After my successful five weeks of trying out Meatless Mondays, I thought I’d step it up a bit and try an entire week of being a vegan.
This was by no means a life commitment, and I sort of knew when I started out on the Monday that it would definitely not last beyond the week. For a start, I love meat too much, and don’t think I could ever be 100% vegetarian, let alone vegan.
When I think about all the foods you have to cut out as a vegan, it just seems like too much of a sacrifice to me (even though I completely admire people who have the motivation and dedication to actually go vegan).
It was Planet Protein that inspired me to try out the vegan lifestyle. I read about their protein bars, which are free from all artificial ingredients and chemicals (this is very important to me!), and after some great reviews that I read from people on Twitter and Facebook, I thought I could manage a week with the help of these protein bars and some other great foods and tips that I’d gotten from Instagram.
I’ve never been a massive animal fan, and I blame this for my inability to truly connect with other vegans when it comes to cutting out all animal foods. However, I can’t deny that reading about Planet Protein kind of made me want to join the vegan community properly.
On Monday, I began my week as a vegan with a tough decision about what to eat for breakfast. I realized I couldn’t have anything with milk, yogurt was out of the question, eggs were a no-go and I couldn’t even butter some toast either. I eventually settled for some fruit, but was left feeling rather unsatisfied and vowed to go ‘vegan shopping’ later on in the day.
I had already ordered some vegan protein bars, and they showed up on Tuesday. I also went shopping during my lunch break to pick up some much-needed vegan essentials for my fridge and kitchen cupboards.
I realized being vegan could be rather expensive, and was glad I had a few extra pounds left over from my payday loan which I’d taken out the previous week. I discovered rice cakes were a great snack, and nuts are healthy and filling too. I was amazed to find so many varieties of milk in my local Tesco Express, and decided to try the coconut milk and the hemp milk for now.
Pasta, rice, potatoes and bread are all carbs that you can still eat when you go vegan. The tricky thing is figuring out what to serve them with, since you can’t butter your potatoes and you can’t have chicken curry with your rice either.
Jacket potatoes with beans became a favorite of mine for the week, despite the fact I couldn’t even put grated cheese on top. I made use of my chocolate-coated rice cakes as well as the protein bars to get the calories my body needed for the day.
On Wednesday, I found that eating out with friends is very difficult as a vegan. They were very understanding on my latest venture and we went to a tapas restaurant where I ate bread, garlic mushrooms and olives.
By Friday, I was getting desperate for the week to be over. Glad I could still have a couple of glasses of wine, I lamented over the fact a takeaway just wasn’t worth it and I couldn’t even put a nice cheesy pizza in the oven.
I made do with chopped mango, banana and coconut pieces, which was strangely satisfying to indulge in on a Friday night.
While I was off work for the weekend, I experimented with some of the foods I’d bought earlier in the week. Avocado burgers, vegetable soup and noodle salad were just a few of the dishes I managed to cook up, and on Sunday I even had my parents round for creamy mushroom linguine (totally vegan!).
I can’t pretend I wasn’t glad to embrace my dairy and meat diet once again, but going vegan for a few days made me feel less bloated, lighter and overall rather pleased with myself.