Joe and I finally got to go away for a few days. Gabi was lucky enough to get to go to ballet school in Holland, Michigan. Madie is working and we decided that we would go a few days early before we got to pick up Gabi. We just wanted to relax. Spend some time together, reconnect. We both lead really busy lives together, as a family and separately. He goes to work, I teach yoga. He goes to China, I teach ballet. He goes to work in China, I go work at the hospital....it's been a great summer!
We stayed in Douglas, Michigan a small hamlet close to Saugatauk and Holland. There are two State parks, beaches and Bald Mountain. Lots of little shops, galleries and RESTAURANTS!!!! Every corner of these quaint towns has a different culinary smell and boy was it amazing. Curry, barbeque, garlic and bakery, how I live for the smell of bread!
I couldn't wait to have some great foodie experiences. The challenge being: VEGAN. We could do it! A salad here, tofu and a farmers market over there! We were going to preserve!
Yeah, about that...
I never realized how much animal products I eat. After puruseing menu after menu I have been enlightened how much dairy is in almost everything! And, how much meat is hiding in most dishes. Obviously a steak or chicken, but minced shrimp or chopped ham it's in there!!! There were some great salads but economically my $15 cherry walnut Michigan salad minus the blue cheese was not comparible to the grilled fresh catch of the day with heritage tomato salad for $10. What is a girl to do? How am I supposed to say NO! to every creme caramel??? LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH! Maybe it's time to re-evaluate over fresh Traverse City Cherry Pie and homemade vanilla ice cream.
This is a life style challenge. An eye opener to a better way of living and an experiment. I'm on vacation. It's hard to challenge myself with no rules. It's a little anarchy really, being on vacation. Maybe I ate vegan once or twice a day during my short Michigan weekend but I did wave a white flag and succumb to a great dinner or two that did include smoked Gouda and whipped cream (not together mind you). Am I terrible for giving in? No. Can I add 5 days to my challenge and continue marching on? Yes!
Let's take the vegan walk of shame, add 5 days and continue on our challenge!
How do you handle difficult vegan situations? Any secret tips for handling vacation and parties? We need 'em!
Peace love and eternal grooviness,
Ena and Joe
PS! Dr. Janice made some great vegan cabbage rolls! They had lentils, rice and were deeeeelish! Check out her blog at www.drjanicedaviend.com maybe she will post it for us!
Whooo! Hoooo! First 6 days done!! (95% vegan, epic fail on Monday! re-read last post) 24 days to go. What am I going to do? Here's the plan I will continue on my "path" and keep forging ahead. I am always like this, let's jump in and figure out the rest. Vegan? Sure. My fridge is full of salami and cheese. Open a yoga studio? Sure. I've taught 3 classes... Hey, wanna buy a swamp in Florida???? I'll probably sign the deed.
Here is the secret. To living your best life you need a plan. Wanna go vegan, don't have a fridge full of salami and cheese cut up in cubes for you. Have fruit and veggies available. Have smoothies ready to drink. Don't leave it up to chance. Maybe if you are going to a restaurant or to a friends house for dinner call. Let them know that you have special needs. A great chef will accommodate a guest if given the chance. Better yet, try a new recipe or a new restaurant! You might LOVE IT!
Here are my tips from week one:
1. PLAN plan plan. Whether you are a strict here is what we are eating on Monday to here is our weekly menu, you need a plan in place. Try to plan at least 3 breakfast options and 4 evening menus. If you are an over cooker, you will have plenty of left overs. Lunch can always be a shake or my favourite hummus. Hummus and bread, hummus and veggies you get, it hummus rules!!!
2. GET HELP! Ask. People are willing to share their ideas, recipes and tips. My friend Darlene is sending me lots of alternatives and hints. Dr. J made me awesome protein balls to have on hand! Now, I'm actually looking at all the great recipes I've pinned on Pinterest. I've also dug out all my vegan cookbooks and have been re-reading them!
3. BE KIND TO YOURSELF if you have just made a huge change in your life whether it's starting an exercise program, or a huge diet change you are going to make some mistakes along the way. IT'S OK! Just realize it, own it give yourself a big hug and get right back up again.
Any other tips and tricks you can
There are some things that you just might be not be able to give up. It's a challenge and Joe still hasn't given up his Tim Horton's steeped tea double double!!! Maybe this week? However, we are going to go to Seva's before going to a Sarah McLaughlin concert!!! Can't wait!!!
Ps. check out Dr.J's blog at www.drjanicedaviend.com for more tips and tricks and don't forget to post your comments.
I went away with Gabi's dance team to Niagara Falls last week and totally indulged! I ate too much, drank too much and basically did NOTHING but sit. A total blow to my diet and exercise regime. BOO! ENA!! THUMBS DOWN!!
I have been wanting to do a vegan challenge for a while but I will confess....I LOVE to eat. I call myself a true flexitarian.
My excuse to not doing it before was, "I don't want to be a bother at this party..." or, "If I eat something different I should bring it with me..." really the truth is "I'm too busy to be a vegan, it takes too much planning..." TRANSLATES TOO, LAZY!!!
I really want to be a vegan and am jealous of the people who can have the discipline to do it! It takes time and planning and does not include CHEESE! However, once I start something I stick to it if I need to be accountable. That is what a blog is for right??? I can say what I like and people read it! Also, how will it look if I, Yoga Teacher, Motivator, and Mother, don't follow through.
I started on Monday, it is Tuesday and so far 50%. Yesterday, (Monday) we went to my in-laws for dinner for our 18th anniversary. She made us a beautiful vegetarian lasagne, gluten free even, covered in cheese. Smothered actually, in wonderful cheese. She probably would have made something else if I would have told her about the vegan challenge. So I HAD to eat 2 large pieces of lasagne topped off with Parmesan cheese. A mountain of it! I loved every bite. But felt a smidge guilty for having totally blown my first day. All that cheese erased my trail mix and fruit :(
Today however,(Tuesday) I have been pretty good. My friend Claudia made a nice bean/cabbage salad and now I am staring at the cupboards because I am hungry and Joe is eating pickles for dinner! I must get this planning DOWN!!! I guess a trip to the grocery store is in the future. Because pickles are not a food group!! Uh-OH! Joe has decided to finish off the yogurt that is in the fridge. I KNOW! It's dairy, but now it is gone and we did not waste. I am not looking forward to later when the pickles and yogurt mix in his belly! YUCK!
As my friend Scarlet O'Hara once said, "Tomorrow is another day!"
Peace and Love to you,
P.S. Any suggestion and tips are welcomed, especially from all you go-getter vegans out there!
The Love It Yoga Team
Yoga teachers, dancers, waitresses, empowerers, nurses, foodies, wine lovers, everyday people.