Monday, July 22, 2013

Mini Goal - Vegan Challenge

Reading archived blog posts on ZenHabits, I came across Leo's 7-Day Vegan Challenge.

Not necessarily looking to go vegan full-time, I was curious what it would feel like to only be able to eat vegan dishes.

So I'm taking the challenge!! (Or my version of it anyways...)


My wife and I have kicked around the idea of going vegetarian (maybe 99% vegetarian, I still love a great steak!) but we haven't taken the leap yet. I'm not sure I could completely remove milk, cheese, and eggs from my diet (especially eggs), so trying vegan is definitely a temporary endeavor.

Our love for meat has dwindled in the past several years.

While growing up in Wyoming, the staple food was fresh meat (beef, pork, chicken, deer, elk, etc.) with a big side of potatoes and a small side of vegetables. Eating meat was like drinking water. You have it with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snack on jerky. Yum!

When we moved to Hawaii, we started dropping the red meat (mostly for the cost and low quality) and adding seafood (an island, go figure). We also learned how to cook several Asian vegetarian dishes - we had no idea vegetables could taste so good.

Then came Portland, Oregon. The home of the rebellious. Where there are more vegetarian and vegan restaurants (and food carts) then in all of Wyoming and Hawaii combined (I'm making this up but I would still bet on it). Here we took cooking classes (learning even more veggie only dishes), met friends who are very diligent about knowing what they eat, and ate from vegetarian food carts.  We also took a trip to Thailand - eating only vegetarian dishes for three days straight at an elephant refuge.

Our phase out of meat has led to recent discussions about going (99%) vegetarian, since we practically already are!

The Challenge

I asked my wife if she was interested in doing the challenge with me and she said 'yes'. It would have been extremely difficult if she would have said 'no', so thank goodness!

We decided to try for six days (maybe seven?) in a row, kicking off on Saturday, July 20th.

Since this was my idea, and the fact that I'm still thankful my wife said 'yes', I planned the menu for the six days. Planning was a 'must do', this way there is no worry about what we can and cannot eat, not having the right food in the house, or whether a specific restaurant has a vegan option.  We can just cook and eat!

The menu building was easy - there are lots of great resources out there, starting with Leo's 7-Day Vegan Challenge site.

Next came the shopping list. Broken out in to two buying trips - so everything would stay fresh.

And lastly, preparing the house for the 'new' food. Since this was a limited time event, we just moved all of our 'bad' food into the corner of the pantry and refrigerator. The hope is 'out of sight, out of mind'. (I did the same today with all of my office snacks - stuck them in the bottom drawer.)

Two Days In

So far, so good...

Are you vegan or trying to be? What has been the hardest change?

Yours in exploiting life!

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