This vegan mocha latte recipe has been sponsored by Silk. All opinions are my own, and I think Silk rocks. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Well and Full!
I am so excited to bring today’s post to you, for more reasons than one. First, I am thrilled to be talking about and promoting a product I love and use daily in my kitchen. My morning cup of coffee isn’t complete (seriously, I would say this whether or not Silk sponsored this post) without a dash of Silk’s lightly sweetened vanilla almond milk!
But secondly, I’m eager to talk about something that I’ve kept completely mum about on Well and Full. And honestly, I haven’t talked about this because it was an intensely personal and emotional journey for me. But today I’m so excited and honored to talk about the way I made small, smart choices, lost 40 pounds, and regained my health.
Backtracking! To fully appreciate this story, you need to know my parents. As a youth, my dad was 6’4”, slim, and slender. As a youth, my mom was slim and slender. So naturally, my inherent body type is tall and small-boned, but I’ve always been a healthy weight. That’s just the way my body was designed to be. And I was able to maintain that weight through high school and college.
But last winter and spring, I faced some of the hardest personal challenges I’ve ever faced in my life, mentally and physically. I went through extremely painful and tumultuous life changes, and even had a stint in the hospital. The medication I was on during the time made me feel unstable, and I was constantly binging and stress-eating. I had no self-control. I just ate whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted, all the time. And as a result, I gained over 30 pounds in a matter of months. It was the worst I had ever felt in my life, mentally and physically. I felt sluggish, and any physical exertion was an effort. I felt unhealthy in every way possible.
The weight problem got to the point where I started having heart palpitations and high blood pressure. I ended up going to a cardiologist, who said my heart was fine, but that I needed to lose weight. Hearing that was really hard. It was honestly a shock, considering where I had been for the past 24 years of my life.
Suffice to say, the doctor’s appointment was a wake-up call. At first I was mad and embarrassed, and almost felt resentful of the doctor himself. But I reminded myself that it was the doctor’s job to tell me the truth about my health, no matter how painful it was to hear. So I swallowed my pride, took it to heart, and began to think of ways I could turn my health around.
It started small. I started using my iPhone to track how many steps I was taking in a day – 5,000 was the goal, 10,000 was the ideal. I started going on walks, and even ran a few miles a week. I took every opportunity I could find to get off the couch and get moving.
But, if I’m going to be completely honest, the thing that really made a difference was making smart choices in my eating habits. They say “abs are made in the kitchen” for a reason! The changes I made were so small that I barely even noticed them. But, I started to take smaller portions than I was used to. I ordered a small instead of a medium. I stopped asking for an extra bag of chips at Moe’s. I bought the snack-sized bag of Lay’s instead of the family-sized (if you haven’t noticed, chips are my vice). I finally stopped eating when I was full (this was HUGE), even if there was food left on my plate. I reminded myself that leftovers are just as good too!
And slowly, and I mean REALLY slowly, but surely, the weight started to come off. While losing 40 pounds took me many months, I didn’t even notice it was going on because of how gradual the changes were. In fact, it was only in January when I got weighed at my OBGYN’s (I don’t keep a scale in the house) that I actually noticed the full weight loss. And I’m sure you’re thinking, “How could you not notice that you lost 40 pounds?!”, to which I say: Yoga Pants. They stretch out, then stretch back. Lululemon. Can’t beat it.
ANYWAYS. I was so thrilled to hear that Silk’s campaign is about #ProgessIsPerfection, because that is EXACTLY what my journey was all about. Yeah, I had slip-ups. There were nights I had one too many bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. But you know what? I kept soldiering on. Even in the face of momentary failure, I kept making those small changes and smart decisions that ultimately contributed to my goal. It was the small victories – like saying no to that extra cookie, or choosing water instead of a milkshake – that brought about my progress.
And today I’m really looking to reach that person – any of you – who have a goal they want to reach, that seems so far away and unattainable. Weight loss was like that for me. But I PROMISE you, slow and steady wins the race. Those small changes you are making DO matter, and WILL make a difference. Every single day – heck, every single minute – is a chance to make a small difference. And before you know it, those small victories will propel you closer and closer to your goal, whether you’re looking to lose weight, run a 5k, or save up to buy a new computer. No matter what you’re trying to do, the message is the same – progress is perfection, and every step forward is a step towards your goal, no matter how humble the step.
But something else I want to address in this post is body positivity. I didn’t try to lose weight because I hated myself – I did it to get back to where my body felt healthiest. To lose weight in a healthy way, you have to have a healthy mindset, and I DO NOT condone extreme or self-harmful ways to lose weight. However, you can be body positive AND want to lose weight. Body positivity doesn’t mean that you can’t change. That was my experience, and I’m not saying that it will be everybody’s experience with body positivity and weight loss. And let me shout it loud and clear that YOU HAVE WORTH, AND YOU ARE DESERVING OF LOVE, no matter where your body is in its journey. And if part of that journey is working out and eating healthier, then that’s awesome! You have to do what’s right for YOU and YOUR body.
The reason I wanted to write my story is because I wanted to show that little victories count – they were what my journey was built on. I didn’t take any drastic measures or lose weight overnight; I achieved my goal by making small, healthy, sustainable changes. And I’m not writing this to boast, either. I’m writing this because this post is something I wish I could’ve read a year ago, when I felt like I’d never reach my goal. I wish somebody had told me that little victories would get me to where I wanted to go, because I felt so discouraged at times. And if that sounds like you right now, let me be the first one to encourage you and support you on your journey! You can do it, I really believe in you. Remember – progress IS perfection.
(P.S. If any of you would like more information about my journey or have any questions at all, please feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!)
Vegan Mocha Latte
This vegan mocha latte is better than Starbucks, and a breeze to make at home! With only a handful of ingredients, you'll be sipping your mocha in no time!
- 2 Cups Strongly Brewed Coffee
- 1 Cup Silk Light or Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Almond Butter
- 2 Tbs Maple Syrup
- 2 Tbs Cacao Powder not cocoa
- 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon plus more to top
In a high-speed blender, combine all ingredients. Blend on high, then taste. Adjust sweetness or chocolatey-ness if necessary.
To serve iced - pour into glasses with a handful of ice. Top with cinnamon, if you like.
To serve hot - heat up blended mixture in a saucepan, and take off the heat right before it starts to boil. Let cool a bit, then serve in mugs.
You can definitely use sweetened almond milk or sweetened almond butter in this recipe, but start with less maple syrup if that's the case, then add more to your taste. Vanilla or maple almond butter would be delicious here as well!
If you make this vegan mocha latte and post it on Instagram, be sure to tag me @wellandfull #wellandfull and #progressisperfection so I can see! I love seeing your takes on my recipes :)
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.