Wednesday, October 9, 2013

September - Vegan Month

September turned out to be a hard month for our Vegan Challenge.  Of course, any time you choose to drastically change your diet is going to be a hard time, right?

We happened to have two birthday parties right off the bat and we knew we would be going to the State Fair, plus our church was having it's big festival at the end of the month.  AND - Subway was having it's famous $5 Footlong deal.  But we did the best we could. 

We got started two days later than we had planned because we still had food in the fridge and freezer to finish off.  We had already cleared our our cabinets and Lazy Susan of anything non-vegan.  We went shopping for new ingredients and looked up recipes.  I found some great ones online (thank you, Pinterest) and even a few in a book by Chef Chloe I had checked out from the library.

I also remembered that our good friends had switched to a vegan diet about 6-7 months ago.  Angie became a great resource for me and I asked her a lot of questions. 

We allowed the boys to go ahead and eat the cake and ice cream at the birthday parties.  There were a few other "cheats" along the way, too, but overall I think it was a great challenge to undertake.

Bunco night was particularly hard on me.  I failed to eat before going and I knew that would mean making a big decision.  Do I skip dinner entirely?  Do I try to scrape off any meat and cheese that may be served?  In the end I ate what was offered and that actually threw me off for 4 days afterwards!  I'm just glad I eventually got back into "the zone."

You might be wondering why we chose to do this.  Over the last 5+ years we've been watching some great documentaries (most recently "Vegucated" where 3 omnivores took a 6 week vegan challenge) and doing more research into healthier options.  We figured we already do a lot of meatless meals why not take it a step further? 

As previously mentioned, I have found some fabulous recipes.  Now that the "challenge" is over I am still eating basically the same as I did throughout September.  I might take a nibble from Biju and the boys' dinner but I stick mainly to my own dishes.  Sometimes it seems like "leftover night" is every night around here.  We make up a few different meals at once and then we can all take our pick of what we want over the next few days.

Are you wondering what type of results we got from this diet?  I noticed a bit more energy and if I happened to overeat a vegan meal I still didn't feel miserable afterwards.

Biju lost about 6 lbs. and I lost almost 10.  I can't say it was specifically because of the vegan diet that I lost that amount but it was the catapult.  I was being extremely careful not to overdo it on bread and pasta.  I had either steel cut oats for breakfast or a smoothie and I didn't eat anything once dinner was over.  Plus, I aimed to work out 2-3x each week.  I know, not much, but it was more than I was doing previously.

I'm hoping to stay on this path for quite awhile.  Mostly vegan/vegetarian with the occasional non-guilty bite of meat thrown in.  It seems to work for me!

I'll share more results as we go along.  And if you want to know my favorite recipes, just ask - I'll be glad to share!

I had a big baking day a couple of weeks back.  Top left - Granola Bars (which were actually no-bake), then bread crumbs set out to dry for a recipe, tortillas, two loaves of bread + rolls, hamburger buns and finally, banana muffins. 

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