Food & Recipes

On Going Vegetarian Again

September 9, 2015

IMG_0624

 

About a month ago, I decided to go back to my vegetarian roots and, once again, embrace the type of eating that helped me get to my body weight “happy place” years ago. Those of you who have been following this blog for any extended period of time probably remember the days when I was vegetarian. In fact, I’ve only been eating meat again for the last year and a half.

When I was trying to get pregnant, after having a couple miscarriages, my acupuncturist suggested eating plenty of organic, grass-fed red meat. At that time I was willing to try almost anything to get pregnant, so I jumped on board and started eating meat, something I hadn’t done for years. While I don’t attribute eating meat to my pregnancy success (since we changed many things the third time around) I don’t think it hurt the process, either. Once I got pregnant I craved all sorts of foods I don’t normally crave, including, you guessed it, meat along with every carb under the shining sun.

After having Ainsley I was eager to lose the extra weight I had gained while pregnant. Low-carb, paleo-style eating seems to be all the rage these days, so I thought I would jump on board and give it a try myself. In the back of my mind I knew my body had never responded well to a meat-centric way of eating, but I lost a little perspective and bought into the hype.

You see, when I first started eating vegetarian years ago something in my body just clicked. I can’t explain it, but it was like my metabolism finally got into gear and I lost the extra weight I was carrying around post-college without really trying. Sure, I was eating a lot of veggies, but I was also eating plenty of (good) carbs and the occasional treat. Although it was almost all healthy, I was eating a LOT of food.

Fast-forward to 5 months postpartum and I found myself with an extra 5 or 6 pounds that just didn’t seem to budge. I was working out, eating “clean” and doing everything in my power to get back to my “happy weight” but the scale just wouldn’t budge. And sure, the scale isn’t a total indicator of health, but add to that the fact that my clothes weren’t fitting like I wanted them to and you have a recipe for more than a few crummy days.

I decided to go back to what I knew worked for my body: Eating vegetarian. Heavy on the veggies and whole grains, high in fiber and plenty of healthy fats and dairy. And you know what? Those extra pounds practically melted away. I was as shocked as anyone!

The moral of this post is less about pushing everyone to go vegetarian and more about encouraging every individual to find the way of eating that works best for their body. For some people a low-carb approach works amazing! For others, cutting out gluten and dairy works really well with their system, and for another group, like me, eating vegetarian seems to be the way to go. Take time to experiment, listen to your body and discover what works for you.

And if you happen to see a few more vegetarian recipes around Espresso and Cream in the coming months, now you know why!

I would love to hear stories from you all? Have you found a way of eating that just “works” for you and your body? I’m curious to hear if anyone else has had a similar experience. 

Madison

You Might Also Like

14 Comments

  • Reply Esther September 9, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    I had a similar experience after I had my son almost two years ago. A lot of the weight came off with pumping but there were still those extra pounds I couldn’t get rid of. I tried Paleo and it worked awesome! I feel a million times better on it too.

    • Reply MadisonMayberry September 10, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      That’s amazing, Esther! It’s crazy how our bodies can respond totally different to different ways of eating. Happy you found something that worked well for you!

  • Reply ap September 10, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Finding your own “way of eating” should be healthy and balanced…not just an attempt to lose weight. Trying out fad diets and cutting out food groups is not the way to achieve health. With those methods, weight loss is typically temporary and the diets are not maintainable in the long-term.

    • Reply MadisonMayberry September 10, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      Absolutely! I should have mentioned it in the post, but when I was vegetarian, and now that I’m back to eating vegetarian, I feel SO much better. I think when you find a way of eating/living that works for your body, it has many benefits. For me, cutting out meat isn’t “restrictive” by any means, I’ve never really missed it when being vegetarian. But it probably wouldn’t work for everyone. 🙂

  • Reply Theresa Abellon September 10, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    I don’t consider Weight Watchers to be a diet but it works for me. WW has taught me that it’s a lifestyle change and not a fad/diet. So far I have lost 20 pounds but I’m only 9 pounds away from my goal weight!

    • Reply MadisonMayberry September 10, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      That’s great, Theresa! Congrats on the weight loss and being so close to your goal. You’re so right, the lifestyle is important. If its something you can maintain for the long-term, it’s more likely to be successful.

  • Reply Kelsey M. September 10, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    I know this is semi-unrelated to this post, but I started doing acupuncture 4 weeks ago to hopefully increase our odds of getting pregnant. I would love to know any other tips you had to successfully get pregnant and stay pregnant with Ainsley (I know that was a long road, but I’d still love any tips you have!).

    • Reply MadisonMayberry September 10, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      Hi Kelsey! Good timing. 🙂 I did a whole post on what was most helpful the third time around, so if you’re looking for more detail, that’s the place to go: http://espressoandcream.com/2014/10/getting-and-staying-pregnant-what-we-did-differently.html

      Top line: My acupuncturist suggested eating plenty of grass-fed, organic red meat, which I did. She also gave me some specific herbs and recommendations based on my specific situation that I followed. I started taking a baby aspirin daily at the recommendation of my doctor, and after tracking my cycles for months it appeared that I was low in progerstone, so I started taking progesterone in the second half of every cycle and through the first trimester of my pregnancy with Ainsley. Additionally, I cut back on the intense workouts and did more moderate activities like yoga, long walks and short jogs, rather than long runs or intense workout classes!

  • Reply Magali September 10, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I just love to reas you. I’m french so please excuse my english !
    I starts eating vegan a few weeks ago, I don’t loose any weight for now but I feel so much better (energy, beautiful hair, not starving anymore, ). I have 20kg to loose (I don’t know exactly, maybe 35lbs I think) but as I already lost 20kg, my body already changed a lot (and so did my wardrobe by the way), taking care of my toddler is so much more easy, my goal is more to accept my body and be happy. We’ll see next year to start loosing weight again ! Thanks for sharing yours expriences with us

  • Reply Molly Rollwagen September 10, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Hi Madison! I just recently found your blog and am loving it!! I can so relate to your post. I have a 5 mo. old girl and the last few pounds are being pretty stubborn. Would love to hear some of your go to meals and snacks (that are easy for a working mom!) and how your ensuring you’re getting enough protein? Or is there a plan or guide you’ve been using as a resource?

    -Molly

    • Reply MadisonMayberry September 10, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      Hi Molly!

      Thanks for the comment and welcome! My go-to meals are as follows:
      Breakfast – I almost always have a bowl of oatmeal or oat bran (1/2 cup made with water, cinnamon and stevia) with a couple tablespoons of chia seeds and a spoonful of peanut butter or almond butter.
      Lunch – I usually have a smoothie. Now that I’m working from home it’s easier than it was when I was in a more traditional office, but it’s my absolute favorite: Vega Protein & Greens powder with almond milk, a frozen banana, ice or I’ll have a big salad with lots of veggies and cheese/beans/hummus for protein.
      Snack – Usually some type of minimally-processed nutrition bar or a piece of fruit with nut butter or a couple sticks of string cheese
      Dinner – Heavy on the veggies and whole grains. We love whole grain cous cous because it’s ready in minues or the bags of frozen microwavable brown rice from Trader Joe’s. We use those and make a healthy “fried” rice with edamame, broccoli, and egg many nights when I’m looking for something super quick. Otherwise I keep things simple: lots of spaghetti squash pasta, roasted veggies, lentils, etc.

      Most Americans naturally get plenty of protein in their diets, so I’m usually not too worried. The Vega Protein & Greens usually helps make sure I get enough protein, but I also consume plenty of full-fat dairy and Greek yogurt. Once in a while I’ll do a little tally for the day just to make sure I’ve been eating enough protein. 🙂

  • Reply Emily September 10, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    It sounds like you might have Type A blood. The Blood Type Diet is an interesting resource that explains why each blood type does better with certain foods. Type A’s do best with vegetarian diets. Often, the people that do best on the Paleo diet have Type O blood.

    • Reply MadisonMayberry September 10, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      I’ve heard of the blood type diet, but crazy enough, I actually have type O blood! I guess I don’t play by the rules. 😉

  • Reply Bailey September 13, 2015 at 3:14 am

    I went Paleo 2 years ago in an attempt to improve some health issues and it definitely worked for me. I’m very sensitive to both gluten and dairy and they cause a lot of inflammation in my body. I wasn’t particularly interested in adhering strictly to the Paleo diet for the long term but it was a great diet to help me figure out what my body likes and doesn’t like. As I slowly reintroduced grains and a few other things I was able to figure out what made me feel bad and what didn’t really bother me.
    I do feel the best when I’m completely grain and dairy free but I have 3 kids and 1 on the way so that’s a hard diet to maintain while trying to feed several other people (and I’ll need lots of carbs for breastfeeding as I found out the hard way). I like that the Paleo diet really focuses on eating quality meats and produce and on avoiding added sugar. I LOVE sugar but my body does not!
    I think it’s so important for people to find the diet that works for their body. I need meat in my diet for my body to be happy but that definitely doesn’t apply to everyone.

  • Leave a Reply