Diet Update: Am I Still A Vegan? & Our Charleston Staycation

The last we spoke of my diet I was up in arms about what I should do. Over the past several months, my health hasn’t been tip top. I’ve been diagnosed with anemia, my body hasn’t been recovering as quickly as it used to, I’ve had bouts of adult acne, and to be honest, I have just felt crappy. Not myself.

You can read the whole post here to catch up.

The past 4-weeks has been about experimenting and listening to my body. Giving it what it needs and not being afraid to go off my structured meal plan.

Perhaps there has been a bit of what my body wants tossed in there too…

holiday-drink

So that might leave you wondering:

Am I Still A Vegan? 

This post has been on my mind for quite a while now. I’ve had many of you send emails and Facebook messages asking me how my diet was going and for any updates.

Well, with the New Year approaching, it’s time I shared my dietary choices that I’ll be taking with me into 2014.

This is what I’ve decided and it’s what has made me feel stronger, more energized and overall happier these past weeks.

The easy answer…

No, I’m not vegan any longer.

There, I said it. After following a strict vegan diet for 2 years, I’ve decided that the rigidity no longer fits me.

salmon

Sorry for the poor lighting, Salmon dinner at Tristan’s

Let me share a little more…

I’m Not A Vegan But I’m Not A… 

Complete omnivore either. At this time, I have added the following animal products back into my diet:

  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • Venison (we have a client that gave us several roasts)

I used to indulge in seafood about every 4-6 weeks while being a vegan to help keep my omega-3’s high. But now I’ve upped that significantly to eating fish about 2-3 times per week.

raviolli

Shrimp ravioli from the same date night at Tristan’s

I’ve been LOVING eggs again, eating them 2-3 times per week as well.

But I’m not giving up on my veggies either. On the contrary, I’m actually trying to eat MORE vegetables than I was.

Dan makes it a point to eat vegetables at every single meal throughout the day. I wanted to do this as well. While lunch and dinner is great, eating vegetables with a pancake just didn’t seem appetizing. But eating veggie filled omelets (no cheese) has been fabulous! Luckily, just yesterday I did master a veggie filled pancake, recipe to come soon.

I still believe that a mostly plant based diet is the healthiest for anyone, however I can’t deny the  benefits I’ve been feeling from adding these foods into my life again.

  • Increased energy
  • Happier
  • Better skin (well, until I went a bit crazy on the fruit last week)
  • Menstrual cycle. I don’t tend to share my female issues, however I haven’t had a period for quite a while… I finally had a cycle last week. It was kind of a big deal.
  • Stronger workouts. After months of feeling “off my game” I’m finally leaving a workout giving a fist pump. I’m stronger, faster, and energized from start to finish.

Another belief I’m strong about, is that a diet doesn’t have to be so black and white. I’ve learned so much during my time as a vegan but I also think it’s okay to go off the path to allow for a complete and balanced nutritional program.

I can’t help it, I would much rather eat a few animal products from time to time then have to pop some pills like iron and B12.

Dan is loving it as well! It makes meal prep so much easier. We’re sharing meals again and he has noticed my increased energy levels and my increased love of food again.

I pride myself on being a “foodie” and I feel that this is the right move for me and my body. I understand many of you may not agree with my choice, and that’s fine. This was actually a really hard decision to make but one I feel is necessary at this time.

So there you have it!

As mentioned above, we ate at the gorgeous Tristan’s Restaurant recently and thought I would quickly share our date…

Holiday Staycation Downtown Charleston

Last week Dan and I did a night out on the town for a stay-cation. Since our plans to fly to Philly were cancelled, we desperately wanted to do something to get us out of the house and allow us to give one another our undivided attention.

millshouse

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I found a great deal on LivingSocial to stay at the historic Mills House Inn downtown Charleston and together we decided on dinner at Tristans.

Downtown is only about a 20 minute drive for us, so it was an easy trip to plan out. We checked in right at 3pm and got settled into our hotel room. The room was great, nothing fancy or noteworthy but clean, spacious and comfortable. The 3 musts for any hotel room, right? And for the price, we couldn’t have been more pleased!

us

After we got all cleaned up and ready for the night, we headed across the street to Husk’s Bar.

This place was so quaint! And old, historic house turned into a bar with cedar walls and a wine cellar feel. We settled in for a drink and chatted with some people visiting Charleston before heading out into the chilly damp air to walk to dinner.

husk

Nestled in the French Quarter, Tristan’s is described as “Simple, Modern and Unexpected”.

tristans

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The ambiance was beautiful and comfortable. We sat at the bar until our reservation and chatted with the bartender (Hi Megan!). Turns out our families are from the same small town, Candler, on the outskirts of Asheville! I’ve never met anyone before that has heard of Candler!

Then we moved to our table.

I started with the shrimp ravioli which was quite delicious! Though for a single ravioli, the portions didn’t match my expectations of the price. Oh fine dining.

For dinner I went with the Salmon and Dan, the duck.

duck

The salmon was delicious but not mind blowing. And with a portion so small, I was left craving a little more once the plate was cleared. Dan felt the same of his duck.

All in all, Tristan’s was great. I don’t think we will go back as there are SO many amazing restaurants in Charleston and this wasn’t our favorite. It’s hard for a good restaurant to be the best in such a foodie town. Plus, I really hate spending so much money and leaving the table still hungry. Is that just me?

After dinner we headed back to the hotel bar for a night cap before heading up stairs. We met the most interested woman, Tricia who was 88 years old visiting from Vermont. She was in amazing shape, and didn’t look a day over 70! I wish I had gotten a picture with her. She shared stories of being a retired author who had amazing opportunities interviewing stars like Michael Cane! She was such an inspiration.

And that was our holiday date! I couldn’t have asked for a better evening out with my husband. Oh by the way, it’s his birthday!

Happy Birthday Dan! 

–> What’s your favorite restaurant? <–

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