So Mom and Step-dad left to go a wondering last Tuesday, leaving the 3 of us (namely me) to continue planning meals and shopping, reading labels and planning our new way of life on our own. I must say, all the shopping trips we did together, I really gathered a lot of information, what to look for on the labels, what to stay away from, where to find those hard to find items. I have to say thank GOODNESS for the cookbook program on my computer. It is proving to be such a life & time saver. Not only does it have a ton of great cookbooks filled with yummy recipes, including a vegetarian one, but it also has a feature that allows you to build your own cookbook. So before mom left (she has the same cookbook) we both created A Vegan Cookbook. This is such a great thing for so many reasons. We can email recipes back and forth and drop them right into our cookbooks and we can take recipes from printed cookbooks as well as those found online, tweak them where they need tweaking and then compile them all in one location. What I really like about that last feature is I will only be looking at a healthy recipe that doesn’t have all the things we are trying to avoid, so no looking at what we’re missing out on. And that equals a little less of those craving triggers!! I can also see what nutrients and how much of them we are getting in the various recipes which is great since being vegan can easily mean missing some important vitamins and minerals.
So here we are at a the end of a week of eating Whole-Foods, plant-based, on our own, and even though there have been some nibbles on our old foods, we have done pretty good. Remembering that this isn’t a diet and caving to a temptation before it becomes a full-blown override has helped me to get right back to the basics. It is an odd feeling, not being guilty for having a piece of cheese or a bit of meat. It is also an odd feeling to be able to enjoy all the different fruits and veggies, grains and pastas that have for so long been shunned due to all the other diet beliefs. We are even finding low-fat vegan desserts that feel quite indulgent.
Another big test? I finally went back to work after spending the kiddo’s 2 week winter break off with her and the family. That was tough, cooking Grandma’s regular faire for her while not eating any of it. Used to be I would prepare us the same breakfast, toasted english muffin with mayo, fried egg, sausage patty and a slice of cheese. Man are they good. So that was tough, but I did just fine, cooked her breakfast and ate my tofu scramblers with soyrizo, brown rice, sautéed onion, garlic, and carrots, topped with homemade salsa and a vegan sour cream alternative. I actually really like that breakfast (though on paper it doesn’t sound so appetizing). So now my work day meals take some forethought and prep but I really do enjoy them and I am really enjoying seeing some of the positive side effects of this new lifestyle already creeping in.
A perk from this new way of eating is starting to show itself in the form of more energy. Yesterday I got SO much accomplished, I was up at 5:45 a.m. I made the hour-long commute to Grandmas, got her house whipped back into shape, had a great visit with a friend and her adorable 10 month old, made the nasty hour-long commute home, hit up 3 grocery stores, made a gourmet dinner, had a nice visit with the brother-in-law and wife, cleaned the kitchen after dinner (anyone who knows me, knows this is A-Typical) baked a tasty, low-fat vegan cake and finally knocked out around midnight. Yes the hubs and I are still hitting a wall or two throughout the day, but we manage to climb right over it and continue on, whereas before, we would succumb to it and end the night early or grab a nap or worse yet, a caffeine laden energy drink. He’s still having a coke or 2 throughout his day, but he doesn’t drink any other caffeinated beverages. I am having only a cup or 2 of chai tea in the mornings. Not a big soda drinker, never really have been.
Another thing, my attitude seems to be improving too, I feel so much more chipper than I used to. And everyone knows, a Happy wife & mom makes for a happy hubby and kiddo!