That Time I Tried Being A Vegan

Monday, August 18, 2014

As you're reading this, I am probably stuffing my face with chicken.

When I was 13 years old, I woke up one morning and decided to be vegetarian. Not because I wanted to be "healthier" or for the sake of animals (although I am all for animal rights). I just wanted to put myself in a different pair of shoes and see firsthand the difficulties that vegetarians face.
Two years later, after understanding the criticism and lack of options that vegetarians sometimes must deal with, I switched back to eating meat.

I like the challenge of trying a different lifestyle, and the perspective it gives you about others. But this time, I knew I didn't want to stray from my normal diet of chicken and pasta for too long, so I gave myself just a week to test out the vegan life.

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Let me tell you, I learned so much. First of all, I had no idea that eggs and dairy products are present in so many foods that we consume everyday. Really, it's astounding. Finding alternatives for these simple products (think pasta, yogurt, butter, chocolate, protein, etc) forced me to be creative. Almond milk was my savior for breakfast and Morning Star products came in handy for dinners with my family.

I think the toughest part was being surrounded by people eating food that I couldn't and constantly being tempted. I had to modify every meal that we cooked at home so I could get the nutrition I needed instead of relying on side dishes.

Eating out is next to impossible, unless you're at a vegan restaurant, and even if the restaurant has vegan options, they're usually in the realm of a salad. Salads get old.

In the effort of full disclosure, I only made it three days before I had to break - I know, I know, it was a weak moment, but in my defense, my wisdom teeth were hurting and crunching on raw veggies was becoming painful!

Will I ever go vegan again? Probably not. But will I try to have vegan days every now & again? Probably.

While I am certain there are great tricks to being vegan, fantastic dishes that are amazing when prepared correctly and myriad health benefits, the strict diet of veganism is not something that works with my lifestyle. But it has definitely opened my eyes to seeing food as more than how it tastes and to understanding a little bit better what I am choosing to put into my body.

Are there any vegan readers out there? Do you think you ever could go vegan?

XOXO,
Em

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2 comments:

  1. I'm vegetarian and have considered going vegan before but came to realize just how many foods that eliminates. It really does make eating out super hard! I like the idea though of switching up lifestyles and perspectives just to give yourself a little change every now and again!

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    1. It definitely was a challenge, especially going from eating everything to a very limited diet. But it made me re-think my being a full carnivore - I felt so much better eating less meat!

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