Not What I Expected

madcow

I have officially been vegan for five days. It has been….not what I expected.

-I haven’t shaved my legs in several days so now I am a hairy-legged vegan. Typical. I am still wearing Secret chemical-infused deodorant though, so I don’t think I’ve gone too far to the dark side. Also, I still refuse to shop at Whole Foods. [In reality, the non leg shaving thing is b/c of eczema, ick I hate the feeling]

-One day after starting the vegan diet, my appetite and eating habits completely changed. I used to be hungry all the time. I would eat a lot every 2 hours. Granted, it was always healthy food, but I always felt famished. Now? I eat a bowl of veggies and brown rice and am not hungry again until the next meal. I’ll have one or two snacks a day

-Going along with the change in appetite, I no longer get the “night time munchies” and I feel FINE not eating after 7pm. When I go to bed I feel satisfied, not too full and not hungry. I also no longer have the chocolate craving (WHAT?!?!)

-Not going to go into too much detail here, but vegan eating has been an amazing cleanse for my digestive system. One website warned that if you are going to start eating vegan overnight (as opposed to slowly cutting out meats/dairy over the span of several weeks), be prepared to take several trips to the bathroom every day for several days. Yep!

-I feel more focused, positive, and productive. It’s a lot easier for me to start a task and finish it (maybe it’s because I’m not having to take as many breaks to stuff my face?)

-My energy level has increased a bit

-My skin/eczema has not changed (yet), in fact when I got to work this morning my foot spontaneously broke out in this beauty:

foot)

Isaac (Mr. Biology) told me that when your body is going through a detox of sorts, a lot of toxins are being released so the spontaneous hives might be a result of that. I took some benadryl and they went away shortly after. Odd!

-I have suddenly started to enjoy trying out new recipes. Eating vegan forces me to plan ahead for each meal, and to always have healthy snacks with me. Tonight I will be making crock pot sweet potato soup, poor man’s paella, and collard greens. I have loved learning about all the nutritional values of different foods. Basically, kale and collards are king as far as nutrition goes

-I have lost 3 pounds (woohoo!)

-I feel SO much better waking up in the morning. Getting out of bed is easier and I feel a lot more excited to take on the day

I’m not going to lie, I thought I would start this vegan diet and hate it. I thought I would dream about cheddar, fantasize about muenster, and cry over swiss. I thought I would see a cheeseburger and think “damn this diet!!!!” The truth? I don’t miss the animal products at all. It is really surprising to me, I’m wondering if other people have had similar experiences so soon after starting a vegan diet? Clearly, my body is liking it.

The other night I made a crock pot ratatouille that was out of this world. I have eaten it every day for four days and am still not sick of it! It is PACKED full of veggies and tastes way too good to be healthy. Try it out!

Crock Pot Ratatouille

Ingredients:

2 large onions, cut in half and sliced
4 small zucchini, sliced
3 small yellow squash, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large red bell peppers, diced
Fresh bunch of Asparagus, cut up
3 celery stalks, diced
1 large can (28 oz) of petite diced tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (I used dried)
drizzle of olive oil
red pepper flakes, to spice it up

Directions:

Layer half the vegetables in a large crock pot in the following order: onion, squash, zucchini, garlic, red peppers, celery, asparagus, tomatoes.
Next sprinkle half the basil, oregano, sugar, parsley, salt and pepper on the veggies.
Dot with half of the tomato paste.
Repeat layering process with remaining vegetables, spices and tomato paste.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours.
Place in serving bowl and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Refrigerate to store.
May freeze up to 6 weeks.

I am not sure why they tell you the order in which to layer the veggies, I didn’t follow it exactly and it turned out just fine. I just put the tomato paste and olive oil on the very top :)

Image stole from the interwebs

Image stole from the interwebs, but it comes out looking just like this!

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25 thoughts on “Not What I Expected

  1. Glad you like it :) I found it was way easier than most people think to make the transition. Cheese was easy to give up. IMHO the fat & salt content makes it addictive, but once you find a substitute for those 2 things its no worries (my go to was tomato & avocado). Keep at it :)

    • Yeah, I’ve never tried it before because it sounded SO hard! I always thought “what the heck do vegans eat?!” On this diet, I’ve tried several new foods in the past five days, ones I had ignored before because they weren’t as convenient as packaged cheese and meat. It’s weird too, the thought of eating meat/cheese does NOT sound appetizing. So interesting! How long have you been vegan?

      • PS I’m an avocado/tomato person too, MMMmmmMM! Just ate my favorite vegan meal at Chiptole today: big bowl filled with tomatoes, fajita veggies, lettuce, and guacamole!

      • 11 months. I thought I’d try it for a month just to see if I could do it. Then I thought ill keep at it but not be too hard on myself if I mess up. But its something I believe in for my health, for the environment & for the animals. When it comes down to the choice I prefer vegan every time. As far as convenience, how hard is it to eat fruit & veg? You don’t even have to cook most of it! Its only hard when people want to eat out at a place that doesn’t have vegan options.

      • That’s exactly how I’ve heard you are supposed to do it. Set short term goals, because just saying “I’m going to be vegan for the rest of my life” sounds really intimidating and horrifying haha! When you take it a moth, week, or even day at a time it’s much easier. I have a feeling I will be just like you and may not WANT to go back. We will see. When you do eat meat after not having it for so long do you feel sick?

  2. Your post makes me want to eat cherry Poptarts. Very badly. As if all the processed sugar and fruit-like substance can cleanse me from hearing about the benefits of healthy eating.

  3. I, too, just made the decision to go vegan, although I’m not attempting to do the overnight thing (that would require throwing out a lot of stuff). I’m hoping that once it’s all switched over I’ll stop being so hungry because if anything I’m *more* hungry without dairy in my diet.

    That recipe looks amazing, I’ll have to try it sometime! I definitely have a few vegan recipe books on the Christmas wishlist this year!

    • Yeah, some people say they have a lot more success doing it slowly anyway! What have you started cutting out? Have you noticed a difference in how you feel? I will be really curious to see if your appetite is curbed also when you cut out all dairy/meat completely. It’s the weirdest thing ever! I was seriously a human garbage disposal before.

      And you will LOVE that recipe, it is serioulsy amazing! Have you read the book Skinny Bitch? If you can tolerate some (errr a lot of) cursing, I heard it’s a pretty awesome book, talking about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle. I’ts on my Christmas list!

      • Actually I’ve been (mostly) vegetarian for awhile, so mostly what’s being cut now is dairy and eggs. Yesterday was the last of the milk, and it’ll take awhile to finish the cheese and ice cream, but after that…As for feeling differently, I think it’ll take more time (and perhaps actually having everything cut out). That’s really cool that your appetite is curbed! I hope it happens to me, I feel sooo hungry almost all the time right now.

        I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard of it–I was a bit put off by the mixing cake mix with soda water recipe, but you’ll have to let me know how it is when you get it! Another vegan book I’ve heard is really good is “How It All Vegan!”, have you heard of it?

      • The cake mix and soda water I have heard of (and maybe even made before?), but I had no idea it came from her book! Yeah, I’m not a fan of junk food recipes like that. I have read a lot of vegan forums where people say “I got so sick on a vegan diet, it can’t be good for you” and I can’t help but wonder if they were making “recipes” like that and living off junk food just b/c it was vegan! I’m trying to go at this the right way and staying away from all refined sugars/carbs, and so far it seems to be working!

        I haven’t heard of “How It All Vegan” but I will be checking it out, thanks!!

  4. Pingback: Sunshine Award | The Cranky Giraffe

    • Oh I love hearing that! So interesting how cutting out the dairy/meat curbs your appetite and makes you crave different foods. I had to go buy a can of saurkraut tonight because I just HAD to have it. Ummm, I haven’t had it in probably 6 years. These cravings sure do beat the junk food cravings though! I like your idea of doing the raw food diet every 6 months, I might have to take that on next!

      Any tips for vegan eating when you are traveling? I have gotten the hang of traveling with food allergies (allergic to egg, seafood, nuts) but traveling vegan sounds intimidating.

  5. I’m making the Ratatouille tonight….my house smells delish! I added a bit of red wine.
    Flax seed milk by “Good Karma” is amazing.
    Thanks for the recipe.

    • Hahaha I totally agree with you on the soy milk, not for me!!! I don’t do that or tofu! I use to drink almond milk and LOVED it, however now I’m allergic to the pesky things! I too would like to know how one milks an almond. So peculiar :)

      I have some coconut milk I’m going to try at home, the So Delicious brand I think. Have you tried it?

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