Oh. my. goodness! Going Vegan for 10 days has been harder than I thought it would be!! It's only day 3 so my positive outlook is telling me to give it some time, but my negative outlook is saying this is crazy!
I guess I just haven't realized that several of the classic items that I use in my kitchen are not vegan. Take Pam for example, the non-stick spray that I use in order to save calories when I cook instead of using oil. Pam contains milk. Did you know? I didn't until I read the back. It's not such a big deal because I'm saving calories in other things and can easily begin using canola oil (and I have), but who the hell knew that Pam had milk? Why is it in there in the first place?!
I also ate a tootsie roll today without reading the ingredients label. It just totally slipped my mind to even second guess it. But of course, it's chocolate and contains milk. Damn it! What's a vegan girl got to do to get some candy up in herre? Definitely going to have to do more research on the vegan sweets front.
I knew that this would be a challenge, but I didn't realize that shear ignorance or thoughtlessness would be the major factor. I assumed that this challenge would put my willpower to the test in having to avoid some of my favorite foods (like cheese and eggs.) Just these past few days have been a learning experience to say the least. I'm grateful for it though.
Some of my thoughts on it so far:
1. I feel confident that I could be vegan about 80% of the time without a problem; however, I've heard that once you've maintained a vegan diet for a period of time, you lose your ability to digest animal proteins and can be made to feel sick by consuming them. Does that mean I'll feel sick if I decide to occasionally indulge in "non-vegan" foods? My birthday is coming next month and I look forward all year to eating my very own Cinnabon, but I certainly don't want to eat it and then end up throwing it up again!
2. I'm going to have to get more creative with my meals. I've already getting bored with using the same 6-10 ingredients every meal. I've been preparing them differently, but there are only so many ways to stir-fry, roast, and steam the same veggies and whole grains over and again in my current recipe repertoire.
3. I do like that this challenge (and perhaps a new lifestyle) has kept me from the "BLT's" (bites, licks, and tastes) of other foods. No more popping 9-month-old's table scraps into my mouth during prep. No more stray bites of hubby's pizza. No dipping out a few pieces of caramel corn out of the bag just because I'm standing next to it in the kitchen. It's made me VERY aware of what is going into my body and I like that.
4. The scale is responding to my clean eating. I am back to the weight I was before over-indulging in celebration of hubby's birthday for 2 days last weekend. I look forward to seeing the weigh-in results at my WW meeting Saturday.
5. I've had two rather serious migraines in the last few days. I'm not sure what that's about as I haven't really had headaches since giving up meat. The first one (Sunday) I thought was punishment for eating like crap for two days, but I had another one today after eating cleanly for 3 days and I wonder if it isn't the weather? We've had a rainy cold front move in. Or, could it be the result of cleaning out the last of the ingested cholesterol now that I've gone vegan? I'm not convinced it would happen that quickly, but I won't discount it. Diet really does effect so many things in our physiology... I'll be keeping track of them to see what happens. I've dealt with debilitating headaches since puberty and have been very much enjoying my freedom from them these past several meat-free months.
So there it is. This challenge has been exactly that for me, a challenge. And, I love that I'm learning more and more about my body, my diet, and how they work together. I'm feeling pride in the relationship I have with food through it. Are you challenging yourself in anyway this week? Doesn't have to be food related, but I hope you are all growing and learning about yourself and the world around you and I hope you'll share it with me! :-)