Over the years I’ve become a very picky eater. I’m very particular about the foods I eat and the way they are prepared, especially when it comes to meat, I’ve even cut pork out of my diet after hearing the horror stories of how bad the meat is for you and how it is infested with parasites that can infect you. I avoid fish like the plague after seeing multiple videos of things squiggling throughout the flesh in grocery stores. “Just make sure you cook the meat throughly, and you’ll be fine”, you may be thinking. Well, I was scarred for life as a child after seeing the results of my new puppy’s deworming medicine, right on my blanket *shivers*. I tried to like shrimp and crawfish, but I couldn’t get over the legs and eyes as people would suck the “juice” from the heads. And recently, I’ve been giving chicken a side eye (unless it’s Raising Cane’s, because Cane’s is heaven on earth, along with a good steak and 5 Guys Burgers).
Because it seems like I’m kicking a meat product to the curb every few months, I figured I might as well give no meat and no meat-by-products a try again. I was a raw vegan for a few weeks in college and cooked vegan for a little longer, and felt great! But with all the liquor, after party McDonalds and Whataburger runs and free pizza at every function, fast food got the best of me. Now that I’m a graduate and have an abundance of time to cook homemade meals and the money to buy better quality foods than Ramen noodles and cheap pizza, it’s no time like now to give it another try. Even hubby said he’s thought about trying it out.
Now that I’ve given you my whole life story, lets get down to the challenge. I made a few ground rules just so I wouldn’t try to push the parameters of the challenge, for instance, Oreo’s are vegan! but I didn’t want to spend the week eating Oreos and veggie burgers.
1. No meat, cheese, eggs or other dairy products (I have an intolerance to lactose anyways, so I was hoping to see some benefits of cutting it out of my diet)
2. No vegan pizza, burgers, cheese, or faux meats, (almond milk is okay)
3. Really pack in the unprocessed, natural foods such as fruits, veggies, roots and some grains
4. Drink more water (at least 2 liters to start out)
I also took photos (I’m no food photographer so they’re not the prettiest shots fyi) and the details of my meals, just because I love seeing people Instagram their plant based meals, but they rarely tell you how to make it or where to get it. So with out further adieu, here are my meals for the week.
We were really busy today, so I had a large breakfast and a large dinner. For breakfast I had Oatmeal, vanilla flavored nuts and granola, banana and cherries. Dinner consisted of Veggie Samosas from Trader Joes, roasted squash and oven baked potatoes.
I started today off simple, waffles with maple syrup and a fruit smoothie, I had a lunch of pears, sprouted grain bread and peanut butter. For Dinner I got a little fancy and made pasta with green beans and my beloved avocado.
Another busy day so I snacked more than ate complete meals. Started my day off with those yummy waffles and the seeds from a couple pomegranates. Throughout the day I snacked on fruit, nuts and a cliff bar (which isn’t the best). For dinner I kept it simple with some rice and mashed avocado and a few samosas.
I started my day with more waffles and a cantaloupe, for a mid day snack I had a bowl of banana chocolate nice cream and raw vegan brownies (dates, cocoa, coconut, dried oats), later that day I had a couple slices of watermelon and a couple halo oranges. Dinner was amazing! I made a tray of nachos half vegan and half meaty for hubby. My side consisted of chips, tomato, spinach, Spanish rice, beans, avocado, onion and cilantro. Super filling.
Decided to end it with a healthy bang! I made a delicious Cherry Lemonade Smoothie (cherries, lemon juice, coconut water, mango, pineapple and ice). For lunch I had a couple slices of sprouted grain bread and peanut butter with some blueberries. Lastly for dinner I had a veggie stir-fry on a bed of rice.
I posted this blog a couple weeks later because I wanted to see how my eating would change afterwards. Now while I’m not full on Vegan again, I have cut my consumption of meat down considerably. I eat meat once a day, and if I plan my meals ahead of time I usually don’t eat meat at all. I try to eat plant based the majority of the time and have dramatically cut down on white sugar and other added sugars. One of my favorite dishes currently is rice, pintos and avocado and that Cherry Lemonade drink is my new “juice”.