Before I start telling you about the first day of the challenge , I want to share a little something. maybe a bit too much, but I think it’s important.
The night before the challenge begun, I totally over did it on the animal products. I normally don’t eat like this but for some reason, my brain, or my stomach, or maybe they were both in cahoots, thought it was a good idea to pig out (no pun intended).
So, for my last meal, I had chocolate biscuits, half a block of milk chocolate (i usually eat dark so go figure), 3 slices of orange and almond cake, avocado and cheese toasties and a magnum almond.
well, let’s just say that the churning in my stomach at bed time was not pleasant. a few trips to the loo, a stench that would make a tip employee wince and a belly that looked 5 months pregnant was enough to tell me that I had chosen the wrong foods to eat.
this is important because:
1. having been preparing myself for the challenge for the last month, i have been staying away from dairy and eggs so I know for a fact that it was all the dairy that did this to me.
2. listening to your body and how it feels after you consume food is important. take note for next time.
3. although my partner is not keen on my vegan quest, i bet he’ll love not having to deal with the constant aroma i was creating.
I don’t think this challenge will be that difficult but I could be wrong. The main drive for me to do this is to eat clean, eat fresh and be creative. So i’ve decided that instead of focusing on the things I can’t eat, I’ll focus on the things I can. I’m not really into the bastardisation of food so products like not-bacon or meat-free meat are really not my thing. I think that would be such a contradiction – eating food that is highly processed when you are meant to be eating clean. doesn’t make sense.
So let’s dive in to day 1.
uh oh, not a good start.
Here’s the recipe for those that don’t have issues with iron absorption.
2 cup spinach
1/4 cup carrot sticks
1/4 cup red capsicum
baked pumpkin (approx. 1.5 cups)
1 tbs sesame seeds
2 tbs pepitas
1 tbs unhulled tahini
2 tbs tamari
1 tbs water
cracked black pepper to taste
Mix dressing ingredients together and add more water if you like it thinner. Toss through vegetables and seeds until well coated and you’re good to go.
Unfortunately i ended up having to do a double shift at work so as I had not prepared for it, I ended up having to eat the food provided. I think the vegan gods really want me to do this though because one of the choices was a vegan cous cous with baked vegetables and lentils (accidental I’m sure but a win for me).
One thing I can’t stress enough is the need to be prepared. I always take some almonds or corn thins to work with me for that 3pm slump and today was no exception. But sometimes, healthy snacks are not enough and you crave something a little bit more decadent
Here’s my recipe for some brownies that I tweaked and adapted from one I found on the happy herbivore. It yields 12 brownies depending on how big you cut them. they keep really well in a sealed container in the fridge and really satisfy the chocolate cravings. Don’t be scared by the ingredients, you would never guess it had beans in it, I swear!!
Gluten Free Vegan Brownies
1 420g can of red beans (drained and rinsed)
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
3 tbs sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×8″ pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except quinoa, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the quinoa and pour batter into the pan. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing. Note: if you find these brownies are too soft or too fudge-y, add another 1/4 cup quinoa, flour or almond meal.
You could also add nuts for an extra protein hit, but i left them out this time.