Monday, January 16, 2012

Plant Based: Days 7-12

Firstly, THANK YOU to all who have been following my little experiment and buoying me with your words of encouragement and support.  Knowing that there are a few out there interested in my progress has helped me to stay strong in moments of weakness, and has contributed to my commitment to continue learning and striving.

Biggest Lesson of the last 5 Days:
Don't be hungry!

I don’t think it is bad to feel hungry, in fact, part of this whole experiment is attempting to improve my resistance to feelings of discomfort when I’m hungry.  I don’t NEED to be satiated ALL of the time.  I don’t NEED to reach for the easiest, most convenient foods just because they’re there and I’m experiencing a little bit of discomfort.  I do not frequent fast food restaurants as a habit, but I have been more prone to indulging in fast food this last year.  These last two weeks of eating a plant-based, whole food diet obviously rule out fast-food, which I don’t miss at all (with the exception of Wendy’s Frosties...I know, I know...but I’m just keepin’ it real).  

So, I made a new rule—whenever possible, I only eat at home.  After all, I’ve bought all of these great fruits and veggies that will go bad if I don’t eat them, so every time I eat a meal outside my home, they are just getting older and older.  Crucial to the success of this rule is having healthy snacks in the car, because the truth is, I have never found myself sitting at home getting ready for dinner and asked Kyle, “Do you want to go out to Wendy’s/McDonald’s/Burger King/Arby’s/Taco Bell/etc etc tonight?”  No, the ONLY time I eat that food is when we’re driving around and we’re hungry!  If I’m home and I want something from a restaurant, we’ll go to a “real” restaurant or we’ll order take-out (which is usually just as bad, ie pizza, chinese, Thai—MSG, grease, fat, fat, fat)--and we really don’t do that very often.  So, as long as I can plan for long hours away from home, and bring prepared meals and healthy snacks, I can avoid the tempting convenience foods and not become ravenous.

So, the lesson I learned this week:  DON’T BE HUNGRY.  

I really mean DON’T SKIP MEALS.  I woke up late a few times and didn’t have time to make my morning juice or eat anything.  By ten o’clock, every stupid awful piece of food looked amazing.  Cheese sticks, Gatorade, fruit snacks, Wonderbread—if there had been a twinkie on the counter I would have drooled.  Luckily, my schedule is flexible enough that I was able to go home and make a wonderful juice that solved the problem immediately, but it was amazing how fast my defenses were broken down by those destructive feelings of hunger.

***Listen to this AMAZING song whilst you read/scroll/skim through the boring part of this post***
“Are you some kind of bad dream?” (What’s with the pipe cleaners?) 

DAY #7
Breakfast: Juice: Grapefruit, 2 kiwi, 2 granny apples, kale, spinach, 1 pear.  Grapefruits make a wicked lot of juice, and the flavor is very strong (bitter).  I think I’ll only use half a grapefruit from now on.
Lunch: Rip’s Big Bowl (I actually get excited when I get to eat this!  Sooooo good!)
Dinner/snack: Pita with hummus

I was awesome at drinking water today (over 80 oz), and I ran on the treadmill for 35 min (410 calories).  Go me.

DAY #8
Skipped breakfast, could have chewed my arm off.
Snack: 2 clementines and dried peaches
Lunch: A Vegan Cafe: Sandwich with some kind of fake “chicken”, artichoke, tomato, and fake “mozzarella”
Midday Juice: 2 apple, 2 pear, kale, spinach, 1 cucumber
Dinner: Left over Potato Taco (huge and delicious!)

Today I ran around all day and was away from home.  Must wake up earlier, I was sluggish and tired most of the day.  DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST.  Worked out to Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred.

DAY #9
Woke up late again and skipped breakfast. *grits teeth
Lunch: Juice: grapefruit, 2 kiwi, pineapple, orange, green pepper, red pepper, cucumber
Snack: sugar snaps and hummus
Dinner: Potato with red bean and lentil sauce, steamed broccoli, spinach salad with tomato, mushroom, carrot, and ginger dressing
Dessert: I was eating as a guest at someone else’s house and they had already made a vegan meal just for me, so we had “whole wheat” shortcake and “organic” cherry sauce.  I considered it cheating, but I felt too bad to turn it down.  I feel it was a reasonable allowance to make, but I only did it to be polite.

Workout: Jog 35 min on treadmill, 400 calories

DAY #10
Breakfast: Juice: cucumber, spinach, kale, carrots, orange
Lunch: leftover Squash Stew
Snack/Dinner: big ‘o Grapes

Workout: bike 15 min, elliptical 10 min, jog around my pond--53 min total, 620 calories

I went to the store again today and got about $100 of fruit, veggies, and whole grains.  It was a much faster, easier trip than the first time, so that was encouraging.

DAY #11
Breakfast: Juice (half before workout, half after): kale, spinach, cucumber, carrots, apples, banana, avocado (really good!!) 
Snack: mushrooms, sugar snaps, and hummus
Lunch: Big Bowl: walnuts, almonds, flax seed, shredded wheat, banana, kiwi, almond vanilla soy milk
Dinner: Wendy’s Baja Salad.  Let me explain: Kyle and I went to one of my gigs that lasted much longer than I thought and we were starving by the time it got done.  So we went to Wendy’s, and I picked the only thing on the menu that I thought would be alright to eat.  All of the salads have either chicken or bacon on them, and this one had Chili.  I didn’t remember that Wendy’s Chili has ground beef crumbles in it, so I picked out what little there was in there.  Also, there was some shredded cheese on the salad that was nearly impossible to pick out, but it was pretty inconsequential.  I did feel like I was cheating a bit, but then I looked across the table to see Kyle killing his large Frostie (exactly what I would have been doing), and knew that I was trying my best and a few little pieces of shredded cheese didn’t change that.

Workout: 10 min bike and 1 hour of racquetball with Kyle; upper body lifting.  1 hour 45 min. 831 Calories, 49 grams of fat.  Go me.    
DAY #12
Breakfast juice: Kale, spinach, carrot, apple
Lunch: Big Bowl: walnuts, almonds, flax, oats, shredded wheat, banana, blueberries 
Snack: small cup of leftover squash stew
Dinner: Eggplant Stew

Workout: Basketball game at church, 60 minutes, 637 calories 

Synopsis of the last  6 days:
  • It is getting easier to wake up before 8am, but it still feels like I am trying to change my biology, like trying to think my hair a different color.  It is getting easier though.
  • Don't skip breakfast--make juice!
  • Changing my lifestyle in this way is sure to cause social issues, ie. going out to eat with friends, being invited to other people's houses for dinner, etc.  Do your best, forget the rest.  Be polite, but take care of your own interests too.
  • I'm starting to feel the improvements that come with working out, ie feeling less weak, more energy, improved workout performance
  • my resting heart rate has lowered by about 15-20 beats per minute, crazy!
  • The numbers on the scale are a bit discouraging, so I may have to re-evaluate some things in the second half of the 30 days
I still feel good and am looking forward to this week!

Here is a demonstration of how to make delicious homemade hummus:


  1. I'm so glad you are sticking with it! Way to go! It sounds awesome. Do you plan on keeping everything up this way past the 30 days, or just incorporating what you learn? And I promise that one day you will love getting up early- its the best!

    Oh, and about the weight thing. I was talking with someone getting their PhD in Biology (so I figured she was pretty legit) and she said that it is extra hard to lose weight at our phase of life, since our body is holding on to extra fat just in case we get pregnant. So think of that little extra weight as baby fat- its just hanging on thanks to our hormones!

    1. I plan to continue trying to improve my habits past the 30 days. Really the 30 days was just to commit myself to a significant enough amount of time to be able to learn new things and get over old habits. I think it could take a lot more than 30 days! That's the goal right now, and I'll assess how I feel/what I've learned at that point; then I'll decide what I want to continue, incorporate, and change.

  2. Have you tried making breakfast juices the night before? Just curious...

    1. No, I hadn't. That might be a good idea! However, you have to be careful with how long you store fresh juice, because it loses its nutritional potency after a certain time. I'm not sure how long the goodness lasts, but they say not to make it too far in advance. I'm sure over night would be fine though. Great idea!