Vegan Update: Week 4
Oatmeal with granola, almond butter, and banana.
Happy Monday! We are OFFICIALLY in the homestretch of our 30 day vegan diet!! I am actually having my first non-vegan meal on Wednesday night (the 30th day) because I am going out for a birthday dinner and I’ll be honest: I’m just not going out again and eating vegan! I went out with a girlfriend last week who was in town visiting. She wanted to try a new restaurant, Zeppelin. I was eager to try it, too! They are known for having great cocktails and interesting small plates. Well, it turned out I was getting my eyebrows done the next day (permanent makeup), so I couldn’t drink alcohol. To make matters worse, there were only 2 things on Zeppelin’s menu that I could eat. They have a butternut squash hummus, which I didn’t get because honestly I have eaten SO much hummus and they had a collard green salad, which is what I got (without cheddar cheese or bacon). It was fine…but watching my friend eat lobster brioche avocado toast, pork steamed buns, tuna crudo, and burrata…it just sucked. It made me realize that if you’re eating vegan and going out to eat, do your research first to make sure there is something you can eat! Sidenote: my girlfriend said all the food and drinks were incredible, so I am eager to go back!
Lance did finally drop some weight! We both lost around 5 pounds. We both agree that it was pretty easy to maintain. Other than the one night I went out and it was a struggle to find something to eat, we both ate out with no issue. We feel good, but I wouldn’t say that either of us have noticed any revolutionary changes. Lance is having his numbers checked at the doctor on February 2, so I’m interested to see if there are any changes there. He did take his own blood pressure once this month and it was still high.
All of that being said, there are lots of great options for eating out, so I wanted to share some of our favorites!
Lentil soup, hummus plate, white beans, rice pilaf, potato salad, and greek salad with no feta.
Biscuit and gravy, cheese grits, and sausage (all vegan).
Bean Vegan Cuisine. This was my go-to when I was craving something ‘unhealthy’. Their food is delicious. We went once and got burgers and fries and another time we got sausage gravy biscuits. It’s really nice to have somewhere you can go and not have to ask about every little thing on the menu.
Lang Van. I have been eating at Lang Van for 22 years (which makes me feel really old). It is honestly one of my favorite restaurants in the WORLD, I’m not even exaggerating. I have found that ethnic restaurants (like Thai or Vietnamese) are the easiest places to find lots of vegan options.
Seitan rueben sandwich and potato leek soup.
Fern, Flavors from the Garden. One thing I loved about doing this month of vegan was going to places that I had never been but always wanted to try. Fern is absolutely delicious and I would go back in a heartbeat.
Grilled hummus sandwich on sourdough with creamy tomato soup.
Sunflour. They have a great vegan sandwich and the soup of the day when I went was vegan as well. I have also picked up their vegan chocolate chip cookie a few times and it’s so good!
Holy shiitake pizza with gluten free crust and vegan cheese.
Mellow Mushroom. I said on Instagram that I was craving pizza and someone commented that Mellow Mushroom has vegan cheese. THANK YOU to whoever told me that! It’s really delicious and hit the spot when I was craving pizza. They also have sandwiches that are vegan, too!
Sweet potato falafel pita and vegan ranch dressing.
Namastay Kitchen. I love this restaurant in general, but they also have a lot of vegan options, even a vegan sushi roll!
Living Kitchen. We didn’t actually eat here this month, but I eat here all the time. It’s totally vegan, mostly raw, and really delicious!
So to sum it all up. I’m really glad we tried it. It does make you realize that you don’t need meat for every meal, that’s for sure. I mentioned in an earlier post that my whole life I have never eaten much meat. Sure, I love a good burger or bacon here and there, but if I’m choosing between a steak or a piece of bread, I’m always choosing the bread. I was a vegetarian for 6 years, but a few years back I started eating meat again. I have rules with my meat-eating: I only eat meat that was sourced humanely and ideally locally. Which means for the most part I don’t eat any meat out. I think our food system is atrocious. The animals are treated horribly and the conditions are disgusting. The chemicals and drugs that the animals are given end up in our bodies and it’s gross. I don’t think dairy is good for you. I think it’s delicious, but I don’t think it serves our diets in any other way (which breaks my heart because cheese = life). I also don’t think that processed, fake vegan foods made to mimic real food are good for you. I think if you are choosing between a piece of bacon from a local farm or a piece of Tofacon, the real bacon is probably a better choice for your health. Now, I don’t know anything for sure, nor do I have any science to back anything up. All I know is that you can find a documentary or report to back up ANYTHING. You’ll find scientific studies claiming meat kills you and causes cancer and you’ll also find scientific studies that say there are minerals in meat that we need for optimal health. I’m not a doctor, so how do I know what’s true and what’s not? That’s why I like to experiment with diets on my body because I do believe everyone is different.
What will my diet look like going forward? I have enjoyed concentrating on eating whole foods, and I think for me, that’s the best way to go. REAL FOOD. I’m going to eat eggs, lots of vegetables, beans, and lean meats that are humanely raised and minimally processed. I’m going to continue to avoid cheese and dairy, and I’m also going to avoid complex carbs like bread, chips, crackers, and rice (for the majority of the time). I do think that my waistline (unfortunately) prefers less carbs. Which breaks my little heart, but such is life.
I hope you’ve enjoyed following my vegan journey! Thanks for reading!