So I went a week eating vegan. As a vegetarian, I didn’t expect it to be too difficult, really just eliminating dairy. (My relationship with eggs is precarious at best)
And it wasn’t hard at all. Mostly I just needed to be extra careful reading labels on pre-packaged foods like breads and crackers. (My beloved Wasa is safe!) I never felt like I was sacrificing.
Well, okay, I sorely missed my chocolate milk post workout. And late at night. I do love my chocolate milk! Soy and almond milks are fine substitutions in things, but it just isn’t the same as downing a cold glass of chocolate milk after a long run!
The biggest challenge was eating out. You really need to be prepared and have a plan. I only ate out once, on Friday after my long run. I was craving rice made by somebody who is not me, so I headed to Chipotle for a burrito bowl. Rice, beans, salsa, lettuce, quacamole…I didn’t have to amend my order one bit! See? Easy.
However, I attended a conference for work on day and lunch was provided for us. I showed up with a peanut butter sandwich in my purse just to be safe. These types of affairs don’t often have a healthy option as it is, so I usually come armed with snacks. This luncheon was no exception. The non-meat offering was fettuccine alfredo. Cream sauce, plus, ew, so heavy. The salad? Simply iceberg lettuce tossed with copious amounts of Parmesan cheese. Not a veggie in sight in that salad. Pass. The bread was pre-buttered and toasted so, nope. They did have a chaffing dish of veggies that looked like they had been cooked within an inch of their lives and drenched in a suspicious sauce so I stayed clear. Yup, while everyone was enjoying their prepared meal, I plunked my Ezekiel bread sam on my plain white plate and dug in. Next up? A baggie of plain popcorn mixed with almonds. Oh, I really know how to live it up! Honestly, the food all looked pretty gross and I was glad to have an excuse not to eat it, other than my usual, “Yeah, that just looks nasty” excuse.
I passed up a lunchtime invite with coworkers because they weren’t sure where they were headed. But with a little notice, as I do now, I’m sure that I could find something. Questions, it is all about asking questions. How was this prepared? What is in this? And I do that a lot already so no biggie.
A week really isn’t long enough to get a good idea. I can do without just about anything for a week. A week isn't long enough to notice a difference in how I feel, good or bad. So, I’ll try this again soon but next time for an entire month.
Changing up your diet, even temporarily, isn't a huge sacrifice. If you've ever considered trying a vegetarian or vegan diet you don't have to go, as they say, whole hog right away. Or even ever! Go just a day, or one meal each day for a week. Baby steps. Any change you make in the way you eat that is focused on better nutrition is a good change - no matter how small! The good news is, it’s all your own personal challenge. You can stop anytime and down some milk if you want!
In case you are wondering, that is just what I did. At 12:30am on Sunday, I figured my week was up and I poured myself a great big glass of chocolate milk before hitting the biscuit. And it was delicious!