Flexitarian - 3 week update-So far, so good

Categories: eating   flexitarian   gone Living   The Home

My original plan was to post updates weekly about how this month of being mostly a vegetarian was working out, but between playing with the kids, work and some running, it’s been busy.  If you missed my last post about my change in eating habits, you can find it here.

The short version is that things are going great. So far, it’s been pretty easy to eat an almost all vegetarian diet. Lets start with what we’ve been eating:

We’ve been trying all the different meat substitutes, just to see how they taste. There are some chick’n nuggets made by Veggie Patch, which are almost identical to fast food nuggets in taste and texture. (Excluding Chik-fil-a, which uses real chicken.).

We’ve tried a couple different seitan (wheat protein) products, and made a great stir fry with one of them. I kinda like saying this, because we don’t know how it’s pronounced, so we default to Satan. It’s the devils protein! Muahahaha.

Of course, there’s been a number of almond butter and jelly sandwiches.  I actually like using honey instead of jam, but that works better with peanut butter. Grilled cheese has been on the plates once or twice. Last night, I went all gourmet with it, and included tomato and salmon leftovers on them.

[caption id=”attachment_939” align=”alignright” width=”300” caption=”A seitan stir fry over quinoa and a touch of teriyaki sauce”]carrots, broccoli and seitan meat substitute[/caption]

We had was some vegetable soup that had some beef in it, which was probably an ounce or two. I shared some pasta with the little man, and it had some chicken, call that another ounce. I’ve had salmon and tuna a couple of times. I guess people debate on whether that’s meat or not, but for me, I’m going to eat it.

Of course, we’ve done salad, and hard-boiled eggs, rice and beans.  We made some beans with Cincinnati chili spice, which was interesting. Not quite the same as the actual chili, but over rice, it worked pretty good. Now, what’s been hard?

At a company lunch where they catered Chik-Fil-A. I managed to snag one of the salads, and traded the chicken on it for a brownie.  Yeah, it was just like second grade!  The salad didn’t do a whole lot for me, since there wasn’t much to it, but hey, I managed. I probably could have walked to the cafe next door and gotten something, but I was cheap and lazy.

We met with some friends at Chili’s for lunch. Let me tell you, that’s not really the place to go to avoid meat!  I got through with one of their wedge salads and a bowl of soup, but I was searching the menu pretty hard to try to find that.  I ended up with tortilla soup, which wasn’t the broccoli soup I ordered, but I still enjoyed it. It probably had chicken stock,  but I’m not too worried about it.

And what else?

The other thing I did, a couple of weeks prior to this, was attempted to give up artificial sweeteners and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). That meant cutting out soda and taking my coffee black.  The soda has probably been the hardest, since when I’m sitting at work, I often have a can of Diet Coke, since I get tired of water all the time. But since I only drank a can or three a day, it wasn’t horrible.

HFCS is a bit harder to avoid. I’m taking a lazy approach to it, so if I look at the ingredients of something and don’t see it in the first line or two, then it’s good. Other than that, I haven’t really been paying attention to it.

And the verdict?

For the record, I’m down around 4 pounds without putting any extra effort into losing weight. That’s a win.  I’d probably be down more if I made an effort, but at this point, I wanted to go one step at a time.

I did one 17.5 mile run, and a number of shorter ones, with no problems.  Anything I felt on those was the same I’ve felt when my diet was different, and my legs were working exactly as expected. (i.e. not nearly as good as they should, based on my lack of training.)

The marathon this weekend will be interesting. I have every intention of bonking hard at mile 19, suffering for 2 miles, then getting going again just to be bored out of my mind in the last 1.2 mile. (It’s nice knowing the course, so you know when it’s going to suck. :) I’ll let you know how things are going in another week or two.

Written on March 13, 2012