Articles and Tips for a WELL Life
Our future is a result of what we do TODAY, not tomorrow!
The day before my birthday I took this once a year opportunity to get something that I really wanted. That was for my family, especially my husband, to get healthy! I went to my husband and explained that what I really wanted for my birthday was something that would not cost him any money and would make him feel great! I went on to say that I would provide him with three yummy meals a day for an entire week, but that they would not contain any animal products. He asked what does that mean and I casually told him no meat, fish, eggs, or dairy. He was surprised, but actually said "yes"! You have to understand that my husband has never considered a meal a "meal" if it doesn't have any meat or fish with it, so this is huge!!!
The day after I spoke with my husband about this he woke up in a complete panic about what he agreed to do. He said that he didn't really understand what I was asking and didn't realize all of the things that he couldn't eat. I did not panic or get upset. I explained that I wanted this to be fun, not stressful and that if he wanted to just do vegetarian for the week, that would be fine. So, he was vegetarian and my 6 year old daughter & I were vegan.
I was not a vegan, but could have been one with just a few modifications. I have never had any attachment to meat or dairy, so could easily leave them. I probably only ate a few servings of chicken or fish per week and would probably have less if I was not married and having to find meals that meet everyone's needs.
I can't tell you how excited this family vegan/vegetarian challenge made me, but I knew that it was going to be a LOT of work! I work fulltime, so there is really only the weekend to get the shopping, prepping and cooking done for the week. The first thing that I did was create a meal plan for the week. I went through my saved recipes on Pinterest and picked a few to cook and also picked a few restaurants to eat at or get take-out from. I would have loved to cook it all, but there is just not enough time in the day when you are working full-time. Also, I wanted this to be fun and yummy for everyone and not this stressful experience. There are a few great vegetarian/vegan restaurants locally that I have been dying to try and now is my chance. Again, it's my birthday, right? :) I went to three different grocery stores and would ideally like to go to another one today to complete my recipe list, but that's a lot! Below are some of the things that I planned to prepare.
Breakfast - Cold pressed juice, Fresh fruit, Smoothie
Lunch - Avocado on Ezequiel bread with sunflower sprouts, tomatoes & nutritional yeast, Hummus and veggies and Mary's Gone crackers, Hearty salad with roasted veggies
Dinner - Spaghetti and veggie meatballs, Portobello mushroom quesadillas, Veggie no cheese or vegan cheese pizza with kale Caesar salad, Veggie stir-fry, Veggie sushi rolls, Veggie/nut burgers with Portobello mushrooms, Coconut Curry with chickpeas and veggies
**the key is finding tortillas, pizza crust and bread that does not have any animal products like eggs.**
There are so many ways to eat Vegan, but it's about making the time to explore and find recipes, trying them and finding the ones that work for you and your family.
What I envisioned for the week: All of these amazing vegan & vegetarian dishes that would just amaze my husband and transform his health and how he felt. He would just be so thankful for me opening his eyes to this new way of eating and feeling. LOL!
What really happened: I did not have time to cook everything after work, so the meals were simply ok. Hubby was patient and did not complain. My daughter didn't notice anything different. I was stressed and disappointed. We joked that the meals weren't any worse than my normal meals - lol! I just don't have the time after work to cook the way that I would like to. That is a reality right now and I accept that for now. So, not having meat did not make the food worse for my husband, so that's progress! :) I also realized that I don't have to make a big declaration of change to implement positive changes. Sometimes the best changes that actually stick are the ones that gradually happen and are not forced. So, I am now just cooking foods and meals that are more whole food, plant based, experiment with new recipes and gradually eliminating and substituting with better ingredients. I add some cheese and/or meat for my husband and daughter when needed, but it's a lot less than before, so that is progress! As for me, I am mostly vegan. I have dairy 1-2/week for a few things, mainly for convenience. If I ever miss eating chicken and fish or feel that my body is being deprived in any way, I would add it back to my diet. But, I feel great and know that it is good for me and the environment, so I'm sticking with this for now! I am just in the beginning stages of exploring all of the yummy whole foods, plant-based options, so I am excited for the journey!
"The Wellness Chik"
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