“…then I found Vegan pizza and everything was alright.”
Why do a Vegan Challenge?
I am usually a very health conscious and active person. I used to run 10 miles every day and loved it. I would eat super clean, counting my calories and macros. I would take Yoga, Pilates and any other class I could fit into my schedule. However, recently I have been lacking the motivation I used to have. As it is I try to work a vegan meal into my life once or twice a week, but I have never tried to eat vegan exclusively. I decided to take the vegan challenge and cut out all animal products for one month in order to set my body and mind into healthy eating habits.
My main concern is my sugar addiction, which has seemed to spiral out of control the last couple of months. I always crave candy, cookies, or cake – even in the AM! (Now that I am an adult its okay to have cake for breakfast, right?) I have tried to avoid sugar and yet it sill always ends up in my cart. I am hoping that a diet full of natural sugars and fruits will help me take control of these cravings.
So I did not start of on a good foot, guys. I knew I wanted to do the Vegan challenge about mid-July – which was more than enough time to prepare. July flew by for me- In fact I realized it was Tuesday, August 1st at a Starbucks around noon with a whole milk latte in hand (I warned you – This was not a good start to a vegan challenge)
Despite a defeating start, I was determined that I would get this vegan thing down. I am by no means a skilled chef (I have ruined easy mac on countless occasions – SMH) So I wasn’t really thinking that being vegan would mean that I have to cook and prepare my own meals. Fast forward to three days later, my last 9 meals were salads and the thought of another one makes you want to scream.
Desperate for other options beside a dang salad, I start to explore the vegan options at the hundreds of restaurant in the Valley. To my disappointment, there aren’t very many and they’re all pretty similar. Despite the lack of options, I was able to find a few good spots. Whole Foods and Veggie Grill pretty much saved my life, but they killed my wallet.
Almost through the first week and I realize I am scared to check my bank account and put a figure to the countless green juices and veggie rolls I have purchased. I decide to admit defeat and try my hand at preparing my own meals. I hit the grocery store for supplies and came back with a variety of fresh veggies and meatless substitutes to get me through the week.
There were so many meatless options that sounded amazing! Orange Chicken – I love orange chicken – get in the cart! Lemon marinated chicken – Get in there too. I grabbed assorted fake chicken options and was excited to go home and see what they all tasted like. The truth is that the favor was really good, but the texture is something that needs to be gotten used to. The options I purchased were mostly made of soy. They grabbed the flavors of the sauces they are marinated in, which was great. But they had a soft and almost chewy texture that I didn’t really care for at all. Cutting it into smaller pieces helped, but so far I am not a fan.
These are a few of the places that made this first week so easy to eat vegan. I started off this week on the wrong foot and underestimated how hard it would be to find options that I like. Something I would recommend researching if you were going to try and do a vegan diet is the fast options you have around you. It will make it much easier to stick to if you have places in mind close by. If you can get your hands on any of the below options you will be one happy vegan.
Veggie Grill –
First, I will start with Veggie Grill. Veggie Grill is vegan fast food restaurant that has sprouted across LA recently. They offer vegan options to some of your favorite comfort options. (Vegan mac n’cheese – YES!)
Nuts N’ Berries –
Nuts N’Berries is a little lunch spot by my office. They offer sandwiches, juices, salads, and breakfast options all with fresh ingredients and a healthy spin. They have the best combinations when it come to freshly pressed juices. The ginger elixir is my all time favorite followed by Cinnamon Girl with almond milk. They also have vegan whole grain blueberry muffins, which have been my breakfast pretty frequently over the last week.
Village Tandoori –
I absolutely love Indian food! I love the spices they use and heat to all the dishes. Indian food is also great because they offer so many vegan options. We ordered Aloo Palak, which is a spinach and potato dish, tofu Tikka Masala, batsmati rice, and naan bread. It was all so delicious that you didn’t even miss the meat.
Whole Foods –
This is the best as far as a go-to affordable vegan option. They have an awesome hot bar that usually contains at least two to three vegan hot options, rolls, and a full salad bar. They even have freshly pressed juices and vegan desserts (Which I have avoided thus far, but they are calling my name!) Above all else, they have delicious vegan pizza that I could seriously eat everyday!
How I feel so far:
While the week tarted off pretty poorly, it ended on a much higher note. I still crave meat and cheese (Cheese is honestly haunting my dreams I want it so bad), but I am feeling more satisfied with the vegan meals I have been having. Long time vegans always talk about how they feel like they have more energy all the time. Well I don’t have any of those feels just yet. I do feel more motivated to work out, but I haven’t been able to keep a full gym schedule this week. I am hoping that over the next week I will be bale to come back to you and say that this has changed.
Next week I am going to be cooking a full vegan meal for my family with my sister. These will be tests on my cooking skills (Or lack there of) and see what my family thinks of a vegan dinner. I also want to bring some information on other reasons to think about starting a vegan diet and easy options to try.
I have a few other photos of meal options from the week that I will put below. Comment if you have any questions or suggestions for the next week!
Have a great week lovlies!