A 21-Day Diet!

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When my husband and I first started following a Plant Strong Diet based on fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, seeds and beans, we both lost a lot of weight. Over time, however; my husband got too thin so I increased the amount of nuts, seeds, avocados and olives we were eating.

This worked for my hubby, now he’s at a perfect weight. For me, however; increasing these high fat foods (as well as cheating too much on things like Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies) made me gain more weight than I’m happy with.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not fat. I still weigh less than I did before we went Plant Strong. It’s just that I liked how I looked and felt at my lowest weight and I’d like to get down to that for the summer.

I know that if I just followed the Plant Strong diet I’d lose the weight, but I’ve been trying and keep slipping up. So, I’ve decided to spend 21-days following the diet I lost 50 pounds on in my 20’s – the Fit for Life Diet.

This diet is similar to the Plant Strong diet in that it doesn’t allow dairy and discourages eating meat. It differs in that it’s very structured and is concerned with how foods are combined. I don’t believe that careful food combining is necessary, but the structure makes it easy to follow. And right now, I feel like I need the structure to succeed.

How I lost 50 pounds!

So here’s how I followed the Fit for Life Diet and lost 50 pound in my 20’s.

• I had fruit for breakfast.
• I had a carbohydrate like a baked potato or grain with vegetables for lunch.
• I had protein like chicken or beans (this time, of course I’ll forgo the meat) with vegetables for dinner.
• I had as much hot chocolate as I wanted after dinner (this time, I’ll have my I Can’t Believe it’s Healthy Hot Chocolate)
• I allowed myself one day to eat whatever I wanted.

The diet is more involved than this and the hot chocolate is not allowed, but this is what worked for me.

I’m going to follow a vegan version of this diet for the next 21-days. To keep me honest, I’ll post how I did for the week every Sunday. And to kick my butt into gear, I’m going to give a $20.00 Barnes & Noble gift certificate to one of my readers if I cheat more than twice the first week. So check back on the 10th!

I welcome you to join me in this diet, but please note that I’m not a nutritionist so I’m not qualified to give any diet advice. Thus, if you choose to follow this diet please refer to Fit For Life to do it properly. I also recommend The Engine 2 Diet, which details the Plant Strong Diet that has also helped my husband and me to lose weight (and lowered my hubby’s blood pressure and cholesterol).

Photo courtesy of marin at freedigitalphotos.net.

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About celestedimilla

Hey there. I’m Celeste, California girl, writer, psychotherapist and burgeoning plant-based foodie.
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48 Responses to A 21-Day Diet!

  1. diahannreyes says:

    I like the idea of starting w/ a set time rather than forever. I know you’re already there with your plant-based commitment but for those of us who are exploring the bath, something like this could work. Thanks, Celeste.

  2. reocochran says:

    This was almost like what I did to lose 40 pounds in 2 years. I did like hot cocoa, which filled me up before bedtime, but I also liked to nibble on nuts at bedtime. A little protein that would help me to fulfill my desire for a salty snack! Celeste, if you get a chance can you give a simple comment, on what would be a good way to make a vegan tacos on my post, pretty please? I just described a healthy garden, for my Cinco de Mayo post with an informal recipe for tacos. Thanks so much, if you can get to it in a day or so… If you don’t have time; thanks anyway! Smiles, Robin

  3. Hi Celeste- we do try to follow the fruit for breakfast, grain & vegetables for lunch & protein for dinner diet too although we are reducing our meat intake (we only eat chicken anyway). The only additional thing in our diet is milk- I need my dose of 2 glasses of milk everyday. 🙂

    • Sounds like you’re following a pretty darn healthy diet – that’s wonderful! I really, really am not trying to get you to change this habit and I certainly don’t judge you, but I have to mention that I’ve read a lot about how unhealthful milk is for you. If you’re curious, here’s a post I wrote about it: http://honkifyourevegan.com/2013/03/01/milk-it-does-a-body-bad/
      I also recommend watching the movie, Forks Over Knives. This movie really opened my eyes about milk. Thanks so much for your comment – I appreciate it! Celeste 🙂

      • Hi Celeste- I am surely going to get myself to watch this movie. But I know what you are saying about milk and I have myself read a few articles with conflicting opinions on how healthy or rather unhealthy milk is. But then I also think that today with almost everything processed and modified it’s hard to say what you can actually eat. But totally take your point on it.

    • I’m SO glad that you are looking into the milk thing! I hesitate telling people about such stuff, because I don’t want to preach. Anyway, you are so right that it’s challenging to know what’s healthy to eat these days with everything so processed (don’t you sometimes wish life was less complex?). Your diet already sounds so healthy and I’m sure you will come to a conclusion about milk that makes sense to you. Celeste 🙂

      • Oh of course I will look into it Celeste. We are going to try and reduce our milk intake but I have to admit right now I am only wondering how will I get over the vacuum that not drinking milk will create! :/ Really wish things were less complicated.

  4. Good on you. We have a strange amalgam of diet plans from over the years. It’s the same thing: finding what worked for us. None of it was ever about being hungry or losing weight as a goal, it was all about feeling better. And then my husband got allergy tested …

  5. April @ Simplify Your Health says:

    Thanks for sharing this, interesting to see another example of different diets working for different people. I would also recommend ground cinnamon if you like hot chocolates- like I do. I have a hot milk, half almond half brown rice, with half teaspoon cinnamon before bed. Sends me off to sleep and tastes actually quite sweet. It replaces hot chocolate for me 🙂

    • Good tip on the ground cinnamon. I really like it in my morning coffee for that extra kickstart, and the taste.

    • I love the smell and taste of cinnamon and often add it to my cocoa. Your nightly ritual is probably better for sleep than mine is. Sometimes the hot chocolate interferes with my sleep. This is why I sometimes make red tea lattes or almond butter lattes (without the espresso) at night instead. It’s nice to mix things up and avoid the caffeine. Your drink sounds really good as well, however. 🙂

      • April @ Simplify Your Health says:

        All sounds good! I think it’s the warm milk that helps us sleep. In cacao, the caffeine is very very minimal. The other stimulant is theobromine, but is also a small amount and we excrete it within 2-3 hours. So just before bed may keep you up, depending on how sensitive you are. For me, I can have a piece of raw chocolate and still sleep, or a raw cacao drink with a small amount in it.

  6. BloomLisa says:

    Best wishes to you on your healthy eating & lighter you program! Plank pose is your best friend for your mid section too:) Be well Celeste.

  7. I love 21 day kickstart diets! So helpful without seeming overwhelming. Because I’m currently only 70ish% vegan (I know, I know, I’m weak for the comfort foods I grew up with!), my boyfriend and I like to do 4 weeks of completely, no cheating vegan and alcohol free. It’s amazing the energy level difference at the beginning and end of the month (plus, we both lose a couple pounds). I keep trying to get us to start another one, maybe your 21 days will encourage me to do my own 21 days 🙂 Best of luck to you! I hope you get the results you want (and feel great doing it!)

    • Hehe – no judgment here about not being 100% vegan. I slip up every so often too, especially when I’m traveling. I slip up more on the Plant Strong Diet that my husband and I follow, however. We’re not supposed to have sugar or extracted oil on this diet. We were SO good in the beginning and looked and felt amazing. We’ve been slacking lately, however; and we can tell the difference.

      I hope you do a fully vegan month again soon. And who knows, maybe one of these days you’ll just stay vegan for good. I know for us, once I learned how to make a lot of super delicious vegan substitutes for the foods we loved, eating vegan became more satisfying. I don’t miss meat and dairy anymore, but sugar… Well, that’s a different story. 🙂

  8. Jayne says:

    I feel all inspired after reading your post! I had that awful seasons change/all my clothes are too tight moment at the weekend so 21 days of kick-starting a healthier eating plan sounds good to me! Good luck with your plan!

  9. I wish you can make your goal soon. I remembered I had an herbal doctor prescripted me a list of food for a two months straight diet five years ago, it worked very good to me, I lost 20+ lbs. I was so delighted for the result. But later I want to do it again, but I can’t find the prescription any more. And my weight was gradually built up again, And I felt so unhappy because the doctor was passed away! Shame!

  10. Good luck-sounds like you are on the right track. I am following a high carb, low fat plant based lifestyle-no Earth Balance, Veganaise , oil and the like. I must admit, I do really miss the first two. I still have a couple if glasses of wine on the weekend and sweets twice a week at bridge.
    Why do you suppose it is do easy for guys to lose too much weight? Like my daughter said of her husband when people were noticing that he was thinner. “Yes”, she replied with a healthy does of sarcasm. “He has lost fifteen pounds, by accident.” I still chuckle over that.
    Take care. Looking forward to your updates.

    • Sounds like you’re on the right track too, chica!! We don’t do the Earth Balance, Vegaaise or oil either (well, except when we’re cheating – hehe). It is challenging to live without all those high-fat goodies, and I feel for you. Do you still do nuts, avocados and other healthier fats or are you cutting way back on those too? Right now I’m trying to limit myself to two fat servings a day. If I ate all the fat I wanted, it would be a lot more than two servings. Oh well, just gotta deal.

      Yea, it is frustrating that guys have such an easy time losing weight. I guess it’s just in their biology. 🙂

      • Hi Celeste,

        I know, I know, guys have more muscle mass and I think that has something to do with losing weight more easily.
        I have been listening to and reading about Dr. John McDougall and his health plan. According to him, when people ate nuts way back when, they had to crack them and pry them out of the shell-this was time consuming and calorie control ,effective, as it were. So, he says, that nuts are good for you, but should be considered a delicacy. Eating processed nuts by the handful is counter intuitive to what nature intended. So, I have cut way back. I am eating a lot of beans, rice, potatoes.oatmeal , fruit, peas and corn and other veggies, many raw.
        I was never a big oil user, but I miss my Veganaise and buttery spreads.
        However, I recently came in contact with the subject of Palm oil and what it is doing to the rain forest and it’s nonhuman inhabitants. There is palm oil in my favorite buttery spread, Earth Balance, so that is another very compelling reason for me not to eat it.
        I wrote a post about it recently. http://vegangrammieannie.blogspot.ca/2014/05/are-products-containing-palm-oil-vegan.html

        BTW, hope you are feeling better soon.
        Anne

    • Hey Annie! I just read your post about palm oil and it was enlightening. I left you a note on your post, so I won’t repeat myself here. I also shared your post on Twitter and Facebook. 🙂

  11. Ralph says:

    Hi Celeste 😀 Please don’t diet too much as I’d hate to see you fade away until you are just a dot on my laptop screen. Chocolate cookie ? 😉 xox ❤

  12. Thank you for this! I’m searching around for a way to lose extra pounds too! (A vegan way.)

    • Hey Susan! I’ve had success with both a Plant Strong Diet (this is outlined in The Engine 2 Diet by Rip Esselstyn) and the Fit for Life diet. I think the Plant Strong Diet is better for long term health and the Fit for Life is more of a short term lose-a-few-pounds kind of diet. Whatever you choose, I wish you luck! 🙂

  13. uberdish says:

    All the best to you, Celeste! I know how you feel. I put on a pair of capris (loose fitting last summer) last week for work and couldn’t get them done up! I almost died! I hate to blame it on my age, but it feels so much better to do so. 😉 I am familiar with Fit for Life – read the book, too, while in my 20s. I still follow the plan of eating fruit first thing in the morning, then breakfast. Another book I like is Ani Phyo’s “15-day fat blast”. It’s more of a cleanse – super good at kick starting things up. It’s not for everyone, though, as all the meals are raw (but soooo delicious!). I haven’t done a cleanse this Spring, so I’m thinking I’ll do this one again. Take Care!!

    • So sorry to hear about the capri incident. I’ve been there a hundred times and it’s such a bummer!!! I’m not familiar with Ani Phyo’s “15-day fat blast”, but it sounds interesting. I’m okay with raw food, but I’ve never gone totally raw. I could probably do it for 15 days, so maybe I’ll check that out. Thanks so much for your comment! Celeste 🙂

  14. Sounds like a good plan, best of luck!

  15. I’m with you, Celeste, I’ve hit a plateau and even though I’m not overweight or anything, I’d still like to lose about 10 pounds. We are going to Florida for a family vacation at the end of June and I’d really love to rock my swimsuit, you know? I know what my problem is: the weekends. I indulge waaaayyyyyy too much on the weekends and all of my hard, healthy work is completely erased. I’m tired of Mondays being my start-over days. I’m willing to bet that if I can stay healthy on the weekends that those extra pounds will come off. 🙂

    • I hear you about the weekends!!! It’s just so hard to be good when you’re eating out or have company over. And my problem is that once I indulge, it takes me days to get back on track. It’s like I just say, “to hell with it!” after every binge. Anyway, I seriously believe that you can rock that swimsuit in June chica. My attitude is to just start today (when I tell myself I’ll start tomorrow, it never seems to happen). Anywho, good luck!! Celeste 🙂

  16. Good for you Celeste. Sounds like you’re taking a really sensible approach to boosting your health. No crazy drastic measures. Hope it all goes well 🙂

  17. Mike Lince says:

    I sometimes joke that I have tried everything except diet and exercise and I still cannot lose weight. The truth is that any exercise routine is a challenge with a travel lifestyle, and I am looking forward to both exercise and healthier eating once we return to the states. In the meantime, I empathize with your commitment to achieve your healthiest and happiest weight. Good luck. I am rooting for you! – Mike

  18. Poppy says:

    Wow Celeste! Good on you for giving this diet a shot. It’ll be good motivation knowing that you had such success with it before AND you get a free day and hot chocolate! Wishing you all the best 🙂

  19. Pingback: A Guarenteed Way to Lose Weight (but I Don’t Recommend It) | Honk If You're Vegan

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