I went vegan for a week, so you don’t have to

Dinner+%231+entailed+a+sweet+potato+black+bean+quesadilla+with+homemade+guacamole+on+the+side.

Photo by Marissa McKay

Dinner #1 entailed a sweet potato black bean quesadilla with homemade guacamole on the side.

This past week, I tried eating vegan for the first time. As someone who regularly eats meat and animal products, I wanted to know what it was like to get rid of that part of my diet entirely and quit cold turkey. Literally.

I’m lactose intolerant, so I already avoid dairy for the most part. Because of that, this challenge might be slightly easier for me than other people, since I’m already kind of halfway there.

I started out strong and motivated, so I researched vegan recipes and made dinner for my family the first couple nights. It was kind of fun to make all of the food and the recipes were pretty healthy, so I was having a good time so far.

 

Photo by Marissa McKay
Dinner #2 consisted of pasta with a white bean “cream” sauce and broccoli.

However, the third night, I tried tofu and that really put a damper on things. My parents got Chinese food, and I was stuck eating tofu that I absolutely hated. It was weirdly spongy and unappetizing looking. I was mad at tofu and the whole vegan lifestyle. And I was still hungry.

With that tragedy, I became much less motivated and really wanted to give up. To fix my lack of commitment and to help myself cope, I hit up the staff’s resident vegan, sophomore Courtney Clark, to get some advice.

“There is more to being vegan than just fruits and vegetables,” Clark said. “People feel as though being vegan limits your options, when that just isn’t true. Especially now, there are so many alternatives to regular food, and you can make almost anything vegan. Also, keep in mind that vegan food is lower in calories, so make sure it’s a sustainable diet and eat enough calories.”

With my new found wisdom, I was ready to take on the rest of the week. It wasn’t too bad, but I was craving scrambled eggs almost every morning when I woke up, so I was pretty excited for the week to be over.

Photo by Marissa McKay
My rebound-from-tofu dinner was sweet potatoes, asparagus, beans, and something called plant based vegan crumbles.

All in all, going vegan for a week was a fun experience. Health-wise, I felt pretty good. I’m not sure if that was the diet change or just a placebo, but I felt a noticeable change, with feeling less bloated and more energized some days. I’m not ready to go full vegan right now, because I really missed meat, but maybe I’ll try again someday.

If you’re looking to challenge yourself or just want to really focus on what you’re putting into your body for a week, I’d definitely recommend trying to go vegan. Who knows, maybe you’ll love it. I didn’t, but you might.

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