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Yvonne’s Vegan Journal

Days 6 and 7

8th and 9th May 2014

Friday Day 6 was a busy day.  I worked at the computer in the morning and then met a Change Programme participant for their review. Afterwards I went to the gym and enjoyed a great Tabata class followed by a fun stretching session with Dan and Sheila.  Jemma, our Yoga teacher popped in with her baby Leo; both looked beautiful and well!

In the afternoon Mick and I walked to Jesmond to buy food for the weekend. We both took rucksacks and bags. We bought so much we had to get the metro back, which worried me as I wanted to exceed my fuel burning target!

On our return I spent the whole evening cooking vegan goodies for our visitors:

  • Cashew and cucumber dip
  • Roasted walnut and mushroom pate
  • Guacomole
  • Tofu with an apricot BBQ sauce

Apart from the guacamole all fiddly recipes and by the time I went to bed I had exceeded my fuel burning target.

Food for the Day

Porridge and berries  (300 calories)

1 Naked Bar (109 calories)

2 ryvitas and mushroom pate (150 calories)

Vegetable stir fry with brown rice (360 calories)

Tasted food I made (200 calories!!!!!)

Almond milk for drinks (60 calories)

Total calories consumed: 1,179  Fuel burned according to fuel band: 2,240 calories Deficit: 1,111

Went to bed nervous because tomorrow morning is the weigh in!!!!!!!!!!!

Day 7

Woke up bright and early to go to gym for my training session with Dominic and the big weigh-in!

I arrived at the gym for 6.45am and Dominic supervised my weigh-in.  We were both relieved and pleased to see that in 6 days I had lost 4.6lbs. I was thrilled. I had researched veganism, planned my food and enjoyed my new approach to eating and it had paid off. I have decided to continue eating a vegan diet at home and to try and eat a vegan diet when I go out. If there is not a vegan option I will go for the vegetarian option.

After a fun training session with Dominic I spent the remainder of the day having more fun with our visitors.  In addition to the food I had made the day before  I also made them a sweet potato, leek, chilli and coconut milk soup, pears poached in tea floating in a dark chocolate and tea sauce and quinoa with mango, cannellini beans, spring onions and red pepper.  Mick made them a lovely fish dish, which I did not partake of! You will also be pleased to know I did not have the pears in chocolate sauce. I haven’t calculated my calorie intake for Saturday but know I did not exceed my 2,400 calorie fuel burned as I ate my usual porridge for breakfast and modest quantities of the food I had prepared.

This week I have learned that eating a vegan diet can keep your energy levels high, provide healthy and tasty food and when planned and managed carefully enable you to lose weight. 


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Yvonne’s Vegan Diet Journal

8 May 2014

Day 5

Feeling tired after hectic day with 2 workouts yesterday, lots of cooking and Change Programme groupwork. I seem to ache everywhere, but still enjoying my vegan diet.

I am having a quieter day.  I go into town to Holland and Barrett to my some basics and visit some favourite clothes shops. Since my weight loss I have become incredibly superficial and frivolous.  I do ridiculous things like going into shops and trying clothes on with no intention of buying them. I just want to see if they fit and see what I look like in them. My major discovery has been that it is impossible to know what size you are as size 12, 14 and 16 clothes all seem to be my size depending on which shop I visit.  Then I meet my mum and her pals for coffee and go home.

After lunch I go to the gym and have reviews with 3 of the Change Group participants. This a delight as all three are enjoying the progress they are making. Then I go and do some yoga on my own which I love. I had intended working out, but I am just too tired.

Have a quiet evening in cooking, reading and watching ‘Master Chef’.

My food today has been:

Porridge and berries (300 calories)

Naked Bar (109 calories)

Scrambled tofu and onion (200 calories)

Water melon- 2 slices (200 calories?)

Popcorn (115 calories)

Nuts and berries (140 calories)

Vegetable soup (150 calories)


1,214 calories consumed   Fuel band calories burned 2,160 Deficit:  946 calories


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7 May 2014

Day 4

Quote of the week from one of the Change Programme participants after I provided them with some vegan tabbouleh:

‘Well that vegan scran was lush.  Cheers really filling’.

And it was.


I made a big vat, so check the quantities on packets and add vegetables as you like. You can also adapt the dressing to your taste. I always make things up (only when cooking!) and adapt recipes:

 Ingredients today:

Bulgar wheat


Chick peas and roasted cashew nuts

Finely  chopped spring onions; red onions; red peppers; tomatoes; celery; cucumber and beetroot

Mint and water cress

Dressing-juice of 2 lemons and 2 limes, olive oil and small amount of pomegranate molasses


Cook the grains and add chick peas, cashew nuts and chopped vegetables. Then pour in the dressing and seasoning and mix thoroughly.

Today it is dressed with mint leaves, roasted seeds and watercress



Today was a busy and enjoyable  day. I did lots of cooking and work in the morning, went to a brilliant circuit class with Dan in the afternoon. Then in the evening delivered groupwork for the Change Programme, followed by Dominic’s superb class for all of our participants and then some of us enjoyed some gentle stretching together.  I went to bed tired and happy.

Today I felt less hungry than usual. I will monitor this. It would be interesting to know if the vegan diet is more satisfying and reduces appetite

Food for the Day ( Lots of grazing!)

Porridge cooked with water and a handful of berries (300 calories)

2 rice cakes (100 calories)

Nuts and cherries (140 calories)

1 Naked bar (109 calories)

1 portion of taboulleh with lots of vegetables (360 calories)

Almond milk for 2 drinks (40 calories)

Handful of blueberries and seeds ( 94 calories)

Total calories consumed: 1143 calories  Fuel  burned according to Nike Fuel Band: 2764 calories

Deficit: 1621 calories

According to my calculations I should be on target for at least a 2lb loss on Saturday. It will be interesting to see……………………..


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It gets better and better. I love my food; feel physically incredibly comfortable and efficient and full of energy.

Something strange has happened-I’m grazing and not eating large meals. It’s working for me and I am surprised. In the bad old days of dysfunctional eating I picked at food all day long and so when embarking on my weight-loss journey steered clear of this approach which Dominic and a number of nutritionists favour.

I’m not missing animal products and am excited by interesting recipes.  I’m planning a wonderful vegan menu for our foodie friends Cliff and Val who are visiting this weekend. Elle Ions has very kindly lent me a wonderful New York cookbook ‘Veganomicon’ (recommended to me by Waterstones’ staff earlier in the week) and I am spoiled for choice.  I’ll let you know the menu on Friday!

So Day 3 was warm and breezy. First thing I worked at my computer, then walked to Jesmond, had coffee with Lois and Liz and her beautiful baby and visited  Waitrose. I filled my rucksack with goodies and walked home. After a light lunch I met with Jacqui, a hypnotherapist who has kindly agreed to deliver what promises to be an exciting session for our Change Programme[1] participants next week.  Then, after 30 minutes of Yoga  I met one of our participants for a progress review in Morrison’s café in Killingworth.

After Killingworth I returned home, ate some food, had a rest and prepared myself for Dan’s Tabata class at Sound Mind and Body Gym.  As ever this mixed class was challenging and fun. Dan manages to cater for people of varying fitness levels and we have all made incredible progress.

Arrived home at 9.30pm and was asleep in bed by 10.30 (excellent night’s sleep-such a joy for me a chronic insomniac). Retirement is such fun!


Breakfast: Porridge and berries (300 calories)  (40 calories almond milk for drinks)

2 morning snacks: Naked Bar (109 calories) and pack of Nuts and cherries (140 calories)

Light lunch: 2 ryvita crispbreads with scraping of mushroom pate (100 calories)

Early light supper: small bowl of ratatouille and quinoa (360 calories)

Post Tabata: homemade green smoothie (250 calories) smoothie and rice cracker (50 calories)

So 1,339 calories consumed and Fuel Band calculated calories burned 2752! Deficit 1413!!!

[1] The Change Programme is a holistic approach to healthy eating, weight loss and fitness development devised by Dominic Bowser and myself. We are currently in the 10th week of our pilot working with 15 lovely people


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vegan diet, looking for the chair with no arms

5 May 2014

Day 2

Well at the end of Day 2 as a vegan I am full of energy, physically very comfortable with no digestive issues, slightly hungry in a pleasant way and sleeping well. I am sticking to 2 cups of coffee and using light almond milk and light soya milk. || Read more



Yvonne’s Vegan Diet Journal

24 May 2014

I’m no longer ‘Looking for the Chair with no Arms’[1] but embarking on the latest and possibly most challenging stage of my weight-loss and fitness journey.

Over the past four years, supported superbly by Dominic Bowser and the whole team at Sound Mind and Body I have managed to lose over half my body weight (over 12 stone) and develop an all-consuming passion for exercise. At 61 I feel younger than I did at 41!  I would still like to lose a final stone, but this is proving difficult. I exercise hard and eat healthily but weight loss is minimal. So yesterday I asked Dominic what I should do. He said that I needed to kick start my system with a new approach to eating and coincidentally at the same time I talked to fellow gym member Eleanor Ions about her success with a vegan diet. All three of us decided that it would be interesting to see if this both aided my weight loss and sustained my current high energy levels.

So today I have embarked upon my new diet and will blog my experience and progress over the next few weeks. My sons are highly amused by my new venture. They are only just coming to terms with the embarrassment of a ‘Gym Bunny’ mother/grandmother and their response has been ‘Well at least your excessive egg consumption will reduce’ and ‘Perhaps you should spend 3 days a week on a rugged Northumberland hillside dressed in white linen meditating.’ The latter would certainly reduce my calorie consumption, but I think I’ll stick with vegan adventure for the time being

Day 1

Porridge cooked with water and a handful of blueberries provided a filling breakfast (300 calories)[2].

This sustained me through the morning involving a 45 minute workout and 30 minutes of yoga and a visit to Sainsbury’s to ensure I have all the ingredients required for a tasty and filling diet:

A colourful array of fruit, vegetables and herbs TofuTofu sausages  QuinoaBrown rice
Mushroom pate Peanut butter Nuts and seeds
Ryvita Low fat and unsweetened Almond milk Soya yoghurt
Naked bars Hummous Filo pastry
I will have to be very strict about the peanut butter, nuts and seeds and mushroom pate consumption. Egg cup size nuts/nuts and seeds consumption per day and a teaspoon of peanut butter and mushroom pate


By the time I left the supermarket at 1.15pm I was ravenous and ate a Naked Bar (109 calories) in the car, followed by a small bowl of vegetable curry at 2pm (250 calories).

After reading the papers I spent most of the afternoon cooking both in preparation for my vegan week and for visitors coming for supper. I made a giant ratatouille (to last for days), asparagus wrapped in filo pastry (courtesy of Ottolenghi) and for the visitors liberally brushed with egg  and scattered with poppy seeds and parmesan and for me 3 with poppy seeds alone. I also made a vegetable soup with lots of ‘metabolism speeding up’ chilli in it to support my week’s eating.

At supper our visitors ate duck with their ratatouille and asparagus and I consumed my asparagus with a small amount of ratatouille (350 calories). Then for pudding we all had mixed berries with a little soya yoghurt (150 calories).

I believe that my calorie intake for the day which includes almond milk in 2 coffees (no I’m not giving up coffee!) was a maximum of 1,150 calories.

In the evening Mick and I went for a walk round Gosforth and when we returned home my Nike Fuel band told me that I had burned 2,300 calories throughout the day giving me a minimum deficit 1,150 calories. To lose a 1lb fat you need a deficit of 3,500 calories so this is looking promising. I would like to have lost 2lbs by my weigh-in next Saturday morning.

How did I feel at the end of Day 1? I felt slightly hungry and comfortable (no digestive issues) and slept very well (not something I often do)

At the end of Day 1 I feel optimistic about this venture into veganism. Maybe my new respect for animals will make me a less aggressive, calmer person- I doubt it!



[1] This is the title of a book I have written about my life transforming health and fitness journey.

[2] All calories are an approximation. My four year journey has enabled me to do be fairly accurate

Spot reduction



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Spot Reduction

Get rid of your saddle bags, beer belly, bingo wings or any other unsightly bulges?

Spot reduction is the idea that you can reduce body fat in one area. || Read more

posted by on NUTRITION

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This is a great article that was in the Sunday Times on the 29.9.13.
So many times we hear people saying ‘I only eat the low fat option’. ‘I got the soy latte instead’. we are not saying go out and eat a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts. we have always said eat great tasting simple food. Food you can see what it was. unprocessed. this is what we were designed to live on.
Most of us are doing less physical work than our predecessors and yet we eat more than they ever did. especially simple refined sugars.
Have a read and remember keep it simple.

The recommended maximum daily consumption of added and intrinsic sugars is 90g for a woman and 120g for a man || Read more


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facial rejuvenation

Acupoints is a unique acupuncture service in the fight against ageing and lines. Using extremely small and fine needles we provide resistance against the test of time. || Read more

Lets get physical



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Physical activity is now considered THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR in increasing optimal functioning. 

Let’s get physical! || Read more