Veganism has its moments. One minute you are feeling extremely pleased with your dietary choices, the next you are mid-bite into a Twix and realize you’re an idiot; that has milk in it. My biggest tool for my successes this past week has been planning. I mapped out my major meals for the week and grocery shopped appropriately for a vegan lifestyle. However, I’m unable to control the lingering non-vegan items in my pantry/fridge/freezer. There were eggs taunting me from the refrigerator door and chocolates on the top shelf of my pantry that I swear were whispering “eat me” every time I walked past. By the middle of week I started feeling bored with my vegan meal options and subsequently turned to eggs and dairy to expand on my choices. And on Friday I completely fell off the bandwagon and had a chicken wrap for lunch.
I'm not a nutritionist, but I do know that there are many factors to consider when you eliminate major food groups from your diet. Important things like protein and even fiber from grains (if you are trying to also watch calories and not eat bread/pasta/etc. all the time) can be compromised by following a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. I will admit, some poor planning on the nutrient side led me to lack energy and have some unpleasant stomach aches during the first few days. Everything is a process, and I'm learning now how to be conscious of the nutrients I get from a meal based on what kind of diet (no gluten, no meat, etc.) it follows.
As I explained here, my 22 day challenge is to be vegan as much as possible. A brunch with fellow blogger Steph of Steph's Spot on Sunday was an exception, and that aforementioned Twix incident may have happened a few times (this is what I get for keeping a candy jar on my desk for my co-workers). I’m lucky enough to be making these food choices voluntarily, versus having health issues dictate what I can and cannot eat. Because of that I can decide at the start of each day what to eat to keep me happy and healthy.
Overall I am enjoying the way this foodie challenge is going; it’s showing me that cutting out meat from your diet is not as hard as you might think. Going into week two I will continue to try and eat vegan whenever possible. My main focus though has shifted towards developing ways in which I can incorporate vegan/vegetarian meals into my everyday lifestyle.
On to week two!