It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

March 07, 2011

March Madness Week 1 Review

Roasted Red Pepper Soup & Grilled Cheese
I finished my first week of my March Madness Vegetarian Challenge.  I did complete the entire week meat free.  Remember, I am not doing vegan - so I did have milk, cheeses, and other dairy.  I not only ate vegetarian but I really tried to focus on eating whole foods and cutting out artificial sweeteners.  So I completely cut out soda and other processed foods.  My experience was mostly positive - I had a great energy level and I got to try some new dishes.  Another plus was that I dropped a couple of pounds without counting calories or anything else.  The main downside is that it's hard to find anything to eat that is "fast".  I spent alot of time in the kitchen - both cooking and cleaning up.
Veggie Chili and Cornbread

I ordered a couple of books from Amazon - both are vegan books. I didn't find alot out there on Vegetarian eating.  One is Thrive - The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life.  I am only a few chapters into this book, but it's pretty interesting so far.  I will do a full review when I finish it.  The other book is a cookbook, The Happy Herbivore.  I tried three different recipes out of the book - adapting them to vegetarian.  I made black bean burgers - they were ok, corn bread - it was a little better than ok, and carrot muffins - these were awesome. 

I'm definitely still learning and I need to focus more this week on making sure I am getting enough nutrients from my meals, but I'm ready for week 2.  My food photo skills are not the best.  But a couple of shots of some of the items I made this week.  Thanks to Jason at Cook Train Eat Race for the Red Pepper Soup recipe and Aimee at I Tri to Be Me for the Veggie Chili recipe.  They were both awesome!

Carrot Muffins


  1. im slowly trying to gather more info and recipes to try vegetarianism. i did manage to be pescaterian (without even realizing it) over the weekend. is it hard cooking veg for you and regular for the rest of the fam? that is my biggest worry, NO way will the hubs go meat free with me.

  2. I really need to cut out processed foods. They make me feel gross.

    The carrot muffins look yummy.

  3. Yay! I'm glad you liked the chili!
    I know you're not going vegan, but two great cookbooks are "Veganomicon" and "1000 Vegan recipes."
    "Thrive" is a great, interesting book! I can't wait to see what you think about it. Some of his things are easily said then done, but I still liked it.

  4. Great job!!! I'll be posting a "burger" recipe probably later this week...It is yummy!

  5. I just found your blog! Way to go on the vegetarian eating...I need to give up the artificial sweetners, as well. And, you can't be the slowest triathlete out there, because that title belongs to me, lol!

  6. I'm getting weak ... need meat ... need mea

  7. You said "cassette" on my blog :D

    After I watched Two Little Kids on YouTube, I wanted to go grab my old rotary phone and call you up and tell you it was a very sweet song!

  8. Awesome work on getting through your first week and so glad you have had such positives outcomes already.

  9. Hey, false advertising The post title says March Madness. I don't see anything in this post about College Basketball. What a Rip.

  10. HAHAHA Chris K. Men are suckered in so easily! That's funny.

    Ok, Got your post on my page. I do live in Kentucky. Lexington actually. My husband and I often travel around a lot and for some reason we would always end up in Philadelphia, which I love because I'm a huge history buff. So, when I started distance running a few years ago I decided that I would run my first Half Marathon in Philadelphia. It's a long story of weight loss and small victories but I did it and it was extremely life changing. So hence the blog name. I went back the next year and ran the full which I LOVED! Such a well organized race and beautiful scenery.

    Do you ever run any races in Louisville or Cincy? I'm heading up (hopefully) on April 30th to run the Flying Pig. I've paid to run the half, now if I can just get my knee better!!

    I have a triathlon in two weeks but the run is short so that should help.

    Can't wait to hear about the cook books. You're much more disciplined than I!

  11. Sounds like you are committed! Nice work and great job on the weight loss :)

  12. Nice post, Michael! We don't totally eat vegan now, but we did for quite a few years. I'm going to look for those books at the library.

    Did you notice that Brendan Brazier, author of Thrive is going to be speaking at Nature's Pantry on April 12 @ 7pm? You can call customer service to RSVP for his talk 816.478.1990.

  13. I'm so proud of you for doing this and sticking to it!!

    Really though, would it be easier to grab things "fast" from your kitchen if you were eating meat? (I am not asking this facetiously, but instead out of curiosity.) I can't imagine if I just wanted to grab something quickly out of the fridge that it would be meat -- I can't picture how that would make things easier since I imagine that also needs to be cooked and cleaned. I only imagine that food is food, whether it's cruelty-free or not.