PCRM Kickstart Recap

Sunday night, I had my final Kickstart meal – a bowl of Hearty Chili Mac and a side salad. I felt like celebrating, or like it was Christmas Eve, because finally I could eat dark chocolate, beer, sugar, and potato chips again. I’m really glad I stuck it through, though. I think the kickstart helped me break some cravings, and it was eye-opening how much added fat there is in certain meals, not too mention how filling beans and whole grains are. I also learned a few great new recipes that I will be adding to my “go-to” dinner rotation from now on. I’m even eating one of the recipes right now, the Southern Beans and Greens. I lost a total of five pounds, and my boy lost an incredible 11 pounds. I’m going to try to incorporate this way of eating into at least one meal a day, if not more. It makes you feel great, centered, focused, energized, and light. But man I am glad to be able to kick back with a beer!

Simple Bean Tacos with Mexican Corn Salad

Simple Bean Tacos with Mexican Corn Salad

Here are links to some of my favorite recipes during the cleanse:

Simple Bean Tacos with Mexican Corn Salad (both pictured at left)

Couscous Confetti Salad

Curried Lentil Soup

Easy Bean Dip

Breakfast Rice Pudding

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Lentil Artichoke Stew

And if you’re thinking about following the 21 day meal plan yourself, I would strongly advise you to steer clear of these items: Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes, Facon Bacon, and Chocolate Raspberry Mousse. I followed those three recipes to a T and they were pretty much gross. But don’t let those three gross foods scare you away from this diet! You can always substitute other meals if you don’t like the sound of what they suggest.

PCRM 21-day Kickstart

I know I’ve been AWOL for a bit, but it’s for a good reason! My life has been taken over by the PCRM (Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine) 21-day Kickstart diet. It’s a comprehensive meal plan for a vegan diet that limits fat, sugar, prepackaged food, processed soy, alcohol, and really ups your fruit and veggie intake. You may be thinking, “why would this crazy person who already cuts so many options out of her diet want to limit herself even more?!” Well, maybe you’re not thinking that, but I was when I first decided to commit. The truth is, I feel like I’m a slave to certain foods and tastes. I eat way too much sugar, soy products like boca crumbles and gardein fake chicken, and CHIPS. Holy cow I eat a lot of chips… my favorites of the moment are RiceWorks Salsa Fresca flavor and Blue Ginger brown rice chips…mmmmm.

Anyway, I’ve heard great things about this diet and I followed Vegan Crunk’s kickstart diary, and I really wanted to see if this diet would make me feel better. To my surprise, my carnivorous boyfriend decided to join me so we both started the kickstart last Monday. Today is day 10 on the meal plan, and so far, it has been great. For the most part, I feel full, energetic, and my body feels really light and sort of calm. There have been a couple nights when I finished dinner and was thinking “really? that’s it?” but I just had popcorn or a piece of fruit for dessert. I’ve still been craving salty crunchy food around lunchtime, when I normally inhale a bag of chips, but I’m really hoping those cravings go away. It’s like breaking an addiction, right?

The most noticeable change though has been my weight – I’ve lost four pounds in just the first week alone. My boy has also lost four. It was probably our beer guts since there’s no alcohol in this meal plan, which is fine by me.

I’ve also noticed a big change in my ability to focus throughout the day. I normally “crash” after lunch, like in those stupid 5-hour energy commercials. But since I’ve been on this meal plan, I am alert and able to focus on work right up until bedtime, if I want to that is.

It hasn’t all been positive though. Sunday was like a lost day for both of us. My boy had a bad headache all day, and I felt hungry and weak all day. It was rough! We decided to stay on track, and I’m glad we did.

To give you an idea of what we’ve been eating, here is a sample menu:

Wednesday, April 6, Day 3:

Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal (leftover from Monday; add sliced banana and consider using agave nectar, a delicious, low-glycemic index sweetener)

Lunch: Hummus and veggie sandwich (use pita or whole grain bread, spread with hummus, and top with lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, and any other veggies you wish)

Snack: Soy yogurt with berries

Dinner: Curried Lentil Soup with leftover Couscous Confetti Salad or a side salad (if you are making your own side salad, think greens, such as romaine or red leaf lettuce topped with tomato, cucumber, onion, broccoli, and your favorite low-fat vegan dressing; an easy pick is balsamic vinegar, which is very easy and a little goes a long way)

And here is a bad picture of one of the yummy dinners – Southern Beans and Greens and a side of Couscous Confetti Salad. Both were delicious!

I’ll be back to update you on the rest of the Kickstart diet. TTFN!

Kickstart Meal

Remedy logo

Dinner at Remedy Diner

Soy BBQ and Potato Salad

I was a hungry hippo and I inhaled the key lime pie before I could take a picture.

I scarfed down a delectable meal last night at The Remedy Diner. I ate a soy BBQ sandwich topped with coleslaw, potato salad, flash-fried broccoli with ranch dressing, and key lime pie – all vegan! I know it’s not the healthiest meal, but I was craving some serious comfort food. My sandwich was so good, I got all quiet when I started eating it. I also got a fabulous peach cocktail. I forget the name of the drink, but it’s on the ‘spring drinks’ section of the chalkboard menu. My favorite items were the fried broccoli and the peach cocktail. The key lime pie was good, but there was a definite Tofutti/”fake cream cheese” taste to it. Next time, I’m gonna go for the vegan chocolate cake.

If you’ve never been to Remedy, now is the perfect time. They’ve just updated the menu with loads of vegan options (and meaty options for omnivores), and are now serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays! Plus, the waitstaff is easy on the eyes… just sayin’. Now all I need is a Remedy location in North Raleigh… or maybe I just need to move downtown.

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