I have been asked a few times by a few people to chronicle my eating for a few days… So I did : ) You ask, you receive!
I picked three days that were unique from each other…
Day 1, Thursday ( a typical work/parenting day)
I always start my day with a bowl of multi-grain Cheerios with almond milk. This started in the cholesterol lowering part of my diet and just kept hanging on. I love Cheerios ( I was a cereal junky before veganism, and now can still enjoy since I traded in my cinnamon toast crunch and reeses puffs for Cheerios and Granola). I still have 1 cup of coffee a day, at breakfast, with vanilla coconut milk. (In all honesty, I will often put 1/2 and 1/2 in my coffee, cause I could not find anything else I liked, and figured the world would not end. It hasn’t. If I am still hungry at breakfast, which I was that day, I will have a couple of Kashi cookies (oatmeal/flax, choc chip or trail mix)
I am a person who is always hungry in the morning, but do not need as much later in the day. So often around 10 I need a snack. This day I chose Odwalla green juice and LIFE bar.
For lunch I had Indian Food. On Sunday nights my husband usually cooks a big batch of something we can eat for the week. This week it was brown rice with coconut curry, celery root and cauliflower. (I know celery root? what the heck and I despise cauliflower, but some how it was awesome. There are many different kinds of curry to make and it is filling and spicy and makes everyone in the lunch room jealous. Josh has some super fancy Indian cookbook, but for us “lay people” I would just search for basic curry on line). I also had an apple (honeycrisp, I am an apple snob) with organic peanut butter. The organic kind is still smooth and tastes like peanut butter, but does not have tons of extras like your basic JIF nor does it have a 2 inch layer of oil like the natural stuff. I use Meijer brand for you local people. The ingredients are: Dry roasted organic peanuts, organic palm oil, organic pure cane sugar, sea salt.)
Afternoon snack included a small square of chocolate (Black and Green is vegan and yummy and typically any “organic” dark chocolate is vegan, but read just in case!) Almonds (16) and chips and salsa (I like blue corn chips- any brand and fresh salsa-like Jacks) Have you noticed I seem to eat a lot all day long?
By dinner I am not horribly hungry, so I wait until I am and then make a smoothie and have a few more Kashi cookies…My smoothies typically consist of the following ingredients: frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries, 1 banana, handful of spinach, 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice, juice from 1/2 a grapefruit and a Tbls of flax seed, ground. When I first started making smoothies I followed recipes to the letter, but now I am better about substituting. Sometimes they are too thick so I add more juice, sometimes I am out of spinach so I skip it. Other times I don’t have o.j. so I add almond milk. This took a lot of courage and about 6 months of following smoothie recipes.
Since I do not cook and my husband is rarely home for dinner (he works 2 12 hour shifts and 2 8 hour shifts that typically end later in the evening) It is vegan me, picky Hanna and on the go Abby. I know we are supposed to eat dinner as a family for all the values and such, and we often do, we just eat different things. It makes us all happy and if we eat at different times then so be it. I am happy to teach my kids to eat when they are hungry, not when the clock says it is time. we find plenty of time each day to spend together having fun instead of arguing over food at the table : )
Day 2: Friday
Today I am leading a training from 9-12, going out for lunch and dinner. So breakfast is Cheerios and Almond Milk, coffee and coconut/vanilla milk (I know, we have 2 different types of milk, but non dairy based milks last a long time and I like almond and Josh likes Coconut…). I head to my training with a LIFE bar in my purse.
I knew the training was going to have pop, coffee, donuts, danishes…etc. so I planned a snack in case I was hungry. I was going to bring a green juice, but forgot… At the break I was a bit hungry so I ate my LIFE bar and had some water. I was ready to go. I was so busy that morning that I did not really feel hungry, but by the time I sat down to lunch I was starving.
We went to New Holland Brewery (the best dining in Holland MI if you ask me) and I had humus with pita bread and veggies that I shared with some friends and then a grilled portabella mushroom sandwich with peppidews and a charred tomato vinaigrette dressing on toasted honey wheat bread. I had to have them hold the feta cheese (even if I was not a vegan I would do that cause I don’t like feta!) The afternoon was full of errands and I got home about 4:30)
I knew I was not going to eat until later that evening and I knew I had had no fruit and despite the large lunch, I was a bit hungry so I made my token smoothie (minus the grapefruit, we were out) Then went to the neighbors for some wine (chardonnay) before dinner.
Dinner was PF Changs to celebrate Bryants birthday. We just got one in town and my neighbors and I were super excited. We used Bry’s birthday as an excuse. But b/c it is a busy place we had 8:00 reservations (my dinner is usually closer to 6…) For an appetizer we got vegetarian lettuce wraps (water chestnuts, tofu, other yummy stuff I could not identify). For dinner I got Singapore Street Noodles with veggies (It came with chicken and shrimp, but they substituted veggies for me) I was amazing. I mean wonderful. The veggies were fresh and colorful. The rice noodles were soaked with flavor. (I also tried a bite of my husbands fish and my friends sea bass with spinach. Lightning did not strike) Then the waiter, who seemed to think we were a fun group, brought us some free desserts including the Great Wall of Chocolate and some banana coconut fruit thing with ice cream. I did have one of the banana bites wrapped in wonton wrapper and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and (please forgive me) a bit of the chocolate cake. I was seriously stuffed. I felt guilty about eating so much, but not about the fish or chocolate..
Day 3, Saturday
I woke up after a great night’s sleep at about 9 a.m. I love to relax on a Saturday morning, so I drank my coffee and ate my Cheerios around 10. I had a wedding shower to go to and did not want to make any assumptions so I figured I would eat a smoothie just before I left but I was too busy singing to broadway musicals while I was getting dressed that I ran out of time. As soon as I walked in the door I was offered champagne punch. I said no thank you and noticed there was a bottle of wine that was used for the punch and asked for a glass of wine instead. I noticed others were drinking water and iced tea so I did not stand out as the jerk who wouldn’t try the punch. The shower food was abundant, but after a quick initial look I nothing was standing out to me. I hung back catching up with people and waited to get in line until everyone was done. There was a plate of fancy looking crackers and humus so I loaded up (I was not about to ask for the box of crackers to read ingredients, but they looked fancy enough that I figured, at the very least, did not have high fructose corn syrup…maybe unbleached flour, but I would live. I also noticed a great looking mexican salad full of beans spinach and peppers. It also had ground beef, but I figured I could work around that. I just was not sure about the dressing. I asked my cousin, who made it, what the dressing was and she said it was a vinaigrette, she knows I am a vegan and said “I have more in the fridge that has no meat in it yet!” So I added that to my plate and was very satisfied. The people in the room who know I am a vegan were curious as to what I was eating and asked lots of questions. I love it when I can show people I can eat yummy things and still be healthy. It was hard to skip the scones, but I had no trouble skipping the cake.
When I got home about 4, I blended up a smoothie and relaxed with the family until dinner. I had more of the left over Indian food and was very satisfied all night. I also had a piece of dark chocolate and Kashi cookie at some point as well.
I did not mention, but I try to drink A LOT of water through the day. I am not always great at it, but I do try. My craving is now fruit, which I am sure you can tell as I drink smoothies every day. With a little bit of easy preparation (i.e packing a granola bar) and a few substitutions (asking for no cheese) I have not trouble with eating through out the day!
I did not track anything today, but I should add I had an amazing veggie burger (Amy’s brand I think?) with grilled mushrooms and onions and large pieces of avocado on one of those sandwich thin buns). Everyone else was eating beef burgers and mac and cheese and my parents just threw a veggie burger on the grill for me and made some homemade sweet potato fries. I was in heaven.
So there you have three days… I hope the commentary is helpful as well as the food (listing food sounded quite boring to me…) Plus there is some humor when I give you a view into my brain. Good luck this week and let me know if there are questions or topics I should address!