Completed the Vegan Pledge

One month of veganism under my belt.  There are times it is very challenging, but the rewards far outweigh those challenges.  I have to be honest, though, I miss the convenience of eating cheese.  There are times where I haven’t planned and packed my food in advance, and the choices are so limited, but I try to remind myself that it is just one meal and the benefits outweigh the inconvenience.

I’m starting to get creative.  I made my first vegan twice baked potato for lunch.  First, I baked my potato.  I halved it and scooped out the inside, then mixed/mashed the potato in a bowl with some shredded vegan gourmet cheddar “cheese” www.followyourheart.com and Frontier natural products “Bac’uns” vegetarian bits www.frontiercoop.com.  Once well mixed, I put the potato, cheese and bac’un bits back into the potato shell and stuck it in the toaster oven/broiler on broil for about ten minutes.  I used a little Tofuti immitation sour cream on the side.  (Note, I am not a fan of this straight, but I think it would be good with some spices made into a dip.)  The potato was very, very tasty and cured the craving for a Wendy’s bad for me, unanimal friendly version that I was suffering from for a couple of days.

To cure my chocolate craving, I discovered Enjoy Life’s boom Choco boom rice milk chocolate bar www.enjoylifefoods.com.  It comes segmented into four squares, and one square is about all I need, as long as I savor it and don’t scarf it like a wild dog.  Thus far, there has been no scarfing!

I’ve been busy with my church tricky tray, which, if I may brag, was very successful!  I have also been battling some kind of gastrointestinal problem, which has been borderline disabling…OK, kind of debilitating, but I’ve been fighting through.  The docs say it is IBS, but I think that really means they don’t know what’s wrong with me.  Which leads me to my latest gripe:  Covering physicians.  They don’t know you, they don’t care about you and they don’t want to be bothered with you.  Example:  Friday evening, I couldn’t eat without cramping, etc.  I called the doctor.  I explain I have not eaten anything for a day.  Covering docs says, well, stay hydrated and call your doctor on Monday.  Yeah, thanks for the compassion.  Or the other advice, “if your pain is really that bad, go to the ER”.  Really?  Like I am making it up?  Thanks guys… just remember, what goes around, comes around and one day, you’re going to be in pain and miserable… OK…rant over.  The real point of bring that all up is I haven’t practiced Yoga and I need, need, need to get there at least twice this week if possible.  Once is absolutely MANDATORY!

Namaste, everyone!

Advertisements

Took The Pledge-Vegan for 30 days

Haven’t blogged in quite some time!  Hello again, my friends!  I became seriously ill with a gastrointestinal virus, it took me forever to recover, but recover I did.  I haven’t been to yoga in three weeks and I am feeling the stress creeping back into my bones… I really need to take care of that.  Thursday.  Thursday this week I will go to Yoga.  You are all my witnesses.

Undergoing a lot of self discovery, self growth and self improvement by taking the Stephen Ministry class at church.  We just finished the unit on being assertive.  Learned so much and I am thoroughly enjoying my new found assertive skills.  Also working on the church Christmas Fair Tricky Tray.  It is all coming together.  It’s like Christmas for me, even though I don’t keep the gifts.  Today we received an Amazon Kindle.  I physically jumped up and down with excitement! 

Since recovering from “THE BUG”, I moved on to a completely vegetarian lifestyle and I have to be honest, I feel awesome!  I feel so well.  All things considered, as I told a dear friend this afternoon – I’m good.  I’m in a good place, I’m strong and I’m confident.  It has been a very long time since I could say even one of those things about myself.  Hey, if you don’t like me, that’s your loss.  And guess what, it really is your loss.

So, onto the next step.  Veganism.  Wow.  I never thought I would find myself here.  At first, I thought I wouldn’t be able to give up milk and cheese.  I’ve been cutting back, cutting back and now I think I am ready.  Check that, I know I am ready.  My convictions are stronger than my cravings.  For a little extra incentive, I took the PETA pledge to be vegan for 30 days, after reading “Skinny Bitch” by Kim Barnouin and Rory Freedman.  I’m not a card carrying PETA member, but it does help me to need to feel accountable to someone or something to stay honest.  Today’s cliche:  Today is the first day of the rest of my life.  Ok, so today is the first day of my Vegan Life.

Read some recipes, thought about what I wanted to eat this week and headed out to Whole Foods.  Looking at things through new eyes, it took me about 90 minutes to make my selections.  This included plenty of label reading.   Then I headed over to my real favorite store, Trader Joe’s and picked up some more things.  I learned a valuable lesson today and I want to share it with all of you.  Never go to Whole Foods first.  I started feeling like I wasn’t going to make the trek to Trader Joe’s, I was missing football, etc. and I overpaid for a lot of things.  Go to Trader Joe’s first, get your staples and then fill in what you need from Whole Foods.  They don’t call it Whole Paycheck for nothing!  However, they have a great selection of things you might want to have.  Also, stocking my vegan kitchen for the first time was kind of costly, but I bought things I will not have to buy weekly and that should last for awhile.  Just like an omnivore kitchen… look at me, throwing around the terminology!!!  I also bought some different products to try out… mostly some veggie meats.  I am sort of on the fence regarding veggie meats.  Namely, they are processed to look and taste like something they are not.  That kind of goes against my philosophy of life.  For me, personally, I think it is OK for ME to have them on hand for something quick, or if I run into a craving, but I would prefer not to fall back on them for daily consumption.

Not only did I survive day one of the pledge, I enjoyed it and I not only feel physicially well, but even more strong and confident, and, I am downright proud of myself for sticking to my guns!

Tune in tomorrow for life, love and the vegan workday!

Day Two: Cleanse – Elimination Diet

Made it through the second day! Today’s goal was to decrease caffeine – achieved. Ran a little late this morning, so I went to Whole Foods for lunch and made myself a delicious salad of quinoa, steamed kale, chickpeas and olive oil, then I warmed it up at the office. It was soooo good. Did have a chocolate craving this afternoon, I hope that fades within the next couple of days. Found myself at Panera this evening, since it was damp and rainy, I went with the vegetarian black bean soup. Backtracking just a little, I had a very good whey protein shake, from Tera’s Whey, http://www.teraswhey.com, it was Yumberry flavor http://www.yumberryusa.com.

Tera’s Whey is sweetened with stevia. It’s not very sweet, so if you like sweet, you need to add a little agave. If you are interested in Tera’s Whey, I recommend purchasing the starter pack, so you can try a little bit of everything.

No yoga today, I really miss it when I don’t get to practice.

I have to confess that giving up chicken and turkey has been challenging, more challenging than I thought it would be. 

Goal for tomorrow:  Continue decreasing caffeine.

Cleanse: Day One Elimination Diet

So proud to have stayed on the elimination diet 100%.  If you know me at all, you know that I am a Dunkin Donuts iced latte lover.  Now, I’m weaning off the caffeine, I’m just not willing to endure the brain splitting pain of going cold turkey, so it was really tough going in to the DD this morning and ordering an unsweetened ice tea.  Lately my latte poison is the mocha swirl, I found myself craving it this afternoon, but was able to push the craving aside.  Tomorrow’s goal is to go to a small unsweetened ice tea from a medium.  Also, the headache started to creep up this afternoon, so I kept it under control with a small green tea.

Lesson of the day:  If you want to sweeten your tea with a teaspoon of raw honey, you should really add it when the tea is hot, not when it is iced, otherwise it stays clumpy for awhile and is largely unappetizing, until it dissolves.

Took care of the body and soul this evening, attended my Yoga class, which I  found challenging.  I was able to get a little deeper into the poses, which are still very basic, but I was stretching really well and holding the poses longer.  I was most happy that I was able to transition from pose to pose fairly easily when we were going through the sun salutations.  I must tell you, in all honesty, there is no medication that can bring the peace and clarity of a well taught Yoga class.

      Plank 

Especially thrilled to make the transition from downward facing dog to plamk, which has been my nemesis since the beginning!  Looks easy, but it’s not! So thrilled, I am going to make plank pose the pose of the day!