Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New Goals

I wanted to share a conversation Drew and I had on a drive home from a visit with my family this past weekend. We spent about 6 hours total in the car that day, so there was plenty of time to muse about things. We've had an ongoing conversation for awhile that we want to reduce our grocery bills. Ever since going vegan last January, we have spent a lot on food. And I really can't complain too much, because it's been so great experimenting with recipes and learning new ways to cook. But, I've cooked big, full meals nearly every night this past year, not to mention making desserts or other treats just because we wanted to try them! Not only was it expensive, it's also been very time consuming.

On top of that, I started a new job about a year and a half ago that is much more sedentary than jobs I've had in the past. I've always been a sporadic exerciser and am constantly settting new goals to implement a more steady exercise regimen....that of course, have never really stuck. Maintaining a healthy weight wasn't too difficult in the past, because my job allowed me to stay active and any extra exercise I did was just bonus. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case and I have gained weight since starting this job, which is the exact opposite of what I expected would happen when I decided to go vegan. I know my lack of exercise is probably the biggest culprit, but also, for whatever reason, I gave myself some kind of  "free pass" to also eat whatever I wanted since going vegan. And we all know that just because it's vegan, doesn't necessarily mean it's healthy. I'm still not really sure why I did this. When I first became a vegetarian, I lost a lot of weight. So, I was sort of expecting the same thing after going vegan. But, I realized as a vegetarian, I was much more concerned with maintaining portion control and not eating too many sweets or fried foods or cheese. I also didn't cook nearly as much - I relied heavily on convenience foods. I'm not saying that was a good thing necessarily, just different from my switch to veganism.

So, maybe just all of the excitement got to me over the last year and it's been great fun, but I know I need to take better care with my diet and with my body. All of that to say, Drew and declared last year to be the Year of Food. We have declared this year to be the Year of Fit!

Aside from a steady exercise routine, we plan to simplify our meals, make healthier choices and just make less food in general, so it's not a constant temptation. We also plan to maybe mix in a few more convenience foods so that our entire night is not centered around cooking and eating. Don't get me wrong, we still plan to cook, but maybe only a couple of nights a week so that we can focus our time and energy on exercise and doing other creative things with our time.

I feel really good about these decisions and look forward to seeing our grocery bills and hopefully my waistline start to shrink. These feel very much like New Years resolutions just a month late. haha! But better late than never, right?

Did you notice changes in your weight or eating habits after going vegan? Did you allow yourself to eat more "treats" just because they were vegan?


Heather Iacobacci-Miller said...

I've been vegetarian for so long that I don't even recall any weight changes. I think that exercise is soooo vital for everyone plus healthy eating. I wouldn't focus on not cooking in, but rather modifying recipes to be healthier is all. Oh, that plus consistent exercise ;-)

Kale Crusaders said...

We didn't bake very much until we became vegan. The limited options outside the home plus excitement over the crazy chemistry of vegan baking got us hooked.

We are in the same boat as you two. After 1 year of veganism, we are focusing on healthier vegan cooking-less Earth Balance-heavy recipes, more veggies, and baking mostly for special occasions.

Sheridan & Drew said...

Heather - Your blog is a constant inspiration to me to exercise more frequently, so thank you for all that you do! Drew and I are doing a lot of exercise videos at home right now, but we look forward to getting back to walking/running outside in the spring.

Kale Crusaders - Thanks for your comment. It's encouraging to know that I'm not the only one. The excitement this past year has been a bit overwhelming and I'm happy to know that I CAN bake and make a huge variety of things now, just maybe not every night. haha!

Muffin said...

While living in fayetteville, being vegan and having an active lifestyle allowed me to maintain my weight and even lose a little. However, I did notice that I allowed myself to eat a lot more crap just because it was vegan. I moved to Little Rock in 2009 into a very sedentary job in a city where I could not ride my bike to work. This has caused me to pack on a good 30 pounds, mainly due to the lack of vegan options while dining out at lunch. Veggie burgers and fries are a good treat, but should not be an every week occurring. I also feel like I cook more full meals and spend a lot more on groceries. (we don't even really shop at whole foods, the meals are always veg bases, no real processed fake stuff). So, I added much more protein and am trying to make MUCH more simple meals, and that is working out much better. I still tend to cook up a storm on the weekends, but if a salad or a bowl of oatmeal is dinner, that's no biggie too. I'd love to hear more about how you guys are simplifying your veggie dinners!

Bianca said...

Eating things just because they're vegan is a common problem. I'd probably never get too excited about Oreos and Nutter Butters before going vegan, but now, if someone bring Oreos to a party, I'm, like, I gotta eat 10 of those because I'm vegan!

Are y'all gonna P90X it again?

Sheridan & Drew said...

Bianca - Not yet...we are doing workout videos at home, but we need to build up more stamina and strength before trying that again and I always get so burned out on it, so I don't know. I'm doing some Denise Austin Boot Camp videos right now that I really like!

Sheridan & Drew said...

Muffin - Thanks for your comment! We will be posting about the more simplified meals we've been enjoying this week soon!

susan said...

I agree with everyone else. In the past the sticky bun the size of my head was never an option but if it's vegan it's a novelty so I eat it. I also found the typical grain and bean dish had me eating way to many carbs and I put on weight. I found I need to measure grain and beans and go heavy on the green vegetables. Sad but true. I always step back and wonder how the heck do people eat a regular american diet and not gain weight like me?

Jenny said...

i am always jealous of people who talk about becoming vegan and losing weight, getting clear skin, etc...did not happen to me. but i agree with everyone else; i do love my vegan treats. i have the big challenge of losing my baby weight right now and not looking forward to it. :)