Vegetarian Day Experiment, No Sweat!

I was expecting the vegetarian day to be pretty easy to do, and I wasn’t disappointed.  I should say that by “vegetarian” I mean a lacto-ovo vegetarian. I should also say that the level of experimentation is less and less exotic as the week goes on, but I figured I’d analyze and write about it nonetheless.

My original plan for an egg omelet for breakfast was right out the window when I got up on time instead of early.  Without time to whip that up and enjoy it I opted instead for one of my go to Nature Valley Protein health bars and a banana that I nibbled on through mid-morning.  This is a pretty typical morning for me, so while it may not sound very filling to most, to me it’s a good way to start things up.  Perhaps after a few more mornings of Rip’s Big Bowl or some big egg breakfast that won’t suffice, but considering that’s been my staple diet for going on 15 years, I think I’m at a place of contentment.

Lunch was supposed to be, and was, the Chipotle Veggie Burrito Bowl.  Working a quick jaunt from Chipotle leads to this being a somewhat regular pseudo-healthy indulgence.  The burrito bowl with brown rice seems to be the perfect combination of everything: brown rice, black beans, chicken or pork, tomatoes, corn, hot sauce and lettuce.  I often get a little cheese added on top and very rarely order guacamole.  Even without the guac this turns into a 600+ calorie meal, which while very large and quite filling is still already at 600 calories.  However minus the meat and added some veggies I went with the full accompaniment of cheese and guacamole.  I wanted to make sure I felt full and a good serving of vitamin and fat rich guacamole should certainly do the trick.  Bonus point, when you order the veggie bowl the guac is “free” rather than the typical up-charge.  It’s the little things that can make me happy.

After picking over that slowly through a couple of meetings I was pretty much full for the rest of the afternoon.  By the time I got home it was a bit after 4 pm, and I knew I wouldn’t be eating dinner until after my run I decided to make a very light snack of tomatoes with a little salt and pepper on top. I’m a tomato junky so I could eat those all day like apples.

After a quick three mile run it was time for dinner and the closest thing to my experimentation for this experiment day.  Ever hear of seitan?  I have seen it in stores but I’ve never had it.  It’s basically wheat gluten that they ferment and turn into a meat substitute product.  It’s pronounced “say-tan” which means if you say it too fast and with the accent too strongly on the correct syllable it sounds like the nickname of the dark prince (not Darth Vadar, the other one).  I’m sure for people with wheat sensitivities they would think it was a product of his, but I used it as the meat in my stir fry.  I made my partner’s stir fry exactly the same but in a different pan and with shrimp instead of seitan.  Being my first time trying this product I figured stir fry is a good option.  It works for tofu somewhat, and I used enough sauce to coat it well.  I fried it up like beef and it tasted a lot like beef would in a stir fry.  The texture was better than tofu by a mile, but it’s still not meat.  It actually is something I’d use again though.  Rather than rice I just toasted up some nice homemade sourdough bread slices from the freezer and called it a day, after also munching on a couple Stacey’s Pita Chips.

Next experiment was almond milk ice cream from “So Delicious.”  It was actually their Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream.  As an ice cream junky I had tried soy ice creams a couple of years ago and found some I enjoyed.  This brand was one of them.  One of the things I want to try to avoid is over-consumption of soy products, so I figured I’d try out some alternative ice creams not made with soy.  This one looked the tastiest and it stood out as one of my favorite store bought ice creams.  As a person that makes his own ice cream now, I don’t buy store bought except rare occasions so I wonder if it’s possible to make almond milk ice cream without too many stabilizers.  This one wasn’t too too bad, and it sure did taste good as an indulgence.

I finished the night with a big bowl of plain homemade whole milk yogurt topped with Qia and frozen mango.  I followed that up with a huge bowl of watermelon.  I didn’t really feel the need to eat all that, but since I exercised today and my calorie count would have been lower than I wanted without it, I decided to bulk up a bit.

Today was a lot more processed than yesterday, but it was definitely vegetarian.  Nutrient profile-wise things were pretty solid.  I was again short on Vitamin-D, so supplemented that as usual.  Surprisingly I was pretty short on B-12 as well, even more than on my vegan day!  I was just under the line on Iron and Selenium, but it was in the noise, so micro-nutrient wise, I think this was pretty solid.  Macro-nutrient wise the percentage of carbs was down to 50%, with another 32% from fat and another 18% from protein.  The protein levels were __higher today, over 115 grams, which is little lower but more like what I’m used to.  Fiber was slightly higher than yesterday, both of which were twice the amount we are supposed to get.

Again, overall the day was pretty easy and the objective was pretty easy to meet.  I look forward to trying my hand at pescatarian eating tomorrow!