Today is Part 2 of my Plant Strong Blueprint: 6 Steps To Prevent Weight Gain Over Christmas and New Year.
It’s a veganising of my Holiday Season Survival Blueprint. The steps for vegan foodies such as myself who contrary to common misconception get HUGE joy from food! Today and Part 1 (E656) are all about enjoying abundant, plant based deliciousness – restriction free and guilt free – while also getting to rock into the new year feeling fit, strong, healthy, energised and confident!
It’s not just about food though. In this 2-part podcast I’m going to chat exercise and also some of the emotional considerations that you’ll likely be encountering if you’re an ethical vegan with non-vegan friends and family.
This year I’m chillaxing for a little longer than usual… 2 glorious weeks with my family in stunning Noosa PLUS a week in Pearl Beach. Here are steps 4-6 that I’ll be deploying to prevent weight gain and (hopefully) prevent family fall-out with my fam who generally eat very differently from me. Aside from dear mum of course who is fast approaching 12 months #plantstrong!
Step FOUR. Set Your Standards:
Set your standards prior to leaving (if you’re not traveling, then set them prior to starting your ‘period of relaxed guidelines’ as covered in part 1).
Standards are the absolute Must-Do’s not vague ‘goals’ that are oh too easy to let slip on hols…
Such as how frequently you will exercise and your strategies when eating out.
You laid the foundations in the ‘Plan‘ section, now let’s get more specific. For example:
=> lunch in and dinner out.
=> 1 serving at the buffet where you prioritise salad and veggie room on the plate.
=> making a restaurant booking to avoid excess nibbling and pre dinner drinks while waiting for a table. This is also a chance to check for vegan options in advance to ensure it’s not going to be an issue when you order.
=> dessert OR wine.
How strict you need to be with your standards is going to be dependent on how long you’re away for. If it’s a month it’ll be necessary to stick as close as possible to your day to day ‘ideal’ fat burning day.
Personally, for a 1-2 week period my standards are a little more relaxed, the important thing to note is that it’s a conscious planned decision to train less and eat more treats (I do this once or twice a year) as I see the value for both body and mind in doing just that.
As food is such a huge part of holiday season I even decide on some guidelines that make the decision making process easier. These are some of mine;
=> Non-negotiable (I don’t eat this during the year or on holiday): lollies, biscuits, cake unless it’s my #1 most fav in either case, cheap-nasty-crap-o-la-yet-convenient take-away. Now that mum has nailed vegan Anzacs and vegan carrot cake (my two favs!) I might have to renegotiate these non-negotiables!
=> In moderation (aside from bread on the weekend the following rarely features in my regular nutrition but on holidays it can, in moderation): bread, dairy free yoghurt, beer, Lindt dark choc, hot chips (they have to be super awesome though!).
=> Free for all (as much as I want, seriously…this is where I get the “where do you put it” looks and the only thing that stops the guzzling is me is feeling self-conscious that my relatives think I’m a gutz!): fruit, veg, mum’s roast or pretty much any low refined carb main vegan meal I happen to get my mitts on.
Is assessing the above it’s also useful to consider your trigger foods – you know, those ones that once you start you can’t stop? …and to come to an agreement with yourself as to whether they should fall into the “I have zero self-control” non-negotiable list or perhaps you can accommodate them in moderation.
I find buying in one portion sizes and/or eating once per day only, help me with my trigger foods
Your standards will guide the decisions you make and once you’re clear on your standards the day to day choices you make with regard to your exercise and nutrition will become much easier.
Your implementation steps:
- What are your personal standards for the holiday period?
- Include your trigger foods and your…
Free for all:
=> When these tactics again get challenging, you guessed it – it’s time to focus on the results they will allow you to enjoy in the future. Remind Yourself: For what purpose do I want this. What will this mean to me – to my ideal life and also to all those I LOVE?
FIVE. Be Proud To Be Contrary & Communicate Why Effectively:
Again this may seem less obvious than some of my previous points however it is a key component in surviving this holiday season in a fit and energised condition.
Unless you want to look, feel and perform like everyone else it is necessary to resist ordinary behaviour. Ordinary behaviour will involve the following to name just a few:
(so this is your AVOID IT list)
=> Let an existing or planned exercise routine slip whenever a better, easier, more enjoyable or more socially acceptive alternative presents.
=> Eat the canapés and whatever beverage happens to be provided free because they are right there in front of you… and ‘all you can eat/drink’ is too good an opportunity to miss.
=> Skip meals when busy and overeat crap-o-la to compensate later that evening.
=> Buy the ‘on special’ chocolates, biscuits etc because they are right there irresistibly flaunting their festive wrapping at you.
To enlist the support of all those close to you it’s important that you are able to communicate exactly why you’re choosing contrary. The person who no longer has the pudding they never even loved anyway or stops at one big serve of roast veg rather than stuffing themselves to the point of discomfort or asks for an adjustment to the menu when eating out. This person who perhaps gets up early to get a walk in or buys vodka when beer and bubbles are part of the bar tab… will INITIALLY have to deflect some questions.
We teach others how to treat us. The first couple of times you take a new habit for a spin, it’ll likely attract some attention. As you stick with it it’ll become normal, for you and for the people closest to you – who are likely just trying to justify their own indulgences by drawing attention to your choices.
In saying this I am labouring ‘choices.’ What you eat and when you exercise is your business. As is what the people closest to you eat and whether they exercise. ZERO JUDGEMENT. And yet… on the matter of Communicating Why Effectively – I can’t let this step go by without addressing the questions you’ll likely face if you’re the only vegan in a non-vegan household.
Two podcast interviews in particular have really helped me in this regard:
E657: Dr Melanie Joy and Getting Relationships Right: How to Build Resilience and Thrive in Life, Love, and Work.
Here are a few considerations I’ll be getting (even more) clear on before sitting down to dine with my non-vegan loved ones.
- Be the vegan you wish you met.Honest, passionate, happy, healthy and to the best of your ability calm, compassionate and non-judgemental.
- Recognise someones intention first.It likely demonstrates they are trying to be more compassionate even if many of their actions are not yet aligned with that intention. Remember, they’ve been indoctrinated into a “Carnist” world (as coined by Dr Melanie Joy) as you likely were too.
- Meet the person where they are and recognise everything counts. Rather than presenting veganism as an exclusive, extreme – all or nothing – unattainable ideal.
- Get educated on this questions you know you’ll likely encounter.But what about the farmers? Don’t plants feel pain? But personal choice? BUT cavemen? And just as importantly be sure someone is up for a calm, respectful conversation rather than pouncing on them with ALL the facts at the slightest sniff of a chance to “go there.” (I’m absolutely speaking from “pouncing” experience here!)
If it’s important to you to fuel your body the food that is aligned with your values and beliefs. That best helps it look and function as you would love it too – to prove to yourself that you can – then there is no shame in that. It’s not fussy, it’s a simple decision to take the actions that allow you to live congruently and to achieve your goal.
Finally, it does not matter whether you’ve just decided a few days ago or whether you’ve maintained your goal physique for years and are committed to continuing that path. Likely you’re in between – my point is if you were to fear judgment in the form of ‘why is she/he even bothering’ then you’d never start anything new and positive.
Back your ability to achieve this goal and feel confident communicating its importance to those who love you.
Your implementation steps:
- For what purpose are you committing to take these actions that will allow you to achieve this goal? (focus on the positive it will allow you and those you love to experience rather than any negatives you’re looking to avoid)
(YES. It’s that important to focus on the Why)
SIX. Love What You Indulge In:
Also your regular meals & how you exercise as much as possible.
Long term there is no place in your eating regime for those high calorie, carby, fatty foods that you don’t absolutely LOVE. If you’re choosing a treat – then make it worth it!
You work hard in your exercise sessions, so don’t waste that effort on some average bowl of half soggy chips or a bunch of bland biscuits or a sickly rich dessert.
Here are some easy guidelines that I follow:
Generally I’m really not tempted even by ‘the best’ as I crave what I eat and when I’m not eating it I find I feel like eating it less and less. However if I do want it I know I can have it, still stay lean and also avoid feeling deprived.
=> I’ll only eat my very favourite plant based biscuit (Anzacs) or cake (carrot) or ice-cream (cashew salted caramel) or chocolate (Lindt dark)… and so on!
=> Plan your indulgences. Eat a generous amount – never feel guilty and ensure you only buy enough for that planned serving (no left-overs!).
=> Never eat crap-o-la out of laziness or a lack of planning or because everyone else is. This simply comes down to planning and preparation.
A crucial component in being able to feel ok about only eating the best of your indulgences is to really enjoy or Love the vast majority of everything else you eat.
=> Know that it’s possible to get joy from a food because of more than simply the way it tastes. For example I love certain foods for the nutritional value they give my body. Also for the fact that I know they will never lead me to gain fat… so called ‘free foods’ that I don’t waste brain time wondering “can I get away with this?”
=> Bother to have your meals looking attractive and looking generous. Visually appealing food will be more enjoyable… as a decent serving of food (built around ‘free’ fibrous veg) will be more satisfying.
With regard to your exercise, in an ideal situation you would Love the most effective forms of exercise… lifting decent weights and high intensity interval training. If you don’t, there are still plenty of options to find the love (!) or at least find tolerable and work towards more enjoyable.
=> Focus on getting enjoyment from an exercise because of more than the process… how about the result? Or how good you feel once it’s over – whether that be the endorphin rush or the sense of achievement.
=> Could you love that sticking with a way to exercise is an opportunity to get better at moving beyond your safe and boring comfort zone? …and that skill is applicable to every area of your life.
=> Finally, be conscious of the power your language holds and choose the communication that makes exercising easier by either downplaying or reframing any negative emotional intensity and amping up any positive emotional intensity.
For example: “I hate horrible hard cardio” could become “I love feeling energised and satisfied when I finish my cardio”.
Your implementation steps:
- What are your ‘best of the best’ foods in any relevant category?
- What are some past situations – people, places or emotions – that have led you to consume sub best of the best (!) indulgence food… and what can you do next time instead? It may be a better quality food swap, an alternate action (like calling a friend instead of reaching for the choc treats) or simply not putting yourself in the danger/trigger situation.
SO, THERE YOU HAVE IT!
To festive season fun, fitness, fabulous food AND rocking into the new year feeling fit, strong, healthy, energized and confident… I believe they can co-exist!
BEYOND THESE 6 STEPS?
If your ideal health next year means staying as you are or even shedding just a little fat over the holidays then these 6 Steps To Prevent Weight Gain Over Christmas and New Year are really all you need.
However, if you want a little more direction, support, motivation and accountability so far as creating a fit, strong, healthy body following a vegan lifestyle then I recommend you check out my 30 Day Plant Strong Jumpstart which comes FREE with any level of Patreon support.
Via Kate Galli on Patreon (that’s https://www.patreon.com/KateGalli) I share a lot of what I’d love to be able to do, with the podcast and with my greater vision of creating a healthy, compassionate Vegan World. As a Patreon – for any amount – you’ll get access to extra content including:
- Ask Me Anything podcasts.
- Behind The Scenes podcasts, videos and extra recipes (generally straight from Annie Galli – my mum!)
- Access to my complete 30 Day Plant Strong Jumpstart.
I have so much more planned… however in reality it’s only going to happen with a little support. If that’s something you’re interested in doing that’d be amazing. This year, continuing activism and podcast interviews on top of full time work has been so very impactful.
It’s opened my eyes and opened my heart. I’m so much more brutally aware of everything happening to animals, the planet and our health and feel such an urgency to do all I can to help compassionate humans make the switch (healthily) to a vegan lifestyle.
Equally I’m incredibly inspired and humbled by the force of powerful individuals I’ve been lucky enough to meet and also interview. I want to do more. So much more. And yet, well as for most of us it’s a time thing right? Even an energy thing – as tough as that is to admit.
If you’d like to learn more so far as my vision and how you can help please check out: https://www.patreon.com/KateGalli
Alternatively to start your 2020 #plantstrong with a free taste of what’s involved in the Jumpstart I’ve covered the first 7 Days of my 30 Day Plant Strong Jump Start in podcast format. Ideally to listen to (and action!) from the 1st Jan (however available any time) and I’ll link to them in the show notes.
Keen to start next year #plantstrong with the first 7 Days of my 30 Day Plant Strong Jump? All you need to do:
- Subscribe to The Healthification Podcast in iTunes or wherever you listen so you won’t miss the amazing guests I have coming soon. HINT: I’m chatting to my fav Plant Based Doctor in Jan!
- Forward The Healthification Podcast to a couple of friends / family members who you know would also love to rock a fit, strong, healthy body following a vegan lifestyle so that you’ll have some extra support (beyond me that is – your virtual vegan health coach)… because for better or worse the people closest to you are going to either hold you back or propel you forward.
- Opt-in (or re opt-in) to my FREE 3 Day Easy Vegan Plan PDF as it gives you all the recipes you need to power deliciously though 7 Days of #plantstrong deliciousness and ideally well, well, beyond. It also comes with a shopping list so it’s super useful to get that in advance.
- Listen to the first 7 Days of my 30 Day Plant Strong Jump here (published for 2019 – perfect still for 2020!):
That’s it for today in Healthification. Huge thanks – Happy almost holidays – and BIG LOVE to YOU for sharing today and this year with me. I appreciate it with all my heart.
Till next time, remember Creating a body and life you love is Freedom. (If this ex-carb queen, NON-genetically gifted, naturally uncoordinated VEGAN-chick can do it – so can YOU!!!)
If you liked “Plant Strong Blueprint: 6 Steps To Prevent Weight Gain Over Christmas and New Year (Part 2)” you’ll also like 11 P.L.A.N.T. S.T.R.O.N.G. Standards For A Fit, Healthy, Mind and Body.