Alright guys - so as you know, I absolutely love to hear from you. I do my best to answer all your direct messages and comments on social media and on the blog - but there are three questions I get asked soooo often - that I think its high time I answered in a post. Here goes!
"I am thinking about becoming vegan - any advice?"
My biggest piece of advice is to DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOU IN TERMS OF YOUR OWN VEGAN JOURNEY. If you feel called to be vegan or make an effort to transition to a plant-based lifestyle - do what feels right for you. I do feel like veganism is treated very religiously by some - and while I am passionate about veganism - I am far from perfect in my own journey. My personal experience is that I have zero desire to eat meat and the majority of animal by-products, but there are some dairy products that I do eat on rare occasion and I am fine with it - because I source ethical (happy) dairy if possible- and I am constantly doing my best and that works for me. I stick by the rule "always vegetarian - mostly vegan" and by doing the best that I can I am making a huge difference. My biggest piece of advice is to approach your journey with this mentality and not feel like its "all or nothing". If you do enter with an all-or-nothing mentality - you might just give it up entirely and there are SO many amazing benefits to a vegan/plant-based lifestyle.
I highly recommend getting educated on why a vegan lifestyle is the most compassionate lifestyle, the best thing you can possibly do to save the planet, and learn about the amazing health and beauty benefits of a plant-based vegan lifestyle. Watching these documentaries is a fantastic start!
- Forks Over Knives (Netflix)
- Cowspiracy (Netflix)
- Earthlings (youtube)
How long has it taken you to lose the weight and what is your biggest weight-loss tip?
As of yesterday, I am OFFICIALLY DOWN 30 LBS SINCE MY HEAVIEST WEIGHT! SOOO exciting as this marks my halfway point to my goal weight and I couldn't be more proud of how far I have come. Hopefully what has worked for me will help you start your journey if you feel that you would like to lose weight!
I was at my heaviest weight 3 years ago. I was miserable, depressed, dealing with anxiety and suffering from a resulting binge-eating problem. I was stressed out from my job, travelling for work all the time (and not anywhere interesting, mind), and constantly eating gas station and fast food. I would eat until my stomach felt like it would explode and then I would cry and be depressed about it - only to tell myself I would start my diet tomorrow and go on another binge that night. I went through a turning point in my adult life around that time - and my binge-eating disorder came to an end (thankfully). Just from this change - I lost 15lbs naturally, and hung out at that weight for a very long time. I have lost the other 15lbs within the last 3 months, and my weight loss strategy is so successful there is no stopping me at this point.
Adopting a plant-based, vegan diet is absoloutly a very healthy way of eating and of getting proper nutrition. However - it is very possible to eat a very unhealthy, processed vegan diet and if you chose to eat this way, you won't simply lose weight just by being vegan. While I absoloutly think that a whole foods, plant-based diet has assisted me in my weight loss, my two biggest weight loss tips that have worked for me are above and beyond eating a plant based diet.
- Set your goals 2lbs at a time. I have wanted to lose 45lbs for the last 3 years - and you know what... having that goal has always seemed WAY too far away. 15lbs ago I changed it so that my goals were in increments of 2lbs and I kept my "next weight" always written on a sticky note above my bed. Once I lost those two lbs, I wrote my next goal weight on a sticky note above my bed... and I always only am working towards losing the next 2 lbs - seems way easier right?! I don't know why this works - but it does. Trust me.
- Intermittent Fasting. You have probably heard of this - without knowing that you have heard of this. Do you recall anyone telling you that "the secret to my weightloss is that I don't eat after 7!" or how one of Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harpers weight loss tips is to make sure you "go to bed hungry". This is intermittent fasting. Please read this article from the amazing onnit.com - because it is a game-changer. My husband read it, and showed it to me 3 months ago - and it seriously has been like a weight loss life hack for me. I found out that having an 8 hour eating window along with 16 hours of fasting a day is what works best for me - and its also best for me to have that eating window be between 1:00pm-9:00pm because I am just simply a night eater. It was very difficult for about 2 weeks - and then it became very simple. Also - if I ever feel "hangry" and/or feel like I need to eat earlier than 1:00pm - I simply do. I just practice fasting as much as possible - and it works amazing. I sleep better, my digestion is better, and I keep way better control of my appetite. Pick a window that works for you!! If you can't go without breakfast - make your eating window 9am-7pm, do whats best for YOUR body.
How do you and Kris afford your lifestyle and how do you make money on the road?
This one may come as a bit of a shock - but we DON'T make money on the road. We hope to - one day. But as of right now - we don't. So, this is why we picked a place (the Okanagan) that we loved to spend a few months to make money and then continue on the road. Yes, at the moment we have full-time, regular jobs. The difference is - we will only have those jobs for a short period of time, and with way fewer expenses. This means we are able to save money to hit the road once again. Kris and I were very fortunate in our previous lifestyle to have been very financially secure. We weren't rich by any means, but we had made good investments, didn't have any credit card debt, and had a good chunk of savings. We chose to use that opportunity to live authentically rather than continue to grow our wealth. This was a huge decision, but we felt it was right for us. I promise to do another blog post on exactly how we acquired the financial security that we did - but truth be told - we are very seriously just "going with the flow" when it comes to finances. We are working and saving money at the moment, and seeing what happens. We are firm believers that following your bliss is the way to freedom both financially and spiritually - so we are trusting that and trusting God in our personal journey.
I hope this provided some insight into what you are curious about but PLEASE - keep them questions coming. I LOVE them and I LOVE you!