My vegan challenge, extended from 30 days to a total of 63 days, recently ended. I learned so much over the past couple months, like how to prepare tofu and how to use nutritional yeast, and I am very thankful for the experience. Wes and I have both agreed that we will continue to wrap in meatless meals multiple times per week.
My favorite part about being vegan? All the veggies and the tofu! I prepared some of the best meals ever during my vegan challenge, full of flavor and color. I also found I already included many vegan meal options in my normal routine (or they just needed small tweaks).
Why the abrupt end? I recently had routine blood work done, and while my cardiovascular system was perfect, the doctor diagnosed me as anemic. This is the first time I have ever been anemic. As a Registered Dietitian, trying a vegan diet I was very conscious of plant based iron sources, fortified foods and pairing my iron sources with vitamin C. This is anemia of iron deficiency, so as hard as tried I did not absorb an adequate amount of iron.
After not eating meat, or chicken, or eggs or dairy I have been very hesitant and anxious to add these foods back in. This past weekend I have added small portions of these items back in. All in all, Wes is pretty excited that I am including these foods again.
Things that won’t change? My vegan breakfast – rice cakes and peanut butter! I will also continue eating a large kale salad with other veggies and hummus. We will also continue meatless meals in our weekly rotation and of course, always gluten free.
This weekend Wes and I had a great day exploring Sanibel Island on bikes, traversing the wildlife preserve and enjoying the sunny day. We biked all the way to Captiva and stopped for some lunch (a fresh salad with grilled grouper for me) and a stroll on the beach… A wonderful way to spend a Sunday! Finally, I have a couple more vegan recipes to share with you all and like I mentioned, I will continue to prepare vegan meals and share them here. You may also see some more versatile recipes to come as well ;)