Vegetables for weight loss

extra-fries-14316107418kg4n

Have you ever tried to lose weight? I mean really tried? I’m in my 30s and this is the first time in my life that I’m truly making a conscious and physical effort to shed some pounds- and it’s hard as heck! In my previous post I talked about slowing down and taking care of myself. A large part of ‘keeping it light’ in 2016 is taking care of the physical body: eating more vegetables, being more active and reinvigorating my yoga practice. Ultimately with the intention to physically ‘keep it light.’

Luckily, time is on my side. Often I speak to people who are trying to lose weight in order to fit into an outfit, go on vacation, or be ready for summer. All of those external time constraints might be a motivating factor for some people, but for me they’re a hindrance. I prefer to wholeheartedly incorporate some changes into my lifestyle, slowly adding ones that feel good and subtracting ones that don’t work.

vegetables saladforbreakfast mamaearthorganic
Some of the bounty from my weekly vegetable delivery.

One effective way to lighten the load is to incorporate more vegetables into the daily mix. Now some of you might be saying “Hey Shilpa, you have a blog called ‘Salad for Breakfast.’ Don’t you eat enough vegetables as it is?” To which I would say “My friend, you can never eat enough vegetables…” Okay scratch that. I would actually probably just say “No!”

So, more vegetables it is! In particular, for weight loss, I use the following as a rule of thumb when choosing vegetables for my plate: either leafys (not really a word so don’t google it), greens, or water-filled. Here are examples of some of these varieties:

  • Leafys (the bunches or layers of leafy-like vegetables): Spinach, Chard, Kale, Cabbage (green or red), beetroot greens, bok choy (or other Asian greens), lettuce
  • Greens (this one is self explanatory): Broccoli, edamame, avocado, peas (blah okay I don’t really ever choose peas), pea snaps (I like these)
  • Water-filled (these are the ones that will keep you hydrated and/or shed lots of water when cooked): Peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, cucumbers, garlic, onions, celery, tomatoes (are they a fruit? Are they a vegetable?)

So basically, the things that haven’t made it on the list are the vegetables that are high in starch and/or sugar (carrots, beets, potatoes, squashes etc.) That doesn’t mean that I don’t eat these vegetables- I sure do! I’m just more mindful of the portions, don’t eat them daily and try not to eat them all in one meal. Again, this is my own rule of thumb for weight loss. I’m not a nutritionist so this might all sound like mumbo jumbo to you! And that’s okay 🙂

This system is particularly hard to follow in the winter, when most of the seasonal produce in Toronto is made up of starches and root vegetables. So it’s been a fun learning process and I’ve had to figure out ways to balance my need for locally grown food, with my need for leafys, greens and water-filled vegetables.

What about you? What rules do you follow for weight loss? I’d love to hear what works for you. In the next post I’ll share some tips on how I’ve been using the vegetables.

Until then, keep it light!

 

Keeping it Light in 2016

Blue Skies
Captured while road trippin’ across Scotland, 2015.

Happy 2016 friends! It is still 2016 right?! It’s January! Okay okay… so it’s the third week of January. My internal clock is moving at a snail pace these days, so it takes me a bit longer to settle into reality.

I don’t know about you but 2015 was a spectacularly hectic year for me. A busy work schedule paired with a glorious year of travel, naturally took a toll on my physical health. Towards the end of the year when the pace picked up all around me, my body and mind were screaming for me to come to a halt. But I didn’t do that. Instead I kept going, pushing further, ignoring my all-knowing internal compass.

So at the outset of January, when the air is typically filled with hope, wishes and beginnings, I was drained, flustered and downright broken.

exhausted

After some thought and conversations, I decided to take a timeout from the hectic pace of things, and take care of myself; a pledge to rest and regroup. This isn’t about going back in time and becoming the person I was 2 years ago or something. It’s about acknowledging where I am today, and growing from where I’m at in this moment. Ultimately, it’s about feeling good and reconnecting with the things that help me get there.

There’s a fantastic line in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where one of the main characters is advised:

I am no jedi, but I know the force. It moves through and surrounds every living thing. Close your eyes, feel it. The light. It’s always been there. It will guide you.

So this is my moment to slow down, take care of myself and do the things that make me feel super. And of course, blogging is one of those things.

Do you have any intentions, goals or thoughts about 2016? For me, 2016 is all about ‘keeping it light.’

star wars gif

On a side note- if you’re going to do one thing before the end of the month, go and see Star Wars The Force Awakens, if you haven’t already. Geez!