Tomorrow will be 3 weeks since I started eating a plant-based diet, and I can tell you that I am feeling so good about my choice. My energy level has truly skyrocketed, and I feel better all the way around. One issue that I feel may be a problem with is that I am feeling lighter, but in ways I did not expect. My body feels lighter, which is amazing, but my brain also feels lighter, which is not so amazing. I feel like my concentration and memory are being impacted negatively; however, I am not sure if it is just the fact that it is taking me longer to get back into this semester, or if it is because of my diet. I am finding it difficult to pay attention in my class, so I think I need to increase my protein and fat a bit in order to compensate. This lifestyle change is all an experiment and sometimes you just have to reconfigure your macronutrient proportions in order to find out what works for you.
Now onto the experiments with food for this week so far, I have been having some fun this week with food. Tuesday I made some amazing Spicy Black Bean and Salsa Pizzas from Vegan Planet. I bought prepared whole-wheat pizza dough from the Publix bakery, and let it proof on the countertop for about 5 hours before I started working on the pizzas. I separated the dough into 2 balls since M and I were going to have different pizzas. I rolled it out REALLY thin with some cornmeal, and I baked them off in a 450°F oven for 10 minutes. While that was baking, I drained and rinsed a can of reduced-sodium black beans, mixed it with a cup of Publix’s corn and black bean salsa, and then mixed it with a chipotle in adobo with a tablespoon of the adobo sauce all in the food processor or a Magic Bullet. Once M got home from work, we each spread half of the bean mixture on our crusts, and I spread Daiya Cheddar-Style Shreds on mine and sprinkled with some chopped cilantro. M was supposed to use some conventional Mozzarella cheese, but it had turned, so I gave him my Rice Shreds Mozzarella that I can’t eat anymore because they are made with Casein (a milk derivative). I had also bought him some Southwestern chicken pieces from Oscar Mayer to put on his pieces, and then put some chopped cilantro on his too. We baked them off for about 10-15 minutes until the cheese melted and they looked good. We put some guacamole on top, and let me tell you, it was amazing! Spicy but awesome.
The next night I made some tasty Indian-Spiced Lentil Soup, also from Vegan Planet. I even made homemade vegetable stock, which means I was cooking for about 3 hours total, but the taste was so worth it. It was rich, earthy, scrumptious, and M loved it. We both ate it dipping in tortillas. I had it with white corn tortillas from La Tortilla Factory, and he ate the South Beach Whole Wheat tortillas that I can’t eat either now because they use anchovy oil to add Omegas to the nutritional content. I also spread a little bit of Earth Balance Soy-Free margarine on my tortillas, which, let me tell you, was a stroke of genius. I didn’t get any pictures of this soup because it wasn’t really pretty to look at but beautiful to eat.
Last night was supposed to be the Spaghetti and Beanballs recipes from Veganomicon, but I looked in the fridge and it was full of leftovers, so that was dinner. I had actually bought M and I some dumplings from Macro Vegetarian that were vegan. I bought samosas for me and Thai dumplings for him. We put a VERY small amount of EVOO in a pan and pan-fried the dumplings so give them some crunch. I microwaved some sugar snap peas for me. Again, it was a very flavorsome dinner for very little effort.
Today, I get to spend the afternoon with my sister, and we’re going out to lunch. Eating out has become somewhat interesting because I usually have to tweak something on the menu to fit my new lifestyle, but I am okay with that if it means I feel better. Tonight we are going to try some Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage sausages with Balsamic-Glazed Carrots and Kale and Roasted Sesame Asparagus for dinner. I’m excited to try the veggie recipes, which are both from Vegan Planet. Pictures and info to follow.
Now, for my weigh in, I was really excited to step on the scale because I could feel I had lost some weight. I am now down 7.4 pounds since January 1st, which I think is really awesome. I think I have set a goal for myself to lose 8-10 pounds per month, which means I will hopefully be at my goal by the end of the year. I think I am a good track now, so I am going to keep up with it. In addition, my Aerobics class starts in earnest on Monday, so I think I will be more motivated to work out for the rest of the week. I need to get back on the treadmill ASAP, so I think I will get some time in tomorrow and Sunday. Onward and upward!