I challenged my friend Teresa over at Commuter’s Kitchen to a 30-Day Vegan Challenge. Because she’s awesome and game, she agreed to try it with me. So far, she seems to be doing much better than I am! The stuff she’s made looks delicious. Of course, I loaned her my awesome vegan cookbook, but that’s no excuse for my inability to keep even a vegetarian lifestyle.

Vegan transgression #1: Whey protein powder

Chicken, why are you so full of protein and tastiness?

This one is pretty minor, really. I’m worried I’m not getting enough protein – trying to lose weight on a high-carb, low-protein diet is a challenge for me, and I’m worried about losing the muscle mass I’m working hard to gain – so I’m supplementing. I’ve ordered vegan protein powder but it hasn’t arrived yet. Until it does, whey (milk) powder it is. The soy and brown rice protein powder they carry at my local vitamin store aren’t nearly as high in protein and low in carbs, but the Sun Warrior stuff looks awesome.

Vegan transgression #2: Chicken breasts

This is way, way worse, right? I  mean, I’m not even managing basic vegetarian standards here. And yet it’s the quickest, lowest fat way to get protein into your body. I’ve done this twice this week (both times prepared the same way – lemon juice and za’atar (which I am totally, totally obsessed with and almost out of and maybe panicking a little because I don’t know where to get it) – and it was completely tasty and quick, but it defeats the purpose of the challenge to rely on known, easy proteins!

I want to explore new things, including tofu and seitan. The problem I’m having is that you have to eat A LOT of those to get the same protein you find in meat. And they’re fairly high in carbs, as are the other usual sources for vegan proteins – lentils, nuts, other beans.

Vegan transgression #3:  Chicken stock

Okay, this one wasn’t entirely my fault. We had some chicken stock left over from a recipe made last week and I wanted to use it up. So I told The Man to throw it into the chickpea tagine. We had vegetable stock, and I knew the chicken stock wouldn’t be enough for the whole recipe, so I figured that’s what he’d use. OH NO. He bought MORE chicken stock, used it in the recipe, and there is still some left over. This entirely defeats my thought process, which was: “I just won’t BUY any meat products, and that will be okay, right? I’ll use up what I have first.” Except now meat products have been purchased and are hanging out in my fridge, waiting to get used in the next week. *facepalm*

As I said in my previous post, perfection isn’t the goal. What the goals are:

  1. Altering the way I think about food and where it comes
  2. Figuring out alternative protein sources
  3. Trying stuff I’d never otherwise eat (Seitan, I am looking at you!)

So the big goal for this week (besides hoping like hell my vegan protein powder finally arrives) is to determine alternative protein sources and incorporating them better into my diet. The food I’ve made has been filling and delicious (I used chicken broth for this recipe, but I subbed in silken tofu for the Greek yogurt), but a little too light for me. Maybe the solution is baked tofu instead of baked chicken? Eating more edamame? Suggestions are welcome! I need help, y’all.

On the other side of things, my goals are getting busted! After having a not-awesome week last week, I’ve been rocking it this week. Let’s compare.

Last week

  1. Blog twice a week:I set this goal, and did not do it, in the same week. This week is already better!
  2. Run 3-4 times a week: I actually met this one, but the two runs during the week were wimpy (2 miles).
  3. Strength train 2-3 times a week: Managed to do this once.
  4. Accept the 30 Day Vegan Challenge.: Accepted, have not followed through well.
  5. Go hiking at least once: Still not done.

This week:

  1. Blog twice a week: Done, as of today!
  2. Run 3-4 times a week: Done! Two miles Tuesday, four Thursday. Next week: Up the mileage.
  3. Strength train 2-3 times a week: Hit two today. I’m taking it as a win.
  4. Accept the 30 Day Vegan Challenge.: Same as last week.
  5. Go hiking at least once: Same as last week.


  1. I have (literally) tons of za’atar- and various kinds like Lebanese and Jordanian, etc so I’ll bring some down for Teresa to give you when I come for T-day.

    It is hard to find though, but I got it at this middle eastern market in NYC, so if you have something similar in DC I’d check there too. Whole Foods (in NYC at least) was entirely unhelpful.
    SomeGirlinBklyn recently posted..Oak Barrels Post Bourbon

    1. meg says:

      Nice! I’ll be interested to find out the differences in the kinds, too. I found a place here, actually, but it’s a pricey olive oil and vinegar store so the za’atar is overpriced. In a pinch, it will work, but I feel like there HAS to be a better option in this area!