So I have officially been "vegan" and doing the Engine 2 diet for 1 week and I thought I'd check in with you all and tell you how it's been going!
Overall, I'd say that things haven't been too bad. We ate a whole food diet before starting this so making all of our meals and making things from scratch didn't cause a problem at all. Instead of cooking meat, we just made beans and rice and a lot more veggies.
My biggest challenge hasn't been going vegetarian, but going vegan and 100% oil free has been trickier than I thought it would be. A lot more things have dairy and oil in the then I realized. I made some pasta with veggies and was going to add a pesto I had in the pantry but it had oil in it. I could have easily made my own oil free, but I was also trying to use things we already had in the house to use them up before they went bad and to keep the grocery bill under control so I let a few things slide. The pesto also had parmesan cheese in it so it was an all around fail, but it was expiring in March so we ate it. I also had tahini I needed to use up in the frig, which I know has oil in it, but it's vegan so it's not THAT bad right? I really like tahini as a dressing and in our homemade hummus so I'm a little sad to say goodbye. I'm hoping over the next week or 2 to get better at finding completely vegan, oil free ingredients. I also had to alter the meals a bit because I didn't want to use a lot of soy. Instead of liquid aminos (which are soy based), I used coconut, and instead of tofu we used potatoes or just whipped up a different meal all together with the grains/veggies/beans we had in the pantry.
Sugar was also a big challenge since I enjoy a sweet treat far more often then I probably should. I tried to stick with just a few chocolate chips (also not vegan) to get through my craving, but there was a yogurtland trip that I'm going to blame entirely on a friend....you know who you are. And confession: while they do have a dairy free froyo and lots of fresh fruit, I didn't choose either. Whoops.
My weight/health/overall feeling has been about the same. I started doing T25 also this week so I noticed a little weight gain but I think it's from doing more muscle building activities instead of my usual elliptical during nap time routine. I've really enjoyed how sore the T25 workouts have made me and I'm hoping that the vegan/workout regime will hopefully produce some good results and get rid of these last 25ishlbs I'm needing to lose. Obviously, only a few days in I'm not looking like the people in the workout ads just yet ;) I've have had good energy, haven't been overly hungry and been eating a lot of veggies so I'm really motivated to keep going with the challenge and improve on some of my slip ups next week!
Favorite meal: Mac not cheese and I added peas for the kids.
Least favorite meal: beans, brown rice, veggies. Boring. I tried to spice it up with the coconut aminos but it was just a bland dish. We'll have to work on that.
Are the kids vegan? No, they haven't even been 100% vegetarian. They have eaten chicken (I made a whole chicken one night...also from the froyo friend, she's been a bad influence on my veganism haha), cheese and yogurt. Things I've cut out of their diets have been pork, red meat, eggs and extra cheese/sugar/treats. I am planning on making them mostly vegetarian, but they haven't adjusted well to the rice/beans/veggies for dinner and haven't been eating really well. If they weren't so stinking skinny I probably wouldn't care, but we have enough time keeping weight on them (Amelia especially) so my first concern is just getting her to eat something that's not a cookie. I'm hoping as the rice and beans becomes more common, they'll get more used to it and eat better.
and for your vegan enjoyment, I thought I'd share one of our whip it up recipes from the week!
Baked Ginger Almost-Engine 2-worthy Spring Rolls
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced (I used a garlic press actually and it worked great)
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 cups cabbage, finely chopped
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 cup red cabbed, finely chopped (you can also buy a cole slaw salad mix and just skip the shredding and chopping of cabbage)
1 tbsp coconut aminos
2-3tbsp low sodium vegetable broth
1 package spring roll wraps
1 tsp olive oil (you can skip if you're hard core Engine 2)
optional add ins: tofu, ground veggie mix (usually in the tofu section), tempeh
In a sauce pan combine the ginger, garlic, cabbages, carrots, ginger, and tofu/tempeh/ground veggie mix, vegetable broth and sauté until soft. Mix in the coconut aminos. Place small amount of cooked veggie mixture diagonally across spring roll wrap and wrap up. Fill as many roll wraps as you can and place them all on a baking sheet. Lightly brush with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, until outside is crispy.