This year I have been on the quest to loose that additional weight I have gain since becoming a Dad. My dad bod clearly needs some attention! So, I have cut out most of the snacking I used to do. And when I say snacking, to be fair it was more like grazing all day! I have also reduced the portion size for breakfast and for my lunch I usually have cereal, but I do keep to a good evening meal.
One thing I have been enjoying is the additional fruit and vegetables. Which got me to think about Veganuary. Now I do not think I could cut out meat completely but, I have made some solid steps to have two or three meals a week that are completely vegan!
Instead of adding chicken to my curry I have opted for extra vegetables and quorn. Our pasta meals, I have added in bell peppers rather than meat which had gone down a treat! My next step is to make a vegetable lasagne which is something I have not had in a few years but, have fond memories of how tasty it was. There are so many vegan recipes out there to try!
One from the BBC food that I am really keen to try and I am sure will be a hit with the boys is the vegan pizza! A quick peek at the ingredients:
- 200g/7oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for rolling
- 1½ tsp fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp flaked sea salt
- 125ml/4fl oz warm water
- olive oil, for greasing
For the topping:
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ red or yellow pepper, seeds removed, thinly sliced
- ½ large courgette, very thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 100g/3½oz chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 100g/3½oz quartered or sliced artichoke hearts in oil, drained well
- 4 tbsp ground almonds
- 14–16 green or black olives, or a mixture, drained well
- large handful fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
- flaked sea salt and ground black pepper
Check out the method for cooking over on the BBC’s website. But the great thing about this recipe is the kids can create their own topping! This will give them the little extra nudge to eat a more balanced diet!
What about snacks?
While making the most of Veganuary, I still feel I am missing out on a sweet snack. It can be difficult to find a vegan friendly treat. I am a complete chocolate lover, but not had any since I started my diet. Luckily there’s dairy free chocolate available from Yumbles, which is absolutely great! One thing I have noticed since dieting, is the amount of sweet snacks my boys are having. So we are looking at introducing a healthier snacking system. Some raw carrot sticks have proven to be a nice distraction for them instead of the after school chocolate bar or sweets. Giving them only a sweet pudding after dinner! After all its about moderation rather than cutting sweet things out of your diet completely!
My weight loss goal
On a side note I set a target weight of around 86kg (approximately 13.5 stones). When I started my journey I weighed in at 98.2kg (just under 15.5 stone!) Currently I am at 94kg at three weeks in which is keeping me nicely motivated. I think my weight loss has definitely been influenced by changing my diet towards a more vegan lifestyle. You never know one day soon I might just convert over! Now all I need to do is maintain an decent exercise routine!