It has been a while since I’ve updated you all on my vegan journey. Needless to say, I am still vegan and my husband and I have reached our 6 month (almost 7) vegan anniversary 🙂 We are still very much dedicated to this lifestyle despite some challenges along the way. Over the last two months I have been so busy with work and personal life, that I haven’t had much time to get into meal prepping and experimenting with new dishes which has been the best part about this journey so far. We have eaten out a lot more than we’d like, but we had to make sure those meals were vegan or at least vegetarian. During the busy months it has been difficult to maintain our vegan lifestyle, but we did not give up! I’m going to share with you some tips that have helped us stay on track.
Keep healthy snacks on deck
When you are busy and always on the go, snacking pretty much becomes your way of life because you don’t really have time to prepare full meals. One of the downfalls to snacking is that it can turn into unhealthy snacking very fast! We’ve found many vegan treats which are good occasionally, but not on a daily basis. For snacks I often kept fruit, carrots and peanuts putter and nuts handy. Popcorn is also a good snack (not the pre-packaged).
When eating out, check out menus before arriving at the restaurant
Many restaurants now have vegan and vegetarian options, so it’s best to know ahead of time so that you can have an idea of what you can eat. For those nights when I didn’t have the energy to cook, we would pick up food from some of our staple restaurants that we frequent. Asian, Indian, Thai and Mediterranean foods have become our favorites because of their vegetable options. When on the road, I would use apps like Zomato to check out menus and reviews for restaurants that offered vegan and vegetarian options. One thing about being a vegan and eating out is that it can be as expensive or as cheap as you want it to be. You can go as cheap as Jimmy Johns or Subway for veggie subs or as expensive as Indian or Thai. While on the road it was fun experimenting and seeing just how accommodating and creative some restaurants could be!
Make sure you have the basics for meals
Since I didn’t have much time to try out new meals, I pretty much stuck to the basics, things that I was familiar with and could make quickly. Oatmeal, almond milk and fruit for breakfast, seitan sandwiches, salads or Boca burgers for lunch and pasta noodles with sauce and veggies for dinner. Tofu is also another basic for us since I can manipulate it to taste like anything I want. When you are busy you don’t really have time to do extensive grocery shopping or looking for new things to try, so if you at least get the basics, things you can easily make a meal with, then you should be good!
Have an accountability partner to help you stay on track
When you’re busy with life sometimes that motivation to stay healthy and on track with your lifestyle change is just not there. When in doubt or struggling, phone a friend! While on the road for trainings, it was helpful for me to check in with my husband about what he was eating and fill him in on what I was eating (even when I couldn’t resist macaroni and cheese balls at the Cheesecake Factory *insert monkey covering eyes emoji*). I was honest with him about my cravings and vice versa. We helped each other out when I was away and even when we were out of town together. It’s important to have an accountability partner, it can be a spouse or a friend, who you can check in with and they can help keep you on track.
So these are just some of the things I have found helpful over these last two months of me being busy. I noticed that during the busy times, I would find myself stressed and I would experience cheese cravings. I haven’t really had much of a chicken craving, just cheese because I was such a cheese head! When I attempted to satisfy my craving with a little cheese, I ended up feeling bloated and gassy which was so uncomfortable and something I hadn’t experienced in almost six months. I knew at that point that I can’t go back 🙁 I have to keep moving forward because my body is feeling so much better.
Let me know if you are new to the vegan lifestyle or thinking about going vegan and have questions. I’m no expert, but I’m more than happy to help!
Until next time…