Day Twenty-One ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 21
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Leftover Kale With Tomato Risotto 8 oz of water
Afternoon If you're hungry any time throughout the day have an apple or celery with 2 Tbsp of nut butter (I like almond or peanut butter) 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Easy Stir Fry 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

For exercise I continued on to Day 2 of the Five Day Workout Plan with some 10 lb weights.

Five Day Plan Day 2

And then I made sure to stretch really well afterwards.

Day Eighteen ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 18
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Leftover Quinoa Pesto with Vegetables 8 oz of water
Afternoon If you're hungry at any time throughout the day have a handful of almonds and some grapes 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Black Beans and Rice from My Whole Food Life. This makes a huge amount so it should still give you plenty for two and lunch tomorrow(and possibly the next day!) 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

Now get ready to feast your eyes on my new favorite VEGAN DESSERT!

vegan chocolate chip cookie dough

It’s AHHHH-mazing. I’m working out the details still but recipe will come soon. I wish I could eat it every night. In fact, I’ve made it a few times already…

I’m not for sure how vegan the chocolate chips are though. I bought Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips that don’t have any milk or milk products in them but they are made in a plant that processes those items so the package said “may contain milk.” Use at your own discretion!

But I have a confession. I cheated. I was at a potluck and couldn’t resist trying some desserts….

My shameful dessert plate

I shared some of this with Daniel but I mostly ate it. It was amazing and I don’t regret it though I’m sure there’s some egg and milk in that cake doughnut and probably some in the lemon bar in the back. As for the Indian dessert up front, I have no idea what’s in it but it was tasty and probably the only vegan dessert out of the three. But everyone needs a cheat day. If you don’t, you’re my hero!

I actually didn’t make the Black Beans and Rice for dinner since we went to the Potluck but it was part of my meal plan for that day. So if you need a dinner idea, I highly suggest it.

For exercise I followed Day Five of the Five Day Workout Plan.

Day 5 Five Day Workout Plan

And I did more stretching! It’s SUPER important. So do it!

Day Seventeen ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 17
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Sandwich with whole wheat bread; spinach; slices of cucumber; tomato; yellow squash; and white bean pesto dip spread on each slice 8 oz of water
Afternoon If you're hungry any time throughout the day have a Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie or a larabar 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Quinoa Pesto With Vegetables from My Whole Food Life 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

We had our neighbors over for dinner so we went all out! Our dinner consisted of a spinach and fruit salad for an appetizer, the Pesto with Vegetables for the main course, and a homemade Larabar for dessert.

This time for the pasta we used the same macaroni noodles from before but we roasted the tomatoes first. We loosely followed this recipe. Well, we just added dried basil instead of fresh for the tomatoes, so I guess that’s the only difference. They were so good! Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures from that night so here’s an old one.

pesto pasta and vegetables

It was a fun night! And luckily our guests enjoyed the dinner. I wish could have made a more spectacular vegan dessert, but those homemade Larabars sure are tasty.

For exercise I followed Day Four of the Five Day Workout Plan.

Day Four Five Day Workout Plan

I used 10 lb weights. Feel free to bump it up if it’s starting to get too easy. And remember to hydrate afterwards!

I followed this video for stretching. She does a lot of my favorites which have recently been hamstrings, shoulders, and neck.

Day Sixteen ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 16
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Leftover Black Bean Veggie Burger with rice 8 oz of water
Afternoon If you're hungry any time throughout the day have a Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie or an apple with 2 Tbsp of nut butter 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Spinach salad with cucumbers; tomatoes; yellow squash; and balsamic vinaigrette 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

For breakfast I had toast again. Then for lunch I crumbled a veggie burger over rice.

For dinner I went with a simple spinach salad with lots of fresh veggies.

Then I followed Day Three of the Five Day Workout Plan. Up the weights if you need to! Then followed Jillian Michael’s yoga video below. It’s a great stretch while working the muscles.

day 3 of five day workout plan

Day Fifteen ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 15
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Leftover Easy Stir Fry 8 oz of water
Afternoon If you're hungry any time throughout the day have Zucchini Chips or fresh veggies and 2 Tbsp hummus 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Black Bean Veggie Burgers from My Whole Food Life 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

For breakfast I opted for toast with peanut butter and banana slices and lunch was left over stir fry.

The black bean veggie burgers were so good I had to make them again. They turned out delicious! I ate it with some ketchup and a side of steamed broccoli (my new favorite).

Black Bean veggie burger

For exercise I did the second day of the Five Day Workout Plan.

Five Day Plan Day 2

 Afterwards I made sure to have another good stretch and followed this video.

Day Fourteen ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 14
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Leftover Sweet Potato Surprise 8 oz of water
Afternoon If you're hungry any time throughout the day have Zucchini Chips or an apple with 2 Tbsp of nut butter (I like almond or peanut butter) 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Easy Stir Fry 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

For breakfast I had oatmeal with dried cranberries, cinnamon, and banana slices.

The Sweet Potato Surprise tastes just as good the next day. I will definitely be making it again.

For a snack I came up with the idea to make Zucchini Chips. I’ve seen recipes floating around the internet before but I added my own mix to it. Recipe to come!

zucchini chips

Let’s just say, they turned out so good, I ate them all by myself and made them again the next day. Two whole zucchinis in two days. Oh yeah.

For dinner I returned to the old favorite.

easy stir fry

Stir fry never gets old, and it’s so easy to make!

For exercise I started the Five Day Workout Plan all over again.

Five Day Workout Plan Day 1

If 5lb weights are too light bump it up a bit! I use 10 lbs to get a better workout.

Day Twelve ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 12
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Leftover White Bean Salad with rice and Balsamic Vinaigrette 8 oz of water
Afternoon If you're hungry any time throughout the day have a Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie or some bell pepper slices with two tablespoons of hummus 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich or Spinach Salad with fresh veggies and balsamic vinaigrette 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

For breakfast I had a tasty bowl of oatmeal topped with pecans, dried cranberries, and a little bit of shredded coconut. Absolutely delightful.

Lunch was made up of the leftover White Bean Salad with rice and balsamic vinaigrette. I also had a little bit of the Mediterranean Baked Tofu left from Day Eight. Still just as tasty!

Dinner was a total bust. I was tired and lazy so I went the PB&J route. I made it with almond butter and strawberries preserves. I wasn’t very hungry because I chose the smoothie earlier for my snack and was still full from it.

chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie

I also had a little more of the brownie batter for dessert from the day before. I kept what I didn’t eat in the refrigerator. It’s so yummy!

Exercise for today was Day Five of the Five Day Workout Plan.

Day 5 Five Day Workout Plan

I love me some ab exercises! It feels so good to tighten those abdominal muscles. I can’t really do the plank because of my shoulder but don’t give up! Sometimes I have to split a one minute plank into two thirty second planks. That’s ok too. As long as you hold for a total of one minute.

I also did this building balance video. She is extremely flexible but just focus on breathing and following the movements.

Day Ten ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 10
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR a piece of fruit (apple orange or banana) with EITHER 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing or a homemade Larabar 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Leftover Kale with Tomato Risotto 8 oz of water
Afternoon If you're hungry any time throughout the day have an apple or celery with 2 Tbsp of nut butter OR a larabar 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Leftover Black Bean Veggie Burger (if you have any) crumbled over a Spinach Salad with salsa for dressing (add your choice of fresh veggies to the salad) 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

For breakfast I had an orange with a Larabar. It was tasty and simple.

Lunch was a plate of the leftover Kale with Tomato Risotto. I love the flavors of it. I want to make it again with some actual Arborio rice though. It’s not the same without some creaminess.

Kale with Tomato Risotto

For dinner I was lazy and still had a Black Bean Veggie Burger so I crumbled it over a spinach salad with some salsa. If you don’t have any veggie burgers left, just make a spinach salad with some fresh veggies and either salsa or balsamic vinaigrette.

For exercise I did my shoulder exercises as well as jumped back in on day 3 of the Five Day Workout Plan since it doesn’t involve anything that will bother my shoulder.

day 3 of five day workout plan

I also followed this yoga video for some good stretching. I like the chest stretches since my pecks are tight which is contributing to my shoulder problems.

Day Eight ~ Vegan Challenge

Now that I’m caught up again, here’s day 8!

Day 8
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Leftover Black Bean Veggie Burger topped with red pepper hummus OR crumble a veggie burger on top of a salad and use salsa as dressing 8 oz of water
Afternoon Kale chips! or an apple and a handful of almonds/walnuts 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Mediterannean Baked Tofu from Vegan Eats World (recipe and pictures to come) and a side of rice 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

I was rushing in the morning so I had a quick piece of toast with some almond butter and a banana for breakfast.

For a snack I was craving some kale chips so I made a small batch.

Kale Chips

I added a little paprika to them. They’re addicting!

For dinner I made a recipe from one of the books I bought while in Portland: Vegan Eats World. It’s by the same author of Veganomicon, which is also an awesome recipe book. Daniel’s sister had it, and I perused it quite often while we visited to help prepare me for my vegan challenge. It has so many good recipes and tips! Vegan Eats World has similar tips but the recipes are of an international variety. I literally want to make every recipe in it — they all sound so delicious and the pictures are mouthwatering. I think every vegan should have both books.

I had another rest day instead of exercise… sort of. I went to the chiropractor and have some major problems with my left shoulder. I’ve felt a dull pain/uncomfortableness in it for at least six months and finally decided to do something about it. Turns out my shoulder is out of place and is being pulled forward by ligaments over compensating for the weak/tight muscles (or something to that sort). Every time I do a push up or arm exercises it pops. My chiropractor gave me some exercises to do to strengthen my shoulder so I did those instead of a more intense workout. If you’re following the challenge, just restart the Five Day Workout Plan on Day One. Keep getting stronger! It should be easier this week and you shouldn’t feel as sore.

Five Day Workout Plan Day 1

Make sure you’re not using too light of weights. It should be difficult to get through 3 sets of 12. I use 10 lb weights. Be sure to stretch afterwards (arms, shoulders, quads, hams, and calves) and rehydrate as well!

Day Six ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 6
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Spinach salad (what you had for dinner last night); or left over Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers if you have any; or Mock Tuna Salad 8 oz of water
Afternoon If you're hungry any time throughout the day have an apple or celery with 2 Tbsp of nut butter or a Larabar 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Quinoa Pesto with Vegetables from My Whole Food Life. Feel free to just use quinoa instead of quinoa pasta or whole grain pasta 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

For breakfast I had oatmeal with cinnamon, banana slices and pecans. Yummy!

For lunch I went with both a small spinach salad, and a veggie burger. It was a delicious combination.

The pesto and vegetables turned out pretty good for dinner. I ended up heating the tomatoes too with the broccoli and spinach. If you’re a non-vegan, a little parmesan would probably be tasty with it.

pesto pasta and vegetables

For my exercise I did the final fifth day of the Five Day Workout Plan. Now after the fifth day, take a rest day or two and then start all over again.

Day 5 Five Day Workout Plan

This one will give you abs of steel. But first it will make your abs sore! I need a nice ab stretch sesh afterwards. Feel free to add some cardio as well!

So classes have resumed today for the semester. I can’t believe I’m onto my second semester of grad school already! But don’t worry, I’m making an effort to time manage so I don’t fall short blogging again. Hopefully!