“I just can’t do it anymore,” my husband declares over our food processor. It’s covered in a black bean-quinoa mush that he’s grinding into black bean burgers. “I can’t stand the smell,” he says. My hubbie graciously decided to cook me black bean burgers to support my 30 day vegan diet. He found this awesome looking recipe. But once he got dirty and things got smelly, he gave up.
I took over the cooking of the burgers. Not too bad with sweet potato fries on the side.
A Pleasant Surprise. Week 1 of my 30 day vegetarian challenge is over. I can honestly say it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I craved meat only 3 times during the week. I was bombarded by KFC commercials during the football games and thus had a craving for fried chicken. I was however, pleasantly surprised by the new foods I sampled that I would have shied away from.
Go Easy. If you want to try being a vegetarian, make it easy on yourself. I had zero experience with veganism and needed someone to tell me how to grocery shop. I used emeals.com to obtain 7 recipes. You can select your food style whether it’s classic to gluten-free to vegetarian. I picked my local grocery store, and it gave me a grocery list to match the menu. This service took away the thinking for planning my meals. Great if you’re scatterbrained like me.
Go Ethnic. Visit your local Indian and Asian restaurants and sample their vegetarian dishes. My local whole foods restaurant was fantastic.
What did I eat? I’m not going to bore you with my daily menus, but here’s what worked for me. I was never hungry. Find what works for you.
Breakfasts. Morning meals consisted of oatmeal, granola or Kashi cereal with dried cranberries and nuts topped with vanilla soy milk.
Lunches. My lunches at home would be either a boca burger on whole wheat or leftovers from the night before. That’s also when I would sample the local vegetarian fare. I had several different yet fantastic veggie burgers. A whole foods restaurant had a yummy “chicken” soy rice and vegetable soup. I’m a soup lover, so this porridge was for me.
My favorite ve-eat however, was PF Changs! The vegetarian dumplings were phenomenal, with little bits of tofu, cabbage, mushrooms. Then, I had the coconut curry vegetables of stir-fried vegetables, crispy silken tofu and peanuts in a mild curry powder and coconut milk sauce. Yum!
Dinners. Evening meals were recipes from emeals.com. My favorite recipe used Buitoni Four Cheese Ravioli that added sun-dried tomato pesto, artichokes, and broccoli. I never would have tried it on my own. Other dinners were spinach lasagna; bean burritos with rice, sweet potato chips and salsa; spinach, mushroom, and veggie cheese quesadilla; Zataran’s pasta with “chorizo” tofu sausage, which was surprisingly good.
Snacks. Okay, this is my new favorite snack, vegan or not. Mrs. May’s Cashew Crunch is vegan, wheat free, gluten free, no cholesterol, and dairy free. I ate the whole bag in one sitting. Other snacks were peanut butter on oat bread toast, pretzels with humus, and fresh fruit.
I made it! I made it one week as a vegan. Not too shabby I’d say. I wasn’t perfect in keeping all dairy out. One morning for breakfast, my best option at the local diner was yogurt and granola with skim milk. And, I’ve taken a few bites of my daughters’ chicken nuggets, to um, make sure they were to my daughters’ standards.
How did you do in your own healthy eating challenge! Comment below what you’ve enjoyed or hated. How did you do this week? Are you a stickler for the rules, or do you let yourself slide at times?
In case you are wondering. There are different types of veggie eaters:
- Ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products
- Lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs
- Ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products
- Vegan, or strict vegetarian, diet excludes all animal products, including eggs, dairy, and honey