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OMG! I decided to really challenge myself, and try something new! I do this every year, and I’d have to admit, I do feel a sense of accomplishment once it’s all said and done. There’s nothing like keeping a promise you made to yourself, and the only one who can truly hold you accountable is you.
Well this week I have been tested over and over again, and I’ve still managed to not break down and buy the biggest piece of lamb I can find! I recently experienced a weak moment, that caught me unprepared. I had made a mixture of chickpeas, black quinoa, diced red onion, sliced jalapeños, and other seasonings. It was quite tasty, just not aesthetically pleasing lol. I was craving protein, and my chickpea mix was a quick fix. I didn’t measure my ingredients, and made too much. I ate about half, and stuck the remainder in the fridge just in case I had another protein craving.
Well, the next day I actually began craving fish. Fish tacos to be exact. So I thought about what foods I could use to make a vegan taco. The problem was, I didn’t really want any type of bread. I decided to use a red cabbage leaf; it’s sturdy but bendable, and high in nutritional value. I also used my mix of chickpeas and black quinoa as the meat; which probably had just as much if not more protein than fish. I then made an avocado dressing. The ingredients included 1 avocado, fresh lime juice, a few cloves of fresh garlic, a few slices of poblano pepper, and salt and black pepper.
It totally looked weird, and this is why there is no picture! But, it was actually pretty good! I experienced a variety of textures; from the crunch of the cabbage (that I kept raw), to the creaminess of the dressing. There was literally a vegan party going on in my mouth lol.
FYI, avocado dressing makes everything taste better.
Into my 9th day of the ’30 Day Challenge to Vaginal Health’ as a vegan, and I’m feeling alright. I’m rarely hungry, and that’s because I eat about every 2 to 3 hours. I’ve been drinking plenty of lime water. But only a half gallon, because I’m not currently working out. However, I have lost weight; between 3 and 4 pounds. Still, I’m pretty active throughout the day, and I can’t keep still these days, due to an increase in my metabolism from eating mostly whole foods. I don’t have meat products or highly processed foods slowing my system down, or clogging it up. I can’t lie though, I’ve been craving fish. Which may mean my body needs more protein. So I’m being much more mindful of whole (vegan) foods that will give me the protein I need; such as quinoa, chickpeas, various types of beans, etc. Something for you to consider if looking for variety, and foods low in cost that gives your body the nutrition it needs.
PLUS, this challenge is about vaginal health right? I’ve done this challenge for a few years. So I don’t need to journal at this point. However, I immediately notice the differences. Being that I’ve never gone vegan for more than 7 days, I’m anxious to see how my diet will affect my menstrual cycle.
Things that may reduce PMS (Premenstrual syndrome) symptoms, shorten and/or lighten the menstrual cycle?
Regular intake of water.
Reducing or eliminating meat and dairy, at least 1 week before the menstrual cycle begins.
Regularly eating leafy greens.
I’ve had several people suffering from fibroids or PMS, say that symptoms seem to improve when they cut down their meat intake.
In other news, I’ve used this 30 day challenge as a time of reflection on myself, my relationships, and goals I have planned for the year. One important lesson I’ve learned so far this year, and that I look to use as a guideline as a sexologist, sexuality educator, and consultant is:
Only give your opinion when asked.
I’m not sure why I decided to participate in this challenge eating only vegan meals. This decision has already proven to be harder than I had originally thought. I knew it would be challenging, but damn! I’m already missing the taste of meat, and it’s only been 4 days lol. However, I wanted to challenge myself in a way I never have before. This is why I ate mostly vegan meals toward the end of 2016 to somewhat prepare myself.
Plus, I’ve been able to figure out which restaurants, grocery stores and markets, cater to the vegan diet. This is especially helpful when I don’t feel like prepping and cooking. I am aware that some of you may “cheat”, and I totally understand. Just keep in mind that this is only for 30 days. Simply chose 1 day of the week to indulge. If you are journaling as suggested, record your experience of what it’s like to cheat, how it made you feel, and what you’ve learned about yourself in the process.
Remember the goal is to eat only foods that are unprocessed to minimally processed; eliminating “highly” processed foods such as breakfast cereals, convenience foods, bread, candy, and dairy. Make sure to eat at least 3 small meals and 2 snacks per day, and drink plenty of water. If you insist, there are a few cheeses that are minimally processed, including most white cheeses such as swiss, goat cheese, and provolone.
Check out this page to find out more about what processed foods are: 30 Day Challenge: Preparation.
Here are a few more “whole food” friendly resources: