Week 1: Meal Plan Fail and Lessons Learned

Whelp, the first week was a lot tougher than I thought.  I knew it wouldn’t be easy to start, but I felt way more overwhelmed than I anticipated. There’s so much information out there about going plant-based, and it was pretty hard figuring out where to start…

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The first thing I decided to do was plan out some meals for the week and then went grocery shopping in accordance with those meals. This made me feel like I was somewhat in control and knew what I was doing. Aaand naturally, a lot of those meals did not happen.

There were some good things that came from this week though, even if I wasn’t super consistent. Almost every morning I started with drinking 1 bottle of water (500 ml) and then some light stretching or yoga. I read on some blog somewhere this helps jump-start your metabolism and hydration levels for the day. Duh, this make so much sense I don’t know why I wasn’t doing this before! I felt more energized throughout the day, so I will continue to incorporate this in my morning routine as much as I can. Then after the water, I ate breakfast or on work days, grabbed something to-go after getting ready for the day.

I was trying my best to stick with the meal plans, I really was! But there were a couple of times this week my boyfriend and I went out to eat for dinner, and those meal plans went right out the window. Oops!

Here’s a list of what I did try last week at home. Click on the links to go to the recipes! Most of these I forgot to take pictures of. I’ll hopefully do better at that this week.

Pesto Chickpea Sandwich  Pesto Chickpea Sandwhich-1This was pretty tasty and filling! I made this combining a few different recipes I saw on Pinterest. The pesto was very strong, and I definitely made too much for one person. Struggling to eat the leftovers, but overall a good lunch!

Avocado + Tomato Toast Avacado and Tomato Toast-1Yes yes yes. Easy, and so yummy! No link for this one because I feel most people have tried this and it’s super basic. I use to make this all the time, but with egg.

Banana + Chocolate Overnight Oats – Delicious! Made twice last week! My boyfriend even asked me to make a batch for him when I made them the second time. Seriously, go try it if you haven’t done overnight oats before. Such a nice, sweet treat without the guilt!

Black Bean Wrap – Well this should have been a winner, but I tried cooking my own black beans which was a major fail, lol. I think I over cooked them? They were not soft like I was hoping for, making the taco taste pretty dry. I also forgot about the corn and olives. I don’t like olives though so I probably will still leave them out next time I try this, and I’ll opt for canned black beans. Ain’t no body got time to cook dem beans!

Roasted Veggie Salad with Avocado Dressing – I did not like this at all. I think the dressing was to thick, and I was not a fan of the brussels sprouts, which is weird because I do like brussels sprouts as a side dish, but on this salad it was too overwhelming and dominated the plate. I ended up tossing about half my plate this night.

Healthy Chicken Alfredo (Dairy Free) – This was ok. I used almond milk since I did not have coconut milk and I wasn’t a huge fan. I might try it again using coconut milk and see if I like it better. My boyfriend liked it enough to go back for seconds.

In between meals throughout the day I snacked on hummus and pretzels/carrots. At work, we have fresh oranges so I would take a couple to my desk to snack on too.

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Week 1 Takeaways:

  1. Over all I’m feeling more energized in the mornings.
  2. Less digestive problems – except the days I ate black beans and a lot of greens, I felt very bloated.
  3. Drinking lots of water is a must! And adding lemon is my new favorite thing.
  4. Planning meals is hard work and annoying.
  5. Hopefully the work will pay off and I will get better at it in time.

 

And that’s all I got for this post! Let me know if you have any thoughts or suggestions!

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Sarah J. Eats

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My First Steps to Healthy-ish

I would say I live a pretty typical lifestyle of a woman in their mid-20’s. I work most days of the week, do my best to make time for friends and family in between, while also perusing my “side-hustle” of art and design. The struggle is very real in also finding time to change one of the most important aspects of my life – my diet. So therefore, it has not changed. 🙂

Over the years I’ve become so confused on how to feel about my body, my diet, and my lifestyle. I definitely felt a lot of pressure to be skinny when I was younger, and I’ll admit it did impact my confidence and always had a fear of becoming “fat”. But more and more, I’m beginning to take more notice of a positive body-image push with blogs and advertisements bringing out the movement to love yourself and your curves. The media is now telling me more and more not to worry about what I eat, and I ask myself, Why should I give up food that I love, just to fit society’s standards? Valid point, right?

Wrong. Yes, I want to learn to “love myself” and this body of mine, but at what point especially as I get older, do I begin to really evaluate and identify if my unhappiness is stemming more from society or what I am consuming?

So with this curiosity, and a little bit of research, I’ve decided to do an experiment and slowly transition into a plant based diet. This is not some initiative to  try to save all the animals or to come across as some vegan-hemp-wearing lady who doesn’t shave her legs or wear deodorant. It’s simply to see if changing what I eat affects how I feel.

I suffer from a lot of back and shoulder pain and poor circulation. I also have been getting sick quite frequently and have had a few episodes of mild anxiety. My doctor says all’s good with my body physically, but I’m still curious to see how I feel after a long term change to my diet.

I’m also curious to see if this is financially an option for me. There’s a lot of talk about how hard it is to eat healthy when you’re on a budget, and with my experience so far, this has show true. But I want to see if it’s possible. I want to find good tasting (taste is key, other wise I won’t stick with it) recipes that are affordable to make and are not heavily dependent on meat and dairy or 3483920 ingredients. Meat and dairy, I’ve heard, are the most falsely advertised foods we need in our daily diets, but in actuality are the cause of many common diseases and health conditions known today. It will be super hard to cut this out. I probably won’t completely cut it out, if I’m being real here.

I’m going to start with trying to find good grocery shopping and meal planning ideas to get me started. My biggest struggle is being lazy and also not knowing or taking the time to teach myself healthier options. Also a lot of green things scare me. They say once you change your diet, your taste buds change and you’ll actually crave the healthy stuff. Yeah ok, I’ll be the judge of that! I also will look into how this affects what I choose at a restaurant or when I’m out with friends, and how often I dine out. I love going out to eat so I’m hoping this won’t mean I have to sacrifice too much of that.

So if you’re like me, and not sure about all the crazy diets out there and you are more interested in learning how to start eating to take care of your body, I invite you to join me in this journey. If you have any ideas or thoughts on how to live healthier, leave a comment! Love to hear what you think or if you’ve been through or are currently in a similar journey.

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Sarah J. Eats

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