5 Things I Learned from a 21-Day High Carb Vegan Diet
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5 Things I Learned from a 21-Day High Carb Vegan DietLaura Wilson shares the benefits of shaking up your diet
I often get asked what and how I eat to stay lean, energised, youthful-looking and able to run or cycle 20 miles at a time. The simple answer is, I follow my own diet protocol – from my book The Alkaline 5 Diet. I eat 5 different plant-based meal types per day, including a Blood Cleanser, a Vitamin Vitality Meal, a Raw Alkaline Mineral Meal and a Hearty, Cooked Fibre Meal.
I get e-mails every day from people who are also following A5D and have had great results. They love how easy and delicious it is.
In July, as a fun experiment, and to give an insight into the volumes of food I eat, and just how tasty, simple, satisfying and convenient it is to eat a high-carb vegan diet, I decided to do a daily video dairy detailing everything I ate for 21-days. You can watch the video series at my blog.
Filming every day was kind of fun – it was an interesting process to go through and I was accompanied by my friend’s cat Millie, who I was cat-sitting for.
I had gotten into a few bad habits prior to doing this 21-day period. I was drinking too much green tea and had been eating too many naughty (vegan but fatty or stimulating) indulgences like dark chocolate. So it was really good to do this to clean the slate and to help me feel accountable in my efforts to go back to a more optimum way of eating.
Here’s what I learnt in the 21-days and what you should bear in mind when you upgrade to a more carb-rich, alkaline diet:
1. The type of calories you eat matters as much as the amount
In the 21 days, I ate a net value of around 2000 calories per day, after exercise calories were burnt off. In theory, I should have maintained my weight but in reality I lost weight – about 3lbs. Our bodies are not efficient at converting carb calories to fat but they are very adept at converting fat calories to fat on our bodies. Capitalise on this to eat big and still lose weight.
2. It takes a few hard days to get over the effects of caffeine
Boy did I have a headache for the first few days! I felt quite terrible and really tired, which was the caffeine withdrawal. It was a bit alarming, I had no idea I had been drinking so much caffeine but when I though about it, I was having around four cups of green tea per day. Had I not recognised that it was caffeine withdrawal, I would have put it down to the new diet, cursed it and stopped following it. Thankfully, years of experience taught me to just ride out those first few days – take it easy on the social front, not exercise very much and rest lots.
After the first three days, I came out feeling wonderful and now, as I write, I have not had any caffeine for almost two months and feel much more calm and consistently energised, rather than having big peaks and troughs in my energy levels.
3. You have more energy than you can shake a stick at
From days 4-21, I had literally bags of energy. I was exercising lots – cycling, water-skiing, bodyboarding at the beach – and felt great!
4. You WILL see positive health benefits
As well as bags of energy, you’ll notice your hair and skin looking nicer. You will likely lose a good few pounds of weight and it won't feel like you’ve been eating les than your body needs at all. The beauty of this way of eating is that it is totally sustainable – you can consistently lose 1 or 2lbs per week for a year or more if you need to and you won't feel deprived of nice foods or starving hungry.
It’s extremely likely that you’ll also see an ease in symptoms with any health issues you might have – from diabetes to arthritis, allergies to high blood pressure – this way of eating can be a real help in easing them.
5. Losing weight can be 100% fun, tasty, easy and healthy
I absolutely adore eating the 5 meal types every day – they are all different and totally satisfying – but make sure that you are eating to optimise the vitamins and minerals you are getting for the calories, and also keeping your body in correct acid/alkaline balance.
Literally, there is no sense of sacrifice or burden following the 5 daily meals – you will feel like you are eating abundantly and indulgently, while at the same time helping your body detox, heal and lose weight. What’s not to love?
Experience the 5 daily meals and a 21-day meal plan for alkalizing your body by grabbing a copy of my book The Alkaline 5 Diet and getting my newsletter and free alkalizing 7-point guide at www.LauraWilsonOnline.com