People often confuse veganism and vegetarianism. A vegan is one who abstains from the use of animal products and they do not consume dairy, poultry, fish or meat. So why did I decide to go vegan? I recently watched a documentary titled “Vegucated” which chronicles three New Yorkers adopting a completely vegan diet for six weeks. The three New Yorkers are taken on an educational ride to learn about the realities of animal agriculture in the United States and how veganism can improve their health. They discover drastic changes in they way they feel and look in the short six weeks and realize how much can be gained from adopting a vegan lifestyle. Even if being vegan is of no interest to you at all, it’s still a pretty fascinating film. If you want more information about what it means to be vegan, check out this link.
Could I be completely vegan for one week? Would I last? How would I get enough protein? Would I be hungry? My brother was a vegan for the first half of a life and now he stands 6’3. I, however, the Texas -raised, meat -loving woman, am a whole foot shorter. Somehow not eating chicken, meat, fish or dairy worked for him.
See, there I am thumbs up for meat. Aaannnd my brother can’t stand to touch it.
I started this adventure by doing some research and made sure there would be enough nutrients in my new diet. I started by looking up vegan foods with protein. Some of these foods include, spinach,lentils,black beans, tofu, quinoa, almonds, soy milk, and brown rice. Here is a link for more vegan foods with protein.
I then wanted to see if their were any cheese alternatives for Vegans. Who doesn’t love cheese? So it was important for me to find some substitute for my vice. I could not believe how many alternative cheese options I found at my local grocery store! And they taste great! Here is a link of a list of different cheese options . I then made sure that my shopping cart was filled with plenty of fruits, vegetables and various whole grains. Below is a pyramid which shows a lot of the foods I filled in my basket.
So, its been one whole week since I started this experiment and I feel fabulous! Overall, I feel less bloated and surprisingly more full and energized. All of those whole grains and vegetables really kept me full. I loved using the different cheeses in so much of my cooking experimentation. There are many websites devoted to delicious recipes. Having various spices such as red pepper flakes, garlic, rosemary, cumin and Chili powder provided a lot of variety in my cooking.
I honestly didn’t think it would be this easy to be completely vegan for a week. I thought I would miss my grilled chicken and mozzarella too much. My goal is to continue to educate myself on vegan recipes and the benefits of being vegan. If you want to see some of the recipes I’ve been cooking, check out some of my other posts. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment!