Woah, We’re Halfway There

January 16, 2012 at 8:07 pm 7 comments

Please tell me that Bon Jovi immediately popped into your head when you saw the title of this post. No? Just me? Great, well now that’s out of the way… We are already halfway through our vegan challenge, and there already some exciting results to share! First, I’ll let my friends and family do the talking, and then I’ll add my two cents at the end.

1. Do you miss meat, cheese, or dairy has much as you thought you would?
Mom: “I really don’t miss the chicken and meat as much as I do miss my eggs and cheese.  So many of my favorite vegetarian dishes have cheese.  It is also very hard, if not impossible, to eat out as a vegan.  Breakfast is also hard for me as a vegan.” (Obviously, I have failed to get my mom on the oatmeal bandwagon! ;)
Dan: “I am constantly reminded daily of things I can not eat. My internet stumbling chooses to show me new recipes of mac and cheese or McDonald’s flirtatiously reminds me of the glory that is a Big Mac. But, all in all, the craving for meat is not as bad as I thought. Although opening the fridge and knowing there’s nothing in there to eat is a downer…”
2. What is the food you have been enjoying most as a vegan?
Mom: “I don’t know if I have a new favorite food but I have been having fun trying new recipes, like using butternut squash [and nutritional yeast] to make a vegan mac and cheese.  I made the most delicious vegan pizza over the weekend with no cheese or meat in sight and Daddy and Mr. H loved it!”
Dan: “I agree… [that] quinoa is an awesome new grain I’ve never had before. However, after eating nothing but that for a week I’m now sick and tired of that nutty almost cous cous like taste. So I guess the food I’m enjoying most is vegetables?”
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Dan's reaction to his vegan burrito. All in jest, though.

3. What has been the biggest struggle as a vegan?
Mom: “For me the biggest struggle is the time it takes to be a vegan; you really have to think about what you are putting in your mouth and I have been packing my lunch everyday to avoid the temptation of eating the wrong things.”
Dan: “My family, although supportive, is not doing this challenge. Therefore, they proceed to eat meat and animal products in my face. Especially my brother… he particularly enjoys watching a commercial on TV or eating pork ribs and asking, “Bro, you want some? Oh wait, that’s right… you can’t!” Furthermore there’s a lot of hidden animal products in Korean cuisine. A lot of our soups and stews may seem innocuous at first, but the soup base will call for anchovies to create a seafood broth. Things of that nature.”
4. Have you cheated (intentionally or unintentionally)?
Mom: “No cheating; I read all labels like you taught me.”
Dan: “Yes I’ve cheated. Once on the first day completely unintentionally thereby restarting the challenge the next day to maintain a full 31 days. The other at CG: where an innocent looking bowl of wheat pasta was tossed in *GASP* butter! Believe me when I say I did not taste any butter nor did I receive any satisfaction for having tasted that delicious animal product. Our beloved referee did however give me a reprieve for this transgression.”
5. How are you feeling?
Mom: “I feel great and have already lost 9 lbs!  Just think where I may be in another couple of weeks!  While I don’t think I would ever decide to become totally vegan, I do think cutting way back on animal protein is something that I will definitely stick with for the future because it is really helping me to feel better and shed some pounds.”
Dad: “Same for me and down 8 lbs.”
Dan: “There may be some truth to the medical community’s fervent support of a high fiber meal being healthy for you. I feel good nah nuh nah nuh nah nuh nuh. I knew that I would.”
My Dad did not have to say much for the questions, but did add in this really touching thought at the end. “Never ever would I have agreed to vegan vs. vegetarian.   However, it has forced an unknowing amount of discipline that I thought I was incapable of.  The love of my daughter and support of my wife has made this possible.   It is good to know that I can get my life back.” Gotta love my big teddy bear of a dad! I am proud of all of us for the changes we have made in the past two weeks, but am most proud of my dad. He had the most barriers to overcome in this challenge, and the least positive mindset. However, after seeing the first few pounds come off and realizing that my Mom was still cooking delicious dinners, his tune changed! Even over an unexpected road trip for a family emergency, he stuck to the vegan challenge – without the supervision on provision of my mom! Nothing put a smile on my face like his Saturday morning text, “Day 14.”
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Dad's fruit bowl at work for healthy snacks

Needless to say, it looks like everyone is flourishing with this challenge! It has been fun for me to stay so connected with my parents, through swapping recipes with my mom and talking about changes my dad is making. Even though we won’t be permanently vegan, there have already been some huge lifestyle shifts made! My dad has a bowl of fruit on his desk at work now, so he is no longer tempted by vending machines and office snacks. My mom is bringing her lunch and focusing on eating real food. She is also keeping a food journal, which is why she has been so successful in her early stages of weight loss! All of us have certainly become more mindful of what we are eating, and our vegetable consumption has increased substantially.
How am I doing? I got over my cheese craving in the first few days, and now I am loving it! The hardest part for me is communal eating – potlucks for our weekly Bible study and desserts from classmates are much harder to navigate. Even so, I feel cleansed from all of the holiday cookies, have more energy throughout the day since I am more mindful of what I am eating, and my skin has even cleared up! I agree that I could not remain a strict vegan, but my dairy and egg consumption will certainly decrease following this experience.
Question: Did anyone’s response surprise you? How do you think we will fare over the next two weeks?
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Entry filed under: Ramblings. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Black Bean Burgers with a Kick WIAW On My Day “Off”

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ameliaclaire92  |  January 16, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Yep, Bon Jovi was my first thought as I read the title. I even started singing. Yep, guilty as charged. :)

    Reply
  • 3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide  |  January 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Wow, your dad is a rock. I can’t believe your already half way there. I love pizza, so I’m thinking vegan pizza would work.

    Reply
    • 4. homemadeadventure  |  January 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Any excuse to eat veggie-loaded bread is a good one in my opinion :)

      Reply
  • 5. aketcham  |  January 16, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Wow! I was so happy to read this! I’m so glad to see you are all doing well and sticking to it :o). It’s awesome how this challenge has changed more than just your diets. It looks like new attitudes and perspectives are forming for all of you! I’m so proud :o)!

    Reply
  • 6. Tt in nyc  |  January 16, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    How great to see such positive progress for everyone!! Vegan bfast choices that are oatmeal free and easy would be toast with pb and banana, or a smoothie with protein powder, or tofu scamble…. Pleaseplease buy “how to cook everything vegetarian” by mark bittman (also an app for iphone now) nearly all recipes have vegan adaptions and he really teaches you to cook, not to just follow a recipe. Hope the challenge changes and encourages you and your family to relook at animal

    Reply
    • 7. homemadeadventure  |  January 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      I have had my eye on that book for so long and need to finally just buy it! Thanks for the advice for my mom on breakfast choices!

      Reply

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