100 Healthy Days: Week 1 journal

Day 1:

It’s been a long time coming but I’ve finally decided to switch to a plant-based diet. Note: This doesn’t mean plant-only. I’m not going vegan or even vegetarian but I am going a large part of the way. I guess if I were to put a label on what i’m going to be then it’s a ‘part time vegan’. I’ll still occasionally eat meat and dairy but they will be the exception and not the rule.

So far it’s been an easy ride, although of course it’s only day 1 I also started my day with 2 pop tarts and a coffee with regular milk so that wasn’t exactly the healthiest start nor was it even close to vegan.

For lunch I had a jacket potato with beans and salad which was a lot healthier and by dinner I was already bored of food so I just ate a pint of strawberries. I also tried a vegan chocolate bar which to be completely honest, tasted fine. It was no Cadbury’s Dairy Milk but it wasn’t bad at all.

Day 2:

I probably haven’t started this at the best time as I’m pretty sick right now, I’ve got a horrible cold and it’s not making me feel like I want salads, instead I’m craving comfort foods which for me, means lots of meat. So far I’ve managed to resist and had a couple of doughnuts for breakfast, not exactly healthy but at least it’s not a sausage sandwich, which is what I really wanted. I also tried Soya milk in my coffee but that didn’t turn out well, it just looked like a lump of bread dough sat at the bottom of my mug. Needless to say that wasn’t what I wanted.

My compulsions are driving me nuts today. Most of my OCD is based around holding on to thoughts and not being able to let go, usually for me that means food cravings and oh boy do they want a meaty pizza. I refuse to give in though, I want to go at least a whole week without any meat whatsoever so I’m tempering the cravings by having a margarita pizza, granted it’s not vegan but at least it’s not meat.

Made a veggie version of my rice and beans dish for the first time, I messed it up quite badly and it tastes awful, Col seems to think it’s ok though so she can eat the rest. I still had a portion for tea but I need to refine my vegan cooking skills before I try anything like that again.

I took my vitals today, I meant to do it yesterday but I completely forgot. I’ll add the results to the end of the journal so I can keep them in the same format throughout.

Day 3:

Tried rice milk in my coffee today and it was great! It wasn’t as nice as full-fat milk but I never really expected it to be, the best way I can describe it is that it tasted like UHT milk, which isn’t my favourite flavour in the world but knowing that no animals suffered means I can easily grow happy with the taste of a mediocre cup of coffee. Gonna give up coffee for the rest of today and tomorrow I think. I might try to go without on Friday too but I’m in the office then and I’m not sure I’ve got that in me.

At the last two doughnuts for breakfast, well that’s not entirely true, I ate one for breakfast as I’d already eaten one at 3am during a pretty evil bout of insomnia. However I found myself much fuller than usual just from that so I never had lunch.

For dinner I made an amazing salad. Turns out that Falafel is delicious with sweet chilli sauce and roasted red pepper hummus makes any salad veg taste great. I’m not sure if I can eat salad for every single meal but I can certainly eat this regularly.

I was expecting to feel healthier by this point, Col has been reporting that she has felt great since day 2, I guess the fact I’m ill might be hiding the results a little or of course it could be the doughnuts.

Day 4:

All the junk in the house has gone now. All that is left is vegan friendly things so this morning for breakfast I had a glass of orange juice and 2 bananas. It was actually pretty satisfying and I felt full enough until lunch which was leftover salad from last night.

Today is proving to be a challenge, I still feel ill and work is stressing me out a bit, Col says she going to find some healthy treats for dinner on her way home so at least I’ve got that to look forward to. Funnily enough though, I’m not craving meat. I expected I would, don’t mistake me, I’d still love a burger right now but I’m actually doing better than I thought I would by this point. Maybe I CAN manage a full week without meat!

My healthy treats were a bit of sushi and a tiny portion of pasta. It was actually quite tasty though and just being around Col is enough to cheer me up. I think I still spent most of the evening feeling grumpy and negative about the whole thing but certainly better than I was during the day.

Day 5:

I’m in the office today, woke up feeling more energised than I have done in recent memory, not sure if that’s a result of the diet or if I’m just starting to recover from my cold, still had a nap on the train so obviously still a bit tired.

Had a look at my vegan breakfast options and nothing really appealed to me that much so I decided to just go veggie instead and had a porridge pot from Pret, I got a peppermint tea instead of my usual latte though so maybe it balances out a little bit.

Went to the healthy takeaway place opposite the office for lunch, they surprisingly didn’t have many meat free options if you wanted hot food so I went for a saag paneer with brown rice, I wasn’t expecting much but I was absolutely blown away, it was bloody delicious! If I can eat like this every day then maybe I can get behind this mostly meat-free lifestyle after all!

The evening was mostly uneventful as my wife had to work late so ended up eating alone, decided to try some Quorn sausages and had them with mash and some onion gravy and it was bloody lovely. Turns out Quorn sausages don’t taste much different to regular sausages (Thanks for the tip, Will!).

Day 6:

Day 6 was a day of politics! Colette and I took part in the ‘Not one day more’ march against the tories. Food wise I didn’t eat a great deal during the day, I had a bread roll for breakfast and a mozzarella and tomato roll for lunch, in the afternoon I had a small piece of vegan ginger cake (which was delicious).

In the evening however I did pig out a little bit, we went to La Tasca for dinner, I didn’t have a huge amount there but I had a few slices of deep-friend aubergine and a bowl of fried mushrooms. After that we went to cinema to watch Wonder Woman (great film btw) and I had a bowl of nachos with cheese and some ice cream.

Day 7:

Started off with a peppermint tea and a Quorn sausage sandwhich, I even got colette to admit that the Quorn sausages were pretty nice as she had dismissed the idea of Quorn as being unappetising.

We spent the morning watching TV (having missed the Doctor Who finale last night we needed to catch up!) and in the afternoon we decided that a roast dinner was the perfect end to the week.

After a whole week on a meat-free diet I expected that the turkey I ate would be like eating a slice of heaven and I was surprised to find that it just tasted like regular turkey. Apparently meat isn’t that big a deal.

This week was a bit of a revelation to me, I realised that I can comfortably live on a meat-free diet without feeling like I’m making too much of a sacrifice, I’m still glad it’s over and that i can eat meat again (I set myself a challenge to not eat meat until my Sunday dinner) but even though meat is back on the menu, I still think I’ll find it quite easy to limit my meat meals to a few per week.

I’ve also managed without coffee (or tea) since day the morning of day 3 and surprisingly haven’t really missed it. I also expected some caffeine withdrawal but I guess my one or two cups a day was enough to not get addicted? Either that or it hasn’t hit me yet. I may or may not have caffeine later in the week, I’ve not decided yet.

Health Check

Each week I’ll do a health check and post the results on here also comparing them with the previous week and the first week so my progress can be seen. As we only have two weeks worth of data so far, I’ll just do this week and last week.

This week Last Week Week 0
Weight 248.4lbs 250lbs 250lbs
Body fat 34.7% 36% 36%
Muscle Mass 31% 30.3% 30.3%
Visceral Fat 20 21 21
Blood glucose 4.9 4.7 4.7

There were two surprises for me here. Firstly that my blood glucose has gone up! It’s still within a healthy range but I expected that it would have dropped but for me the big surprise was the visceral fat dropping. I’ve been periodically checking my visceral fat for months and it’s never moved from 21 so I was amazed that it has dropped already just from one week of this plan.

Gives me a lot of hope.

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Alex Foxleigh
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Freelance User Interface Developer, Aspiring novelist and ill-informed political writer from Sevenoaks, UK.

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