I was at home most of the day so I did not have any issues with meal prep. Most of the day was filled with studying for my finals so my mind was busy cramming in all the information I was supposed to learn in the previous term to worry about hunger.
This day was not bad at all, at first. I prepped my juices before heading out to my study session and all was well. One juice before the study session and one juice after the session, I should be okay, right? Lol, kinda. I ended up going to Panera to finish some studying because I needed a change of venue. That move was sort of a mistake. Since I was out of the juice I made in the morning I settled to get a cup of their blonde roast coffee, no milk, no sugar. That was enough to get me through for about 3 hours or so. The issue I really was having was that I missed chewing food. This may seem weird, but it’s the little act of chewing your food that really satisfies me. (At least that’s what I have learned in this process) Of course as dinner time came around I got a little hungry and decided (was convinced by IseeHealth) that eating a salad was not a real cheat-meal. So I ended up getting the Spicy Sabzi salad from Sweetgreen substituting the quinoa and tofu with mushrooms and spicy pickles. This might sound funny, but that was the best cheat-meal ever. I enjoyed the crispness of the greens and the crunch of the carrots. I had been juicing so long that I think I actually forgot how to chew food. During that meal I bit myself at least 5 times. Crazy, I leave solid foods for 6 days and I forget how to chew, lol! That was only a preview of my discomfort that night.
As the night progressed, by stomach was not happy with me. I could actually feel the salad working its way through my digestive track. Also, my tummy wasn’t shy letting everybody around me know that it was digesting. I did not really have any pangs, but rather just loud grumbling noises. It’s amazing how fast your body adapts. I was only way form solid foods for 6 days and my body had gotten used to no longer having to digest food. By the end of the night things seemed to get better and I figured I would be able to sleep it off.
Juicing went as planned and I was able prep my juices in the morning. Based upon what happened the previous day I decided that I’d go back to the juice diet, but end the night with a carrot. I figured that this would allow me to transition back into solid foods without shocking my digestive system.
I’ll be posting my overall thoughts of the juice diet, what I would do differently, and if I would do it again in the coming days. (I’ve got a final project that’s due on Friday and I still haven’t looked at it yet, oops!)
Today was not too bad at all. I was able to make about 1.5 liters of juice to take with me to work. I had a juice once every 3 hours along with plenty of water through the day. Drinking the water and being busy at work allows you to keep your mind off of your hunger. I would not say that I’m excessively hungry, but I do have a lot of stomach grumbling. The grumbling is not from any types of hunger pangs, but rather seems to be just my intestine regulating itself. They feel more like air bubbles passing through my system. For dinner I made myself a fresh juice and all was good. I do feel like eating something because I miss the element of chewing your food.
Laziness got to me today and I ended up cheating, a lot. I did not wake up early enough to make my juices before work. So I just slammed down a bunch of water and hoped I’d be able to figure something out. As the day progressed, I started to get hungry any needed to figure something out. I went to the cafeteria and got me some Naked Juice. The issue with naked juice is that most of them are actually smoothies. I settled for the Green Machine smoothie because most of my juices thus far have been more fruits than veggies. That along with water throughout the day was enough to hold me over until I got home. When I got home I made myself a juice and was set, but not for long. After drinking my juice I decided to start studying for my final exam on Monday. As I was studying, I started to become hungrier and hungrier. It came to a point where I could not take it anymore and had to find something to eat/drink. I did not feel like making another juice so I succumbed to eating something. I grabbed a handful of spinach and a cucumber and went to town. I know many people will say that isn’t really cheating, but I really wanted to do the whole juicing experiment without eating anything solid. But man! Let me tell ya, that was the best cheat meal ever! Just eating something solid and actually using my teeth to chew was such a delightful experience.
Things to note: Meal prep, meal prep, meal prep. I don’t think I would have been in this situation if I made sure that I had made enough juice to get me through the day. So if you are planning on trying a juice fast, make sure that you keep up with your meal prep otherwise it is too easy to cheat.
Alright, week 3 is done and all is well. Many of my friends have been asking me if I have been losing weight during this experiment and I have decided to share with you why I haven’t been really losing any weight. So far I’ve lost about 2-4 pounds, which isn’t really that much. Why haven’t I lost more weight? Wouldn’t going vegan cause you to lose weight? The answer to those questions is, yes and no. Yes, I feel that if you go vegan and stick to just fruits, veggies, nuts, and clean organic foods you’ll lose weight, but there is unhealthy vegan food out there too. One thing that has changed in my diet during this vegan process is the amount of processed foods I eat. I have allowed myself to eat and drink items that I had normally cut out of my diet because, heck I’m going vegan why not allow myself the other things. Before going vegan, I had cut out soda for the most part in addition to chips, most carbs, and sweets. After going vegan I have noticed that I have allowed myself to eat arguably the worst kind of chips, thick cut salt and vinegar kettle chips, and my soda intake has gone from maybe once or twice a month to a couple of times a week. Also, I have been trying a variety of vegan desserts just to see if they taste like their “real” counter parts. FYI, the vegan desserts I have tried are quite good. I’ll share more about this in a later post. I feel that because of the addition of these high sodium and high sugar foods I have not been losing much weight. Additionally, my activity level has gone down this past month. This is due to me being busy/lazy not fatigue. Because of this I am thinking about continuing this vegan experiment for an additional week, going until the end of April, so I can try to revamp my vegan diet and get my activity level back to normal. We’ll see how this goes.
So I just completed Week #2 of going vegan and it has been a success. With the support of all my friends and family I have been able to get by without too much trouble; surprisingly I haven’t had any meat cravings. Additionally, I haven’t had a hard time eating out. It seems like there are plenty of vegan options at the places I went to this past week, I never really paid attention to the vegan options on the menu until I started this adventure. The sudden hunger pangs are not so sudden anymore and I think this is mainly due to the addition of quinoa and nuts to my lunchtime meals. Yes there have been times where I had to miss out on events, like a going away dinner to a steak house, sorry Fahad, but all in all I don’t really feel restricted. This maybe because I’m used to fasting during the month of Ramadan and this kind of feels like that except for I get to eat.
For snacking purposes, my sister picked me up a box of Brad’s Raw Chips. We got the “Nasty Hot” raw kale leaves which are seasoned with jalapenos and vegan cheese. They little guys tasted like a cross between an Indian Pakora and a Cheez-It. They are highly addictive, so I recommend eating them with self-control.
The other day I made a trip out to a DC staple, Busboys & Poets. Busboys is a great cozy restaurant that has a bookstore/coffee shop feel to it. They have tons of vegan options and also carry halal chicken and kosher beef. I got the Vegan Pepperoni Calzone – vegan mozzarella, veggies, vegan pepperoni in a whole-wheat crust- and it was great. It did not have the sparkling luster of normal calzones, because it isn’t brushed with butter, and looked like hippie food. It actually tasted really good and the vegan cheese in it did not have the slimy texture of other vegan cheeses I have tried. Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a picture of it, but I recommend you try it if you get a chance. I have also had their Vegan Nachos and they are very good.
My sister and I decided to hit up Burger 7 in Arlington recently. If you know me, then you know how I feel about Burger 7. I feel like it is the best burger out there, better than Bobby Burger Palace, Shake Shack, and any fast-food joint out there. Plus, they have a Halal Burger option! I figured by going there I would just have an order of fries, but to my surprise I saw they have a Vegan Burger. It had a very basic veggie pattie and was nothing really to write home about, but I think if they used Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala Burgers. The Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala Burgers are awesome and taste like the glorious filing my mom makes for her Aloo Paratay. They’re like a memory of home in a little microwaveable disk.
I just wanted to thank everybody for their ongoing support. I’m excited for the next 2 weeks of this adventure.
Okay, so I have been slacking MAJORLY on this blog. I think my last post was over 2 years ago. Well, I haven’t stopped cooking, just posting. So keep an eye out the next coup0le of weeks as I post items that I’ve been cooking the past year!