Days 12-23

I’m back! I don’t think I’m a very good blogger. Everytime I start a diary, I have the first 10 pages filled out, and then I have about a 5 month gap before I have the next 10 entries. =/

Over the past 10 days, we’ve had more social outings (birthday dinners, fundraising dinner, happy hour) and so we’ve had some meats and cheeses. Still a lot less than we had before we started the diet. Some of the things we had (individually or together) were 2 slices of veggie pizza, 1/4 of a kobe beef burger, nachos with tiny bits of duck, my hubby went to a boys BBQ outing and had hot dogs, etc. In any case, here are photos of some of the vegan yummies we’ve made or had out at dinner.

One morning, I was out and wanted to see what vegan options were available near my work. I went to two different coffee shops and each only had 1 item. Here is an apple bread and it was $2.75. Comparable to something at Starbucks.

This vegan cookie at another coffee shop cost $2.25. Whew! It was okay. I wouldn’t purchase again.

This is mushroom and Chinese spinach over whole grain soba noodles. It was a recipe from the Engine 2 book. Unfortunately, it looks a lot better than it tasted. I think I will make it with veggie broth next time so that it’s soupy.

Here’s one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast when I don’t have the Rip’s Big Bowl. Soy yogurt, berries (or bananas) with Grape Nuts.

One day, I needed a quickie lunch so I just did nut butter with sliced bananas on toasted whole grain bread. Another easy fave. All too often, I eat half the meal before I remember to take a photo. =P

Okay, so this was dinner out and it was a treat! We went to a local Mexican restaurant and ordered the guacamole (made at the table) with a veggie fajita. Mmm! This is the prep station for the guacamole.

Beautiful….and DELICIOUS!!! Though, a small set back….is the huge basket of corn tortilla chips we had with it.

Mmm, veggie fajita came out on a hot skillet.

So one day, I went out to Chinatown in NYC to have lunch with my mom. It was my first time out to the city since trying the vegan diet. We struggled a bit with where to eat because we usually have dim sum…loaded with oily or fried meat or seafood dishes. We went to a vegetarian Chinese restaurant, one that had been around for 20+ years and I have passed by it hundreds of times but never noticed it. It was a very interesting experience and I liked it! Here are some appetizers we tried.

On the left is a quad of flavored gluten or tofu (curry, sweet and sour, black bean and garlic). On the right is tofu skin.

Here we have a medley of Chinese vegetables in a hot pot with a side of brown rice. Plain and simple.

In the middle of week two, I still hadn’t used the head of cauliflower that I purchased from week 1. So I made a huge pot of cauliflower soup. I love it!

Soup with veggie burger for dinner. My tummy was satisfied.

One morning, I forgot to pack breakfast and lunch. The nice thing about the area around my work is there are some great artisan bakeries, delis and restaurants. I went to one bakery and well, the only thing I could get for breakfast was the Steel Oats with apples and cranberries. Before this diet, that would’ve been the last thing I would order, but now it’s something that I would gravitate towards. This was absolutely delicious! Well, I suspect there could be dairy in here but it was oh so delish!

So that’s about it for the photos. Of course I ate plenty more but mostly repeats of photos I’ve already posted and fruits. My week 3 shopping was about $80 and I didn’t go to the market until the middle of week 3 since I had so many leftovers.

Weight wise, I haven’t dropped anymore. Just about 4-5 pounds total. It could be that we’ve been having a lot of avocados and dark chocolate and no exercise. I don’t mind though. I am still one pant size down and feeling great. It feels like I’ve lost 10 pounds because it’s the fat that’s coming off. I’m fitting into dresses and pants I haven’t worn in quite a while. It’s like shopping from my own wardrobe!

My hubby’s blood results came back. He got the blood test two weeks into the diet so it’s hard to say how it affected the results. He was cycling about 100 miles per week over the summer and early fall, though he hadn’t exercised for the past 4 months. The verdict….his cholesterol is down about 45 points from his last test 2 years ago, and down a total of 59 points from 4 years ago. I’m sure some of the 45 points was from exercise last summer but I have to believe a good portion was from our diet, even just 2 weeks of it. Both of our diets have remained pretty much the same the past four years and my cholesterol has been consistently….higher than I’d like.

My next blood test won’t happen for another 2+ months because my doctor wanted to see “lasting” results that wouldn’t be accurate from just 1 month. Also because I don’t want to pay $75+ to get the cholesterol checked at a CVS clinic for the urge to know after the 28 days. It’s good though, because that encourages me to continue to stick (more strictly) with the diet at least for a full three months.

I’m pretty happy reaching for hummus or fruits or Rip’s big bowl when I get hungry. I’ve learned a lot about shopping for fresh, whole foods, and preparing healthier meals without the oil, salt and cheese. I’m excited to watch Food Inc. tonight.

Oooh, and my cousin (25 year old male) watched Forks over Knives with his buddies last week and decided to go pescetarian because he just loves seafood. Now, this is the last person I ever thought would give up meat because he works in a Chinese restaurant! And he loves food, just a little more than I do. I hope he’ll start seeing the benefits! My aunt is intrigued. Maybe she’ll be more conscious of what she eats at her restaurant too.

Just five more days before we hit our 28 day challenge. I should technically stretch it to 32 since we did have some meat/cheese during our social outings, but in any case, I know we will continue this diet well into three months before my blood test. My friends say we’ll be having many more social outings at this rate…lol. It’s all good, all in moderation…and while I am weary of all the tactics of the food industry, I do like the finer gourmet style restaurants which have a rep for fresh, organic and whole attitude to their cuisine. Just the slightest bit of consolation there. Next post to come…will probably be next weekend!