Decision Day: Am I Gonna Keep Up with It??

Well, it’s that day. A month ago I challenged myself to a “Whole Food Plant Based” Diet. I found recipes online and branched out beyond my husband’s ‘rice and potatoes’ diet. I’ve watched some documentaries on the vegan lifestyle and the quality of our food. It was eye opening, and encouraged me to go on.

I’ve read books like, “The Idiot’s Guide to Plant Based Nutrition“, which educated me about what to eat, and how to get vitamins and minerals from my foods.

I went through a detox or withdrawal period, and I realized a lot of what I had eaten previously was processed, even if it was marked healthy. I realized I ate a lot more dairy than I realized, and my portion sizes for meat were double what they should of been. During my detox, I was irritable, moody, tired, and had a constant headache. I didn’t know how I would survive without my daily dose of chocolate.

But I did.

I found ways to sneak chocolate into my diet, from vegan ice cream to vegan hot chocolate. Both of which were just ok, and I found myself craving fruit more. If I wanted a sweet treat, I’d whip up a smoothie. I found that satisfied me more than my allotted three squares of chocolate that I previously ate for my ‘fix’.

I only had one breakdown, and that was in my head. We stopped at a gas station and I wanted a snack….I couldn’t find a thing! I knew that it would be a processed snack, but I couldn’t even find a nutrigrain bar! Then I walked over to the coffee shop inside the gas station (a famous chain coffee shop), and they informed me that they don’t have any soy milk or dairy free options for their coffees. Defeated, I went to the car and had my breakdown. My husband got me a hot pretzel. He’s so good at knowing what I need. I decided from then on to always carry some nuts in my purse. I need to be intentional if I want to make good choices! This is good in all areas of life, and any diet in life really!!

Financially, we did spend OVER budget this month. But I don’t think it will always be that way. Note that I’m still buying meat and milk for my children, so that is not completely a meat/dairy free grocery list. And I often have people over for dinner, which has upped my grocery bill to accommodate that.  But I’ve learned what I need to buy more of (spices, dried beans) and what I need to buy less of, or none of (vegan ice cream, baking cocoa). I think next month I’ll actually spend less, as my pantry is getting stocked with new foods that I didn’t buy before. Plus, I realized that many of the things my recipes called for, especially spices, I did not have, so I did have to spend more on spices this month. Next month, I should be better. I’m going to track it tho, just because I want to know. 🙂 One of the main reasons why I chose this diet was to save money at the grocery store, so I want to make sure I’m doing that.

I learned that I enjoy the challenge of cooking a new dish…and I’ve learned the joy of making things from scratch. I’ve also learned that with this hobby, I’m always washing dishes!!! I’ve seen the joy on my husband’s face as he tries new meals, and even snuck some whole food plant based meals into my kids’ dishes. I have more energy, and am enjoying life more. I am not dog tired at the end of the day. I seem more clear headed and intentional with my thoughts.

I’ll be posting recipes still, of things I’ve learned along the way….vegan and maybe some not vegan. I don’t think any less of anyone who eats meat or drinks dairy…I’ve just found what works for me. Any recipe that I post that is ‘herbivore’ can easily be changed to ‘carnivore’…simply by adding meat to it. Especially the soups. And I will be posting soup recipes…I love my soups!! 🙂

Stat Time: Lost: 5.5 lbs, 5.5 inches around my belly button and 3.5 inches around just below my belly button. Altho I wasn’t trying to lose weight, it’s a good feeling to shed the holiday pounds, and a few extra! 🙂

In the beginning I was tracking everything: my foods, my calories, my activity level. About two weeks in I stopped, and it didn’t matter. I didn’t have to count calories. I could guilt free drink a glass of juice sometimes because I knew I had the calories to splurge a little on a drink. (whereas before I never ‘drank my calories’ because I’d feel guilty). Now it’s not a thing I drink every day, as it is loaded with more sugar and it is not as healthy as eating the whole fruit, but it’s ok if I have some whole fruit juice from time to time. But I digress…

And I’m not eating like a rabbit either. I enjoy hearty meals, satisfying snacks and eat whenever I feel like it. Whether at 10 pm, or 2 am, or the normal breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours…I eat at anytime and am not upset that I have eaten at a typically bad time for metabolism to work (like, at bedtime).

So…I am going to keep up with it. I’ll continue to make the kids what they are used to, but I will incorporate healthier options for them, meat-free or not. Seeing how much ‘junk’ is in our food and learning how to read labels, has really opened my eyes to what all we are eating.

Tonight Adam is taking me to a vegan/vegetarian friendly restaurant for dinner. It’s actually very affordable too! So I’m excited to celebrate my weight loss and new lifestyle with a date night. 🙂

Thanks for following me on this challenge!! 🙂

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