Plants over Meats: One Week Vegan Challenge

Okay, so this entry is a bit pre-emptive.  I’m on day 3-4 of my of the week, but I want to share updates so badly.  

Why am I doing this?  For my health, for the animals, and to prove to myself I can.  I have health problems that following a vegan diet helps with. After watching Super Size Me 2, I decided to challenge myself. I want to be a vegan in general, and I’m competitive. I felt like a week-long challenge was a good stepping stone.  

How I Prepared

Prior to watching Super Size Me 2 and the self-challenge, I had already started having multiple vegetarian meals a week.  While I wasn’t full vegetarian, I didn’t start this challenge full-on carnivore either. I then Googled where to find certain vegan things I wanted in my pantry and that’s how today happened.  

Living in rural Illinois and wanting to try out veganism is really hard.  Today I had to travel to three different stores to find some Beyond Meat.  I also had to eat out today because I was out and about for a long time.  I learned that Burger King has vegan options.  Vegan French Toast, hashbrowns, and a delicious drink made for a satisfying breakfast.  I was over the moon at being able to order a meal right off the menu and not be complicated.  

After my happy breakfast, I was on my journey.  Finding Beyond Meat was by far the hardest part of my day, but I learned that Shnuck’s is amazing and Target is not so bad either.  I was able to find vegan cheese, kimchi, japchae, and more at those two stores. Walmart was a surprising dud. I did, however, manage to get my hands on cashew milk at Walmart.   

Benefits

In general, I am feeling good about myself.  I don’t think I’ve been meatless long enough to feel physically good, but I feel mentally good.  I’m proud of myself.  Additionally, I’ve been doing research, so I am not caught unprepared when I am out.  I find that thinking about what I can have instead of what I can’t have has made the experience tremendously better.  I find that I get less jealous of what others are eating and more excited about what I’m going to eat. 

The shift to thinking positively about the dietary restrictions has at times made me downright giddy about deciding what’s for dinner.  I am super excited about vegan french toast, Chinese garlic broccoli, and trying to veganize my favorite Korean dishes. I already made tofu bulgogi.  What I am missing though is quick meal options. It’s super easy to crack and fry an egg and make toast. I find myself having a lot of peanut butter and jelly to get breakfast done quickly. Lunch and dinner options are more plentiful.  I’m still too timid to try overnight oats.

I think the thing I’m most excited about is knowing that my taste buds will adjust to the new diet.  My whole body will adjust. If I “survive” this week, I will try for a month. If I don’t finish this week, I will try again another week.  

It feels like a small gift I’ve given myself.  

Have you tried any week-long challenges?  Did they work out for you? Did you keep doing it after the challenge was over?  Now time to figure out what I am going to do next!  

Until next time.

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