Sunday, July 31, 2011

Girl Gone Vegan ... and loved it!

Today is the final day of my self-imposed 21 day vegan challenge.  The last three weeks have been full of highs and lows.  The high was a spectacular veggie enchilada recipe and the low was the first week when I felt terrible (I think my body was going through withdraw).  Overall, I really enjoyed this experience.  I definitely learned a lot about food and food labeling.

Fortunately, I approached this challenge with an advantage.  Dairy has not been a part of my diet for some time so all I had to eliminate were the animal products.  However, what I missed most was fish.  I adore sushi and usually eat it once a week when I'm out running errands.  Another food I really missed were eggs.  Having a creamy egg with a gf piece of toast was part of my morning routine.  What can I say, I'm a creature of habit.    

At the end of the three weeks I would like to encourage you to consider making a change in your diet.  It 's not as difficult as you may think.  You may want to start by eliminating one food item and see how it goes.  If I can do it, you can too!

Here are some tips / advice that will help you if you decide to make a change.

Try to plan a good time.  They say it takes 21 days to change your tastes, so give yourself some time to switch gears.  I had originally planned to do this is September when Avery would be in school and we would not be traveling, however I started experimenting (to prepare for Sept) and just kept going.

The public library is your friend.  Go there and check out cookbooks that are within your restrictions and decide it will be fun to try some new foods.  The internet is also a good source.  What can I say?  I'm partial to books so the library was my first instinct.

When you cook - do it in a parallel fashion.  Huh???  Let me explain.  When you are trying a new recipe, always cook it at the same time you are preparing something you know you'll like.  Then when you finish cooking you can try the new recipe but if it flops you'll have a back up.

If the new recipe is a success then store the remaining food in the frig and save it for later, instant lunch or dinner for the next day, if not you can pitch it and move on.

Get use to taking your food anywhere.  I got over this last year when I went gluten, dairy, corn and peanut free.  Lots of people don't really know what gluten free or vegan means so just be happy to take your food anywhere.  I always have almonds in my truck. A handful of those delicious morsels will help tide you over until you get home or are able to find something within your diet.

Overall, I feel it's been a success, this vegan challenge.  I've decided to keep it going for a while longer ... bring on the veggies and tofu!

Remembering cooler weather during this heat!  This one of my best friends Amy and yours truly on Mt. Crested Butte in Colorado - January of 2011.  I could definitely go for a snowy mountain right now.