Well today wraps up two full weeks of livin la vida loca! I mean Vegan. Same thing ;). It’s starting to feel pretty normal now. I feel amazing internally (this is the healthiest I have ever eaten in my life) and externally (I’ve lost 5 lbs!). So that is motivating!
On day 7, I did hit a huge wall of cravings. I was pretty grumpy that day. I woke up really wanting bacon and eggs (which is kind of strange because I do not normally eat that for breakfast), and then had to exercise some major self-control while I watched my sister and Riley eat pizza for lunch that day. But the next day the craving storm had passed, and I was surprised to find that the Lord had something for me in that.
I had just finished the book “The Best Yes” by Lysa Terkeurst and in googling something about it I came across a daily online devotional she wrote called “Made to Crave.” It is for women trying to embrace a healthy lifestyle, learning what it means to fill our deep soul cravings with Christ, not food. I realized that I really do look to food for a level of comfort that only God can provide. If I’m having a hard day my first response is most often to go to a Starbucks drive thru (or Chick-fil-a or _____ insert drive thru here), or ask Jordan if we can do takeout for dinner. Which means I’m always overspending on our food budget! Instead of looking to God for help in the hardship, I immediately think about what type of food or beverage I want to comfort me. Removing animal products entirely from my diet has prevented me from being able to do that (to some extent), and it has actually been pretty freeing. To have that option removed from me, I have been forced to take my hard days before the Lord instead.
After the middle of last week, things got much easier! Stacy told me that our taste buds actually renew every 10-14 days. How cool (and weird) is that? And I have found it to be true. A huge turning point for me was this past Sunday. We were driving to meet some friends for lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. I had looked up their menu online to see what is Vegan-friendly (not much – in case you were wondering) and narrowed it down to the roasted vegetable salad with lemon herb vinaigrette. But as we drove there, Jordan and I talked about the possibility of cheating and just getting pizza. Once we got there and looked at the pizza menu though, I found that it actually didn’t even sound good to me! In all honesty, the roasted vegetable salad sounded more appealing. And it was delicious. I didn’t once regret ordering it instead of pizza. Jordan did regret getting pizza.
I’m not sure I would be willing to embrace a life without pizza, but in the past few days I haven’t even wanted the things I used to crave. That is really saying something!
To wrap it up, here are a few game changers (for me):
-The fact that wine and dark chocolate are Vegan! Although you do need to check the labels on chocolate.
-Nutritional Yeast. Sounds weird, but it adds a cheesy flavor to food and is super good for you.
-Trader Joes’ veggie burgers and sweet potato fries- a great alternative for when I’m craving fast food! (er… I mean… I don’t crave fast food… eh hem.) 😉
-Breakfast cookies! My favorite is just bananas, oats, peanut butter, dark chocolate chips, and a little bit of sea salt.
My favorite dinner recipe so far this week has been these mini Mexican pizzas that Stacy has listed on her “favorite recipes” page of her website. Pretty much any type of Vegan Mexican recipe that involves lime juice, cilantro and avocado is a winner in my book.
Two more weeks to go of this plant-based diet experiment! I’ll check in again soon!