In an effort to achieve a healthier lifestyle (and shed a few pounds for the impending wedding!:), I initially decided to restart Phase 1 of the South Beach. It’s a strict no sugar (including no fruit), alcohol or starches (that means no bread, potatoes, pasta…not even multi-grain) and only protein and veggies for 14 days. This is just to help deal with sugar and carb cravings. I did Phase 1 and 2 (Phase 2 re-introduces healthy carbs + fruit) last year and saw great results.
The problem is…this second time around, I didn’t feel much better. I did appreciate that it got me weaned off of craving desserts and alcohol, but I was quickly tiring of high protein breakfasts (which meant turkey bacon and eggs or egg whites). And I didn’t like how much meat and dairy it was becoming okay for me to eat…
Ever since my dalliance with vegetarianism over the past two years, I’ve been meaning to try completely getting rid of meat and dairy and switching to a plant-based, whole foods lifestyle but kept putting it off. I also saw the documentary Forks Over Knives last year which gave me a lot to think about but I never acted on any of the conviction I felt.
John and I went to Ethos Vegan Kitchen the other day and I am not sure why, but having a delicious vegan meal (pecan-crusted eggplant with asparagus and sauteed spinach) made me really want to try veganism, at least for a little while. Starting this past Monday, I cut out all meat and dairy (no cheese, no butter, no cream) out of my diet. I’ve already felt much better, more energized and feeling satisfied with smaller portions. I also am happy that I don’t have to shut off the part of my emotions/brain/conscience that has been intermittently concerned about the treatment of animals (which initially started my various vegetarian phases).
One side benefit is that especially in the past 2-3 months, I’ve admittedly become addicted to soy lattes and caffeine in general. I generally have felt tired in the morning and got coffee to wake me up and then I almost always hit a wall at around 3pm and needed another coffee.
Since making the switch, I haven’t had coffee since Sunday and instead have been drinking green tea. Strangely, I feel like I have tons more energy and I no longer have the 3pm caffeine crash. Also, I think the green tea is staving off cravings which is another bonus.
For breakfast, I’ve generally had a bowl of oatmeal, topped with a handful of blueberries, a drizzle of agave and a dash of cinnamon. I made a huge pot of Vegan Yum Yum’s recipe of Italian Rice and Beans so I’ve been eating that all week for lunch and dinner. I modified the recipe a bit (added a couple of cloves of pan-fried garlic and drizzled a little lemon juice instead of lemon zest) and found it to be a bit more to my liking. This was the result:
I also baked some delicious peanut butter and agave muffins, as well as tried baking vegan chocolate chip cookies for the first time. I think I’m going to hold off on making any more desserts for awhile, otherwise it’ll defeat the purpose of trying to lose some weight:P For the cookies, I did switch out the white sugar for some stevia, but left the 3/4 cup of brown sugar in there.
Btw, if anybody has any recipes out there for vegan chocolate chip cookies, please let me know! The recipe I used was pretty good but the cookies were not as moist as I’d like…
Either way, so far I’m pleased with the results and feel much healthier overall.