Friday, January 17, 2014

21 Day Vegan Challenge

Time moves pretty fast. Before I could get into the groove of blogging every day for 21 days; the 21 days are up.

So, Jenni and I are still vegan; the children a little less so. Have we cheated? A little. There are some marginal animal products in granola bars and in some veggie burgers. But other than that I think we did well. I haven't eaten any cheese nor any eggs.

Some of the challenges: fatigue and time management, we don't live in a big city, so fortunately we're not always in our cars, but we are perpetually busy. We live in a small city, 100,000+ so we can pop out and get things when we need to. The problem, running the kids and pets around, working busy jobs and getting various errands done while still cooking and getting some exercise. It's tiring being middle aged and having little kids. On Wednesday I got 4 miles of running in while Harry was at swim team practice. Harry's dinner consisted of a PB&J before practice and a cheese sandwich after. Mine was 2 microwave vegan eggrolls and two beers. I was already tired before I took him and after two beers I was ready for bed....or was it three? I was beat all Thursday. And last night, Thursday night I didn't cook or exercise last night. Instead I uploaded old music tracks from the band into YouTube.

I would say we have done pretty well with our cooking though there aren't as many freshly made meals as I had hoped; veggie sandwiches, apples, bannanas. We had company on Tuesday so the burritos I made were nice and veggie friendly. The scramble I made for breakfast this morning was pretty good, but neither of the boys wanted to eat it. I made a smoothie one evening with mejool dates and ginger. The boys thought it was gross but it tasted like gingerbread to me. We had a pot pie last Sunday with mashed potatoes. So, that was a win.

Jenni has gotten some exercise in; usually the bike, while I'm still relying on running. I had high hopes that I would be doing P90X each night this week, with some swimming and running. With the exception of running Sunday and Wednesday that was a bit of a fail. I ran with the puppy and Jack on Sunday and then lifted and jumped rope. My muscles were nice and tight by Tuesday and really they still hurt. I had a very late night band practice on Sunday leaving me nice and groggy for Monday. So, Monday was a bit of a fail too. It's hard to believe I used to run every night after work to get my excessive energy out of my system.

Anyway, what did we learn? Do we feel better? I think a couple take aways; being on the go all the time, if you don't learn to make things that are easy to put together, you just won't do it. If you don't get enough sleep you'll also find ways of not cooking or exercising. If you are going to walk in and out of the house multiple times a day, some quick-to-hand foods have to be there, but they can't be the whole thing, and they should be healthy if possible. The Oreos, which are a vegan cookie, disappeared very rapidly. (I would be a bit to blame for that.) Crakers, chips, also were all gone by mid week. Not having snacks at work blows, especially if people are bringing in cookies, cakes, and various junk food. I was stuck eating in the cafeteria yesterday between meetings. I hadn't brought any snacks with me, and then I couldn't pop home. I was stuck with tomato soup, which wasn't that great, leaving me ravenous for the rest of the day while everyone else was munching on junk. So, in the end what we learned is; yes, you can be a vegan for 21 days if you put some thought into it. Will you feel better, maybe, maybe not. I feel about the same, my weight is about the same. I feel just about as good as when I started. But I didn't really change anything else about my daily life. I still work too much and at too many things and I sleep very little. I average about 6 hours per night. I sit at a desk for 7 hours a day staring at a screen, and run around doing various errands before and after work. When I'm tired I exercise or force myself to start other projects. When I lay down at night I think about the things I need to do tomorrow and the day after. So, vegan yes, but maybe we should do a 21 day cleanse of Gen Xer lifestyle next.

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