Embarking On A Plant Based 45 Day SOS-Free Diet (No Sugar, Oil or Salt) – Week 1

Embarking On A Plant Based 45 Day SOS-Free Diet (No Sugar, Oil or Salt) – Week 1

Jules and I try to eat healthily whenever we are not traveling.
While we are at home, we normally eat a vegan diet of fruit, vegetables, legumes, seeds and nuts.
It is only when we travel that we allow ourselves to eat a broader selection of unhealthy foods.

On trips, we become “Flexitarians,” meaning people who eat a flexible diet that includes dairy, eggs and seafood, in order not to add too much stress to our travels.

In some rural places in Japan, people refused our requests for vegan food, saying we could not stay there if we had dietary restrictions.
But when we told them we did not eat meat but egg and fish were ok, they would say, “no problem.”

So when we travel, we try not to be too rigid about our food, trusting that we can do a detox and a reset when we return home.

But…. We do travel for more than six months out of the year, and when traveling, we eat in restaurants all the time.
The food in restaurants is always oily, salty and often prepared with sugar.
So even when we walk long distance pilgrimages, we do not really lose any weight.

Years ago, we did a forty day juice fast, and we lost all the weight that we had gained while traveling.

Since then, we have repeated this juice fast during the summer.
But we have discovered that it is harder for us to do a prolonged juice fast during the wintertime.
After a few days of juice fasting, we usually feel very cold and find it hard to go skiing.

This week, after listening to five hours of podcasts per day, with over forty interviews with scientists and doctors about the benefits of a plant based diet, we decided to return to our vegan diet.

The webinar, ( https://thetruthaboutweightloss.org/ ) which was called “The Truth About Weight Loss” by Chef AJ, scientifically debunked the paleo and keto high fat diets which I was never attracted to in the first place.

I always believed that eating animal flesh, cheese and dairy products is neither humane nor healthy for us.
And any diet that shies away from fruit, which is the most wholesome and perfect food on earth, was not to my intuitive eating sensibilities.
After all, it is not only weight loss that I am after, but the health, vitality and well being that should be our ultimate goals.

So, we decided to try the vegan SOS free diet for 45 days.
In this diet, we will eliminate all sugar, except in its natural form in fruit and dried fruit.
This means no honey, maple syrup, date syrup or barley malt, which we love.

We will eat no oil, except in its natural form in avocados, seeds and nuts, but we will try to keep those to the absolute minimum and eat some only because we have them in the house.

When preparing food, we will use no oil to fry or sauté vegetables, and will eat only raw, roasted, boiled, steamed or baked vegetables.

The biggest challenge for me and the one I have never tried before, will be to eliminate all added salt in all its forms, which includes soy sauce, miso paste, mustard, and all my much beloved sea salt flakes.

We normally have a light breakfast after 14 hours of intermittent fasting.
For breakfast, we usually have a large glass of a fresh fruit smoothie, mixed with the meat of a fresh aloe vera leaf, a tablespoon of a powder that contains freeze dried cranberries, Amla Indian lemon powder, Korean five flavor red berries and a tablespoon of Psyllium husk.

We drink this juice while we do our morning rituals of meditation, chanting and learning our daily Course Of Miracles and Yogananda SRF Kriya lessons.
Since this juice does not contain any SOS ingredients, we will continue having it for breakfast during the upcoming month.

For lunch, I normally have a piece of fruit or two.
This includes either grapes, cherries, an apple, banana, berries of all kinds, or whatever is in season.

Dinner has usually been a big salad with lemon and salt, or a cooked dish or vegan Thai curry, vegan fried rice, steamed vegetables, grilled or baked vegan dishes, lentil soups and stews, all made with a small amount of oil and ALWAYS seasoned with salt.
The new dinner menus will contain the same foods, but without oils or any kind of salt.

For dessert, we usually eat a measured amount of salted cashew nuts, or dried fruit, or a homemade apple sauce with raisins.

I drink a pot or two of green tea or herbal tea all day long.
I never sweeten my tea or add nut milk, unless it is a black tea, which I only rarely drink.

We never drink alcohol at home and only rarely when we are out, or eat any processed foods.
But we do eat local honey, use oil sparingly and definitely love to salt all of our food.
I must admit that I tend to over-salt all my food.

The next 45 days will be a challenge for me.
But I am very motivated to lose weight, after seeing my body in a bathing suit.
We also have a diving trip to the Maldives coming up in 45 days, so I want to look good in the bathing suits that I just bought for the trip.

I am not very overweight.
I wear a size 8 jeans.
My height is 5 feet, 6 inches and my ideal weight, the one I have maintained for most of my adult life, is 125-128 pounds (57-58 kilograms).

I weighed more during some difficult times in my life.
In fact, at my highest weight, in the year 2012, I was 160 pounds.
My current weight is 144 pounds, (65 kilograms and still size 8 jeans) making me 16-19 pounds overweight. (8-9 kilograms to lose)
That is a lot of weight to lose.

Another motivation for me is to reset my health.
Because the world is closed due to Covid, we cannot go and walk long pilgrimages which I miss SO SO SO VERY MUCH.
I sit in my studio most days painting for too many hours, and we are not as active as we would like to be.
I try to sit on the hard floor, so at least I can get in some yoga stretches while I paint, but it is not enough.

It is so cold outside around our house in the high mountains of Colorado, that beside going to ski, we are usually too cold to walk much outdoors.
We do have a small gym at home with weights, a torso track and a Concept 2 rowing machine, but I am not using the gym enough.
As a result, my right knee has felt a bit stiff, and it is the first time in my life when I have felt worried about my health.

So for reasons of health, well being and weight-loss, we are doing this diet.
I am not sure how successful we will be in only 45 days, but it is always best to give it a good try.

I know that I can make do with no oil and sugar, but I do love salt and do not intend to eliminate it from my diet in the long term.
This is just a reset, much like a juice fast.

Day 1
Breakfast: a smoothie of fresh fruit

Lunch: red grapes

Dinner: A big salad of fresh and steamed vegetables with lemon, no oil, no salt, and lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, steamed cauliflower, avocado, yellow pepper, naval orange and raw pine nuts.

Dessert: a small bowl of raw nuts, raisins and dried figs.

Comments on day 1 – I felt a bit cold all day.
Definitely missed the salt on the big salad, even though the flavors of the vegetables with the orange and lemon tasted good.
Painted all day and felt good.
Slept good at night.

Day 2
Breakfast: a smoothie of fresh fruit

Lunch: half a cup of cooked oats with one cooked apple, cinnamon and a few raisins. Topped with fresh raspberries and half a banana.

Dinner: A vegetable stew made with wild mushrooms, spinach, yellow and green zucchini, carrots, celery, peas, corn, seaweed, onion, garlic, red lily flowers and spices, but no oil or salt.
The spices were fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, smoked paprika, saffron, green chillies, dry mango powder, sumac, lemon and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.

Dessert: homemade cooked apple sauce with raisins, cranberries and pears spiced with cinnamon, raw sunflower seeds and goji berries.

Comments on day 2 – I did not feel cold today, but did feel a bit hungry.
Still was missing the salt in the stew very much.
The apple cranberry sauce that Jules cooked tasted wonderful and sweet, even though it had no added honey.
Felt encouraged by the loss of 1.1 pounds in a day.
Painted all day and was happy with the progress of my new painting.

Day 3
Breakfast: a smoothie of fresh fruit.

Lunch: A big salad with lettuce, avocado, tomato, cucumbers, yellow pepper, fresh pineapple, roasted sweet potatoes and fresh gooseberries with the juice of a lemon as dressing.

Dinner: A big plate of vegetable stew made with onions, wild mushrooms, eggplant, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, chickpeas, parsley, ginger, turmeric, saffron, and garlic. No salt or oil.

Dessert: a small bowl of fresh raspberries and blackberries.

Comments on day 3- Both Jules and I did not lose any weight today. I did not feel cold nor hungry today at all.
When I cooked, I felt like I was doing something culinarily wrong by not adding salt to the vegetable stew.
I never realized how much I am addicted to salt….

I also found it hard to cook all those nightshade vegetables after many years of following a Macrobiotic diet, which frowns upon eating nightshades like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants.
Nightshades are believed to be inflammatory vegetables, but actually it is the fatty liver and pancreas that cause the inflammation, caused by the fats we eat.

Day 4
Breakfast: a smoothie of fresh fruit.

Lunch: a big vegetable stew with yellow beets, mushrooms, eggplant and cauliflower, all sautéed in water and spices. No oil, no salt.

Dinner: a big salad of red radicchio, cucumbers, papaya, orange, radishes, roasted yellow and red beets with lemon.
We skipped dessert.

Comments on day 4- in just three days, I lost 1.5 pounds and Jules lost 2.2 pounds.
Jules weight now is 153.3 (he is 5 feet, 9 inches tall).
I still remember that years ago before we started walking pilgrimages, and both of us had gained too much weight, that he argued that he could not weigh much less than 170 pounds. Since then he has maintained a weight of less than 160 without even trying too much.

I was not at all hungry today as I painted in my studio all day.
I also had a lovely conversation on the phone with one of my biggest art collectors.
We talked for almost an hour and caught up on what’s going on in our lives.

Last night I had a dream that I was talking to my mother, telling her that all the avocados, nuts and seeds that make up most of her primarily vegetarian diet, might be the contributors to her being overweight.
While talking to her, she suddenly was transformed into a very, very skinny woman, with almost an anorexic body.
I saw myself exclaiming in awe, saying: “ Oh my, you are not overweight at all, you are SO skinny…”
A strange dream indeed….

Day 5
Breakfast: a smoothie of fresh fruit.

Lunch: 1/2 cup of cooked oats with an apple, a banana, gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries, a small amount of raisins and cinnamon.

Dinner: a lentil stew with carrots, onions, garlic, celery, potatoes, curry leaves, turmeric, paprika, saffron, and a cup of green bamboo rice. No oil, no salt.

Dessert: frozen cherries

Comments on day 5 – Lost another half a pound today and feeling so full of energy. In fact, so energetic all day that I am not tired when it is time to sleep at night.
But I do sleep anyway.

I listened to a lecture by a doctor saying that this SOS-free plant based whole food vegan diet can repair the cartilage in the knees, and I felt a surge of hope for my knee healing soon.
Another doctor in the summit said that for every 10 pounds of extra weight, I am putting 30 pounds of additional stress on my knees.

Day 6
Breakfast: a smoothie of fresh fruit.

Lunch: a carrot, onion, corn and lentil stew with rice. No oil, no salt.

Dinner: a big salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, radish, pineapple, radicchio, a little avocado and lemon. No oil, no salt.

Dessert: fresh blueberries and half a banana.

Comments on day 6 – lost almost a pound, even though we ate lots of carbs yesterday in the form of oats, potatoes, lentils and rice.
Slept well last night.

I am still missing the taste of salt in my food and feeling a bit cold, but it was also very cold outdoors.
It is a blessing that I love cooking, because this diet is not an easy one to do if you like to eat out.

Today we went shopping, so we left after eating lunch, in order to avoid eating out.
It is so hard to dine out without oils and salt, except for having a salad, which is not exciting enough at restaurants in our area.

I was thinking about our upcoming diving trip to the Maldives, and how hard it will be to maintain a vegan diet and not eat the local fish on small islands where fish and coconuts are the normal diet.

Day 7
Breakfast: a smoothie of fresh fruit.

Lunch: griddled patties of potatoes, onions and sweet potatoes.
Steamed spinach, broccolini and green beans with a mango sauce. No oil, no salt.

Dinner: a big fruit salad.

Comments on day 7 – I am really missing the taste of salt.
I feel that no savory dish tastes good without salt.
I also find myself arguing inwardly that if you are not overdoing it and instead eating salt in small amounts, that salt is healthy and natural, so why avoid it?
I remind myself that this is only a 45 day experiment to reset my health, and that I was most definitely over salting my food, and that after the 45 days it will be almost impossible to avoid salt in the Maldives.

After the Maldives, I can always go back to eating salt in smaller quantities, just to make food tasty.
But my reasoning wasn’t helping much, and I found myself a bit sad.

Today I skipped the studio and worked out in our gym, doing rowing and stomach crunches.

Week 1 conclusions:
This has not been a huge weight loss week for us.
Both of us feel that we are doing something very good by taking charge of our health.
I had lost 2.5 pounds and Jules lost 1.5 pounds, but he has overall fewer pounds to lose than me.

We did not work out much this week and did not go skiing, because there were big snow storms this week, making the roads dangerous to drive and the visibility on the ski slopes very low.
Despite missing salt very much, I am determined to continue with the experiment and overallI am feeling much better and stronger.

I am adding on the top a photo of the painting that I finished this week.
Wishing you a wonderful week,

2 Comments on “Embarking On A Plant Based 45 Day SOS-Free Diet (No Sugar, Oil or Salt) – Week 1”

  1. You guys are just so so “awesome”.
    An inspiration to so many young minds out there.
    Love you guys.♥️
    Stay cool and blessed always.

    Warm regards to you and Jules.

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