October Challenge: The Weekday Vegan

I’m sure some of you know the concept of being a weekday vegetarian–Mr. Hill’s TED Talk is a much more eloquent explanation than I could possibly give about its benefits, personally and environmentally. Anyway, I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 15 years now, and the concept of weekday vegetarianism is great for some, but at this point I’m well beyond meat cravings. We all have different reasons for not eating meat. For me, what started off as simply advocating for the rights of animals evolved into a desire to be healthy while fostering a healthy environment by my early twenties. And, let me tell you, when I was a 15-year-old vegetarian, I was nowhere near eating healthy. Pizza, fries, Ralph’s cream ices, and Cheez-its were all staples of my vegetarian diet. But, hey, I was 15 and played softball every single day of my life–who could blame me? Anyway, I digress.

Lately I’ve been feeling pretty extreme fatigue even though I get about 6 to 7 hours of sleep a night. Some of it may have to do with not getting into a deep enough sleep, but I try to fix that with melatonin when I know I’m sleeping enough hours to justify taking it. Anyway, the point is–I can’t afford for this to be happening. I’m a busy girl–a day job, a blogger, a runner, and a grad student, among other things–like, you know, being a friend and daughter and sister. I need to have energy and I need to be healthy. I place a great emphasis on health and am actually mostly vegan, but I have an unhealthy relationship with goat cheese that just won’t allow me to take the full plunge. So, what’s a girl to do?

I’ve been obsessing over Oh She Glows all weekend (please check that site out, it’s amazing…Ah-mah-zing) and it gave me an idea–for the month of October, I’m going to experiment with a weekday vegan and gluten free diet–basically a plant-based non-processed food diet. Why no dairy, eggs, or gluten? I’m trying to figure out if any of these are the culprits behind my fatigue. Also, I just think any little bit helps and if I’m plant-based 5 out of 7 days of the week, I’m doing a pretty darn good job of staying healthy and doing what I can to beat my fatigue. I’m not the most amazing cook in the world, but I’m also not the worst. My latest concoction (mother tested and approved btw–so you KNOW it’s good) was roasted butternut squash with caramelized onions and baby portobello mushrooms, all stir fried with tofu shirataki noodles (better-known as miracle noodles, they are low carb and gluten free)  So, starting this week, I’m giving it a shot. Let’s see how this goes–feel free to try along with me, or just be a weekday vegetarian, or just try Meatless Mondays 🙂

MMmMmm-Mother Approved