Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vegan Week

I have been vegan for about nine days now. Why? Well, I found that I was getting tired, cranky, and my skin had lost it's glow. Not to mention that I'd just returned from a trip to Chicago, filled with Giordano's pizza, fried eggplant sandwiches, free bags of popcorn, and Wendy's frosty "parfaits." It was just time to clean up my game, buckle down, and roast some veggies. 

Coffee = good.
Coffee w/ fake cream and sugar substitute = bad.

The first few days were fun. I read lots of blogs, pinned tons of recipes on Pinterest, and got excited about the fact that quinoa is a complete protein. I bought tofu, dried beans, brown rice, almond milk, butternut squash, spinach, apples, ginger root, frozen berries, and anything else that was 1) not an animal product; 2) not processed; and 3) not sweetened with sugar, sucralose, aspartame, dextrose, xylitol, agave nectar, raw sugar, etc. (as in, no sweets). 

But then I realized....I was on a unprocessed vegan fast. 
Which meant no string cheese. 
And no strawberry jam on my peanut butter sandwiches. 
And no yogurt-covered raisins. 
And no cheese sandwiches.
And no nonfat lattes from Mama Carmen's.
And no Chick-Fil-A.
And no community group chicken chili or sugar cookies. 
And no Greek yogurt. :(

This was a hard reality check for me. And it continues to be as the days pass on, but I've finding some great alternatives. Did you know soy lattes are really good? And Thai restaurants serve a ton of vegan options? Though it's been challenging, I think it's for the best, as I am feeling tremendously better: my skin looks healthier, I feel more energized, I'm able to actually run outside without feeling like I'm going to die, and I am thinking much clearer. 

What are my staples? Well, here are some of the things I've had over the last nine days:
  • Breakfast - kamut brown rice cereal w/ almond milk and berries, fruit smoothies, pumpkin oatmeal, or whole wheat toast w peanut butter
  • Lunch - lentil soup w/ rye crackers, black bean burgers w/ pita halves and carrots w/ hummus, or minestrone soup
  • Dinner - brown rice and veggies, potatoes w/ vegan chili, or spaghetti w/ marinara
  • Snacks - Clif bars (my only processed snack, because they are delicious and nutritious at the same time), fruit, nuts, or hummus on toasted pitas.
Pita and hummus. Delightful. 

Brown rice with garlic-roasted butternut squash, tofu, and broccoli. 

I don't know how much longer I'll continue eating vegan. I'll probably go to the two-week mark and add in some Greek yogurt and cheese. But I really like the idea of eating conscientiously, making specific choices about the foods I'm choosing to put into my body. It feels good, and I'm learning a lot about what I need. 


  1. We've been eating vegan since Sept 5th and continue to LOVE it! I miss cheese a little, and my greek yogurt a little but I'm filling our meals with so many other nutritious and delicious things that I don't think about what we can't have but all the things we CAN! :) We have discovered that we don't have that "Ugh!" feeling after eating a meal that contains rich dairy products (cheese). We have also discovered that we LOVE soy cappuccinos even more than real dairy cappuccinos! Go figure! And I <3 almond milk! Thanksgiving will be the challenge but I'm already planning my vegan menu and think it will be very satisfying! It is an exciting challenge and adventure!! :D

  2. Most of your generation want to eat right, live clean and be responsible for their health. I am still amazed that our grandparents, (your great grandparents), kept trim and slim by eating earthy, wholesome foods that gave them the energy to work hard and play hard. They would be pleased to see this and happy it makes me.

  3. Hey Kelly!

    Twin Kitchen Thai in Fayetteville in A-MAZ-ING! Clean and fresh foods, vegetables prepared every day, garden out back.

    And yes, I DO know that soy lattes are good. :)

    Glad you are writing again.


  4. Nice work sticking with it. I will be sticking to my lean meats. :-)


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