Well, I've survived 3 whole weeks of eating not eating meat/dairy/oil. I thought it would get a little bit easier each week, but the truth is- it's only getting harder. The first week I think the novelty of it helped me get through. The second week, I did more meal planning with Hunk, and that was fun. But this week? All I want to do is stuff my face with the biggest slice of cheese pizza I can get my hands on. Instead, I tried to meal plan efficiently, and spent about 2.5 hours in the kitchen yesterday prepping some new dishes so that I wouldn't spend all my time thinking about cheese. To make matters worse, SXSW is in full effect this week with opportunities at every corner to partake in all the food goodness that Austin has to offer.
The good news is that I've lost about 3.5 pounds, and my jeans are definitely looser. I have a few more to go, but I'm trying not to lose more than a pound a week. I met with a nutritionist last week and we went over all the things I should be including in my diet to stay healthy (including calories and grams of protein p/day), and that has definitely helped with keeping my energy level up. Overall, I would say that I feel great. I'm sleeping fine, and able to get through my work-outs without any problem. Hunk is another story. I don't think he's been getting enough calories OR protein, and is having to make some major adjustments this week. Hopefully he'll feel better by doing so.
This weekend we had a "what happens after Lent" discussion, and how we incorporate the good things about a plant-based diet in with the things that we really just don't want to give up permanently. The key to keeping the pounds off of course is moderation. Duh. We have 4 more weeks to go before we have to worry about that, and I think we can do it. In the meantime, we're just going to do our best to have a good variety of foods, and not focus too much on what we're missing. For all the benefits of eating this way, I will say that it feels isolating- and that's just not something I'm willing to deal with for the rest of my life. I have still been able to go out and eat with friends, but there is way too much thought (and high-maintenance ordering) to deal with for me to make this a long term lifestyle.
To make things more interesting, I ordered some bento-style lunch boxes from Easy Lunchboxes. There's something about packing a neat and organized lunch that makes it more enjoyable for me (it's the OCD, I know). Today was the first day that I got to use it, and I have to say I made a pretty killer lunch. It's colorful, full of great things for me, and tasty to boot. Unless I bring leftovers, lunch for me is usually salad and fruit, along with morning and afternoon snacks. Today I had a spinach salad with roasted beets, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini and a 3-bean salad with an oil-free apple cider vinaigrette. I also had roasted red pepper hummus with carrot sticks and strawberries for dessert. In case I get hungry this afternoon, I have soy yogurt to tide me over. Not too shabby, if I say so myself.