April 03, 2013

Vegan/Vegetarian April

Two of my GSPM friends (Melissa and Courtney) are doing "Vegan April," and in a show of solidarity (also, why not?), I decided to join them... with a few modifications. Being a fond lover of milk (I go through an entire gallon of milk every week all by myself.), I just don't think I could make it an entire month as a vegan. (I'm also worried about making my body lactose-intolerant by removing all dairy cold-turkey and then re-introducing it a month later, but that's another story.)

So I'm doing Vegan/Vegetarian April! (Vegan the first week, and Vegetarian for the rest of the month.) In no particular order, here are my thoughts/observations so far:

Day 1 was rough. I hadn't fully realized how much I can't eat! (GUYS! No chocolate!! Unless it's dark chocolate or cocoa powder.) My cereal wasn't vegan, my pasta isn't vegan, HONEY isn't vegan... etc. etc. I stocked up on produce last Friday, but I was still very underprepared for my eating regimen. I spent the day hungry and feeling devoid of protein and calcium (and thereby, energy). In fact, I started nodding off in class (my FAVORITE class where I never, EVER fall asleep, even when I've only slept four hours the previous night!) on Monday. It was rough.

After class on Monday, I RAN to CVS (it was the only "food" store open near the metro)... And I realized all too quickly that CVS is NOT the place to buy vegan food. I found a container of unsalted, dry roasted peanuts (for protein) and a box of Special K (vegan-friendly!) and called it good. (And I even ripped off the corner of the Special K box so I could use the $1 off coupon right then... What can I say? I love a bargain. :D) I stuffed my face with peanuts (ahhh, protein!) on the metro ride home and started making "vegan" bread (I used this recipe but added wheat bran and flax seed for kicks) the second I got home. FYI, "vegan bread" just means you use water instead of milk and agave instead of honey. It's not some weird, hippie bread, and it turned out quite tasty, if I do say so myself. :)

Oh, yeah. During the day on Monday, I made a couple of soups. I made a black bean soup (I thickened the "broth" by blending black beans + garlic + water + spinach!) and a broccoli/spinach soup (which I magically thickened without the use of dairy! How, you ask? With potatoes! I blended two small potatoes with the rest of the soup, and voila! "Cream" of broccoli! I felt so brilliant! *Pats self on back.*) Sorry to not include recipes; it's mostly because I made them up as I went along. I'll just say that I was actually quite pleased with myself. :)

Day 2 was MUCH better! Being fully stocked on soup + getting to have my "normal" breakfast (PS I've already opened my third container of non-dairy milk this week, and I have to say that rice milk is my least favorite so far. It's too watery. Like skim milk *shudder*...) + BREAD!! Which meant PBJ! And bread with my soup! Annnd substance! And bread! That and my usual green smoothies have helped me sail on.

Day 3 (ie- today), I'm kind of already bored with what I have to eat. I guess that's the problem with being single and making soups in BULK: I have to eat ALL of it by myself!). I bought bananas and tofu last night (I've eaten more bananas this week than I did all of last month, probably.) I don't know what in the world I'm going to do with that tofu yet (I hate tofu, so I don't even know why I bought it. Well, yes I do... My body was telling me it needed PROTEIN.) Oh, AND! Life-changing discovery of Day 2 that I didn't mention... was THIS:

Mug brownie!! (read: CHOCOLATE!) (image via)

Day 3 also brought my first non-vegan, non-dairy craving (because, PLEASE, all the rice/soy/almond milk in the world won't cure that one!). Wanna know what the craving was for? A Junior Bacon Cheeseburger. Yeah...

A few final observations:

  • I shouldn't have baked cinnamon rolls the day before going vegan. Enjoy, roomies. Enjoy.
  • Eating vegan foods leaves me feeling full for LONGER.
  • Eating vegan food does NOT = a diet. (If you're questioning me right now, read THIS!)
  • Peanuts (which are not my favorite) have become satisfying, because all I can think as I eat them is "Proteeeeiiinnn!"
  • Eating vegan has me feeling good and pumped during the day but feeling devoid of energy at night. I think I need to add more protein. (Or eat more at night?) Maybe I'll figure out what to do with that tofu tomorrow...


  1. Wow! Go you! Good luck :) PS If you find a way to like tofu, let me know.

  2. You can also thicken soups by using beans (great northern , cannellini), which is healthier than potatoes and will add some protein.

    I know that everyone has their own, usually very strongly held opinions about nutrition and diet, but after being a vegetarian for close to 10 years, I'm much healthier now that I eat a bit of meat each week.

    1. Thanks, Mel! The bean trick is good to know. :)


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