Two-Week Vegan Challenge {Day III}

Thursday

Overall, I felt good! Around dinner, I started to notice a lack of energy and the gym felt harder than usual; however, that could be because I haven’t been to the gym in a week. Oops…

breakfast – 10:00 am

Rice Krispies cereal with soy milk and bananas. I had time to make biscuits, but I didn’t have any margarine that didn’t contain whey (and obviously can’t use butter). I thought it was going to taste weird, but I could honestly barely taste the difference between regular milk and soy milk. I’m so glad I bought that Silk last night!

Snack – 12:00 PM

A few chips with salsa and a square of chocolate. Around this time, I was super excited about the vegan possibilities and decided to go grocery shopping!

Veganism

I bought tofu (nervous about it), vegan “cream cheese,” hummus mix, falafel mix, lots of veggies vegan wonton wrappers (!!), pasta, whole wheat bread, and pita bread. I, upsettingly, could NOT find ANY egg substitute! It was so frustrating! Granted, I was at a regular ol’ grocery store, but being vegan shouldn’t mean I have to shop at special stores. Ugh. I mean, they had tons of vegan stuff, but NO egg substitute! Infuriating.

lunch – 3:30 pm

I had sort of a late lunch, but it was so worth it! I made the falafel / hummus mixes and enjoyed a savory Mediterranean meal!

First, I made the falafel balls according to the package instructions, then prepared a piece of pita bread with a tablespoon of both the hummus and my vegan cream cheese.

Then, I cut up some tomato, lettuce, and cucumber. I added it all to the pita bread, folded it like a taco, and ate up!

IMGP4230

I was so excited at how yummy it was! I felt like I was in another country. It’s so fun to have so many different types of food.

Not-related Adventure of the Day:

Around 5:30, I went to a master class / open rehearsal with violinist Joshua Bell. The friend I went with is getting his masters in music and raved, giggled, and skipped with excitement as the thought of us getting to see (in his words) “the world’s best violinist” for free. I was skeptical. Bell started out by saying it was just a sound check and he probably wasn’t going to play very much. Then, he busted out the full Devil’s Trill by Tartini! He played the whole thing! Oh my gosh, it was a dream. Do yourself a favor and listen to it:

When he finished, he just sort of shrugged. Shrugged! I’ll tell you something, I went in not super ready to be impressed, but I quickly was won over. He was so non-assuming. I also heard he did an experiment. I saw the article back when it was posted, but didn’t read it. I just finished reading it. You should too. He also answered a ton of questions from the audience and gave fantastic responses. I was so inspired. I even took notes.

dinner – 8:00 pm

A bean and rice burrito was my dinner. I was going to make a tofu stir fry, but I wasn’t all that hungry. I also munched on some carrots while doing my homework!

nutrition information

Grade of A- (up from yesterday’s C+!).

  • 25.9% fat
  • 12.5 % protein
  • 61.6% carbs

According to USDA recommendations, I had too little vitamin C, calcium, iron, and potassium. I bought iron vitamins at the store today, but I had almost enough iron in my food, so I didn’t want to take a pill and get too much. I don’t know if that’s a thing, but I didn’t want to risk it.

Conclusion

I went grocery shopping, to the gym, cooked my first truly vegan meal, and got to see one of the world’s best violinists perform for free, and talk about music and truth. I’d say a pretty good day!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Two-Week Vegan Challenge {Day II}

Wednesday

Overall, it felt like a normal day! I got tons of sleep and I think the snacks helped a lot. I do think my lack of energy and terrible mood yesterday afternoon was due to lack of protein. I was determined not to make that mistake today.

Breakfast – 10:00 am

Oatmeal & OJ again, this time without bananas. I was going to make vegan biscuits, but I didn’t have enough time. I think I’m going to make some tonight to have for tomorrow.

snack – 12:30 pm

Graham crackers with peanut butter, and a crystal light lemonade. This was filling and delicious, exactly what I needed.

lunch – 2:00 pm

I ate out again, since I hate money, apparently. I got Noodles & Company Indonesian Peanut Saute.

Noodles and Co Indonesian Peanut Saute

It was absolutely divine! I got a half-size, and couldn’t finish it all. It was spicy and delicious and completely vegan! I wish I would’ve realized I could add tofu, because I’ve really wanted to try tofu! Oh, well. Plenty of time.

Snack – 4:00 pm

A handful of carrots were my snack since I didn’t get enough vitamin A yesterday.

dinner – 7:00 pm

I finished my Noodles & Co (so yummy). I really wasn’t all that hungry by this time. I totally had energy today.

Adventure of the day: I went to pick up a friend’s car from the shop, and when I got back to his house, I was faced with a dilemma:

Chocolate or mac n cheese

Mac n’ cheese, and chocolate! I’ve been very reluctant to tell my closest friends and family that I’m going vegan for two weeks. This is mostly because I’m dreading getting the “what?!? WHY?!??” and experiencing all the negativity people give to those who are vegetarian or (especially) vegan.

So I didn’t tell my friend that I couldn’t eat his mac n’ cheese because it had dairy, but instead told him it was because I had already eaten–which was true, but I probably would’ve accepted the offer if I wasn’t going vegan. He then broke off a piece of chocolate and handed it to me, then proceeded into the kitchen to finish cooking his dinner. I said thank you and just held the chocolate until he walked away and I could discreetly read the ingredients. As I was turning over the packaging, I decided that if it wasn’t vegan, I’d simply slip the chunk back, confident he wouldn’t notice. Oh, the lengths I’ll go to in order to avoid being teased for going vegan for two weeks (and avoid answering why). Thankfully, it was a 68% dark, with only 3 ingredients: cocoa, sugar, cocoa butter—aka: Vegan Approved!

I enjoyed and savored that chocolate, suppressing a happy chuckle upon realizing I could eat it. When I got home, I was motivated by my ability to refuse non-vegan food! I went to the grocery store on the corner and picked up some Silk Soy Milk, then made myself a vegan chocolate chip cookie in a mug. It was delicious, and here’s the recipe I used (click for the website):

Vegan chocolate chip cake in a mug recipe

Nutrition information

I thought for sure I would do well today and get enough protein, but I didn’t (only a C+) and I ate too much fat.

  • 35.6% fat
  • 9.2% protein
  • 55% carbs

USDA guidelines said not only did I consume too much fat, but I didn’t get enough protein, dietary fiber, calcium, iron, or potassium. I realized that my calcium vitamins have Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in them, which is derived from animals and therefore NOT vegan. It was the first thing I consumed yesterday, which means since I had my first vegan meal (yesterday’s oatmeal), I have not broken the rules once! Good for me. It was close, though.

conclusion

I did crave chicken today again. And I found myself dreading having to plan for what I was going to eat–but it’s a good thing: one of the biggest reason’s I’m doing this is to stop myself from mindlessly eating! I have to pay so much more attention now. I’m excited to do it again tomorrow (but more healthy)!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Two-Week Vegan Challenge {Day I}

See yeterday’s introduction to the Vegan Challenge

Tuesday

Breakfast – 10:00 am

Oatmeal with fresh bananas and a glass of OJ. When I finished eating, I felt very satisfied. Yum. Who knew veganism includes foods I already love to eat.

20131112_094407

Lunch – 2:00 PM

Kneaders Veggie Avocado Sandwich (no cheese or mayo/sauce), unsweetened applesauce, and a handful of almonds.

I have a lot of fresh avocados at the house, so I was going to make an avocado/tomato sandwich similar to the ones I survived off of when I lived in California. I was looking at the ingredients in the only bread I have–lo and behold, it was sweetened with honey! I packed myself an avocado anyway, as well as a cup of unsweetened applesauce and a serving of plain almonds. I knew it wasn’t going to be enough to hold me over all day, so I decided to see what vegan options I could get at fast food places.

20131112_141114

Kneaders, which is a bakery and cafe that runs along what I call the Mormon Belt (Idaho, Utah, and Arizona), has a veggie sandwich that I thought I’d try out. It was just under $5 for a 1/2 sandwich. I have to admit, I thought it looked underwhelming and like it was going to be incredibly unsatisfying, especially since I couldn’t get it with cheese or their “Kneaders Sauce,” which she was nice enough to inform me contains mayo.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was filling and delicious! The whole lunch was super nutritious and I didn’t feel it lacked anything.

Dinner – 7:30 pm

At around 4 pm, I felt like I had no energy and was exhausted. At 7, when I left work, I was completely worn out. I definitely don’t usually get this way. There are a few different possible reasons, but I made sure to get a big dose of protein for dinner just in case. I didn’t get home until really late, so I decided to forego a big dinner. Instead, I made a bean burrito with rice. I don’t know if it was because my body was craving protein or what, but it tasted better than the average bean burrito.

It was around this time I realized I can’t eat chocolate…or take my usual vitamins! I went to take my women’s health vitamin this morning, but there were way too many animal byproducts (gummy vitamins), so I had to settle with a calcium/magnesium/zinc vitamin pill instead.

daily nutrition report

I’m keeping track of the food I eat. It’s on a very helpful website that tells me how good for me each food item is.

I’ve used this site before, and a normal day for me has an average B+ rating, with a calorie distribution of:

  • 32.7% fat
  • 14.8 % protein
  • 50.7% carbs, and
  • 1.8% other (like vitamins).

Based on generic USDA values, I generally have too little fiber (15g out of 25g), calcium (.56g / 1g), potassium (1.4g / 4.7g), and iron (9.8g / 18g).

Today’s report gives an A rating for the day, with a calorie distribution of:

  • 27.2% fat
  • 9.9% protein
  • 61.7% carbs, and
  • 1.3% other.

Based on the USDA values, I didn’t get enough Vitamin A, potassium (1.9g / 4.7g), or iron (11g / 18g).

Conclusion

I didn’t have time for the gym tonight, but I feel too tired to go anyway. It’s only 8pm, so I’m not sure if that’s the diet talking or other factors; however, I did get “in the green” with all my nutrients for the USDA recommended values. That’s a success. Tomorrow, I’m going to pack higher protein snacks to eat between meals, because when I got hungry, all I could think about were some nice, juicy chicken nuggets.

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Vegan for Two Weeks

One of my best friends was vegan for a while (now she’s 100% pescatarian for over a year) and said as a vegan, she’s never felt better. I already don’t eat a lot of red meat, but I’m in love with chicken and eggs and sushi. The thought of giving those up is anxiety-inducing.

Honestly, I just want to see if I can do this and stick it out for two weeks, then record my progress and feelings.

Two Week Vegan Challenge

So the plan is to eat healthy, vegan foods and still go about my daily activities. I want to see how this affects me. I want to keep track of my progress here. I’ll be posting the difference between my starting and ending weight, as well as my waist/hip measurements, and how I feel as far as energy and self-perception.

I’m not confident enough to post any actual numbers, but I’ll let you know my progress!

The Food

All my recipes are taken from PETA’s 2-week vegan meal plan. Politics aside, they know veganism like no one else. I decided to do this at 10:30 pm on a Monday, so my week starts on Tuesday (11/12/13) to Tuesday (11/26/13), two days before Thanksgiving.

The Feelings

I’m going to post every day in some fashion (vlog or traditional) to describe the meals I had, their recipes, and how I feel.

The Goals

I want to see if I can stick it out for two weeks, and if I can maintain my day-to-day routines with sufficient energy on a vegan diet.

The Research

I started with PETA’s guide to becoming vegan/vegetarian. I skipped all the celebrity propaganda, and pretty much only read pages 4-6, 14-22, because this post isn’t about addressing that part of veganism.

Vegans don’t eat any product that comes from an animal: meat, fish/shellfish, dairy products, eggs, or honey.

I need to check labels for common nonvegan ingredients, such as: casein, carmine/carminic acid, beeswax, gelatin, lactose (but lactic acid is mostly always vegan), lanolin, vitamin D3 (D2 is okay, though), and whey.

Vegan-approved proteins

  • whole grains
  • oatmeal
  • beans
  • peanut butter
  • brown rice
  • peas
  • lentils
  • tofu
  • soy milk
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • faux meats (this makes me nervous)

vegan-approved dairy alternatives (calcium)

  • broccoli
  • beans
  • “many leafy green vegetables”
  • almonds
  • soy milk
  • tofu
  • calcium-fortified orange juice

Other Stuff

“A majority of the foods you already eat are vegan, including many cookies, chips, breads, crackers, pastries, cereals, soups, and candies.” (p. 15)

Oh, good.

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

The Cloud Cake

Spent lots of quality time this past weekend with Kate. It was all just quite lovely. We played lots of music together and even baked a cake.

The cake was quite an adventure! We wanted to make something sweet to go with our dinner, so we found a recipe via Pinterest (as per usual) and said, “we have all the ingredients, let’s DO IT.” Come to find out it’s one of those recipes that people with degrees in cooking make.

It’s the most dramatic recipe ever.

First of all, it calls for sifted flour with a sieve four times. I don’t even know what a sieve is, much less am I going to take a half an hour to sift some flour FOUR TIMES. I mean really.

But, oh man, did we whip that meringue. It was perfect. We some how managed to make a pretty good cake, regardless of Martha Stewart’s Most High Maintenance Recipe Ever.

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook (show your support and send me a like!) Check out my Pinterest, too! Thank you all so much!

Pina Colada Cupcakes

If you didn’t see yesterday’s post, you need to check it out. Like come on. Where have you been.

So I made vanilla cupcakes with pineapple filling and coconut frosting. Here’s a bunch of photos! Click on the photo below for the cake recipe:

I tried to follow the recipe (click the photo with the ingredients above for the recipe) as strictly as I could. I’m not known for my baking skills. While they were in the oven, I mixed the frosting. As in, I got some Betty Crocker frosting and mixed in a bunch of coconut, then put it into a piping back (which I made myself by cutting off the zip part of a baggie, then twisting it up.

Then the cupcakes came out! And while they cooled, I made the pineapple filling (which I forgot to take a picture of.) I used this recipe. Except I did it in a saucepan. Turned out delicious, by the way! After they cooled, I took a melon baller (you’re supposed to use an apple corer, but I didn’t have one of those) and took out the centers in all the cupcakes, then filled them with the filling!

Then I frosted them, toasted some coconut and placed it on top (all decorative, like) and voila!

If I were to do it again, (but I won’t, because I don’t particularly like to bake) I would take the cupcakes out of the oven a good bit sooner. They were a little dry. But still tasty! Yay!

Keep up-to-date on my new postings by following me on Twitter. You can also contact me through my website here, email me at brittany@lacelollipops.com, or send me a message to my Facebook. Thank you!

Homemade Lip Exfoliant

I know Maria is usually the DIYer, but I saw this adorable idea on Pinterest and had to try it out! I also had a Bridal Shower to go to and I figured it’d be a cute gift! So I made it–and then tried it out, and then wrapped it up all nice. Voila!

1 part Brown Sugar

1 part Olive Oil

1 part Honey

Mix and enjoy! Although I added more brown sugar and if I had to redo the recipe, I’d add a little less olive oil.

For the container, I used an empty ELF Nail Polish Remover (obviously sanitized) holder. I was/am pretty proud of myself.

Brown Sugar Cookies and Nutella Frosting

So this Thursday is my last day of work (since I’m moving to California) and the department I work in wanted (okay–I kind of insisted) that we have a going-away little mini-party. I don’t know what it’s celebrating exactly–maybe me leaving, or maybe it’s for all the work I’ve done.

Or maybe it’s just an excuse to bring sweets, turn off the phones and do no work for an hour or so in the middle of the day!

We would do it Thursday, but one of the people in my department leaves on vacation on Wednesday (and it wouldn’t be the same without him), so we decided to have our little fête today!

I have to say, my sister did amazing work teaching me to bake. They turned out perfect (somehow) and I have her to thank! She taught me not to add the flour mixture all at once because it flies all over the place and gets on your clothes.

Well, they basically didn’t turn out that well. They were really crunchy and the frosting didn’t really taste hazelnutty as much as like cream cheese and chocolate. I guess that’s why I’m doing this blog, right? To learn about fashion, photography and food…food is the worst. Maybe it’s just Utah. Yeah, that’s it.

Afternoon Snack

One of the men I work with brought everybody a yellow plum today. He just walked around without a word and put one on everyone’s desk. He apparently got them from a local food stand on the side of the road. I had never seen a yellow plum and I really wanted to try it at work, but I contained myself until I got home so I could use it for the blog!

I’m glad I did! I cut it up, drizzled it with my favorite sweetener and gobbled it right up. I wasn’t sure if the honey would mix well, but it really helped lessen the sourness of the plum skin. Why is plum skin sour?

It tasted amazing with the honey and worked surprisingly well. Also–how cute is that honey jar? Honey is delicious and it has such a great color.