Vegan Victory

Two weeks ago, around the same time as my blog launch, my husband and I had the craziest idea yet: go vegan(ish). I know what you’re thinking. This girl wants to launch a blog AND go vegan all in the same day. Who does she think she is? But let me say this just happened to go down all at the same time! It all started with the recommendation to watch the Netflix documentary, “What the Health?” Before I go any further please know that should you decide to also watch this, your life will NEVER be the same.

Anyways, this documentary is insane. The man behind the film casts light on several research studies on the absolutely awful effects meat and dairy products have on your body. It only took the first twenty minutes for my husband to forfeit watching. I, on the other hand, watched the entire ninety minutes, and the next day my entire fridge was emptied.

I’m not going to go in on the details of why we shouldn’t consume these products; if you are curious enough, I’ll let the film do the talking for me. Rather, I’m just here to share this ridiculously difficult week of my life as a vegan (sort of).

Day 1: starvation. Per usual, I went straight into panic mode. Ground beef, chicken breasts, Parmesan cheese, coffee creamer, all things that went straight into the trash. I poured an entire gallon of milk down the kitchen drain. Sounds great, right? So motivated and so determined. WRONG, I had nothing left to eat. Which meant my energy was nonexistent, which also meant the odds of me packing up the crazy kiddos and venturing off to the grocery store were zero to none. This is where it gets embarrassing. Fast-forward to around 3:00 in the afternoon. I drove to Chick-fil-a to get a Superfood Side Salad, currently my absolute favorite fast-food item. Then I zipped across the street to grab an Iced Caramel Macchiato – almond milk, no caramel drizzle – from Starbucks. With hunger still cursing my belly, I then hit the PDQ drive-thru for an order of zucchini fries. Moral of day one’s story: maybe I could’ve waited a day or two to begin, but that’s just how bad this documentary makes you feel!

Day 2: groceries. I know, I know, Walmart on a Saturday afternoon with Ava in the Ergobaby Original Carrier (baby must-have) and Leo front and center in the shopping cart. The Lord was with me that day, and this courageous grocery trip actually went well. Both kids went pretty easy on momma! So I hit the produce aisles harder than ever before. I even put my entire family on almond milk that day. And then I went home to prep a few items for the following days.

The rest of my days as a semi-vegan went well. By well I mean I survived. I was hungry almost always, but I knew my body was adapting to less and lighter food. Truthfully, I felt so good. I won’t fool you into thinking I had this amazing energy and sudden positive mindset. I was still a tired momma who was stressed over a million and one worries. But suddenly the load of my body weight felt so much lighter. Getting in and out of the car, up and down the stairs the dozens of times I do on a daily basis felt easier. My stomach felt clean, my body felt healthy, and this gave me a little confidence and motivation to keep working towards the physical improvement I had been hoping for since having Ava. I will say my afternoon cup of coffee seemed less like a necessity and more like a bonus to finishing the day. Rather than yawing through the last sip, I was either playing on the floor with my kids or putting laundry away (which usually stays hanging over the dryer door for days). My mind was clearer. I’m a worry wart, sometimes negativity get the best of me, but this diet seemed like it gave my mind more room to think, more space to just breathe. Even my husband noticed that I had a certain pep to my step. I was definitely enjoying this change.

DISCLAIMER. You’ll notice my downplay on using the word “vegan.” During these days I did cut out meat entirely, and I did cut out direct milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy items. But I’ll be real, I ate Nature Valley biscuits, Quaker rice cakes, chocolate, and even waffles. All of these foods use eggs and/or milk to create, but there was zero chance of me giving them up as well. I don’t think I’ll ever go vegan entirely, although I would love to. The changes I have made are already giving me the benefits I was hoping for. I just don’t have any more time and effort than I’m already devoting to this lifestyle, so I’m happy with where I’m at.

I had hit a plateau in losing the baby weight from Ava, so I was very much hoping this would kick-start another few pounds dropped. Two weeks later and I am down another pound and a half. It’s not much, but hey, it’s something! My husband struggled majorly! He found it so hard to fill up on meals that didn’t have meat. I felt so bad for him, maybe I should’ve worked harder to find bigger vegan meals to make. But as any momma knows, my ideas are much bigger than the time I have to execute them! Speaking of, our first few meals included Cauliflower Black Bean Tacos, Roasted Zucchini with Pasta, Veggie Stir Fry (which I was terrible at making), and Balsamic Potato & Green Bean Roast. All meal ideas provided by Pinterest, I take no credit for the creativity!

My son! How could I forget? I’m sure you’re wondering how I included my picky eater into this. Let’s just say if I took chicken nuggets and deli turkey away from son, he would starve. I was, however, able to get him on a dairy-free diet. The transition to almond milk was a breeze, he didn’t even notice a difference. I’m slowly swapping his usual mac n’ cheese for PB&J, which currently requires a small bribe, and loading his plate with fruits and tortilla chips rather than his usual snacks. He’s a work in progress, slow slow progress. I think the key is providing less options, that way anything he picks is a healthy (and quicker) pick. If he doesn’t see unhealthy food, he can’t beg you for it!

All in all, I definitely plan on doing my absolute best to continue this lifestyle. Between the way I feel and the terrible things I learned from the documentary, this diet is giving me all kinds of optimism. If you’re interested in trying to go vegan(ish), check out the documentary. It is sure to give you some motivation!  A bit of advice, don’t go cold turkey! Plan ahead, prep your meals, and don’t hit the drive-thru three times in one afternoon! Lastly, I promise not to become one of those annoying vegans people write memes about. It’s an extremely difficult lifestyle, one that I struggle with, and I put no pressure on anyone. Also, I certainly don’t have the self-control to do any better than I am right now! Let me not kid you, there have been rare but occasional cheat items. Pizza is the devil’s dinner.

Until next time friends, excuse me while I finish Captain Underpants with my little man and hubby (aka future blog post).

 

Featured Image: I have absolutely nothing to use that relates to this post. I can’t make my fruit bowl look interesting, I tried. So that is my husband and I enjoying a downtown, kid-free Sunday Funday.

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