Saturday, April 26, 2014

Vegan Experiment…That's a Wrap! Who wants a free training session with me?


Vegan Experiment 2014 is complete!  It was fun, delicious, challenging & easy mixed into a giant bowl of nutrition.  It's been a week since I've been off of the vegan plan.  I wanted to let it simmer for a few days so that I could report my feelings to you :)  Wait, me…talk about feelings??  OK, FINE!

You already know much of what I was eating, although I didn't do a photo shoot with EVERY meal, you got the point, I'm sure.  The food was all delicious and not a far cry from how I normally eat.

Breakfast Recap:

Lunch/Dinner Recap

It was lovely.  However, truth be told, there were many days where I just wanted a flipping egg.  That's really all I missed.  Eggs... and salmon…and greek yogurt, on occasion.   Thankfully, I easily adapt and as long as I have food, I'm a happy girl.

Physically Speaking

Especially the first 2 weeks, I felt great.  I was excited about the plan, so I had a ton of fresh delicious foods prepped and ready to go.  The food was so colorful, nutrient dense &  fibrous.  I basically felt like I was on a cleanse, if you know what I mean (if you don't, don't worry about it…you don't want to).
I was full of energy, I wasn't overly hungry and I felt well hydrated with all of the water dense foods I was getting.

A few weeks into the experiment, as life started getting in the way, I was less prepared, less excited and ready to go back to some of my quick, easy, non-vegan meals.

One of my vegan emergency meals was this veggie juice and "jerky" made from shitake mushrooms.

As with any structured meal plan, this just goes back to proper planning.  I noticed that when I wasn't armed with what I needed, I felt disorder carry over into other areas of my life.  When I felt this cloud coming in, as soon as I recognized it, I went into crisis prevention mode.  What is this process you ask?  You pick one area that is out of order, ANY area.  Whip it into shape.  Typically a contagion occurs and productivity leaches into the other areas of your life.  For me, I cleaned my car, which led to organizing my closet, which led to cleaning out my fridge, which led me to the grocery store, which led me to Vegan meal prep.  Whew!  Back in the game.

What I Didn't Expect

When I started this experiment, it was meant to be a nutrition experiment.  I had no expectations beyond that.  However, as many of you know, I don't like to do things "a lil' bit", if I'm going to do something, I'm fully submerged.  I'm like Phoebe with the cups & Ice.  Who gets that Friends reference?

My point?  I didn't just stop eating animal products and bi-products.  I watched tons of  documentaries and read books about being vegan.  I spoke with other vegans.  I called restaurants and asked them what vegan options or accommodations they offered.  I sought out vegan bloggers and social media-lites and asked questions and followed their feeds.  If an honorary PhD is offered in Veganism, I'd like to be awarded one, please & thanks. 

As I researched, I was more disgusted by the poor treatment of animals and the environment than I was about the whole "effects it has on my body" issue.  It is heartbreaking, disgusting, devastating, horrific and all sorts of other despicable adjectives the way that humans arbitrarily decide that it is our right to strip an entire habitat or deface a wild creature, or hold droves of animals as captive in foul, unsanitary conditions for our comfort, gluttony or greed.  *Off soapbox-I'll save the rest for later (another post).  Needless to say.  I don't want to be part of the problem and ultimately, I'd like to be part of a solution.  I've yet to create a reverse timeline-(remind yourself of this process by clicking here) POA (plan of action), but one is coming that will involve saving the world.  In the meantime, I am certainly more mindful about what I'm buying and consuming.  

Another factor I had not considered was the sense of community. While I was expecting to feel slightly excluded or like I was 'on my own' in this experiment, the opposite actually occurred.   When I began sharing this experience with others, I found a closeness among other vegans where we could share our experiences and recipes and local hotspot suggestions.  It's a culture and community of kind, open minded people.  Even non-vegans were interested and offered advice or asked great questions.  It was fun to connect with people both vegan and non-vegan.  When I'd go out to eat, there were some amazing restaurants that staff members that were very accommodating and knowledgable.  

What's changed?

Ultimately, My body made no significant changes.  My weight stayed about the same as well as my body fat percentage.  I felt a little bit softer, likely due to the shift in macronutrients being more carb heavy (mostly just water under the skin).  Within a few days that went away.  

Now that the experiment is over, I haven't changed much.  I'm still eating tons of veggies :).  I've had a few comments from people saying "I thought you didn't have to eat that anymore?", but of course, EVERYBODY needs to eat lots of veggies!  Vegan or not, it's natures pharmacy!  I have added eggs back to my diet.  I get mine from a local, non-commercial farm and they are AMAZING!! And I've had salmon a few times <3!  I've had turkey and chicken (in smaller portions).  I feel as though I've released myself from my meat prison where I felt like I needed animal protein with every meal.  My body is much more forgiving when I don't force down 25 grams of protein at each sitting.

What's Next?

Good question.  Glad I asked ;)  I haven't had 2 of my favorite foods since before the experiment: Sushi & Jeni's Ice Cream.  I plan on taking care of that soon…then, I'm ready to dive into the next experiment.  I haven't decided what it will be yet, but I'd LOVE your input.  I'd more than love it.  I'm begging for it.  If you have an idea or if there is something you'd like me to be the lab rat for, let me know.  If it's something you'd like to do and you want me to be your partner in the experiment, please share!  If I pick your idea, I will offer you 1 free private training session with me (if you are local and don't already train with me) or a general meal plan consultation (you don't have to be local for this).  If you do already train with me and I pick your idea, I'll come up with something extra special for you!! Promise :)  Just share your ideas with me here, in the blog comments or on Facebook, Twitter, email…however you prefer.  The next experiment can be nutrition or exercise related (or both!).  Although I am fascinated by all sorts of experiments: economic, social, scientific, etc.  So, over share as needed.  

I still need to update you on my physical challenges from the beginning of my experiment (handstand, split, backbend), but I'm getting long winded, so I'll save it for next time :)