Category Archives: Weight Loss

The Low FODMAP Vegan: The Proof is in the Pudding

Facebook has been great for me recently – I joined a FODMAP intolerance support group and just having that interaction with people from all accross the globe that you wouldn’t meet otherwise, and just interacting, bouncing ideas off, sharing experiences. It really does make you feel like you’re not alone in the world when it comes to how you feel because of what you eat.

The transition to a low FODMAP diet was not easy – and still isn’t. I won’t sugar coat anything for you, sorry. It requires a huge amount of dedication, will power and above all else – organisation. You need to plan what you’re going to eat, what cravings you think you might have – stock your cupboards full of things you CAN have – and eliminate ones you can’t.

I’ve been on the low FODMAP diet for 4 weeks tomorrow. It has been an amazing journey so far, and I’m sure it will continue to be. I have had my slip-ups, with products containing dairy, wheat, processed sugars, onions, garlic and chickpeas. Let me tell you this – the suffering wasn’t worth it. I did it out of frustration sometimes, and out of the simple need to satisfy a craving other times. It has completely made me appreciate how valid the statement You Are What You Eat is. So that is my motto going forward.

After 4 weeks you would have thought this process has gotten easier – but in fact i’ve reached a stage where i’m more frustrated now at the lack of options I feel are available. But, my new targets are to become more familiar with foods I can eat before introducing ones i’m unsure about so I can do this when I’m ready and not simply just out of frustration.

The ultimate question – has this worked for me? So far yes. I feel better – more energised. The bonus? I’ve lost 2kg without even trying. No exercise. I’ve now kicked my butt in gear and hitting the gym 2-3 times a week (well, that’s the plan – i’ve been once – another 2 more times this week to go!).



Posted by on February 17, 2012 in Low FODMAP, Vegan, Weight Loss


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The Low FODMAP Vegan : Sofa-Surfing

At the weekend (or even during the week), there’s one thing every single one of us loves to do and that is sofa surfing. Even for a couple of hours, we relish in the ability to just curl up, chill out, and watch tv. It becomes somewhat, therapeutic – something each of us cherishes now that we all have crazy work-filled lives. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mum, a young professional or have been working for years – there’s nothing better than coming home, sitting on the sofa and relaxing after a long day or even a long week.

This time, my weekend of sofa-surfing (I’m starting to become obsessed with this phrase today – it may only last today however, so please excuse me) was filled with some educational documentaries. The kind that you stumble across on the TV but gross you out so much that you change channels immediately, thus proving our inability to accept change. But I’m at the stage in my life where I feel the need to change – change what I eat and my daily routine. I always felt sluggish and bloated – the lack of energy or ability to wake up in the morning was killing me. But the one thing that was worst for me, was that food was not exciting anymore – everything seemed to make me feel sick or bloated or tired. Almost like the feeling that you get when you’ve gone to a buffet lunch and eaten your fill and the fill of 10 others (oh come on, admit it, you’ve done that at least once in your lifetime – there’s no sense hiding it from yourself!)

The two documentaries I watched were Earthlings and Forks over Knives. Now if you have any sense of compassion or are a lover of meat or simply want to remain ignorant about the way in which animals are treated in the production of both meat and dairy products then I suggest you don’t watch it. But it is an incredible eye-opener. I must admit, I couldn’t watch more than about 10 minutes at a time – I was disgusted and now various images are ingrained in my head – hopefully for a lifetime.

The documentary begins with a simple definition of Earthlings : One who inhabits the planet earth – this is not limited to humans, but also includes every living being from insects all the way through to reptiles and mammals of all kinds. Once you grasp this basic understanding, it then moves on to discuss racism and speciesism in particular. The way in which humans are unbelievably dependant on animals, for everything from food, to clothing, entertainment and scientific research. It provides an in-depth study of the way in which we humans treat animals and use them to benefit ourselves. It was deeply insightful – and something that would put almost anyone off eating meat for anywhere from a day, to a lifetime. Let me tell you that even a day of not eating meat would be beneficial to you in ways you couldn’t imagine. The full version of Earthlings is available on youtube..

Forks over Knives was a definite compliment to watching Earthlings. Discussing in great detail about how there is scientific evidence to prove that a completely plant based diet has effects on reducing diabetes, cancer and heart disease. The documentary goes on to say how processed foods are far more calorie dense than natural foods, for example, 500 calories of veggies would fill your tummy completely and signal to your brain that it’s full, but 500 calories of meat would only fill your tummy to 50% and 500 calories of fat would have little or no effect in signalling your brain that your tummy is full because it feels like it is empty.

To conclude my sofa-surfing post which proved to be incredibly favourite quote from Forks over Knives:

Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food. -Hippocrates



Posted by on February 13, 2012 in Low FODMAP, Uncategorized, Vegan, Weight Loss


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Enter the Dragon

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Enter the year of the Dragon – with promises of prosperity, good health and luck!

I have recently embarked (by recently I mean i’m on Day 6) of a new diet plan. Years ago, I was diagnosed with IBS (for those of you who don’t know, IBS is Irritable Bowel Syndrome – sounds pleasant doesn’t it?

Wikipedia (trusty source that it is) defines IBS as: a symptom-based diagnosis characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits. As a functional bowel disorder, IBS has no known organic cause. Diarrhea or constipation may predominate,

Sounds fun doesn’t it? I have tried countless medications to assist in digestion, I have taken so many peppermint oil tablets to aid digestion and have drunk so much peppermint tea that I can’t even keep track anymore. But if you’re lucky enough, like me, you have a friend who is a dietician and who really looks out for your well being. Genuinely.

It goes to show how much doctors really tell you – or maybe they just don’t know enough themselves resulting in a lot of being told “you have IBS, i’m sorry, you just have to deal with it” by doctors, and a lot of “I don’t know what’s wrong with you so it must be IBS” and resulting in you having to take matters into your own hands. For awhile, I did exactly that – just deal. But as I grew up, and learned more about what I could and could not handle, I started eliminating the basics that I knew affected me – Chilli and Dairy. Slowly, I reintroduced them back into my diet, and then just dealt. I was so frustrated.

My amazing friend recommended something called the Low FODMAP diet to me. So when I heard about this I had to find out more – I asked questions and did some research on my own and now I am patiently waiting for a book to arrive in the post.

I had no idea previously, that one of the main causes of IBS is fructose malabsorption, where by absorption of fructose is impaired by deficient fructose carriers in the small intestine’s enterocytes. This results in an increased concentration of fructose in the entire intestine.

Dr. Sue Shepherd developed the low FODMAP diet in 2001. She has proven, through her research, that limiting dietary FODMAPs is an effective treatment for people with symptoms of IBS. On her website she says, FODMAPs are found in the foods we eat. FODMAPs is an acronym (abbreviation) referring toFermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols*. These are complex names for a collection of molecules found in food, that can be poorly absorbed by some people. When the molecules are poorly absorbed in the small intestine of the digestive tract, these molecules then continue along their journey along the digestive tract, arriving at the large intestine, where they act as a food source to the bacteria that live there normally. The bacteria then digest/ferment these FODMAPs and can cause symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome include abdominal bloating and distension, excess wind (flatulence), abdominal pain, nausea, changes in bowel habits (diarrhoea, constipation, or a combination of both), and other gastro-intestinal symptoms.

I have thus commenced my journey of this new eating plan, and I will (hopefully) post more regularly – giving you background, and insight, in hopes that it might help at least one of you as well.



Posted by on January 26, 2012 in Low FODMAP, Vegan, Weight Loss


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It’s all about the comfort..

So much about food is how it makes you feel. The warm fuzzy feeling from eating mum’s home made lasagne, or curling up on the sofa with the most satisfying soup and crusty bread, or eating a really spicy curry that makes you sweat. The rush that you get from the moment you put that first morsel in your mouth to the moment at which you have licked your plate clean and that disappointed feeling you have when you realise there’s none’ve eaten it all..

The only problem with food that makes you feel like that is that it’s all likely to be laden with fat of some kind. Then I managed to stumble across this blog – Fat Free Vegan Kitchen which makes everything look so comforting, and surprisingly fat free!

I’m tempted to make this Lentil and Mushroom Shepherds Pie this weekend! It looks heavenly.


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Posted by on November 15, 2011 in Dinner, Vegan, Weight Loss


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Pre-Christmas Shed..

So a lot of my friends are recently engaged, or have recently gotten married, and amidst all they talk about over the months and weeks leading up to the wedding, and during the planning, the most prominent topic is the pre-wed shed. This is the worst crash diet of all – practically starving yourself to shave off those extra pounds so you can fit into that amazing wedding dress you bought which is 2 sizes too small at the moment…so that you lose enough weight just for the day..just for the photos.

Well. I’m taking a leaf out of their book today – minus the starvation. My sister arrives in just over a month, and you all know what that means – carrot cake. THE carrot cake. So with a month to go, and most of the big birthday bashes out of the way (sorry guys – i love you, but the last month has done some serious damage) we’re going to try the pre-christmas shed.

I never work well with long term goals, I know you guys know that. So for now, i’m going to focus on the next 2 weeks – the trickiest part. Where your body craves the fatty unhealthy foods you are depriving it of, where those chocolate cravings creep in, and the caffeine addiction gets the better of you (especially in soy gingerbread latte season!!).

As I sit here, sipping my green tea, thinking about the 0.2g of fat i lose in each cup (guesstimate – I can’t remember how much it is so please don’t take my word for it)..I wonder if I really am up for the challenge.

Bring. It. On.


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Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Vegan, Weight Loss


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New Beginnings

June 1st marks a new beginning for a lot of people, me included. Why? Well, for no one reason in particular – more like, over a thousand. For me, it marks the beginning of a whole new detox. The last week or so has seen an increase in my exercise cycle (by increase I mean going from doing little to no exercise to doing yoga *almost* every evening, and walking instead of taking the bus wherever possible). Today I am determined to change my diet (again). As mentioned previously, I’m not sure where this road will take me – be it veganism, non-veganism, but we’ll see how it goes.

My best friend for my birthday this year (albeit 2 months ago) bought me a Moleskin Wellness Journal. I didn’t think much of it then, but I think he was hinting at something (perhaps he felt it was time for me to lose weight…who knows),

I left it gathering dust for a little while, but now I’ve unwrapped it and I’ve actually written in it. It’s actually pretty cool, if it could automatically count calories for me it would be even cooler, but for the meantime, it’s making me feel guilty about writing down any bad foods, which is making me not want to eat bad foods,,,so that’s a good thing right?

In addition to the food diary section, it also has a section where you can write down your personal goals, an exercise log, and what inspires you, a food calendar and food facts – all of which are rather useful. It will be interesting to see how much I do actually eat in a day without realising.

Do you know how much you eat?



Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Weight Loss


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Yoga Meltdown

So my new found frenzy for exercising and being healthy has resulted in me going to yoga / exercise classes a couple of times a week. Shock Horror I know. I had every intention to go to yoga yesterday morning, and then, Sunday lazyness kicked in and I ended up over-sleeping and missing the class entirely.

My solution as a result was yoga at home – now, i’ve always toyed with the idea of following some kind of DVD but in the end I never took the leap. But yesterday I really had no choice it was either that or venture out of the house and go for a swim or to the gym, but I was too lazy for that (Sunday lazyness kicked in big time).

So I ended up with Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown. Now, for those of you who don’t know, Jillian Michael’s is one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser – not that I watch the show on a regular basis, but I’ve heard the name, and heard that her workouts are intense – so what was I getting myself in for, but at the same time – it’s meant to be Yoga – so how bad can it really be?

Truth be told, I fell in love with it – and the best part is – it’s a 30 minute intense workout that easily fits into your schedule – morning or evening – or daytime (if you have that luxury during the week).

So what Jillian does is combine yoga positions with movement and repetitions – I really like how she incorporates the yoga into the movements and it doesn’t put strain on your joints like holding yoga positions for a long time does. You definitely break a sweat!

Highly recommended – let’s just see how long I can keep it up! I’ve got no excuses now!


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Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Weight Loss


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