How Three Vegan Meals (and One Restaurant Lunch) May Have Reset My Eating Habits

My new job (which rocks, so far) is stocked to the gills with great food related benefits. Free, super tasty Green Mountain K-cups mean I’m getting to try all sorts of fun flavors. It also means I have to limit myself to 24oz of coffee a day…which is probably still too much. Fortunately some of the novelty has worn off, so I’m down to two 8oz cups most days.

We’ve also got lots of other great snacks, including tons of crackers and corn nuts and candy. There’s granola, almonds, cereal, oatmeal, jerky…so much stuff. The biggest plus (that turns out to be a massive minus)? The oatmeal creme pies. Dude. Such an issue. I think I ate four in one day at one point in my first week. Certainly nerves are playing a role there, along with some stress around finding a new place to live so we don’t have to impose on my parents forever. There’s also definitely some emotional adjustment for me in learning to live with my mom, who has developed a plan for herself that works really well and has her feeling awesome…which involves careful calorie counting and tracking. It’s been a tough transition for me, since that mentality means a lot of calorie/weight talk I’m just not used to.

I’m learning. But in the meantime? Massive over-caffeination and serious empty calorie intake via incredible oatmeal creme pie (OCP) consumption.

Another bonus? We get free lunch. (I know, right?!) Essentially, we get eight dollars a day to use toward on-campus lunch options. The first week meant visiting the deli/cafe downstairs and intaking grilled cheese, egg salad, and a pretty decent chicken wrap. When the chance came to sign up for the veggie friendly option and get vegan lunches delivered every day instead, I figured I’d give it a try. I get to pick a whole week of meals on Sundays and they show up around 1pm.

Here’s my first week’s picks:
Monday meal 2 – 2. Quinoa Fuchsia BowL: Hi-Protein Quinoa “dyed” with Cold-Pressed Beet Juice (mild flavor … bold color) Tossed with Hawaiian Purple Yam, Sweet Potato, Parsnip, Assorted Raw Veggies and Herbs…Served on a bed of Greens with a RAWesome Creamy Dill Dressing on the side
Tuesday meal 4 – 4. Southern Comfort Plate : BBQ Hi-Protein Tempeh … Sautéed Greens … Garlic – “Butter” Mashed Potato
Wednesday meal 1 – 1. Slaw’ppy Jeaux…Our Famous Chili-non-Carne in the Raw…Fresh Slaw (Beet, Cabbage, Carrot and Sliced Gherkin Pickles tossed in a Creamy Dressing) & Baby Greens …Load up your Coconut-Zucchini Wrappers with these delicious ingredients and Be Merry! Served with a side of Vanilla Bean-Chia Seed Pudding (Hi-Protein & rich in Essential Fatty Acids!) *GF
Thursday meal 2 – 2. Marrakesh Lettuce Wrap…Our Famous Rosemary-Garlic Raw Hummus, Shredded Purple Cabbage, Carrot & Ma’raw’nated Cucumber…Wrap these Savory Ingredients up in your crisp Romaine Lettuce Leaves & Enjoy! Served with a side of Fresh Fruit Medley *GF
Friday meal 2 – 2. Raw Platter…Mac N’ Cheezy Kelp Noodles…Trinidadian Style “Cucumber Chow” (Fresh Local Cucumbers ma’raw’nated in a mildly spicy Apple-Cider Vinaigrette) … Nicky-Nicky’s Mini Raw Pineapple Upside-Down Cake *GF
Monday’s lunch was pretty good. Tuesday was GREAT once I added a little real butter to the potatoes. Wednesday was decent, and the chia pudding was great. I was feeling full, getting TONS of veggies in, and feeling pretty proud of myself. I was definitely still snacking a fair bit, particularly when lunch comes so late, but making it work.

Today we had a team lunch to welcome me (so nice!) and we went to a local restaurant, where I got a burger and fries. I spent the rest of the day feeling awful…slow and run down with an upset stomach, and I ended the afternoon with corn nuts and another damned OCP. I swear they’re made of crack. Now I’m riding home from work and I feel pretty awful. My head hurts. I’m overly tired. I don’t want dinner. My stomach is cranky.

And then it hit me. Dude. When I had my vegan lunches, I just felt better. I had more energy, felt happier, and made it through the afternoon with more focus. I’m NOT going vegan, but these meals are clean and fresh, often local, and drastically increasing my daily produce intake. They’re forcing me to (re)learn the lesson that produce intake is what my body thrives on. Yes, carbs too. Yes, even some sweet things. It’s about balance, and on days that start with protein and are made up by volume of more than half produce, I just feel/do/think better.

So I’ll be sticking with the vegan lunches for now, and being a lot more careful about eating when we’re offsite. I can also thank my mom for the healthy dinners she’s making, which are helping a lot too. By next week I’m hoping to have a handle on the OCP issue. Maybe one a week?
In movement news, I appear to have FINALLY kicked my bronchitis, so I’ve been doing laps around the lake at lunch. Two on Tuesday, three yesterday. I missed today because of the lunch, so four tomorrow. I’m also doing this abs challenge with my mom, sister, and brother, and I have plans for family yoga tonight with the awesome new My Yoga Pro videos now that the site is up and running. The afternoon walks are great for clearing my head, and after a week of super sickness I NEED the stretch (and mind calming) of yoga.


2 thoughts on “How Three Vegan Meals (and One Restaurant Lunch) May Have Reset My Eating Habits

  1. Jessica

    That’s awesome dude! I’m totally toying with the idea of doing a 30
    Day vegan challenge but it’s sooooo hard in France with all the yummy non vegan things. Your job sounds so cool!


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