Thursday, September 24, 2009


As for Meal 5- Clocking out for vacation early tonight, but will probably finish off the soup before bed.

Was in the mood for some soup, so whipped up some homemade vegetable barley (look no protein in sight! wow!) Made it with 1 carton veggie broth + 1/2 bag vegetable soup mix frozen veggies + 1 cup quick barley...YUMMY! Next time I think I'll add some kidney beans and extra broth...maybe even some Morningstar Farm meal starter crumbles
Meal 4 (5 pm)- Had a few triscuits w/hummus while making dinner...then some yummy homemade vegetable barley soup w/ 1/2 grilled cheese sandwich (1 slice Orowheat 100% whole wheat bread + 1 tbsp. Smart Balance spread + 1 slice cheddar...the FULL FAT dangerously I know!)

Meal 3(1:30 pm)- YUM! 2 small La Tortilla Factory tortillas + huge amount of peppers and onions sauteed in evoo + 1/4 black beans (drained, rinsed & divided) + 1/4 cup 2% reduced fat Kraft shredded cheddar (divided) + diced tomato & rest of tomato Meal 3 (10:30 am)- 3/4 cup egg beaters w/mushrooms, peppers, onions (I'm out of spinach! Nooooo!) + 1/3 cup (dry measured) oatmeal + 1/3 cup fresh blueberries (think I've had my blueberry quota for a while...this is the last of them!)
Meal 1 (8 am)- EAS Muscle Armor + Whey Protein Isolate + 1/2 100% whole wheat bagel w/20 sprays fat free parkay butter spray + multivitamin & 2 glucosamine/MSM
Pre-Workout (6 am)- EAS Catapult

This weekend will make 2 weeks living without meat of any kind. It's crazy how fast time flies when you're having fun! Honestly, I would be lying if I said it has been ALL fun. I admit that there are some things I've been struggling with mentally in going vegetarian. However, and this is a BIG HOWEVER, I think it's those things that cause me to learn new things. For instance, I have really been struggling with getting over my strict adherence to making sure that all meals maintain the 40/40/20 approach to eating. This is that 40% of all daily calories come from protein, 40% from carbs, and 20% from fat.

I am pretty mindful about trying to keep this balance in most meals for most days of the week. Not because I think the world might end if I don't, but I have done it and not done it enough times to know that I just feel a bazillion times better when I keep most meals to that wise...strength wise...etc. It has been a bit challenging to do this when incorporating vegetarian proteins into the mix. Why? Because protein sources like tofu have about 1/2 the amount of protein and double the amount of carbs and fat that would be contained in the same exact calorie intake of something like chicken breast. Veggies and carbs alone just aren't enought to keep me satisfied and full. So let's compare...

A 1/2 of a large chicken breast has roughly calories 90 calories, 20 g protein, 0 carbs, and 0.5 g fat...

Compare that with tofu having 90 calories, 8 g protein, 3 carbs, and 5 g fat (almost 50% of the calories come straight from fat)...

Yes, tofu is made of soy, which is said to have ALL of the essential amino acids (something not present in chicken), which is a definite plus. And if the research pointing to animal proteins as promoters of cancer (outlined in the China Study) is true, then fat should be my least of worries I'm sure. Obviously there are plenty of other sources of vegetarian protein, but they ALL also contain carbs, and some of them very high amounts. It's still a little out of my comfort zone and this is why....

Some mental challenges thus far:

Eating more fat than usual....trying not to obsess about it and just enjoy trying new things, but it's still in the back of my mind sometimes. You'll notice I didn't use salad dressing yesterday on my huge salad, because I already had 10 g of fat from the tofu and wasn't about to add an additional 5 g of fat to that salad. As close of an eye as I've had on everything, I can see how the fat could get seriously out of control if I wasn't looking at labels. I'm not trying to overanalyze, but there is still a healthy and unhealthy amount of fat, and I'm not willing to cross that line for myself. A meal here and there is fine, but you do have to watch it if you are eating vegetarian foods and aren't used to having to look at fat content so much.

The same is true with eating more carbs lately. It's definitely strange to change my mindset from thinking of things like beans as carbs only to having an approach where I am looking at them as a source of protein, be it a rather small one.

The same is true with dairy. I don't remember the last time I drank a glass of actual milk, and outside of cottage cheese and the occasional (by occasional I mean a few times total per week)crumbled feta, there hasn't been much dairy at all in my diet. The fact that I am eating shredded and block cheese frequently is way different than my normal.

So remember that BIG HOWEVER?...well guess what? Despite my uneasiness with doing things in a different way, it's actually helping me to overcome some stubborn mindsets that I think might be good to snap out of at this point. I'm realizing that amazingly enough, even with a few extra carbs and fat in my diet, the world is still turning! I'm still wearing a size 0. My body fat is still under 20%. My abs are actually showing more definition than they were two week ago when I started this whole thing. I feel like my strength is actually increasing and like I am still getting enough protein to support my intense workouts and recovery.

So where does that leave me now? Well I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and see how the next couple weeks goes. At this point, I haven't felt any superhuman powers from the vegetarian foods (the way I feel when I eat salmon and sushi), and haven't really come to a point where I would say "I feel SO much better!" as I've heard many vegetarians say. With that said, I haven't had any complaints either in regards to the way the food makes me feel. So it looks like I'm 1/2 way done and 1/2 way yet to go on this adventure!

On that note..I won't be posting this weekend while I travel sans computer, but will definitely take some pics along the way to share when I return. Have a great weekend to anyone reading


  1. it is hard for me to consider tofu and beans as protein too! i read a lot of blogs where people say "this had so much protein!" and it had like, 12 grams.. i chuckle. you are rocking the veggie lifestyle! have fun on your trip em!

  2. Janetha! I know YOU understand my dear! Thank you. I will enjoy CA for sure...bummed I won't be able to have Trader Joe's turkey meatballs, but I will live! ha ha! Have fun at Lake Powell too!

  3. I love the tortilla with blackbeans. That looks so good!

  4. I know when I was heavy into protein I used to constantly argue with vegetarians that beans were not protein and peanut butter/almond butter was fat and not a protein. I used to obsess about how much fat I got in my diet, always counting everything, etc and now I could care less about whether or not I'm eating enough protein or too much fat. In fact, I feel better now that I'm eating MORE healthy fats, not to mention the fact that I'm more satisfied. I won't say I'm totally vegetarian - I had chicken and fish last night - but it's nice to mix things up. Perhaps at the end of this month you'll take some of what you've learned and apply it to how you ate before? Kind of like getting the best of both worlds. :)

    It's been fun reading about your experience with vegetarianism and even I'm getting good meal ideas!