This past week, I started on this journey and I thought I'd share some quick things that I felt this week about this. First, I'm doing the Daniel Fast. It's essentially to draw closer to the Lord by committing to only eating foods from the Earth, none that are animal based for 21 days. This is NOT because I feel the bible says that you shouldn't eat meat, or that it's sinful to do so. This is simply a drawing closer by giving something up that is very prevalent in your life and our society.
I actually always thought that fasting (food wise) was a bit silly and extreme until I moved to NYC. This is also the reason that I think it's so cool to travel the world, and experience so many different people in different walks of life and different cultures because your eyes are opened so wide. I think it's important to really sit back and listen to what people have to say, taking down your walls of pre conceived ideas and bias, and opening your mind to what they are saying. I had some really wise people tell me about the benefits of fasting, and every Wednesday would send out an email to a group of girls reminding us to just maybe fast until lunch those days.
I would always say "Yea I'll think about trying that out this week" and I would wake up and after an hour feel as if I might eat my arm off and then of course eat and never do it. But, also because I never REALLY actually wanted to. For some weird reason though, I have been softened on that idea and feeling more called to do so, and I felt this was something that I could definitely do.
So, I wanted to just give some insight into the week:
What were some things that I didn't expect?
- My digestive track to regulate so quickly (Seriously annoyed at myself that for my entire life, I've struggled with constipation and eating only plants seems to have cured that overnight-like seriously why did I not do this because 3 years ago, I was DESPERATE for answers).
- My stepdad to be all for it (biggest surprise there)
- How much I have genuinely enjoyed fruit smoothies and other foods (I typically honestly don't enjoy fruit)
- How hard it is to get calories!!
- Tanner to be 100% on board-legit he is doing it with no reservations with me! Love that kiddo!
- How much I didn't even think about the lack of meat and animal products (It's so funny...I just stopped eating it and didn't think a thing about it)
- My body didn't change at all (I mean I guess I didn't really expect it to overnight but was curious)
- I felt really REALLY (really) embarrassed to discuss it to the point that I got defensive and upset when trying to explain it to my family which was silly-I told my mom it's like when you tell someone you are a Christian and they point out a flaw in the Bible and you start stumbling around for words to say because you can't put your thoughts together when people are directly asking you questions and you aren't a theologian so you just have to be like "ITS JUST HOW I FEEL RIGHT NOW OKAY!?" LOLOL
One of the very reasons that I'm doing this is a faith thing, so being rude about it made me really upset at myself for coming across the wrong way, not in a pushy way, but just defensive of my choices when I felt attacked out of my own insecurities about it because I know how my family feels, and not because of anything they had said. I journaled for like an hour after that. haha!
What were some things that I did expect?
- My family thought I was weird/crazy (If they see this, they'll say they didn't actually think that but I know them and their facial expressions were quite the give away HAHA)
- My mom discussed it with me and played "devils advocate" as she liked to call it ;) Hi mom!
- More carbs to be delicious
- Excitement for the exploration of new foods!
What did I eat?
- Lots of oatmeal & potatoes
- Lots of big bowls of things with a lot of stuff mixed in (tempeh, black beans, chickpeas, carrots, cucumber, tomato, zucchini, onion, squash, carrots). We aim for variety and just making big bowls of stuff
- Veggie tacos
- Butternut squash/Spaghetti Squash
- Cliff Builder Bars
- Cashew Cream ice cream
- Almond milk/Cashew milk
- Strawberry/Banana/Spinach smoothies
- Avocado, coconut oil on toast
- Mustard & Collard Greens
- Tofu with black beans and onions
- Tempeh sandwiches with avocado
- I plan on getting much more creative as the weeks progress, but for now, this is about it
What didn't I eat?
I know this may seem simple, but wanted to clarify-no animal products so we aren't eating eggs or cheese or yogurt or butter, but we are very relaxed about it. Obviously, we aren't having meat, but that's obvious. LOL. I heard a podcast where this guy was saying how people always tell him "Well I can't because I like my moms chicken noodle soup too much" Well okay, big deal...eat your moms chicken noodle soup. Just because you need chicken soup doesn't mean you have to eat everything else made from animals if that's your choice. If someone makes us something, we aren't going to be like "Um sorry, we have dietary restrictions and let me tell you why we eat this way" NO NO NO. Eat the food and hush ;)
Again, related to religion...if you genuinely want someone to hear you out on why you are doing something that's very much against the norm in society, then the LAST thing that will work is giving them all this info on why they should convert. No, you live your life, and you don't like walk into a room "HI! I'm Katie, and I believe that Jesus died upon the cross for my sins, and you should too!" It sounds extreme and like a joke, because it is. Again, we are very chill about it but just are making this choice while we are at home.
This is always the biggest question and one that Tanner asks me like every night. Last night, I got annoyed with him because the answer is simple. ;) There's not a ton of different options, and I'll give you the list here. We have lowered our protein, aiming for a really good amount of good whole sources of essential amino acids instead of just random proteins, and we are playing it by ear. The protein recommendations that I have for clients still remain, and doing so with meat products is MUCH easier. But, this is fun for us! :) Obviously you will see that most protein sources also have carb in them as well, so I account for that in my macros. This is the beauty of macros. You want to eat clean, you eat clean. You want to eat paleo, eat paleo. You want to eat garbage and fast food, I did that for a long long time hahah! You customize it to what YOU want.
- Black Beans / Chickpeas / Any bean
- Beyond Meat Products (really great company)
- Any packaged substituted meat product
- Vegan protein powder
- Greens- this is where I explain that per gram, dark leafy greens have more protein than even beef, but you would have to eat 47lbs of greens but I just add that in there for fun.
Am I a vegan?
Okay first, as my family laughs at me and says "She doesn't want labels on her" which is the truth. I really really don't. Because if someone has me over and cooks me chicken, I'm gonna eat chicken. If something has a little whey in it, I'm not going to freak out (whey is in everything lol). I think that this is great for spiritual, ethical, health, and environmental reasons but that doesn't mean that I think it's that huge of an issue. I think we make it SUCH a big deal in our world, when the real truth is...when I eat in my home, I'm just going to not have animal products. Simple as that!
I'm not an animal activist (although they are treated epically cruel and I believe they feel pain), an environmentalist (altho I do think we could feed many more people with the grains we feed the cows), or obsessed with immortality (although disease prevention is black and white in clinical trials). I told you guys a few posts back, I was going to explore the option of it and see what I thought. After much exploration, I feel compelled to at least challenge myself and see what it's like! :)
Second, if there were a label, it would be plant based. If I'm avoiding meat, I don't want to just eat potato chips and vegan hot dogs and act like I'm treating my body well. LOL! The Daniel fast is about eating things of the EARTH! Vegan comes with a political statement to the lay person, and I don't want that.
- Forks over Knives (disease prevention)
- Vegucated (girl from NYC takes all 3 people on a 6 week journey to show them all the facts and if they would change to plant based when they found out)
- Cowspiracy (environmental)
- Food Inc (the one that I don't recommend-just basically tells you everything you already know lol)
- Earthlings (very intense)
- The Best Speech You'll Ever Hear-Gary Youroskfy (Youtube)
- From Table to Able (Youtube-Michael Gregory-runs nutritionfacts.org)
- How Not to Die (Michael Gregory)
- Finding Ultra (he's very well researched on his veganism)
- Cronometer-app that you use just like myfitnesspal but is more focused on micros so I track my 8 essential animo acids for fun to make sure I at least get that-which I feel is just as important as grams
I always like to say that even though this is a journey that I'm on, that doesn't mean that it's for everyone, and that doesn't mean that I think that you should do it. I'm not here to change anyone's mind on this, but simply to just share my journey through it. As I've said many times, I honestly just think it's fun to challenge myself in new ways sometimes and to push myself out of my comfort zone by being open minded to information that I'm presented with and trying to form the best opinion that I can using logic and reason and not previous bias! :)