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 My warmest regards from Malaysia

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NiYan

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PostSubject: My warmest regards from Malaysia   Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:15 pm

I could not express how GLAD I am to have found this site!
I was getting quite lonely in Malaysia, lacking of any companions who truly do understand my diet and getting QUITE depressing when I start going to the gym (and finding out that I am considered obese for my size - whurh?!!) I was drifting quite badly when I find a lot of vegan diets that are meant for dieting but for muscle building? Erh...

But not anymore!

I would like to thank everyone for making this website, this will definitely help me in a very VERY long run!

I've been a vegetarian since May 2008, vegan within 3 months, thanks to a community in New Zealand. But back in Malaysia, it is very tricky to stay away from dairy products completely (especially when a doctor diagnosed my health as being below average without dairy), so I tend to take a bit of butter and cheese every... fortnight or when I feel like it. My body is quite sensitive to food so when it gives some warning signals of what it doesn't like, time to listen - (stop candy intake since age 5, had a sudden dislike to fizzy drinks at 12, and a week in of test drive vegetarian, attempting to eat fish makes me regret my decision big time)

And avoiding mom's attempt to get me to put fish on the diet (for the umpteenth time, stop it!)

I'm not much of a bodybuilder, but I would love some muscles back where they should be - I suspect my sudden disappearance of muscles is due to my drop of protein intake once I return from New Zealand and readjusting to the hectic 'lazy' lifestyle.

It is great to meet all of you Very Happy
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Pete
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PostSubject: Re: My warmest regards from Malaysia   Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:27 am

Hi & welcome to the site. yes, it can be quite hard being on your own as a vegan. I suspect that it's a lot harder over there than in the UK (especially Brighton) as we can pick up vegan food everywhere in town & there are groups you can go along to. Also the food choices are probably different, so it might be hard to even suggest some pretty common foods here as they might be unheard of where you are.
Normally I'd rattle off a list a stuff that could be causing the issues & suggest some changes, but I'm not to sure what your diet is (& there may even be some foods I haven't even heard of before), so maybe we could start with what you are eating right now (just a list of your typical foods you eat in a day regularly). Don't do what some people do & make a list of stuff you are SUPPOSED to eat (I'd had that many, many times), but what you do eat typically & maybe we can find a solution to getting you in shape & back on track to look fab in 2010!
Getting those muscles back will be easy once we get to the root of your food problems.
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NiYan

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PostSubject: Re: My warmest regards from Malaysia   Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:52 pm

Thanks! Though over here I could get vegetarian food (with a dish or two that contains eggs), but swimming in oil? Mad

Oh, a list? This is gonna be slightly tricky.

Breakfast:
  • 2-3 small wheat buns with peanut butter / butter
    A bowl of vege soup / marmite

  • Rolled oats with marmite / vege (I am odd)

  • Brown rice with steamed green leafy vege, tofu / peanuts with beancurd sheets, stirfry vege (and occasional baked pumpkin / soup) <--- normally leftovers from prepared lunch on that very day

  • Occasionally, I crave for semi instant soup noodles (own vege broth)


- whenever I remember (normally for my brown bag lunch), I load sprinkle yeast flakes, rice powder and sesame seeds

Lunch:
  • Brown rice with steamed green leafy vege, tofu / peanuts with beancurd sheets, stirfry vege (and occasional baked pumpkin / soup)


Dinner:
  • Brown rice with cold tofu seasoned with sesame oil and soya sauce

  • Rolled oats with marmite / vege

  • Brown rice with cooked beans, pan-fried tofu, stirfry vege (with occasional vege soup)


- stirfry vege: a variety of carrots, celery, eggplant, green beans, long / french beans, peas, corn, tomato, broccoli, cauliflower etc
- steamed vege: broccoli, chinese greens, butterheads, cos lettuce, okra seasoned with sesame oil and soya sauce
- snacks: fruits (apple, kiwi, banana) / breakfast bar (rarely since it is a little too sweet for me) / 1-2 fried chinese donut (once every few weeks, when I have the craving)

Embarassed

I do miss the convenience in other countries (Asian countries not included 'cause I have yet visited)!

I'll be joining you guys all the way from 2010, ya!!! Laughing
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Pete
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PostSubject: Re: My warmest regards from Malaysia   Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:36 pm

The first thing you're obviously missing is a source of omega-3 fatty acids.
If you can get hold of flax seeds they would be good. You need to grind them (easiest way is to buy a cheap coffee grinder & grind a tablespoon a day). You could try adding them to your morning vege soup or if that tastes gross you could mix them with some fruit juice or soya milk (or similar).
I'm assuming you get out in the sun now & again in your region you shouldn't have a need for any extra vitamin D (unless you really are stuck indoors during the daytime all the time).
You don't eat a lot to be considered obese! I find it hard to see how you'd put on a lot of weight with what you eat, unless you're really eating big portions or you are very tiny?
My first idea would be to increase your activity levels generally & maybe keep the food pretty much the same. If that doesn't work second step would be to cut your starchy carbs slightly (as they're the easiest to cut down on) & see how you go.

Step one will be to find an omega 3 food source you can have daily. It can be flax seeds (ground), walnuts or hemp. They are all good choices. You'll also need to get hold of a source of B12, basically I recommend a pill, they're cheap (if you can't get one locally, then you'll certainly find one online cheap enough). Getting those 2 things will just cover the nutritional areas you might be missing out on.
I'd add those, then I'd start to exercise. ALL women should do weight bearing exercise. Women shy away from it because they are told they'll look like men if they lift anything at all, but that is rubbish. If you want some ideas on how to train as a women a couple of books are female body breakthrough & New rules of lifting for women these both show you how I think women can train & still remain totally feminine. For men weight training is pretty much vanity, but for women it is vital protection against osteoporosis as what you build pre-menopause will keep your bones dense for the rest of your life, so you need to be lifting to prepare yourself for later life. You will also want to increase your normal daily activity, so use the stairs, not the lift. Park a little away from where you want to go, walk, not drive to the shops if possible, just get more active. You can run, swim or bike as well if you want to build some cardiovascular fitness.
If you're mother wants you to eat fish, why not compromise & go for another sea food like seaweed? Seaweed is high in protein & is a powerhouse of minerals. I have been known to make tempeh seaweed wraps in my time (actually I haven't made them for ages, I might do them tomorrow!), rice & veggie 'sushi', add shredded seaweed to soups, even add kelp powder to shakes (kelp is a type of seaweed) - I'm no cook, but even I've found ways to use seaweed that taste ok, someone who actually knows their way around the kitchen could make some impressive stuff I suspect!
I'd make the above changes & then give it time to see how you're faring with those. The extra activity should have a big effect on your body composition. Be warned of one point mind you. Over the first 2 weeks you will start to burn more fat, but you will also start to add a little muscle, for the first week or 2 you may begin to look a little bulkier, it doesn't happen often, but it can for a week or so, before the muscle stops responding by increasing in size & the fat continues to come off & you'll drop the bulky look. You might have to live with a week or two looking slightly more bulky, but keep an eye on a few things. As I said it's rare, but I do like to mention it. If the bulkiness continues we simply up the cardio & cut calories a bit & get it under control, but it's rare that it happens & rarer that it does just pass after a few weeks & the fat levels drop to reveal the new leaner you. Keep an eye on you portion size & keep them at what you eat now & keep an eye on the waist, that should be shrinking, if it doesn't then we'll have to tweak things a little & see how we get on.
For the next few weeks that's what I'd do, nothing else. Doing this you will begin to feel how your body is responding to the few changes you've made & begin to learn which things do what to your body. That is important & why we introduce only one or 2 changes at a time, so we can see how each change actually effects us. By adding in some healthy fats that you aren't getting enough of, B12 & starting to exercise & nothing else you'll see how these things affect your body & also if we need further tweaks how those affect your body, so you are building up a 'manual' about your own body - how it works, what things affect it & how. Everyone is a little bit different, you may find you are fat-sensitive & so need to control fat intake, or carb-sensitive & so have to cut carbs a little, you may need a little more protein than the average or you may find exercise really gets you in shape fast & no real dietary changes (apart from those I mentioned) are needed. So we are writing a book about you starting today. I would get a notebook & start to write down the things you eat. I personally get quite detailed at first writing quantities & working out calories & protein, carbs & fats, but you can be as detailed as you feel able. I'd probably go for an A4 notebook as you can then also write in your training. Once you get used to portion size by weighing out & know how many calories you can eat you can ease off on the food dairy & just put in the basics (but once or twice a year return to weighing just to remind yourself of what an amount looks like).
I'd make the dietary changes as soon as you can & get the training in place as well.
Hopefully that's been of some help?
If you need anything else just let us know & I'm sure me or some of the others will give you some ideas.
All the best & good luck with the changes to your lifestyle
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NiYan

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PostSubject: Re: My warmest regards from Malaysia   Tue Dec 29, 2009 6:18 pm

Haha! Thanks Very Happy

I was previous a little inactive and eat quite a bunch, so when I had my first weigh-in in a year, i have 30+%.... fat for someone who has 21.9 BMI hu~

With that strike in my ego, I started going to the gym since *counts backwards* Monday last week (and overdid it on the 3rd day, which led me to be bedridden for nearly a day - but the results is great but not gonna use that route again), though interesting enough, this helped me reduce my food portion lately.

I thought the flaxseed was old (which isn't) because it tasted funny, maybe I should start hiding them in my food in small amounts instead of drizzling them the first time (and regretting it).

Sun is fine, I drive to work in the morning (blinding sun) 20-30mins and getting pretty dark.

Honestly? Once I figure out which machine and which exercise kicks which muscle, I'll be all over the weights, I love them. (I should pester my bro today to teach me some for my shoulders) But thanks for the reads Very Happy Looking at them now.

Just yesterday I did 5km treadmill less 50mins, is that enough for a day or should I look out for more?

I totally forgot about seaweed, will stuff them in my food or make snacks out of them. Thanks for the reminder.

Quote :
Over the first 2 weeks you will start to burn more fat, but you will also start to add a little muscle, for the first week or 2 you may begin to look a little bulkier, it doesn't happen often, but it can for a week or so, before the muscle stops responding by increasing in size & the fat continues to come off & you'll drop the bulky look

Due to my experience when I was overseas, that happened and did a total freak out (why am I gaining weight?!! and the workout kinda went flat after that). Now I know better Very Happy (because I can bet it will happen again)

Keeping a food diary will be a challenge, but will try my best!

Thanks for the ideas~! Very Happy:D
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Pete
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PostSubject: Re: My warmest regards from Malaysia   Wed Dec 30, 2009 4:48 am

The diary is pretty important for most people over the first 3-4 weeks, after that you can slacken off as you've made most of the foods you eat & roughly know how much they are in terms of cal, so at the start you might write down:

Veg soup
196 cal

10g protein (40cal)

30g carbs (120 cal)

4g fat (36 cal)

then after that, if you make roughly the same soup, you can just write:

Veg soup ~200 cal or similar

once you've started to know what foods have what calories.
One hint is as you make foods you eat regularly you can put their details at the front, then just copy them down instead of having to calculate amounts, I've found that a pretty quick method once you get started.

The training log you need to keep going forever basically, writing down what you do & how much you do is an important part of training as you can look back & see what works & what doesn't, but the food diary is important while you lose weight, but after that, as I said, just a quick weekly review once or twice a year to make sure you haven't drifted too far off track is a good rule of thumb.
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Konstantin



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PostSubject: Re: My warmest regards from Malaysia   Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:35 am

Hello and welcome. Good to see you are sticking at your vegan doet in a difficult part of the world. In the UK it's so easy!

Are you able to get different grains like buckwheat, couscous, quinoa, millett and pasta? I think these can be a good addition. I agree with Pete that you are probably not obese, especially from your photo. But if you want to increase your fitness and strength, just check that you are not changing weight too rapidly.

You may also want to visit www.veganfitness.net.
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NiYan

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PostSubject: Re: My warmest regards from Malaysia   Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:02 pm

Konstantin wrote:
Hello and welcome. Good to see you are sticking at your vegan doet in a difficult part of the world. In the UK it's so easy!

Are you able to get different grains like buckwheat, couscous, quinoa, millett and pasta? I think these can be a good addition. I agree with Pete that you are probably not obese, especially from your photo. But if you want to increase your fitness and strength, just check that you are not changing weight too rapidly.

You may also want to visit www.veganfitness.net.

Thanks for the welcome Very Happy

Yes, I am able to get those grains (but with a lot of coughing up the money...), but for some reason, I have yet mastered the art of cooking them (I am envious of the people who helped cooked them for me, why does mine taste so weird).

At the moment, I am gradually building my stamina and muscle building... so I don't think my weight will change at all. Dense muscle adds weight, fat loss reduce (more or less) weight... it'll pretty much even out or I might add instead. Thanks for the tip and link.

I'm learning to eat less brown rice and eat more frequent, this will be quite a challenge.
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PostSubject: Re: My warmest regards from Malaysia   Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:11 pm

Everyone keeps on saying "difficult part of the world to be a Vegan in".

Maybe but there must be a lot of Buddhists over there, many of them must be vegetarians.

Good thread whether the original OP returns or not seeing how this is from a few months ago.
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NiYan

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PostSubject: Re: My warmest regards from Malaysia   Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:17 pm

PhysCultureFan wrote:
Everyone keeps on saying "difficult part of the world to be a Vegan in".

Maybe but there must be a lot of Buddhists over there, many of them must be vegetarians.

Good thread whether the original OP returns or not seeing how this is from a few months ago.

that is true, but then again, many buddhists prefer to practice 'eating in moderation' than to be a full-time vegetarian. they tend to eat only vegetarian food on certain auspicious days and some vegetarians still consume eggs and very often: fish.

tell them 'i am a vegetarian' is not sufficient and very risky, since many times they will give you boiled bones soup, and stirfry vege with oyster sauce.

and many insist 'authentic vegetarians' should stop being difficult and just take out the meat and eat the vege.

Tough.
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PostSubject: Re: My warmest regards from Malaysia   Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:17 pm

NiYan:

Thank You kindly for your response.

That is real fascinating and according to the tenets of Buddhism, well, one too doesn't need to go overboard to one's circumstances. Even Monks who beg for alms may well get meat tossed in their bowls and I guess they would eat that.

I knew a Pureland Buddhism group following Venerable Master Hsua. They had Buddhists from Taiwan, China and Malaysians too. I came to understand some of their ways, bless them, a fine group of people in Minnesota USA. Venerable Master Hsua established the City of 10,000 Buddhas http://www.cttbusa.org/, I even read some of his books and others from over there. Very fascinating, that was the first time I ever got involved in vegetarian life styles and of course, they had a Monk for some ceremonies, very kind fellow came up from Atlanta but mostly unable to speak English. I even have a Buddhist prayer book, morning prayers on CD and a few Wind Records CDs. This one young couple were part leaders in this, it's amazing how they could chant "Na Mo Amito Fwo" and some other things, they and especially he would be so still and when chanting and legs crossed, black robes. It was hard for me to stay still for so long. I know you must know these things, they had all of these writings on Buddhism at this house they keep for the Monk to live in, not quite a Temple. Very fascinating.

I had some of their vegetarian meals. Well prepared and tasty.
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