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Day Seven, Part B & Day 3, Round 2

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So, I finally attempted a green smoothie, for Day 7 of Vegan in 30 Days. I used half a bag of peaches, half a bag of strawberries, half a bag of mixed berries, one fresh apple, about a cup and a half of sparkling pink lemonade (I didn’t have any juice on hand to use as a liquid), four stalks of celery, and a handful of mixed greens. I didn’t need any ice because the fruit was frozen to begin with. I probably should have used about a third of each bag of fruit because this yielded over 40 oz. of smoothie.

Green Smoothie | A Vegan in Progress

I was right about my blender, it couldn’t handle it. It would only blend what was directly next to the blades; it didn’t really mix around all of the contents. I had to stop the blender, shake the top part, trying to get it to mix up, and shove stuff down toward the blades using a spoon over and over again. I ended up taking half of the frozen fruit out, blending the first half, then adding the rest, then adding the veggies. After half an hour, I had a purplish, reddish, brownish smoothie.

Green Smoothie | A Vegan in Progress

It wasn’t bad, although, I think I may have been a little ambitious with the amount of celery I added. I know I could get used to it, but I noticed the flavor of the celery over the flavor of the fruit. The smoothie was a pretty filling meal. Before next time, I think I will have to invest in a new blender. The base was hot to the touch by the time I was done. In the future, to keep costs down, I may prepare the fruit myself and freeze it in smaller chunks.

For the rest of the day, I repeated Day 3, the fruit and veggie cleanse. I also ate a big tub of cut strawberries, a bag of cherries, and a small bag of carrots. It was easier to do the second time around and I may repeat it regularly.

My next step is Day 8, eliminating poultry. Soon, I plan to make some slow cooker seitan (meat substitute) from my new cookbook The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not!) Will Devour. I will to make some slow cooker recipes using the seitan and report back!


Day Seven, Part A

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Day 7 of the Vegan in 30 Days book says to start each day with a green smoothie.  I have to admit that that sounds extremely unappetizing to me right off the bat.  From what I have heard, though, fruit smoothies still taste fruity, even when greens are added.

In her book, Sarah Taylor explains that you can get more nutrition in a 32 oz. smoothie than most Americans get all day and 32 oz. only adds up to about 300 calories.  However, she points out that most blenders can’t handle ice and frozen items, which can cause the motor to burn out.  This is the reason that I keep putting off Day 7.  Our blender, originally purchased to make mudslides and rarely used because it’s not very strong, only cost $14 and probably isn’t up to the task.

I plan to head to Sprouts (our favorite place for produce) tonight, so I will get some cut and frozen fruit and give this a try.  The worst that can happen is our blender breaks and it forces me to buy a grown up blender!  So, this one is “to be continued”.

Another note:  I’m headed to Sprouts to stock up on produce so I can repeat Day 3, the fruit & veggie cleanse, for a couple of days.  Since our trip, I have fallen back into easy eating and have spent less time planning and preparing healthy foods.  I’m hoping this will be a good kick-start before I attempt Day 8: eliminating poultry.  That will be a toughie for me because that is all the meat that I currently eat!

Days Three, Four, Five, and Six

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I have been really busy lately, so “Vegan in 30 Days” has really become Vegan in 30 Steps for me.  This is especially true because Eric and I are going on our first trip to Europe in a little more than a week.  Since I am not even comfortable with a fully vegan diet at home yet, I am not going to make things harder on myself by attempting to do it in London and Paris.  Like here, when given the option, I will choose to eat meat-free, but I know that it will be difficult to avoid things like cheese and cream.  Once we get home, I plan to get back on track and hopefully I will find time to post my progress every other day.

Day three in Sarah Taylor’s “Vegan in 30 Days” is to do a 24 hour fruit and vegetable cleanse.  This means to ideally eat only organic raw produce in whole and natural form.  The night before, we ran to our local Sprouts market and stocked up on fresh produce.  I came back with green grapes, granny smith apples, cherries, strawberries, peaches, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, and a 50/50 salad mix.

Cleanse | A Vegan in Progress

To make my morning easier, I pre-washed and cut everything that would hold up well overnight.  For breakfast, I ate two peaches at home and then snacked on these beautiful strawberries all morning at my desk.

Strawberries - Cleanse | A Vegan in Progress

For lunch I dined on baby carrots and cherries.  Later in the day I ate grapes and a salad that was tossed with a small amount of balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  I really enjoyed my food for the day, but I did feel that, instead of meals, I was just eating slowly all day long.  The book addresses this, explaining that produce metabolizes quickly, causing you to feel hungry sooner than when you eat meat.

Day four in “Vegan in 30 Days” says to eliminate red meat.  I have never really liked red meat much and therefore, don’t eat it too often.  Done!

Day five’s instructions are to try a few new substitutes for animal products.  I purchased Blue Diamond Almond Breeze milk for my morning cereal, but didn’t really like it.  I noticed that it sat on the bran flakes like a sort of residue and was generally unappetizing.  I also felt that there was a bit of an after-taste.  Next, I tried Silk Vanilla Soy Milk, which I thought complemented my raisin bran very well.  I also purchased some meat-free sun-dried tomato sausage that I plan to try this weekend with breakfast.

Day six suggests getting a fruit bowl and keeping it filled with fresh fruit.  We have always had a fruit bowl on our counter in the kitchen, but more often than not it is empty.  Being that there are only two of us in this family, we have had many occasions where we bought produce that went bad because we didn’t eat it quickly enough.  We are slowly shifting to weekly grocery store trips where we purchase less, but more fresh items.  This is definitely the foundation of a healthy habit for the both of us!