My 40 Day Vegan Challenge

Happy Fat Tuesday!

I don’t know about you, but I’m totally in denial that it’s Lent again. That means it’s coming up on a year that I moved to Austin. Can’t think about that yet.

Growing up, my friends and I were taught to give something up for Lent. Chocolate, ice cream, soda, tv, or other bad habits were all fair game to say goodbye to between Ash Wednesday and Easter.

I typically give up sweets, with varying degrees of success. Last year, I gave up peanut butter. I was seriously addicted for a while – it was a problem! I had 10-12 jars at a time, and couldn’t keep the spoon out of any of ’em. ; )

The last few years, I’ve toyed around with the idea of giving up meat for Lent. This year, I’m doing it big.

I’m going vegan.

vegan challenge

Why Vegan?

  • When it comes to cooking, I want to get out of my comfort zone and think of food in a new way. Plant based proteins can be very nutritious, versatile, and delicious! I hope to explore that some more.
  • The vegan diet seems plausible for me. I don’t eat a ton of meat, and I realized my senior year of college that I was basically a pescatarian. So going vegan seemed like just the right level of difficult but doable.
  • Austin has its fair share of BBQ, burger and taco joints, but it’s also a very hip and liberal city. I’m interested to see how easy it is to find vegan options & vegan restaurants when dining out around town.

Biggest Challenges

  • I have 3 huge non-vegan diet staples: fish, Greek yogurt & egg whites. I rely on fruit and yogurt as my mid-morning snack. I stir egg whites into my oats several times a week. And salmon and tilapia are 2 of my major go-to dinners. Without a doubt, these are the non-vegan proteins I’ll miss the most.
  • Soy — this is an interesting topic. I have a slight intolerance to soy. I’ve also heard terrible things about it – but who knows.
  • I’m a bit bummed that I’ll be limited as far as the Austin food scene is concerned, but I can always go back to certain restaurants after Lent is over.
  • No more Quest Bars </33333
    goodbye, beauties!

    goodbye, beauties!


The Game Plan

Since I think protein will be my biggest challenge, I’ve already been stocking up on some different things.

Sources of vegan protein:

  • soy – tofu, tempeh, edamame, veggie burgers
  • lentils
  • beans
  • seitan
  • hemp (& hemp tofu – a new find!)
  • quinoa
  • nuts
  • falafel
  • vegan protein powder – pea protein, like the one I won from Brittany‘s fall giveaway! : )

The Fine Print

  • I don’t want to give myself an out, but .. I’m going to. I maaaay take a page from Arman‘s book and do 5 days vegan, 2 days vegetarian in order to give myself some flexibility.
  • I haven’t mentioned it on here, but I’ve been working with Oatmega, sampling their bars at events & grocery stores around town. I’m super excited that they’re coming out with 3 new flavors! The bars are not vegan, but I’m going to want to try them before I start giving them out.

    IMG_5066

So that’s the plan! Feel free to let me know if there are any good vegan recipe resources out there. And keep an eye out for some vegan recipes and lots of salad WIAWs comin’ your way.

Sweets and BeetsYour Turn-

  • Do you like vegan food?
  • What non-vegan foods would you miss the most?
  • If you’re Christian, do you give anything up for Lent?
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20 thoughts on “My 40 Day Vegan Challenge

  1. You can totally do this!! I eat mostly pescetarian and I could easily go vegetarian but I still have to try going all vegan. I love legumes and nuts so I would be happy replacing some proteins with plant based ones.

    Oh the love of quest bars! I stumbled upon a few days ago some vegan bars which they say are made with similar ingredients to quest bars only with hemp and pea protein instead. Maybe it will help with those cravings.

    This is the link to the company website: http://www.dnaturals.com/#!untitled/cngp

    If it doesn’t work the company is D’s Naturals and the bars are called No Cow Bars (pretty self explanatory) 😉

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  2. Yay so excited you’re trying this. While I love vegan food, I also love things like fish and eggs too so I like your idea of have 5 days on and 2 days off. I think just getting out of your comfort zone and learning what works best for your body is something everyone should do. I had a several month vegan phase in school and it turned out by being super rigid I didn’t do myself any favors, but now (outside the whole30) probably 70% of my diet is vegan. If you’re looking for protein powder, I’m a big fan of Vega but I know there are other good ones out there too. Non-gmo edamame are a healthier version of soy that arent’ so processed. Also, brussels sprouts have an impressive amount of protein – who’da thunk!

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  3. Good luck! For me, giving up peanut butter would probably be harder than going vegan. Excited to see what recipes you come up with! Ummm just go your amazing Whole Foods salad bar to get your “eating out” fill 🙂 I haven’t decided what I’m doing for Lent this year, but normally I don’t give up anything and instead do something extra.

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    • Haha, Emily — I’d be perfectly happy to eat at Whole Foods every single day. Unfortunately, none of my friends ever suggest it as a place to go when we eat out ; ). And I’m with you on the peanut butter thing, yikes!

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