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I’m dropping weight without trying

June 20, 2017

I’m not actually kidding. There are of course some caveats around this, and I’ll get to them, but it’s the real and un-tricked-out truth that I’m not particularly trying, and I’m losing weight.

How: I’ve gone “whole food vegan”, and I’m not eating anything with added sugar.

Some of you just threw up your hands, or threw something at the computer screen. “That’s not easy! That’s not ‘not trying’, Jen! That’d be impossible for me!” Well maybe si, and maybe no, but I said that I’m not trying. Let’s go over this.

Eating Evolultion


  • As a kid: Burgers, fries, pizza, carrots. I was a picky eater. I didn’t like any other vegetables AT ALL, I only liked three fruits. I ate a lot of cereal.
  • As a teen: My daily lunch was vending machine food, every day: Cheetos, 3 Muskateers, and a Sprite. Friends introduce me (no kidding) to the concepts of “cooking your own spaghetti sauce” (I thought it came in jars only!), “home made lasagne” (I’d never had it), “eating a salad”, and “Chinese food”. Yeah, no kidding.
  • As a college student: I get interested in healthy eating and cooking, so I got some books and tried out some stuff. Whole grains and vegetables become more important.
  • As a young adult: My chef friend (and now husband) expands my tastes significantly, and also teaches me to cook well.
  • Since then: Get slowly better about eating more variety, cutting down (then out) sodas, cutting down on eating out, and trying even more variety of foods.
  • Now: Most of the household went whole foods vegan and started a no-added sugar challenge.

“Without trying”?

Yeah. We watched some documentaries, did some thinking and reading, and decided to go vegan, AND to do a no-sugar-added challenge. 

Amazingly, my youngest son Ben saw the sugar doco (“Fed Up”), heard the challenge – which is I think a 2 week challenge – and declared he was doing a two MONTH no added sugar challenge, because he’s a sugar addict. We are deeply impressed, and doing the challenge with him.

So thing one: nearly the whole household is on board. (Our oldest isn’t taking part, and that’s fine.) all of this is way easier if you have buy-in from your household. 

Thing two: we’ve been cooking most of our food, instead of eating out, for quite a while. We LIKE whole foods. We’re used to it. Which is not to say we don’t get really lazy sometimes. We’ve been eating an awful lot of refried bean tacos over the last few weeks.  But of course, bean tacos are freaking delicious. 

Thing three: This has taken away most of my cravings. I don’t miss meat, or cheese, or sugar. We’ve found good replacements for anything I would miss: bean burgers are amazing and easy, hummus is delicious, and there are a half a ton of good banana based recipes for treats (two ingredient ice cream, cake, etc). I don’t PINE FOR much of anything, like I used to do. 

For the last 22 years, I have tried every reasonable diet I can think of in order to control or drop weight. Nothing has worked well. Now I’m dropping weight at a good pace, and eating really, really well into the bargain. 


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