The alarm was particularly obnoxious this morning, but here we go Monday. I see you, ya little chump. We have just five days left in this Livin la Vida Vegan 14-day challenge, and I gotta say, it’s flying by. The pace isn’t necessarily a reflection of the food so much as everything revolving around it, but, all the same, we’re in the homestretch here.
I weigh in every Monday and every Friday, first thing, preferably before coffee. I do this because I like to ruin both the beginning and the end of the work week. I find it humbles the soul. This morning, the digits were up a tick. Not surprising considering I ate an entire tub of guacamole and drank a case of beer over the course of two days. And all of the vegan marshmallows, too.
Just for kicks, I went searching for posts from other beginner vegans who found themselves gaining weight post lifestyle switch. There was a common thread throughout their musings. Basically, people will tell you that you shouldn’t worry about tracking your food or looking at portions when you go plant-based because it’s all generally good for you. But then you gain 10 pounds by eating an entire bag of shelled pistachios (speaking for a friend) and you realize that’s a giant wheelbarrow full of crap.
For me, I think I went around the Internet and local groceries hoarding every food item I could find that was compliant out of a fear we’d starve, thus creating a winter stockpile of plant-based goodies. And then we ate all of it to get through the first week because we didn’t know what we were doing with ourselves and we were panicked about protein.
But now I know we’ll be OK. There will be food. There will be things we can buy at restaurants and other such places, so there’s no need to stash it all in my cheeks and, eventually, my thighs. Instead, it’s time to go back to the basics of smart portions, smart foods, just within the vegan parameters. Combine the rules that apply to the standard American diet with the vegan principles and perhaps that’s where the magic resides?
Of course, one of my major goals is to lose weight for sure, but moreso, it’s to just feel good in my body. And I feel physically good, I do. But I’m 100 percent not where I want to be appearance-wise. I guess what’s important right now is that I feel more capable of getting there, so we’ll start there.
Now that I’ve said all that, watch as I royally F up this day, dietarily speaking.
I added ½ teaspoon of spirulina to my usual smoothie this morning. The color is intimidating, like beta fish gills, so I backed down from the recommended tablespoon. I could taste it, but it wasn’t as offensive as one would expect from something that brags about its high algae content. I’ll add in a bit more tomorrow. Sometimes bravery trickles, rather than rushes in.
Snack attack came early today. Trail mix with extra pistachios. I only ate half of the serving, so, see, I have some control.
I ate the rest of the trail mix.
Hey, hey! The gang’s all here! The usual salad – mixed greens with Salad Topper and [too much] Greek dressing from Primal Kitchen – plus some leftover guacamole, Late July Chia and Quinoa tortilla chips, and the three remaining samosas. I also enjoyed a yummy suja organic ginger kombucha drink, which I will consume half of today and the rest tomorrow.
So, remember just a few minutes ago when I was talking about not being able to eat whatever you want, just because it’s technically vegan. Well, I just looked up the samosas. The fried casing really should have tipped me off. When all was said and entered into MyFitnessPal, the dressing, tortilla chips, Salad Topper and samosas came in around 150 calories each. So, what I’m saying is, I have like 100 calories left for the day going into dinner, which is tacos. Which I love. Which means I’ll be way over on my calories for the day, even though nothing I ate was too crazy.
It’s the nuts and seeds and dried fruit. It’s the healthy fats. It’s just all adding up to the same numbers in the red as when I’m not eating vegan. Same loss of control, different ingredients.
A handful of Boom Chicka Pop because that is my favorite and there’s always an open bag in my top drawer.
Hank had to work late tonight, so I threw tacos together. To get crazy, I also put this 10 Minute Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce in the mix. I used beef imposter crumbles for the meat and it came out beautifully. I always just throw the seasonings – cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano – in with whatever crumbly meat stuff I have nearby, and fake meat was no different. I made a taco first, with the meat, guac, lettuce, salsa and a torn up piece of daiya cheddar. It was good, but didn’t need the feddar (fake cheddar, get it? We’ve been doing this a lot.) Then I just put all those fixins on a plate and mixed ‘em around for a taco salad. Sensational.
I don’t know what that nacho cheese shit was, but it wasn’t anything resembling cheese. At least no cheese I’ve ever had. It wasn’t a bad taste, it was just not a great taste. Or a taste I’d ever need to taste again. Plus, it was misleading. Like if you fixed a recipe for chocolate chip cookies but they came out tasting like cheeseburgers or something.
Hank came home later and confirmed my take on the gunk.
“I don’t know about that cheese,” he said, as I put away laundry.
“Yeah, I know. It was strange.”
“Definitely not my favorite flavor.”
Then I ate three vegan sugar cookies. They were small, but does it really matter? This is where I set myself up for failure. The treats were left over from our camping trip, a purchase so I wouldn’t feel left out of dessert. If I hadn’t picked them up, I would have felt deprived and likely gone off course. But now, having them in the house, I’m going off course during the week … three times. I get caught in this sticky sugar web of mental trap doors and temptations a lot.
Plus, I was so irritable tonight. I don’t believe this has anything to do with the diet. Everything the girls did made me feel like a mad woman. Do you ever have those nights? JoJo wasn’t listening and Spike was hitting Sloppy Joan and Sloppy Joan was stealing apples and taking them to squirrel away all over the house and I had to get the downstairs swept and mopped, and dinner made, and three baskets of laundry put away, and I just had zero energy in reserves for their drama and rotten fruit. Some nights I can find all the blankets and solve all the fights, and some nights I just have to stick the babies in a corner.