Sunday, February 23, 2014

What happens with a professional baker goes VEGAN!

Going vegan is, well, hard. Going vegan-detox-Engine 2 diet is even harder (What is Engine 2 diet: Planet-based, vegan diet with no added oils or refined sugars). Going vegan-detox-Engine 2 diet is even harder when you work in a BAKERY!

Recently I was given “the opportunity” to attempt 28 solid days  going Vegan-detox/Engine 2 diet. Why not? Why not learn about a new lifestyle, learned more delicious recipes, and see how my body feels. Plus, it was less than one solid month...I can do it.

The days off of work were easy-peasy. Quinoa with dried fruit and almond milk for breakfast; Sweet potato veggie patties for lunch; Kale salad with nuts for dinner. LOTS of fresh fruit, veggies, and cashews to snack on whenever I felt hungry…which was ALL THE TIME.  The diet was  difficult while working. The aroma of freshly baked chocolate cake lingered in the air, while samples of buttery croissants taunted my taste buds, and don’t forget about cream cheese icing, which I can happily lick off any spoon.

This posed a challenge: How to satisfy my sweet tooth without any refined sugars, only natural sugars like brown rice syrup, dried dates, and fresh produce.  Gathering my foodie thoughts and flipping through my pile of cooking and baking books, I made a mad dash and bought a new food processor. My mind raced with new and fresh ideas I have never thought of before: “If I puree it, it will have the body of solid food.” Thus, variations of banana ice-cream was created (Chop up bananas, freeze overnight, and  puree until smooth. Eat happily); “Power bites” were invited using dried dates, walnuts, cashews, chia seeds, and brown rice syrup; A fellow co-worker made “Vegan cheesecake” by soaking nuts overnight and pureeing them with almond milk, coconut oil, and fruit.

 

Below are my ramblings: My feelings, thoughts, and ramblings through each week and a tip how to survive IF you dare to challenge and take a 28 day Vegan diet-lifestyle.

WEEK ONE: The hardest 7 days! I felt tired, sleepy, hungry, quiet, and not myself.  I was burning too many calories and not consuming enough.  All I wanted to do was nap and eat delicious, fattening, and overly sweet FOODS. TIP: Having snacks on hand is key. Meal planning is key. I set aside an afternoon every week to prep condiments, sauces, veggies, and “Power bites.” My overly large tan purse was always filled with a “ little pick me up” when needed in emergency.

WEEK TWO: It is getting easier…. Meal planning helped. Snacks helped. Grocery shopping and dining out SUCKED.  I rarely dined out because the most I could get was a plain salad with no dressing or protein or cocktail. TIP:  When in doubt about food or if you are in a pinch with time, go natural and unprocessed. Produce is handy, raw nuts are quick, quinioa takes less than 30 minutes to cook….

WEEK THREE: I see the light! Almost finished and how do I feel? Better, lighter, my energy level is at one level instead of bouncing all over, and I feel like I am glowing from the inside out.  Right now, the power of food and how you consume it, truly amazes me than before.  TIP:  Ask around for recipes from fellow foodies, friends, family, and co-workers. I got so many delicious and healthy vegan recipes that I will continue using, even after the diet ends.

WEEK FOUR: The afterparty. On the first day of “back to normal” eating, what did I have? Pork sandwich….extra spicy with a couple (natural) energy drinks. Plus, a couple of adult beverages after a crazy busy work day. Did I feel different than before? You bet.  Sluggish. Tired. My stomach huuuurrrttt.  My taste buds changed. Salty food tastes even saltier and sweets taste over the top. TIP: I love eating healthy, but also love to indulge. Keep it a balance, folks. Being a big time foodie, I truly cannot see my life without enjoying oysters on the half shell, fresh almond croissants, bulgogi, chicken liver pate, or a rich Malbec. Moderation, natural, real, and unprocessed is key.

 

Being healthy and happy is neccessary to living a fresh and natural lifestyle. The more natural and unprocessed I eat, the better I feel, the better I smile, the better glow I have.

Are you up for a 28 day Vegan – detox challenge? Try it, You will amaze yourself!

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