I am terrible about writing, consistently. This is nothing new. I believe I even acknowledged in my first post. Not sure if that will change, but, hey – it’s worth a second chance.
So, in the interest of “finding myself” as Aaron coined while sitting across from me on the couch, I’ll share some of my most recent pursuit: a plant-based lifestyle aka vegan aka WHERE IS THE CHEESE?
After watching the documentary “Forks Over Knives” based on the recommendation of various friends and colleagues, I wanted to attempt a similar challenge adopted by others: a one month diet of no meat, no dairy. And, after attending a dinner with another couple challenging themselves to be vegan for one month and discovering cashew cheese dip, I knew this challenge was possible.
Now, the “Forks Over Knives” lifestyle also advocates no oils either. I’m skeptical that removing olive oil from our diets is the last step into living chronic disease free. But, I am more aware of what types of oils I’m using and ingesting (stay away, corn, safflower, and sunflower oils!)
The first week was tough because all I could think about was cheese. Aaron and I had done a decent job in limiting the amount of cheese in our diets prior to this challenge – watching our sodium, saturated fats, and cholesterol. Still, if it was Taco Tuesday, you better believe there would be cheese on those tortillas. And pizza? It was fascinating to feel my glands just go into overdrive the first three days totally dairy-free, almost tasting cheese on my palate. I’ve learned more about the argued sixth sense, Umami, that products such as cheese evoke.
Beginning this major life change involved much Pinterest research – darn. It also involved a some additional funds at the grocery store for those vegan staples; this included items such as tahini, brown rice syrup, chia seeds, and “fairy dust” aka nutritional yeast.
Fast-forward ahead through the month challenge and….I’m still going. I felt great. Feel great. To echo similar sentiments from others who have embarked on eliminating meat from their diets completely, I notice how much easier it is to wake up in the morning. My running pace has increased, from tapping out at 8:30 min/mile to recently rocking out 8 miles at an 8 min/mile pace. And, it’s not just my speed but the recovery after intense workouts has lessened. I don’t experience the same aches and soreness that I previously did. Is it mental? Is it physical?
I’m not saying that I will NEVER eat meat or dairy again, but for now, I’m okay without it. Aaron has been a good sport along this journey as well. We’ve only had one (he may argue 1.5) failed meals (note: garbanzo-fava bean flour should NOT be used in its entireity for pizza dough):
I want to highlight the amazing recipes I’ve tried, the trials and tribulations, and the various other pursuits I/we take on. Will I become a card carrying member of PETA?