I have been contemplating veganism for a while. I have been on a semi-vegetarian diet for 2 years now (fish is the only meat I consume) and I cook a lot of vegan meals and baked goods since my husband is lactose-intolerant. So, just the other day I decided that I would try a vegan challenge. I did a dairy-free challenge last August and found that to be pretty tough. The vegan thing would only be more challenging. But I love challenges… so bring it on!
I did a search online and found the 21 day vegan kickstart program: http://pcrm.org/kickstartHome/. 21 days definitely sounded better than a whole month (and that is about how long it takes to make something a habit). If anything, I figured that I would learn how to eat healthier even if I decided not to become 100% vegan. I don’t see anything wrong with being 90% vegan. It is better than being 100% carnivore. Anyway, I told my oldest daughter what I was planning to do. She decided to jump onboard (on her own accord). I warned her that it would be tough, but she didn’t budge. I guess she likes challenges too. Not sure where she gets that from…
However, in order to keep her onboard, I knew that she needed to be involved in the process. I let her choose a few meals out of a vegan cookbook and she is also planning her lunches (which she will be in charge of making the night before). She even helped me prepare dinner and dessert tonight. It is funny to watch us learn about what is vegan and what is not. I have to show her labels and explain certain ingredients. We are impressed by the products that are actually labeled “vegan.” It took me a bit longer to get my grocery shopping done, but I was surprised that I was able to find all of the necessary ingredients at our local grocery store (they even had vegan cream cheese!). I didn’t have to make a trip to Whole Foods.
Day 1 went pretty well, but it was hard to avoid the cookies or chocolate that I tend to grab more often than not. This will be a good thing (at least that is what I keep telling myself). If we want something sweet, then we have to go through the effort of making it ourselves.
Breakfast: Homemade whole grain waffles with strawberries, blackberries and real maple syrup.
Lunch: Roasted pepper and basil panini with veggie pepperjack cheese. A bowl of lentil soup and a few blue corn chips. My daughter consumed a V-8 and I have to give her many kudos for that because I couldn’t down one sip without gagging.
Snack: Banana with almonds.
Dinner: “Ricotta” and spinach stuffed shells with marinara sauce (the “ricotta” is actually tofu blended with lemon, basil, garlic, salt & pepper). Red bell pepper and zucchini.
Dessert: Oatmeal Banana Bites (made with oats, oat flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, pureed banana, vanilla & a few vegan chocolate chips)
The problem is that I might still be a little hungry since I also ran 5 miles today and probably didn’t eat enough. It is kind of hard to balance it all out, but I only just started so maybe I will figure it out. There are ultra runners out there who are vegan. If they can do it, then I sure can.
Why am I doing this? I don’t believe in “diets” as I know I have already mentioned. I would consider this part of my plan to focus on whole foods for consumption. That is how we should be eating. Not all of the processed crap. And yes, I do know that a lot of those meatless products pretending to be meat are processed. I found out that most of them aren’t even vegan. Good thing I never really fancied a meatless product that is supposed to look like a rack of ribs (because I never liked ribs to begin with). I just want to learn how to center my eating around healthy foods. I am not a member of PETA… though I must admit that I do feel better knowing that animals weren’t harmed in the making of my meal.
And as with most “diets,” I don’t have a goal of losing weight. The big test is how I feel from eating certain foods. My goal is to have more energy. We shall see what happens over the next 3 weeks. I am really interested to find out what my daughter thinks. If she can do this, then she is more disciplined than I ever imagined.