We asked all the trainers five questions about their vegan challenge week experience. Here are their responses:
1. How did you feel throughout the course of the week?
Mike Babbitt: I felt fine. No undo cravings or feelings of low energy.
Tom Stafford: No, the dietary changes felt good
Michael Whitehurst: My energy was slightly lower than usual, most likely because I was taking in fewer calories.
Gena Coleman: The first two days I had a small headache; after I felt okay, maybe a little weak because I wasn’t eating as much protein as I should have been eating. I didn’t do a great job researching for protein alternatives.
2. Did you lose weight?
MB: 3 lbs.
TS: Yes, about 4 lbs.
MW: Yes, a total of 10 pounds.
GC: About 5 lbs.
3. Was the food more or less expensive than you thought it would be and/or more than you normally spend?
MB: Roughly around where we normally spend. The shift to more fruits and veggies away from meat sort of balanced itself out.
TS: A little bit more expensive but not by much.
MW: Cost was roughly the same, but the meal planning took a lot longer because of the restrictions.
GC: I guess normal since I didn’t really vary that much.
4. How was the food? Did you try anything new that you’ll incorporate into your diet?
MB: Some good, some bad. I don’t like beets. I like baby bok choy. I liked focusing more on unprocessed foods (not really a part of the diet per se but I added it) and will continue to try and incorporate this.
TS: It was good. I just made sure I got enough complete protein and made a couple of creations I really did enjoy, such as hummus spread on flat bread with cooked mushrooms and alpha sprouts. I also enjoyed dipping sliced cucumber and baby carrots in hummus.
MW: I have always avoided tofu in the past and now I know why, I just couldn’t get used to the texture. I did find some really good veggie protein sausage that I had almost every day. The fresh vegetables were delicious and I discovered swiss chard, which I have incorporated permanently into my vegetable palate.
GC: I tried a couple of samples at the studio but nothing really stood out. If I gave it more research, I’m sure I’d find alternatives.
5. Any other thoughts?
MB: I still feel like we’re omnivores and lean meats should be a staple part of every diet.
TS: It was a good experience that gave me a few more food options to add more fruits and veggies to my diet.
MW: I feel like the most benefit I derived from this experience is the importance of fresh vegetables and to always pick higher quality foods when possible. I have made a personal decision to strive toward a “qualitarian” diet, trying to buy fresh and organic wherever I can.