Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

30 Days of Vegan

I know you've all been wondering how my 30-day healthy eating experiment has worked out.  Well, fortunately for you, I kept a log, so now you can follow along on my journey in exquisite detail!  I thought about editing out some of the poop stuff, but gosh darn it, everybody poops, so it's staying in.

Day 1: Wanted to give my digestive system a little break, so I didn't eat until 3 or 4 today.  Then had a bowl of quinoa with fruit and nuts, two or three bananas, and some home-toasted corn tortilla chips. For a snack after our date, I ate some vegan instant mashed potatoes with melted vegan cheese.   REALLY would have preferred a bowl of cinnamon life. Hoping for my new blender part to arrive soon so I can start going hogwild with the smoothies.  So far, so good!  There's definitely been food I've wanted to eat today (bacon, ham, rice crispy treats, ice cream.....but it's nice to know that I can say to my temptress self, "No thanks.  Even though it's hard, I'm doing this because I want to take care of me."  Besides, cinnamon life will still be there in 29 days.  :)

Day 2: Starving to death.  For breakfast I had a tofu/veggie scramble, for lunch I had figs, dates, almonds, some homemade corn chips, salsa, and hummus.  Dinner was vegan chili and polenta.  I've been eating bananas like it's going out of style.   I've been reallllly crabby today.  Had no patience with the kids or with Abe.  I don't know if it's related to the diet or just general crabbiness.  I feel perpetually hungry with no hope of reprieve.  I suspect my body is just rebelling against the sudden turn for the healthier.  It's super pissed off I'm not giving it all of the delicious less-healthy foods it's used to getting.  The hope is that this will pass.  Nate told me two weekish and then I won't feel like I'm starving.  Hope I don't kill someone before then.  Pooping as usual.  Pretty gassy tonight.

Day 3: Much less hungry.  A little sad, though.  Missing crunchy cereals.  Pooping as usual.

Day 4: Feeling great!  Not hungry at all.   No gas.  Had a tofu scramble for breakfast, a tofu scramble for a snack, some orange yams for lunch, a Naked smoothie for a snack, half a baked potato and some squash for dinner, and apricots and almonds for a snack.  Yeah, I'm an eater.

Day 5: Had buckwheat pancakes with mashed banana for breakfast, pumpkin seeds, dates, veggies for a snack, chili and mashed potatoes for lunch, pomegranate seeds for a snack, chili for dinner, a banana smeared with almond butter and dipped in flax seed for dessert, and a cup of brown jasmin rice for a snack.  Shockingly not feeling deprived at all-- no cravings, nothing.  Just loving eating all this nourishing, delicious food.  Was reallllly tired all day, so the energy hasn't kicked in yet.  Hoping that will happen on day 12, per the Whole Life Nutrition book.

Day 6: Woke up last night with a little gastroinestinal discomfort.  Thought I needed to poop but no dice.  Woke up today EXHAUSTED.  Not unusual.  And I did stay up til 10:30, wake up in the night, and wake up at 5:30 with Lum Yum.

Day 7: SOOOOO TIIRREED TODAAAAAYYY.  Actually left work early to come home and nap.  Intended to sleep until 6:30 but slept through my alarm until 7:30.  Poor kids didn't get to see their mama much today.  Or yesterday, since I went to R.S.  This working mom thing really sucks sometimes.  But that is neither here nor there.  Felt a bit hungry and deprived today.  Everywhere I turned there was pizza.  REALLY hoping my energy levels start to take a turn for the better.  Or maybe they won't?  And then, pizza?

Day 8: Diarrhea this morning.  So tired I think I might die.  (Admittedly I stayed up until 1:00 because of my nap, got up at the usual time.) Not much appetite.  

Day 9: Usual amount of tired this weekend.  Napped both Saturday and Sunday to get through.  Bowel movement seem more or less like always.  I honestly like eating this way but I haven't seen much of a difference in how I feel yet.  Possibly less gas than usual, and I'm skinnier than usual, too.  Current weight is 132.8.  I'm usually about 133-138, so that's the lower end of my usual range.

Day 11: Kind of yucky stomach last night and today.  Maybe I should pay more attention to what I'm eating so I know what's causing the distress.  Liam woke me up at 4:45 so I was realllly tired this morning.  Ate some plain gluten-free raw oatmeal with raisins, banana chips, and sunflower seeds.  Yelled at Soren twice, cried when I couldn't get the cover off a car seat to wash it, and called my mom and begged her to take the kids.  I am seriously so helpless.  After my nap I ate some beans and rice and an avocado.  When I got home from volunteering in Soren's classroom I ate an orange and then an entire pan of "brownies" (1 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup dates, 1/4 cup cocoa).  That DID NOT help my stomach situation.  For dinner we had green smoothies.  I'm feeling a little discouraged because my energy levels are not improving at all and I'm still having gastro-intestinal distress as well.  Came REALLY close to eating some cheese this evening.  Oh, sweet Colby Jack, don't forget me.  Starting to wonder if I should have done the uber-strict version of this diet, the one that cut out  nightshade vegetables, citrus, bananas, and soy.  Also thinking I made a mistake in skipping the two-day green smoothie cleanse.  Perhaps I've been eating altogether too much cooked food.  Going to try doing my two-day green smoothie cleanse tomorrow and the day after, then focusing on salads. Also going to work on eating less frequently.  I think maybe my poor digestive system is overworked with my constant grazing.  Going to try to limit myself to four eating episodes a day, at 7ish,11ish, 3ish, and 7ish.

Maybe I'll mark the following days this way: Day 12 (1), Day 13 (2), so I can keep track of the more raw-focused days.  Just don't think I'm ready to cut out nightshade vegetables, soy, citrus, and bananas.

Day 15:  Only did smoothies for one day, then missed chewing desperately and decided that cutting out all that other crap would have to do for now.

Loved every bit of food I ate today-- green smoothie for breakfast, yellow curry with rice and tofu for lunch (Thai with Loriann!), a bowl of quinoa with banana, flax seed, and walnuts for a snack, and baked sweet potato fries for dinner.

I haven't felt a change in my energy

Watched the first twenty minutes of "Hungry for Change" last night (it's free on their website!) and would like to watch the rest.

Day 17: Woke up this morning STARVING and ate three of the whoopie pies my friend Loriann made us for Christmas.  Had a normal vegan daytime, then came home and had cheesy ravioli, zucchini, and three more whoopie pies for dessert.  Whoops!  Back on track tomorrow.

Day 18: Ate half a pan of homemade focaccia bread at my mom's house.

Day 19:  Really, for reals back on track.  Sad bowels today.

Day 20: Sad bowels today too.

Day 21: Back on track.  Happy bowels. 

Days 22-30: Totally slacked off, discouraged because of no change in my energy levels.  Switched back and forth between awesome healthiness and my regular eating habits.

Conclusions:  So yeah, it didn't work out quite how I hoped, but I haven't given up yet!  This may not be the key to increasing my energy levels (or maybe it is, if I would just give it a little more time), but I do truly believe this is the best and healthiest way to eat.  I have LOVED learning new recipes and discovering just how delicious healthy eating can be.  I might have to find a different motivation, though, since the fatigue thing didn't work out in three seconds like I hoped it would.  I'm thinking maybe money.  For every ten days I strictly adhere to the eating plan, I get $30 to spend however I want.  Do you like that idea, Abe, honey?  I knew you would.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Reading Journal

In the Wilderness
By Kim Barnes

My sweet friend Heidi mailed this to me with a note on the inside that said, "For the next Pulitzer Prize finalist from Idaho-- only you'll win!"  Ah, Heidi, I love you.

Anyway, Kim Barnes grew up in logging country in Northern Idaho.  When she was a young child, her parents became very devout in their Pentecostalism.  The memoir describes how her family's relationship to the woods and to the church impacted her, formed the way she interacted with the world, molded her perception of herself.  This provided an interesting and insightful look into religious fundamentalism and its psychological pitfalls.

Barnes is a poet, and writes like one.  Every sentence was beautifully formed.  

By James Patterson/Michael Ledwidge

My favorite thing about this book was the jacket description, which described the clearly ghost-written book as "The novel James Patterson was born to write."   It was an okay read otherwise-- the science behind the plot was a little stretched, but the overall message-- basically that people are often too short-sighted to be able to make the sacrifices they need to make in order to preserve their future well-being -- certainly rang true.

The Fear Index
Robert Harris

I liked this book a lot.  It was extremely well-crafted (craftmanship in novels being something that I've been paying a lot of attention to lately!) and the characters were engaging and memorable.  It was about investments, hedge funds, and artificial intelligence and things, which was all well and interesting, but I mostly just derived a lot of pleasure from reading such an admirably created book.  It was one I couldn't wait to get back to at the end of the day.  


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