Mama Vegucated: This New Mama's Emotional Adventure Losing Pregnancy Pounds, and Embracing Plant-Based Living
At 5'2", I weighed 184 pounds just days before I gave birth. My son is a toddler now and I've lost 28 of those pounds, most of it during the first few months when I pumped milk. The weight will just not go. My body still looks so foreign to me.
Our society is seldom kind to mothers. You just can't win, ever!
You leave your child to go to work, and society will weigh your shoulders down with guilt. If you stop working, then you're sacrificing your career. You put on too little weight during pregnancy, and people will think you're selfishly saving your figure. You can't lose the baby weight, and people will think that you're lazy. Why aren't you hitting the gym? Maria Kang, hottie mother of three, asks, "What's your excuse?"
I have no excuses. I eat right, at least I figured I did, being a doctor of physical therapy. I walk at a mile or more a day.
In the end, I often don't really care what people think, but with my short stature and a plethora of thinner ("hotter") peers surrounding me, I really can't help but feel a little depressed.
Last week, I scrolled through Netflix (during the rare occasion that I have time to watch a little TV), and I sat through "Vegucated." How the tears flowed as I saw images of animals being tortured just so we can eat them and their products. Male chicks are tossed into grinders (macerated live) and culled by the millions, shortly after birth.
Pigs are stunned and boiled alive, baby cows wrested minutes away from their mothers so that we can enjoy the milk the post-pregnant heifers produce.
You get the point. I cried like a baby watching Vegucated.
Eating better wasn't about losing weight anymore. It's about not supporting a cruel food industry that I knew so little about. Vegucated opened my eyes.
Since the beginning of September, I have added more vegetables into my diet and have not eaten red meat. I honestly don't think I'll have the resolve to become a vegetarian or a vegan, but I'm starting to make better choices when ordering out and buying groceries from Whole Foods.
Here is what we recently bought from Whole Foods:
- All Natural Sky Salad (clover, arugula, French lentil, azuki, pea and sno pea)
- Red cabbage
- Fresh-squeezed orange juice
- Almonds and cashews
- Soy and almond milk
- Shisito peppers
- Carrot sticks
- Olive oil
- Organic sour dough bread
- Kimchi (I LOVE KIMCHI!)
I bring my own lunch to work now, making salads the night before. This saves me at least $10 a day. Buying a salad in NYC can empty your wallets by $10 bucks, give or take.
(I love my Box Appetite lunch box! It's dishwasher and microwave safe and has compartments.) Easy to wash and sturdy glass.
Here's my "Vegucated-inspired" Quick Salad Recipe for work lunch:
- A handful of Sky, Moon, or Earth Salad from Whole Foods
- 5-10 almonds and 5-10 cashews
- Drizzle of olive oil and hummus as the "dressing"
- A few (fried) edamame beans for crunch (replaces croutons)
- Half an avocado
- Optional balsamic vinegar as an additional dressing
- Optional couscous
- Optional cheese such as blue cheese crumble or fresh mozzarella (my favorite is brie, and I'm looking for a vegan substitute, so if you can give me a recommendation, that would be highly appreciated!)
For dessert, a small wedge of brie cheese (see! it's my fave, I mentioned it twice!) and a handful of blueberries.
Beverage: fresh cold-pressed juices or my favorite drink of all, water!
Ever since I've been eating better, I've noticed that my tummy looks toner, my skin clearer, and my taste buds crave veggies!
Every time we eat out now, I order the vegetarian dishes. I haven't had a meat craving. I am blessed to live in a city where there are many vegetarian and vegan options. Let's see how I do through the end of this month and next. I'll report out again at the end of October. Wish me luck. Oh and if you haven't seen Vegucated or Forks over Knives yet, check them out on Netflix!
- Weight: 156 pounds
- Waistline: 39 inches (yeah, I know, yuck)
- Bra size: 40D
We also can't wait to try Beyond Meat and Grainful entrees. Both companies are sending me samples to try and review. Reviews to come after their products are in my tummy!