I’ve never been very restrictive in what I eat, like literally ever. Except that one time when I weighed myself, didn’t like what I saw, and didn’t eat sweets for two weeks. This winter however, I got really upset when I read The Case Against Sugar and realized how much we’re all slaves to sugar. In the book it mentions that a person will never be able to cut sugar out in a way that reveals the true negative effects and withdrawl symptoms would be from cutting it out since sugar is in and is added to so many things for a variety of reasons. So I went a week or so trying not to eat sugar, until I got so hungry that I caved. After seeing that I had such a hard time staying away from one section of the food pyramid, I’ve been wondering if having a more structured way of eating (not just anything any time) would help with cutting other things like sugar out? Even if sugar isn’t the area that I cut back on, I wonder what healthy eating habits I could pick up on through trying out a new diet.
Another thing I’ve been thinking about is cheese. I mean we all like cheese it’s fantastic on it’s own, but we add it needlessly to so many things. Take for instance chilli. If you add just a little bit of cheese to your chili it doesn’t really affect the taste, the only way for us to actually taste the cheese is to add mounds and mounds of cheese (basically eating some chilli with your cheese). Do I really want to consume all those extra calories just because I feel like mixing two things together that each taste good indivijually? Not really.
In addition to those two points, I guess I’m just curious to find out what it’s like to be vegan, and to see what sources of protine I’m missing out on because my go to is always meat, cheese, and eggs. Here’s how the week went:
Some Foods I Enjoyed:
This Quinoa Mexican Bowl that I YOLOed a little bit to use up some leftover beans, fresh tomatoes, and frozen corn. I liked adding a little avocado to it. In this picture you can see I also added a bit of yam on top. This was a great meal for at home, but it was also amazing for sticking in a mason jar and bringing to work too!
Finally Vegan Bread was a huge lifesaver as I was able to continue eating PB&J sandwhiches throughout the week as well as avocado on toast. I was also able to add a piece of toast to certain meals when I was especially hungry.
This Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding was amazing for breakfast. My favorite way to eat it was by adding some fresh mango chunks on top (like I did here). One time I added blueberries to it too, but I’m sure any kind of fruit would be fantastic!
This Vegan Chow Mein was really delicious. I without thinking did use egg noodles as a substitute for chow mein noodles, and didn’t realize until half way through eating that egg noodles do in fact have egg in them. Oops. Regardless, it was a great at home meal and great to stick in a mason jar too. I look forward to trying it again with some actual vegan noodles.
This vegan pizza that I made up out of my mind. The crust was something that I found in a recipe book. I topped it with pizza sauce, tomato, red pepper, onion, and dried basil. And it was YUMMY.
How I Felt
Monday- I started my day off feeling pretty good, I did encounter my first of many hunger headaches part way through the morning, but snacking helped the headache subside. My day ended feeling very in touch with myself as I was beginning take responsibility for what I was putting in my body.
Tuesday- I felt really good. One of my main concerns going into the week was that I would feel tired but on this day I couldn’t tell if my tiredness was from what I was not eating, or from waking up at 5:45 a.m. for work. I will say that I was hungry.
Wednesday- This was probably my hardest day. I woke up really tired but after closing my eyes for a second longer and doing my morning yoga I started to feel better. Throughout the day I was pretty hungry, and by the end of the work day at 4:00 p.m. I was in a bit of a fog. I went home and made a nice hearty supper and felt better.
Thursday- On Thursday I started my period making me feel a little queasy, but after Wednesday’s expierence I knew I needed to eat so I pushed through. On this day I really started understanding the importance of mealprep and felt pretty good, no headaches!
Friday- I felt tired in the morning, throughout the day I felt a little out of it, headachy, and dizzy, but I couldn’t tell if a lot of these symptoms were due to the fact that my uterous was unhappy, my hair was up too tight, or my veganiam.
Saturday- I felt really awake (and even got up earlier for work than usual) and felt overall really fantastic. Throughout the day I ate lots of little things, proving that while on a vegan diet grazing all day is pretty helpful.
Sunday- I felt pretty good even with a long day with a ballet rehersal. I think that after a week of eating in this way my body was beginning to adjust to the diet and function well. It was just lovely.
When I told people that I was going vegan for a week I got a lot of the same response, it was something along the lines of “Good luck with that I couldn’t do that, there’s so much that I would miss.” I would like to enlighten you:
- There wasn’t a whole lot that I couldn’t eat.
- Vegan is a spectrum. I ate honey during this week because I don’t think that eating honey is “exploiting the bees”. It’s up to you what you want to eat.
- Eating vegan is basically just eating healthy and being aware of what you’re eating.
- I don’t miss anything that I thought I would.
- They make non-dairy ice cream.
It’s funny that when I went grocery shopping with my friend Emily the Sunday before my week started she said “Watch this week turn into life” I laughed at her. But guess who’se not laughing now? It’s me, I thought it was so much fun that I’m thinking of continuing for another week. I DO have leftovers that I have to finish up, and I’d like to see how I feel now that my body is more used to the diet. While I’m not planning on letting this become my way of life I am very excited to see what vegan options there are out there in the world, if it can affect my sugar intake positivly (I think the answer is yes), and how this expirement will effect my life from here on out.
Update: a week after my experiment I came across a word that I like a lot. “Flexitarian”, meaning “semi-vegan”. I’ve decided that being a flexitarian or vegan when it’s not inconvenient or other people is the best route for me to go.