It’s the 31st, so you know what that means!!!!!

Today is jan 31. Which means that officially my 30 day vegetarian challenge is over. (The Runner and I did briefly question whether it was a month long challenge or a 30 day challenge- obviously this will become important in February- the shortest month of the year)

Anyway, officially it’s over and to be honest I feel really good. I say this every month but it actually wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Maybe that should be a really powerful life lesson. Change seems daunting at first but once you do it, it’s not that hard.

And at first thinking about not eating meat was really hard for this little omnivore. It was hard for friends to comprehend, it was hard to imagine what we would eat for 90 meals in a row. Yes, we used up our cheat days but not at home, and we never ate the same meal twice. And I don’t think there were many meals I would not make again.

As a result, I feel good. I’m proud of us for stepping out of our comfort zone and trying something new. I think it’s true that life begins at the end if your comfort zone because in truth, I feel a bit more alive. Like January 2014 has been an accomplishment. Like I’ve already discovered new things, broken out of a mold and grown as a person. Of course, I’m also writing this at 6:15am on a bus to the gym which could explain why I’m super impressed with myself. I am NOT a morning person and choosing to get up at 5:20am was not an easy choice but then neither was being a vegetarian for 30 days.

It also wasn’t a miracle weight loss cure, I felt better after eating and lighter, less heavy but the pounds haven’t exactly melted away. Maybe 30 days isn’t enough but if you’re expecting to lose heaps of weight, don’t. A lot of vegetarian food is quite cheesy. And I love cheese!

So here’s to the last day of January. The official end of the beginning of the new year and the official end of my vegetarian challenge. Next month is taking it one step further- 30 days of vegan cooking at home. If we go out, we can eat what we want but since we tend to eat at home most nights and take leftovers for lunch to work the next day, it should mean that we’re eating vegan 5 or 6 days a week. I got the idea from Mark Bittman, the New York Times food critic, who went vegan before 6- basically vegan during the day and ate what he wanted for dinner (makes sense considering his job!). He wrote a book about it and he did lose weight and get healthy and experienced a whole range of benefits. We’ll see.

Happy January, Happy Chinese New Year and happy eating!!!

Advertisements

Day 18- this is hardly a challenge

Image

More than half of the way through No red meat December and quite frankly I’m a bit bored.  This is not challenging.  This is not that hard.  I don’t feel like I’m denying myself anything and really I’m not.  Giving up red meat for 30 days is a lot easier than I thought it would be. 

 Let’s get one thing straight.  I LOVE Beef.  I’m a child of the 80s and vividly remember the Wendy’s ‘Where’s The Beef’ campaign.  Hamburgers, steaks, I can’t really think of what else you make from beef but you get the picture.  When I was a little girl and my father would ask me what I wanted to eat, I would apparently always answer “steak”.  He used to do a voice as an imitation of little me saying “steak” which was quite funny.  And Funny because it was not the voice of a little 7 year old girl, more of a Bill Cosby/John Belushi comedic voice, anyway, it was gold.  And accurate because I love and have always loved Steak.  If I were to die tomorrow, I can almost promise you that my last meal would involve a rare-ish steak, béarnaise sauce, chips, with mint chocolate chip and cookies n cream ice cream for dessert.  I haven’t put a lot of thought into it, but that would probably be my all time favourite meal.

Knowing this, and knowing that I always choose beef as a choice of filling, topping, or protein, I thought this would be a really tough challenge. 

 But it’s not.  And I’m disappointed.

 I’m not sure whether I’ve gone for the easy option by considering pork white meat and not red.  (Let’s face it marketing works on me, and to me pork is “the other white meat”)  There is a fair bit of debate on the internet as to which camp pork belongs to so I don’t feel like I’ve knowingly cheated but I feel like I must be cheating because it’s just.too.easy.  It could be because right behind a juicy steak on my list of favourite foods, is a nice juicy pork chop.  If my Dad is to blame for my love of red meat, my mom gets blamed for my love of pork.  If I had to pick one meal for my mother to make it would be her famous (in my eyes) breaded pork chops with white rice, corn, peas, and of course apple sauce on the side.  There has to be apple sauce otherwise it’s just not quite right. 

 I know I shouldn’t complain as I eat my Ham, cheese, and tomato sandwich (ok, no I’m not actually eating one right now) but you know what I mean.  Can I challenge be a challenge if it’s easy???

 Clearly next month we’ll have to step it up a notch!  Will we go fully vegetarian?  Liquid while the sun is up? Vegan before 6? (see article here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/mark-bittman-vegan-before-6-vb6_n_3224415.html) I’m not sure what January has in store, but it will be tough.  I’m ready to get back to the Challenge part of the Challenge.

Happy Spring!

So today is the first day of Spring here in Sydney and not only was the weather amazing today but I was reminded in my yoga class this morning that Spring is a time of new beginnings and a time to remember the past but move forward into the future.  Quite a fitting statement for my first Australian Fathers Day since my Dad died.   Spring is a time of rejuvenation and rebirth and Father’s Day- whether your father is here or not is a time of recognition and reflection on memories and love that you share.

It’s been quite a good day- surprisingly no tears.  I’ve been quite reflective but also recharging my batteries and getting ready for the year ahead.   A few weeks ago I started mulling over the idea of doing 30 day challenges between now and the wedding next year.  It’s a pretty stupid idea really considering I have the willpower of a… (I’m not really sure what analogy to use)..let’s just say I can relate to Oscar Wilde’s quote, “I can resist anything except temptation”.   Since we’ve moved to our new apartment, temptation has pretty much come in the form of cakes from Kurtosh, ice cream from Cold Rock and Banofee Pie Tarts from The Sweet Spot Patisserie– basically, The Spot  I love you but your delicious food is ruining my hopes of being a size 2 ever again!  No matter how much yoga I do in a week, it’s not really counteracting the cookies and cream cheesecake that you can order by weight….seriously, it’s a thing and it’s yum!

So, I’ve decided today is also the start of my beginning a series of 30 day challenges! For the next 11 months (give or take), I’m going to undertake a different challenge for 30 days.  I will allow myself to have a cheat day (or two) here and there but I’m going to try to be on the straight and narrow and stick to my 30 days of depriving myself of something.  (I wish I could say I came up with this totally on my own, but  I didn’t.  30 day challenges are a thing- read here– and a website!)

I’m starting today with 30 days of Gluten Free eating.  I’ve done it before so I know I can do it again, but still, it’s hard to think about 30 days of no pasta, no bread, no cookies, no cake, etc.  It sounds easy, but resistance is futile in the face of Kurtosh– but I’m going to be strong and make it 30 days.  

Some of the other challenges will be 30 days dairy free, 30 days no alcohol (the toughest one ever), 30 days vegan before 6 (apparently its Mark Bittman’s new thing- see article here), 30 days no dessert (not even ice cream), and more.  I’m open to any suggestions as well!

So here we go, the first day of spring, the first day of a new me!   Let’s do this!  And on the bright side only 29 days to go before I can tuck into a big bowl of pasta and garlic bread and cake!