Half way there and how am I feeling? I am more energetic and I feel more confident about exercising. Veganuary – Week Three, has been a much needed health kick. I am eating healthier food and I am making the effort to get moving! With regular practice, running has started to become easier and has given me the drive to push that little bit more each time I step out the front door. Sadly, the same can’t be said of my culinary skills. My cooking still needs fine-tuning, but it is improving!
Implementing a new healthy eating and exercise plan takes time to become second nature, but I have become less concerned about what others think of my snail’s pace running style. At least I am doing it! I have transferred this wasted energy and put it into my workout and I can feel the gradual improvement. In fact, I have started running with a friend of mine, who is also on a healthy lifestyle kick. Previously, I would have been too self-conscious to run with a friend, but I am now realising that support is a fantastic motivational tool and working-out with a friend is not only sociable, but also encouraging!
Eating healthier and consuming more vegetables has given me sustained energy and allowed me to exercise more. Food is the fuel to keep your engine going, so why fill your tank with cheap fuel that gives you a short-lived spurt of energy, but eventually runs out? This could lead to lack of motivation and falling off the healthy ‘wagon’!
Day 15 – Today, I went to Eliza and Damien’s vegan food and film night. Well, what can I say? The company and food was incredible; any vegan cynics out there would have been proud of the concoctions that were on offer. I especially loved the delicious chocolate balls that someone brought. I need to track down the recipe, as I have to at least try to replicate the awesomeness of this dish.
It was great to chat with like-minded people and hear their Veganuary stories. I felt comforted in the knowledge that others were finding it hard to adapt their diets too. It is great to feel the encouragement and the support from others that are going through the same experience.
BUT, this wasn’t just about the food, this was about the ethics too, so we sat down to watch a film, Earthlings. This hard-hitting documentary had me upset and feeling unwell after only fifteen minutes. I did not have the courage to watch the entire film, but rather crept out and cried on my journey home. I am disappointed in myself, as I consider myself to be educated and I like to feel that I am informed on any matter that I may debate about in the future. It was incredibly honest and I just didn’t have the strength to watch any more. It has certainly given me food for thought…
Day 16 – A lovely lazy day, with yoga and a Basilico takeaway. However, the vegan pizza from Basilico was not good, sorry. The vegan cheese was overwhelming, so I scrapped half of it off, but still found it too intense. Needless to say that I will not be ordering this specific pizza in the future! Serves me right for ordering pizza when I am on a health drive! Karma!
Day 17 – After a slightly indulgent night I decided to get off my backside and went for a run with friends. Despite the naughty pizza from last night, my healthy eating has helped fuel my body which has given me energy and enthusiasm. I didn’t get a stitch today! I rewarded myself with a sensible portion of whole-wheat and vegan pesto pasta for dinner. Delicious.
Day 18 – I ran to Columbia Road Flower Market today and had a lovely time perusing the flora on offer. Rather than run home, I decided to battle the hordes of people. I bought Borough Olives’ yummy tapenade and hummus, picked some beautiful plants and walked home instead. This was probably just as healthy, as I was carrying several finds, including two vases. The added weight to my walk proved to be a workout in itself! Little finds like this make me happy, which is just as important for healthy wellbeing.
Day 19 – My lovely friend Amy sent me a vegetarian Hello Fresh box this week! Fresh ingredients for three meals, for two people, allow me to adhere to my pledge to cook more! Several of the recipes included dairy, but this was easy to work around. Ed was happy to add the cheese to his dish, once the meal had been prepared, so I could keep my meals vegan friendly. I was pleasantly surprised at just how easy it was to follow the recipes. What’s more, I often shy away from mushrooms, but as they were included, I ate them! Cooking more and expanding my repertoire of dishes, is great!
Day 20 – With my confidence building, I made Eliza’s recipe, black coconut rice and mango and had this with vegetables for a healthy and filling dinner! It was delicious. Luckily, I had made extra, so I could have leftovers! I will definitely be making this again; if it’s good enough for an Emperor, it’s good enough for me!
Day 21 – Still on the path to trying new things, I picked up a jar of Roots and Bulbs peanut butter, made with only peanuts. Admittedly, I haven’t had peanut butter since my mother put my hair into pigtails, but I decided to grab the jam and re-create an American staple. I can now see the addiction as it was delicious! Peanut butter has fibre, vitamins and minerals and, according to Harvard Health Publications, “…people who regularly include nuts or peanut butter in their diets are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes than those who rarely eat nuts.”
What I’ve Learned So Far: Veganuary – Week Three has proved that practice and perseverance are key! Despite my initial frustration, this lifestyle change is something that becomes easier with time.
How Do I feel: I have more energy and I can run for longer with music for motivation! My once heavily bloated stomach has reduced.
Favourite Meal: Eliza’s vegan night had so many awesome vegan dishes. Her chickpea curry, the delicious chocolate balls and my yummy guacamole, was delicious. Her delicious recipes are a fabulous incentive to stick to a healthy diet.
Favourite Snack: The nakd bars. The cocoa orange is my favourite!
Hardest Challenge: Surviving this cold weather. Getting out and running in this awful cold spout. My hands are so dry.
What I Miss Most: Still craving the left over Tobelerone from Christmas!
Aim For Next Week: Keep cooking. Exercise more. I’ve booked myself in to an intense circuit training session with a friend of mine. I’ll let you know if we’re still friends after the class!
Advice For Others: Stick with it, it gets easier. If you are still struggling for recipe ideas, check out the BBC’s Vegan Lunchbox Recipes.
*Health Advice: Consult with your doctor before beginning any new food and exercise program.