From Texan to Vegan

One Girl's Struggle Through Lent

Day 1: Oh My Goodness!

As with all good Catholics (alright even the bad ones do this), Lent means the beginning of the end… for a habit or food. During Lent, Catholics sacrifice something of meaning to them. For years now, mine has been associated with food – go figure! A girl talking about food, right?! Well, this year I wanted to make a drastic decision after seeing a little movie entitled Forks over Knives. It spoke to the health benefits of going vegan. So, for Lent I thought I might go Vegan but after some resistance about my lack of knowledge of how to properly get nutrition via this new form of food consumption, I decided to do a very strict, almost Vegan Lent. I’m giving up the following:

  • coffee – I know but I still get tea
  • chocolate – worst time to start giving this lover up
  • eggs – the one thing I could eat every single day and NEVER get tired of
  • cheese – this will probably be the most difficult part… no, I’m not kidding. I can add cheese to almost everything!
  • meat (with the exception of seafood) – I told my friend that I’d maintain a traditional form of protein till I learned more
  • fried foods – the first year I did this, I was still living in Texas and was stumped for weeks as to what I could eat
  • white flour/rice/pasta – I really try to wheat as much as possible but this will force me into it… saddest part? Sushi!
  • whole-fat dairies – i.e. only low or nonfat versions need apply here
  • liquor – bye, bye vodka waters!
  • beer – and my occasional Stella! (notice wine’s not included… Jesus drank wine so I’m thinking we’re cool)
  • soda – I don’t drink many anyway so this won’t be that hard but the lack of caffeine will take a bit of a toll

So, here’s Day 1… Ash Wednesday… And, what did it look like? Like a lot of “what the heck can I have?”

Breakfast: Starbucks oatmeal with brown sugar, dried fruit and mixed nuts – yummy!

Lunch: Chipotle – this was a bit odd. “Sir, can I have the bowl with, um, nothing?” I got a bowl with brown rice, black beans, corn salsa, hot salsa, guacamole, lettuce and all 3 versions of Tabasco. When I asked if the sour cream was low-fat, the girl said it wasn’t then proceeded to tell me that the guac had more calories. With a bit of a sneer and education in what I’m actually giving up “Hello, it’s not calories, hun,” my friend and I took our seats and laughed about how creamy her’s looked and how green and red mine did. Thanks for my glass of water, too!

Afternoon Snack? I drank half of a Berry Blast Naked Juice… it was so good and while I wish I had a V8 (totally not an endorsed plug), it was enough to make me feel as if I had some fruit in my belly. The reason I wish I had a V8 is simply because I always feel energized after… like I man-handled a massive salad. Do I like the taste? No! Does anyone?

Dinner: tuna with Wheat Thins and some honey Greek yogurt – that stuff is addictive!

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Day 15: Now it’s already Wednesday – half the week is gone

I love this line but not sure about Freya‘s song… thoughts? Side note: she has a myspace… I didn’t realize anyone still had a myspace… hmmm…

Morning: apple

Mid-morning: green teas

Lunch: two bowls of potato soup and a big-ish salad with carrots and cucumber at Chili’s

Mid-afternoon: more green tea

Dinner: mashed potatoes with gravy and lots of peas

After-dinner: just a spot of low fat Haagen Dazs… so yummy

I’m under the weather but haven’t gone down for the count… not sure if I can attribute that more towards attitude or diet but it might be a bit of both… no matter what, I’m diggin’ it!

Day 14: Tuesday afternoon, I’m just beginning to see, now I’m on my way

This song is honestly from a band that I never thought I’d quote but a) if I’m staying with a theme, we’ve got to keep it going and b) I really like that line for today so, without further adeu, The Moody Blues Band:

Morning: an apple and dayquil

Mid-morning: 3 cups of green tea (it seriously is keeping me going)

Lunch: Chipotle bowl of brown rice, black beans, all the salsas (including corn), lettuce and guac with a water to drink – I was beyond full and didn’t feel heavy or tired after and some more dayquil – I am not getting sick!

Mid-afternoon: more green tea

Dinner: wheat spaghetti with a tomato cut up and really dark leafy lettuce torn up into pieces with some olive oil drizzled over and some freshly ground pepper… oh, and a piece of wheat pita bread and some kalamata olives – bomb dot com

So, it seems to be getting easier BUT I’m still not 100% (Vegan) yet. Dropping those last dairy items is going to be challenging – not because I love them so dang much but because it’s harder to shop for their Vegan equivalent.

Day 13: Monday knows what it’s all about

I love these lyrics… the video’s not the greatest quality but thought I’d include it anyway:

Morning: apple (and dayquil because I was starting to feel sick Sunday night)

Mid-morning: steamed apple juice with Calm and Refresh Tazo teas from Starbucks… Venti please!’

Lunch: wheat spaghetti with sauce, more dayquil, garlic pills, 1000mg Vitamin C and two more teas from Starbucks: tall green tea and a tall contraption up  there

Mid-afternoon: more tea – I use the hell out of those tea bags

Dinner: Vegan nachos and enchiladas from Real Food Daily (RFD) in Santa Monica – it was pretty bomb

I’m liking being almost Vegan and kind of look forward to going 100% Vegan. I think I’m really going to enjoy the lifestyle change – not  the funny looks though

Day 12: Sunday morning, rain is falling and I’m calling out to you

So it wasn’t raining Sunday… it was gorgeous but I love this Maroon 5 song:

Morning: green tea and Kashi

Mid-morning: efusjon

Lunch:  wheat toast with butter

Dinner: wheat spaghetti with mushroom and tomato sauce and a salad as big as my plate of spaghetti

That felt cool. Finally matching my veggies to my other stuff. I should’ve been doing that my whole life, huh? Oh, well.

Day 11: I Can’t Sleep in the Wake of Saturday

This is from a Fall Out Boy song:

Breakfast: green tea – I was a bit hungover so I didn’t eat well today…

Mid-morning: two pieces of multi-grain toast with green tea

Lunch: napped

Mid-afternoon: a bit of Haagen Dazs frozen yogurt

Dinner: wheat pasta with red sauce and a salad of the same size with cabbage, tomato and avocado

After-dinner: a bit of Haagen Dazs mango sorbet

Here’s to eating better tomorrow!

Oh, and I’m missing cheese, eggs and meat something terrible! I just want some scrambled eggs with cheese and sausage with a cup of coffee… is that so much to ask? Le sigh

Day 10: Gotta Get Down on Friday

This is from that Rebecca Black song that everyone was all crazy about two years ago. Meh

Breakfast: green tea

Lunch: beans and 3 small tortillas

Dinner: two fish tacos and a celery stalk

Again, not eating as much or as often as I should but it’s been odd at work

Day 9: On Thursday, Make Sure You Are Thirsty

This song is by a band I haven’t heard of, The Weeknd, but it features someone all Millennials know, Drake. The name of the song is The Zone (Thursday). Is it just me or is it a bit odd? And long? Hm, to each his own.

Breakfast: yea, I didn’t have one – I know… bad! I had an efusjon and 2 cups of Tazo‘s Awake tea

Mid-morning: just tea

Lunch: a cup-ish of wheat pasta (nothing on it) and 4 1/2 stalks of celery

Mid-afternoon: edamame and water

Dinner: cod, brown rice and steamed broccoli and water

Not a banner day but I’ll try to do better tomorrow… I promise!

Day 8: Lift Your Head Up, Wednesday

This one is from a Jimmy Eat World song. Not sure if ya’ll will like it or not. It’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea.

Breakfast: Kashi cereal and 2 cups of green tea but I actually walked while eating it and jogged in place while finishing my tea

Mid-morning: 2 cups of cider – was in a meeting and couldn’t have any coffee or donuts

Lunch: three shrimp tacos at Marie’s with two glasses of water

Mid-afternoon: 3 cups of green tea and a Nalgene bottle and a 1/2 of water

Dinner: leftover Chinese (broccoli, chow mein, shrimp in lobster sauce)

After-dinner: a couple of glasses of a Russian River Pinot Noir from Michael Pozzan Winery

Day 7: Tuesday Came And Went Like a Helicopter Overhead

I’m liking this lyric idea… it’s kind of fun. This is from a Five for Fighting song called, you guessed it, Tuesday. I didn’t realize it was a 9/11 tribute till I watched the video. It doesn’t take much for us to go back to that day, does it? Everyone says this but, I still can’t believe it’s been 10 years!

Comida!

Breakfast: bowl of Kashi with 2% milk

All Day Long: loads of water and green tea

Mid-morning: Starbucks nonfat chai tea latte

Lunch: a small bag of nuts and a small fruit cup… I know I need to eat more but I didn’t have time to leave… crazy day!

Dinner: shrimp in lobster sauce with broccoli and carrots and chow mein with shrimp and steamed vegetable dumplings(!) from Far East Gourmet in La Verne

Day 6: They Call it Stormy Monday…

I thought I’d play with these titles so I googled Monday lyrics” and found some classics but none are more classic to me than The Allman Brothers. They sing *my* song, Melissa. It is *the* song that can always make me feel better no matter how bad the day. On a really bad day, I’ll just put it on repeat for a bit.

So, I had a cheat moment that I both regret and don’t. It was someone’s birthday and I really meant to go to a Vegan bakery to get something for myself over the weekend but they were closed when I went by. I got a Groupon and everything.

I know. Not sufficient. It’s like Dianna Kokoszka says in BOLD, “you can either have excuses or results, but not both”. Le sigh. 40 more days!

Breakfast: Starbucks oatmeal and Tazo teas Calm and Refresh but instead of having water, I have them steam apple juice… it’s my favorite little secret!

Mid-morning: more tea

Lunch: Half of a veggie bowl at The Flame Broiler with brown rice and water

Mid-afternoon: my cheat – a carrot cupcake. It was so good but I don’t like purposefully cheating on Lent. I’ve accidentally done it a couple of times but consciously cheating made me feel bad… but Anna does make the best cupcakes EVER!

Dinner-ish (5pm): the rest of my bowl from lunch

Late Dinner: a multi-fish sushi roll at Miyako with no rice and wrapped in cucumber. I don’t know how they made it work but they did. It was too big, bulky and slippery for me to manage with chopsticks so I ate it with a, gasp, fork. I didn’t miss the rice at all. Oh, and I had some miso soup and edamame and hot tea.

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