Why is this time of year so busy? In hindsight, I would have picked a better time to do this challenge. SO I WILL DO IT AGAIN and again, and again…! But, for someone who has had multiple birthdays, my anniversary, and just a lot going on at work, I think I have done pretty well.
As I mentioned in my previous post, the hardest thing for me to avoid has been oil! It’s practically unavoidable in restaurants, which I simply cannot stay away from. My job requires a lot of working lunches, and so restaurants, it is. My eating out tip (if going to a Mexican restaurant, which is basically all they have in Texas!): Order Veggie Enchiladas, no cheese, sub avocado inside of the enchilada instead of the cheese. Oh and get black beans, unlike what’s shown below.
BUT…. I did……I cheated AGAIN. Ugh!!! There was a birthday dinner and I was in another restaurant that was not vegan-friendly, so what’s a girl to do? Order Sea Bass! Now, I KNOW there have to be some people out there reading this who think that a couple of slip-ups that include a couple pieces of fish isn’t a big deal – but I am hard on myself when I cheat. And since I cheated, I also had dessert. I cannot tell a lie. I’m back on track though! And I FEEL GREAT!! To be honest, physically I didn’t feel all that bad after “cheating”. And, I believe the reason is because I am already squeaky clean. My body can handle a “cheat”. My body can NOT handle eating like that all the time.
Other than that, I’ve been doing really great, and I find it SO easy to eat Vegan. On the day I started this challenge, I was literally almost shaking at the thought of trying to eat vegan for 28 days. I wondered what in the world to eat for breakfast. Then it dawned on me that I wouldn’t really have to change all that much, as I eat pretty well anyway. A breakfast staple for me is this Nature’s Path Pumpkin Cereal with Coconut Milk. Now, I realize it may be somewhat processed, but I think it’s still considered E2 Friendly. :) I also really enjoy THIS – Vegan Overnight Oats! Oh my gosh, it’s like dessert for breakfast! Sometimes I add a sprinkle of Cacao to it as well. It’s fabulous!
Another favorite staple of mine right now is this lentil soup (minus the oil – just saute onions/garlic in some veggie broth). It is SUCH a great soup to make because you will get so many meals out of this! Some of you may have seen that I even made it for a teacher luncheon last week, but it ended up on my floor mat in my somewhat new car instead of into the stomachs of well-deserving teachers. I was REALLY SAD about this! It took TWO trips to the detail shop to deal with getting all of the soup out of the car. I’m still waiting for the day that it REALLY starts to smell. So far, so good.
Some of these recipes may seem like they have a lot of ingredients, but let me assure you that they are not hard to make if you have the right spices. Some of them just have a lot of spices. Speaking of spices, please, if you are reading this – make sure you have spice spoons! I thought I might have the greatest invention in the world – I even drew them out – and then I looked for them on Amazon – and they exist. So, I ordered them right away. They have really made my life a lot easier. Another tip if you are looking for time-savers: Keep your kitchen stocked with chopped onions and peeled garlic, ready for your press! Sure, it’s a little more expensive than chopping yourself. But, seriously, it makes vegan meal making about 100 times faster and easier.
And…I’m still enjoying my Greenling Delivery Service. Oh my gosh, they make my life a lot easier too! I got a new box today and just tonight, I had the BEST Portobello Fajitas! Why didn’t I eat like this before? Who would want to ruin this meal with chicken or artery clogging beef?
Portobello Fajitas – SOOO EASY!
- 4 Portobello Mushrooms, Sliced
- 1 Sliced Large Onion
- 2 Bell Peppers (your favorite colors) – Sliced and seeded
- 1 Jalapeno (if you desire), sliced
- 12 corn or whole grain tortillas
- 2 Sliced avocados
- 1 can black beans
- Saute onion and peppers for about 5 minutes, until they start to turn - then add mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes
- Serve on tortillas and top with with jalapeno, sliced avocado, fresh salsa, and black beans (that you heated in the microwave for about 1 minute)
- Serves 4 – feel free to add rice or a salad on the side!
Here is my dinner plan for the week – all chopped and ready to be made. I am literally looking forward to each and every one of these!
Day 1 – Portobello Fajitas with Black Beans
Day 2 – Baked Sweet Potato w/ Roasted Peppers and Greens w/ Cashew Sauce
Day 3 – Spinach and Mushroom Stacked Enchiladas w/ Black Beans
Day 4 – Mac and Not Cheese w/ Greens
Day 5 – Savory Lentil and Greens Soup
Oh, one more tip before I leave you – try this Cashew Sauce when you make greens. You only need a spoonful to top your greens. I have heard some feedback from a couple of people who just couldn’t seem to get down their greens (cooked kale, collards, etc.). This may help you!
Cashew Sauce for Greens (Engine 2 Recipe)
- 1/2 cup toasted cashews (toast them in your oven or on the skillet for just a few minutes)
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1-2 cloves garlic, depending on how much you like garlic or how badly you want to keep the vampires away!
- Blend in a food processor or any high powered food processor – Like Vitamix
My last day of the challenge is officially next Thursday. I’ll get my blood taken next Friday so I can compare before/after! The funny thing is that while I know I’ll cheat here and there, I don’t intend to stop the “challenge”. I feel like I should be on a permanent challenge to be meat and dairy free – and to limit my oil and any sugars as much as possible. It just MAKES SENSE! And, I think that is what taking this challenge is all about. Not to end up with some sort of perfection, but to learn what works for you and to discover how easy, fun, and delicious it can be to eat meals that don’t have dead animal and pus-filled dairy in them! (Sorry about that…)
I’ll try to upload some other E2 recipes that I’ve enjoyed sometime this weekend! Thank you, Engine 2, for challenging me to do this challenge! I’m loving it!
Love and health…