Week one of the vegan experiment has come and gone. And it was a success!
There have been a few challenges along the way, but overall it’s been a positive experience so far. One thing that I’ve noticed physically is that my stomach feels different- in a good way. I’m kind of used to feeling just a little bit bloated (or a lot) most of the time, and that’s pretty much gone away. I’m assuming that this might be from eliminating dairy, but I can’t really be certain just yet.
I’ve certainly been more creative in the kitchen- and meals have been delicious and flavorful. I have a long list of different meals that I am planning to make, and am excited to see how they turn out. Greg has also really liked the experience so far. He has really liked almost everything that we’ve eaten, and I think he’s pleasantly surprised at how easy the transition has been.
As great and wonderful as week one of the vegan experiment has been, there have been a few challenges. When shopping for groceries, I’ve had to scan labels thoroughly. Luckily, anything containing milk or eggs (or any other animal protein) is usually pretty clearly labeled- but that’s not always the case. There have been a few things that I was surprised to find out contain non-vegan ingredients, but I’ve just had to adapt and find something else.
Meals (especially dinners) take a little more thought and planning. It was always really easy to just throw a piece of meat on the grill, add a veggie and a starch, and call it dinner. Unless I want to eat grilled tofu every night, I have to put in a little more effort.
One interesting thing that’s come up is the fact that for the first time in his life, Greg has had to start looking at nutrition labels. Greg’s never needed to “diet” or lose weight, and doesn’t have any food allergies, so he’s pretty much just eaten whatever he wants without giving it much thought. I’m the opposite- I’ve been extremely aware of ingredients and nutritional stats for at least ten years- and scanning food labels is just second nature to me. Greg’s never been able to relate to me in that way, and it’s kind of nice that because of the vegan experiment, he (sort of) can for the first time.
Another challenge was having people over to eat dinner this past weekend. I really do not want to purchase any meat, eggs or dairy for the next five weeks- and an pretty firm about sticking to that. However, when Greg’s parents visited us for a few days this past weekend, I didn’t want to force them to eat things that they’re not used to. We went out to dinner one night, and I made pasta with marinara sauce the next. However, on Saturday night I was a little bit stuck. My mom and stepdad saved the day and brought over their own beef to make hamburgers for them and Greg’s parents. I roasted some potatoes and made a big salad to go along with the meal. The biggest challenge of the night came for Greg when my mom sliced up a bunch of sharp cheddar (for the burgers) and set it out on the kitchen counter. I think it took a lot of restraint for Greg not to just grab a slice of cheddar and go to town, but he resisted! To him, that was a lot more tempting than the hamburgers.
While everyone else ate hamburgers, Greg and I enjoyed some veggie burgers that I had recently picked up. Sol Cuisine was kind enough to send me a handful of coupons for free products, and I picked out three different items: mushroom burgers, black bean burgers and sausage patties.
We tried both varieties of burgers on Saturday, and they were delicious! Like most other veggie burgers, they are a little high in sodium, but contain fewer ingredients than other brands I’ve purchased in the past.
While I prefer to make my own veggie burgers when I have time, it’s nice to have a good option for a quick dinner.
I haven’t tried the sausage patties yet, but plan on putting them in a tofu scramble later this week- and maybe as a topping for pizza on Friday.
Week one was terrific- and so far week two is off to a great (and delicious) start!
ONE MORE THING…
The winner of the Kombucha Brooklyn Home Brew Kit is….
Congrats, Jen!! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll give you the details!!
Do you pay attention to nutritional stats and ingredients (on food labels)? If so, does it affect the food that you eat/purchase?