You could easily argue that I picked the worse time of year to partake in a Vegan Challenge. Strangely I never considered the approaching holidays. I had already been thinking about eliminating meat and seafood from my diet. The dairy thing was a last minute bonus.
I am an athlete. Athletes are competitive spirits. We like to win. Success is our addiction. The natural progression was to make the choice to take the personal challenge myself. I went back to read more about plant-based living, and dove in.
In three days, December 14, 2017, I will celebrate two months of a plant-based diet!! Yay!! It has not been a struggle. Since the challenge, (and one slip up in early November), I have dined out at several wonderful restaurants. Hubby and our dinner dates devoured meat but I was cool and passed on it.
Lately, my hands roam the spice rack with a strong desire to add a punch to ordinary food. My latest infatuation is turmeric in my veggies! Below is a delightful dish of turmeric cauliflower. Eat them as a snack while watching a movie or a good game of football (as I did when the Eagles won) or add them to your dinner plate.
My infatuation with turmeric leads me to a new discovery… I bought two heads of cabbage and, in a pan, layered most of the cabbage with sweet onions and other seasons. All of the cabbage did not fit in the pan. Creativity kicked in and, before I knew it, my hand was on the turmeric. I hesitated. Maybe curry. No. Turmeric. I ran out of onions. But added one jalapeño pepper, freshly minced garlic, season salt, and olive oil….covered and cooked on low.
Dang or Yay!! I’m laughing out loud because I added too much turmeric and needed a starch to absorb some of the spice. What’s a cook to do? I added some leftover brown rice to the pot, a little more garlic powder, (God forbid it’s bland), and stirred well. The pan was drying out so I poured a little (about a half cup) of low sodium vegetable broth.
The dish looked pretty but lacked protein. Garbanzo beans would make a perfect addition but I was out of them. I did have one can of organic black beans. So I rinsed them well and added them to the rice and cabbage.
This was delicious!!!
While rummaging through the fridge, I found two large sweet potatoes. Since the oven was on, I quickly peeled them, cut the potatoes into large chunks, melted coconut oil, sprinkled a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and stirred them well. I placed them in the glass dish and baked uncovered at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes.
Folks!! Chile!! Peeps! The coconut oil enhanced the flavor of the sweet potatoes and they were unbelievable!!! Even hubby liked them. 🙂
Last night’s dinner was a hodgepodge of freshly cooked and leftovers, which brings me to an important point. If you’re going to attempt a plant-based diet or any new diet plan, you must have extra food on hand. And when I say extra I mean the type of food that’s in your new plan. If you don’t have food prepared, at some point, you’re going to get jammed up and will end up with a setback. Even if you have a setback, they are normal… Don’t look back–look forward!!
Above is my post-leg workout meal from yesterday morning. Steel oats, coconut almond milk, blueberries, and plant-based protein. A side of zucchini bread and homemade cooked apples. I finally decided on a plant-based protein. It’s much lighter than the whey protein. The vanilla flavor is milder than what I previously used. The biggest difference is I’m used to buying a 5 lb. tub for $47. This one was $37 and is just over a pound and half. Yikes!
Overall I continue to feel well. As a result of the Vegan diet, I have not noticed a change in my performance at the gym and wasn’t expecting a change, but only time will tell. As far as my physique is concerned, in the past week, I have lost inches not pounds. I am paying close attention to muscle development. Why? I want to participate in another figure competition. It has been a few years and although I am older, my body remains conditioned–I am confident that I can do well in another competition.
I know that I am not getting enough calories but that has nothing to do with a vegan diet. Moving to a new state and not working outside of the home has me feeling discombobulated. I am used to a busy and jammed-packed schedule. But now, I don’t have that. The free and unstructured time is negating meal-prep and my routine of eating every three hours. Perhaps I needed the six-month downtime because it has been one hell of a year. Selling one home, buying a new home, moving south with hubby, our son, and my mom.
As a result of my vegan diet, in a previous post, I wrote about having more clarity. I realize that for the first time in my life, I can do anything I want–I mean, I don’t have all the restrictions of a 9-5, my son’s football scheduled, or hubby’s work schedule. I’ve also figured out that to accomplish my personal and professional goals, I must add structure and discipline to my new lifestyle.
Now I can easily do some of the things I have always wanted to do– I wouldn’t be honest with you if I didn’t tell you that chartering unfamiliar territory (again) is still scary. But so was walking on a stage in 5-inch stilettos, wearing an itty bitty suit and years ago, quitting a job without another one and vacationing in Disney, but I did it well and landed on my feet.
I am living as I encourage you and everyone around me, and this is to live mindfully. It may sound like a fad or a cliche but I assure you it is not and takes focus and practice. Doing so will heighten your hedonic capacity–your ability to experience positive feelings. In less than one month, people will be absorbed by the hype of celebrating the New Year. My New Year already started, I couldn’t wait until January 1, 2018.
We are hosting Christmas dinner at our home but are expecting fewer than the 31 family members who filled our home for Thanksgiving but we’ll still have a house full. 🙂 Meanwhile, I am scouting out both vegan recipes and dishes for the carnivores (without judgment).
Making it through Thanksgiving was relatively simple; I don’t foresee a challenge during the remaining weeks of the year. While I’ve given up meat, seafood, and dairy, I continue to indulge in my favorites… 337 , Darkhorse and a few others.
Until my next post… Smooches!