Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Life as a Vegan - Almost there...

Food Envy: Happens when you
go Vegan for three weeks and your
loving boyfriend makes eggs, bacon,
and sausage for dinner...
And without even noticing, nearly three weeks of Vegan-eating have flown by. When I first started my Vegan diet, I assumed that by the second week I would be suffering from food envy and meat withdrawls, but that wasn't the case at all. Actually, I found that as the days go by, eating Vegan has become easier - the fewer food options I have, the less complicated it becomes to decide.

Am I tired of tofu yet? NO! I have discovered so many deliciously marinated tofu options. That said, I still struggle with beans - I just don't think they will ever be "my thing".

Lifetime challenge? Keeping the variety...

I have noticed something else about myself: No matter what my diet looks like, I seem to default (quickly) to eating the same things consistently (I get bored easily - just not with food!). In the case of being Vegan, I frequently use protein shakes to supplement my protein-intake - which is easy and convenient, especially with a busy schedule, but not optimal. If I were to make going Vegan a permanent lifestyle change, I would have to find a way to do less protein shakes, and more alternative sources of protein. (...and yes, learn to love the bean).

I miss meat...but not enough to wear it.
Now that I am half-way through Week 3, I can honestly say that I STILL feel great! I'm already an energetic person, but I have even more energy now - which is especially helpful during my early morning workouts! Also, despite dry and cold weather here in Denmark, my skin is healthy and shiny. And although weight-loss was not the goal, I did lose nearly 4 pounds in this short amount of time.

And now, (part-Vegan) Vacation...!

And tomorrow i'm off to Thailand, with three days left of my 3-Week Vegan challenge! With all the delicious veggie and tofu stir frys, I don't imagine it will be hard to stay Vegan on the first part of our trip. I even ordered a Vegan meal for the long flight there!

What will be my first meat-again meal?...I will report back.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Life as a Vegan - One week down!

Well, i've successfully completed 7 days of being Vegan - and it is going great! I have a lot of energy these days - no need for coffee! That said, there are some notable challenges:

Challenge 1: Getting enough protein

 The protein sources I am turning to during my Vegan journey don't necessarily pack as much protein as what i'm used to - such as egg whites. I have to be careful that i'm not eating too many fruits and vegetables, and missing out on the muscle-building material my body needs, especially after training each day.

All good sources of protein!

Challenge 2: Beans

Prior to this Vegan challenge, I never ate beans; they were just not a part of my regular diet. I have nothing against beans, they've just never really make it in my grocery basket. That said, i've made a conscious effort to eat more legumes (protein) - and my stomach does not like it. I already have a pretty sensitive stomach, and legumes of any kind seem to add to the problem. Even so, it could also be my body reacting to foods that it is not used to processing - so, although there are so many other vegan-friendly things i'd rather be eating, i will still try to get those beans down.

Challenge 3: Keeping those carbs in check!

With fewer food (protein) options, there can be a tendency to eat more carbohydrates. This is a common problem with Vegans - especially those who have just started going vegan - and i myself have noticed an increase in my carbohydrates intake. That said, i'm aware of it and am making sure that the carbohydrates i eat are good ones!

Don't fall into the bagel trap!

Vegan Dish of the Day: Curried Tomato Lentil Soup (Shorba Addis)


1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup brown or green lentils
1 Yukon Gold potato, diced
Directions: Over medium-high heat, sauté the onion until it is brown. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the carrot, ginger, garlic, curry powder, and fenugreek, sautéing them for about 1 minute. Add the veggie broth and tomato paste, stirring until the tomato paste is thoroughly combined with the broth. Bring the soup to a simmer. Add the lentils and stir. Once the soup comes back to a simmer, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook the soup for 20 minutes. Add the potato and orzo; cook the soup, covered, for 5 more minutes.