21 Day Vegan Challenge: Day One
Last night, I was catching up with a close friend and during a conversation about health supportive eating and my new adventures in culinary school, she brought up a woman named Kris Carr. I googled her and when I landed on her website I was met by what looked like an infomercial for healthy eating — one that wanted my money. But I decided to dig a little deeper and by the time 1am rolled around, I had watched her full length documentary, browsed her recipes and watched all of her YouTube videos. I suddenly found myself sucked into a deep and wonderful hole of inspiration. This, coupled with a lovely conversation with another friend about making an effort to write more, led me to a a realization that it was time to check in with myself. I’d had intense nightmares the previous few nights and have been feeling a general tension in my neck, stomach and even calves, and with this inspiration pushing me forward, now felt like a better time than ever to start to really dig deep and explore the root of all of this tension.
I began by writing. I used to write quite often and these days I don’t really write at all, with the exception of recipe posts on here — but that’s not the kind of writing I’m talking about. I had no idea where to begin and so I just started jotting down intentions — things that I want to focus on. One of the first things on my list is a health supportive lifestyle — food, exercise, spiritual practice. These are all things that I dabble in but I don’t give enough importance to. I don’t nurture that part of myself. So, among other intentions such as focus on awareness, today I begin a 21 day vegan challenge. I’d like to believe and sometimes do, that when you nurture the things that you truly believe in — the things that are truly YOU — that things around you will start to align. Sure enough, I found out today that a friend who I previously had an upcoming cheese and wine night scheduled with is in the midst of a 30 days of bikram yoga challenge. So, we’re skipping the cheese next week and encouraging one another. I’m going to go to Bikram with her and then we’re going to cook a vegan dinner (check out her progress below). I also discovered today that, by coincidence, my roommate is beginning a food cleanse tomorrow. To boot, two friends earlier this week led me to my first yoga class in some time, and a close friend is interested in taking on this vegan challenge with me. Kismet. Another important intention that I wrote down is to surround myself with people who also help nurture my goals and to thank those people for their inspiration, so I thank you all. I’m going to do my best to write a daily recap of my 21 day challenge — which includes trying to drink tea instead of coffee and attempting to drink less alcohol. I am doing this because I believe that a whole foods, plant based diet nurtures both the mind and the body and I want to witness this first hand and share my experiences and recipes. So, here goes nothing…
Did you drink coffee? No, I had a cup of green tea in the morning
Breakfast: Kale, Banana, Coconut and Ginger Smoothie (love this recipe as jumping off point)
Lunch: Veggie burger (Sunshine Burger) topped with avocado, tomato & homemade red pepper coconut cashew cream (recipe below)
Snack: Banana, Ezekiel english muffin (I only meant to eat half. oops)
Dinner: Tonight I attended a previously scheduled Japanese Vegetarian supper club and the menu contained some dairy, but not much.The dishes that Ai served blew my mind. Hands down favorite dish was a steamed tomato stuffed with tofu, veggies, seaweed and dressed with some rice wine vinegar and soy sauce. YUM.
Glasses of water: 3
Alcohol: 2 glasses of white wine with dinner
Exercise: I took the long way to work this morning and walked over the bridge near my apartment. I also walked around the city for about an hour or so during the afternoon. Stretched before bed.
Temptations: Surprisingly no temptations while at work today. I didn’t even want that tiny little cupcake sitting out on the counter all day. I’m sure tomorrow will be a different story.
How do you feel? I felt a little bit tired towards the end of the day (lack of coffee?), but generally was in a good mood most of the day. I drank some more water around 6pm and started writing this post and I perked up quite a bit.
Whitney’s on day 9 of Bikram. How’s she doing? Girrrl, those back to back classes sound rough. Way to push through. Proud. Inspired.
Red Pepper Cashew Cream
1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked for about an hour — although I skipped soaking and it turned out just fine, just a tad more grainy than it would with soaked cashews)
water (enough to just cover the cashews in the blender or food processor)
1 tbs coconut butter
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1/4 of a red pepper cut into large or small pieces
Pinch of salt
Add cashews and water to food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add coconut butter and apple cider vinegar, red peppers and salt. If mixture is too thick, add more water or nut milk of your choice (almond milk is great in this).