So dinner last night was really, really good. I made a bean and rice bake out of Vegan on the Cheap, with salsa, chili powder, and "cheezy" sauce on top. The nacho-style sauce was shockingly good and really made the dish great. It is a dairy free recipe, mostly made with nutritional yeast, that really did taste like cheese and had a fantastic texture: thick and creamy. It also made a ton of food, so we have leftovers for tonight to have with a big green salad.
I stuck with my normal breakfast:
I had a bowl of oatmeal with almond milk, banana, blueberries, and cinnamon served with a mug of black French Roast coffee.
Lunch (12 pm):
Okay, so I completely forgot to take a picture of my lunch until I was mostly finished and my plate no longer looked pretty. :-( Here's a picture of the riblets box. They're actually quite good, although the barbeque sauce is kind of sweet for my tastes. I had one of them, with the last of the green beans I bought, and instant mashed potatoes made with the last of the plain soymilk and nondairy margarine. The potatoes had kind of a sweet, nutty taste. I think it was from the margarine. I topped them with garlic salt, which seemed to help the taste.
Afternoon snack (3:30 pm):
My snack was the same as every day this week: a sliced granny smith apple with a spoonful of peanut butter.
Dinner (6:30 pm):
Okay, so this isn't the prettiest picture ever! This is the leftovers of the rice and bean bake from Vegan on the Cheap right before I put it in the oven. It was even better the second day, except for the cheezy sauce which was a little weird.
Dessert (8:30 pm):
Dessert was a vegan chocolate chip cookie from Trader Joe's. They are really good cookies: chewy, crumbly, and sweet with the perfect amount of chocolate and walnuts. I would definitely buy them again, but maybe to take somewhere and share since they are very rich!
Lessons Learned from the Week:
There were some things that I expected this week and some things that I didn't. I didn't experience all of the benefits that I thought I would after reading online, although my skin does look pretty nice and my digestion has been extremely efficient. My energy levels didn't feel as high as normal and I wasn't as motivated to work out this week while eating a veggie diet, which was surprising based on what I had expected. Despite the lack of working out, I did loose three pounds this week without even trying.
I was also surprised to learn how many things that I eat were impacted by removing just a few kinds of food. I also learned that, for me at least, adding a small bit of some of the foods I took out this week actually makes me eat healthier. I don't find eating vegetables alone as palatable as when I add a little cheese or light butter. Because of what was off limits for my experiment this week, I found myself eating a lot more (vegan) junk food, like corn chips and processed burgers, and less healthy, whole foods. I also found myself craving a lot of what I gave up for the week in way that makes me think I might have wound up binging at some point.
So, after a lot of thought, I've decided that this just isn't for me right now. I'm going to finish up the almond milk, which is about all that's left, and then go back to the way I was eating before, skipping the pork, red meat, and junk food, and loading up on whole foods like veggies, whole grains, chicken, fish, fruit, and small amounts of low fat dairy.