Sunday, December 30, 2012

Life as a Vegan - Days 2 & 3

Day 2 was fantastic! I woke up feeling much better and hit the gym right away for a good, long workout. My loving boyfriend showed his support for my Vegan quest with the following:

Vegan dish of the day: Veggie and tofu stir fry

  • 4 or 5 mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1 medium onion (sliced)
  • Tofu - regular or marinated (80-100g - careful here, tofu is calorie-dense - cut into little chunks)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (chopped finely)
  • 1 fresh chili pepper
  • 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil

Directions: Heat up the oil in the pan, sauté the garlic until golden brown; throw in the onions for 2 minutes; add in bell peppers and mushrooms - sauté for 5 minutes or so, letting the water from the mushrooms come out and evaporate. Finally, add the tofu and sauté for 2-3 more minutes. Viola! 

Chef Rune's veggie & tofu stir fry - YUM!

I finished Day 2 with 20g of raw dark chocolate - which doesn't taste exactly like 'regular' dark chocolate, but isn't all that bad :)

Day 3 was a semi-Vegan day. As I noted in my initial Going Vegan post, there are two exceptions to my Vegan lifestyle over the next 3 weeks, and last night was one of them: Date night! My boyfriend and I went and had tapas (very un-vegan) - we had already planned the evening a while ago, and I didn't want my new Vegan challenge to get in the way of that. If i've learned anything in the past few years, it is that diet and exercise -as important as they are - should not get in the way of having fun and spending quality time with loved ones. So I was super vegan all day long - took the night off - and today, i'm back on track with my Veganism!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Life as a Vegan - Day 1

It's been a rough day. Normally the first few days of any completely new diet are easy for me, but I woke up this morning and was completely congested, and my sore throat was still sore. As one who absolutely detests when sick people go to the gym (which is probably why IM sick now!), I hung up my gym bag, turned off my alarm, and crawled back into bed. So much for hoping it was just a 48 hour cold ( those really exist anyhow?).

The only time I mustered enough motivation to venture outside today (in the rain, of course), was to go pick up some Vegan supplies for the coming weeks;

Here is what I got:

Sun Warrior Raw Vegan vanilla
protein powder

  • Sun Warrior Raw Vegan (dairy-free, gluten-free) vanilla protein powder
    • This is a great source of (almost) pure protein! And I bet you're thinking it doesn't taste very good, but it is actually not that bad!
  • Elderberry juice 
    • This is to nurse my sore throat and stuffy nose - and I have to be honest, it doesn't taste as good as I thought it would :(.
  • Udo's Choice Adult's Blend Probiotika
    • I've been using this for a while, as it is excellent for digestion and intestinal health. I usually take one pill after my evening meal, and my tummy stays happy!
  • Aurion Gluten-free porridge
    • I've also been eating this for a while - it's delicious! I get bored with oatmeal, so it is good to switch it up with this one. Plus, it is an excellent source of protein and fiber!
  • Linseeds (Flax seeds)
    • Udo's Choice Adult's Blend
    • These are loaded with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids - to be sprinkled on my salads or morning oatmeal/porridge!
  • Pumpkin seeds
    • Pumpkin seeds contain a great deal of zinc, vitamin E, and other antioxidants. I plan on using these to keep my meals interesting.
  • Almond butter
    • A great source of protein, antioxidants, fiber, and mono-saturated fats. It is a great alternative to peanut butter 
  • Raw dark chocolate
    • I found Vegan chocolate!!
My Vegan starter kit (tofu not pictured :))!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

21 Days of Vegan

It's that time again! My restless inner self is calling for another change, and after stumbling upon the Netflix documentary Vegucated, i've decided to go Vegan for 21 days. Last time I went 'Raw', the results were fantastic, leading to some permanent dietary changes. As a nutritionist, and out of sheer curiosity, i've tried almost every diet in the books (even the "Lemonade Diet" - and no, I do not recommend it) - but i've never gone vegan... until now.

As an enthusiastic lover of chicken and chocolate - two central staples of my weekly (everyday?) diet, this new challenge of mine will test my will-power to say the least. Aside from the moral reasons Vegans have for their lifestyle, there are a number of health benefits associated with this plant-based diet.

Health benefits associated with a Vegan diet include:

  • Vegans have a lower risk of developing the following:
    • Heart disease
    • Various cancers 
    • Diabetes
    • Obesity
    • Hypertension (high blood pressure).
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Healthier skin, hair, and nails
  • More energy
  • And a longer life (among others)!

Ok, so how hard can it really be? Well, here are the rules...

How to be a vegan (at least in the dietary sense):
  • No meat (yes, this is the obvious one - and probably the most difficult for me!)
  • No dairy (no prob - i'm lactose intolerant, so my dairy intake is quite low to begin with)
  • No eggs (geeez, first no meat and now this?! Egg whites are a part of my daily protein fix!)
  • No sugar/honey (... i don't really get this one, but ok, i think i'll survive)
  • No meat (yes, we're listing this one again because it is so difficult to accept, we need to hear it twice...)
And by "chikin", they mean "tofu"

There are 2 notable (pre-planned) exceptions to the next 21 days:

1) I have a tapas date night planned with my boyfriend in 2 days - it's important that I don't let my diet and fitness get in the way of romance and quality time with the one I love!

2) New Years Eve sushi night! We've planned to ring in 2013 with some friends and some sushi :)

What is probably going to be the most difficult for me over the next 3 weeks?
mmmmm chicken, i'll miss you!
  • Chicken, chicken, chicken. Anyone who knows me knows that i loves me some chicken - especially my boyfriend's chicken (he's quite the chef!)... i will have to remind myself it's only 3 weeks!
  • Eggs. I love egg white omelettes and I love scrambled eggs (when I have time to make them!).
  • Chocolate. Most chocolate contains some sort of milk product (and sugar), making it off limits for the purposes of my little vegan experiment. That said, first thing tomorrow i'm on the hunt for dairy-free, whey-free, and casino-free chocolate (yum?)...
Finally, I feel a cold coming on - my throat is a bit sore, i'm getting a bit stuffy, and i feel as i'm teetering on the edge of a full-on flu... that said, this vegan thing can go one of two ways for me: 1) I get really sick, and this whole vegan thing gets that much harder; OR 2) Completely changing my diet shocks my body into recovering quickly and not getting worse!

Stay tuned - i'm not above sharing all my dietary frustrations over the next 3 weeks, no matter how hormonal chocolate deprivation makes me!

...Said the American girl living in a diary nation...