Oh joy of joys! I have been away from blogging and regular posts for months now in order to plan and enjoy our wedded bliss. It was absolutely the most wonderful, romantic, joyful, blessed day of my life. I am so happy to finally be a wife to this most amazing man of my dreams. Really, I am so happy that I have been laugh-crying. It is truly a time that my heart is lifted so high that I still can't believe this is reality. Checking in to my own goals with training and nutrition - due to having maintained my weight and musculature thanks to a near-vegan diet, I was pretty confident I would feel great on my wedding day about the way I looked. However, I found that the physical look I had a few months pre-wedding (Muscle! Extreme! Jacked!) was slightly lacking the look of "elegance" I wanted to attain as I wore my wedding gown. And so - I, your Dietitian and Personal Trainer - SLACKED. Yes, I did. My training program went from one to two intense whole body workouts a week with the randomly interspersed cardio training to about once or twice per month. Having already hit that healthy weight maintenance point, and not allowing stress to get to me, I maintained my weight but allowed a feminine "softness" to take over just a bit. I was thrilled with the physical and emotional results I had, and relaxed into celebrating with my family by enjoying some drinks and richer foods along with their company. In contrast, my fiance had dropped 35 pounds in 4 months through proper nutrition and vigorous running and weight training (men, eh?). While his weight for height is much healthier now, this was a drastic change and he likely lost some muscle mass as well. For the average person that undergoes this type of weight loss, I fear nutrient deficiencies and rebounding of weight gain. In our experience though, he has ultimately changed his lifestyle and will soon be changing his career to accommodate these healthier choices. Also, it's a good thing a plant-based diet maximizes the nutrition you take in with every bite! Some people are familiar with the "let-myself-go" and then "scramble-to-lose-the-weight" cycle that occurs when vacations or holidays come around. It's safe to say that Nidal and I fell into that cycle, however our "scramble-to-lose" phase is really going to be a return to normal, healthy and relaxed habits. Stress, we know, is a huge contributing factor to many different diseases. I believe the fact that we relaxed into indulgence and are now easing back into the reality of treating our bodies properly is a much healthier pattern than the stress of trying to restrict and control what we ate while on vacation and then struggling to get back to a fitness and healthy food regime. (More on this in the last paragraph!) Though we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves wining and dining, we certainly did not follow a lot of our own advice much of the time while on the honeymoon - but did I ever upset my body in doing so! Without giving TMI, I could say there was a certain kind of dysbiosis with my gut flora, probably not due to some foreign virus or bacteria, but due to the change in diet and drink. It's a good thing there was lots of avocado and papaya available to keep them happy. I just posted a video (link here) from Dr. Michael Greger on the wonderful world of the gut microbiome. I suppose if I could make friends with my billions of gut microflora, I would be begging for their forgiveness right about now for treating them poorly for an entire week! My point is, your gut bacteria are very, very important to your short and long-term health. Feeding them copious amounts of sugars, alcohol, charred or fried foods and inflammatory fats causes the "bad bacteria" to multiply, therefore crowding out the good guys. Feeding them decent amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre from legumes, leafy greens, nuts, whole grains, and fibre-rich fruits helps the good guys to multiply and protect your gut lining, as well as allowing the bacteria to create food (short chain fatty acids) for your intestinal cells! Wow! As humans, we house symbiotic animal relationships, just like birds and crocodiles or clownfish and anemones. Let's help the little guys - eat your veggies!
And finally... Rant... While indulging on made-to-order sashimi at the sushi bar, a group of Canadians from a neighbouring city to ours were seated next to us. As Canadians usually are friendly, we introduced ourselves and soon discovered most of them were vegans. (Vegans in a sushi restaurant?) Anyway, they proceeded to demand that their needs be accommodated to these poor, minimal-English-speaking chefs and waiters. There was only one signature dish that the sushi chef made that was vegan, a dish that I quite enjoyed, which was made obvious to not be to the exquisite taste of anyone in their group. When one of them tasted a smoked salmon roll (that one I would absolutely die for), he huffed in disgust, made a grossed-out face in clear view of the chefs and offensively commented about the quality of fish in Mexico as compared to British Columbia. I was outraged! Why must these vegans/near-vegans make a bad name for us all? Thankfully I was there to clean up their social mess and be an example against the stereotype. I hope that, whatever your food preferences or restrictions are, that you demonstrate, and encourage others to demonstrate grace and patience with food service professionals. The large majority of them are worked off their feet every day and many are foreign workers who are scared to enforce their rights for overtime, vacation, or weekend pay. A gracious patron is a blessing to a food service worker, especially if you have special requests that are not easy to accommodate. Restaurants, hospitals, and other food service establishments are on a very steep learning curve that keeps climbing higher and higher with newer food trends and allergies or desired restrictions. Do your best to educate with positivity!!!