I thought I would do a complete review of my week as a vegan, along with the pros and cons of the week and what I thought of it! Lets start with the pros, yeah?
-It was like a week of clean eating and I used so many fresh ingredients! A lot of the time when I’m tired from working out in the field I will resort to things like processed veggie burgers or crackers and hummus. But this week challenged me to go beyond that tired/laziness and really make an effort to cook fresh things!
-I made NEW recipes. Well, I stepped outside the normal realm of the recipes I use over and over again. It was fun to discover that well, I’m not that horrible of a cook and I can make things that taste good! I’m always afraid I’m going to fail at a dish and will end up wasting the ingredients, but you don’t know unless you try, right!?
Snobby Joes from Veganomicon
The same Snobby Joes but mixed with Tempeh, Cauliflower and Broccoli.
-I have more kudos for vegan baking. I’ve seemed to always have this idea that vegan desserts will be flat and soggy, but after making my own and cutting the sugar by almost 3 fold sometimes, it was wronged of my ideas! The ingredients you can use to supplement for eggs and dairy are phenomenal!
Carrot and Raisin Muffins from La Dolce Vegan
Banana, Walnut and Chocolate Chip Muffins by…Me!
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Mouse from The Green Temple, Redondo Beach
-It helped my digestive system, A LOT. I have been eating dairy for years even though I know I’m lactose intolerant but the bloating and constant stomach aches were not something I was willing to go after forever to eat my lovely greek yogurt and seriously sharp cheddar cheese. Taking them out for even a few days was phenomenal! No more bloating at all! And I have never been more regular in my life! Go fiber!
-I was able to kick sugar and cravings for it. This by far was one of the best parts. Every night, geez, every meal, I’m always craving something sugary afterwards. Usually in the form of chocolate, which isn’t bad, but not something that should be done several times a day in copious amounts. I found the first few days to be hard and even found myself with my hand in some Kashi Go Lean Crunch one night, but after that, no more! Which also leads to…
-I was able to stop boredom snacking. This was aided in two ways: most of the things I ate in my apartment were not vegan so I couldn’t eat them when I usually would, and I when I did feel like snacking and was willing to do it, I had no idea what to eat as a vegan. Yes I had all those muffins, but I kept telling myself that two a day was probably the limit, even though I had decreased the amount of sugar in them, a lot. This also helped with another things though…
-I was able to eating more intuitively all week. Because I was not snacking all the time, I was actually eating when I was hungry! It’s amazing how much I’ve been telling myself to only eat at certain times and to eat certain things at certain times! Being vegan helped me really listen to my bodies signals and really eat some good foods! Which in turn…
-My RUNNING felt SO MUCH BETTER! I can’t even describe to you how much more awesome I have felt on the last three runs I’ve done, including a long one. Normally, TMI, I am super bloated after a run (it also doesn’t’ help that I run in the afternoon filled with food vs. the morning with very little in my system) and usually finding my way to the nearest bathroom for relief. No more! My belly was great and so was my energy! I’ve had the best splits, time, and endurance than I have had in a long time! It certainly helps with the self-esteem!
And now for the Cons:
-I felt a bit like a nuisance food wise to my family when I came to visit. I mean, my Mom and Dad eat vegetarian quite a bit, so it’s not that hard to accomidate for me, but with no milk/eggs it was a bit harder. My poor Mom got Whit and I a bunch of snacks and stuff (ie candy for Vday! Thanks Mom!) but come to find out I couldn’t eat half of them because of dairy. Just means more for Whit, right?
-It was hard coming up with snacks. I was absolutely clueless when it came to snacks. Of course, being in the field limits them even more, along with the very small variety of replacements I can buy in my little town. I mean, I love apples and pb and carrots and hummus, but I can only eat them and my muffins so many times a day, let alone weeks or months. I need to take a better look at Mama Peas new menus to get some ideas…that are portable of course.
-I’m a bit worried about calcium. Osteoporosis runs in my family and battling at eating disorder so many years my bones are one of my biggest concerns. With the start of weight lifting and impaction from running I know I’m making them stronger, but I also don’t want to end up with a stress fracture or broken bone because I didn’t eat enough calcium (but for the record, I do take calcium every day and have been since I was 18).
-It was not easy to eat out, though I guess I had an exception. I mean, the one time I did eat out I lucked out that Whit picked a place that had a plethora of vegan options, but I know this won’t always be the case. Having to eliminate dairy and eggs can be hard going out, especially with simple things like bread!
All in all I really really enjoyed the week as a vegan! I definitely want to continue down that path, but am going to go vegetarian in times where it might not be so easy to be vegan. Don’t get me wrong that I’m lazy or anything, but it just makes for a more calm and stress-free environment when I don’t have to worry so much about my food. I will probably keep eggs in my diet, but they won’t be as often and they will ONLY be local. After doing research this week on animal farming and seeing a few too many videos online, I’m concerned with how my eggs are being produced and hens living conditions. I love my animals, and think not a one of them should suffer for my benefit!
I also really enjoyed just overall how much better my body felt. It took some adjusting at first to the cravings of wanting so many sugary, processed things (even cereal!) but after it was gone, it never even crosses my mind! It’s so amazing and I feel great about it! I also really enjoyed the turn that my running took for the better and has definitely help boost my confidence for speed and races! I know it was only three runs, I feel as if I keep this kind of habit up it’s going to help things along and make them that much better!
Did you go vegan for the week? How did you feel about it? What didn’t you like? If you didn’t go vegan, have you given it some thought? What do you think would make you want to try giving veganism a chance?