I’m halfway through my 22-day vegan challenge! If you want to find out more about Marco Borges’ 22-Day Revolution, and begin with day zero, click here!
(Click here to be taken to the Amazon page to purchase your own copy, through my affiliate link: The 22-Day Revolution: The plant-based programme that will transform your body, reset your habits, and change your life.)
If you’re like me, you probably had a cheeky flick through the book to find out some of the highlights of the diet, and found today’s recipe for French toast – and then got pretty excited. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve been looking forward to this for quite a while, and after a bit of trial and error, I have to say I really enjoyed it!
One note I have to make here, though, is regarding bread. I’ve found it impossible to find bread that’s both vegan and gluten free. I’ve been in several health food shops and supermarkets, but I just can’t find a brand that incorporates both. The brown bread I featured from last week’s recipes was not vegan as it had honey. This bread is not vegan as it contains egg! It’s very frustrating – luckily there is a recipe for vegan, gluten-free bread in the back of the book, but so far I’ve not had time for baking! So, non-vegan bread it is – who would have thought that it would be the vegan part of bread that would be the hard bit?! (Also, I have to say, gluten-free bread is very good!)
This French toast recipe, in my opinion, feeds two people – I think two small slices of bread is a pretty standard serving size for a breakfast! You mix together one mashed banana with almond milk, flaxseed, cinnamon and vanilla, and then soak the bread in the sludge. Personally, I thought there was way too much almond milk here – it turned my first batch into very soggy bread, and I had to throw most of it away. It was only when the first lot had soaked up all the excess liquid and I was left with a thick, banana-y slurry that I found it easy to work with this mixture. And, that way, the banana flavour is much stronger! Once you’ve soaked your bread in the mix, you fry it (in coconut oil! So there was a reason to buy it after all!), and serve it with maple syrup. Heavenly! (And 374 calories)
If you’ve been following along with me, you might notice that day 11’s cauliflower salad is a repeat of a recipe that actually gave me an upset stomach the first time around. I decided to try this again, just to be sure, and I am pleased to report that I didn’t get sick again… Phew! I think the first time around it must have been a combination of so much cauliflower and starting the new diet – this time there was around 100g less of cauliflower, and I didn’t have any upset tummy from it at all. That’s a relief, because I actually really like this recipe – it would be lovely to take to a party to serve as a side dish. It’s very simple – just roasted cauliflower, pine nuts and grapes, dressed with lemon juice, sea salt and pepper. A huge bowl came in at 303 calories.
Dinner was Kale Salad with Sweet Potato – also cranberries, sunflower seeds, sea salt, and enough balsamic and mustard dressing to drown in. I took this as one serving because you roast a single, small sweet potato as one of the ingredients (and I firmly believe in the motto: one potato, one person. It’s a very new motto that I just made up), and the calories came in at 505 – but there was so much dressing that I had to let some of it drain off, and usually I love dressing! This was gorgeous, but there was just too much of it, and it was very strong. You could halve it and it would be enough, in my opinion. There’s also a step missing from the recipe – after you steam your potato (I just roasted mine in the oven), you need to cut it into chunks and then place it in the oven. I think it’s pretty much implied but I thought I’d mention it!
I really enjoyed this dinner – although I have to say, I’ve never eaten so much raw kale in my entire life as I have done in the past 11 days! Total calories for today were 1266, which included my rice milk, and a naughty piña colada ice lolly… Sorry! (Couldn’t resist!) I also went on my exercise bike for 45 minutes and did my 7 minute workout with the app Seven.
So, halfway through the diet… Also time for a weigh in, after I couldn’t do it yesterday! (Drum roll…) So far, since I began, I’ve lost 9lb! It seems impossible and incredible, but let’s just say I definitely had weight to lose… Ahem. Training for my half marathon just turned me into a ravenous eat-beast, so I’m glad I’ve been able to take everything down a notch and start concentrating on my diet instead.
I’ve also now told pretty much anyone who will listen all about this diet, because with results like these – who wouldn’t? I’ve also had intense discussions with my more scientifically minded friends about what kind of biological mechanisms could be behind all this weight loss. Indigestible fibre, water weight, low fat… we’ve thrown around quite a few theories! The bottom line is, nutrition is a very difficult subject to study in humans, and science really doesn’t know all that much about it – for a case in point, look at the arguments surrounding GMOs, artificial sweeteners, or even how to solve the obesity crisis. Nobody knows! What I do know, though, is that this is working very well for me, so I’m perfectly happy to carry on!
As far as cravings go, I have to say I’ve been surprised. I actually think I have far more cravings for food when I’m not on this plan. I’ve thought about the fact it might be nice to eat X or Y (distracted yesterday by someone eating onion rings on TV, and the day before it was Korean Bulgogi), but I haven’t felt any massive urge to eat them, nor have I missed meat, or dairy, or gluten. One thing I haven’t given up is caffeine and sweeteners. I’ve had a few comments on the blog about people who are doing this and giving those up as well, but as a journalist with deadlines looming I consider it my professional duty to consume copious quantities of caffeinated beverages. The fact I’ve lost 9lb without giving them up proves something, I guess – although maybe I could have lost more if I’d only been drinking water. Who knows? Science? No!
Anyway – over to you guys. Are you doing the diet? What’s been your favourite recipe? Anything you’ve hated? Have you lost any weight? Do you have a question to ask me about any of this? Just comment below! I’d love to hear from you!