First week of Plant-Based Life

I made my first post on this blog quite some time ago. Since then, I have not posted. Why? Well because I have not been as dedicated to my healthy lifestyle and had a few slip ups. Okay, it was a lot of slip ups. There was quite a long period of time where I binged on meat, burgers, candy, chocolates, chips, and all other unspeakable atrocities! Alright, they’re not unspeakable. In fact, I think it’s only right that we speak about it. You need to see that people make mistakes and slip ups and lose their way.

On a more positive note, this week, starting on Monday, has been incredibly successful when it comes to my eating a plant based diet. After having been sick and broken a tooth over one weekend, I couldn’t eat much. My breakfasts have become very light. I usually have a banana and a cup of coffee (with soy or almond milk).

My lunch has also been reduced. I usually just take a container of veggies. My veggies usually include grape tomatoes, celery, green or yellow or red pepper, or some other raw veggie.

Dinners have been where I got my calories. Almost every day I’ve had beans. On Monday evening it was a bean salad (kidney beans, avocado, red onion, grape tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar). I honestly don’t remember what was on the side. I think it was oven roasted veggies.

Tuesday I made Soba noodles with a stir fry (Brussels sprouts, green beans, spinach, and red pepper). We also made roasted chick peas (with cinnamon) and had a mango.

On Wednesday I discovered the store where I can buy tofu and went crazy with that…a little. Made veggies (zucchini, pepper, onion, tomato) with tofu (a basil spiced one from Waitrose) and rice! Yummy yummy!

Today, Thursday, I will be using up the leftovers of yesterday. During these days the snacks I’ve had have been mangoes, pecan nuts, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blackberries, and other pieces of fruit. On Monday, I had a piece of 9 grain bread with vegan butter because I was gross and still struggling with the cravings. Today we ate celery with hummus, and then had mango and grapes.

So my conclusion for my first official full week of being vegan/plant-based: it’s great! I definitely find it challenging to stay away from chocolates and cheese and other animal products or processed foods. However, I found that giving everything up at once was the best move for me. In my many attempts at this in the past, I’ve noticed that when I give into one small craving, the rest just pile up on top and I’m completely off track. For me, there’s no middle line of “oh maybe I can just have one cookie”. It’ll be “oh well I’ve had one, may as well have two. And then three.” And then I think “well, I’ve already messed up my diet, may as well eat the whole package…”. All or nothing thinking, it’s my worst enemy.

Another positive I’ve noticed this week comes from a subject area many people will not like to speak about: bowel movements. If you’re squeamish, stop reading now. As someone who has struggled with IBS symptoms stemming from my RA (rheumatoid arthritis), I know that any change in my day will throw my body off and lead to constipation. This week I’ve had spectacular bowel movements. They’ve been easy to pass, have been soft, and I feel completely cleaned out when I’m done. Too much information? Well, I’ve warned you!

As part of my diet and healthy lifestyle, I’ve also given up alcohol. This was not a major factor for me, as only a few years ago I was not a big drinker anyway. Since moving to the UK and discovering the delicious ciders and cheapness of beer, I must admit I’ve taken up having drinks more often than I care to admit. I only rarely get to the point where I’m intoxicated, but I did start feeling bad about having a drink almost every night. To add to the feelings of guilt, my medication also discourages the consumption of alcohol as it could cause liver damage (yikes). So, last week I went to see a doctor to get a referral to see a rheumatologist and have someone follow me and my treatment here. Hopefully that will begin soon so that I can see where I stand.

Now, I admit, this first post is a little bland and boring. My plan was to have pictures of food I ate and recipes I used. However, this week I have not taken pictures of my food as I have been far too eager to eat it. So, hopefully next week this blog won’t seem so boring! As well, next week I am planning to start heading back to the gym. I have done a bit of exercise at home this week, but not nearly enough. Speaking of exercising, I have a new goal! I would like to take up a part time career as either a personal trainer or a fitness group instructor. This means I really need to start getting in shape. My goal probably won’t come to be until next year  or the end of this one as the boy and I have some travel plans over the summer. But it’s never too early to start training!

So, fingers crossed that next week is also a good week for me in terms of eating healthy! Go me! And go everyone making the transition to a healthier lifestyle!!