First off I’d like to give a round of applause to all vegans because spending a week as a vegan proved to be nearly impossible for me. Every time I went to eat I found myself looking up if what I was eating was vegan, at which point I realized just how unaware of this particular way of life I am. At points, I cheated the diet without even being aware that I did so.
I began the week by grocery shopping, which itself proved to be quite the challenge. Although not buying meat and some dairy products proved to save money, some of the ways in which I was planning to substitute for these items was quite expensive. As a student, I figured avoiding these items was the solution, in order to save money. However, as the week went on I felt like I was lacking energy and consistently not feeling as full as usual after a meal. Clearly, I underestimated how important substituting for these products and the nutrients they contain is.
Two meals I made that filled me up and were not overly expensive were the following:
- Chocolate Almond Milk
- 1/2 an Avocado
- 4-Berry P.C Frozen Mix
- Epicure Protein Powder
- Epicure Cocoa Crunch Whole Food Sprinkle (contains: chia seeds, coconut, cocoa nibs, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa powder and cinnamon).
Dinner: Stir Fry Recipe:
- Lemon Juice
- Rosemary Salt & other herbs
Even after finding meals that proved to be good substitutes, I struggled because that was only 2 meals out of the 21 I was planning!
Turns out, I lasted about 24 hours or less. Being a vegan is extremely hard! Not only are animals products such a huge part of our diet, they exist in items I had never even considered before. I mean it never occurred to me that vegans can’t eat marshmallows! Apparently, they have gelatin which comes from collagen that comes from animal byproducts.
As if enough snack food wasn’t already canceled from their diet, apparently some chips are as well. I guess BBQ flavored chips may contain chicken fat. These restrictions are just the tip of the iceberg for vegans.
No matter what reason you have behind going vegan, it’s honestly quite the accomplishment. If you’re doing it properly and managing to get all the proper nutrients and minerals important for your diet, you clearly have to put a lot of work and time into it. Between researching all the restrictions and then finding alternatives, that itself could take hours and hours. Followed by a series of trial and error recipes to see which out there even taste good or which substitutes are good enough replacements that you feel full at the end of your meal.
I may have failed miserably, but I learned a lot in the process. I now have a smidge of insight into the world of a vegan. I see how difficult the choice is and the absolute commitment necessary for it to work. I felt the exhaustion of what happens if life gets busy and you neglect to substitute animal products properly. In the end, I came out with a lot of respect for those who make a life choice as drastic as that.
Being vegan is not a choice that I currently have made in my life, and after trying it out I can’t fathom the effort and motivation required to successfully adapt to that lifestyle. However, I can honestly say that those who have made that decision clearly care immensely about their reasoning and for that I applaud them for being so strict and motivated.
For those of you like me, who had no comprehension whatsoever of the diet or what it entailed, I recommend trying it out for a week just as I did! It’s okay if you fail, and it’s okay if it’s never something you’ve actually considered. Both of those facts were true for me and it still proved to be an excellent and eye-opening learning experience!
Featured Image via Instagram