Tag Archives: healthy

30 Day Vegan Challenge – Week 1

I recently watched the documentary Forks Over Knives and it appealed to my desire to eat healthier. The movie promotes a whole foods, plant-based diet and it touts that it can (and will) assist you in getting off any blood pressure or cholesterol type meds you are on. Since I currently take 2 different blood pressure medications, it got the wheels turning, maybe this could work for me.

forks over knives

I immediately contacted my friend Kelly from Kohlrabi and Quince. She’s been a vegan for quite some time and has always been a supportive friend in the way of weight loss and I knew she’d do the same for me in regards to going vegan. I was not wrong! I sent her a message on Facebook in regards to watching Forks Over Knives and how I was considering the vegan lifestyle and almost immediately she responded with a huge long list of blogs, other books and articles, that she recommended (I will share the same list with all of you, sometime over the next 30 days).

One of the many recommendations she made, was for Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s 30 Day Vegan Challenge. I immediately jumped on the site and joined, I knew that I could handle anything for 30 days. But, before I fully committed to the Vegan lifestyle, I wanted to read more about it. I’m not one of those individuals that can jump right in and then adjust, I need to adjust, THEN jump. Which is what I did as of this Monday, 6/10/13. I highly recommend Colleen’s site (and I’m even getting into her podcasts, which you can subscribe to on iTunes), she goes day by day and ever so gently creates an environment where you can learn and grow as a vegan.

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So for 30 days, I’ve elected to live a vegan lifestyle. I’m sure there are some questions, and I’m hoping to answer some (if not all) of those, to help another “newbie” vegan.

One of the most common questions, I’ve gotten just since mentioning going vegan is, How will you get enough protein?

Well, I’ll share something with you something that I have just newly learned, most fruits and vegetables have protein in them. So along with things like spinach or watermelon, you have beans, legumes, avocado, etc., that are just packed FULL of protein. It is much easier than you think to get enough protein on a plant based diet, and for those of you who are really worried, I am tracking my food intake on My Fitness Pal so that I can ensure I am getting enough.

Are Seamus and Emmett going to follow a plant based diet?

No. Since this is an experiment for me, I am not pulling anyone else into it, unless they want to. As for Seamus, he likes meat and wishes to continue to eat it, I’m completely fine with that. The wonderful thing is that Seamus is willing to try a meat-free meal here and there, so we will definitely be expanding our palate together.

Will you make two dinners?

Kind of. We’ve only grocery shopped for one week so far and how it worked was we came up with our meal ideas and then I bought similar items to make them vegan. So for instance, on a night where burgers are on the menu, Seamus and Emmett will have a beef burger and I will have a handmade veggie burger from Go Veggies. If you live in Buffalo, they sell their fair at the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmer’s Market and they are phenomenal, they also have a cafe off of Elmwood Ave. Do yourself a favor and check them out! So, technically it is two meals but they are so similar and can be cooked the same, so no added stress.

What happens after 30 days?

Honestly? I don’t know. At this point, I’d run, skip and hop to my favorite brie case at Wegmans but in 30 days I may feel differently. For now, this question will remain open. Stay tuned!

Why are you doing this?

Like I mentioned above, I’m on two different blood pressure medications and I want to get off both. I know I could simply drop some of the fatty foods I was eating but I want to challenge myself and what better way to do it, than by trying to be vegan.

Am I having cravings?

Oh goodness, YES! It’s only been two and a half days but I’ve probably craved every possible meal with dairy (not really meat) under the sun. This morning I wanted donuts, right now I’d love a cheese and pepperoni pizza but I am committing to myself for 30 days to be meat, dairy and egg free. 30 days is nothing, I can do it!

What’s a typical day look like for you, as vegan?

This is something I’ll share in a future post because I want to give you a couple days, not just one.

I’m very very excited for what the next month will bring and I will share my journey along the way with all of my readers.

What other questions might you have?

Emmett’s Baby Led Weaning

Around four months of age the topic of solids was broached at Emmett’s doctor’s appointment but we let his pediatrician know that we had no plans of introducing solids until he was 6 months old. We wanted his stomach to be as developed and ready for solid foods as possible. Plus I knew that he could sleep through the night without a “midnight snack” so solids seemed unnecessary for that reason. I will admit that he didn’t always sleep through the night but I knew that he was physically able to.

I have previously mentioned and did a book review of, Baby Led Weaning, you can see my review here. When I came across this method of introducing solids, it seemed like the best decision for us but I still had to convince Seamus that it was the right thing to do for our baby. I’ll be honest, I was concerned it would be tough to convince him but with my solid level of knowledge and armed with answers to all of his questions, it was pretty easy to sway him.

There’s nothing magical that happens on the exact date that a baby turns 6 months but we wanted to wait until that specific date. Well, unfortunately it had to be postponed for a couple extra nights because our power went out on his 6 month birthday and then again the next day. I was disappointed but also it just prolonged the excitement of giving my baby his first solids.

6-months-7

The book talks about what foods are best to start with and the one they recommend most frequently is broccoli, so we went with that. I was really curious on how Emmett would react to his first taste of food, he’s been breastfed since birth so he’s not used to the exact same flavored drink like formula fed babies are, so I wasn’t nervous but I couldn’t wait to see his facial expressions.

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Seamus cut the head of broccoli into long stalks and we roasted it plain for about 10 minutes. Once it cooled, we placed a couple stalks in front of him; he almost instantly picked one up and put it to his mouth. He sucked on the florets and his face was instantly covered in the little buds, it was adorable but there wasn’t a single funny expression. He didn’t cringe or look grossed out, he just ate. I was shocked! I truly expected him to have even a slightly negative reaction but there was none. At that moment, I knew I had chosen the correct path for Emmett.

We continued to have success with each of the new foods we introduced to him. He didn’t turn anything away until we gave him plain chicken breast. I’m not sure whether it was bland or he just didn’t like it but he just would have nothing to do with it that night. The next time we gave him chicken we seasoned it and he was fine with it. Who knows, maybe he just wasn’t in the mood for chicken; I know I’m not always in the mood for chicken.  🙂

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There were a couple of times where I almost called it quits with BLW because the gagging and choking was making me nervous. Seamus, being a wonderful and supportive husband, encouraged me to skim the book again to look for any tips on how to handle gagging and whether it was normal. Being the nervous first time mom I was, I had read AND HIGHLIGHTED the section all about how gagging was normal, but had forgotten I’d done this. After rereading and see that it was completely normal and even expected, I was right back on the BLW bandwagon. That has pretty much been my only time faltering.

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We did hit a few roadblocks with Emmett eating this way while at day care, but we overcame them with the help of our center’s director. This was the first time they had ever heard of a baby being fed this way and because they needed to remain compliant with many different standards they were leery of how things would go. Seamus and I met with the director to explain the process and the reasoning behind Emmett eating this way and after a couple of weeks things were up and running smoothly. They ensured us that someone would sit and watch Emmett while he. As he’s become more and more proficient with food, they’ve begun feeding him while watching other babies at the same time. Not all day care centers may be willing to work with you if you choose this method, but I encourage you to at least check with them and fully educate them before completely writing the idea off. I promise you, that feeding a baby this way is as easy as feeding them pureed food with a spoon and sometimes even easier.

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This method may not be right for everyone but it has been nothing but successful for us. Emmett eats pretty much everything and we rarely have to make a separate meal for him, so it saves time in meal prep. Plus, Seamus and I are able to eat our food when it’s hot since Emmett is feeding himself and we don’t need to take extra time to feed him separately. The benefits of a baby eating this way are pretty much endless and I absolutely would recommend this to any parent who will be introducing solids to their baby soon.

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To date, Emmett has tried and enjoyed (in no particular order), broccoli, sweet potatoes, corn bread, bananas, rolled oats (prepared), plums, red potatoes, chicken, mini-meatloaf, mini-quesadillas, mini-hamburgers, sweet peppers, apples, avocado, spaghetti, yogurt, mum mums, pierogi, pickles, ham, sausage, eggs, bread, cheese, pizza crust (with a tiny amount of sauce and cheese left on it), asparagus, tomato, peaches, strawberries, carrots, cucumbers, pears, cabbage, corned beef, pork tenderloin, grilled cheese sandwiches and applesauce (which he surprising did not like at all). There very well may be more but this is all that I can recall at this moment.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me!! Go ahead and use the ‘Contact Me’ button at the top of the page.

Friday Fitness

Sorry this is a few days late, Friday I went to bed early and Saturday we had guests in from out of town so I didn’t have time to sit down to write.

Results for 10/19/12 – 10/25/12

Amount Lost:

I gained another 3 pounds. I am beyond frustrated and pretty much disgusted with myself.

Amount Remaining to Lose:

125 lbs

Food Goals:

  • Since I return to work this week, my goal is to ensure I make and eat my lunch

I actually completed this task! The only day I went out was Friday for lunch and that is always a day allow myself to enjoy a meal out.

  • Find another healthy new recipe to make with Seamus

Check! We’ll be making it tonight!

  • Continue to squeeze in the fruits and veggies

When I bring my own lunch I ALWAYS do a good job of getting my veggies in, so this one can also be marked complete.

Fitness Goals:

  • Complete the next month’s schedule

I can finally check this one off my list!

I don’t have set days BUT my schedule will be to work out 3 days a week for at least 30 minutes. I will most likely do Wednesday mornings, since I work from home I won’t have to worry about getting ready, so I can do my yoga DVD or run before Seamus leaves for work.

  • Get out and walk after work, even if it’s only for a short time

It was a crazy hectic week with going back to work. I know that shouldn’t be an excuse but I just had no energy by the time I got home with Emmett, so I did not walk at all.

  • Buy yoga mat and begin practicing again

I didn’t purchase a new mat yet because it isn’t yet in the budget.

Food Goals:

  • Make and take lunch all week
  • Continue to eat veggies and fruit as snacks instead of junk food
  • Create a healthy menu of dinners for the week ahead

Fitness Goals:

  • Stick to workout schedule outlined above
  • Move at least 10 minutes on 5 days, even if I only burn a few calories, moving is better than sitting on the couch
  • Finish the vision exercises in the book I’m reading, “The Busy Mom’s Ultimate Fitness Guide

Have a great week everyone!

 

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