Vegetarian Challenge Week 2 Recap

by Beth - Budget Bytes
Step by Step

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Week 2 of the Vegetarian Challenge is complete! I can’t believe we’re already half way done! I had a completely different experience in week 2 than week one, so let’s jump right into that week 2 recap!

Summary: I had a couple anomalies this week, like an orthodontic adjustment that made my teeth sore for a good four days, but overall the week went very well. I was never hungry and all of those cheese and bread cravings that plagued me non-stop in week 1 completely disappeared. I still have NO meat cravings (except maybe when I see a gorgeous food photo) and I’m feeling like a million bucks!

Vegetarian Challenge Week 2 Recap

What I Bought

I was surprised again this week to find Aldi’s shelves even more empty than they were the week before! That means that my Kroger to Aldi grocery ratio was essentially flipped, and I do feel like this probably added a good $5 to my total weekly grocery bill. But that’s life, and that’s meal planning. You’ll always get hit with the unexpected and you just have to be flexible and make do! Because of these added expenses, I decided to cut one of my planned recipes that I didn’t really need anyway, the Freezer Garlic Bread.

Here is my grocery list and receipts from the two stores I visited this week:

Week 2 Grocery List and Receipts

Total Weekly Expense: $38.29

Week 2 Aldi Haul
Week 2 Aldi Haul $16.77

 

Week 2 Kroger Haul
Week 2 Kroger Haul $21.52

What I Cooked

Here are the recipes that I cooked this week:

What I planned to cook but didn’t:

  • I bought the ingredients to make another batch of Homemade Hummus and carrots for dipping, but I never got around to it. I can use this in week 3.
  • Freezer Garlic Bread to go with the baked ziti – While I was at the store and realizing my budget was going overboard, I decided to nix this one from the menu because I didn’t really need it anyway.

Loaded Sweet Potatoes in Glass Meal Prep Containers

What I Ate

The first half of the week I didn’t eat nearly as many vegetables as in week 1, but this was due to a very painful orthodontic adjustment that left me sore for FOUR DAYS. Whew. That is a lot longer than usual and by the end of that time I was actually craving vegetables!! I’m happy about that.

Here’s the day by day food log and price breakdown!

Tuesday 1-8-19 Daily Total: $4.47

Breakfast:

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1 large tortilla: $0.24
  • 1 large egg: $0.25
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter: $0.03
  • 1 cups fresh spinach: $0.15
  • 1/4 cup Homemade Hummus: $0.37

Lunch:

Soft Snacks (ortho adjustment pain begins):

  • Thick Cut Oven Fries (different seasoning and toppings): 1 russet potato ($0.27), 1 Tbsp olive oil ($0.16), 1/4 cup shredded cheddar ($0.22), 2 tsp onion salt seasoning ($0.20), 1 Tbsp ranch dressing ($0.08): $0.93
  • 1 cup Yogurt: $0.57
  • 1/2 banana $0.09
  • Smoothie: 1/2 cup milk ($0.17), 1/2 banana ($0.09), 2 Tbsp peanut butter ($0.16), 1 Tbsp flaxseed ($0.03), 1/2 tsp honey ($0.04): $0.49

Thick Cut Oven Fries

Wednesday 1-9-19 Daily Total: $4.81

Breakfast:

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1/4 oat bran (=1 cup cooked with water) $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.16
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries $0.40
  • 2 Tbsps sliced almonds $0.22

Lunch:

Dinner:

Snacks:

  • 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter: $0.16

Thursday 1-10-19 Daily Total: $2.94

*This day was an anomaly because I had to fast for my blood work the first half of the day, then I received some really bad news later in the afternoon that caused me to lose my appetite. :(

Breakfast/lunch:

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1 cup Yogurt: $0.57
  • 1/2 banana $0.09
  • 1 Tbsp Flaxseed: $0.03

Dinner:

Friday 1-11-19 Daily Total: $5.66

Breakfast:

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1 large tortilla: $0.24
  • 2 large eggs: $0.50
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter: $0.03
  • 2 cups fresh spinach: $0.30
  • 6 grape tomatoes: $0.47
  • 1/4 bell pepper: $0.13

Lunch:

Dinner:

Snack: 1 cup milk: $0.33

Oat Bran with Toppings

Saturday 1-12-19 Daily Total: $5.62

Breakfast:

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1/4 oat bran (=1 cup cooked with water) $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.16
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries $0.40
  • 2 Tbsps sliced almonds $0.22
  • 1/2 banana: $0.09

Lunch:

Dinner:

Snacks:

Sunday 1-13-19 Daily Total: $2.77

Breakfast:

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1/4 oat bran (=1 cup cooked with water) $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.16
  • 2 Tbsps sliced almonds $0.22
  • 1 banana: $0.18

Lunch:

Dinner: DATE NIGHT! We went to Slim & Husky’s and I had a vegetable pizza. :)

Monday 1-14-19 Daily Total: $4.65

Breakfast:

  • 2 cups coffee $0.42
  • 2/3 cup milk $0.22
  • 1/4 oat bran (=1 cup cooked with water) $0.18
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter $0.16
  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries $0.40
  • 2 Tbsps sliced almonds $0.22

Lunch:

Dinner:

Total Weekly Meal Cost: $30.92 (not including one restaurant meal)

Leftovers

I have a LOT of food leftover this week, but fortunately a lot of it can be carried over into week 3 and 4.

Leftovers that can still be used:

  • 2 Rosemary Pepper Drop Biscuits (freezer)
  • 2 servings Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad (freezer)
  • 4 servings Vegan Winter Lentil Stew (freezer)
  • 4 servings Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti (freezer)
  • russet potatoes (week 1)
  • oranges (week 1)
  • sour cream
  • carrots
  • chickpeas
  • eggs
  • yogurt
  • ricotta
  • limes (will be put in the freezer)
  • cilantro
  • parsley
  • spinach
  • grape tomatoes

The cilantro, parsley, spinach, and grape tomatoes probably only have a few days left, so I’ll concentrate on using those up first thing in week 3.

Compost: NOTHING! 😱A few of these items might end up in the compost mid-week 3, but for now they’re still usable! I ate or froze all the servings of the recipes I cooked this week, so nothing got wasted. WIN!

How Do I Feel?

AWESOME! Last week it was hard to concentrate on anything other than my cravings for bread and cheese, and I was pretty much planning where we would go for date night from day 1. This week I had ZERO cravings for bread and cheese, and I wasn’t even excited about going out to eat for date night. I attribute this to the couple of servings of Roasted Vegetable Baked Ziti that I worked into the plan. That kept be satisfied enough to end the cravings, but didn’t make me go overboard.

I still haven’t had any significant cravings for meat since day one. Sometimes if I see a photo in my Instagram feed or something I’ll get a little drooly, but no unprovoked meat cravings at all.

My vegetable intake was definitely a bit lower for the first half of the week due to my sore teeth, but I was craving vegetables by the time my teeth felt better. Craving vegetables is a great feeling to have!

I can’t believe how much leftover food I have after only two weeks. I’m glad that I have a few different options to choose from in the freezer, but it can’t hold much more, so I’m going to slow down on the freezer recipes going forward.

Goals for Week 3

  • Use up leftover ingredients from weeks 1 and 2
  • Eat down the supply of freezer meals to make room for more
  • Work more seeds into my week to increase fiber, plant fats, and protein.

So that’s week 2! I learned so much in week 1 and the changes I made in response really made a difference. I am really excited about how quickly my body is adapting, and hope to keep many aspects of this challenge going past the end of January. :) If you are also doing a Vegetarian Challenge, how did week 2 go for you? Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. Definitely check out Bianca’s blog! She’s not in Nashville but travels there frequently and always has the best (vegan!) meals. 
    http://vegancrunk.blogspot.com/?m=1

    Those stuffed sweet potatoes look awesome, i’m definitely making those this week! 

  2. How do you use the frozen limes? I freeze almost everything but I hadn’t heard of freezing citrus before!

  3. I didn’t realize you were in Nashville! I know a bunch of great vegetarian and vegan places to grab a bite, if you need more ideas for another date night. And if you’re in the East Nashville area, you should definitely check out the BeHive! They are a Nashville company that makes seitan. They have a market that’s open every Saturday and Sunday.

  4. So, this is random, but… I DIDN’T KNOW YOU WERE IN NASHVILLE!
    I’ve loved your blog for a long while, I’m a devotee of your cookbook, and holy crap I feel real dumb because apparently we shop at the same Kroger & Aldi.

    Also, you’re killing it with these vegetarian recipes, PLZ CONTINUE.

    1. Thank you! I’ve only been in Nashville for the past year and a half (or less), so that’s probably why you didn’t know. ;)