The Vegan Experiment Continues...

I have officially made it to the halfway point of my vegan experiment.  Here is a quick summary of the events so far...
We went to dinner a week ago at a fairly nice restaurant in Cachagua.  This posed a bit of a challenge.  A cursory glance over the menu made me quite doubtful I was going to be able to eat much.  However, after conferring with the waitress, I discovered I could have a pizza sans cheese with a delightful array of vegetables on it, as well as the beet salad with balsamic vinaigrette and no cheese.  I was quite satisfied, and watched as everyone else had dessert.  The crazy thing was, I didn’t feel like I was missing out at all.  
The next potential challenge was a four day backpacking trip we had planned.  I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to eat to feel satisfied.  I discovered whole wheat tortillas and almond butter with honey are an excellent snack (in the effort of full disclosure, it never occurred to me that honey wasn’t vegan until I was doing some research online.  Despite the fact that it is technically “not vegan” I continue to add it to my tea and use it with almond butter.  It is “nature’s sugar”).  Dainen and I also read the ingredients list of all of the backpacking food at REI and found four which were vegan (do not eat the couscous from Mary Jane’s Kitchen.  I had to force it down my throat).  We also discovered Dr. McDougall’s dehydrated soups from Trader Joe’s were vegan, so we had those for lunch.  Breakfast consisted of oatmeal from Whole Food.  Dessert was a couple of pieces of dark chocolate.  I had good energy the entire trip, and didn’t feel hungry at all.
In general, my energy level has been better than average.  I don’t seem to be as tired in the afternoons, and I feel great when I wake up in the morning.  Exercise has not been an issue, with the exception of the very first day, and I find myself craving vegetables.  The most interesting aspect is the fact that I don’t miss dessert.  This is not to say I haven’t consumed my share of “junk food;” as I mentioned last time, the Alternative Baking Company makes great chocolate chip cookies, and I had an awesome vegan chocolate milkshake from Dharma’s in Santa Cruz last weekend.  I am, however, eating less sugar and truly thinking about everything that goes into my mouth.  I was always aware before, but this “experiment” has really brought it to a whole different level.  I do seem to have lost a little bit of weight (I never got around to buying that scale, but my pants are definitely a little bit looser), and, as I have mentioned, I feel really good.  We will see how the next two weeks play out, but there is a strong chance I might carry this out longer than I had anticipated.  The only thing I would like to resume is taking fish oil supplements.  Those seemed to help the little bit of joint pain I sometimes get, but I cut them out for the sake of the experiment.  I have been using chia seeds on my cereal in the morning, but it’s not quite the same.  This may end up being more of a lifestyle change than I anticipated.
Yours in health and wellness,