28 days later and here we are. So far it’s been better than the movie 🙂
Here’s a look back at day 28.
Starting off with breakfast oatmeal bowl with almond milk and fruits.
Went to the gym and did the following exercises:
Squat Leg press
Felt a bit tired so don’t think I pushed myself. I don’t think this has anything to do with Vegan diet. Just an off day.
Finished off the workout with a protein mocha shake and banana.
Some good old chickpea curry, brown rice and brussel sprouts.
Went out to dinner with friends and had a vegetarian enchilada with some brussel sprouts and potato and cilantro.
This was surprisingly tasty and I should have ordered 2 more 🙂
My friend couldn’t finish her Seitan taco……Azmat to the rescue.
Our table ordered some Tres Leches. It was very tempting….
I didn’t eat it but man it looked good. I did scoop up all those strawberry sides. So at least I got something.
I guess I have to look for vegan version of this.
Another day in the books. I feel like I have a basic routine down in terms of which foods I like to eat. When I go out I’m not worried that I won’t find an option. I guess I never really looked at non-meat options before but now I’m actively look for them and usually find something for entrees and appetizers. Not that lucky with desserts though. But I guess I don’t get diabetes….so win?
I’ll put the intention out there for the universe to bring me a tasty vegan dessert. Let’s see what Day 29 brings.
Day 27 was fun and now it’s done. Spent most of the day outside in the cold NYC walking around central park and window shopping. Nothing beats winter in NYC 🙂
Here’s how yesterday went.
Oatmeal, almond milk and fruits.
Some leftover banana muffins.
Went to a ramen place called Ippudo in NYC. It’s one of the best places to get Ramen.
Started off with an eggplant bun.
Next ordered a Vegan ramen that used tofu noodles.
I’ve been here before and did not have the vegan option that time. I think this ramen did not have as much flavor as the non-vegan ramens I had before. However it still was pretty tasty so I didn’;t regret getting it.
Closed off evening with lentils and spinach, brown rice, and brussel sprouts.
I spent most of my day in the city away from my usual prepared food. I didn’t actively seek out vegan places so it was a bit of a challenge to finding something to eat on the menu. But it was still doable so I’m glad I didn’t have to make any compromises.
Maybe next time I’ll actually go to a vegan place and see what they have to offer 🙂
Start off strong with some oatmeal and avocado toast.
Decided to cook something simple: lentils and spinach.
This came out surprisingly tasty and so simple to make. Just fry onions, add some garlic paste and lentils and just let it cook. While it cooks make spinach separately and add in some cumin powder. So simple even I could follow it 🙂
My friend Alyssia was kind enough to make a vegan cooking video for me so I now had to do my part and follow through.
The recipe was pretty straightforward. I made some small adjustments like using almond flour instead of white flour. And we were off.
While the muffins bakes I kept my self occupied by finishing off the leftover batter
Why throw this away? Someone should just sell this ala Seinfeld Muffin Tops.
30 minutes later….
Bam. Look at those tasty treats.
These came out so good. Very light fluffy and tasty. I was eating them and thinking man I can’t believe I made something which actually tastes good. Now I can’t to make them again and try other vegan recipes.
Sad part is I will probably gain so much weight eating these now haha. Winter’s bulking season right?
Closed off dinner with some leftover chickpeas.
Don’t worry chickpeas I have not forgotten about you. You know you’re my first vegan love
Lots of cooking today but it wasn’t that bad. The recipes were simple and I had most of the ingredients. It was encouraging to see how tasty meals may not require as much energy and time as I initially thought. Even if I wasn’t vegan I’d still enjoy these meals. So that’s a good sign.
Now I just have to find more recipes and have Alyssia make more videos 🙂
Week 3 is over. My Vegan trial is now old enough to drink. Let’s see how it went on day 21…
Workout day so I gots to load up on my carbs. Had myself a nice bowl of oats, almond milk, and fruits.
Felt like I had good energy today and was able to get a solid workout and pickup game.
Got my banana and a mocha protein in my Liberty Mutual sports drink bottle. Yay free promotion swag.
Had to cook today so I made an indian chickpea curry.
Ended up having this for both lunch and dinner with some brown rice and brussel sprouts.
Fried some onions and mixed in some cayenne pepper, turmeric, ginger/garlic paste, tomatoes to make the gravy. After that just had to put in some canned chickpeas and let them cook. I was worried about having too much sodium in the canned chickpeas so this time I made sure I washed them a bit before adding them to the pot.
This turned out to be quite tasty dish. So I think this will be in future rotations.
Felt like week 3 went by pretty quickly. Must be because of all the holiday stuff. Only 1 week left. Let’s finish strong. Vegan Power!
Oatmeal, almond milk, ground flax seeds and some frozen fruits. Quick and dirty. Just how I like it.
Had to stock up from trader joe’s
Total bill $89.93.
I was planning on cooking some tofu red curry but they didn’t have any. Was getting late in the day so I figured I just order take out.
Ordered some yellow tofu curry.
This meal was a bit weird. This is usually one of my favorite dishes with chicken. However, the taste with tofu just didn’t do it for me. For one the tofu tasted very spongey A little disappointed by this one.
Fortunately I added some in some Asparagus, Avocado, and Cucumber sushi with brown rice to the order.
Thankfully this saved my day 🙂
Closed off the day with a nice cold mocha protein shake.
Still trying to nail down which foods to add in the rotation. So far lentils and chickpea meals have tasted the best. Haven’t really figured out how to make a good tofu meal (besides my tofu scramble for breakfast).
Will have to look more into more diverse recipes to try out.
Was going to eat it plain but decide to sandwich it up.
It was a workout day so decided to carb up with some oats, fruits, and almond milk
And some basketball.
Lifts stayed pretty much the same as before. Will have to push myself harder next time. Gotta get them gains.
A protein shake.
Leftover tofu scramble with brown rice and roasted cauliflower.
Pretty uneventful day. Didn’t feel like cooking but since my previous tofu curry meal didn’t pan out I had to make something quickly. Fortunately tofu scramble is pretty easy for me now that I have most of the stuff prepared ahead of time.
Will have to find something else to eat tomorrow. Might be takeout day. One day at a time I guess. See you tomorrow future meal.
Avocado toast with some Sriracha for some spiciness.
So I had to finally cook something today. I decided to go for something simple: chickpea salad.
Had a few cans lying around and figured it wouldn’t require a lot of ingredients.
Step 1 : How NOT to Mash the chickpeas.
This turned out to be more difficult than I initially thought. Started off with a fork and wasn’t making much progress. I realized I probably needed one of those stone bowls and smashers. Sadly I did not have one.
But fear not I got the next best thing….a jar of Nescafe coffee.
Some beautiful mashed chickpeas. Next stop Top Chef.
Next I added some avocados, lime, tomatoes, salt and pepper and Voila….
A good ol fashion chickpea sandwich.
It got a bit thick once I closed it. Me thinks I added too much chickpea to contain in one sandwich.
But oh well. At least it was filling.
This ended up being my lunch and dinner.
Closed off the night with some mocha protein shake. Yum.
The chickpea sandwich was going to only last me one night so I decided to cook some tofu red curry.
I don’t have the skills to make this yet so I decided to use a premade curry from Trader Joe’s.
Everything was looking and smelling good. I was going to have food to eat tomorrow which might actually taste great. Vegan life was looking good.
Alas it was short lived.
AFTER I already cooked my meal I decided to take a peak at the nutrition label and ingredient list.
Holy high sodium batman.
I guess I expected high sodium from premade curries but this was ridiculously high. Especially considering since the recommended daily amount is 2500. I’d easily surpass that with one meal!
I probably would have been fine with it for this one meal but I also noticed it had some cholesterol. That seemed odd since it should not be using animal products. What gives red curry?
Turns out egg yolks is one of the ingredients. Well that sucks.
So I made some semi tasty red curry which I cannot have because it has too much sodium and some animal ingredients. Another fun adventure in cooking.
Overall I guess I can’t complain. I made a decent chickpea sandwich. Will have to test some things out to improve the flavor.
As for the red curry I should check the labels next time before buying. That or I should learn to cook. I guess we’ll find out if my laziness will overpower healthy eating. Let’s see….
And the working week has begun. I feel bad for people with jobs 🙂
Here’s how Day 17 went.
Oats, almond milk, and fruits. Quick and delish.
Gym day. Here were my workouts:
Pull Up Assist
Bench went slightly down in terms of reps. But pull ups getting better. Guess my back stronger than my pecs. Gotta even those babies out.
My go to mocha protein shake.
Daal, brown rice, and brussel sprouts
Daal, brown rice, and cauliflower. And you thought I was predictable. Shame on you 🙂
Another vegan day in the books. My daal is finished now so I actually have to cook now. So lazy but I do like to eat so I guess I should get on it. Hopefully it comes out edible. See you tomorrow “food”.
Started the day off with some almonds and cashews.
Tofu scramble with peppers, peas, avocado toast and sriracha. This baby’s real easy to make since I have all the peppers and onions precut.
Daal, brown rice, and brussel sprouts. This seems to be my go to meal when I don’t know what to eat. So far I haven’t gotten tired of it.
Mixed up some frozen spinach, banana, and cashews with almond milk in the blender. It came out kind with a slushy texture which made it feel like it was almost dessert. Still haven’t quite nailed the ratio of ingredients down but adding the cashews did make it better.
Another lazy Sunday so just ate what was easiest to make. Will have to cook something this week so the hunt is on. I’ll try to cook some “non” daal meals 🙂 .
2 weeks now completed. Feels like only yesterday I started 🙂
Here’s how Day 14 went….
Oatmeal, almond milk, flax seeds, and fruits. This is by far the simplest and most fulfilling meal to enjoy.
I just pour 1.5 cups of oatmeal and almond milk, pop into the microwave for a couple of minutes, sprinkle in some flax seeds, and throw in some frozen fruits…..and voila.
I like this better than my overnight cold muesli bowl since I like a warm breakfast.
Made improvements in all the lifts. Increased rep range and weight in all these movements.
Vegan mocha protein shake and banana. A tasty treat after a good workout.
Leftover daal, brown rice and brussel sprouts.
Today was the first day where I felt some difference. I had a busy day and I didn’t get to workout till late in the evening.
I was thinking of not going but I noticed my energy level was good. I wasn’t overflowing with energy I just noticed I wasn’t tired. This was a bit strange since my last meal was 4 hours earlier (the oatmeal). I worked out and felt good afterwards.
I’m not sure if this is because my body is finally benefitting from being 2 weeks vegan, the fact that I had a nutrient rich oatmeal breakfast, I had a good sleep the night before ( I slept more than 8 hours because I just wanted a break) or combination of all of them.
Either way it was noticeable so hopefully it’ll continue. Looking forward to seeing how I feel at the end of week 3.
I used a frozen pack of spinach, 2 bananas, and 2 cups of almond milk.
Aside from the mess I made this was a pretty good meal to prepare. Lots of nutrients and high protein (almost 20g).
I may add in some almonds to improve the taste but overall it was a nice refreshing drink.
Daal, brown rice and brussel sprouts.
This daal came out a bit better than my previous attempt. That or I’m just getting used to my bad cooking.
Tofu Clay pot curry. This was by far the most delicious thing I had this month. I’d love to believe I made this but I sadly currently I did not. Ordered from a Vietnamese place in Jersey City (Saigon Cafe) and it tasted soooo good. I finally enjoyed eating tofu. So makes me think it’s not what I’m eating but how I’m preparing it.
Maybe I need to marinade tofu more to really pack in the flavors. Will see if I can google this recipe and try it for myself.
Days are going by and being vegan feels normal. Even feels strange saying I’m vegan because I don’t feel any different. I haven’t divided my life as pre-vegan post vegan yet. Maybe I’ll feel differently if I start noticing any major shifts. For now it’s just another cuisine I’m diving into and seeing if I enjoy it.
Muesli bowl with almond milk and fruits and avocado toast.
Made some slight progress on bench press and pull ups. So far energy level still good.
Post workout Meal
Protein shake and banana
Brown rice, lentils, sriracha tofu and brussel sprouts.
I used a pre-marinated sriracha tofu from Trader Joe’s. Blehh.
Was not a fan of this. I thought having ready made tofu would taste good and save me time. Never again haha.
Food Shopping : $60
Was time to stock up the fridge with some groceries from Trader Joe’s
Was feeling lazy so just warmed stuff up in the microwave.
Black beans, brown rice, avocado, and cauliflower.
I was tired and just wanted something to eat. So I simply made some quick food.
This meal was ok. I realized I’m not a big black beans guy. Even by adding some spicy flavor with salsa and sriracha I did not enjoy this meal much. It was fine for a one time thing but I would prefer not to eat it again.
I wanted to use premade stuff because I thought it would save me time and the taste might be better. However, the tradeoff is these packaged items have a lot of sodium in order to keep them preserved. I probably would have been fine with this if the meals tasted amazing. But clearly that’s not a guarantee.
So the lesson here is spend a little more time to make my own food. It’ll be tastier and be healthier. Win – win.
Week 1 over and now week 2 starting. And here we go,…
Muesli bowl with almond milk, banana, raspberries, and green apple for some crunchiness.
Quick avocado toast. Can never go wrong with that.
Some lentils, green peas, and whole wheat toast. Would have preferred to have some pita or brown rice with the daal but that’s all I had.
Ordered some scallion pancakes and vegetable dumplings from a nearby restaurant.
Today was my least prepared day as I was away from home. So I didn’t have any of my meals ready ahead of time. My protein intake was definitely lower today. Getting adequate carbs is pretty easy on a vegan diet. However if I want to increase my lifts and muscle mass I want to be more conscious of my protein intake.
I was still was able to make some of my regulars and ordered out because was just feeling lazy. It could have been better but overall it was an ok day diet wise.
Muesli bowl with almond milk, flax seeds, and fruits.
Avocado toast with some sriracha.
My lifts increased. So it’s good to see switching to Vegan diet so far has not negatively impacted my performance in the gym
Banana and protein shake. Quick source of post workout carb and protein.
Some home cooked daal and frozen brown rice and brussel sprouts.
Daal and brown rice. Same as lunch minus veggies.
First week is done. I made some basic meals in batches so I didn’t have to cook a lot. I bulk bought groceries and had it delivered via Amazon.
I’m glad I was able to be consistent and was able to be completely vegan for the past 7 days.
So far I don’t feel any different positively or negatively. It feels very normal.
I haven’t felt any burst of energy from the plant nutrition nor any feelings of my body being cleansed by removing animal products from my diet.
The biggest challenge has been to just get some routine meals down, do some prep work and grocery shopping.
But this would be the same challenges if someone was trying to eat more healthy even if they weren’t going Vegan.
Part of the reason I wanted to go Vegan was to experience the positive side effects such as greater energy, clarity and focus. But so far I’ve not experienced any noticeable subjective changes. Maybe it’s because I was eating a healthy animal diet and the change won’t be as drastic? Or maybe it’s a bit too early to see to judge the effects.
My usual tofu scramble with some avocado toast. Yea I’m millennial baller now.
I ran out of some pre-cut ingredients today so I decided to make a small batch of chopped onions and red bell peppers for future breakfast meals.
Chickpea curry season is over. So I had to cook. I took a stab and made some daal and had it precooked frozen brown rice from trader joes. Having this brown rice ready to go make things easy. Just pop it into the microwave and enjoy the healthiness.
The daal came out ok. It was a bit mushy for my taste. It was also missing something. What’s the technical culinary term…..flavor.
Definitely not how mom used to make it.
I’ve asked my mom to show me how she cooks and whenever I observe her she makes it look so simple. Yet I always mess up. The woman’s a sorceress.
To make up for the lack of flavor I added more salt. Better but still lots of room for improvement.
Good thing I made 3 cups of it to last me the week. Live and learn man.
A nice cold mocha protein shake for the hard days of cooking.
Today was a bit of challenge since I didn’t have any stuff prepared. Cutting up the veggies and having some “delicious” daal for the next few days should give me some room to try new recipes and make improvements.
First road bump but nothing too bad. See ya soon Day 7.
Tofu scramble with peas, onions, red bell peppers, kale, broccoli and whole wheat toast. I seasoned the tofu with cayenne peppers, turmeric, black pepper, and salt. Added a drizzle of Sriracha for a bit of spice.
A quick protein shake using Vegan Mocha Protein almond milk and flax seeds. This usually satisfies my cravings to have some chocolatey dessert.
Lentil soup. Nothing fancy.
Chickpea curry with some asparagus and vegetable medley from trader joes.
Really getting some mileage out of the chickpea curry batch I made. It’s almost done so will have to eventually cook. Oh the horror.
Another fine day. So far I’ve not felt any urges to try meat or have any close calls. It feels pretty normal.
Maybe it’s good I anticipated this trial to be really difficult so I could over prepare. For example I bought premade vegan snacks and identified vegan dishes I could order from nearby restaurants. So far I’ve not had to break my “ In case of Vegan emergency” glass. Fingers crossed.
Muesli bowl with almond milk, flax seeds, blueberries and raspberries
Red pepper hummus with whole wheat toast
Did some weightlifting:
Had a quick Vegan mocha protein shake with flax seeds
Chickpea curry with brussel sprouts
Same as lunch but added a bit more greens
Went vegan shopping at trader joe’s. Here’s what $98.77 gets you 🙂
Got some Vegan must haves like:
White kidney beans
Extra firm Tofu
I included some emergency snacks like pre-made tofu with sriracha sauce.
Also got some Pea protein powder to further increase my protein intake. Not sure if this brand is good but I just grabbed it.
Day 3 went fine. So far I haven’t really seen any major issues. I had already prepared the chickpea curry a day or two ago so it was good just to pop it in the microwave.
Food prep is going to be the hardest challenge so I need to make sure I build some positive cooking habits. My plan right now is to cook/food shop on days when I don’t workout. I think that should be a good enough to start with.
Today was a relatively light day. Here’s what I ate:
This is quick shake I made using Vega Mocha Protein powder, almond milk and some flax seeds.
I had a quinoa burger
I met up with a friend of mine who was visiting from out of town. He suggested we try out a Vegan restaurant in NYC called Terri. He also recently switched from being a vegetarian to being a vegan and recommended we check it out. We both ordered the quinoa burger (though he got a gluten free wrap).
I thought the burger tasted pretty good. It was like eating a regular beef burger but much lighter. I probably could have substituted a healthier bread option but I was hungry and just ordered the default option.
For dinner I just had some lentil soup.
I usually eat more when I’m home. But since I was out I couldn’t eat my normal amount. I ate a small amount of dark chocolate from Vietnam.
It tasted a bit sour compared to the regular milk chocolate but nothing I can’t enjoy. If I can be Vegan and enjoy some dessert treats I’ll be very happy 🙂
My plan going into this whole vegan experiment was to rely primarily on tofu to get my protein. I figured it’s the equivalent of how I ate chicken. It’s high protein, low fat and low carbs and can be pretty much mixed in with anything from rice to salads.
However, my friend warned me not to overdo it with soy because it can raise the estrogen level in men.
I’ll have to read into this a bit more to see of how realistic is this concern and if it’s scientifically backed.
Regardless, the main message was to diversify my protein sources.
He also suggested I add in some asparagus and vitamin b12 to make up for the most common deficiencies in a Vegan diet. So I’ll try to include these going forward.
Some ethical considerations
Even though my friend is Vegan he shared with me that he still eats mussels as a source of protein. That seemed odd since being Vegan means eating no animal products.
Apparently there are other types of vegans out there….ostrovegans. To my knowledge ostrovegans follow all the vegan guidelines but include oysters and mussels into their diet. The main rationale being these creates lack a central nervous system and simply do not feel the pain to the same degree as mammals and other living creatures do.
To my friend their closer to being plants than animals.
He explained he chose to adopt a Vegan lifestyle for strictly ethical reasons. He did not want to cause any animal suffering. And he believes the being an ostrovegan fits in with the spirit of what it means to be a Vegan.
I don’t know enough about this to form an educated opinion. But it was interesting to hear his thoughts on the subject.
I thought today would have been tough since I didn’t know where I was going to eat but it turned out just fine.
Yesterday was the first day of my Vegan 30 day trial and it went pretty smoothly.
Here’s what I ate:
Tofu scramble with whole wheat toast
I cooked a nice tofu scramble breakfast to start replacing the eggs I used to have. I used one pack of tofu mixed with some spices and seasoning like turmeric, red pepper, black pepper and salt. Added some chopped yellow onions, red bell peppers, kale and some nutritional yeast to give it a bit of a cheesy flavor.
Overall this was a light and nutritious meal that has almost 40g protein.
The annoying part right is now the prep. I have to drain the tofu which is different but nothing too bad. I thought I had to completely drain it (which would take a couple of hours). But it looks like most people simply let the pan dry out the water. That’s a relief.
The other prep work I have to do is to precut the onions and red peppers so I can simply toss things in without spending too much time in getting things ready.
This was a pretty basic dish to make. I followed this recipe.
But since I eat a lot and don’t want to spend everyday cooking I decided to increase the serving size to 4.
I made this dish before and thought it was delicious. This time however it was less impressive and that could be because my ingredients weren’t portioned properly. Will experiment with this but at least I have 2 days of chickpeas.
Carrots with Hummus.
Snacking will be an area I need to improve on in case I get emergency needs to eat something non vegan. Having carrots with hummus is pretty simple and straightforward. It’s also yummy.
Sushi – Avocado, Asparagus, Cucumber with brown rice
For dinner I went out with my friends. I told them I will be eating Vegan food only for the net 30 days so we decided to go to a sushi place.
I don’t want to become one of those people who make it more difficult for their friends to find places to eat. I was already a picky eater but now I’ve added the Vegan layer to it.
So far no problems and I don’t expect this to be a major issue for now.
Overall my first vegan day went fine. I’ve done a a full vegan day here and now so it wasn’t anything new. Just have to repeat the process and optimize a few things like having recipes and food prepared in good quantity.