Hey guys! So a part of my new years resolution was to keep a 1 month diary on everything I eat so its easier to share when people ask me. I get multiple DMs a day from girls saying they want to go vegan and are curious but don't even know where to start. A lot of my clients say the same, and when I'm put on the spot its hard for me to really blurt out all of the things I eat on a daily basis. It seems like the most impossible thing in the world for you to do, I know- Ive been there. A few of my friends were vegan before me and I knew it was something I would eventually do I just didn't know how I would ever actually be able to do it. No meat, eh meat had been grossing me out for about a year or so before I quit eating it cold turkey. But cheese? How could I ever live without cheese fries? Well. Once you open your eyes to 1. How the animals are treated, and 2. How bad dairy is for you because well, we aren't baby cows and just aren't meant to digest it- its kind of hard for you to un-see all of those things.
I had given up meat for about a month and listened to Joey tell me I was crazy before he jumped on board with me (he was the biggest meat eater ever). We watched a few documentaries, What The Health being one, and decided the following day we were never eating dairy again. Once I realized I was no longer eating things that were convenient and I had to make sure we were eating enough I was like fuck, I better start pinning shit. Pinterest helped me a lot in the beginning for the first 4-5 months until I ventured on to Vegan Cookbooks (i like having the actual book in my hand and like to scroll through them at night to get ideas for the upcoming week). Now let me rewind for a second. I was a girl who HATED cooking. Ive been meal prepping my food on Tuesdays for my Wed-Saturday work week for the past 7 years. I hated doing it so much that whenever I got the chance I would pay my dad to do it for me. My family would laugh at me and my dad would make fun of me and say god bless whoever I end up with because I can't cook for shit and we will be ordering out everynight. Fast forward a year later, I LOVE cooking & Joey says I'm the best cook ever (I tell him its not me its just the recipes but he still gives me all the credit, smart guy).
I do believe its easier to make this lifestyle change when you have your own space with your own cabinets and control over what you're buying. I mean also, your significant other being on board makes the world of a difference, if he still ate meat his ass would be on his own though cause I'm not buying or cooking that shet. I began this lifestyle change when I had moved into Joeys apartment a year ago. I had always said when I was still living at my moms "I know I could go vegan once I had my own place". I know some of you reading are like "ugh but its so convenient when my parents cook and I don't even know wtf I would make and I'm going to have to schedule when they are cooking with when im gonna cook and ugh it just seems too complicated." I know. I was there. Its not that complicated though I promise. We did have to stay at my moms for 6 weeks when our townhouse was being built. Living in the house with 4 other adults we still managed to remain vegan and not have any temptations towards any foods. We were actually happy we were vegan because my moms cooking is unreal we would have gotten so fat if we were able to eat everything she made for dinner. Staying there though made me realize, yes its easier to do it when you're living alone, but its also possible if its something that you're truly ready to do.
Going Vegan was THE BEST thing I have ever done in my life. I wish with all my heart that I had done it sooner. It was the huge missing piece to my journey in life. I am the healthiest I have ever been and I think anyone willing to make even small changes in their every day diet will eventually see the vegan light. Its mind over matter. You can do it. At the end of our lifetime the average meat eater eats close to 3,000 animals. You can stop now :)
DID YOU DO IT FOR THE HEALTH REASONS OR THE ANIMALS? Both. I think at first, subconsciously I was doing it for the animals. I would catch myself if I ordered a chicken quesadilla or something- that I would eat it and then look down at my plate and would have picked all the chicken out not even realizing it. I was doing it all the time. These overwhelming feelings of being a hypocrite would come over me, being such an animal lover and pit bull advocate yet eating animals just for taste and because its become normal in our society overtime? Im good.
DO YOU MISS MEAT/CHEESE? Honestly, no not at all. I eat so much more of a variety of foods now I would never go back to eating animals/animal products. I ate a bite of ranch at my 6 week mark of no dairy and I was SO sick for 4 hours from ONE bite. It was basically like poison to my body. Your tastebuds also change so cheese/dairy doesn't even taste good anymore if you can believe it.
WAS IT HARD IN THE BEGINNING? I think I was mentally ready so no not too hard. I had gotten so grossed out by a piece of chicken that in that moment I was like fuck this I'm done. I hadn't previously done much research on what to eat so I was a little overwhelmed at first, and starving.
DO YOU FEEL A HUGE DIFFERENCE? Absolutely. The first 2-3 weeks of giving up meat I lost about 10 pounds. At this point I wasn't eating enough at all & was a little too skinny, hence me not doing my research before hand. My body lost a lot of bloating. I went through a phase where I was a little weak/tired and I started getting nervous I was going to cave and have a piece of meat. My V friend told me 'you're your intestinal track is just changing and you will be fine'- I listened to her and at my 1 month mark once I was eating enough I felt so much better, energetically & spiritually. I knew I was never going back.
IS IT HARD TO GO OUT TO EAT? Yes & No. Luckily for me, this whole vegan journey began at the same time as house buying journey. buying a house = not going out to eat a lot = forced to cook anyway. For the most part at restaurants theres always a veggie option, especially now- its 2018 Vegan is the new thang (hence why you're reading this). If we were going to go to eat our first option would probably be Asian/fusion or mexican. You can always can find something on those menus for sure. I do love knowing whats in my food though, and having control over oils/salt and all that. We still go out to eat but on occasion!
DO YOU GET SCARED OF EATING TOO MANY CARBS? We've been brainwashed our whole lives to think that carbs make us fat, which turns out to be a complete lie. Fat makes you fat. It took awhile to break the habit of not worrying about my carb intake. I mean, obviously if your only eating white pasta all day and nothing nutritious, yea you might get a little fat. You'll notice through reading my food blog that we eat lots and lots of carbs, mostly good, sometimes we splurge and have the not so good stuff too. I eat more carbs now than I ever have in my life, and I am my skinniest healthiest self :) Especially if you're working out, you NEEd them carbs!
ANY ADVICE TO A WANNABE VEGAN? Have a meal plan & Meal prep! Find the time to do it. If i can you can :) Plan once or twice a week what you're going to eat for the next few days. I take 30 minutes out of my sunday to figure out what we are eating until thursday, and then thursday i figure out what we're eating till sunday. Lets be real, you'll sit there an scroll on instagram for a half hour- use that half hour to be more productive. Having a plan and sticking to it is KEY- you'll be excited about what your food menu is for the week is and you save so much money just buying what you need instead of random produce which will eventually make its way to the garbage! If you're cooking quite often like me you'll find that you're at the grocery store twice a week no matter what because veggies go bad quick. We really only eat frozen stuff in a pinch when we are tired/rushing. (frozen veggies are fine of course im talking about frozen burgies and stuff). Oh and WATCH DOCUMENTARIES. If this is something you want to do as a lifestyle change and not just a diet, keep yourself educated and in touch with whats going on so its harder for you to even be tempted to eat any animal products! Not eating animals is the best good karma there is :)
COOKBOOKS THAT SAVED ME (ill refer to these in the blog)
*** Invest in these cookbooks! If you want to do the vegan thing on your own and still have to cook for your family or boyfriend, they will love all these recipes! You don't even have to tell them its vegan they will never know! Ive had most of those books for about 5 months and have yet to really repeat dinner recipes even though I want to so bad! Waiting till I get through everything first though!
New Years day -- I was busy doing stuff around the house, I realized at the end of the day I didn't eat enough, oh well, it happens.
Tuesdays I mealprep for my wed-saturday work week. My food normally lasts until friday. Also tuesday is green juice day.
Wednesday- Working in the salon 9-9
1 bag 'juicing greens' (spinach and kale) (i save two handfuls from the bag for a smoothie later in the week) -- 1 cucumber -- 1 little head of romaine lettuce -- 1 lemon -- 1 inch ginger -- 3 green apples -- an entire stalk of celery (i normally save 2 stalks of it for dipping in PB or something) - a handful fresh italian parsley
Snow day!! Again was doing stuff around the house, forgot to eat. Some days I eat so much and some days I just don't.
Work Work Work. Got out a little early had time to make chili!
Had a wedding bright and early this morning. Lots & lots of coffee.
Coldest day of the yearrrr. We went to the movies at night to see Jumanji. Funfact: Move popcorn & the butter is Vegan, Its made with coconut oil.
Monday, Off day aka running errands all day day. Was not prepared in the on-the-go food department.
Tuesday. 9:30 Hot Yoga then gym then panera then hair did, then prep some food for the week.
Work 9-10 -_- . Ive always found meal prepping & bringing my own food to work is efficient because 1. Well saves you so much money and 2. when your behind the chair all day and so busy you don't really care what you're eating exactly, anything tastes good- So might as well eat the healthy shit.
Saturday. Got out of work a little earlier than usual.
Sunday is typically Slow Cooker day. I like to get up early and get that shit going so I can go about my day and not have to worry about cooking. My sister & Lena came over this sunday so we ate extra.
Tuesday. I knew I was going to be out of the house running around, Yoga, Gym, Doctor, Stupid little shit that consumes your whole day off, I planned ahead of time to crockpot it so I didn't have to worry about dinner. I was up at 7:30 and Dinner was in the crockpot by 8. Use your time wisely to stay on track, it makes the world of a difference. I got back home around 4, cooked a big thing of Rice & Beans for the week, threw a salad together, and made peanut butter protein balls to snack on at work while I'm busy.
Work until 9pm
Work until 7. My feet hurt so bad, I was not standing to cook dinner.
(my client brought me an entire bag of organic veggies so I'm going to have to use them wisely for the next few days :) )
Friday. Worked until 5 & then went foodshopping (even though i didn't feel like it AT ALL)
Monday, had a whole day of errands planned, Joey has school in the city on mondays and last minute dragged me with him (so i got nothing productive done). He bribed me with taking me to a vegan restaurant for dinner.
Update: I changed my crockpot day to Tuesday I'm thinking. I go to yoga & the gym and run errands and meal prep. Having dinner already done makes my life a lot easier. Its 8:30 and the Jumbalaya is a -cookinnn' and I'm going about my day :)
*** Today was a perfect example of time managing your food & prepping even when life is busy. Just make it a priority, its as simple as that. I knew since last week that like most tuesdays I was going to be doing out and about and would also want to have time at night to relax before my work week. I was up at 7:45- dinner was in the crockpot at 8:30- out of the house by 9 - was back by 4- I made juice, a salad. I was in the kitchen for about an hour and a half with cleaning up and everything. Ate dinner and was on the couch relaxing by 6:15. I don't have to worry about what I'm eating for the next few days, which makes life run a lot smoother. Atleast for me anyways.
Salon until 7:30
I was only at the salon for one client. My entire day cancelled so I had time to go to whole foods to get vegan cheese & a missing ingredient to make dinner.
Sunday. Went to grams for dinner for her 92nd birthday :)
I hope this helped a bunch to give everyone some ideas, and show you that it is possible coming from an actual real life busy human. I took about 10 minutes out of every day to help all of you vegans/wannabes. Now take the 10 minutes out of your day to make a little mealplan and help yourself :) Im going to hopefully be working on a full website come spring/summer where I actually write out the recipes ( i didn't have time for all of this and that hehe ) stay tuned! XO