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Vegan 21 Day Fix | Days 13-15

These three days were filled with triumphs and cheats.

Weekends are killer for me.

I obliterate my runs and then murder bags of candy.

Progress, not perfection, right?

 

Day 13

Something amazing happened on day 13.

I did something I’ve NEVER done before.

 

Day 13 exercise = I RAN FOR SIX MILES STRAIGHT.

 

That is my longest distance EVER.

OMG, I was so proud of myself.

I can’t even describe the sense of accomplishment that washed over me.

 

MAN, was it difficult. SO HARD. It took me an hour! I had to run for an hour straight to run six miles.

Yeah, I’m a turtle.

A turtle who’s KILLING IT.

 

Just look how sweaty happy I am after I completed Brooke’s Six-Mile Saturday Marathon.

Follow me on my Vegan 21 Day Fix journey! I'll post vegan recipes and daily updates on my progress through my first VEGAN round of the 21 Day Fix!

 

 

So, day 13 is the day I get to hang out with all of my favorite women in my family! Just for fun. We gather and eat and chat for hours. These gatherings are my favorite.

 

I brought my vegan desserts! Remember, I made them on day 11?

 

So, what did the ladies think of my vegan desserts?

I think they liked them?

Everyone said they did.

My vegan aunt liked my vegan sweets, I think!

My nephew had “six cookies,” apparently, so those were a hit. I love watching him eat healthy desserts. I can’t wait to be a mom.

 

When I first tried the Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookie Bars, I was NOT impressed. They tasted healthy. Health = not sweet enough.

But when I ate some more on the way home, I actually really liked them.

 

I am finally out of my day 10 emotional funk on day 13. I don’t think I look any different, but I FEEL better. Probably because I ran six miles IN A ROW DID YOU SEE THAT UP THERE?^^

 

The afternoon girls’ day was SOOOO nice. Something about getting older makes hanging out with your favorite women one of the best soul-enriching things you can do. I love my family.

I also love my family’s cooking skills.

 

Guess what my vegan aunt made?!

 

This vegan balsamic roasted beet and cashew cheese tart!

Balsamic Roasted Beet Cashew Cheese Tart - Follow me on my Vegan 21 Day Fix journey! I'll post vegan recipes and daily updates on my progress through my first VEGAN round of the 21 Day Fix!

Just look at it.

You can always count on her to bring an incredibly interesting and complex vegan treat to these gatherings. She is the coolest.

 

And OMMGGGGG THIS TART WAS SOOOOOOO GOOD. The cashew cheese tasted like real CHEESE! That aunt of mine is quite incredible with her vegan creativity.

 

I also had a plethora of other delicious foods from this spread:

Balsamic Roasted Beet Cashew Cheese Tart - Follow me on my Vegan 21 Day Fix journey! I'll post vegan recipes and daily updates on my progress through my first VEGAN round of the 21 Day Fix!

 

Why yes, that bean/corn/avocado salsa in the bottom right-hand corner IS cowboy caviar. I talked about how I make and eat cowboy caviar in my vegan days 1-3 post.

DEFINITELY had some of that. And it was phenomenal.

I didn’t eat those beautiful deviled eggs, though. Sadly. Because I love deviled eggs.

 

The food was as lovely as the company. We exchanged stories and book recommendations and lots of love.

 

When I returned home, I made another bowl of vegan Chinese food (which I explained how to make on day 12). Found some low-sodium soy sauce! WAY better than teriyaki sauce.

 

I then just sort of ate whatever I fancied and the day turned into a big ol’ cheat day.

I didn’t even care, though, because I ran for over an hour straight day 13 morning, so I was content with life and with indulging and little lotta bit.

 

What I ate on Day 13:

  • 1/2 c. of oats = 1 yellow A
  • some broccoli = 1/2 green
  • girls’ day spread = (this is a guess) 1 green, 1 blue (cashews and almonds), and 1 yellow B swap (I had some of my cookies and bars (which I made on day 11))
  • shredded cabbage, quinoa, edamame bowl = part of a green, part of a red, part of a yellow A
  • tortilla chips = CHEAT
  • watermelon = part of a purple
  • chocolate = CHEAT
  • candy = CHEAT

Day 13 totals:

some red (of 3)
2-3 green (of 5)
2 yellow A
at least 1 yellow B

part of a purple (of 1)
1 blue 
0 orange (of 1)
2 teaspoons of oil (just going to assume these teaspoons were consumed through my cheats)

 

So, like I said, I didn’t worry about the cheats.

I’m trying to “keep it real” during this vegan Fix, and real = SLOWLY lose weight.

Real also = cheat days happen.

 

I made The World’s Greatest Blanket Fort with my nephew and passed out three hours before he did because my morning run left me WHOOPED.

 

 

Day 14

I slept like a BABY day 13 night. Reason #873 why running is great.

I woke up and went grocery shopping for all the greens Meijer had available AS WELL AS some of the ingredients I needed to make Cookie and Kate’s Mega Crunchy Romaine Salad with Quinoa.

 

 

I ALSO FOUND TOFU AT THE STORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can’t WAIT to figure out how to cook that.

 

So, I made Kate’s Mega Crunchy salad on day 13.

 

It seriously took me over an hour to make this salad.

I had to wash the romaine leaves, broccoli, radishes, carrots, and cilantro before slicing and dicing them all for the salad.

It takes forever to prepare vegetables, which is why so many people don’t do it.

 

I also just dumped my leftover “super grain” quinoa into the salad, so no measurements were used there.

 

Once all of the salad ingredients were in the bowl, I dumped Kate’s “zippy cilantro dressing” on top and tossed.

This mega crunchy salad is mega huge and I have no clue how I’m going to eat all of it.

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I SWEAR there are carrots and reduced-sugar dried cranberries and broccoli in there. They just disappeared beneath the heap of romaine lettuce I added. I probably diced up too much lettuce.

But my package said 22 oz.! And Kate said 11 oz. of lettuce! And I washed and cut half the package!

 

Either way, I think I’m going to add more carrots.

 

So, I wasn’t going to work out on day 14.

Because I felt like I had earned a day off. And I just felt like being really lazy and indulgent all day.

So, I texted Husband and told him I was going to take the day off.

And he said, “Well, yeah, you are allowed a break every now and then, crazy woman!”

And I was like, Yay! Day off!

And then I was like, Maybe I’ll run if I’m feeling up to it WHILE walking.

And then I was like, Ooo running….

And within five minutes, I was out the door.

 

Day 14 exercise = 3-mile run. My knee was hurting, at first, so I slowed my pace way down. The run took a little over 30 minutes. Then, I did 111 lunges. I felt AWESOME after this workout, mostly because I wasn’t planning on breaking a sweat on day 14 and I DID.

 

I spent the morning FaceTiming with Husband, and then I ate some of my mega crunchy salad.

 

It was JUST OKAY.

 

I ended up adding more carrots and another 1/2 c. of dried cranberries to amp up the sweetness.

 

Honestly, I’m not impressed with this salad.

It’s WAY better with more cranberries, because it definitely needs a more pronounced sweetness to it. Or more flavor in general.

I think my problem is that my ratio of veggies-to-dressing is off. I can’t taste the dressing at all.

Probably because I added too much lettuce/quinoa.

Cranberries make it better, though.

 

After I ate my salad, I mashed 1/3 c. of avocado onto 1 c. of my lentil/quinoa pasta and drizzled some sriracha on top.

 

Then, I made some 21 Day Fix No Bake Cookies and ate WAY MORE than a serving of 2 cookies. I had at least, like, 8. Maybe 16.

I couldn’t tell you how many, because I never bothered to scoop out actual COOKIES.

I am more of a cookie dough + spoon kinda gal (see days 1-3 cookie doughs).

 

What I ate on Day 14:

  • 2 cups of mega crunchy salad = 2 green, 1 teaspoon (oil), some orange from seeds, 1/2 yellow A
  • 1 c. lentil/quinoa pasta + 1/3 c. avocado + sriracha = 1 red, 1 yellow A, 1 blue
  • lots of 21 Day Fix No Bakes = CHEAT (could count them toward yellow A, though, because of oatmeal)
  • candy
  • whole grain saltines
  • cashews
  • more candy
  • more 21 Day Fix No Bakes

Day 14 totals:

1 red (of 3)
2 green (of 5)
probably 3 yellow A
at least 1 yellow B (from cheats/saltines)

0 purple (of 1)
more than 1 blue (avocado + cashews) 
some orange (of 1)
SO MANY teaspoons of oil (from the salad’s oil + peanut butter and coconut oil in No Bakes) 

 

As you can see, day 14 turned into a massive cheat day. Day 14 was a Sunday.

I am realizing that weekends tend to turn into CHEAT-ends.

This is okay, it’s just good to know. So that I can find a way to correct this behavior.

 

I will be VERY HAPPY right now if I can learn to eat well during the week and let loose a little bit on the weekends. The eating-well-during-the-week will be enough of a feat.

 

This is my plan for the remaining 7 days of this vegan 21 Day Fix: I am not going to have any yellow swaps or cheats until I get all of the day’s reds, yellow As, and (maybe) greens in. I think this will really help me achieve a goal of seeing SOMEWHAT of a difference between my day 1 and day 21 pictures.

 

I received some excellent feedback on my overly-emotional and highly vulnerable day 10 post, and I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who reached out to me. I sincerely appreciate all of your tips and tricks and encouragement. You all made my week SO MUCH BETTER.

 

One of my friends told me that she goes for a walk after dinner. It disrupts a routine of sitting on your butt and eating whatever you want until bedtime, and she says it makes a huge difference for her when it comes to nighttime cravings. I’m going to give it a whirl starting day 15. I’ll let you know how it works for me.

 

I spent some of day 14 watching Better Call Saul on Netflix. It’s okay. Sometimes the show gets REALLY GOOD, and other times, it’s not very engaging.

Then, I watched Shameless on Netflix. Really, really good show. It is absolutely heartbreaking, though. I think it hits too close to home for me, because it makes me overwhelmingly sad when I watch it. Sometimes sick-to-my-stomach sad.

Husband: “I think maybe you shouldn’t watch that show?”

Me: “You’re right.”

 

Day 14 night was the last lazy day I’m going to have on this Fix. I definitely needed a lazy day (remember, I didn’t even want to work out day 14 morning), so I took it, but the candy is gone and my library stack of books is NOT, so I’ll be reading instead of Netflixing the next seven days.

 

 

Day 15

SO. TIRED. DAY. 15.

You know what is the truth? When you eat like crap, you feel like crap.

I know for a FACT that when I’m eating well/following my containers, I feel lighter and more energetic.

I haven’t been eating well, and I feel lethargic and heavy and whalish.

 

Day 15 exercise = Autumn’s 30-minute Upper Fix workout video. It was easier this time than it was a week ago! Still challenging, though. I like it because you get a great ARM workout AND a great AB workout. Then, I did 60 lunges.

 

Can I just say that all of this running is doing wonders for my legs?

Like, even though I feel like a balloon, my calves and shins are so muscular! I love it.

When I shave my legs in the shower, I pivot my legs on the balls of my feet and admire my new running muscles.

 

I had some overnight oats for breakfast and packed some of my so-so mega crunchy salad for lunch (along with Vega One).

 

At work, I ate said salad and Vega One.

I was STARVING by the time lunch hit, so when I went home, I scanned my kitchen for food.

I was going to eat more of my crunchy salad and/or some Grape-nuts cereal, but I told myself that I should have a red since I didn’t know when/how I’d squeeze in a third red after dinner.

So I shook up and drank another Vega shake.

Not ideal, obviously, but sufficient nonetheless.

 

Also while on lunch, I opened my tofu packet to “drain” it.

Tofu! - Follow me on my Vegan 21 Day Fix journey! I'll post vegan recipes and daily updates on my progress through my first VEGAN round of the 21 Day Fix!

 

 

Here is the squishy blob that is “firm” tofu.

Tofu! - Follow me on my Vegan 21 Day Fix journey! I'll post vegan recipes and daily updates on my progress through my first VEGAN round of the 21 Day Fix!

 

I tried to squeeze some water out by hand, but I could see the blob starting to crumble, so I pressed it between a few layers of paper towel.

And then a few more layers.

And then a few more.

This tofu just kept soaking through my paper towels.

Finally, I just wrapped it in paper towel and tucked it under a bowl in my fridge to press some excess moisture into the paper towel.

Hopefully it will be magically “drained” by the time I get home.

 

A few hours later…

 

The tofu wasn’t necessarily “dry,” but it was more drained than it had been in that package. And the paper towel was DRIPPING wet. All over my fridge.

Tofu tip: place a plate/bowl under your draining tofu.

Duh, you whisper.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

 

So, I planned to just dice and fry my tofu in coconut oil. Nice and simple for my first time cooking it. I intend to get fancier, I swear.

Here’s a list of a billion fancy/exciting ways to prepare tofu.

 

So I cut a layer off the top of my tofu block and then diced that into cubes.

I then threw those cubes into a hot skillet that I’d sprayed with coconut oil. Then, I sprinkled pepper on top.

Tofu! - Follow me on my Vegan 21 Day Fix journey! I'll post vegan recipes and daily updates on my progress through my first VEGAN round of the 21 Day Fix!

 

After about 7-10 minutes, I lifted up a cube and saw that it was golden brown on the bottom.

Weird!

Tofu browns when you cook it, just like meat!

I flipped all of my cubes and sprinkled more pepper on top.

Tofu! - Follow me on my Vegan 21 Day Fix journey! I'll post vegan recipes and daily updates on my progress through my first VEGAN round of the 21 Day Fix!

 

Those little tofu pieces sizzled and fried just like bacon.

I took a little piece out and tasted it.

It tasted like pepper and nothing else.

So, I cracked some sea salt on top and diced up some mushrooms to add to the pan.

Tofu! - Follow me on my Vegan 21 Day Fix journey! I'll post vegan recipes and daily updates on my progress through my first VEGAN round of the 21 Day Fix!

 

Once those were cooked up, I tossed them onto my kale, added some diced cherry tomatoes, and squeezed some lime juice on top.

Tofu! - Follow me on my Vegan 21 Day Fix journey! I'll post vegan recipes and daily updates on my progress through my first VEGAN round of the 21 Day Fix!

 

It was okay, but it was seriously lacking flavor. So I added some sriracha and just like that, the salad was perfect.

LOVE sriracha.

 

So, what did my tofu taste like?

Well, nothing, really.

The texture was something like: hard/crispy on the outside, and mushy/soft on the inside.

I am making it sound less appetizing than it was. It was definitely satisfactory. Just not splendid.

 

Tomorrow, I am going to toss my cubes in cornstarch before I pan-fry them, because I hear cornstarch gives tofu a better crust. I am also going to cook them a little longer.

 

So, remember how I said on day 14 that I was going to spend less time with Netflix and more time with books?

I did it!

I read my latest book – Crash and Burn by Lisa Gardner – instead of turning on Netflix.

This book is pretty good.

It’s way better than my Harlan Coben books. I tried to read those.

I TRIED.

But you can’t read a Coben novel after you’ve read You by Caroline KepnesYou just blows other books out of the water. And after reading it, I’ve decided I’m not going to waste my time with books I don’t want to eat for dinner.

Crash and Burn is holding my interest, so far.

I’m sorry, Coben lovers.

 

Also, remember how I said I was going to try to go for a walk after dinner?

I did this, too!

I only went for a 10 minute walk because my calves were seizing up and were (not kidding) hard as ROCKS when I returned to my apartment. I was wearing the wrong shoes (sandals) and walking too fast for said shoes. This happens every time I do that.

 

Anyway, before my calves started to hurt, I was really pleased with my walk. Dusk is beautiful in Michigan, particularly in the summer.

I said to myself, Wow. This is really nice. This feels good. I need to do this more often.

So guess what I’m going to do on day 16? Yup – another walk.

In fact, and I am going to promise you that I will keep this habit up through the end of the Fix.

Just to see how I like it.

Because what a great habit to start, right? A nice walk after dinner?

 

The walk was very lonely, but then again, I’ve been feeling a little lonely this week without Husband.

I’ll try to get him on the phone for these walks from now on.

 

What I ate on Day 15:

  • overnight oats = 1 yellow A, 1 orange
  • 2 cups of mega crunchy salad = 2 green, 1 teaspoon (oil), some orange from seeds, 1/2 yellow A
  • Vega One = 1 red
  • Vega One = 1 red
  • kale salad with tofu, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms = 2 green, 1 red
  • 21 Day Fix No Bakes = CHEAT (could count them toward yellow A, though, because of oatmeal)

Day 15 totals:

3 red 
4 green (of 5)
3ish yellow A
1 yellow B (No Bakes cheat)

0 purple (of 1)
0 blue (of 1)
1 orange
MANY teaspoons of oil (from the salad’s oil + peanut butter and coconut oil in No Bakes) 

 

I finished off the No Bake “cookie dough” I made on day 14. I should have eaten about half of what I ate, but since that was ALL I had after dinner, I was satisfied with my “success.”

 

I’ve come a long way on this vegan Fix. If not physically, then emotionally and mentally.

I’ve learned a few things and developed a few opinions about vegan eating, too.

 

Here are my remarks (thus far) about eating vegan:

  • I think dairy and eggs will always be a staple in my diet. I could survive as a vegetarian (vegetarians eat eggs and dairy), but vegan is too restrictive for me.
  • I have a harder time sticking to the containers when doing the vegan Fix vs. the regular Fix.
  • I appreciate how the vegan Fix encourages me to eat healthier yellows. Three of them have to be quinoa or other highly nutritious grains, while only one can be a “yummy” carb (think: English muffins, sweet potatoes, whole grain waffles). Because of the vegan yellow container rules, I’m eating less tortillas and more quinoa this round than during my regular round.
  • I can’t wait to have dietary freedom back. Dietary freedom = I can grab an organic granola bar and not have to read the label to make sure it doesn’t have any dairy in it.
  • I definitely like to eat more than three greens per day (which is what I was allowed on the regular fix), but I get tired of vegetables by the fourth container and have difficulties eating the fifth.
  • I think the vegan Fix would be WAY EASIER with Shakeology. I drink Vega One to get my reds in, but I don’t look forward to drinking it like I do Shakeology. I am growing more tired of vegan proteins by the day, and vegan chocolate Shakeology is like DESSERT (but counts as a red). I would enjoy this round more if I knew a vegan chocolate shake awaited me each day.
  • I need meat in my life. Not every day, but definitely every once in a while. I’ll definitely eat less meat after this round is over than I’d been eating before I started it, though.
  • The only dairy foods I miss are ice cream and chocolate and cheese, so it’s not like I’m craving GOOD FOR ME dairy products. I just miss the fatty indulgences.
  • I would never be able to survive forever as a vegan. I don’t have the willpower or the desire to pursue this diet long-term. I appreciate and respect the dietary benefits of eating vegan, but this lifestyle is not for me.
  • I. Can’t. Wait. For. A. Chicken. Sandwich.

 

I’m excited for this vegan Fix to be over, but I am also excited to start working harder to achieve my goals for this round.

Laziness (with food, not exercise) characterizes this round of the Fix so far, and I know that 90% of weight loss happens in the kitchen, so I need to start cracking the whip.

I feel so much better when I don’t eat bad-for-me food. I just have to REMEMBER this when I’m at my mother’s house and candy is staring at me.

 

Wish me whip-cracking luck.

 

See you in three days!

See days 16-18! >>

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