Essay #2

As part of the vegan weight loss challenge, here’s another entry. Thought I’d share–you can never have too much support knowing that there are others around you going through the very same issues that you are! Also, aren’t you soo jealous, Costa Rica with Dr. McDougall? If you’ve never heard of these trips, they are AMAZING–they’re mostly sightseeing trips with 100% vegan McDougall food (starch-based, whole foods) and great company. I’d love to do this someday with J (husband).

Essay #2

It was fun doing the challenge even though I had many ups and down along the way. I wanted to do the challenge because my husband and I have been trying to do the McDougall program since we went to Costa Rica on a McDougall trip in the summer of 2008—it was a trip of a lifetime. I tried doing McDougall in the early 90’s and was very devoted for 4 months-and felt great but very deprived. Also, my boyfriend (now husband) was not really on board and this was preinternet and the resources and support was not available like it is now. I have always been in great health so I didn’t have that extra motivation to stick with it like an ill person might. Plus I wrongly assumed since I was a vegetarian I was eating almost as good. However, in the back of my mind, I always knew that he had it right so when my husband started having cholesterol and blood pressure issues and I felt my diet was getting more cheese(fat!) based and less plant based we took the plunge and went to Costa Rica. I knew I couldn’t do this without the support of my spouse. Well fast forward to now. I am devoted to eating vegan, but still struggle with staying on plan for all the reasons you would suspect (poor planning, overwhelmed with family work, etc., kids don’t like the food, I don’t want to cook, etc.). But I learned some great things on the challenge and I lost the lower end of weight I wanted to lose (I am not overweight to begin with but the scale was starting to creep). Some things I learned or was reminded of while on the challenge:

1) Don’t cheat-for me I need to be 100% or I will go back to my old ways.
2) Avoid sugar-see above!
3) For now, I need to not eat out since I am too bashful about asking restaurants to prepare foods without oil. I need to learn to like foods without oil so my tastes will change
4) Don’t get too hungry-this is the kiss of death, I need three meals and at least two snacks and have McDougall foods with me in the car and office so I am not caught off guard when hunger strikes
5) Focus on how good I feel and not what I am missing. Isn’t it great we know the truth about healthy eating!
6) PLAN, PLAN, PLAN-know what I will eat for all my meals and snacks-this is a work in progress
7) Don’t get too fancy. I am wearing myself out cooking new recipes each day. I need to come up with a few tried and true recipes (and ones the kids will eat-wish me luck there).
8) Clean out the pantry of processed foods. If it is not here we can’t eat it.

I am glad I found your website and loved the messages, especially about your journey to healthy eating. I hope that soon, I can look back and say “now why did I think this was so hard” and this way of eating will be second nature.

Thanks again,



  1. Julieg
    on April 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm said:

    I wish I could go on a McDougall Trip every year! Wouldn't that be a dream come true? There were whole families (multi-generational as well as parent and their kids) on the trip we went on and people who we jokingly called McDougall groupies because they attend so many McDougall events. We used it as a second honeymoon and left the kids at home for the first time ever. It really was a dream come true to go and I was so thankful we were able to make it happen. If you ever get the chance you won't regret it. Thanks for all the support and comments from these posts. I too love reading peoples insights and wisdom.

  2. Gillian
    on April 27, 2010 at 3:29 pm said:

    Sounds like you have a good sense of what works (and doesn't work) for you Julie! That's great! Keep up the good work!I would SO enjoy going to Costa Rica with Dr. McDougall!

  3. tbsomeday
    on April 27, 2010 at 2:32 pm said:

    thanks for sharing julie!i too would love to do a mcdougall trip someday! i'd actually love to send my parents…maybe when i hit it big i can take us all :)junk has snuck it's way into my cupboards too…your list of tips are a good reminder for myself!

  4. Sabrina
    on April 27, 2010 at 3:47 am said:

    Thanks for letting us read all the essays. It helps so much to hear how others are doing in this journey and I love learning from the things they've learned. Thanks, everyone, for sharing your stories!