Since Monday, I have participated in Morgan’s Vegan for a Week challenge. I’ve been a vegetarian for 364 days (yep, Valentine’s Day is my veggie-versary) and veganism is an idea I’ve toyed with the entire time. )If you’re curious about why I choose to be vegetarian, read this post.) This seven day challenged seemed like the perfect opportunity to test the waters.
Ultimately, the week was (mostly) easier than I anticipated. I had one time early in the week where I ate something non-vegan and believe me, that piece of carrot cake was well worth it.
Plus some non-vegan foods at lunch today. Honestly, only two times is a lot better than I anticipated I would do. There were times though, like the bridal shower I attended yesterday, that I had no problem passing up non-vegan foods that I love. I’m stronger than I know, but I’m not perfect. Sometimes, my willpower isn’t as strong as my stomach and I really want a slice of cheese on my veggie burger.
This week showed me one thing: while I could definitely be okay being about 95% vegan, I don’t think I could make the full switch. Perhaps could is the wrong word. I don’t think I would want to make the full switch. Not right now, anyhow. Maybe somewhere down the road.
I really missed my Greek yogurt. I never thought that yogurt would be a food that I would miss the most, but it was. Plus, I highly enjoyed that piece of carrot cake. Yes, I know you can vegan-ize baked goods, but the vast majority of the world doesn’t.
Overall, I feel like I did eat cleaner this week. I ate more whole, natural foods than I do most weeks. I think it gave me more energy (perhaps evidenced by the couple of great 3 mile runs I had in the week?), but it could be a bit of the placebo effect, too. I was more aware about the things I was putting into my body.
Intentionality was key. I tried to eat places where I knew I would have options or the chef could work with me to create a delicious vegan meal. Before the week started, I tried to eat up the non-vegan foods I had in the house. I stocked up on fruits, vegetables, and even snacks that I knew I could eat this week.
The thing about veganism? It’s hard. It takes a lot of thought and planning. You’ve got to read labels carefully (more so than I do already). It’s completely doable, but definitely not easy. Perhaps the ease comes with time, practice, and experience, but for this week it was a challenge at times. Not all of the time though which shows me that I think I can gradually work my way there.
I’m not ready to fully commit to a vegan lifestyle. Maybe I’ll never be ready and that’s okay. I have a huge amount of respect for those that I know that do eat vegan all the time. I knew going into this week it would have times where it was hard. And some of those times, the temptation got the best of me.
For today, I’m okay being vegetarian. I don’t miss meat or poultry. But, I like cheese and baked goods. Despite that, I know I can, and will, make more of an effort to keep other animal products to a minimum. That much I can do.
Vegan-ish. In this season of my life, that’s what I am.