Monday, June 1, 2009

Challenge Weekend One

We're closing in on week one of my husband's 30 day vegan challenge.  In my last post I mentioned that I thought this would be his most difficult weekend, and...well if I was right, then the rest of this challenge should be a breeze.  

I don't have any pictures so I won't bore you with too many words, but Saturday we had a cookout at my aunt's house with some of our relative who are visiting from Italy.  We brought veggie burgers, so we had them on whole wheat buns with some rice salad that my aunt made.  Plus there was the raw veggies out.  Oh, and then fruit salad...watermelon...yumm.  It was really a lot of fun to meet them, and was all around a good day!  

Sunday we went down to my husband's family to see his sister off (she is going to Greece).  We now live exactly halfway between both of our families, so its kind of convenient.  Anyway, they were cooking out too, so we brought veggie burgers, but I didn't even end up eating them because my mother in law had gotten a tofu recipe from a friend of hers that was really good (thankfully...I don't think they had really tried tofu before). That with brown rice, corn on the cob, some polenta and vegetable pie she made, baked potato wedges, etc, was plenty for me.  My husband still ate two veggie burgers (Southwest flavor Sunshine burgers.  I've never had them, but he said they were good), along with everything else though.  Oh and there was dessert too!  My sister in law is gluten-free, so we had two options for vegan and gluten-free dessert.  Impressive.  

My in laws have a really awesome natural food store near their house, and as much as I love Wegmans, I do miss the local places.  So we went on our way home.  I didn't really get too much, but I did get these olive oil...things.  

I can't explain them, and I ate them all already (they were REALLY good).  I guess they are kind of like a mix between a pastry/cookie and a cracker.  Like, a sweet cracker.  But round, and sprinkled with sugar.  What put them completely over the top awesome though was the ground anise and anise extract.  Soooo good.  I have never seen them there before, and they were this special "imported" item, so I don't know if they'll be there next time, but if they KNOW I'll be buying some more.  

Today we got up EARLY and went to spinning at 5:45.  We got there at 5:40 only to find out we were actually 10 minutes late because they moved the class up to 5:30.  I totally LOVED it!  It was so much fun.  On top of that we're going to be lifting tonight.  It sounds like a lot, but because of his job, my husband almost always works out twice a day.  Since I have the time now, why not?  On days we don't lift I am going to do yoga.  I've found a place around here called Yogawood that does an Ashtanga style flow, which is what I am used to, and what I love, but I think I may try a Bikram place tomorrow.  By the way, I want to clear up something I said on Friday, that the yoga didn't keep my legs very strong, and I think I should mention that "strong" is a pretty relative term.  Yoga keeps your muscles fit and relatively strong...but not strong enough to squat 100 pounds.  I hope that makes more sense.  To ME, that is STRONG.  Warrior poses don't really do much of anything to my leg muscles (my hips, that's another story).  I lost much more strength in my big legs lifts than I did in my upper body lifts.  But, every kind of exercise, every practice, whether its yoga, running, lifting, etc they all have their own benefits, and they all make you strong in some way.  Which explains why I'm always trying to do a little bit of everything!      

After spinning we have breakfast, which has been "interesting".  Since all I have is a Magic Bullet (no blender), I have a very limited volume capacity.  My smoothies always consist of six ingredients:
1.  Banana
2.  Spinach
3.  Protein powder
4.  Non-dairy milk
5.  Frozen fruit
6.  Water    

Well, as you may imagine, this does not fit in the Magic Bullet very well.  So I've been making them in pieces, and we end up with a green component (spinach, banana, water), and a fruit colored component (today was purple---blueberries!!).  When you pour them together it looks all swirly.  
I just think it looks cool, but my husband likes it like this because he says he can taste the separate components.  Okay. 

In case you were wondering, we're not using the same protein powder.  I'm using the same stuff I've talked about a bunch of times.  My rice and pea blend, sweetened with stevia, from  He is using a GNC soy protein isolate.  I can taste such a difference.  His is sweetened with sucralose, I believe, and it is so much sweeter.  I don't like it because it reminds me too much of whey.  So if you are trying to move away from whey, this stuff may be the way to go.  

One last update.  I stopped at my parents this weekend before going to my aunt's house.  I talked about the baby birds living on their porch a few days ago.  

Well this was my mom's most recent picture of them, just a week after that first picture. 

 And this was my picture of them this weekend.  

They're gone!  The babies have officially grown up and left the nest (and my family can use the front door again).  

As far as the vegan challenge, so far it is going very very well.  He says he's feeling really good, and...well that's about it, what else do you want?  Yesterday on the way to my in-laws, I had him listen to Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's podcast, Vegetarian Food for Thought.  Now, I know I have  mentioned her in passing before, but I seriously love this podcast.  The one I really wanted him to listen to was one of her most recent episodes, and its one that I suggest everyone listens to.  I know I have people who read this who aren't necessarily vegetarian or vegan, I'm talking to you, too.  It may not be something that you want to hear, but I think its worth the 40 minutes to just listen.  Not because I want you to be vegan.  But because I want you to be sure you are YOUR definition of healthy.  You can take from it whatever you want, but I think it should be required listening.  And I will never beg you to listen to another one of her podcasts again, I swear.  You can even do it through iTunes, just search.  So, go download:  Vegetarian Food for Thought, Diseases of Civilization.  Now.      

My husband was really unhappy I was making him do this, but once he started listening to her, I think he is hooked.  He takes a lot of pride in being well educated, and her podcast present information that he has never really looked into before.  It is very well research, and it isn't presented in an angry way, so its hard not to listen.  We listened to it the whole way there, and then he told me I could put it on "if I wanted to" on the way home.

One last thing (I swear).  I get really tired of say "my husband this", "my husband that", etc.  I know that other bloggers have other names for their significant others or family members (BoyfriendLovlie from VeganLovie, CD from Heather Eats Almond Butter, and Mama and Papa Crunk from Vegan Crunk come to mind), but I got nothing .   Any ideas?  

Allright, NOW I'm done.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday!!


  1. It's so exciting that you are getting into lifting a lot. Weight lifting is a HUGE part of my life.... even though I hardly talk about it on my blog. You've inspired me to discuss it more. I believe it's HALF of being healthy!! Anyway, how about you find a variation of your hubby's name and then make it silly. Like if his name is "Brian" make it Bri-guy.... or something. :)

  2. I'm glad the challenge is going so well!

    And awww, how both sad and happy that the birds have grown up and moved on!

  3. Ohh. I'm excited that I made it into your blog. And those olive oil tortas. I've seen them quite a few places, including our local Kings, so if you'd like me to pick them up for you, let me know.

  4. glad it's going well. it is sometimes hard going to other people's houses but sounds like you've worked it out pretty well. i guess you could use initials or something? i don't have any helpful suggestions.

  5. Your dedication amazes me! I think that it is wonderful that you get the support from family. Good luck to you both!

  6. What a lovely smoothie, that swirl looks so enticing!

    Glad to hear it's going well so far. :)

  7. Cute smoothie! And the baby birds were adorable, but it's good that they've moved on so you can use the door again. That just made me think of the family guy episode where Peter grows a beard... seen it?

    Good-o about the hubster! Andy eats vegan but won't commit, so I'm a bit jealous of your man and his challenge. As for names, maybe you should ask him what he wants to be called? I just use first names for both of us, because I'm far less creative than the VeggieGirl family, the Lovlies, and the Crunks...

  8. Strong-man? :) I don't know. I'm down with whatever you call him. Just glad that he's trying out the veg world.

  9. Is your husband against you using his name on your blog? I use my kid's first initials, just for more privacy for them, and was doing the same for my husband. He didn't like me using "W" cuz he couldn't stand the thought of someone thinking "dubbya" when reading it. He's definitely not a dubbya type, so now I just call him Will in my posts. If your DH complains of headaches, it could be from the sucralose in the powder, not just detoxing.

  10. Ha ha - I've got to show this to CD. He made your post. He'll be so excited! Maybe call your husband by his first initial? I've seen other bloggers do that...or he could be My Vegan Man...well, at least for this month anyway. :)

    Sounds like the cookouts went really well, especially the 2nd one - you guys had plenty of options. However, I would have gobbled up the 2 Sunshine burgers just like your vegan man. Love those, but what's up with only getting 3 in a box?

    Squat 100 lbs? Yeah, I don't think all the Warrior poses in the world would get me there. However, I do love how when I'm in Warrior Pose, I can see so much more muscle definition now. I know, I'm totally vain, but I can't help it.

    Oh my gosh, I would have to do the swirlie smoothie thing too if I had a Magic Bullet as my smoothies are usually huge. I always use at least 2 cups of water because otherwise, they don't leave me satiated for long.
    Have a good day Gina!