Week One Completed With Ease (and energy to spare)!

I can’t say that I was really nervous about stepping in to the lifestyle challenge of going gluten-free vegan for a month.  Secretly, I love doing research.  Like, I can spend HOURS trolling the internet and picking through books to find out what what color the belly of a baby Tangier in Costa Rica is.  hmmmm…I think I may have just given myself a project…ANYHOW.  As of today I am successfully through week one.

Everything I’ve made to date is really good.  I’m especially liking learning about the new foods and spices I get to work with.  Seems that a large percentage of North African, Indian and Thai food is gluten-free and vegan (or can be very easily modified into vegan).  I’ve already learned how to make three different kinds of curries, several variations of hummus and am slowly getting comfortable with using lemongrass and miso!

Here’s some images from this week’s adventures:

The fixen's for Rockin' Morrocan Stew.

Rockin' Morrocan Stew.

Rockin’ Morrocan Stew.

Traditional Chickpea Hummus with a Kick

Traditional Chickpea Hummus with a Kick

Banana, Almond, Coconut, Cocoa Breakfast Smoothie...so gooooood.

Banana, Almond, Coconut, Cocoa Breakfast Smoothie…so gooooood.

So far I have not made it into the gym for a “formal” workout.  Yes, I’m lazy and bad.  BUT, I have gone out for several 2+ mile dance-walks to Owl City and Carley Rae Jepson (no ribs on my music taste…it’s eclectic and I like it that way).  I also throughly enjoy spinning on my indoor bike trainer while watching “Once Upon A Time” or “Revenge” on my laptop.  Once I get back into the gym, I’ll step on a scale and see what’s happening.  For now, it’s all subjective.

Overall, I’d say I’m enjoying my experience.  No real cravings or feelings of loss.  Well, except for sushi.  I really REALLY miss sushi right now.  No hunger.  In fact, I am LESS hungry than usual.  My energy level is up and I am sleeping well.  I’d like to note that I am recovering from a solid month of illness.  So, who knows if my increased energy level is related to the food choices, or the fact that I can actually breathe through my nose again and am able to sleep with my mouth shut.  Oh, sweet divinity…

On the menu for this coming week is:

On a side note, I have some interesting challenges in the upcoming weeks.  For those of you who do not know, when I am not venturing into the world of the gluten-free vegan foodie, I am selling wine.  Yes, you read it correctly, I get paid to play dress up and drink (except for this month).  Overall it’s a pretty friggen cool job.  Here’s the thing, though.  All of next week, the owner of our small distribution company is going to be in town.  I have been tasked with the job of taking him out for niblets and entertainment. The following week, I am hosting a wine maker and have the same job of feeding him and hosting wine tastings and wine dinners.  Shit.  This means that for the next two weeks, I’m either going to have to call ahead to my accounts and request special items be made for me, suck it up and eat what’s on the menu or eat lots of nuts in the car and just sip seltzer water while I snack on the mixed green salad.  I’l keep everyone posted on what bridges I decide to cross and which ones I opt to avoid.  Could be an interesting experiment to see how my body feels after not having had something for a little while…or it could just make me sick.

As always, feel free to leave comments, suggestions, words of wisdom or (more importantly), words of silliness and mayhem.

A Fitness Assessment, Then Off I Go!

Beginning April 1st, 2013 (yes, I know it’s April Fools Day.  No, this is not a joke), I am going Gluten-Free Vegan for the entire month.  I’ve spent the last several weeks researching what not to eat, how to eat well and throughly enjoying reading about food.

About a month ago, I got sick.  Nothing terrible, just a lingering cold that left me feeling continually tired and congested. Last weekend, I managed to contract a particularly vicious strain of Strep Throat and it did quite a good job of kicking my cold into high gear again.  Basically what I’m saying is: I haven’t been able to breathe out of my nose comfortably for almost a month and sleeping has become my new hobby.  I’m cranky, coughing, discombobulated and a general hot mess.

¡Perfect time for a full body cleanse!

So, I stopped in to SNAP Fitness near my house yesterday.  They were kind enough to give me a “Fitness Assessment” so I would have a physical baseline from which to work.  If you are a member of this club, it’s totally free and from what I understand, you can get them whenever you want as often as you’d like.  I was thinking it would be interesting to see, at the end of the month, if there are any noticeable physical changes that happen as a possible result of my April Lifestyle change.

Here are my results:

  • Height 5′-2″
  • Weight – 144lbs
  • Body Fat – 32.9%
  • BMI – 25.9
  • Bi/Tricep Circumference – 11.5″
  • Chest Circumference – 37″
  • Waist Circumference – 29″
  • Hip Circumference – 39.5″
  • Thigh Circumference – 24.5″
  • Cardio Fitness Test: 80% Tile = Good (3.8 @ 5 incline, for 5-min on a treadmill: 144 bpm heart rate)
  • Flexibility Fitness Test: 5% Tile = Poor (I believe she recorded this wrong, as I am able to bend at the waist and place my hands flat on the floor. If you asked my boyfriend, he’d say I’m pretty flexible….going to talk to someone next time I’m at the gym)
  • Muscle Endurance Test: 70% Tile = Good (28 sit ups in 60-seconds)
  • Muscle Strength Test: 5% Tile = Poor (10 Chest Presses @ 30lbs.  Again, I don’t think she explained the test correctly.  From what I can tell, this is based on pressing your max weight, but she did not ask me to do that…going to check with another staffer when I ask about the Flexibility Test).
Measurements from SNAP Fitness Fit Score Program

Measurements from SNAP Fitness Fit Score Program

So now I’ve got a physical baseline, a stack of cookbooks and a binder of recipes, friends who are excited to eat my culinary experiments and a blog in which to keep track of it all.

Tomorrow is my first big cooking day to get ready for the week.  I’m making a Rockin’ Moroccan Stew, Baba Ganosh, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Quinoa Tabouli.

Inputting Information From Cardio, Strength, Endurance and Flexibility Test.

Inputting Information From Cardio, Strength, Endurance and Flexibility Test.

Thanks for stopping by to see what I’m up to.  Remember, if you’ve actually found me and would like to contribute to the conversation, feel free to leave a comment, a recipe, a helpful suggestion or a friendly hello.

Cheers!

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