From Junk Food to Nourished Vegan

From Junk Food to Nourished Vegan

I love January. Do you? A fresh year, lots of talk about new beginnings, hope and plans being made. It makes me feel all fuzzy inside.

Getting Your Health Back In 2021!

I also have a special reason for being a January fan. Have you heard of Veganuary? It’s a scheme set up to help people try out a vegan lifestyle for a month. This month over 500,000 people signed up!

I’ve been vegan for 7 years now, so the growing influx of new vegans and fresh vegan products hitting the shelves, makes me feel so powered up.

There are so many assumptions made about a vegan lifestyle. We eat boring salads, for example. Along with that comes the thought that being vegan is automatically healthy. I wish! There are so many processed meats, cheese and desserts on offer in recent years that it’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming a junk foodie.

In fact, this was 100% me for the first few years of being vegan. I wanted to try out everything… and I did! But after I had my first child, I struggled to lose the baby weight. I lost my body confidence. I lacked energy, and my health suffered.

I tried every restrictive fad diet and calorie counting app out there until I finally hired a health coach and realised that I didn’t need to do any of that. I needed to change habits, embed new ones, and aim for sustainable weight loss.

So many of us want to lose weight or get healthy in some way at the start of the year. Maybe reading this you’ve already tried and given up. But it’s never too late to put your health first, no matter how many times you’ve fallen down.

It’s so important to have the following things nailed down though.

Goal Setting

Do you have clear goals with a timeframe? It’s a game changer that hardly anybody bothers to do! Once I got clear on what I wanted, printed it out, and held myself accountable, I was able to ACHIEVE!

I’m challenging you to write down:

  • How you feel right now in your body and mind (lethargic, uncomfortable, frazzled)
  • How do you want to feel? (Energised, body positive, good example to the kids, nourished)
  • A short term goal (make 3 salads next week, lose 4lb in the next fortnight).
  • Your ultimate goal (lose 3 stone, feel satisfied enough not to snack at night, get the whole family vegan).
  • WHY you want to achieve this in detail (I want to be able to run around the beach on holiday with the kids while wearing a bikini and feeling good, without feeling out of breath).

Now get it printed out and pin it somewhere you’ll see it every day. If you have a significant other, they can help you stay on track too!

Eating more plants

A plant-based diet has a whole host of benefits, such as reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, weight stabilisation, and diabetes prevention.

If going 100% vegan seems scary to you, aim to increase the number of plants in your diet.

What are your favourite meals? Could you swap out the meat for lentils, chickpeas or tofu? Do you really need that cheese on top?

Buy different fruits and veggies to try when you do your next food shop. Look up new recipes at the weekend. You can also hop on over to my Facebook community for support and encouragement.

Remembering why

When you feel like giving up new habits, it’s always worth remembering why you opted into them. Was it for weight loss, to reduce risk of heart disease, to have more stable energy levels? If possible, carry something around with you that reminds you of this. This could be – a Youtube video clip, photo, keyring, screenshot of a vision board, collage of your favourite healthy food. Having a strong connection to our reasoning makes it much easier to embed new habits and lifestyle changes.

Progress over perfection

Ever given up on your health goals because of one bad day? One slip up doesn’t need to derail you! Start again at the next meal… not the next day or week! Forgive yourself. Perfection makes us lose motivation and negatively affects our mental health.

Small actions can also add up. If you’re feeling like a failure from past dieting efforts, or don’t know where to start, you absolutely can start small. Change one habit at a time, and it will grow. Like a rolling stone, it will gain momentum and you’ll start changing other things too. Not to mention you’ll get extra motivation and confidence! So what change can you make right now?

Weight loss isn’t about being told what to eat and when. It’s about getting to know your body’s needs, changing your mindset and instilling some fantastic new healthy habits. That’s something that a restrictive diet plan can’t give us.

Following my own journey and education, I’m now a health coach myself. I help busy women and moms to lose weight, ditch junk food and embed new habits in the long-term. We’re all about body confidence, happiness, and having a healthy life on your terms. If that sounds good to you, we’d love for you to join our free community. We’re not judgy and we love to share ideas.

Have I persuaded you to include more vegan meals in your repertoire? If so, do check out the Veganuary website. You can actually give it a go any month of the year!

And finally, if you want to lose weight and ditch junk food, I’d love for you to grab my free 5 step action plan. It shows what I did to lose 30lb, gain confidence and get my body healthy again – inside and out.

Katy Malkin