Sooo I tried to eat vegan for a week. Keyword being tried. There were a few mishaps, but none were on purpose! I’ll get more into those later, but first let me explain why I wanted to try this challenge.
I’ve been vegetarian a little over two years. I started it because I started to dislike the taste and texture of meat and it soon evolved into also advocating animal and the planet’s health. I’m not one of those in your face vegetarians. When I’m out with friends I don’t tell them how gross I think their steak and bacon bits are. I don’t say anything unless they bring it up. I wanted to make sure I said this so you didn’t think I was telling you that you have to try to eat more vegetarian or vegan. You don’t have to, it’s just honestly better for you and the world if you do. And I have the 11-page paper to back it up that I literally sent to a co-worker after we got into a heated debate. (You’re more than welcome to read it, too).
That note aside, I realized a while ago that I actually eat vegan a lot without realizing. Lots of foods you eat are probably vegan, too! Pasta, bread, fruits, veggies, rice, almond milk, coconut yogurt. All vegan. So I thought I’d try to eat vegan for a week to see if it was easy and if I could make the switch from vegetarian to vegan.
What I ate most days
For the most part, I ate what I usually did. For breakfast, I’d either have cereal with almond milk, a bagel with vegan butter, or soy yogurt with peanut butter and raisins. Then, for lunch and dinner, I’d throw a meal together consisting of a few of the following things: pasta, orzo, chickpeas, broccoli, cauliflower, hot sauce, veggie burgers, lima beans and potatoes. For snacks, I’d have tortilla chips, graham crackers, apples, applesauce, pretzels, or dark chocolate almonds (one without milk chocolate as an ingredient).
However, I will say that when I got annoyed about not being able to eat my popcorn or chocolate and other pantry items, I drank cider. So I drank about two or three ciders a three nights that week.
One other big change was how I made my coffee. I usually drink coffee about three or four mornings a week, and I only have normal creamer and almond milk. Almond milk is not sweet enough for coffee alone, I don’t think, so we tested out some new things. I ended up putting a bit of sugar, blue nectar agave, and a dash of cinnamon in my coffee and thought it was great.
I used to drink black coffee when I stayed in hostels across Europe, so I can drink it, I just usually don’t.
My diet is pretty boring when I cook at home all the time. It was when I went out to eat, or to family dinner that things got a little dicey.
Eating Out Vegan
I could no longer get my Chipotle quesadilla, my beloved Jimmy Johns, or the to die for rolls at Logan’s. It was sad. So during that week, I only ate out once. And it was at Logan’s. I had to sit there, in torture, while the rest of my party ate all the rolls and I just watched. Besides that, I ordered like normal, this time just asking for no butter on my food as I mentioned previously.
I was also on a big smoothie kick that week, so I was pleased to find out Smoothie King has vegan options! I had their vegan dark chocolate banana smoothie twice that week, and it was a bit chalky, but it had the chocolate I needed when I couldn’t eat the rest of the chocolate chilling in my cupboard.
Eating at family dinner wasn’t too different than usual. I always have to ask what we’re having for dinner, because I need to know if I need to bring my own food. This week, my grandma had made chicken pot pie so I brought my own cauliflower and veggie burger. No issues there. The real issues was that I couldn’t eat anything served with dinner there! No apple pie (although I’m sorry and I had a piece of the crust. I couldn’t resist!) and no cheesy garlic bread. And I LOVE cheesy garlic bread. I was almost as sad about that as I was about turning down the Logan’s rolls.
Foods I didn’t think would be vegan
One thing you always hear is that going vegan is hard and you can’t eat anything. Well, false. There were actually quite a few things I didn’t think would be vegan, that I was actually able to enjoy during the week. These included bagels, pretzels, tortilla chips, and Takis. (Which I had been obsessed with recently).
There were plenty of things I had to Google to double check. One of those being yeast. But don’t fret, yeast is in fact vegan.
Everything has milk in it
Something I realized quickly was that literally everything processed has milk or egg whites in it. I had to buy a different veggie burger than usual. I couldn’t eat the granola bars I had. My pesto had milk products in it, too. Then, for some reason, most of my dark chocolate had milk chocolate in it? Like what the heck!? And then apparently my pancake mix also had milk in it? The last two I didn’t catch until after eating them, too! Hence the word “tried” in the title of this post.
What did I take away from trying a vegan diet?
Will I be going vegan full-time now? No. However, I do plan on trying to follow a more vegan diet. I already buy specific vegan products like vegan butter, vegan dark chocolate peanut butter cups, almond milk, and blue nectar agave (not honey), but I plan to challenge myself to buy more vegan alternatives, too.
I also plan to try to consciously eat vegan once or twice a week. And who knows? Maybe one day I’ll be completely vegan? That is how I started to become a vegetarian.
Is it hard to eat vegan?
Yes. I had to bring my own food to family dinner on Monday night. Which granted I do every week, but I also couldn’t eat the cheesy garlic bread my grandma made. And when I went out to dinner, I couldn’t eat the rolls because they had butter on them. While out, I also had to make sure I asked for everything plain with no butte, because almost every restaurant cooks veggies with butter. I ended up joking that I would have to bring my own vegan butter out with me everywhere.
Overall, I’d say it’s difficult but not impossible. I thought eating vegetarian was a bit difficult at first, so I’m sure eating vegan would take some time to get used to as well. Having a cabinet full of non-vegan items certainly didn’t help my challenge either.
Have you ever tried to eat vegan before?
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