Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Veggie Challenge

Last week Husband put a new documentary on our instant netflix queue for us to watch. He always picks the best ones. Anyways, last week we sat down and checked it out. It was called Forks Over Knives.
Forks Over Knives examines the "profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods." 
It was very interesting and I personally like it. I'm not a film critic so I'm going to leave it at that. This film did however inspire us to challenge ourselves for the week. Go a week without meat and no fast food
We don't cook. After work we either go to a restaurant, fast food joint or my family would cook us dinner (meat was in every meal). So this challenge was exciting because we'd have to get to cooking. 
On the search for recipes I found two food blogs that I fell in love with: Sprouted Kitchen and A Couple Cooks
Sprouted Kitchen loves cooking tasty food with healthy ingredients and the photography on her blog is so good!
A Couple Cooks are a young married couple who share the food they cook and it's always simple and fresh. They believe everyone can cook if they can. Their pictures are also awesome. Pictures mean a lot when it comes to finding foods to prepare!
A couple of my favorite recipes we tried this week were:

Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Green Chile Enchiladas by A Couple Cooks

Farfalle with Tomato-Goat Cheese Cream Sauce from Vegetarian Times.

We've successfully completed our 7 day vegetarian challenge and here's what we've learned:

*If you can't pronounce it, don't eat it. There was one day where we made spaghetti and we felt like having bread with it but we ran out of bread. We did, however, have some garlic bread Texas Toast in our freezer. I looked at the ingredients before throwing it in our toaster oven and immediately got nervous. I could not pronounce half of the ingredients on the box! That should have been a red flag. Actually what should have been the red flag was that it was in a box in the frozen section. I should have immediately thrown it away but instead I threw it in the toaster oven. And as you probably guessed, we felt terrible after dinner. I was surprised after eating so well and natural after 4 days that the bread could have such a huge impact. But it did. And never again.
*I have more energy. After dinners before this challenge, I would get sleepy and not want to do anything. I've noticed that after eating dinners this week I felt energized and good! 
*We're not hungry. This week our breakfasts and dinners have been way smaller in proportion but guess what, we weren't hungry. Our veggie-filled meals left us feeling satisfied without feeling too full. 
*Your body adapts quickly to real food. Like I mentioned first, the one thing that wasn't real made us feel awful. 

I'm so happy we did this. We love doing challenges and this one was very beneficial. I don't know why I'm surprised that food makes such a huge difference in how you feel. We've both gained some weight in the past 2 years and doing this challenge helped us lose a few pounds this week. Bonus!

Have you seen Forks Over Knives? Do you ever do challenges to see if you can do it? Isn't pinterest awesome for finding recipes?!

Husband and I love doing challenges and I thought I would share this one with you. I think we're going to continue this one!  



  1. This movie was insane! It completely changed my outlook on food. Like, the whole dairy/calcium debate... and how dairy actually TAKES calcium OUT of our bones instead of being a good source... what?! It's like my eyes have been opened! I completely cut out processed foods after watching this and it's been hard, which is sad to say. It definitely says something about our society.

    Keep up the good work! =)


  2. Thanks so much for your post. I definitely would like for my husband and I to eat better. Will check out the movie.

  3. Great post! I need to watch that movie. Your post was an inspiration, and the enchiladas look so yummy.

  4. That's an interesting challenge. I think eating real food is great. Eating out a lot or eating processed food is so easy. But we pay a price for it.

  5. That's an interesting challenge. I think eating real food is great. Eating out a lot or eating processed food is so easy. But we pay a price for it.

  6. I've been meaning to check that movie out! Now I feel more motivated too.
    Also, thanks for sharing those cooking blogs. I really love A Couple Cooks now! I can't wait to try their recipes.

  7. What a great challenge! I don't cook very much either, particularly because I don't like spending money on groceries. But for the sake of my health, I should probably do a challenge such as this one. Thanks for sharing the documentary, I'll have to find it on netflix! :)

  8. Like everyone else, I loved this post! I generally eat a low-carb/low-sugar diet because I'm such a carbaholic otherwise, but I'm reeeeeally bad about getting enough vegetables. I'm not sure if I should watch this documentary immediately or if I should avoid it at all costs because it'll freak me out. Thanks for the blog recommendations!

  9. I haven't seen that one, but I've read Fast Food Nation and various other books/articles about the modern food industry. It's just crazy how bad things are for us. My husband loooooves meat, so I tend to cook it for him, but I could absolutely give it up forever. We've been making a conscious effort to eat less fast food, and when I do cook meat for him at home, I try to get free range non-hormone items.

    Keep us posted for how this goes longer term!

  10. I'm always looking for something to put in my Netflix que. Thanks for making me aware of this. I think it's wonderful to cook together. It evokes better eating habits and conversation. Love the recipes. They look sooooo good. Thanks for sharing Stela. This is really important!

  11. What a great post, Stela girl! This is a change we've been trying to make too. I really appreciate the links, and I've bookmarked them for future use. ;-)

    I will definitely be watching this documentary, because I'm really interested in this topic and I've watched others like it on Netflix (Food Matters and Ingredients are both good ones).

  12. We're so excited about your challenge, and that you were able to find some recipes on our blog you enjoyed!

    We just saw Forks over Knives as well and were struck by the health crisis our nation is in -- we're excited that taking steps torwards a natural diet can help!

    Glad you enjoyed the enchilladas -- hopefully you can find a few more to help you through your challenge! Best of luck!! :)

  13. I've seen this movie and I thought it brought up some really important ideas. It seems to me the level of additives to our food supply is out of control. Some people like to argue over whether a higher protien or higher carb diet is better - I think the main thing is to eat natural, whole foods.