Veganuary Week Deuxย โœŒ๐Ÿผ

Week Deux, still craving pizza, not missing meat,ย haven’t watched Earthling’s yet, the oven man farted in my kitchen and still eating loads Kale & Quinoa Salad. Check out Week Deux of Veganuary…

Wanna read our first week? Link here.

DAY 8: CRAVINGS ๐Ÿ™„

I was hoping I’d wake up today the most refreshed of all. It was after all, the 8th day of Veganuary and my body was (finally) getting to grips with the whole thing. Or so I thought?

However, the bathroom leak had returned and a 3am, 6am, 8am alarm (to check that we hadn’t flooded) meant I felt like death reincarnate.

The ‘Im going to get up early and be so productive’ mental plans were now ruined and I opted for slothing it out in the confines of my warm fluffy bed for an extra couple of hours. I lay drifting in and out of consciousness until the 7th alarm ‘OMG you are such a fatty’ went off. Best sign as any.

I swirl up my daily dose of Amazing Grass Lemongrass, pop on some running gear and head out into the world for a quick sweat on. Instantly I feel better, running is so therapeutical, so easy to get lost in thought; thoughts about brunch.

Best thing about a morning sweat sesh? The refuelling brunch part. The part that usually consists of creamy oats and peanut butter.

While inhaling my oats, an orchestra of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ ensue. How do people not like this? How can they not like oats. Honestly.

The rest of the day was pretty mundane. Prep invoices for Monday’s re-stocking. Wrap a few bars. Browse ASOS. Go for a massage. Crave pizza. Eat a crisps sandwich. You know. The usual.

I find myself craving foods, not because I particularly want to eat this or that, but because I miss the ‘full’ feeling or feeling of satiety. I understand that this must be a normal feeling, after all the body must still be getting used to the change.

A leftover Christmas chocolate in the form of a strawberry and cream Lindt ball stares at me from the back of the cupboard. It’s pink glistening wrapper, yearning to be touched.

NO!

Instead, I eat a Lenny and Larries cookie which has 4x more calories. Sigh. I see it. I’m gonna get fat by the end of this.

I go to bed hungry. And fat.


DAY 9: BUSY BEE ๐Ÿย 

Monday’s are always so overwhelming, the busiest day of the week for us, with approximately 500+ bars getting delivered across all stockists.

So, what does this mean? Less time for making food and/ or eating food cold. (Something I have become accustomed to over the past year.)

I attempt to re-create oats again, I had done them the day before so it was going to be a quick thing. A ‘piece of piss’ you could say. Unfortunately they didn’t turn out so well, I forgot they were on the hob heating up and then I forgot I had poured them in the bowl.

I eat it cold. Obvs.

I realise that Monday’s are not my thing. Or maybe multi-tasking? Maybe both? I’ll go with both.

I spend the rest of the day busy and simultaneously scheming up meals in my mind.

End up eating a quinoa and kale salad for the umpteenth time.

Monday. Goodnight.


DAY 10: FAT ๐Ÿท

I wake up feeling fat.

Not bloated.

Fat.

It dawns on me that MAYBE it’s not the change to veganism that is making me feel like this, but the overconsumption of Yorkshire puds, roast potatoes and Lindt balls during xmas that in fact have contributed to my demise.

I see a meme that says ‘it’s been 12 years, maybe am not bloated, just fat’ ~ I relate to it.

(Shoutout to memes though, it’s great knowing that no matter how shitty you feel… someone else has felt the same way too.)

Lunch comes along and I watch my bf consume a large pizza AND burger while I nibble on some leaves (because it’s the only Vegan thing on the menu). I drown my hunger sorrow’s in 3 baskets of freshly baked spelt bread.

Sorry wheat intolerance. Please forgive me, for I was hungry.

8:30pm arrives and i’ve consumed only 20g of 140g protein, I give up on life.

Damn you delicious bread.


DAY 11: REGRET ๐Ÿ˜ช
The bloat continues, except now it’s a mixture of wheat poisoning and Xmas fat.

If momma thought me anything, it’s that when you’re feeling poorly, a good ol toast and a bottle of Lucozade fixes everything. Except my mum was no where to be seen and an avo toast + smoothie is the best I can rustle up. Earning those hipster points the best way I can.

I choose to not eat much all day, par some leftover Hazelnut cookies which I forgot I had made.

This tends to happen often due to the daily baking at MB HQ. Other people find loose change in their pockets, not me. I find cookies. Who’s the real winner huh?

For dinner I opted safe, but was also inspired, mainly due to hunger (after eating basic all day) and tried to re-create Wagamama’s Warm Chilli Salad coz it’s my fave. [Emphasis on tried].

I had a bottle of generic supermarket brand sweet chilli sauce, which I assumed wasn’t TOO spicy. Pan-fried Tofu in it, added more to the salad then an extra drizzle you know, in case I wanted to take a picture of it like the true insta hoe that I am.

‘Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups.’

Do you know the quote, ‘Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups.’ ?

Yeah.

My mouth resembled the fiery pits of hell, and so after several attempts of eating the chilli with a side of salad, I gave up.

I soothed my burning mouth with a high protein Yoghurt mix (Alpro Coconut Yog + Now Foods Vanilla Soy Protein) and I was well and truly DONE.


DAY 12: OVEN MAN ๐Ÿ™‹๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ
After several days sans oven, (it had suddenly died on me) the man finally came to fix it. I offer him some water as i see him sweat profusely while disecting my oven to pieces.

He became so enthralled in the fixing of my oven that he let one rip.

Yeah. He farted.

Awkward level – Infinite.

I pretended not to hear it, I think he did too, it took a few seconds of silence until he applogised.

‘Its alright’ i laughed.

‘Spinach wouldnt have done that,’ I think to myself.

HOLD UP.

My first veggie joke!

Ok ok. First *lame veggie joke.

I pay him ยฃ160, and tip him a Muscle Malt.


DAY 13: MUNDANE ๐Ÿ’ค

Fridays are usually fairly busy, making sure all bars are ready to roll out on the following Monday.

So, in true busy bee fashion the day was pretty mundane.

Except maybe, the part I had a BBQ tofu Burrito Bowl which was INSANELY good.

Ok and maybe the part I attempted to try a YouTube Hair Tutorial. (It was all fun and games until I was 2 hrs in, an hour late and nowhere near looking like Kendall Jenner.)

I realise that it’s the end if the week and i legit don’t miss meat. Like mentioned before, i miss the satiety feels but the thought of meat is now is slightly off-putting.

I celebrate with a glass of vodka, lime and sparkling water. (Because I’m trying to get my summer body back.)

Note to self: Pluck up the courage to watch Earthlings.


DAY 14: RUNNERS HIGH ๐Ÿ†

All week I had been mentally preparing myself for today, for tackling a Round the Rock run. For any of you reading this who are not from Gibraltar, it means running the circumference of Gibraltar (an approximate 10+km’s).

I woke up, downed my powdered greens and waited patiently for them to settle. You see, I can’t run until I go to the ‘ladies room’ or else the run itself makes me wanna. Nothing I hate more than having to stop and walk because I’m bursting or having to barge into a restaurant/ bar ‘Can I use your toilet please?’ Embarrassing. So I wait.

Eventually i set off, found a good pace and in the same way as Brian Griffin in Family Guy, I get the incredible runners high. (Watch linked video to see what a runner’s high is because it is such an accurate depiction.) I beat my time from two weeks prior. I reward myself with a Lenny & Larries Snickerdoodle Cookie.

Lunch plans were at my sisters, and however supportive she is of me taking part in Veganuary the stress of cooking for the family got the better of her: ‘Bring something for yourself I don’t know what to make.’ Wagamama take away it is.

‘All the Edamame beans please.’

In usual post-lunch tradition, my sister (who must be a distant relative of Charlie from the chocolate factory) whips out trays upon trays of chocolates. Hey Twix. Hey Wispa. Hey Twirl. All my old homies staring at me, pleading me to unwrap them. But, I resist. I ain’t a quitter. I also happen to be REALLY stuffed from all of the 3 bowl’s of Edamame beans.

After resisting the chocolates, I got home craving something sweet. Does this happen to you? When you resist certain foods, you crave them? It does to me anyway. So, I made a giant pancake with loads of Choc Hazelnut butter and sliced strawberries. Honestly it was so good! Who said veganism is hard?

I immerse myself in sorting out accounts and emails. I tackle the longest email first: start typing and realise 3 paragraphs in that I haven’t even typed anything at all. Damn keyboard batteries have gone.

Technology.

Omg…

Are Apple products vegan?
I type this into the crystal ball that is the Google search bar…

I was NOT mentally prepared for the sudden wave of information that followed. To find out all the items that are in fact not Vegan.

Tampons, condoms, sugar, toothpaste… the list went on! This can’t be real surely?

Atleast I learn that Apple products are in fact Vegan. Thank f**k for that. Who cares about smelly teeth when you’re using your shiny 27inch 4K Retina iMac anyway? Pft.ย 


We hope you enjoyed our week two Veganuary. Itย has been slightly easier than week one, due to learning what foods we like and don’t like. Hope we are proving it is not as hard as you may believe it to be! You may feelย that it is impossible to do it and give up *insert favourite animal based food here* (most people say cheese) ย BUT, eating LESS also makes a positive change on our environment! Try it ย ๐Ÿ˜„


This text is based on the experiences of @themusclebaker.


Check out our Vegan Recipes for inspo.


Much love,

The Muscle Baker โค๏ธ

Veganuary Week Uno ๐ŸŒฑ

Let’s take part in Veganuary they said. It’ll be fun they said. No-one warned us about the cheese cravings, dangers of sudden fibre uptake and how easy it is to get fat. But, it aint all doom and gloom, have a read and find out what the experience has been like so far:

For those who don’t know what Veganuary is, we explained it in our previous blogpost: Top tips to tackle Veganuary.


DAY ONE: HANGOVER ๐Ÿ’€

My first day as a vegan was quite uneventful, I skipped breakfast as usual (because bed minutes are worth more than breakfast minutes) and waking up on New Years Day still sporting the previous nights make-up (across face and pillow) to the realisation that it was now Veganuary and I couldn’t call up Mr Pizza Man for the usual fix was really tough. More so, with a hangover. But, I mustered up all my energy and rolled out of bed, first into the bathroom to turn myself from drug addict to relatively normal looking human and then into the kitchen to make some avo toast in true cliche Vegan style.

I hadn’t really given much thought to what being vegan implied, I just knew I didn’t want any other living being to suffer unnecessarily on my account, and no I have not watched Earthlings yet.

The hangover had claimed all my energy and nothing was gonna culminate in a greasy cheesy pizza.

The rest of the day was spent opening the cupboards in a majorly uninspired fashion, the hangover had claimed all my energy and nothing was gonna culminate in a greasy cheesy pizza. The night before the change, I spoke to my only vegan friend, and he advised me to throw out all non vegan products. I said I would, but I didn’t. Ingrained in my very being is my father’s voice saying “waste not, want not” or “starving children in Africa would fight over that plate”,every time I attempt to throw food away. So, when the temptation to whip out the cheese and crackers came along, I knew they had to go.

Sorry dad. Was there no one I could offload my brie on?

Humus and carrot sticks for dinner it is.

And with that, day one finito.

*Pats self on back*


DAY TWO: INSPIRED โœจ

Woke up late (earning extra bed minutes) and in a huff decided to be pro-active in a bid to make up for those wasted hours. Chopped up all the veggies possible, laid them in a tray and popped them in oven to grill. +5pts to me.

Determined to stick to my plan, I spent a considerable amount of my lunch hour in the health shop along with most of my life savings; stocking up on organic fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses and vegan alternatives.

Then it hit me,Chocolate!

What the hell vegans? Why would you do this to yourselves, and more importantly, me.

Chocolate is my thing. I eat it every day.

Now, for any of you thinking about going vegan, let me tell you this; your chocolate will never taste the same again. Say goodbye to Green & Blacks Butterscotch bars *sad face*. This does not mean vegans cannot eat chocolate, we can, just not the deliciously smooth milk variety.

I’m a fan of all kinds of chocolate, so after a frantic Google search, I found that some of my favourites were in fact vegan. Lindt Excellence, as from 70% cocoa, awesome! It also helps if you (or in Lisanka’s case, your best friend) is a wizard in the ‘free from’ kitchen. *insert Hazelnut truffles here*

Anyhow, whilst on my splurge at the health shop, I discovered something much better than chocolate anyway, dried pineapple. My absolute favourite fruit ever. There are many versions of dried pineapple on the market, most of them heavily laced with preservatives and sugars. Sulfur dioxide is not something I want to be consuming thank you very much. I’ve become an additive snob along with my vegan-ism. Tropical Wholefoods ‘sun dried pineapple’ is 100% pineapple and is organic to boot. I may have eaten the whole bag in sheer excitement.

Lunch was a bit of everything. I went to the only vegetarian place I could think of close by and ordered enough food to feed a small country. Avocado and tomato salad, roast sweet potato and beetroot salad, 3 bean soup, falafel and humus. I must stress, I did not eat this all. The falafel and humus was enough and I saved the rest for later. I guess I tried to over compensate for the lack of obvious protein on my plate.

I spent most of my afternoon engrossed in vegan literature, i.e. Google, Pinterest and Instagram.

Inspired by the colourful offerings I held in the palm of my hand, I set to work on writing up an endless list of ‘to-do’ recipes. The first on my list? Bean burgers. What i ended up with? Lentil & Quinoa patties. Ah well, its only my second day, ill get this.

I know most vegans and vegetarians say this when they make a meat free alternative, but seriously, I did not miss the meat at all. My bean patty was divine and my mother agreed. Although, I’m going to be honest, I missed the slice (or two) of cheese.

For dessert? The remaining Hazelnut Truffles of course.


DAY 3: HELLO FIBRE ๐Ÿ™ƒ

O.K, so none of these vegan blogs warned me about the side effects of upping your fibre intake dramatically. In hindsight I should have seen it coming. I won’t go into the technicalities, but I am under the mercy of my digestive system, and she’s not being very gracious.

To be safe, my breakfast choice was a Coconut Milk smoothie laced with flaxseed, oats and a generous dollop of Hazelnut butter. Somehow, it felt sensible to keep to liquids, or at least it seemed logical to me.

I’ve started slowly telling people that I am cutting out meat, dairy and any other animal products from my diet and for the most part everyone is surprisingly supportive. Vegans tend to get a bad reputation for being pushy, preachy, holier-than-thou know-it-alls, so the common response when you tell someone you’re vegan is a defensive one. I know, because I used to get that way.

I once tweeted something quite awful about a vegan, and how I wanted to slap her in the face with a steak. In jest, of course. It’s not that she was vegan, she was just an ass hole; an ass hole who happened to be a vegan.

I don’t want to be one of those people who sneers at your life choices at the dinner table, or aggressively pushes their beliefs on others.

Lunch was leftover bean patties paired with homemade sprout crispies; an idea that was inspired by one of many Vegan Insta-foodie accounts I have began to follow since starting Veganuary. My judgement clouded by excitement, but my fibre intake jeopardised. A decision I would come to regret.

I feel a constant need to eat and to be nourished, and as a result I’m eating copious amounts of nuts, nut butter, seeds and dried fruit, namely cashews, peanut butter and dried pineapple. I may be eating too much, but how can something so small be so calorific?

*sigh*

Dinner comes along and in usual post-workout fashion, am really tired, cranky and hungry. I only have enough macros left to eat protein and not much else and with that, for the first time since starting, i wish for some chicken. I give myself a few imaginary slaps and proceed to whip up some Satay Tofu. (Honestly… it was horrible, but i ate it anyway.)

Tomorrow will be better, surely.


DAY 4: BLOATED ๐Ÿ’ฉ

Not loving myself at the moment if I’m totally honest. I feel like a blow up doll. I’m swollen, uncomfortable and fat.

The thought of a lean scrambled egg breakfast was plaguing my mind. I banish the little yellow clouds of protein goodness from my thoughts and again opt for a liquid breakfast. Paired with a bowl of oats. Girl logic.

Getting ready for work was a chore, everything feels too tight and I was in no mood for the confines of hosiery. I look in the mirror and liken myself to a dairy cow who’s been pumped full of hormones. Even my face looks distorted. What’s happening to me?

Google will know.

“Is veganism making me fat and ugly?”

The short answer is yes, the long one is no.

There is a common misconception, that there are certain things one can do to “detoxify”

When you starve your body of all animal products, a lot of weird stuff happens. You might feel overly emotional and sensitive,experience unexplained aches and pains, tension headaches,flu-like symptoms bloating, constipation, diarrhea (or both), vomiting (or all three). You may start thinking your body is punishing you for deviating from what we all believe is our God given right, eating animals. I likened it to going cold turkey on Heroin, not that I’ve ever been a heroin addict, but if Eastenders taught me anything, it’s that addicts go through hell when they give up the goods.

Hang in there. It will get better, you will get better. Much better.

Your face wont always resemble a big hunk of celeriac (organic of course), I promise.

I will say this though, the withdrawal symptoms are real. It will happen to you. Just think of it as a good spring clean. The body is ridding itself of mercury, pesticides, bacteria and hormones along with a whole host of other nasties found in animal based foods.

Thankfully, i didn’t have to worry about lunch today. Wagamama had my back. All the Edamame beans please.

Note to self: Stop buying dried pineapple.


DAY 5: STILL BLOATED ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ

The ugly continues.

I stare at my reflection in the mirror… how is this bloat even normal? I look like I’m in my third trimester, ready to pop triplets and my partner has already begun mocking me. ‘Stop sticking your belly out.’ he says … I wasn’t even. I start to think of all the moments in my life i wasnt bloated and took for granted.

F**K you sprouts.

I proceed to rummage through all my clothes, finding all and any baggy items, telling myself, ‘Today, i will refrain from eating fiber. I can do this.’

Breakfast was again a liquid option. With toast, toast is always a good idea, and 100% vegan.

In a bid to avoid any extra fibre, I steered away from all the cans of neatly stacked beans which I had impulse bought in my pre- veganuary excitement. My next best bet for getting some high protein foods in my belly? Tofu. I remembered a chicken nugget recipe i used to make, so applied the same ingredients and methods to the tofu instead. Thankfully, it was a success and possibly the best Vegan recipe ive made so far. #VegansOfIG rejoice. Tofu nuggets was born.

I start feeling a little bit better come afternoon and the bloat subdued after several toilet visits. (Gotta thank the extra dosages of lemongrass tea for that).

Then much to my surprise, an asos delivery came a knocking at my door, inside? Some new training gear! I popped it straight on, and pranced around feeling as light as a pringle. What a contrast to this morning!

Eager to test out the new gear, i opened up my NTC app and set off for a run. I started running and couldnt stop. I felt alive. For the first time in all of Veganuary i was PUMPED! Was it being Vegan that had made me able to run for so long? Maybe it was, who knows. Either way, i was loving it.

 


DAY 6: OK, I GOT THIS ๐Ÿ™…๐Ÿผ

Fresh from the previous days motivation i woke up feeling great, not only had it been a while since i was capable of running 10k but for the first time all week… no bloat! YASSSSS! Guess this Veganism is kinda alright!!? With a smile on my face, i swirl up my daily dosage of super greens and hot lemon water before seizing the day ahead.

It was a busy day prepping bars for the week ahead, and even when my oven broke and toilet started leaking… my positivity levels were still high. After all, what is a broken oven in the grand scheme of things? Im alive, i’m healthy and have a fluffy gown that warms me up at night. It could be worse.

 


DAY 7: HAPPY ONE WEEK! ๐ŸŽ‰

I would love to say that I woke up this morning feeling rested and refreshed. The truth is I was kept up half the night by my upstairs neighbour. 1 am is as as good a time as any to grind cacao nibs in your antique heavyweight bronze pestle and mortar (So 2017).

I know because after half an hour of racking my brains I asked him what the hell that was.

“I’m making chocolate, darling, come up it’s fabulous. I’ve got cacao nibs on the grind.”

“No thanks, it’s late. I’m trying to sleep.”

“Save me some.Goodnight.”

If I wake up at 10 i’ll get a solid 8 hours.

6 hours later, a frantic mother charges in my room like a bull in a china shop, looking for her charger (why in my room I don’t know).

I’m up. I’m annoyed. Tea.

I love the ritual involved in making a pot of tea. i opted for my favourite: mint tea.

Soak some loose green tea leaves in about an inch of water in a tea pot. Drain after a couple of minutes, this reduces the bitterness in the tea. Add a bunch of fresh mint leaves and add just boiled water. Wait 3-5 minutes. Pour. Sit outside. Watch the ships go by. Relax.

After about 6 months, endless cancellations and several illness excuses, our attempt at a girl date was successful. I met Liz and we ventured up the Rock and onto the new suspension bridge. The day was still, the sun was warming. The apes were out in abundance.

On our way back down from our trek, Liz was telling a story about how she and her family had been chased by a pack of apes because her youngest brother had mimicked one and proclaimed “OOOH” in its face.

As she demonstrated what her little brother had done over a decade ago, an adolescent ape (who up until that point had been indifferent to our presence and totally engrossed in a fruit peelings), leapt from behind her and onto her back baring its teeth whilst grabbing her arm. Luckily, she’s well acquainted with a quick backhand, and she shook the ape off. It seemed like she’d done this before.

I thought animals were supposed to appreciate vegans?

Exhausted from our ordeal we head off for lunch. But first, a quick stop at the supermarket for some lettuce i needed.

Sixteen impulse buys and ยฃ50 later we made our way to Wagamamas for lunch. By the way, vegan bacon bits exist, as does “just add water” sausage mix (vegan of course) and Lotus biscuits are Vegan. You’re welcome.

Wagamama’s always delivers, those edamame beans are life. I have been tempted to hit it up everyday instead of cooking myself but, my bank account denies me this luxury. We engross ourselves in eating these little green pellets of protein goodness, sip on green tea and enjoy eachothers company.

One week Veganuary down, i celebrate by making a Veggie Paella and treat myself to a bag of crisps. Yolo.

Note to self: The stated amount of rice in mother’s recipe is correct. Do NOT add more rice. Repeat. DO NOT ADD MORE RICE.


We hope you enjoyed our week one Veganuary. It has been fun to do, (challenging somewhat) but exciting to try new recipes and foods and not as hard as you may believe it to be! You may feel that it is impossible to do it and give up *insert favourite animal based food here* (most people say cheese)  BUT, eating LESS also makes a positive change on our environment! Try it  ๐Ÿ˜„


 

This text is based on the experiences of Elke Hurtado and Lisanka Trinidad. Written by them both. You can find Lisanka Trinidad and some of her blogposts on Just Weight and Tea.


Much love,

The Muscle Baker โค๏ธ