The Vegan Experience
January 25, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Hi! How are you? I hope you’re someplace warm. I’ll live vicariously through you. We had more snow this morning and another Nor’easter is on the way tomorrow. It’s challenging to stay positive, but I am trying! We’re just watching entirely too much SpongeBob in this house. I love that little guy, but it’s just too much.
So, Sunday was the last day of my 21-day vegan kick start program. I didn’t post too much about it over the last three weeks because, frankly, nothing too exciting happened. It was fairly easy for me to forgo dairy.
- On Friday nights when the boys had pizza, I ordered a veggie sub and added some hummus.
- Last Friday night I made my own pizza dough (which turned out pretty well. It needs tweaking, but it was edible!) and used Daiya mozzarella-style shreds (which are a lot better tasting than the cheddar-style shreds).
- We had bagels last weekend and I topped mine with avocado and nutritional yeast instead of veggie cream cheese or egg and cheese.
- We went out to dinner twice in three weeks and I didn’t have a problem finding vegan options on the menu. At a tapas place I had grilled rosemary bruchetta, a roasted vegetable special, and veggie paella (now, there may have been butter in the paella. I didn’t ask, but there may have been some. At least I passed on the Manchego!) And at a funky little pub-type place I had an amazing falafel salad with roasted farro, pine nuts and winter frisee topped with a lemon vinaigrette.
For the most part, I found vegan eating to be pretty simple and satisfying. I honestly didn’t crave cheese once.
Now, how do I feel?
I had hoped to feel lighter, cleaner and healthier by mid-January, and…
1. I feel heavier.
2. I feel like my PMS symptoms arrived early and with a vengeance.
3. I feel that I’m easily irritated, lacking patience, and kind of depressed.
4. In better news, I feel that my lungs have cleared. Yay! However, that may be due to the antibiotics I took the week I started the vegan kick start. Boo – I dread taking antibiotics, but push came to shove and I did not want to end up in the hospital with pneumonia. I’ve been taking probiotics to replenish the good bacteria the antibiotics may have killed off.
To say the least, I’m shocked by how I feel. I thought for sure I’d feel amazing after eating clean for three weeks. I looked back over my food diary and I don’t think that I overate. I seem to have had a good balance of food and nutrients.
I didn’t do the kick start to lose weight, but I certainly didn’t plan to gain weight either! My clothes are uncomfortably tight and I just don’t feel comfortable in my own skin.
I can’t make sense of it.
The only plausible reason I can think of is that since “my time of the month” coincided with the end of the kick start program, how I’m feeling now is simply Mother Nature giving me a good old kick in the butt. For 26 years, Mother Nature has kicked me in the butt something awful each month, but this month is up there with the worst times. “Blech” is all I can say. Mother Nature hates me.
So, maybe a nasty Mother Nature combined with a slight change in diet was enough to throw my body/metabolism out of whack. That’s my best guess.
All’s not lost though. I’m sure I’ll feel peachy-keen sometime next week. And I plan to get back into going to the gym–I haven’t worked out in ages since I hadn’t been feeling well. Exercising will make a world of difference, not only for my body, but it will help clear the winter SpongeBob sludge out of the space that once held my brain.
Ultimately, and despite how I’m feeling now, the last three weeks have re-invigorated my commitment to eating as cleanly as possible. Here’s some of what I’ll be doing from this point forward:
- Limit/exclude cow’s dairy.
- Drink green tea in place of coffee in the morning. (Coffee has been making me sick recently–and I can’t find a non-dairy creamer I like–so I’ve decided to switch to green tea for now. Maybe I’ll go caffeine-free at some point.)
- Drink fresh juice in the morning
Yesterday morning and the morning before, I made this green juice:
2 Granny Smith apples
1 large cucumber
big handful of washed baby spinach
This morning I had a carrot and apple juice:
2 Fuji apples
I’ll also be cooking from two new pretty fabulous cookbooks by Terry Walters (a fellow Institute for Integrative Nutrition grad):
And this amazing cookbook:
While it’s not quite time to say I’ll be doing a Spring Cleaning, that’s pretty much what I’ll be doing. Like, forever. Not just now and not just in the spring. It’s going to be my new year-round lifestyle.
If being sick for months on end has taught me anything it’s that there is nothing better than feeling healthy. When I feel healthy, I can do anything; I can handle anything.
Really, is there anything better than that?