Vegan Experiment


I have embarked upon a mission to be vegan for 28 days. It started off as my sister’s idea. She called me one evening, upset that no one credible ever reviews diets that are on the market. “You should do that, and then you should blog about it.” (My sister is always coming up with great ideas).
I pondered it for a little while, and thought it might be fun to try over the summer, when my schedule is a little calmer and I have time to plan out my meals a little bit more than I usually do. I went to Borders and bought four of the current New York Times bestsellers in dieting. As I was thumbing through “The Flat Belly Diet,” “The 5-Factor Diet,” and “The Biggest Loser Diet,” I quickly realized that, as a vegetarian, it was going to be impossible to follow these diets in their original form. Meat was encouraged at least twice a day, and I am far too lazy to work out which proteins should be combined and how many calories should replace the meat calories. This left “The Kind Diet,” by Alicia Silverstone. It is similar to “Skinny Bitch” in that it is vegan with no processed foods. I figured this would be completely doable. My goal was to see how I felt with my current activity level, if it effected my sleep patterns at all, and check for overall energy. I am more active than the average person, I think I eat fairly well, and I figured, if anything, it would act as a bit of a detox. I don’t weight myself, and, as long as the clothes in my closet fit, I don’t get hung up on numbers on a scale.
Day one of the vegan diet started off fairly well. I was able to have my normal bowl of Trader Joe’s Honey Nut O’s with soy milk for breakfast, For lunch, I made myself a hummus wrap with cherry tomatoes, organic lettuce, cucumber, sea salt and vinegar, and I had an orange for a snack. I went for a 5.7 mile run and lifted weights for 1/2 an hour. Things were going pretty well, and my energy was good.
By 4 I felt like I had been hit by a truck. I quickly decided I needed more calories, so I walked over the little Tex-Mex place around the corner from where I work and ordered a black bean taco with lettuce. It was pitifully small without the mounds of cheese they normally put on, but it tasted great.
The rest of the day consisted of a smoothie with strawberries, blueberries, part of a banana, and a little bit of coconut milk, and the radicchio pizza with truffle oil, which is a recipe in “The Kind Diet.” It was surprisingly good, and even Dainen, who was skeptical, enjoyed it.
Day 2 I woke up grumpy and feeling hungover (and I don’t even drink!). I figured it was my body detoxing from sugar (which I am fond of) and decided it was probably a good thing. I ran into some snags when I met Dainen at the cafe we often lunch at (I wasn’t convinced the soup was vegan, and I needed more than 1/4 of a lettuce wrap, which was quite good). I ended up with the artichoke tapenade panini without cheese. While I am not entirely sure it was vegan, I figured it must be close. I also found a delightful vegan chocolate chip cookie made by the Alternative Baking Company. I felt groggy on my 20 mile bike ride, but later in the day while I was practicing yoga, I felt strong and was able to get through it without any trouble.
My goals for the rest of the week are to buy a scale (I have been informed by clients that whether or not I lose weight matters) and to eat out as little as possible. This will be a challenge, but hopefully I will learn to embrace cooking.
Yours in health and wellness,
Jenn