I entered this week with a whole lot of skepticism. I didnít quite understand why we were doing it but thought it could be fun to suffer through eating no animal products with some co-workers and clients and I may learn something new. I had four primary concerns:
A) How will I physically feel?
B) Will I lose or gain weight?
C) Will the food be more expensive?
D) How will the food taste?
Sunday I went to the grocery store and wasnít prepared with a real plan besides knowing I needed to buy a whole bunch of fruits, vegetables, nuts, potatoes, and possibly some grain like pasta or oatmeal. The lack of calories was a big concern for me (I need about 3300 a day to maintain my weight) so I bought what felt like a ton of food.
I brought it all home and prepared the food. I started by cutting up broccoli, squash, zucchini, peppers, and onions and throwing them in a pan with a bunch of coconut oil, salt, and pepper. I also boiled a big bag of potatoes and rinsed off three cans of beans- black, cannelloni, and some other bean I canít remember. 🙂 Finally I made a pot of brown rice.
This vegetable conglomerate ended up being a ton of food that provided me the majority of my meals for the week. I also had lots of apples with peanut butter and oatmeal with pecans, raisins, and cinnamon. The studio has provided snacks all week and Iíve tried a few new vegan salads and a poor manís version of Nutella.
Physically Iíve felt great all week. Iíve made the correlation that eating healthy foods makes me feel good and our nutritionist, Cara Demu, said in a facebook post that itís very possible to eat ìjunk vegan.î I knew this going in and deliberately tried to stay away from things like cookies, chips, and crackers. Going in I would have bet that Iíd feel hungry but that certainly wasnít the case, probably due to the ridiculous amount of fiber and water contained in the foods I ate.
By Tuesday I had lost three pounds and by Wednesday it was up to seven. Iím writing this on a Friday afternoon and itís held tight at seven pounds, although this morning it was down to ten (probably dehydrated due to some beer last night, donít tell anyone!).
I actually spent less on groceries than I usually do which is funny because I usually donít buy enough food to last the entire week. I had assumed that it would be more expensive but I was wrong. TouchÈ, veganism, touchÈ.
Finally, for the most part, the food has been horrible. Actually the vegetable dish was horrible but everything else was pretty good. I ended up buying a Thai peanut sauce which made the dish a bit more palatable but not by much. However the oatmeal ended up being pretty good once I finally stopped spilling it all over the microwave!
Overall I would do this again in a heartbeat. Seven pounds of weight loss in five days sounds like a lot but I probably needed it and, as stated earlier, Iíve felt fantastic the whole week. But the best part of this week has definitely been bonding with the other employees and clients here that participated.
Tonight Iíll be at a Mexican restaurant eating steak fajitas and celebrating the end to a fun week!
Paul Piracci, BS CSCS
Paul brings a background of athletics and education to the Empower team. He believes that wellness should be viewed as a blended lifestyle that balances nutrition, a healthy mind, and fitness which incorporates fun recreational activities. For more information about Empower Personal Training please call (919) 401-8024.