Is Katie Vegan?

That would be a no. haha! 

But how is this whole plant based thing going? I'm so glad you asked ;) 

Who would have thought that egg whites would be someone's kryptonite? Like of all the foods that someone can't give up, you would think egg whites would be the last one right? HAHAA! It's quite comical but I used them allllll the time in so many recipes and sandwiches, etcetc. So, that's actually all that I've been eating that is an animal product but man what a change and I'm so proud of myself for the changes that I've made over the past few years. However, that doesn't mean that I haven't had any animal products. 

I think that Tanner and I have this really great balance with all of that right. If we are at our house and it's just us, we are going to eat plant based. We have black bean burgers, tons of beans, rice, tofu, seitan, tempeh, and veggies galore. However, we are never going to tell people that we have dietary restrictions. I know that some do and that's totally fine. There is nothing wrong with that, but I just don't think that it's right for us at this time. When someone asks us over for dinner and then asks if we have dietary restrictions which does get asked a lot, we really don't mind eating whatever they want to prepare which most of the time is going to be animal products. 

When we went on a family mountain trip with my family, we are not going to have separate food than everyone. That's crazy talk to me. Balance in all the things. Tanner always says that I'm super nonchalant about changes that I make which has taken years of practice. It used to be these big events of quitting things and habits and it NEVER WORKED. I've realized that if you want to change a habit, you have to try to NOT think about it and just when you are presented the opportunity to make a change, make that change. 

When I go to do 2 hour bike rides or 18 mile runs, I can't think about what's ahead. I just start the run and commit to that next step. When I prepare meals, I don't think about how I can't have meat. I just buy seitan and tempeh and tofu instead of beef and chicken and prepare those instead. Those changes feel awesome. I'm always like HECK YEA LOOK AT ME EATIN PLANT BASED. lolol! 

If you want to give up something, typically it's on your mind all the time right? That's annoying! Like okay I can't have this. I can't have it. I can't have it. And that makes you want nothing but that very thing. You have to push it out of your mind. But, Tanner jumped on board and is more plant based than me. He doesn't even have eggs. But he's the first person to order a Little Cesears pizza for himself and eat the entire thing alone! HAHA! And no, that's not like a cheat meal thing. That's just like "Okay I want a pizza tonight whenever I feel like it" thing. We don't do the cheat meal/cheat day/treat meal/treat day thing. We just make healthy choices most of the time unless we want something else and then we have those things.

The two questions I have got asked a lot are: 

What foods are you eating now? 

Was this hard with macros? 

Have you noticed a difference in how you feel/perform/etc?

So, I thought I'd answer those. 

What do we eat?

I mentioned some of the foods that we are eating above. So for example, the other night we made tacos but we have seitan instead of beef. Last night, we made paninis. We got a maker and oh my gosh we love it!!! Instead of chicken on them, we put tempeh and tofu. Yes, these are soy products but it's not a big deal. I always had a grilled chicken salad every day and I just swapped that with raw tempeh. I use this salad as a good way to get micronutrients in. 

I have a banana strawberry spinach almond milk shake every day now instead of the egg white and cheese sandwich I used to have. Instead of making oatmeal with egg whites, I just opt for oatmeal by itself. Instead of Tanner taking chicken in his meals, he changed it to tofu so he takes tofu, rice, and veggies to work every day. We eat more starchy foods than anything (rice/oats/beans/potatoes) and still want to do better about fruits/veggies. Veggies just take time to prepare and we get lazy with that.

Now instead of egg whites and oats in the morning, Tanner makes a massive green smoothie and oats. We eat black bean burgers A LOT. When we go out to restaurants and there are plant based options, that's what we are going to pick. For example, the brewery sells a falafel wrap so we get that. The burger restaurant has a black bean burger so we pick that. We went somewhere the other day that had a veggie wrap so I got that. Mexican-Tanner gets a bean burrito. When we go out to eat though, I am going to opt for the more macro friendly option vs just always choosing plant based if I'm being honest. If I go somewhere and it's all pasta and ravioli, I'm going to choose the grilled chicken salad. I know pasta is plant based, but it's also going to be a complete macro KILLER and I know I'll leave feeling bloated and heavy and like junk so I just choose the grilled chicken salad. 

It's absolutely unbelievable to me that I used to make big batches of chicken every week and eat chicken like 5x per day. Oh gosh, I'm so glad I don't do that anymore for SO SO MANY REASONS. Plant based diets and ovo-pes-etarians are really picking up steam and becoming a little more accepted which makes me really happy.

Was this hard with macros? 

Yes and no. Tanner started counting actually again when starting this so that he made sure that he was getting at least 120g of protein every day (yes that small for him) and I lowered my protein to 90g. With my egg whites, I easily get this and then don't worry about the rest. We are still doing great in our performance and haven't dropped off to no muscle contrary to what people would think happens ;) 

Do we feel different? 

Absolutely. When I drink my smoothie, this is when I recognize the biggest changes. I just FEEL better. I don't have my daily headache. I go to the BATHROOM!!! hello, so nice! I feel so great in my workouts because there is good food in me and not crap. Tanner absolutely LOVES IT. He feels awesome. He feels like he is doing good for the world, and his body and his digestion is really out of this world. haha! I won't discuss that too much but that's going to be the biggest difference that you see. If you are struggling with a bowel movement, then I would really suggest at least trying plant based for a week and see what happens. I think you will see big changes. I've never noticed such a change.

But Katie, you eat fast food!? Yes I do. But it's really not that much. It's maybe like once per week. I really don't want to live a lifestyle where I restrict myself of anything ever so I don't like to tell myself that I'm completely giving something up or I just won't do it period so I like to keep the balance and just only do it 1% of the time ;) 

It's been such a fun change. There are so many delicious foods out there that you don't ever even think to eat because you get so focused on all the "yummy" foods but those yummy foods also make you feel like crap and when you make the change, you really don't want to go back! :) That doesn't mean that you won't eat these things if you eat meat...duh. That's not a direct correlation but just my experience! :) 

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