diet.

I am going to do cycling for cardio, because I can't stand running (sorry to the runners out there (Dave)). As well my body is not ideally built for running (I am 6'3" tall and currently weighing in at 226 pounds). I have read in several places that the ideal height and weight for runners is short and light. Otherwise there is too much stress on the body.

For weights I will be doing 30 mins to 60 mins of the P90X weight programs. The other thing I need to incorporate is yoga as I am not too flexible...Cycling I will be riding 25-50 KMs per session at an average speed of 25 KMs/Hour. Goal is to have my heart rate in the target zone for 30 minutes to 60 minutes.

I will continue this blog and incorporate both new diet and workout information.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 27

Day 27 has arrived and I am fully committed to this lifestyle. I am now looking forward at the next challenges.

On Monday I am going to start 28 days of exercise as well as I want to now start tracking what I am eating, both to make sure I am getting enough mixture of things but also to get the right amount of calories to continue losing weight.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 26

Can't believe it is Day 26, I am loving being healthy and losing weight. Like the Big Sexy my BP is significantly down into the nice normal range, my weight is coming down and I am generally feeling happier and better than I have in a very long time.

Like Dave I think for the next 28 days I want to really crank up the fruits and veggies. As well I am going to start 28 days of exercise and see how that goes. Does anyone else have any ideas for what to do in the next 28 days?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 24

Got back very late last night from San Francisco and woke up with nothing to eat in the house. So I used some emergency smoothie powder I keep in the house and then hit the salad bar at work.

The neat thing was after a week of not weighing myself I went from 234 to 226!! Looks like all the fresh air/exercise was good for me in San Francisco. The other thing I loved about San Fran was that almost all of the menus denoted which items were vegan which made it a snap to eat out.

I have really enjoyed being plant strong and believe that I will continue it long after the 28 days are done with the odd non-vegan meal being thrown in, maybe on date nights with my wife. I like the 28 day cycle it works for me and I think I will change other habits using the 28 day cycle. The next cycle I am going to try for 28 days is to exercise for 28 days straight and get up at 5AM. For the exercise it has to be 30 minutes a day with an increased heart rate.

Anyone else out there looking at changing something in the coming 28 days?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's Been Awhile

I must apologize for not updating this page in awhile but I have been travelling in San Francisco for a large family get together. I am still fully plant strong and plan on continuing being plant strong after the 28 days are done.

It has helped that I rented an apartment in San Francisco for my family to stay in so I had full access to a kitchen and lots of Whole Foods and Trader Joes so breakfasts and lunches have been easy. I thought that the parties we were going to would be challenging but I had my vegan protein bars just in case. As it turned out the organizers had very thoughtfully asked the restaurant to make a vegan plate for me which was awesome. The other big event was a at a cousins house and there were so many awesome salads and vegan food.

I have to say I am so jealous of people on the West Coast and their ability to grow fresh fruits and veggies pretty much all year round. At my cousins house yesterday he had a garden with the following: Appples, Pears, Oranges, Lemons, Pomegranites, Artichokes, 2 kinds of Kale, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers, Strawberries, Lettuce and all kinds of other greatness. He said that a lot of it will grow most of the year. I have to say Southwestern Ontario in Canada sucks when it comes to our ability to grow food. We have maybe three good months.

I have loved being plant strong, I found that I had very little jet lag (normally I suffer quite badly), I can't go back to sleep in the mornings even when my kids wake me up very early because I am too wide awake. I have lost around 15 pounds and am continuing to lose weight.

I hope everyone else is cranking along.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 14

Sorry posting has been a little light lately but I am desperately trying to get ready for a week long vacation in San Francisco. Still plant strong at this half way point. I hope everyone else is doing great.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 12

Breakfast this morning was a smoothie made with an Orange, Apple, Banana, Raspberries and Spinach and some Vega Smoothie Infuser. Lunch was a big green salad with an Ezekiel English Muffin with peanut butter. Dinner was a date with my wife at a Thai restaurant. I had mango salad, stir fried eggplant and veggie pad thai.

I find that I am doing pretty good craving wise as long as I have eaten food before dealing with non vegan food. The hardest part of this lifestyle is eating in restaurants. There are very few restaurants with decent Vegan options.

I hope everyone else is rockin the plant strong life style.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 11

Just lost my day 11 post, so I am not retyping it....great day looking forward to tomorrow!

Hope everyone is doing well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 10

Great day 10! I ate my Rip's Big Bowl for Breakfast which was great with my homemade almond milk. For lunch I went to a different raw restaurant and had some nori (sushi with marinaded mushrooms, sprouts and asparagus), and a rawhich which is a raw sandwhich with dehydrated onion bread (yum). Dinner was homemade raw lasagna (cucumber and zucchini noodles with tomatoes and avacado. The sauce I used was cashews, tomatoes, red pepper and onion with some lemon juice.

I also am making my first raw crackers in the dehydrator tonight. They are 1 cup of flax seed, 1 cup of water, onions, red peppers, lemon juice, sea salt and garlic. It is really great. Tastes just like the expensive ones except they cost a fraction.

Lots of energy!!

Hope everyone is doing great.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 9

It will be a short post tonight, very crazy day. I had a road trip and ended up going a really really long time without food and avoided lots of temptation. Energy is very good.

I have noticed something interesting though vaguely unnerving which is the fact that my bowel movements have stopped smelling like much of anything.

Anyway sorry for the gross post.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 8

Totally rockin the energy today again. Feeling strong and energetic. Plus I had to tighten my belt today.

Breakfast was Rip's big bowl, lunch was a giant salad and an ezekiel english muffin with peanut butter, and dinner was my dinosaur kale wraps I posted about a while back.

Tonight was about stocking up for the coming days. I am making a batch of killer kale chips in the dehydrator as we speak. I used soaked cashews, lemon juice, garlic, hot peppers and sea salt in the blender to make a paste. I then massaged all that into the kale and off to the dehydrator and tomorrow morning voila, kale chips. The paste that I made was awesome!!

I also ran out of hemp milk tonight and decided instead of paying 4 bucks for nut milks why not make my own. So I made almond milk for tomorrows breakfast.

I want to wake up at 5 tomorrow and crank out some P90X Yoga. If you have not tried this before it is crazy yoga. I sweat so hard that I slip off my mat!!

Anyway I hope my fellow wagoneers are rockin the diet and have a great Day 8!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 7

Well Day 7 was great. I had way too much energy today and was bouncing off the walls. Diet was pretty much a mixture of leftovers from previous days. Dinner was a birthday dinner at my in-laws which was eggplant in tomato sauce, peppers stuffed with rice and lots of salad.

Yesterday and today I dug out my dehydrator and was busy making things like kale chips, beet chips and dried apple. Much cheaper than buying it and very tasty. Kale chips are: 1 large bunch of kale, lemon juice, a little bit of olive oil and sea salt. You take the stems out of the Kale and then roughly chop the kale. Massage the kale with all of the rest of the ingredients. Let it marinade until the kale is soft. Then you put it in the dehydrator (or oven if you don't have a dehydrator) and dry until crispy. Yummy and healthy.

Exercise today was lots of swimming with the kids, lifting weights, chin ups, and push ups.

Good luck to everyone and I will check in tomorrow.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 6

Today was a good day. My stomach had settled down considerably, cravings were relatively under control.

Breakfast was Rip's Big Bowl. Lunch was a friend's kids birthday party at a ranch so I ate lots of salads, fruits and veggies along with a vega meal replacement bar. Dinner was Rip's brown rice and some marinated kale.

I am trying my hand at dehydrating tonight by trying to make some kale chips. I will let you know if they turn out. Then I want to try making dehydrated raw crackers and maybe some fruit snacks.

I can't believe tomorrow is Day 7. I like this idea of breaking things into 28 day cycles. I think the next 28 day cycle I will try for is to exercise every day for 28 days, but lets see how the vegan 28 days go first. It is much easier to stay on the straight and narrow knowing that I have to write a blog at the end of the day with what I have eaten. Somehow a group of people I only know through cyberspace hold more accountability than people I know.

Tomorrow is my family celebration of my birthday, I celebrate my birthday with my in-laws because my sister-in-laws birthday is the same day as mine. My mother-in-law was all in a panic that I was going to starve to death because I was eating vegan. My father-in-law how is Indian only laughed telling her there are so many great vegetarian and vegan dishes to eat.

Good luck everyone and check back tomorrow night

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 5

Day 5 was the best day yet. My stomach stopped feeling like it was being ripped apart and headaches are gone. It felt like I might have had a bit more energy though I might have been dreaming that part.

Breakfast was Rip's Big Bowl which included today, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, walnuts and raisins. I have to say I am loving this breakfast.

Lunch was the raw vegan place again. I had miso soup to start, avo tartare with breadsticks and a juice called pink lady which is pear and pink grapefruit juice. Very nice. My wife had miso soup and the ravioli.

Dinner was quinoa sushi: I used left over quinoa from last nights wraps, caramelized onions, julienned green onions, julienned cucumber, lettuce, sprouts and a sauce made from caramelized onions liquefied with lemon juice and salt. It was a little messy but very yummy.

Exercise-up until this point I have not exercised because I was getting over a sinus infection that started before the 28 days. It is still lingering but I decided to do something light and given it was a fairly warm day I took the kiddies to the local outdoor pool after supper.

Good luck to everyone on Day 6 - I am off to a kids birthday party so I will be bringing my own snacks.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 4

Starting my day with Rip's Big Bowl. I have to say this thing fills me up until lunch time and is really really tasty.

Yesterday at the Raw Vegan restaurant I mentioned our quest to go Vegan for 28 days and they indicated that if I can make it the 28 days I should come back and show them the results and then "work" for them for a couple of days to learn the secrets of making some really yummy raw food. I think I will have to take them up on this.

Lunch was some ezekiel spaghetti with a tomato sauce with sautéed onions, garlic, zucchini and baby spinach. It turned out really well.

Dinner was dinosaur kale wraps. You take the kale and rub it with lemon juice and salt. After it sits for a few minutes it becomes pliable and easy to eat. Then you put quinoa and whatever veggies you like inside. I used julienned zucchini, julienned cucumber, thinly sliced green onions, avocado and tomatoes.

Then I had a snack of Ezekiel English muffin with peanut butter.

All in all a satisfying day. My stomach has hurt for the last two days and I have been pretty sleepy but other than that going strong. Good luck to everyone else and here comes day 5.

Sorry no pictures today as I dropped my blackberry and it is now no more.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 3

I had a great lunch today with my lovely wife. We went to our favorite local raw vegan restaurant. It was awesome. First we had raw ravioli made out of beets with nut sauces sorry no picture I was too hungry and ate it before I could get the camera out.

I had raw burritos and my wife had the nachos. For dessert we shared the raw chocolate and banana cake. It was very decadent.

So far not too bad. I found that my headaches have disappeared. The other thing I have noticed are the much more frequent trips to the washroom. I hope this settles out before my trip in two weeks. I hope everyone else is having a good time.

Day 3

Well Day 3 started off well with Rip's big bowl. However, when I got to work this morning I was advised that a good friend/colleague had died on the weekend from a brain aneurism. I like Char Nolan's comment in hear blog this is a philosophy and lifestyle not a diet. Given news like this morning it makes it all more important to be plant strong.

Another quote I love from leadership coach Robin Sharma is "the price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret".

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 2

Day 2 was a success other than the headache:

Breakfast: Rip's Big Bowl
Lunch: (first business lunch) dairy free mushroom soup, spinach salad with pecans and apple slices and a handful of sweet potato fries
Dinner: Half a whole wheat pita with hummus, sprouts, lettuce, cucumber and tomato

Snacks throughout the day were fruit and these awesome organic crackers that are made from quinoa, lentils etc, along with some hummus. The crackers are called Mary's ( They also have this great thing called sticks and twigs. Not sure if they retail in the US or not.
I also had a vega bar for a snack during my son's t-ball game.

My big weakness is evenings and snacking. So I am trying to write this instead of snacking!! :-)

Well soon off to bed for Day 3 and my Birthday. I am going to go for lunch with my wife to a Raw Vegan place. If you have never been to a raw vegan restaurant I highly recommend it. They can do some amazing things with veggies.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 1 Wrap Up

Well Day 1 turned out great. We had all our guests over went for a nice long walk followed by the BBQ. I made everyone else their hamburgers and hotdogs and I grilled up a nice big portobelllo mushroom. I have to say mine looked the most delicious of the group.

As well I was pleasantly surprised that everyone in the group was very excited for me and encouraging. Most of them didn't know what vegan meant so I had to do some explaining.

Today in Canada was a holiday so tomorrow is going to be the real test my first business lunch as a vegan.....

Good luck everyone.

Day 1

So far Day 1 has been pretty painless. I had a nice smoothie this morning: Apple, Orange, Banana, Blueberries, spinach and Vega Whole Food Smoothie Infuser for protein. This is my normal breakfast so not a stretch. I then spent several hours in the blazing sun working in the yard which helped take my mind off things.

Lunch was a half of a whole wheat pita, 2 TBSPs of hummus, cucumber, yellow pepper, lettuce and sprouts. On the side were two large carrots. Very delicious though I am sure not enough to carry me to dinner.

I have to say I am starting to get a nice caffeine withdrawal headache which is to be expected with no coffee. The green tea with honey didn't cut it according to my head.

The challenge today will be in a few hours we have about 16 people coming over for a backyard BBQ and I am the one doing the cooking. For the guests it will be a meat fiesta for me it will be grilled portobello mushrooms ala E2. I have been eating these probably once a week since getting the book and they are awesome.

One of my favorite snacks/meals is BBQ tofu. I got this recipe from a Moosewood cookbook. Moosewood is this awesome Vegan/Veggie restaurant in New York State. They have published a lot of books with vegan/vegetarian recipes that are very good. Basically you mix 1 tablespoon of sesame oil with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, toss cubed firm tofu in it. Then you bake it at 350 for 20 minutes or so and voila some awesome stuff.

Hope everyone else is enjoying the first day.