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Vegan 21 Day Fix | Days 4-6

Happy Fourth of July weekend!

I’ve been celebrating these past few days with lots of cheat foods. BUT, as promised, they’ve all been VEGAN.

Which means none of them have been satisfactory.

Because ice cream, chocolate, cheesy popcorn, dips, spreads, and cookies ALL HAVE DAIRY IN THEM.

But don’t even think about feeling bad for me. I got my sweets in.

 

Day 4

I woke up STARVING on day 4 morning.

But I made my coffee and popped my workout video in and got to work.

 

Day 4 exercise = I did Autumn’s 30-minute Lower Fix workout video. Nothing like taking a month off from Autumn’s workouts to realize how IN SHAPE you became FROM said workouts which tricked you into thinking they are EASIER than they actually are. My goodness, I was shaking. I’m still shaking as I type this sentence. Jelly legs today.

 

After that, I showered and prepared breakfast.

Oh, wait!

No I didn’t.

Because breakfast was already prepared for me.

Remember my overnight oats?

They were ready-to-eat day 4 morning!

I scooped out an incredibly unappealing 1/2 c. of the oat/goo mixture and plopped it into a bowl.

 

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I microwaved it for 30 seconds. Then, I stirred it. Then, I tasted it.

AND WOW, WAS I SURPRISED.

 

The tasted great!

Seriously!

 

You know how, when you stay at a hotel that serves breakfast, they sometimes have a big metal vat of oatmeal just waiting to be scooped and consumed?

always get oatmeal at buffets. Because it tastes sooooo good. It has a wholesome, comforting taste. Especially when I add dried fruit and nuts and brown sugar to it.

Even though I added none of those things to this morning’s oatmeal, it was JUST AS GOOD as the oatmeal I get at buffets. I wolfed it down. It was gone in thirty seconds.

 

And this, my friend, is my number one FAVORITE thing about the 21 Day Fix: it forces you to try new recipes and discover new healthy foods that you suddenly cannot live WITHOUT.

 

Overnight oats will become a new staple in my fridge.

Also, I think I poured MORE chia seeds into the oat mixture than I originally thought, so I’m calling each 1/2-cup serving of overnight oats 1 yellow A and 1 orange.

 

After breakfast, I made my lunch.

Today’s salad features the shining star that is SRIRACHA.

I discovered sriracha during my first round of the 21 Day Fix. And I am in love with it.

I love spicy food, you see. If my nose is running and sweat beads are forming on my face from the heat, I’m giddy. The spicier, the better.

And I’ve learned that there is no such thing as too much sriracha.

 

Exhibit A:

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There is a chance that I will be gasping for air while I eat this salad. And I cannot WAIT.

 

Also, work has FINALLY been slowing down for me, thank goodness. This means I had ample time to EDIT! EDIT! EDIT! EDIT! and then publish my Vegan 21 Day Fix Days 1-3 post on day 4 morning. There are few things in this world excite me like publishing a new blog post does. ESPECIALLY when the post is about healthy eats.

 

Did I mention on day 4 that I finally started to feel more alive? There was a pep in my step, as my dear mother would say.

Eating well and exercising is finally reviving me. It always does.

Also, I’m pretty sure that running is making me lose more weight than regular workouts. It kind of makes sense. I mean, it’s NOT easy to run for thirty minutes straight. Lots of calories are burned.

But since I also want guns and obliques, I’ll continue to alternate running with weightlifting.

 

Because strength = sexy.

 

I went to Aldis on my lunch break on day 4 and stocked up on vegan eats.

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What I ate on Day 4:

  • 1/2 c. overnight oats = 1 yellow A, 1 orange
  • (salad) 1 cup of baby spinach + cherry tomatoes + chickpeas + bell peppers = 2 green, 1 red
  • 1/2 c. of quinoa taco meat + 3/4 c. of black beans + 1 c. of sautéed bell peppers + cilantro = 1 yellow A1 red, 1 green
  • remainder of Raw Vegan Oatmeal Raisin cookie dough (which I doctored up) = part of a yellow A, part of a purple, teaspoons of coconut oil,
  • half a batch of Pumpkin Pie Cookie Dough (my own recipe, see below) = 1/2 green, 1 blue, 1/4 yellow A, plus dates which I suppose would make this a yellow B treat swap, though I specifically crafted it to equate certain containers

Day 4 totals:

2 red (of 3)
3.5 green (of 5)
3 yellow A
1 yellow B (?)
1/2 purple (?)
1 blue (of 1)
1 orange
2+ teaspoons (coconut oil)

 

I think I did quite well with day 4’s foods!

 

The sriracha salad made my eyes water. It was glorious.

The quinoa taco bowl was just as incredible as it has been every night this week.

 

So, about this Pumpkin Pie Cookie Dough I made.

OMG.

So, first, I must tell you that the inspiration for these cookies came from a can of pumpkin I had in my cupboard.

On the 21 Day Fix, pumpkin is a green.

And what better way to eat your vegetables than for DESSERT?

So, using a general sense of know-how when it comes to vegan desserts, I concocted a completely made up recipe for what I am now calling Pumpkin Pie Cookie Dough.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 c. almonds, ground to a meal/powder

1 c. dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and then drained, pits removed

1/2 c. oats

1 c. canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)

1 t. pumpkin pie seasoning (or cinnamon/nutmeg)

 

Steps:

  1. Pulse almonds in food processor until they turn into a fine “meal” or “powder.”
  2. Add dates. Pulse, pulse, pulse, until the dates break down and you get a sticky mashup of almonds and dates.
  3. Add oats. Pulse, pulse, pulse until everything is combined.
  4. Add pumpkin and spices. Pulse until mixture is smooth.
  5. Eat with a spoon straight out of the food processor.

 

Now, for your step-by-step pictures.

 

Pulse almonds, add dates, and keep pulsing those two until picture 3 consistency is achieved. Then, add oats.

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Pulse, add pumpkin and spices, and pulse some more.

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Keep pulsing until you have THIS:

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This cookie dough is SOOOOOO good. It’s VERY sweet. Probably because I added a whole cup of DATES to it.

 

Because I am me, I ended up dumping a bunch of cocoa powder in my cookie dough. Because CHOCOLATE EVERYTHING.

Unlike my experimental raw cookies on day 3, I figured this dough could stand up to the bitter addition of cocoa powder. It was wet and sweet enough.

And I was RIGHT.

 

This was taken after I ate half the batch.

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Seriously, this dough is DELICIOUS. And totally vegan-approved! And made with wholesome ingredients like DATES which naturally sweeten desserts and do NOT wreak havoc on your body like refined sugar does.

 

I specifically added almonds and oats to get my blues and yellow As in.

You could call this a yellow swap. I know there’s more sugar in the dough than I should be eating, so it SHOULD be a yellow treat swap. But it’s just brimming with wholesome ingredients and I can’t resist also applying it toward my daily container count!

So I called it BOTH. It’s a swap AND parts of green, blue, and yellow A.

 

I also did some veggie prep day 4 night.

 

Chili powder on everything!

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I definitely burnt my sprouts. But they are delicious nonetheless.
Oh, roasted Brussels sprouts, how I’ve missed you.

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After roasting, I chatted with Husband via FaceTime for an hour, watched a little bit of Scandal, and passed out.

 

 

Day 5

I was DEAD on day 5. SO tired. You know how you have those dreams where you’re like, please don’t ring, alarm…I’m too tired, IN the actual dream? Those were my dreams.

 

I’m a lucid dreamer. Basically, that means I am sometimes aware that I’m dreaming while I’m dreaming. It’s weird. It’s like I have a constant feeling that my dreams aren’t real while I’m in them. SOMETIMES I do have dreams where I’m totally caught off guard by whatever is happening. Those dreams are my favorite.

I haven’t always been a lucid dreamer. I practiced it years ago until I could do it. You practice lucid dreaming by making a conscious effort to remember your dreams as best as you can while you’re awake. Essentially, you try to invite your dreams into your waking reality, which allows you to get a better grip on the difference between dreams and reality. You are also supposed to journal about your dreams the SECOND you wake up. Then, while you’re dreaming, you try to remind yourself that whatever is happening isn’t real. Which is easier said than done, but also easier to do after you’ve spent a lot of AWAKE time thinking about your dreams.

When you’re in a dream that you realize is a dream, that’s when things get interesting. That’s when you can manipulate your dreams.

 

I remember the first time I changed a detail of my dream. Whatever happened in the dream just wasn’t crazy enough, so I purposefully switched out the weapon and the resulting death.
No, I wasn’t MURDERING someone.
Someone else was murdering someone.
But anyway, in the dream, I was like, a bullet wouldn’t even go through the window the right way. It must be a crossbow.

And BAM – a bow shot through the window and impaled the person’s chest. Dead.

 

I know this makes me sound like a psychopath, and that’s because I am.

 

After I woke up and realized what I had done, that I could change elements of my dreams, bedtime was never the same.

 

So, in last night’s dream, things were happening in the dream, but the whole dream was just DOUSED in exhaustion. I was exhausted in the dream. I was slopping myself on couches and sitting on the floor and dragging myself from location to location. I was so tired. And I kept telling myself that I didn’t want to wake up for work just yet. Even though I was in a totally different part of the United States and trying to avoid sleeping in a tent in someone’s sun room, I knew I had to get up soon for work.

So cool.

It’s a weird, scary place inside my head.

 

Day 5 exercise = I did Autumn’s 30-minute Upper Fix workout video. Not even coffee woke me up this morning. I was dragging myself around my apartment all morning before I finally pressed “play.” And I hated every MINUTE of this video. I just wanted to sit down and SLEEP. But I pushed through it and finished. My resentment for Autumn and the Fix finally wore off an hour later and I was finally proud and happy that I’d made it through. I AM SO SORE. SO. SORE. Help me. 

 

I ate breakfast, packed my lunch, and went to work, where Murphy’s Law was in FULL SWING.

WORST MORNING OF WORK EVER.

Sometimes, I wish you were a third part logistics dispatcher, just so I could vent about my job. My day is entrenched in logistical vernacular that makes day-explaining truly impossible to non-dispatchers. Well, I can vent to Husband, but I swear he just nods and smiles and doesn’t actually take anything in.

 

Either way, the morning wasn’t THAT bad, because I knew I’d be spending the night at my mother’s house!

Although, I would be on-call for work day 5 night.

On-call will actually continue for me for the next week.

 

On-call isn’t really on-call.

 

It’s like when you say people “passed away” instead of “died.” What’s the word for that again…?

EUPHEMISM!

That’s what it is.

A euphemism is when you use a harmless or less-offensive word instead of what you actually mean. “Passed away” is a fluffy, feathery term that’s easier on the ears than “dead.” Dead is harsh.

 

“On-call” is a euphemism for “overtime,” in my office.

You’re not “on-call.” You go home and you work while everyone skips through the lilies and forgets about their own shipments.

I skip through the lilies when it’s someone else’s turn to be on call, too, so don’t think I’m resentful of being on-call.

 

In fact, I kind of like it. Because I am a HERMIT, remember? I like being on-call-chained to my house, because that means I have an excuse to never leave my house.

 

However, on-call isn’t all daisies and unicorns.

It actually is quite terrible.

You’re responsible for solving impromptu problems for EVERYONE in the office. And since we work completely independently from the moment we enter the office door, none of us are at ALL familiar with each other’s crap.

Which is what makes on-call so stressful. You have to deal with other people’s crap about which you are utterly clueless.

But, you manage.

Because you are a warrior dispatcher.

 

While I’m on-call, I like to sit around and watch Netflix and eat cookies.

Since I don’t want to live like that anymore, I’ll have to find other things to do.

But I’ll be at my MOM’s house this weekend.

Which does have KITTENS.

There! Problem solved!

 

Since I won’t be home this weekend, I’ve packed up all my vegan eats!

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Included: asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cilantro (in the bowl), vegan quinoa taco “meat,” half a tomato, bell peppers, Ezekiel English muffin.

 

Not pictured: cubed watermelon, a can of black beans, a huge bag of sweet potatoes, and Pam coconut oil spray.

Megan introduced me to that coconut oil spray, and it is a GAME CHANGER in the kitchen. It’s WAY easier and less messy to spray your vegetables with coconut oil than rub them down with it.

 

Planning = essential for 21 Day Fix.

Now, here’s to hoping I actually EAT this stuff and not chocolate and cookies and cakes.

KIDDING!*

 

*I hope.

 

No, seriously, I am going to try to behave…

 

What I ate on Day 5:

  • 1/2 c. overnight oats = 1 yellow A1 orange
  • (salad) 1 cup of baby spinach + cherry tomatoes + chickpeas + Brussels sprouts = 2 green1 red
  • half a batch of Pumpkin Pie Cookies (see recipe above) = 1/2 green1 blue, 1/4 yellow A, plus dates which I suppose would make this a yellow B treat swap, though I specifically crafted it to equate certain containers
  • Veggie burger + 1/4 c. taco meat quinoa + tomatoes + bell peppers = 1 red1/4 yellow A1/2 green
  • Asparagus and Brussels sprouts = 2 green
  • “nobakes” = oats, cocoa powder, melted peanut butter, melted honey = 1 yellow A, 3 T. peanut butter, 3 T. honey
  • 15-20 Pringles = CHEAT

Day 5 totals:

2 red (of 3)
5 green
3.25 yellow A
1 yellow B 
1 purple (dates?)
1 blue
1 orange
TONS of teaspoons of PB

 

So, obviously, food could have been better. BUT I must say that I’m proud of myself for getting creative with my sweets instead of eating a dairy-filled cake or CHEESE or something.

 

I’m learning that my vow to eat only vegan foods is limiting my ability to gorge myself. Because EVERYTHING HAS DAIRY IN IT. EVERYTHING.

And, unlike my apartment, my mother’s house isn’t overflowing with appropriate vegan substitutes like coconut oil and flax seed.

 

I was so desperate for chocolate chips on day 5 night that I read the ingredients on the backs of EVERY SINGLE BAG of baking chips in my mom’s cupboard. Milk chocolate, semi-sweet, butterscotch, white chocolate, and cinnamon chips.

ALL THE CHIPS HAD DAIRY IN THEM = inedible to vegan me.

 

Pringles were safe, though, so I ate those.

 

I don’t feel terrible about eating everything in sight. Because weekend trips to my mom’s house usually involve GORGING oneself on every food in sight. And sometimes trips to the grocery store just to buy all the bad-for-body snacks and treats we want to eat.

Also, weekends at mom’s house involve feeling extremely full 24/7.

 

Not on day 5 for me, though! *pats back*

 

I was still able to enjoy my sweets and my salty foods without gorging myself, and since I’m being less strict with my eats during this round of the fix in order to make my habit changes more gradual and thus sustainable, I am satisfied with day 5’s foods.

 

Oh, and here are some pics of my veggie burger.

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And the box. My mother purchased these frozen patties at Aldis.

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The ingredients are NOT the best, but they don’t contain animal products and I’m allowed to have veggie burgers on the vegan Fix, so I had one!

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Here it is, all chopped up and mixed in with my quinoa taco eats.

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‘Twas delicious!!!

Seriously, that veggie burger was ridiculously good. The whole kitchen smelled like a burrito. SO TASTY.

My mother actually has another type/brand of veggie burger in her freezer, which I will try on day 6.

 

 

Day 6

I woke up and was…you guessed it…SORE.

But, I made myself some coffee and a deal.

I told myself that, if I went for a 30 minute run around my parents’ block, I would be allowed to go to the library and check out 10 books and read them for the rest of the day.

Since I have a wickedly good list of to-read books on Goodreads, the library served as a great incentive to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement.

 

Day 6 exercise = 33 minute run around my parents’ block. Only once (I think it was near the 1-mile-mark) was I happy to be running. The rest of the time, I was wheeling and dealing with myself to keep pushing. I sent Husband a billion snaps loosely titled “FML” while I ran. Especially when I came upon a hill. Which seemed to happen every time I looked up. But, I did it! And I did feel like a superhero afterward.

 

After my run, I made some oatmeal for breakfast. Loaded it with cinnamon and nutmeg. It smelled like Christmas cookies!

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Then, I took care of some more on-call work, chatted with Husband on the phone, and got ready to visit the library!!!!

 

OH, I was so excited.

I asked my mother how many books would be too many to check out. We agreed that 10 books was a good number.

I ended up checking out eight.

My local library had only one of the books on my Goodreads list, but they did have many books by the same authors as the books on my Goodreads list, so I checked out some of THOSE, instead.

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*angels sing*

I LOVE READING.

So do the people who told me that they LOVE Harlan Coben.

 

See any books in this stack that YOU love? Got any recommendations for me? Please! I am all ears!

 

First up from the stack: Crooked Little Heart by Anne Lamott (wanted to check out Bird by Bird, but the library didn’t have it). OBSESSED WITH THIS BOOK SO FAR. CANNOT WAIT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS. 

You can read my review of this book on Goodreads once I’ve finished it. I review all (well, most) of the books I read on Goodreads. Be my Goodreads friend so I can see what you’re reading!

 

I also had vegan chocolate Shakeology on day 6 because my mother has vegan chocolate Shakeology in her cupboard.

I know I mentioned briefly that Vega One doesn’t taste as good as Shakeology, but that was an understatement.

Vega One tastes like crap compared to Shakeology.

 

I blended my Shakeology with ice and water and had a straight up MILKSHAKE in the middle of the day.

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Yeah, I said milkshake. Because it tastes like a fricken milkshake! I felt like I was drinking ice cream and chocolate and milk, all blended up.

Shakeology is delicious and way better than Vega One.

I once reviewed all the different flavors of Shakeology for you, remember?

 

Guess what else I did on day 6…

I made sweet potato chips!

 

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You make sweet potato chips by peeling and slicing sweet potatoes. I used my mom’s mandolin slicer to cut them, but I’ve also just used a knife. Varying thickness with your chips isn’t that big of a deal because you bake them at a low temperature.

 

After you peel and slice, you coat your potatoes in coconut oil. You can do this manually with a jar/jug of coconut oil (this is the jug I buy from Sam’s Club), or you can buy Pam coconut oil spray, which I am obsessed with because it makes baking/cooking with coconut oil a billion times easier. You can find this in the same location as regular cooking sprays in your local grocery store.

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Simply spray/rub a cookie sheet with coconut oil and line up your little chips. Don’t worry about crowding, because these babies will be HALF the size they are now once they’ve cooked.

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Now, spray the tops of your chips with coconut oil.

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And sprinkle pepper on top, if you wish.Homemade sweet potato chips! 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!

 

Now, all you have to do is pop them into a 250° oven for two hours (flip halfway through, re-sprinkle with pepper) and – voila!

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CHIPS!!!!

 

Guess what?

 

These things are CRUNCHY.

 

CRUNCHIER than KETTLE CHIPS.

 

I’m not kidding.

Munch on these things, and you’ll definitely wake a baby.

And they’re DELICIOUS.

 

FINALLY!!!! A CRUNCHY CHIP OPTION FOR THE 21 DAY FIX!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been experimenting with chip options on the Fix. I tried zucchini chips and cauliflower chips.

While both were delicious, neither chip had any crunch.

 

Sweet potato chips = greatest thing ever invented.

 

After I had chips, I tried the second version of frozen veggie burger patty in my mother’s freezer.

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Again, questionable ingredients, but I’m allowed veggie burgers on the vegan Fix, so I went for it.

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Sadly, I was excited for this burger.

 

Because it smelled like a hamburger after I cooked it in the microwave.

I didn’t even care WHY my vegan burger smelled like cow. I just wanted to eat it.

I doused it in mustard, cut it up, and took a bite.

And I chewed.

And I made a face.

 

I chalked it up to “bad bite” and speared another piece with my fork.

 

STILL DISGUSTING.

 

What did it taste like?

CHEMICALS!

What was the texture like?

Well, you know how, when you’re eating a normal burger, your molars come upon a piece of fat, and it’s like chewing a tiny ball of rubber? THAT WAS THE TEXTURE OF THIS VEGGIE BURGER.

 

Blech! Just terrible!

I spat it out and threw that nonsense in the trash.

 

Do NOT buy these burgers.

 

Instead, make brownies without the eggs and replace half the oil with water so you can eat brownie dough for dinner because, who’s on a diet, again?

Certainly it’s not me?

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Oh, and frost them with peanut butter, powdered sugar, and water “frosting.”

 

And make sure you polish off your brownie dinner with skittles and Pringles, because when you’re Brooke on Fourth of July weekend, you’re eating anything you want so long as it’s vegan.

 

What I ate on Day 6:

  • 1/2 c. oatmeal = 1 yellow A
  • 1 c. Brussels sprouts = 1 green
  • Shakeology = 1 red
  • 1 c. watermelon
  • lots of Triscuit crackers = yellow B
  • sweet potato chips = yellow B
  • brownie dough/brownies = CHEAT
  • skittles = CHEAT
  • also, Pringles. CHEAT

Day 6 totals (should I even bother?):

1 red (of 3)
1 green (of 5)
1 yellow A (of 3)
tons of yellow Bs
1 purple
0 blue (of 1)
0 orange (of 1)
OODLES of teaspoons (coconut oil from sweet potato chips/Triscuits/oil from brownies/everything)

 

Well, um…I ate whatever I wanted because that’s what I wanted to do.

 

Important to note, though, that I stuck to my VEGAN guns like I promised. I scrounged for non-dairy products and ate whatever I could find.

Certainly, this will slow my weight-loss progress.

But I still feel good about what I’m doing. Because you know what? I don’t feel bogged down or bloated like I usually do when I cheat. I contribute this to the lack of dairy in my cheats.

 

Also, not once have I been stuffed to the brim. Another accomplishment!

 

Also, I would rather have slept/swan dove off a cliff than worked out every morning, but I stuck to those guns, too.

 

Progress, not perfection = what I tell myself when I shove Skittles into my mouth. You know I read the ingredients to make sure Skittles are vegan-approved and saw all the fake color additions in there and ate them anyway.

 

I DO intend to get more of my containers in from here on out, though, as I am sure the lack of greens/reds on day 6 left ample room in my tummy for brownies.

 

Happy Independence Day Eve! Enjoy the rest of your three-day weekend, and I’ll see you next Wednesday with another vegan 21 Day Fix update!

see days 7-9! >>

 

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