Despite what many anecdotal evidence and testimonials swear to, I have not had more energy. If anything, I feel very tired throughout the day. I’ve checked and double checked my nutrient and calorie intake, and I’m consuming everything I need. I have been very stressed at work and have not had a chance to exercise like I’m supposed to. I’ll take a personal day this weekend to see if it makes a difference. I would be greatly disappointed if it turns out I, personally, can’t complete the lifestyle challenge.
In happier news, the basics that are taught by veganism are now almost second nature to me. I almost habitually check ingredient lists, learning how to plan meals that are filling and nutritious, and I’ve even learned to relax more. We had a carry-in lunch at work the other day and a roll I had accidentally picked up was covered in butter. I immediately knew my mistake, set it to the side, and continued with my garden salad potato. At the beginning of the challenge, I would have done anything to “make up” for a perfectly honest mistake, but now I simply write it off and get back on track.
I really believe I’m starting to experience the moral and psychological side of veganism. Things that wouldn’t usually bother me are suddenly making me cringe. Like a joke about irrational violent behavior, comments that serve no purpose other than to make you feel bad, not taking other people’s feeling into consideration, and most of all, holding on to negative feelings for the sake of being justified to act badly.If there was one thing I didn’t expect from the acclaimed healthiest diet was heightened sense of morality.
Seitan Pot Pie
2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
2 large carrots, diced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper — or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups frozen baby peas
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon mellow white miso
6 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
1 cup vital wheat gluten
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup Imagine No-Chicken Broth, cold (or other veg. broth)
1 tablespoon tahini or other nut butter
2 cups unbleached white flour
2 cups white whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin (canned or cooked and water pressed out)
1 cup unsweetened soymilk –mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice
additional soymilk or water as needed
- Put 12 cups of water on to boil in a large (at least 6-quart) soup pot. Add each vegetable (potatoes, onion, celery, mushrooms, carrots) to the pot as you chop it. Add the bay leaves, thyme, sage, garlic, poultry seasoning, onion powder, celery salt, soy sauce, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the seitan: Mix the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Combine the broth and nut butter. Stir the broth mixture into the dry ingredients until well blended. Knead gently 10 times. Turn out onto a cutting board and press it as flat as possible. Let it rest for about 5 minutes. Then using a sharp knife, cut it into 1/2-inch cubes. Add the seitan cubes to the simmering vegetables, taking care to separate them before they go into the pot. Stir well and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 45 minutes, remove the bay leaves and add the peas. Mix the miso in a small bowl with a little of the hot broth, and then add it to the stew, along with the nutritional yeast. Stir in the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil, stirring often. When mixture thickens, reduce heat and allow to simmer while you make the biscuits. (If stew does not seem thick enough, add a little more cornstarch/water.)
- (You can make the recipe up until this point the day before serving and refrigerate the filling. When ready to assemble, reheat the stew as you make the biscuit topping. Stew should be hot when the biscuits are placed on top.)
- Preheat oven to 400 and oil two or more deep casserole dishes (any combination of casserole dishes or pie pans to hold about 6 liters). Mix the dry ingredients for the biscuits in a medium bowl. Stir in the pumpkin and the soymilk/lemon juice. Add additional soymilk or water a teaspoon at a time as you stir until all flour is moistened and dough forms a ball. Turn out onto floured board and knead two or three times. Roll out to 1/2- inch thick, and cut into circles using a 1 1/2-inch wide floured glass or biscuit cutter. Gather remaining dough and use it to cut additional biscuits. You should have between 24 and 30. (Alternately, cut the biscuit dough to fit the pans, leaving about an inch all around to allow for dough to expand.)
- Pour the stew into the prepared pans, making sure there is at least 1/2-inch free at the top. Place the biscuits on top, spacing them evenly. Bake until biscuits are lightly browned, 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to stand for a few minutes before serving.
Weight: 209.8 lb (-3.6 change)
Fasting Blood Glucose Level: 98
Blood Pressure: 110/68
Resting Heart Rate: 93
Total Calorie Intake: 1726 221/71/53*
*”Total Calories per Day” “Carbs/Fat/Protein” The ultimate goal is 1800 calories per day with a macronutrient split of 225/60/90.