Friday, 02 March 2012
By Amy at Make Me a Mary
I’ve never done this in my life, but I decided to try it for just seven days. I actually learned quite a bit by going vegan for a week.
1. There are more animal products in every day foods than you might think. I mean, you even have to be careful with salad dressing because so much of it is made with eggs. And all the processed stuff I usually eat? There are too many ingredients I can’t pronounce for me to be sure they have nothing to do with animals. And honey—now I drink my morning tea without it (by the way—I quit coffee, too, since I don’t like it without cream).
2. Even harder than doing without meat or honey or eggs is doing without dairy. It’s been really hard breaking up with my milk and my cheese. I would say I was passionately addicted, and I’ve consumed it in limitless quantities for my entire life.
3. My kids won’t dream of going vegan unless I resort to bribery. We have this really cool restaurant in Fort Worth called The Spiral Diner and Bakery. I had to tell the kids I would take them there if they would go vegan for seven days. My boys wanted no part of it, and my girls said sure. However, Big Sister forgot on the very first morning and accidentally put creamer in her coffee. Little Sister lasted for five entire days and then gave up when she went to Mimi’s house for the weekend because Mimi always has lots of good animal food. I ended up going to The Spiral Diner with a friend (who, incidentally, isn’t vegan either).
4. One can eat a vegan diet and still not lose weight. I think this is because you can still eat lots and lots of chips and salsa and guacamole. And bread. And smoothies sweetened up with lots and lots of bananas. And Spiral Diner’s cake balls, which are heavenly. I went the whole week and did not lose a single pound.
5. If a vegan forgets to take her lunch to work, she is pretty much guaranteed to starve until she gets back home. There is absolutely nothing to eat in a public school cafeteria that is completely devoid of animal products.
6. I made no changes in my sleep habits, but I felt more energetic than normal. Honestly, this amazed me. I truly noticed a huge difference in how I felt. Is it the dairy? Is it because I’m eating less gluten? I’m not sure, but something in my regular diet is making me feel worn down.
7. Cutting out all animal products is easier for me than simply saying “I’m going to eat less calories” or “I’m going to eat more healthfully”. I’m not sure why this is, but for some reason, with a stricter diet the line is drawn more clearly and I’m less apt to cross it.
8. My headaches completely disappeared during my week as a vegan. I still find this hard to believe, but I did not take one solitary pain reliever all week long. And I’m at least a once-a-day Advil popper. And many days, I have to take meds way stronger than Advil. It may have been coincidence, but it leaves me wondering if maybe something in my diet is causing me to have migraines.
9. I look into the faces of my dogs and feel a little less guilty than normal. I can’t explain this.
10. All these strange observations have given me a burning desire to continue this experiment for longer than one week. I felt so much better eating this way in only a matter of a few days that I’m now overwhelmed with curiosity to know if it’ll just keep getting better and better. So I’ve decided to extend my fast from all animal products from seven days to forty days.
That’s right–I’m going vegan until Easter Sunday. I’m scared.