The Gluttonous Vegan!

 Last week, I did a project with Naomi Rose, vegan chef extraordinaire. The deal was I go vegan for one week and her recipes would lead the way. After 7 days, I’m happy to report not only did I survive, but at the risk of sounding vegan-crazy, it’s completely life changing. This is coming from someone that loves food. LOVES. Read the before story here.

Cutting back on dairy, eggs, meat was more of a self realization to how I treat my body and how food effects my life.

I love junk food and I miss it. I don’t miss the bloating, the oily skin, the fatigue, the heartburn, the brittle nails, the foul moods, the bipolar affects of the man-made chemicals. I’m an adult now and I feel silly having to battle with my body on what to eat. By eating fresh foods, and vegan diet, I have lost a total of 8.5 lbs as of this morning. Yes, you may say it’s water weight, but the real weight starts coming off shortly after.

By the third day I was told my face looked slimmer, by the fourth day, I caught a glimpse of myself in a glared window and I had to do a double take. My posture was better, my stance didn’t look like I was dragging my body to the floor, and I’ll admit, I didn’t look as lazy, tired and upset. I looked like a woman. A healthy woman at that.

I also noticed the oils in my hair are different. Also when I perspire, I smell clean, not full of toxins and a 30 minute workout feels like 30 minutes, not an eternity. For the past couple of years, I had 2 cups of coffee in the morning, 2 cups later on around the 3pm afternoon slump. The past week I have had none, and I have had no headaches, and more energy than ever. The afternoon slump? Non-existent.

I didn’t catch myself having heavy cravings but at the end of the week, just like a smoker is trying to kick the nicotine habit and having withdrawals, I caught myself having some as well. I realized when I don’t feel great about something, or I feel out of control in some way, I EAT. The funny part of this, I have no control over what I eat. I end up losing myself, the sadness, the stress, whatever emotion I don’t want to deal with in bites of food. I associate good feelings with food because I choose to taste the food rather than deal with what’s really going on. Get it? Ok, that was troubling typing it as it was realizing it. I have much more self control that I imagined and I feel so much better about life in general. I know not a lot of readers can relate to this, but after trying this diet for a few days, if I would have read this 7 days ago, I would have no idea what I was talking about.

Grocery shopping was a breeze. I usually spend about 30-45 minutes going through a list. I also drop about $80-$100 on food, not including Costco. I printed out Naomi’s recipes, I spent about $40 on what I needed, and after coming home with only two bags, I was certain this would not last me. With Naomi’s recipes, the meals lasted me all week. The soups were so good and so versatile we had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We added more veggies or spices to change it a bit but overall, it was cheap and delicious. Every day I ate under 1,000 calories, never had seconds, and was satisfied at the end of a meal. If I craved something sweet, I substituted with vegan goodness.

//these lasted me a whole week and tasted good with everything//

Besides the benefits of going vegan, I also learned I don’t “need” certain types of food. I went to Disneyland this week. It may be the “Happiest Place in the World” but not if you are vegan. Even with the premade salads, I was rudely told to “flick off the cheese”. I did find a vegan sandwich but it was the only thing in the park besides candy. I felt like Moses walking the desert, where the heck was the food?? Next time I’m coming prepared with snacks of my own.

Now that the week is over, I don’t catch myself sprinting to the nearest McDonald’s like I thought I would. I actually decided to live a vegan lifestyle. I had no idea one week would benefit me so much and alter my way of thinking when it comes to eating and just food in general. Substituting dairy and pasta with vegan friendly foods is a must from now on. I know there may be no harm in having a slice of pizza or two but if the cravings subside, I simply could do without it. I guess my diet will be vegan at home but whenever I go out, I’ll make sure to eat as healthy as I can. I can proudly say, as a meat-cheese-loving person, I survived veganism and came out with a life changing solution to better living, thanks to Naomi’s recipes. Now, I dare you to try it :)

Try her recipes here. Also, some shots of what i've been substituting here.