Starting on November 1st of 2013, I attempted this 21 Day Vegan Kickstart. I thought I would share how I fared along with a few of my thoughts about trying to eat the Vegan way in a very non-Vegan household. It was kind of stupid to try this plan the day after Halloween and I did stumble with the candy a few times. Putting it a bag with the boys’ names really did help but the “mom tax” candy did not make it to the end of the challenge as was the plan. However, we did just throw Halloween candy in the trash yesterday that included chocolate (Milky ways) so maybe I fared better than I thought with it all.
First, I need to confess that I did not follow this plan perfectly and seldom tried the suggested recipes because they sounded yucky to this fairly picky person. I did try a few though that I thought I might like and had some success. I really liked the addition of a granny smith apple and craisins to my oatmeal one morning. The chocolate chip banana bite “cookies” were not bad but I didn’t find them enjoyable enough to drag out my blender and make again. That is kind of too bad as I have a bag of oat flour in the fridge now. I may sneak it in the next time I make regular chocolate chip cookies for the family. Think they will notice? Any other ideas what I can do with oat flour?
While previously my breakfast would have included numerous cups of coffee and a muffin (what they rest of them ate today minus the numerous cups of coffee), today my breakfast started with vegetables:
During the Kickstart, the suggestion would be for scrambled tofu. I could never really embrace the idea of tofu. However, since the challenge, I have been eating a scrambled egg with more vegetables than egg and no cheese added. This is what happened to the vegetables pictured above:
I did lose about 5 pounds following this way of eating but I think if I swayed into the land of junk foods (and Vegan junk food options are out there. Um, did you know Oreo cookies can be considered Vegan? I should point out that this particular challenge did not endorse white sugar as Vegan), I would quickly and easily regain those pounds. I discovered I liked vegetables more than I thought I did. I don’t know if your taste buds change once you start consuming less meat and dairy or if it was the fact that I was simply starving come mealtimes but having a tomato and lettuce sandwich the same night my family’s dinner was BLT’s really was enough for me. I realized our family eats a lot more CRAP (Have you heard of that acronym? I’ve seen it various ways but the way I remembered it was to eat less: Cheese, Refined Sugar, Artificial Sweeteners and Colors, and Processed Foods) than I really wanted to admit. And of course, not enough fruits and vegetables.
My main takeaways from the challenge in an extremely random and unorganized paragraph list form:
I am more willing to try vegetable based dishes. I have discovered some vegetables I like (Kale, Spaghetti Squash, and Butternut Squash) as well as some I do not (Lentils). Cheese is often not needed. Cashews have a similar flavor to cheese. Dairy is in A LOT more foods than you would think. So is soy. I thought I was a good label reader prior to this. I pay even more attention now. Most days I felt great while eating this way. McDonald’s has the worst side salads I’ve ever tasted in my ENTIRE life. They definitely need the non-Vegan dressing! I crave Kale chips. I buy more produce than before and waste less of it. I asked for and received a juicer for my birthday. I am less obsessed with my boys getting enough protein. I quit buying milk except for almond milk which I like. I now drink more green tea than coffee most days.
Would I do it again and do I plan to stay Vegan?
I would definitely do this again and may jump into it again later this week or next. I think staying completely Vegan would be a bit more of a challenge than I could manage. However, I do see myself staying mostly (not completely) Vegetarian.