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Body Food

Gone Vegan (Week 1)

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For those of you that follow me on social media, you saw that my husband and I have committed to eating a completely vegan diet for 2 weeks.  Watch my video to learn more about how and why we decided to give veganism a try.  After the 2 weeks, we will decide whether we want to continue with veganism or incorporate any foods back in.  In the meantime, I wanted to share what we’ve been eating and below you’ll find our Monday to Friday food plan from the first week.  We continue to keep the plan going for the weekend but it is a lot more casual and thrown together.  You’ll see when it comes to breakfast I pretty much always veered off the plan.  We also didn’t get very creative with our meals for this week.  We knew that there would be extra effort in making sure we stuck to the plan and didn’t want to put too much pressure on ourselves.  Although there were some real recipe winners for us this week (marked with ) , I’m even more excited about the more inventive menu for next week! Please also know that both of us definitely snacked here and there and I just did not note every item. At the end of the post, you’ll find my thoughts as well as my husband’s thoughts of our first week in.

IMPORTANT: If you are considering any significant dietary changes,  consult with a doctor first. Additionally, maintaining proper levels of B12 is critical if you are consuming a plant based diet.  Low levels of B12 can cause nerve damage and anemia, among other things.  As soon as we began eating a plant-based diet, we began taking a B12 supplement.

Monday

Breakfast

Planned: Oatmeal with dried fruit
What I actually ate: Cold-brew coffee with soy creamer and a Health Warrior Chia Bar

Lunch

Grilled Vegetables with Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce (adapted from a recipe from Plant Based on a Budget)

Cut up, season, and grill any combination of your favorite vegetables.  We used zucchini, snow peas, and bell peppers and did a basic seasoning of sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  In the meantime, mix 2 Tbs. of your favorite nut butter (we used peanut), 1 tsp. of rice vinegar, and 1 tsp. of sriracha and mix well to make the peanut sauce.  Once the vegetables are cooked, toss them in the sauce and add any additional seasoning to taste.  I added a bit more sriracha before eating.

Vegan Stir-Fry Vegetables

Mid-Day Snack

A mix of strawberries, raspberries and chia seeds

Dinner

Black Bean and Corn Lettuce Wraps (adapted from a recipe from Plant Based on a Budget) and a Tomato, Avocado, and Cucumber Salad

For the wraps, combine a can of black beans and 1 cup of frozen corn in a pot on low heat.  Mix in finely diced tomato and 1 jalapeno (1 each or more to taste) as well as 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. onion powder, and sea salt to taste.  You could also mix in any pre-made salsa you have on hand in place of the salsa-like mix I detailed above.  Cook everything together until the beans and corn are warm. Scoop the mixture onto individual lettuce wraps and add hot sauce on top to taste.

For the side salad, chop and combine 2 tomatoes, 1 avocado, and 1 cucumber.  Retain the juice that pools on the cutting board from chopping the tomatoes and pour it on top of the mixture. Add salt to taste and let the mixture sit in the fridge for 20 minutes if possible. The juice from the tomato and salt is honestly an amazing amount of flavor, but if you need a little more dressing than that, add a small amount of olive oil and vinegar to the mix and toss.

Tuesday

Breakfast

Planned: Overnight oats from skinnytaste
What I actually ate: Cold-brew coffee with soy creamer and a Health Warrior Chia Bar

Lunch

Hummus and Cucumber Sandwich

This is as simple as it gets.  You can use whatever bread you like.  Spread the hummus on the bread, layer sliced cucumbers on top and some sprouts if you like.  Store bought hummus is fine, but since it is so easy to make, we make our own. Combine 1 can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1 small clove of garlic roughly chopped, 2 tbs. of olive oil, 3 Tbs. of water, and 1/2 tsp. of ground cumin.  You can also add 1/4 cup of tahini if you like – we usually leave it out.  Blend it in whatever appliance you have at home.  We use our Nutri Ninja Auto iQ.

Dinner

Garlic Soup (adapted from Plant Based on a Budget

I followed the recipe with a few customizations to make it a bit more like a noodle bowl rather than a soup and omitted a few steps in order to save washing a few extra dishes.  I did not at all understand the piece in this recipe about unpeeled garlic cloves so I just used garlic powder to taste.  I did not cook the noodles in a separate pot.  Once the broth was almost ready, I added the rice noodles directly to the pot, closed the lid, and gave it about 10 minutes.  The noodles were completely cooked and about 1/2 of the liquid was absorbed into the noodles.  To serve, I sprinkled chopped cilantro on top with an additional squeeze of lime, and a few more squirts of sriracha.

garlic soup noodle bowl tofu

After Dinner Snack

Watermelon

Dessert

I had half a block of tofu left over from making the Garlic Soup that I didn’t want to waste so I dreamed up a quick Tofu Pudding recipe.  In a food processor, I combined half a block of tofu, a scoop of plant-based chocolate protein powder, and 3/4 cup of almond milk.  Then I started just adding things and playing with it to taste – shredded coconut, more milk, etc..  This ended up grainy, but I didn’t mind too much.  I would have normally used melted chocolate chips in place of the protein powder to make it creamy, but I didn’t have any vegan chocolate chips on hand.

Wednesday

Breakfast

Planned: Oatmeal with dried fruit
What I actually ate: Cold-brew coffee with soy creamer and a Health Warrior Chia Bar

Lunch

I had planned to eat leftover Garlic Soup on this day, but I was at the office and lunch was being provided.  I ate a scoop of black rice and an assortment of grilled vegetables including cauliflower and carrots.  There was also a cilantro lime sauce I pretty much poured all over everything.

Mid-Day Snack

Sweet Potato Chips 

Dinner

Coconut Bacon Wraps – I’m not going to spend any time giving you the details on this one because it wasn’t good at all.  Essentially, they had you using coconut pieces flavored with liquid smoke to mimic the taste of bacon. FAIL.

Thursday

Breakfast

Planned: Oatmeal with dried fruit
What I actually ate: Cold-brew coffee with soy creamer and a Health Warrior Chia Bar.  Are you seeing a theme here?

Lunch

I had planned to do some Kung Pao type vegetables but didn’t have a chance to get them made the night before so I got something in the cafeteria.  They had a delicious Mediterranean couscous that had an assortment of vegetables mixed in.  I also grabbed a pre-mixed watermelon and jicama salad from the salad bar.

Dinner

I went out to dinner with some girlfriends to a local farm to table.  There were definitely not as many vegan options as I had hoped and I ended up eating an appetizer of shishito peppers, truffle fries, and a beer.  Healthy right?  I did not feel good the next morning.

NOTE: Not all alcohol is vegan and many are processed with animal products – surprising I know!  To check a brand or your local microbrewery you can visit Barnivore and run a quick search.

Friday

Breakfast

Espresso and a Health Warrior Chia Bar

Lunch

Lunch was served in the office and I grabbed a cauliflower mash and a side salad.  After a few minutes of eating, I realized that the cauliflower mash likely contained dairy – how else would they get a mash? Although I stopped eating it, a short time later my stomach rumbled for a good half hour.

Dinner

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili 
The only adjustments we made to the recipe from EatingWell was omitting the lime juice and cilantro and replacing the diced tomatoes with crushed tomatoes since that was what we had on hand. We also added in some frozen corn.

sweet potato bean chili vegan

My Take

I feel really good!  It is difficult to describe but something about my entire body feels lighter.  I feel satisfied and full, but do not feel overstuffed.  I have lost a small amount of weight but some of that may be also be attributed to the fact that I have had to be a lot pickier about what I’m eating due to the restrictions of the vegan diet.  One very noticeable thing for me is how my hip is feeling.  I have chronic sciatic pain that has been present since I had my twins.  When pressure is put on my sciatic nerve it presents itself as pain in my hip.  When I am really conscious of doing my PT stretches throughout the week, there is less pain.  This past week has been a busy one and I have ignored the stretches, but somehow my hip feels OK.  Has removing meat from my diet decreased inflammation in my body?  Not sure yet, but I’m feeling good about feeling good!

My Husband’s Take

I’m feeling great this week! I don’t know if it is just a mental thing but I feel like I have more energy than usual, enough so that I even had the motivation for an extra 45-minute Peloton session. Normally at the end of the day, I am ready to pass out alongside the kids at bedtime, but I haven’t felt that extreme fatigue this week. Overall the transition has been pretty smooth. We ate a fairly healthy diet with limited red meat before which has most likely made the transition easier. I think the hardest thing has been giving up eggs and cheese and it is challenging making sure not to overdo it on the carbs.  I’m probably not getting enough plant based calcium, which is something I’ll have to be mindful of as I adjust to the new diet. I don’t think I’ve lost weight this week but I do feel healthier and more energized overall.

Do you have a favorite plant-based recipe to share?  

Would you consider incorporating a plant-based meal into your weekly plan?


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3 Comment

  1. Love this! I started with my husband and my two daughter’s and am on day 3. I feel the same, lighter, feel full faster, and more energy. We are doing a 30 day run and documenting everything. I’m excited for this journey.

    1. That’s fantastic! I am continually amazed by how quickly you can feel full body changes from just a few days of refocusing your diet. Good luck on your journey!

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