My 1 Month ‘Vegan Challenge’

 

I heard January isn’t a good month to set New Year’s resolutions, and start new eating/workout habits, simply because your body is already out of whack! You just had Turkey Day, December came and you relaxed over Christmas break New Year’s – therefore you were probably off work, hanging out late, and/or stuffing your face with holiday potluck for a few weeks straight! So in a sense your body needs to be able to get back to its regular schedule first; and adding a major change may not be so effective. So I thought February was the perfect month to do the ‘Vegan Challenge’! – Plus it’s the shortest month of the year 😉 Lol.

I was apprehensive about the “vegan thing” because not only can’t you eat meat (including seafood, eggs and anything from an animal!), but you can’t have DAIRY! I luuuv dairy! I eat ice cream, whip cream, CHEESE, and MILK almost every day! Lol Oh and not to mention, that includes MILK chocolate! :/ AHH! And might I add, it gets expensive! …But I sucked it up, and decided to try it out anyway. It was nice not doing it alone. Edward got me on board, and we did it together! Overall, it was a pretty decent experience. Would I ever “go vegan” forever? Nah, prolly not. Let me explain…

The first week was smooth. Everything was planned out. It was easier to just have each meal prepared for the day. But, that ended quickly – haha! In my opinion, it takes so much time & thought. Sometimes you just wanna eat whatever you feel like at that moment! (FREEDOM!) – Fortunately, I found myself eating LOTS of veggies 🙂 lots of beans & rice and any pasta or Mexican dishes. Another thing I noticed right away was that after a meal, I wasn’t feeling sleepy. Lol I ate good sized proportions of food, was satisfied, and could get up right afterward to go move around! (Depending on what I eat or how much I eat, I can take a nap afterwards – that’s the best sleep isn’t it?!) But I didn’t feel super full or drowsy, so that was great. I noticed my stomach didn’t blow up after dinner! Lol I could still hold my stomach tight and see my abs! Meals felt lighter than usual. I ate snacks throughout the day too (something I do anyway). But this time, I think I was more conscious of WHAT I was snacking on. No more milk chocolate candy bars, desserts with dairy in them – I stuck to peanut butter & crackers, and fruit!

I remember one night I was cooking din din, and I was munching at the same time. (I do that often – SN: I have to make sure I’m not hungry while cooking & before I grocery shop! lol SMH) Anyway, I ended up finishing off a bag of Lays Baked Chips. I’m so used to just grabbing the first thing I see, a cookie or something to hold me over. And now I had to be mindful of the ingredients.  I had to be picky about what I bought at the store, read labels, and KNOW what they meant! (That’s something I should have been doing anyway.)

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m really not a picky eater guys. I’ve never been that girl who counts calories, or sticks to the serving size – but I do think it’s important to keep a balance. I’m gonna have times where I pig out, but I know I can’t make it a habit. I think it’s cool to try new things to see what works for ME. I should know what goes into my body, right? Not just food, but hair products, make up, & body products as well! I wanna know what affects my body, skin,  appearance, my spirit, mentality, my vocals & overall health. Let’s face it, I’m in a new environment, I’m an athlete, and I’m getting older! Lol Over time, things change. I just wanna be happy, healthy, live long and be able to do what I love forever – so I gotta be smart. And be aware.

Along with the vegan challenge, I started a reading plan. I always had the bible apps on my phone, but never realized how much they can do! I downloaded the “21 Day Fast” reading plan for the month. Now I didn’t feel that changing my diet was a “spiritual fast” but I did still want to be guided and learn something from the diet change. I love to reflect on everything, so this was another opportunity to do so. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just eating healthier, but practicing healthy life choices too…

As a singer, I found it VERY beneficial to eat vegan foods. Vegan cheese, soy milk, & other products came in handy because I never had to worry about what I ate before rehearsing. (SN: Some foods/drinks can irritate your vocal cords.) Now I know that I DO have options! I can eat the same meals I like, just vegan style, before I have a show. I learned some new recipes and new foods to eat: Tofu, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kale, tomato wraps, bean burgers, & crumbles (meat substitutes which taste just like ground turkey lol). BOTTOM LINE: You can STILL make fulfilling meals when eating vegan. And surprisingly, I wasn’t craving a whole bunch of burgers, heavy meats and fatty foods that I was craving at the beginning of the month! (But it did get difficult to think of new meals. I got bored and had been craving shrimp! Lol) I’m glad it’s over…

I have no desire to become a vegan, but I will DEFINITELY implement some of the foods/meals into my diet. I love variety! And as long as it’s good, I’ll eat it! Overall my vegan experience was cool – I allowed the diet & daily scriptures to spill over into other aspects of my life. Nourishment is more than just the food we eat. 🙂

~AshleYYY

*PS… Check out some of my favorite vegan meals below! Any questions, suggestions, or feedback? – Hit me up! I want to know your thoughts. Feel free to share your experiences with me too! Until next time, Happy Eating & Happy Living!!

 

I ate lots of taco-like dishes. Dairy-free vanilla bean ice-cream wasn’t bad either!

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Bean burgers were one of my faves!! You can actually mix lots of different ingredients to make a good burger, and you easily forget it’s not meat! * Oatmeal w/ nuts & fruit * Homemade Apple Pie Pizza! mmh 🙂

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My first time cooking Tofu – it’s great mixed w/ vegetables! * Meatless Hot Dogs * One day at the mall, we couldn’t find anything to eat but a meatless/mayo free sub from Jimmy John’s & french fries from Checkers! lol

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The Soul Vegetarian Restaurant here in ATL serves great food! I LOVED IT!! OMG – Barbecue Tofu!! Mmh 🙂

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Garbanzo Bean Burger – OMG it was delicious, and I was full!

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Thanks for reading!!