The whole grain part of the diet means just that - with the 1 in 10 rule. I choose brown rice nine out of ten times but if I am in a situation where there is white rice, I will eat it that one time.
Pastas are whole grain as well in addition to not containing any dairy products. I eat a lot of soba and udon noodles because I do not care for whole wheat pasta. When we want spaghetti, we use brown rice pasta or quinoa pasta. Finding a good brand that doesn't disintegrate is important so experiment a bit!
I limit oils, avocado, and nuts. Again, the 1 in 10 rule. I saute everything in water. It tastes just the same. It sounds extreme but once you learn the half-steam-water-saute method, you will wonder why you spent all of that time using oils that just add fat to the dish.
Plant based means as close to the plant as you can get. You can cook them, bake them, saute them, stew them, crock pot them...whatever you please! I don't eat anything animal-based so yes, that means no milk, eggs, cheese or yogurt. I do use rice milk (plain, organic and enriched).
I am staying away from vegan junk food/processed foods like the fake store-bought cheeses, Tofurky (one Tofurky sausage has 13 grams of fat!), fake breakfast sausages, fake sour cream, etc. I use the 1 in 10 rule for tofu which is also highly processed but much lower in fat.
Anything that tastes good with cheese on it, I add nutritional yeast flakes or I make a healthy faux cheese recipe given to me by Brian Roach which contains carrots, nutritional flakes, onion powder and lemon juice.
I look for things that are 3 grams of fat or less. It isn't so hard when you scan the ingredients I am cooking with and eating from above. I even buy store bought pasta sauce for a quick meal. I look for ingredients I recognize and the fat content - that is it! (Well, I also look for an accepted hecksher symbol but you get what I mean!)
I eat as MUCH as I want until I am full. As often as I want so that I am full. I rarely eat salads but when I do, Rob makes a darn good oil-free dressing (soy, honey, Dijon, spicy brown mustard, garlic, apple cider vinegar, lemon). I eat pasta almost every day as part of my dinner. I eat soup almost every day as part of my lunch.
Important: I take a vitamin that contains B-12. This is a MUST as B-12 is lacking in such a diet due to thoroughly washed foods.
What did I eat today?!
Breakfast: About 1/2 cup of Grape Nuts that I pour into a bowl, sprinkled a bunch of cinnamon on it, drizzled with honey, filled 3/4 of the way up the Grape Nuts mound with rice milk, microwaved for 1 minute. Very filling!
Lunch: Dr. MacDougall chunky tomato soup and 1/3 of a box of salt and vinegar rice crackers.
Snack: One juicy pear, sliced.
Dinner: Tibetan noodle soup. (I usually don't do soup twice in a day, but the Tibetan noodle soup was leftovers and delicious so I ate it! Usually, I take veggies, chop them up, saute them with water, add some spices and serve over noodles of some sort.)
Bedtime snack: Although the time hasn't come for that, I will probably have a piece of pumpernickel bread, toasted, with garlic rubbed on it. Or a piece of fruit. Or some carrots dipped in oil-free hummus.
The results?! I have lost 12.5 pounds!!! I have more energy. In the last 6 weeks, I have not had any blood sugar spikes or drops (it took about 2 weeks to stabilize). I feel better. I am not hungry. I am not "missing out." I bring something along when we go to shul or I eat a bit beforehand if we go out so that I am not ravished and tempted to indulge. I have a Vegan app on my phone that tells me what I can order at specific national restaurants.
Since I don't look at portion size and I don't calorie count, it is really simple to eat! I know that looks like a lot, but it really isn't. Whole grain - plant based - less than 3 g of fat! That's it! It has been EASY so far. There have been very few times that I have felt tempted.
And now for the "thanks." Thanks to my family for being so supportive. Thanks to my friends for being so awesome and encouraging me. And thanks to Hashem who makes it all possible!