Plant Strong Update

Its week two of the 28 day challenge. This week wasn’t so fabulous and its completely my fault. When I started this I did not consider the emotional side of my eating. I have realized in reviewing my choices of the past week that I do not do well with stress and I don’t really like when people notice things about me that I’m not prepared to defend.

I have been doing really well at breakfast. My go to has been a version of Opulent Oatmeal from Happy Herbivore. I never realized what a difference applesauce could make in oatmeal! Holy Crap Batman! That stuff is fabulous! The HB even likes the concoction. If I don’t have oatmeal then I’ve been making fruit smoothies – which are more like frozen yogurt, cause I have to eat them with a spoon. I was only slightly  better at taking photos this week. No judging I’m not a food photog!

opulent oatmeal

Oatmeal ready to go

The good stuff prep and ready to go.


Wednesday was the only good lunch day. Monday was a private lunch with my office assistant and the Company President (my office assistant is leaving – more on that in a bit) to wish her well. I ordered the Portobello burger grilled with no cheese. It came with cheese so I scraped it off. Then they ordered dessert. I did my damnedest to resist that chocolate cake but I will admit I have a weakness when it comes to sweets. I get weaker when the rest of the table is staring at me and asking why I won’t eat it because “there’s no meat in it”

Tuesday was a professional luncheon. I was able to get a plant strong meal but the entire table couldn’t believe that I wasn’t eating the over garliced cream sauced chicken and salt infused rice they had been served so they just started pummeling me with questions. I also threw them over the edge when I told them I wasn’t going to eat the red velvet cake either. I think I heard an audible gasp.

Wednesday I hid in my office with the veggies from Happy Herbivore Veggie Pot Pie. It needed to be a bit heavier on the spices in my opinion but it is one that I will make again.

Thursday I went to lunch with a colleague. I chose the restaurant because I knew I could get a plant strong pasta dish that met the criteria of E2. You can imagine how happy I was when I arrived to a new menu!! The only plant strong option was a salad. While I would have happily ordered a salad, I had a tempo ride scheduled after work, my stash of oatmeal was out, I had a meeting at 1, and my breakfast was a smoothie . Without some carbs (all sandwiches and wraps are gone from the menu too!!) I was not going to make it through the rest of the day, let alone my ride. So I looked for a vegetarian friendly option…the only thing I was able to come up with was 4 cheese pasta. UGH!! Admittedly, it was just as good as I remembered it but I was grumpy about the whole situation. Thankfully my colleague already knew about my decision to go plant strong and didn’t ask me about it at all.

Friday was a different situation. My department’s office assistant of 12 years is leaving the firm to relocate back to Illinois to be closer to her family. So what do we do on her last day?? Throw a party! I knew in advance what the menu would be and I knew that only the salad would be plant strong. I thought about bringing my own food. But I didn’t want to deal with having to explain to 20+ people why I wasn’t eating flat bread and greek salad. Given the discomfort I’m feeling from all the dairy yesterday and today and having some distance from the situation – I know that is totally lame. But its the truth.

One of the hardest parts about this week has been the constant barrage of questions and jokes and poking and prodding from people. I’m only 2 weeks in and I’m sick and tired of people asking me “What do you eat?!?!” Truthfully the response is, “I don’t know yet” I am so new to this journey that even I don’t have it figured out.

When I look back at my food journal for the week – these nights are also the ones where I had a beer or PB&J or some other non-dinner, not that good for me, food. Sidenote: I don’t usually eat dinner. I typically have a smoothie or fruit and wheat toast after a work out b/c my stomach won’t handle much else.

If I am honest with myself, I know that I have to get past this. Looking at the review of the last week written down, I’m not happy. I eat out with people from the office and my industry too much and if my stomach is bothering me now only two weeks in – I can’t imagine how crappy I’m going to feel in the future. I need to be able to balance better the necessity of networking, required lunch meetings with clients, and my personal goals. I started this journey because it was important to me to try. After hearing so many personal accounts of not just the physical improvements but the increased energy, better sleep, etc I wanted to know and see for myself. Reflecting on the past two weeks, I don’t think I’m giving myself a fair shot to see what it’s all about.

So, I have goals for next week, they are to stick to my personal meal plan for lunch 3 of the 5 working days next week. That would be triple what I was able to accomplish this week. However, as of today, there are no lunch meetings of professional events on my calendar. So I am hopeful my schedule says that way.

My other goal is prepare more food on the weekends. Having meals prepared in advance along with cut up veggies and homemade humus for snacks. I’m noticing the HB won’t touch the fridge full of veggies if they aren’t precut up for him to eat on the run or throw a salad together quickly.


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