first vegan grocery trip
Health and Wellness

Ready, Set, Veg-in!

As I’m sure we’re all aware, Monday has come back around again. Whether that brings exhaustion and dread, or hope and excitement for you, I think we can agree on the fact that Mondays have the potential to be new beginnings… or for us, new vegan-ings! As I hinted in my Instagram post, Jonathan and I are committing to some lifestyle changes.

Why?

My husband and I have had our fair share of physical health issues. Jonathan recently had appendicitis, and he’s always struggled with intense stomach pains that have proven incredibly difficult to pinpoint the cause for.

I have had ebbs and flows of depression over the past three years, and I’ve struggled with anxiety since I was a pre-teen (ranging from full on panic attacks to “simply” strugging with social interaction). I’ve also had anemia, dibiliating fatigue and sense of disconnectedness due to some unknown cause (doctor says it’s the depression), severe ovulation pain, an ovarian cyst (which torsed… and turned into laparascopic surgery), edema and high blood pressure in pregnancy. Oh, acne is fun too. I’m almost 24 and I still have acne.

Sigh.

The less flattering things would include extreme gassiness for the both of us – gross, right? I don’t sugar-coat things here, it’s bad. We’ve both been feeling so out of it and uncomfortable in our own skin. That’s all what’s led us to this point.
I understand that the majority of people who follow certain diets also identify with animal rights activists, and I have a feeling we’ll get there at some point. Presently, our main concern is getting, staying, and feeling healthy.

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Grocery time! Saturday night I went out and got produce from our local Hannaford (they have the best commercial produce around). Also picked up some protein powder for now, until we know how to properly get the nutrition we need.

 

What?

I have a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a concentration in Human Biology. That’s not to say I have an immense breadth of knowledge on nutrition – I don’t. What I do know based on my research in and out of college is this: you really shouldn’t feel like crap all the time. If you feel like a pile of sludge on the daily, something is wrong. After doing my “diet” research and talking to a couple of my friends from college who are also living this lifestyle, we landed on:

VEGAN

You can’t be 100% healthy on any diet without exercise. I’ll be doing about 30 minutes of walking per day, and 20 minutes or more of cycling until I can easily do more.

So why Veganism, and not Something Else?

A) I’ll go out on a limb here and say you’ve seen or have heard of What the Health. If you haven’t, it’s a really great documentary about a lot of the pros for veganism… not just animal rights. I am in no way a conspiracy theorist, okay? But some of the things in regards to the American Heart Association (they’re not the only ones) and meat/dairy-related marketing are scary. It’s one of those “there can only be a few explanations” scenario, and they all seem pretty bad.

Do your own research, formulate your own opinions, don’t let a documentary dictate what you believe.

B) I’ve always had an issue with dairy – I was on soy formula for a while as a baby and always had issues when eating dairy before school when I was little. It’s a known issue, but I’ve ignored it. Smart, right?

C) I just can’t give up bread. If I end up having to, I will part with it with white knuckles. My weakness is a piece of toasted homemade sourdough with olive oil spread. Mouth-watering.

Who?

Before you get concerned, we’re keeping Kenna’s diet basically the same. The only difference for her is I won’t be offering her nearly as much meat. I say offering because 90% of the time she throws it on the floor anyway. She gets her protein from greek yogurt and the highest milkfat cottage cheese I can find. Check out this post here for what she usually eats in a day.
Jonathan and I are switching diets for health reasons, rather than moral ones at least for now. This means we’re willing to work animal protein into Kenna’s diet as she’ll take it; I’m not removing dairy from her diet.

When?

Today, of course! I actually had a 100% Vegan day yesterday just because I could. We had done groceries on Saturday as a family and I already had everything on hand to start right away, so why not?

I felt great. Not sure if it’s totally mental, but I was able to exercise for a full hour yesterday when I usually have to drag myself outside to just do 15 minutes of walking. I did some pretty intense resistance cycling for 25 minutes on my bike in the basement. Nothing fancy.

I had some leftover hamburger that we cooked last night. Jonathan and Kenna had some of that last night and the hubby will have it for lunch today. NBD. I really hate wasting food.

How?

I’ll be using recipes from online for the first two weeks, just because that’s what I had available while making my grocery list (we usually do 2-week grocery trips, but I’ll be doing produce once a week now). I’ll dump them all with pingbacks to their original authors here for you, in case you’re interested!
Italian Pasta and Bean Soup

White Bean Soup with Corn and Red Peppers

We’ll be omitting the bell peppers because Jonathan is allergic.

Pasta with Hearty Lentil and Spinach Sauce

Penne with Chard and Beans

Baked Risotto

Ravioli in Sweet Potato Sauce

Vegan Red Beans and Rice

Vegan Dirty Rice & Black-Eyed Peas

Creamy Vegan Sun-dried Tomato Pesto Gnocchi

Mediterranean Zucchini Noodles

One-Pot Ratatouille Rice

Easy Vegan Fried Rice

I’ll check back next Monday with how this week went, including my thoughts and pictures of each meal (If my mom-brain remembers pictures, that is). Questions? Are you Vegan? Thinking about going Vegan? Let’s chat!

Until next time,
Rachel

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