How a Lifelong Vegetarian Accidentally Lost 10 Pounds

There’s always a next step

As a lifelong lacto-ovo vegetarian I thought my eating habits were pretty good. My BMI was acceptable. But as I learned in my first year working for Full Plate Living there’s always a next step to take on my journey to health. Aside from Powering Up my meals with at least 75% superfoods, here are some of the steps I’ve taken so far:

An Apple a Day

This isn’t a rule I live by, but because apples are so convenient to eat, it’s a rare day that passes without me enjoying an apple. They show up most often in my breakfast, but I also grab them for snacks. Or I use them to fill the void when I’m still hungry after a meal.

Cheese and Avocados

Back in my school days I thought of cheese as a main component of my meals, especially Mexican food. Now that I realize how many calories are packed into cheese, I eat it much more sparingly.

An experiment I tried was replacing the majority of cheese with avocados. I found that to be a superior choice because not only did I really enjoy my tacos, I also felt and slept better afterwards.

Peanuts and Peanut butter

If every meal was made of peanut butter my taste buds would be thrilled. Peanuts are on the 55+ list of Full Plate Diet foods. But they’re in the section you should eat sparingly because they don’t contain 60% water. Even a serving of natural peanut butter can quickly set you back 200+ calories.

My habit was to browse by the pantry, around meal times and grab a handful of peanuts. So instead of stocking peanuts 24/7 I suggested we only buy them for special occasions. I don’t miss them too much because we still eat peanut butter.

When a “fend for yourself” meal comes around, I try not to get the peanut butter out by default. And often I spread my peanut butter in the kitchen before I go to the table, so I have a few steps to think about if I really want a second spread.


Speaking of spreading, as I’ve been Powering Up everything, I realized that I’ve accidently replaced jelly with fresh fruit. Not only do I enjoy it more, it fills me up faster. A net calorie saving too.


I know, oatmeal, oatmeal, oatmeal. It seems like all you hear about from the Full Plate Living blog. It has three major plus factors that make it awesome:

  1. you guessed it, high fiber
  2. 60% water
  3. and a low price. When compared to boxed cereals and milk, the savings with oatmeal are enough to put a down payment into the kid’s college fund.

Premade oatmeal powered up

I make it convenient by preparing an over-sized batch and refrigerating it. The picture above is how it looks when we serve it a few days later. Here’s how:

  1. Boil 12 cups water
  2. Add 8 cups oats, stir and turn heat to low for 5 minutes.

It lasts us about 5 days giving us a couple other days for variety in our breakfasts.

Bottom Line

I’m 10 pounds lighter, feel better, and I'm faster when I run. And that happened without me really noticing.


Paul Martin

Paul Martin helps with websites for Full Plate Living. He writes from Orlando, Florida, where you can find him spending weekends pedaling with his whole family on their tandem bicycle and trailer.

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