I finished my vegan week this past weekend. I would love to be able to tell you that I’m ready to make throw aside the ice cream forever and become vegan full-time, but I faced my own weakness a few days ago. Eating vegan actually wasn’t that difficult until I went out of town and lost a battle against a pizza. Here’s the thing: I actually really enjoy eating and living as a vegan. On the first day, Chris and I went to Whole Foods and went to town. We came home with vegan “meat,” tons of veggies, bags of almonds and cashews, almond milk, pre-made vegan “chicken” salad, Primal Strips, and even vegan ice cream.
The first night, I made root veggie soup with the carrots and herbs left in my garden, potatoes and daikon in my fridge, and apples that were a day or so past the premium crunchy eating phase. It was delicious! We also had really yummy things throughout the week, such as sundried tomato and artichoke pasta and fake pepper steak with broccoli. I even made vegan carmelized onion bread (who knew so many types of bread had eggs and/or milk?). We actually ate more substantially and better than we normally do. The reason for this? I think it is because eating vegan requires more thought and more creativity, which means it truly is more fun.
Not once did I feel hungry or deprived. Not once did I crave milk or cheese or anything like that. The only minor twinge I felt was when I drove past a Dunkin Donuts and really wanted a blueberry coffee with milk and sugar. I had great energy, I lost a few pounds, and Chris thoroughly enjoyed several home-cooked meals in a row, a truly rare occurance because I’m a workaholic. It started a great habit as well: making lunch. So often I end up eating a grilled cheese or something wretched from the work cafeteria. While eating vegan, we made lunch every night for the following day and Chris suffered through his fellow co-workers picking on his pb&j, baggies of carrots, grapes, and other rather “primary school” sorts of things. I think they were just jealous.
We both felt so healthy, in fact, that I thought “hey, I can do this for longer than a week no problem.” Then I traveled. I went to see a friend out of town and had a hard time finding food on the road or expecting my friends to eat vegan. So…I ended up eating the previously mentioned pizza. It tasted soooo good. I ate it for breakfast the next day too. Then the floodgates opened. I had milk in my coffee. I ate cream cheese on my bagel. I had pieces of chocolate. And for the record, the pizza made me thirsty and miserable in the long run.
Now that I’m off the wagon, I don’t feel as good as I did last week while eating such clean and pure food. So, very soon I’ll be back at it. I read somewhere that going vegan saves 100 animals per year. I can’t verify this is true. If it is, I’d like to think a week here and there of vegan eating has to create a ripple effect. Just imagine if everyone gave up meat, dairy, and all animal products just one week of the year. I think that would be a really big ripple.