My Valentine’s Day dinner was the first time going back to meat and dairy after 2 weeks of eating completely vegan. To be honest, I haven’t looked back. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t like my experience or could never fathom having a vegan meal again, but I just really enjoy pretty much all things meat and dairy. Egg whites in my oatmeal, crispy bits of roast chicken, a nice bowl of yogurt with bananas and cinnamon. YUM!
My experiences have adjusted the way I’ve been eating, however, and I’ve really been enjoying these changes. If you recall, Cyrus had me on a 70/15/15 diet focusing on 70% carbs coming from fruits and vegetables. I’ve been using MyFitnessPal to track my macros and am doing my best to try to hit that 70/15/15 breakdown but in reality have been getting closer to a 60/20/20 split; certainly not the end of the world! And aside from my oatmeal, I’ve been sticking with the fruits and veggies source of carbs.
I seriously missed my oatmeal with melty nut butters! The basic idea of this breakfast has remained the same but I’ve added some extra fruit on top. I will typically mash up 1/2 of a banana into the oats and now slice up the other half on top. Or I grab some frozen mango/papaya/pineapple frozen mix when I’m out of bananas.
Lunch has definitely seen the biggest change. I’ve swapped my daily big ass salad for a bunch of roasted sweet potatoes and some source of protein on the side like quinoa beet burgers, tuna, or shredded chicken.
Cyrus mentioned that lunch is the time to really load up on carbs in order to fuel the rest of your day, A salad, while obviously healthy, is typically a lower carb option full of ingredients that will essentially fill space in your stomach but not provide the source of energy that your body needs. I’m in loveee with sweet potatoes so this has not posed any issue for me at all.
Speaking of potatoes, we’ve basically been eating roasted russets every night with dinner. Nathan is certainly happy; variations on chicken and potatoes might be one of his favorite meals!
Typical snacks throughout the day include bananas [sometimes up to 3 per day!], apples, and the occasional bar. I know bars aren’t always ideal and I definitely used to rely on them more than I do now. I didn’t want to have too much sugar, even the natural stuff, but since increasing my carbs, a banana is the perfect snack to take with me to work. And sometimes if I’m home, I’ll dip into a little nut butter too 😉
I was most curious to see if I’d notice any changes in my body, skin, weight, etc. by going vegan. In the first week, I lost 2 lbs and saw an increase in ab definition. I was also super crabby, low energy, having trouble getting through my workouts, and just generally exhausted by the end of the day. I wasn’t eating enough.
Cyrus explained to me that my RMR [Resting Metabolic Rate] is about 1600 calories per day and after adding in my workouts, active lifestyle, and simply the energy expended from my body digesting my food, I should be taking in about 3000 calories per day. I’m not sure I ever hit 3000 calories, but once I started eating more, the 2 lbs came back and the extra definition was lost. Was I bummed? A little. But at the same time, I actually had my energy back!
I plan on keeping up the increase in carbs, mostly because I love sweet potatoes and bananas. In terms of noticeable physical changes, I really don’t see a difference and I happen to be much happier not limiting myself in my diet. If I want a vegan meal, great! I’ll have one. If I want a huge cheesesteak [Nathan got one while I was eating vegan and said it was the best of his life], I’ll eat a huge cheesesteak! I just enjoy food and the experiences I have with Nathan trying new things entirely too much to give it up.
It was a great experiment and I’m glad I did it. I think it’s important for me to experience different diets, workouts, etc. to be able to speak to it if someone asks. I’m up for a challenge and I’d try another if the opportunity presents itself.
Food for Thought
What’s the most extreme change in diet you’ve tried before?