Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What A Bargain!

Full all day!  The beans I've been eating really make the difference are a great staple.  Two small bags have lasted over one week.  I've made a few variety of meals with just white and garbanzo beans.  The cost for both bags was just $2.36!  Not only have I saved quite a bit but I feel as if I have earned energy and confidence. Thus far, I have no feelings of sacrifice.

Sealed with a KISS

Once again, I am feeling full and I am surprised.  I felt I had to force down the remainder of my breakfast of fruit and salad .  I guess my mother's adage "you better eat everything off of your plate" was in my head.  But why continue to eat when not hungry?  I decided to put the food away for another time and KISS it.  KISS, or better Keep It Short and Simple.  Later in the day, I went into town to have lunch with two dear friends.  We met at a franchise restaurant, so I felt I would fare better than I did at the diner (see "Choices", Week 2).  Not!  The dreaded salad bar was there along with a loaded down 1400 calorie guacamole (same for the cheese-based spinach appetizer at 1200 cal).  Remembering the experience from breakfast, I decided to KISS the situation.  I ordered three veggie "sides" :

  • mashed cauliflower  (much yummier than the potato version)
  • grilled asparagus
  • grilled whole green beans
The entire meal was 490 calories and my bill totaled $8.70.  What a bargain!  The point was to "keep it short and simple":  to enjoy the company of my friends, to concentrate positively and to eliminate the urge of stressing over what I "could not have".  When faced with what seems to be a complicated situation, it is important to remember to stop, regroup, and give yourself a KISS

Favorite dish of the day:  Mashed cauliflower w/garlic (yummy)
Yoga: 30 minutes

Be Prepared

Today, was a day full of white potatoes.  Not by choice but because there were no other alternatives but meat.  The day started with a breakfast meeting full of the traditional American breakfast staples, bacon, sausage, eggs, pastries, white breads, and potatoes.  As the food was professionally catered, the presentation was beautiful.  Everyone around me had plates spilling over with things I would not eat.  "Aren't you having breakfast?" or "Did you have something to eat?" were the questions I received most frequently during the initial 15 minutes. 

Fortunately, I has prepared myself by eating prior to attending the 6am meeting.  I had natural peanut butter on whole grain toast.  It was simple but filling and was just the thing I needed to provide the ability to avoid temptation.  I was happy when the meeting actually began and everyone started to focus on the content instead of my empty plate.  It felt a little weird just sitting there while everyone else chomped down.

Unbalanced...too many white potatoes!
Later that day, there were white potatoes left over from the meeting.  I felt okay having a few with the corn and green beans I had brought from home.  I finished it off with a serving of grapes.  The problem came that evening.  I attended a BBQ.  Now that I am beginning to look at things differently, I was astonished at how much meat people actually consume.

While I was able to handle the morning meeting situation, I was ill-equipped for the dinner party.  There were ribs, chicken, fried fish, hot dogs, steaks, and burgers - all things you expect to find at the traditional barbecue; but nothing for me.  What surprised me was the limited amount of side dishes.  No one seemed to notice because everyone was devouring all of that meat.  I didn't want the hostess to feel bad as she started apologizing to me so I put a little of the the only choices available on my plate: corn on the cob, baked beans, and potato chips.  There were no green or fruit choices. I ended up eating  more potatoes:  the salad (with the traditional mayo) , the chips (processed of course), and the corn.  I did not eat the baked beans after I realized they had bacon in them. It was nothing against the hosts as they were very nice and tried to be as  accommodating as they could.  I felt bad because I hated that they felt they had to apologize and more so, that I had created an uncomfortable situation.  

The difference between my success of the morning and my failure that evening was how well I had prepared for the situation.   If I had not succumbed to the temptation of those potatoes at lunch, perhaps I would have felt better about eating the potato salad at dinner.   If I had prepared myself mentally about what may be available at the barbecue in the same manner I had at breakfast, I would be able to handle the situation without calling so much attention to myself.  A little more depressing was the fact that I felt I had to defend myself after a few guests made remarks like, "Vegan?  I like meat myself, I don't know how you can do that"  or the same old "you know you need protein, how are you going to get it if you don't eat meat?".  I don't know what was more astonishing, the fact that the last question came from someone I had just met five minutes earlier, or the sense of negative judgment.

To be prepared also means to be ready mentally.  I am in new territory.  I have to prepare myself to be ready for questions, comments, feedback, and meat-laced menus whether I want them or not.  

Favorite dish of the day:  NULL
Yoga:  NULL - negative energy & too many potatoes 

Validation and Inspiration

Days 15 & 16 Just like the old saying goes, "As one door closes, another one opens",  I had a wonderful two days after a disastrous Day 14.  My husband, who usually makes great traditional dinners (meat, starch, veggie), made a veggie inspired meal just for me.  Since I started this two weeks ago, I have been making my own plant-based meals while he prepared meat-based dinners for everyone else.  I didn't expect him to make changes just because I did.  But, on Day 15, when I came home, he had stir-fried cabbage, baked yams, and threw in a whole grain fruit bar for desert - just for me!  To top it off, I found, advice, tips, recipes and support from two vegan experts, Dr. Sunyatta Amen, and The Vegan Muse(formerly the Vegetarian Muse).   With this acknowledgment came just what I needed to forge forward:  Validation.

 My new inspiration:  Spicy Marinated Rice by The Vegan Muse
Validation is empowering.  It allows you to Speak it, Feel it, Be it!  This support gave me the reinforcement I needed.  I had 12 servings of fruit and veggies today and eagerly look to re-energize tomorrow.  

Looking back over these past few days, I realized that I got more than what I bargained for by choosing this green lifestyle.  I've learned:

  • that I can save money by selecting vegan choices
  • to keep it short and simple (everyone likes a kiss every now and then?)
  • to be prepared (change doesn't have to be hard)
  • that acknowledgment and validation puts the wind in my sails!
Overall, I've learned that the sum total of this "new way" is actually a bargain, that considering the little I to put in versus what I gain, is a return of investment; the key to a healthier life.  When all is said and done, it is, indeed... PRICELESS.

Favorite dish of the day:  the one made from love - the validating dish of cabbage and sweet potatoes
Yoga:  30 minutes 


Margie said...

Have just enjoyed reading through your blog - all the way back to Day 1. An incredible inspiring journey -

I saw your comment/link on the Vegan Muse on FB.

I really liked your post on the 'foundation' - insightful food for thought!

Are you posting your recipes anywhere - am curious about your tuna sandwich.

I've been encouraged...

Yoga Girl said...

Hi Margie! The recipe is in the caption line of the Veggie Tuna picture on FB. Here's the link: