Last Saturday, hubby and I were watching a Tivo’d episode of Oprah where Oprah and 378 of her staff members go vegan for a week. It was an interesting episode and I was fascinated by the food challenge posed to the staff. I was curious to see how the staff would fare in this one-week experiment. A few weeks ago, I had lunch with friend and fellow blogger Allison, author of Fit & Splendor, and she was my inspiration to start thinking about adopting a healthier eating lifestyle. I had an eye opening lunch with her and I began to think about food a little bit differently. She shared with me her own story and it prompted me to start making changes. I not only wanted to be a much healthier eater, but I wanted to lose a few pounds in the process. For me, it was a win-win goal!
I am an unconscious eater, not really giving a second thought about where my food comes from and what certain foods are doing to my body. I have the desire to want to eat healthy and what a great way to start 2011! I’m lucky to be surrounded by friends, family and co-workers who are supportive and for the most part, are striving towards the same goal. I was really looking forward to making these changes!
After my lunch with Allison I started to cut back on red meat and was eating more fish and chicken. I love veggies and fruit so incorporating these into my diet wasn’t a big deal–I’m just eating more of it now. I’ve been drinking tea since I was a kid but am now focused on drinking more herbal green tea instead. I’m also drinking more water. I’m trying to eat regular meals, especially during the day before I get home from work. Organic oatmeal and hot green tea start my day. I munch on dried cranberries or almonds mid-day and for lunch, I’ll have a salad or a fish dish. Mid-afternoon might be a cup of popcorn or Kashi granola bar. I go to Whole Foods at least once a week and pick up snacks to last me the week. I also love their salad bar so I try to go their for lunch at least twice week. I have to admit, I do get tempted but my will power wins out and I’m able to walk past the dessert counter, the potato chips, and the coffee bar. I always try to keep in the forefront of my mind the end result. I not only want to feel good, I want to look good!
So back to Oprah’s vegan challenge. After watching the program, I felt that I could do this and also take the 7-day challenge. For those of you who don’t know, going vegan doesn’t mean being vegetarian–it means refraining from eating foods that come from animals. This includes eggs, milk, cheese, and meat (of course). If you think about it, just about everything we eat (those of us who are not vegetarian or vegans) come from an animal, or are refined, reprocessed, etc.
I asked hubby if he’d do the vegan challenge with me and he agreed. I didn’t want to immediately jump into it because I felt that I needed to be further educated. Watching the one-hour program inspired me, but I wanted more information. So I downloaded Kathy Freston’s book, Veganist, on my iPad and began reading. I also downloaded Kathy’s other bestseller, The Quantum Wellness Cleanse for even more inspiration. What I liked about the Veganist is that the book provides additional resources for even more information and a shopping list section, broken down by where to go, such as the big chain grocery store, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. It takes the guesswork out of what to buy and is super helpful when I’m at the grocery store. I’m unfamiliar with vegan brands but thankfully, when it comes to veggies and fruits–it’s a no brainer. Every little bit helps, right? I also started to write down what I eat and I’m also reading labels a little bit more carefully. I’m going to lean into veganism but I do want to be honest. I do enjoy meat and probably won’t give it up completely, but will only have it sparingly. But I’m willing to give it a try and am looking forward to the challenge and experience. I’m shuffling over to the scale now…yikes!