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I Went Vegan For A Week: Here's What Happened


For those of you who know me, you’re probably shocked to hear that I haven’t been vegan this entire time already.... but, as hard as I may try to live entirely plant based, I choose to be a selective one. That means that I prefer to live plant based and when given the choice, I usually choose that option, however regular greek yogurt, ice cream, grilled chicken & turkey burgers sometimes end up being my meal of choice, which is okay! With all of that being said, I decided to go full vegan for a week in college and document it for not only myself, but for those of you who want to incorporate or completely switch over to a plant based diet!


Monday


Breakfast:

* Overnight Pumpkin Spice Chia Seed Pudding (look for recipe below!)

* Almond Milk Caffe Latte from Starbucks


Lunch:

*Sweetgreen Shroomami Salad (I forced myself to try mushrooms because I have disliked them my entire life, so it was not my favorite. Big fan of the harvest bowl sub tofu.)


Dinner:

* Tofu with Vegetables & Rice + Spring Roll (from local chinese food place)


Snack:

* Natures Bakery Raspberry Bar

* Larabar Snickerdoodle

* Starbucks Matcha Green Tea Latte w/ Soy Milk (I normally opt for almond milk, but they were out of it at the time. I haven't had soy milk in a year!)


Tuesday


Breakfast:

* Better Oats 100 Cal Oatmeal (Toppings: peanut butter, sliced almonds, flax seeds, cinnamon, banana)

* Iced Vanilla Latte w/ Almond Milk from Starbucks


Lunch:

* Custom salad from JustSalad (Black Rice + Bulgar Wheat, Sweet Potatoes, Cucumbers, Pears, Tofu... was supposed to have avocado & brown rice, but they did not put it in :))


Dinner:

* Juice Generation PB Acai Bowl ( MY FAVORITE )


Snack:

* Natures Bakery Pumpkin Spice Bar

* Larabar Pumpkin Pie

* A handful of Apple Streusel Granola from Whole Foods


Wednesday


Breakfast:

* Overnight Oats: peanut butter, almonds, flax seeds, vegan semi sweet chocolate chips, almond milk


Lunch:

* Overnight Chia Pudding: raspberries, agave, almond milk, sliced almonds


Dinner:

* Panera Bread Autumn Squash Soup, Fuji Apple Salad (with replacements) & Cinnamon Latte w/ no whipped cream, sub almond milk

A Quick Story: Panera is NOT the most vegan friendly. It is very vegetarian friendly, but I found myself struggling to find something substantial that was entirely plant based. I was mislead by the Autumn Squash soup because nowhere did it say that it contained dairy, so that kind of sucked. Also, the struggle of having to remember to take out and substitute half of the things in the meals that I wanted was just stressful lol. Panera should definitely introduce more vegan friendly meals and maybe should start to offer tofu :)


Snack:

* RX Bar Pumpkin Spice


Thursday


Breakfast:

* Iced Hazelnut Oat Milk Latte ( from a local coffee shop)


Lunch:

* Juice Generation PB Acai Bowl


Dinner:

* Homemade Superfood Salad (look for recipe below)


Snack:

* A handful of almond butter granola

* Natures Bakery Bar

* PB Banana Nice Cream (Toppings: Trader Joe's Toasted Coconut Granola, Coconut Flakes, Cinnamon, Cacao Nibs)

* Oat Milk Yogurt (Okay people I really tried, but vegan yogurt is a no go for me sadly. Vegan ice cream on the other hand gets 10 thumbs up)


Friday


Breakfast:

* Vegan Homemade Blueberry Banana Pancakes w/ Agave (will link recipe below)


Lunch:

*Chestnut Praline Latte from Starbucks (No whipped cream, sub almond milk = vegan)

*Homemade Smoothie Bowl (Mock PB Acai Bowl)


Dinner:

* Sauerkraut & Mushrooms (Bigos: A Traditional Polish Meal)

* Whole Wheat Toast w/ Vegan Cream Cheese from Trader Joe's (highly recommend!!!)


Snack:

* lots of fruit (apples, blueberries, strawberries, etc.)



Saturday

I woke up feeling incredibly sick and definitely was not about to eat, so I basically spent all of the day in bed with a heating pad on my stomach:) I took that as a sign from my body to slow down lol


Breakfast: None

Lunch:

* Gluten Free Pancakes from Trader Joe's w/ sunflower butter and raspberry preserves


Dinner:

* Basmati Rice w/ Cinnamon Apple Sauce (A meal that I always ate when my stomach hurt as a kid!!!)


Snack:

* Apple

* Popcorn


I honestly just wanted some pizza and vegan ice cream on this day.


Sunday


Breakfast: Skipped out on this today.


Lunch:

* Fuji Apple Salad (No chicken, no cheese) + french baguette from Panera Bread

* Chestnut Praline Latte from Starbucks (Almond milk, no whip)


Dinner:

* Pura Vida Bowl from Playa Bowls (no honey, sub pb)


Snack:

* Natures Bakery Bar


FINAL THOUGHTS:

Well... first of all I would like to say that even though I would like to say that I did not fail this week, I have to admit that I did. Sadly, the two sets of gummy vitamins that I take every single day contain gelatin which is most certainly NOT vegan. I didn't think about that aspect going into this week and knowing that now, I realize that finding vegan gummy vitamins can be super expensive and just super tricky to find as they are not readily available everywhere. :)))

Now, putting all of that aside, being vegan as a college student can be pretty expensive if you want to eat something substantial, especially if you live in a dorm and don't really have readily available access to a kitchen of your own. I have come to realize that being vegetarian is CHEAPER and overall just less stressful. No matter where you go, almost everything still has some sort of dairy or animal byproduct in it and sometimes I don't want to have to actively think about what is going into my body (even though I choose to do it most of the time already anyway). The more I think about it, the more I realize that being vegan can be a difficult commitment & lifestyle in college and being vegetarian + selectively dairy free or sometimes selectively vegetarian is just as okay for the time being and I’m still doing my part to reduce the consumption of animals & their byproducts :) Nevertheless, this week was DEFINITELY an experience, including the horrible stomach issues I dealt with on Saturday, and I am glad that I motivated myself to try it out.


General conclusion, this lifestyle shift would be massively difficult for a day to day meat and dairy consumer. If you are interested in trying out a vegan diet, try diving into a vegetarian lifestyle first! It is wayyy easier to eliminate meat from your diet than dairy and animal byproducts!


 

RECIPES:



Pumpkin Spice Chia Seed Pudding

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 cup almond milk (unsweetened or sweetened)

1 tbs almond butter

2-4 tbs canned pumpkin

1 tsp vanilla extract

dash of cinnamon


topping suggestions: walnuts, coconut milk or cream, agave or maple syrup, almonds, pumpkin seeds


Gut Healing Superfood Salad


handful of greens

lemon juice (massage the greens)

raw sauerkraut

pumpkin seeds

hemp hearts

pomegranate seeds

optional: apples or pears, butternut squash, sweet potato


*** Recipe credit to: Caitlin Bea on Youtube

 

Thanks so much for reading and comment below your favorite vegan meals, recipes or snacks!


xoxo


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