I entered into this like a child who had just got a new puppy dog. A big slobbery puppy dog, that licks the face off you every morning, chases you down the stairs every day nipping at your heels because he cannot get enough of you. A laugh a second, wonderful floppy-eared ball of fur that makes everything better.

I was excited, I was ready and I was going to do this. And the first 30 days of this were incredible; we cooked at home almost always and ate great food. Not good food – great food. We knew everything we were eating. If going out, it was easy to say no or call ahead and get something wonderful prepared.

Weight was falling off and although I didn’t feel much different, all you kind people telling me how good I looked made me feel fantastic. About half way through, we started to realize that picking up the dog poop isn’t all that much fun, that slobbery kiss at 5 a.m. although cute is a pain in the tuchus, that the little devil never stops eating (maybe the reason why dogs and I have always got on so well, we have so much in common).

So we spent a few weeks grinding it out, eating this way because we had said we would. Not really preparing food with love, but throwing it together to hold off starvation. Major increases in popcorn and potatoes and decreases in salad and soups. Major woe-is-me moments and “Man this sucks!” conversations.

A funny thing happened though as this was happening. We started to miss what we had, the wonderful time cooking, the food, wonderful food, the control that we know exactly what is what. Our lives which had slowed down out of necessity over the first 30 days started to race again. The gentle peace we had found early was replaced by anxiety and worry.

We went out more and the more we went out, the less we enjoyed the wonderful meals we were getting. We planned less and as we did there was an instant reduction in the quality of food we were eating. I personally got cranky and irritable. I had seen the promised land, it was so close and I turned my back on it.

So we eased our way through the finish line, celebrating the end with a pizza at The Fridge which might be the best thing we have ever eaten. That was last Tuesday and again on Thursday we celebrated in true fashion with Coconut ice cream, French fries, vegan sausage and Ezekiel muffins.

We had so many great meals during this and some deserve a mention. Megan at Characters Pub was wonderful throughout and prepared incredible food. We had an incredible meal at Jethro’s, best staff in the world and fantastic food. And without Rice and Noodles we would not have survived, both the Pho and stir fry literally gave me mouth to mouth at different times during the 60 days. Rijuice, without the wonderful juices these lads are making I would have failed in the first week. Last but not least I pride myself as a connoisseur of fine potatoes and I have to say the spuds we got in Fork and Spoon were magic!

All right getting down the moment you have been waiting for…

By the numbers:

• Weigh in 2/2/14 – 237.4 lbs
• Weigh in 2/11/14 – 234.0 lbs
• Weigh in 2/15/14 – 231.8 lbs
• Weigh in 3/1/14 – 226.4 lbs
• Weigh in 4/1/14 – 223.6 lbs

So I lost 13.8 lbs over 2 months. Of that weight, I lost 11 lbs in the first month and 2.8 lbs in the second month. That might tell the whole story right there. The difference is I drank a lot more in the second month (that whole curse of Saint Patrick).

I am thrilled we did it – 13.8 lbs feels great. I now know how to make coconut milk, almond milk, vegan shepards pie, vegan chili, vegan refried beans that are not fried at all, black bean burgers (well I don’t but Martha does, so even better), cabbage soup, cabbage salad and more bean dishes than Bubba Shrimp knows how to make shrimp dishes.

Martha and I have decided to remain vegan, to keep as much processed food out of our diet as possible but not being as strict when going out to eat. We have also made a conscious effort to simplify our lives in every way we can, as there was true enjoyment in the simple days.

So I guess we have been through the excitement of getting the dog, to the realization that things are not the same and we are coming out the end of it happy to have our new dog, finally comfortable with the changes in our lives and excited to continue exploring what the future brings.

Finally in closing – Julie and Martha, thank you; I would not have done this with out your support, inspiration and comradery.

We will share some recipes over the next few weeks just in case any of you are thinking of trying this out.

Also we have decided to have a vegan potluck every two months. Follow this link for all the information.

Thank you all for reading this blog and also for all your nice words of encouragement,

Thanks,
Joe