Just over a month ago now I read about an online workshop that Natala of Vegan Hope was doing. The workshop was about healthy vegan eating and lasted 30 days. The price was above my budget (what budget?!?) so I emailed Natala to ask about the scholarship places she was offering and she very kindly allowed me to join on one of them.
As you’ve read on here before if you’ve been reading for a little bit I have been struggling with my weight and how to eat healthily. I am forever reading how just by going vegan you can loose weight easily etc etc and it just wasn’t true for me, I actually gained weight when I first went vegan and have been steadily putting it on since through 2 pregnancies and years of bad eating. I just wanted to be healthy, to feel like my food was looking after my body and to find something that would work with being vegan without having to count calories or numbers. I’ve become more and more aware of what’s actually in packaged food and my ideas about local, seasonal and organic food have changed the way that I shop and cook. However, I hadn’t found anything that worked with how I felt about food or that made sense to me and seemed healthy, until I went on this workshop that is!
The final day of the workshop was yesterday and I have to say that it’s really changed the way I eat, and all for good. Natala focuses on an oil free, sugar free and very low salt vegan diet. She also emphasises exercise and generally looking after yourself which is always a good thing. Dropping the oil and sugar wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, it’s the salt that has been the most challenge for me, and also doing the exercise, it seems as if my brain can only take one large change in my life at a time and changing my diet and adding exercise but I will get there in the end!
Over the 30 days I have lost just under 10 lbs and changed the way I cook and eat. It’s not a huge change really as I was vegan to start with (some members of the workshop have gone from omnivore to healthy vegan in 30 days, amazing!) and I’ve only omitted 3 things from my diet. It’s not that hard to amend recipes to remove the oil and there were only a few vegan junk food items in my diet like cheese so taking those out didn’t take a lot of change.
If you have a chance to go on one of Natala’s workshops please do it, it will change the way you look at food forever! The amount of work that she put into the workshop was amazing, there were a ton of videos and talks by herself and her husband and other speakers as well as cooking videos and daily challenges and questions (plus lots of competitions!). The group have been really encouraging of each other and it was so much fun to see everyone having that ‘click’ moment where it all made sense and they understood what they were doing and how they needed to do it. I think that those who did pay for the course definitely got their money’s worth from it and Nalala has always been available to answer emails and give advice and encouragement, she’s really put so much into it. I’m really sad to see the Workshop end, I wish it could go on for another month (and maybe another after that!) but it has given me the tools I need to carry on eating healthily and looking after myself and the confidence to actually see it through.
Just being vegan doesn’t mean that we’re healthy and eating right. There is so much vegan junk food and such a trend towards baking decadent treats and throwing vegan cheese into everything that we are still doing damage to our bodies even though we’ve cut out other damaging foods.
I finally feel like I’ve found a way of eating that agrees with my body and my ideas of how a vegan diet should be. I’m looking forward to carrying on and reading more and seeing more wonderful changes to my body and life in general.
So, I will still be posting my recipe reviews but I will be noting the changes I made to them to make them fit the way I’m eating now, a lot of it is really easy, just a case of omitting the oil when you start to saute everything, but sometimes it takes a little bit more effort and lateral thinking!
Thank you Natala!