Posted by Nicole
Well, I’ve made it one week.
I’ve noticed some changes in quite a few eating habits of mine, and also in the way I feel. This is going to be quite a text-heavy post, but I think it is interesting to note the way that food changes can affect the body in as little time as one week.
- Protein powder is kind of becoming my new best friend. (<–sorry Lauren, you’ve been replaced ;)) I have yet to have a “protein smoothie,” but that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying Sunwarrior Vanilla’s 16g of protein per scoop. I use a scoop when making oat bran or I put about a tablespoon into a bowl of cereal. Protein has excellent satiety, and it fills me up like crazy. I love it. The flavor of the powder is really growing on me, now I just need to invest $50 bucks and buy my own 2.2 bag of Sunwarrior to take with me to college in a month. (hint hint Mommy/Daddy please buy it for me ;))
- Water intake has increased dramatically. The chalkiness of protein powder (it’s not too chalky though), has made me need to gulp a lot more water while eating oat bowls, cereal bowls, etc. It could be my weirdo mind, but pretty much any source of protein seems to make me need more water. I’ve noticed this about when I eat fake meat, beans, lentils, etc. I’m assuming it’s because they are “whole” foods, that have deep texture and require more water to get them through the system– although I really have no idea what I’m talking about. I also think I’m drinking more water because I have almost completely eliminated soda, flavored water, and sweet teas. Hopefully that saves me some money when I move back to college life.
- Essential micronutrients intake has skyrocketed. Call me crazy, but I know for a fact that I’m consuming almost double the protein I did before becoming vegan and/or vegetarian. Other than protein powder, my daily eats often include smart dogs, tofurky deli slices, beans, and other high protein sources. Also, my consumption of healthy fats has increased. At the start of the week, I had a lot of cashews. I’m not a huge nut fan, but I’m working on it. In addition, I’ve revived my love of avocados and enjoyed their nutrition benefits in guacamole or just eaten straight out of the skin. Consuming carbs (fiber/sugar) is never an issue, but I would like to find a good vegan bread to buy!
- Fruit is nature’s candy, and I love it. A couple of days ago I had 2 bananas, 2 apples, a cup of frozen peaches, and some watermelon in ONE day. I realize that this might actually be too much fruit, but hey, it keeps my blood sugar up. And it’s natural. And it’s delicious. And for now, I’m loving it.
- With that said, sweet flavors are really strong. My sweets threshold has decreased a bit. I don’t seem to need sweetener in my oats anymore and fruit is the perfect amount of sweetness to satisfy my sweet tooth. Although delicious, Oreos (like I had for dessert at Lauren’s belated birthday dinner) seemed extra sweet. Maple syrup seems like it would taste (almost too) sweet as well. It’s almost like I’m de-training my taste buds, and I’m starting to appreciate natural flavors more.
- My body is feeling a bit different. I’ve had a great energy level, but that could be attributed to my ridiculous amount of sleep and a cup here and there of green tea. My digestion has been kinda weird, I’m guessing this is from all the soy. I think I’ll continue to notice changes in the next couple weeks. Hopefully the smoothness of my skin improves!
- Salads have gone on vacation. I haven’t had much salad lately, mostly because I haven’t found/thought of a good vegan salad dressing to use. I was on a ridiculous ranch dressing and greek yogurt kick, and it’s time I found something to replace them. I miss my salads! I do, however, enjoy putting guacamole or hummus on top of a salad. Extra healthy fats and lots of great, creamy flavor.
- Snacks and “sides” of meals have changed; I’ve gotten creative. I wanted try being vegan as a way to extend my meal-making creativity, and I sure am. Black beans and nutritional yeast, sweet potato with applesauce and cinnamon, popcorn with PB2/vanilla protein powder sauce– for a few examples. I like the diversity.
It’s not all great though, there are a few things that I need to focus on now that I’m vegan.
- Omega 3, Omega 6 fatty acids
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Essential amino acids
I’m going to look into good sources of these vitamins, etc. Let me know if you have any good advice.
Onto Week 2!
14 comments on “Vegan Week 1 Reflection”
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