I like to cook and bake. My philosophy on both is to use as many whole foods and vegan ingredients as I can. I also tend to lower the sugar and fat in my recipes quite a bit. I don't like to use artificial sweeteners, and instead prefer to rely on sweetness from natural ingredients (such as fruit) and an altered personal palate from removing sugar from my diet. I have lost a significant amount of weight by doing this. No diet regime, just simply thinking and planning what I eat. Cooking my own meals helps enormously, and baking my own sweets still curbs my sweet tooth while staying within my new healthier eating habits.

I highly recommend this for anyone. Even if you have trouble giving up meat, a couple vegan days or vegetarian days a week will help enormously. You will find yourself stopping to think about what you are eating that day, and planning your meals, rather than stuffing yourself with your craving. The first step for me was to stop buying meat when I ate out. That was my compromise with myself. If I can't be bothered to cook, I still need to think about what I eat. By not getting meat when I eat out, my options narrow significantly, to the point where I usually don't bother and just make something healthier at home.

Also, did I mention the money you save? Once you get past the hump of the initial stocking-up the cupboards with raw ingredients, you will find you only need to grab a few fresh ingredients every week. Many people also forget to take into account the pocket money they always throw at the fast food window. When you sit down and look at the numbers, the 5-10 dollars here and there, spending an extra 20 a week at the grocery store becomes a fair trade. Plus, you feel better physically and mentally!

Think about what you eat, plan your meals using as many whole, unprocessed ingredients as you can. And, try some of my recipes. You may be pleasantly surprised. :)

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