Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Well I did it. I made it 30 days totally vegan. Well, actually it depends on who you ask. Some people consider yeast and honey no no's, but we didn't count that. We ate bread and honey for every meal for 30 days and SURPRISE, I gained 20 pounds!
To review: Here were my goals and intentions at the begining of the 30 days
*To be willing to experience mental discomfort
My thought behind this was that this challenge was going to be pretty tough. I was prepared to face that and walk through it, but honestly, aside from really wanting a burger in week 4, it was pretty smooth sailing.
*To say no to any animal based foods that are offered to me
Yes, I did this. I think the only time any food was offered to me was maybe at costco, so I had no problem turning down that salty processed turkey lunch meat...thanks.
*To be open minded about new foods
I definitely was good at this. I could have been better, but I was still pretty good. I love butter, and giving it up wasn't necessarly hard, but still, finding a substitute was a little painful. Earth Balance is great. I'd tried it before but since it didn't taste exactaly like butter, I didn't use it. This go around I honestly didn't miss butter. We made garlic bread with Earth balance and fresh garlic and it was as good as the real thing. I also had tofu, seitan, veganaise and a whole lot of veggies. The biggest mental change that occured about being open minded is trying the food for what it is, and not what it's supposed to taste like. A veggie burger is never going to taste like a cow burger, it's just that simple. Seitan wings are not going to taste like chicken wings. Once you can get over this, you're able to taste the foods for what they are and really appreciate new things. I will say that I still could have branched out with new veggies. I'll continue to experiment :)
*To eat a plant based diet and avoid unhealthy "vegan" foods.
I think we did pretty good at this. I woldn't necessarly give myself an A+, but a good solid B+ for sure. The junkiest food we had was home made french fries and we made these vegan blondies that are really good. Before, I would have made a batch of cookies and they'd last maybe 4 days in the house...maybe. I made a batch of blondies in a 9x12 pan, nearly 2 weeks ago and we still have some left. That alone is a huge accomplishment for me.
*To have a healthier gut and eliminate bad reactions to foods
This is an interesting one for me. I'm lactose intollerant, but still occasionally had a piece of cheese on a burger or a sandwich. I NEVER ate ice cream, NEVER drank milk. This is to say I'm like super lactose intollerent. I thought by giving up ALL DAIRY, 100% and all lactose, that I'd be free and clear of any issues. NOPE. This is so frustrating for me, you have no idea. At this point I know for sure that there's something else going on besides my lactose issue. At least that's a step forward. It's one of a few things I think. Gluten (though I don't think it is), Soy (good possibility, but doesn't produce a reaction every time) Oils and fried foods (I think it's leaning towards this). I have a really sensitive stomach and it seems like a lot of foods could be the culprit. Who knows. It's just a matter of ruling out as many things as possible.
*To lose 15 lbs.
I lost 7. Not bad. I wish it was more, but even eating a healthy vegan diet doesn't mean weight loss. Obviously I need more portion control :)
*To feel less addicted to bad greasy sugary foods
I give myself an A+ on this one. I really feel a big mental change in this regard
Overall I really enjoyed eating vegan for the month. We tried TONS of new recepies and adapted our go-to stand by meals. We had 4 other friends try this too and we all agree it's way easier that we thought it would be. We all have said that we'd scoff if other vegans swore it was easy, being all...YEAH RIGHT, whatever. But the honest truth is that there's really something to be said about eating this way. If you can trust anyone about this being fairly simple, you can trust me. I'm the QUEEN of food issues and obsessiveness and addictive behavoirs so if I think it was easy, than chances are it's the truth.
Well, today is the first day after the challenge and I don't have any plans to go eat a steak...or even an egg for that matter. We have both agreed that because this is more of a health issue for us and not an animal rights issue, that really we will probably still eat meat very rarely. What's rarely? Our best guess is we will do 30 days on, one day off. Our one day off may just be going vegetarian and not necessarly eating meat. Who knows. I like the idea of putting some sort of structure on it, but only because I don't want to go back to eating meat every day. I feel like if we just said, we'll eat meat sometimes, then that "sometimes" may be once a week that will turn into once a day and before we know it, fast food is back in my diet.
Would I recommend this? YEP!
If you want more info, I suggest picking up the book The 30 Day Vegan Challenge.
It's honestly the first book related to diet that I've read pretty much cover to cover and absorbed lots of valuable things. I don't think I could have done it without that book.
OK, that's all for now!
Posted by Katy