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About ~Ayla~

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  • Birthday July 16


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  1. Hi Defining, first of all thank you for taking the time to pen such a detailed response. I should soooo have added a bit of context! I need to explain that a classic dinner might previously have been spring rolls or samosas, or maybe summer rolls, followed by a big bowl of rice and vegetable curry, or plate full of pad thai jay (tofu, no egg), a huge serving of watercress risotto, or macaroni feese with broccoli, or wholegrain lasagne with almond bechamel, or the vegan giardinera from pizza express (with dough balls!). I'd follow that up with vegan ice cream, cake, dark chocolate or maybe lychees in syrup. 70g of buckwheat noodles limited to a Saturday night treat does represent a rather large reduction in carbs in my diet :-D I'm a very plump lass, for all my martial arts and home cooked diet; I have very muscular thighs and calves but my hourglass figure tends towards fat gathering on my belly and hips. In the 8 week challenge I'm now setting myself, I've allowed one 'carb monster' favourite dinner and one restaurant meal a week. This represents a big change, a tough limit, for me but I think it's an achievable goal as I've been slowly changing my diet using the (low) NF diet levels over the past while. My goal is probably the equivalent of about 7lbs over those 8 weeks, but my measure is a combination of more energy and better performance at my favourite sports, plus the less subjective measure of clothing fit. I'm surprised at the idea that the choice of carb doesn't matter, because the beginners advice on the website keeps talking about minimising unhealthy carbohydrates and how some carbs work like sugar on the body etc. That's the information that I'm starting from, so e.g. the website recommends using sweet potatoes instead of potatoes so that's why I've done that, it says cut back sugar so now I'm having 10cal vegan jelly or a portion of fresh fruit and limiting sugar pudding to 2 nights a week, and booze to 1 night a week for example. During the week I'm going to substitute courgetti or squashetti but on some days I figured a portion of chickpea pasta and tomato sauce, or a cake of buckwheat ramen, seemed likely to be better for my goals than a portion of white pasta or rice noodles, based on what I was reading. Is there any merit in that thought? Because the discovery that's really surprised me after reading through your post is that going and comparing 70g of each, the buckwheat appears to have more carbs than the white noodles (41g vs 20g), and not only the higher protein (10g vs 3.5g) as I'd originally thought. Where I'm also very fuzzy is my staple of pulses and legumes which is where I've always previously been told is a great source of protein for vegans and healthier than rice or potatoes etc. I use a tin of beans instead of having rice, chickpeas or lentils in place of couscous or bulgar wheat, and I use tofu, soy protein, mycoprotein or seitan (wheat gluten) in place of meat, and I love the taste of miso. I just know I can't see me counting grams of things and doing the very scary looking number crunching that you've done there, I wouldn't last more than a few days doing that because I'm a cook that likes to experiment and eat a wide variety of dishes, which would make that task extremely daunting for so many meals in a week. I'm not sure what the right balance is to move forward with my challenge without making it so hard and brain busting that I loose it the minute I have a stressful week at work, or too many personal commitments. Is focusing on increased protein and reducing portions of nutritionally/glycemically 'better' carbs going to actually work? Or is it all a pipe dream due to following a diet without animal proteins? I'm vegan for my interpretation of ahimsa, so that deffo means no animal products of any kind for me - I have to find some sustainable way forward that doesn't have me giving up and reaching for the nearest bowl of pasta and box of oreos! ~A
  2. Omg that's beautiful - no wonder you're motivated to go for a walk, I would be too with a view like that! What stuff did you do in your workout?
  3. Hallo, I'm trying to reduce carbs in my diet, and make healthier choices for the carbs that I am going to eat. I've been vegan for 22 months now, so there are some limitations in what I choose to eat. I'm doing ok on some things, like choosing sweet potato instead of white potatoes, or having brown/chickpea/pea pasta instead of white pasta, but one of my favourite things to eat are noodles, in spicy soups or pho, as stir fries, in miso soup, cold in salads... oh yum I am so hungry just THINKING about them. I'm wondering whether switching to buckwheat ramen and soba and sweet potato vermicelli would be less carby and more healthy than my usual noodles? I'm planning to make a lovely star anise and cinnamon scented pho noodle soup for Saturday night dinner, with summer rolls wrapped in lettuce instead of rice paper for starters. Would I be on the right track if substituting the rice noodles for buckwheat, for example? ~A
  4. Hallo all, I've been learning Tai Chi Softball, as it's a side interest of my kickboxing instructor, on and off for about a year now. Now my instructor has asked me if I'd like to attend a UK national championship competition in October, not to compete compete (I'm no black belt!), but certainly to participate and compete at a junior level, she even offered to do a synchronised routine with me. I would LOVE to do this, I haven't been in any sporting competition since I was a child. Just wondering if anyone else has heard of or been involved in the sport? ~A
  5. Hi Hazard, I want to set myself an 8 week challenge combining upping my exercise regime and daily step count, and making some dietary changes by limiting treats to a strict number per week and making my usual vegan diet lower carb. Between now and October I have my green kickboxing grading, a (10th wedding anniversary) holiday to Sri Lanka and the Maldives where I'd like to be fit enough to try some new water sports, and a Tai Chi Softball competition (my first) where I'd like to feel confident enough to get up in front of all those people. I've set up a plan in my own way (below), I do love a checklist, but I'd like to tap into the support available here in the NF community rather than just do it myself, especially as I'm easily led astray by peer pressure and/or FOMO! How can I best fit my plan into the NF challenge structure though? I think I have planned mine in a way that doesn't conform to the guidelines? Thank you! Ayla