I've been thinking about this and thinking about this, having been totally unsure if I wanted to move forward with it. I know that if I make it public, then I'll be committed to finishing it, which is probably why I haven't mentioned it. I just wanted to be 100% sure I want to do it.
I used to do monthly challenges for myself, and somewhere along the way, I got out of the habit of doing them. Right now, I haven't really been focused on anything. Last year, I was hardcore into getting down to my racing weight and then training for my 10K; this year, I'm loosely counting calories, trying to lose the summer weight, but not really putting much effort into it.
And to be honest, I like it this way. I look "normal" at this size, and I don't have to watch very closely what or how much I'm eating. I haven't gained anything this fall. Maybe I'll feel like working harder at it again in a few months, but right now, I am pretty content, even with the extra pounds.
Anyways, back to the challenge. I've always liked challenges that are from 2-6 weeks long. Any longer, and I tend to lose interest before it's over. When my friends were here over the weekend, Bonnie and I each agreed to give up a vice of ours for the rest of the year. She chose bread, and I chose alcohol. This challenge wasn't too difficult to agree to. I like alcohol, of course, but I will survive month without it ;)
The REAL challenge is something I'd been thinking about trying for a long time: eating vegan for a month!
As I mentioned, Bonnie is vegan; she shared a lot of her favorite foods and meal ideas with us, and they sounded really good. I have no interest in becoming vegan permanently, but to try it for a month will be kind of fun (and definitely challenging)!
The hardest part for me is not giving up meat, but giving up dairy! I love cream--ice cream and cream-based sauces. Also, even though I'm not a huge cheese person (I don't just sit down and each cheese by itself), I do like pizza, macaroni and cheese, and scrambled eggs with cheese, etc.
Instead of focusing on the things that vegans don't eat, I'm going to try to just think about all the foods that vegans do eat. When I was at Bonnie's house on Labor Day weekend, she made a mock-tuna salad that I was very skeptical would taste good. I do love to taste new things, though, so I was open minded and gave it a try. I was shocked at how good it was! Chick peas take the place of the tuna, and she used some kelp powder (I think that's what she said it was) that gives it a mild tuna taste. I would eat that whether I was vegan or not--it was that good!
I've had this vegan cookbook called Thug Kitchen in my pantry for a while, and I've never used it, so I'm going to dust it off and try some recipes. I've heard really great things about this cookbook.
Since I'm going to be trying lots of new things, it'll also give me something fun to blog about. I thought the idea of doing the challenge between Thanksgiving and the New Year sounded better than just for December; so, it'll be a little over a month, but the plan is to do it from November 25th-December 31st (36 days). I don't have any plans going on for the rest of the year (other than a couple of family things) so now is the perfect time to try this challenge.
I'm not really sure what I'm hoping to get out of doing this. I like doing challenges because it gives me a focus and something to work toward. Also, it tests my discipline; and it feels good to complete something difficult. In the end, I hope that I will enjoy vegetables more, and maybe branch out my meal rotation a bit. It'll be a fun experiment, if nothing else.
Well, I hope that everyone has a nice Thanksgiving! My mom is cooking dinner, so we are going to her house. My brothers are going to be there, too. Should be fun! :)