Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Journey into the center of the earth

Well... it’s not quite the center of the earth - but our journey into veganism has been quite interesting.

Like any other thing in life - when starting veganism you have to "get your feet wet." The first few days were filled with finding things that tasted good, things we hated and just trying to keep up with cooking and making all of the things we had to in order to stay on our 28-day Engine 2 journey. We did find a few great recipes and things we really enjoyed as well as many things we just hated. Most of all we were so enthused and excited about a new challenge. And let me just explain that we were already eating about 80% vegan before we even started this diet. We still had milk or cheese occasionally, and I sometimes had sushi or shrimp... but, very rarely! Oh and we ate Greek yogurt too. So, this didn't seem like it would be that crazy of a transition.

After 3 days of being a vegan, JT started crossfit and although it was exhausting, he had plenty of energy to get through the workout. We also felt great health wise and our bathroom routines increased a lot (sorry if TMI) that applied to day 4 as well. On day 5, however, JT came home a little early from school not feeling well and when I got home I realized he was BURNING up! His temp ended up being 102. Friday I worked all day and when I came home his temp was still 102 and we headed to Urgent care - pneumonia. That made things a little rough. JT thought food tasted awful for several days and my days were filled with taking care of him, cleaning and sanitizing our home. Yuck. The only thing that JT could even consider eating was curry - so I got it, had some (cheated on my vegan diet!!! ahh!!!) and he ended up not even wanting to eat! haha. Oh well.

JT is on the mend, but through all of the craziness and misery, we've come to the realization that veganism is way too restrictive. We both understand the principle behind it. We both also understand that it gives your body the nutrition and fuel it needs to be as healthy as possible - but, we are also both practical and feel like being so restrictive is ridiculous. It was interesting, and I am going to finish out this week as a vegan (I already went shopping dammit!) but JT is done and as of next week I think we're going to stop being completely vegetarian (well... for me pescatarian... but for JT vegetarian) as well. We both still plan to eat a vegetarian/vegan diet 80% of the time, but we don't want to feel so restricted. I think one of the reasons we were able to sustain vegetarianism so long is because it was not quite so restrictive, we made decisions about what we wanted to eat and didn't feel boxed in. Things didn't taste like "replacements." And, we are NOT processed foods people so all of the vegan substitutes were pretty much out! So, we'll avoid processed foods completely still, and we'll eat lots and lots of vegetarian foods, but we're back to being omnivores. :)

I discussed with my friend Carolyn that I think the reason I tend to want to go so extreme with my eating is because I feel in control when I do that. I think that control is something I crave because I struggled so much with binging in my past. I have gained a MUCH healthier relationship with food in the last couple of years (thanks to lots of help and encouragement from JT!) but, it’s still a daily struggle. I used to literally count every single calorie I put in my body but all of those calories were empty, bullshit calories that I would eat so I didn't feel "Cheated." Some examples are: 100 calorie snack packs, goldfish, lean cuisine meals that were low calorie so I could eat more sweets later... etc... It’s always been such a struggle to strike a balance in food and I honestly think going vegetarian and vegan has really helped me find that happy medium of being satisfied, but still able to enjoy food. I mean, who knows? I might eat meat and HATE it and decide I am still actually going to be pescatarian... but anyways - the journey has been an interesting one!

On a different note - I am losing weight still and feel great. My workouts have been ok - but, I got a part in a local play and our rehearsal schedule is intense leading up to our opening, I am going to have to get my lazy ass out of bed to fit in workouts in the mornings!!! :) I can do it though.

Here is to striking a balance and living a very very healthy life. :)

Thanks for reading.


  1. Good post, Heather! Lots of food for thought. I need to ramp up my exercise as well, I am so lazy! And I agree, I'm not a huge fan of processed vegetarian/vegan substitutes. Daiya cheese is the best vegan cheese I've tasted, but its expensive. And fake meat? Blech I hate the taste! But you should check out those Dr. Praegger's California burgers, they're really good with some avocado and lettuce and stuff on top. Mmm.

  2. I'm so, so sorry to hear that JT had pneumonia. That is crazy.

    I'm glad you were able to give veganism a try. Nice job! Now you can say you've done it! You're doing a great job. It's so nice that you have JT to do these things with. That's really nice.