Nine days in and the Vegan Challenge is going great so far. I haven't had any cravings for anything outside of the diet and I haven't been particularly tempted to "cheat". The only time I questioned it was while sitting at the sushi counter at Izaka-ya by Katsu-ya watching my friend chow some nice looking pieces of fish. But I filled up on Shishito peppers, seaweed salad and some tofu with veggies and was (almost) perfectly happy.
I haven't really noticed much of a change in how I feel. As I mentioned in the initial Vegan Challenge blog post, this isn't a huge change in diet for me, so I'm sure what to expect. I do notice that I don't feel the need to snack as much during the day. My activity level is higher than it's been in a couple months, so the lack of constant hunger is something of a surprise. Maybe it's because what I am eating is more nutrient dense? I'm also feeling a bit leaner (though not lighter - i.e. more muscle), but that is also related at least in part to the increased training volume.
Before we started the Vegan Challenge, we bought a Vitamix blender. Whether we bought the Vitamix to help with the Vegan Challenge or if we decided to do the Vegan Challenge to justify the purchase of the Vitamix remains an open question! :)
I made a shake every day last week. Most days, I have it after my morning training. I'll admit that the shakes I made the first couple days we're all that good. But through trial and error I'm figuring it out. Initially, I tried to jam too much in there at once and my first few shakes were pretty much all veggie, with a little bit of fruit thrown in almost as an afterthought. But I've learned that more fruit is definitely better. Also, unlike a juicer, you do have to add water or coconut water or fruit juice or you'll end up with a "shake" that's closer to the consistency of tar.
I've also learned that what would usually be considered a very strange combination of foods, might actually taste good once it's been through the Vitamix. Sunday's was one of my best: some kale, one stalk of celery, a handful of grapes, three or four strawberries, about a quarter grapefruit, about half a scoop of Vega protein, a chunk of fresh ginger, a couple almonds, some chia seeds, a teaspoon or so of Udo's oil and about 1.5 cups of water. Today's combination (pictured above) is similar, but with apple and carrots instead of grapefruit.
I've also done combinations with pears, lemon, garlic, jalapeño, parsley, avocado, pineapple, blueberries (fresh and frozen), beets, red pepper, and probably some other things I'm forgetting.
Thanks to everyone for your helpful suggestions and guidance!