Wednesday, January 13, 2016

NW Veg 22 Day Veg Challenge & WIAW as a Vegan

I've been a vegetarian for over half my life, since my freshman year of high school. I've written before about my reasons (ultimately, it's because it's the best and healthiest choice for everyone involved), and how I'd like to go vegan but find that difficult. Food is part of our culture, and while vegetarian isn't that far out there, vegan is; it sets you apart, it makes it hard to participate in mainstream communities.

In that last post, I mentioned how I tried to plan it out in advance, and even that didn't work. Looking at that today - that's not at all how I make big decisions! The movement towards a vegetarian diet probably was somewhat gradual, but deciding that that was officially what I was doing was a quick decision, and then it was done. Jobs, moving, relationships, races - I'll consider all the options and possibilities, but I tend to make the actual decision spur of the moment, and never look back.

So it really shouldn't have surprised me when I got an email last week of a 22-day vegan challenge (run by NW Veg) just a couple days before the challenge started (last Saturday) - and decided to do it! It somehow seemed like the right time. 

I honestly don't expect this to be the catalyst to being vegan forever (though, who knows). But I really do want to be vegan - it's what's ethical, it's what's healthy, it's important - but I don't want to put the work into it or give up the things I enjoy. This is making it easier, setting up daily tasks to build the required habits, and it's only temporary - in three weeks I can have ice cream and a quesadilla again! There's built-in support through the challenge, and I've also been gradually building some other vegan support and community into my life, particularly through the No Meat Athlete running group. Abe already leaned more vegan, overall, than me (though he also has meat occasionally), so he's doing the challenge with me and obviously that's a huge help in keeping our house and joint meals free of animal products.

Two of my reasons for wanting to be vegan.

Any tips for sticking with a vegan diet? Especially in regards to (1) comfort foods and (2) socializing?

I also thought it'd be fun to share what I ate for the first day of the vegan challenge. It's a bit treat-heavy - I was trying to make it up to myself, a bit, for not being allowed to have the quesadilla that's become a diet staple in the past couple of weeks! And it doesn't look like I had many veggies, although there are greens in that ugly smoothie. But produce is something that could be improved upon, for sure.

Pre-run breakfast: Toast (Dave's Killer Bread) with gingerbread peanut butter (a stocking gift), an orange, and diet coke

Post-run: Some kind of really healthy-sounding Girl Scout cookies (Abe just bought a bunch at a a grocery store that sells, essentially expired or near-expired foods - he's always one for a bargain, and I'll acquiesce so long as it's things I don't think will kill me; this was the only kind of the 3 or 4 boxes he got that is vegan), almonds

Post-weights lunch: Smoothie with spinach, flax seeds, chia seeds, protein powder (Garden of Life raw), blueberries, water

Afternoon snack: Graham crackers (eh... not technically vegan because of honey - but an open package in the cupboard that I didn't want to go to waste) with frosting (homemade with Earth Balance, pudding mix (leftover from Nanaimo bars at Christmas time), powdered sugar, and water)

Dinner: Pad see ew, homemade by Abe, sans the usual eggs, La Croix (Abe just go a bunch because, again, on sale. I could get used to having these around!)

Evening snack: Pomegranate


  1. I tried vegan when I was younger for awhile and I did find it hard to stick to. I missed cheese and gave up. I love too many things with cheese on it.
    It is a fun challenge have some healthy things you are eating.
    I have been lazy with my diet lately.

    1. I really do miss cheese already. :)

      I'm trying hard to not just go the vegan junk food route of being vegan!


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