Online butcher Emma Pike gave up meat and dairy cold turkey (!) after a friend challenged her. Below is the second installment in her hilarious, honest and heart-warming diary (read Part 1 here).
Day 8: Coke Zero Is But A Dream
It’s been seven whole days since my last Coke Zero. For those who don’t know me, or how big of a deal that is for, let me paint a picture: I have cut back from six to ten Coke Zeros a day to 0! So this is a massive improvement.
One week in my three week challenge and I’m not totally convinced about this vegan eating thing. I think I’m eating too many carbs so this week cutting back on the carb side and adding in more exercise. I lost a kilo last week and I do feel less bloated so that’s something.
Day 9: Eggs In My Face
I am out of the house early today so no time to put together a healthy breakfast- thank goodness for Pret A Manger. I am out and about in Central so I grabbed a cold-pressed juice there after dropping Charlie (my son) off at his computer camp and now am off to do some work. From today, I am no longer strictly vegan: I am allowed to add eggs into my eating plan- Jen and Amy (my original challengers) gave me their blessing because I was feeling so low on energy. Also, I only have 14 days to go before adding in some white meats again! Can you tell I am desperately counting down the days?
Day 10: Plant-Based BBQ Pork Buns?!
I am nearly half-way there! The thing I’m finding the hardest at the moment is probably the kids’ dinner time. In the past I would happily take a bite or two from their plates (they tend not to finish everything) but now I am stuck with nothing. Honestly, I was going to give up after 14 days but I have been convinced to do the full 21- don’t know why I agreed but let’s see if I can make it!
Ifat took me on a healthy restaurant tour today to show me good veggie-forward places to go while I am out running around in between meetings, as well as some healthy food shopping spots and juice bars. She brought me to my first vegetarian dim sum restaurant, Pure Veggie House, over on Garden Road. I couldn’t believe how busy it was! Who knew? I left Ifat to order and didn’t bother asking what was in the dishes and was pretty amazed. It’s hard to believe everything was plant-based, especially those ‘BBQ pork’ buns…
Day 11: I LOVE Broccoli
We are in the kitchen cooking up a storm. Ifat is teaching us how to make various smoothies, snacks, laksa and especially how to cook tofu! As you may remember from my Week 1 Diary, I really needed some help on the beancurd front. We dished up a tofu laksa, which was oh-kay. We used three different types of tofu, and frankly I am not sure I would rush out to buy at least two of them again. Still, I can definitely say I tried them all. We also made homemade ‘Bounty’ bars (coconut covered in chocolate) and chocolate fudge, which was much more up my alley!
Dinner was epic today. In fact, it’s the best dish I’ve had all week. Pat (our helper) is back and made Laura Simonsen’s Broccoli Salad paired with my friend Laila’s pumpkin humus! and it was lick-the-place delicious. Definite progress.
Day 12: It’s A Carb-Fest
Still no meat and I am feeling some. There were a few times when I could have easily given in like when when Molly (my daughter) asked me to make slow-cooked beef cheeks. That’s one of my all-time favorite meals and it was undeniably hard not to take a bite off her plate.
Doing this challenge makes me think that you could definitely be a fat vegan as you can basically eat nothing but carbs and starches if you want to. If you are going plant-based for weight loss, I reckon it’s definitely worth watching your macros.
A positive development from me taking on this challenge? It’s rubbing off on the family. Molly, Charlie and Steve (my husband) have been trying a few new dishes and incorporated more veggies into their diets. I’ve also managed to convince Molly she does like eggs and Charlie is now having his Nuzest Good Green Stuff power in a smoothie every 3 days (he has figured out that this means he doesn’t have to eat as many veggies the rest of the time, clever kid!). Tonight we are going to a BBQ party. Let’s see what happens…
Day 13: Nut Cheese Is A Thing
Only one more day to go until I can have real cheese rather than cheese made from nuts. Yes that’s a thing! Whoopee!
I have to confess that I had a salad that contained bacon bits last night and didn’t realize until I was half-way through my serving but as soon as I figured it out, I stopped so I’m thinking Jen and Amy Hazel Price will let me off the hook. I fully admit it was yummy.
Still no Coke Zero and my fridge has never been this full of fresh veggies- Magic Season Organics continues to deliver produce every very few days so I need to keep eating them to fit them all in!
I feel a big difference from not imbibing multiple Coke Zeros a day. I am inarguably far less bloated but the truth is, I do still crave a soft drink of some kind.
Stellar family support this morning at a post-rugby breakfast: I was stuck with a glass of water while my family of carnivores tucked into to toasted ham & cheese croissants!
Day 14: Yay For Vegetarianism
I never thought I’d be as happy as I am that today is my last day as an egg-eating vegan (admittedly, not a proper vegan at all but…). The next seven days will see me following a standard vegetarian diet. Being vegan for (the majority of) the past 14 days has had its challenges. I’m glad vegans can drink alcohol otherwise I would not have stood a chance. I’m so looking forward to all the things I can enjoy this week like a yoghurt in the arvo, some cheese on toast, eggs for breakfast, and milk in my coffee! And only a week left until I can tuck into a juicy tenderloin…Not sure if that’s progress but I am definitely showing my veggie friends that anything is possible.
Stay Tuned For Emma’s Life Without Meat Diary – Week 3: Being Veggie Is Really Hard
Read Part 1: The Reluctant Vegan
About Emma Pike
Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Emma Pike is a ex-IT industry professional and squash coach who moved to Hong Kong twelve years ago and now runs Farmers Market, an online ethical meat and sustainable seafood store. Emma is mum to Charlie and Molly, and wife to Steve. The whole family are avid sports players and all of them play on various local school and club teams. Emma is also a dedicated member of the Hong Kong expat community, organizing events and supporting many local charities and small businesses whenever she can. This is her first plant-based challenge.
All images courtesy of Emma Pike.