November 27, 2016

First few days of the vegan challenge

Today marks day three of the vegan challenge. Let's just say it's not going how I'd wished! ;)

If you missed it, I decided to try challenging myself to eat vegan from November 25th through December 31st. (In addition to not eating any animal products, I also chose to give up alcohol--that was an impulsive decision I'm kind of regretting, haha, but still sticking to it).

I'm hoping after a few more days, I'll find it easier to do; but right now, I'm basically just struggling through it in frustration.

In theory, it sounded great--I was looking though vegan recipes, thinking about all the things I could try, and looking forward to it. I'm not even a big meat eater, so I thought that it would be a fairly easy challenge for me. It's the dairy/eggs/honey that are making it difficult, though.

In reality, this challenge requires a TON of planning and preparation. I'm infamous for buying vegetables only to find them rotten in the fridge later because I forgot to use them or I changed my mind about what to cook. So, I like to buy just what I'm going to use that day or the next day. Basically, what I should be doing, is planning out each morning what I'm going to eat for the day, and then stick to that plan. Go buy the ingredients just for the day, and repeat.

Also, I've been sick with a cold (I'm pissed--I JUST got over a cold about a month ago, and now I'm sick again! Usually, I go years between colds). This cold has knocked me on my ass. I've had absolutely NO energy (not because of what I'm eating--I've actually been eating much healthier than normal--but because of the cold itself).

It's actually hard to tell what things are happening because of my cold versus what are happening because of the vegan challenge. For example, my appetite has been very low, and I hardly ever feel hunger. Not sure yet if it's the cold or the challenge causing that. Hopefully it's the challenge! Once this cold goes away, I'll figure it out.

This cold has been making me super crabby, so it's hard to see the positive right now. But I will, as soon as I'm better. Let's hope so, anyway! ;) Tomorrow, the kids go back to school after their Thanksgiving break, so I'm going to hopefully get into a nice routine with this challenge. I can stop at the store after I drop them off to school in the mornings and pick up ingredients for dinner. I started a Pinterest board with recipes that I think will be pretty easy without having to buy a bunch of unusual ingredients.

On Friday, the first day of the challenge, Nathan (my younger brother) invited us out to dinner at Anson's, our favorite pizza place. One of his friends that he was stationed with while in the Army (Nick) was visiting, along with his family, and Nathan wanted everyone to get together for dinner. I didn't want to skip dinner with the family just because of the challenge, so I decided to go with them and order a veggie pizza with no cheese.

It actually wasn't too bad! I would have liked to eat the Reuben pizza (my favorite), of course, but the veggie one was good.

Earlier that day, Nathan wanted to show Nick and his family around Detroit. I'm more familiar with Detroit than Nathan is, so he asked if I'd go with them. Since they were bringing their kids (two boys who are about the same age as Noah and Eli), I took my kids and we all headed up there for the afternoon. We took the People Mover to Joe Louis Arena, and then walked the Riverwalk, crossed to Campus Martius to check out the Christmas tree, and then walked back to the casino, where we'd parked.

Noah and Eli
It was a fun afternoon! I always like going to Detroit.

Yesterday and today, I have done absolutely nothing. I've been resting because I have no energy and I'm hoping this cold will just pack up and go away. Jerry's sick, too, but thankfully the kids aren't! I watched the new Gilmore Girls four-part series yesterday, and I was left wanting SO much more. I'm sad that it's over. I wish I'd turned it off just two minutes before it actually ended, though. I won't spoil it, but if you watched it, then you may feel the same way.

I do have a little more energy today, so after I finish this post, I'm going to head out for a run. If it feels awful, I won't stay out long; but I feel SO lazy after not doing anything all day yesterday or today, and I think a run will make me feel better. Since I'm going MAF training, it'll be an easy run anyway.

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!


  1. Meal suggestion: I use the Chipotle method a lot for quick and nutritious meals. I keep rice, tortillas, potatoes cooked and ready to go and I have a variety of toppings - vegetarian refried beans, black beans, corn, peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, salsa, guac etc...ready to go. I just pick my foundation (usually a potato) and top it with whatever looks good to me. The chopped veggies will keep for a week so this is a great option for busy people and for those whose taste buds are always changing their minds. ;-) I was overwhelmed at all the meal ideas and my solution was to just pick one. Pick one and start from there. If I liked something I kept the recipe and put it in a special binder. If I didn't like it I actually threw the recipe away or if it was in a cookbook I wrote on the page that I didn't like it. If I tweak something I make notes about that as well. Remember it's a process. :-)

  2. I have been reading your blog since I started running and it is crazy how big your kids have gotten :)

  3. A few tips:
    ** Amy's has great vegan frozen food options for when you are in a pinch. She also has family sized options. It will be more expensive than cooking from scratch though -- but still a good quick option if you're stuck.
    ** Pasta, pasta, pasta! Add in veggies, olive oil, nutritional yeast, and nuts.
    ** There are some decent meatless sausage options that also work well in pasta/veggie dishes.
    ** lara bars are good for breakfast. I don't like them because I can't stand the taste of dates -- but lots of folks love them.
    ** you can get pretty creative with tofu -- you just need to flavor the heck out of it!
    ** good luck!!

  4. "Mind Over Munch" is a YouTube channel (and other social media) featuring healthy recipes. She features vegan recipes, or options, very often AND they are easy to make.

  5. Try recipes from All vegan and my family loves almost everything I've cooked from it. Also check out Good luck! It gets easier and your tastes will change over time.


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