Vegan for a week


Katie Sharp

A vegan, filling option for anyone who wants to try the diet and maybe make it a lifestyle.


A week free from any animal byproducts, how hard could it be?

Four months ago I set my sights on going vegan. However, after two days I found it too hard and quit, sticking to a vegetarian diet. After failing, I wished to prove to myself that I could stick to something if I really wanted to.

With spring finally in full swing, I decided to try it again in the spirit of new beginnings. 

A vegan diet cuts out all animal products; dairy, meat, eggs, and all other animal-derived ingredients. To prepare, I stocked my fridge on Sunday night with almond milk, black beans, quinoa, hummus, mushrooms, and loads of fruits and vegetables.

Most days before school I am running out the door, so for breakfast I ate either a banana or a peanut butter cookie Larabar. These usually would not keep me full until my lunch period, so the night before I made sure to pack a bag of assorted nuts for a small snack.

For lunch I tried many different options throughout the week. My favorites were a plain bagel with peanut butter and a quinoa salad from Whole Foods. I also tried out a salad with vegan caesar dressing, but the taste was too different from regular ceasar for my liking.

Regarding school lunchroom options, I went for the chopped salad they make on Wednesdays. In my salad I got carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, and pasta (although I’m not sure if that’s vegan, oops). I also got the vinagrette dressing and bought a fruit cup with it.

The first day I struggled with after school snacks. Although a lot of junk food such as chips, oreos, etc. are vegan, I wanted to eat healthier options. The first snack I tried was carrots and hummus, but disliked the flavors together. Then I tried to make maple and brown sugar oatmeal, but I did not like the consistency.

I settled on an apple with peanut butter and continued most days after school to eat fruit. One of my favorites to snack on was dried cranberries.

For dinner I tried out many different recipes, with a variety of results. One of my favorites, which I ate frequently before last week, is brown rice with black beans and avocado. It’s really easy to make and is an easy, filling option.

I also tried, without any assistance, to make Creamy Vegan Garlic Pasta. Although the recipe was easy to follow, I messed up the sauce, leaving it clumpy rather than creamy. However, I would still recommend trying the recipe because it looks delicious.

When I failed trying to make this pasta, I decided to order Standard Market instead. I ordered the Buddha Bowl, recommended to me by my mom. After spending an hour attempting that pasta recipe, my stomach growled in hunger. The Buddha Bowl had brown rice, peanut ginger glaze, stir fried market vegetables, toasted peanuts, green onions, and sesame seeds. The flavors blended perfectly together and I definitely recommend it.

I also got Chipotle two nights this week because I couldn’t stay away. The first night I got a bowl with brown rice, beans, corn, salsa, lettuce, and guacamole. It’s fresh, palatable, and definitely filling.

The second time I went late on a Friday night and I found myself struggling internally when I got in line. I ordered the same bowl, but on an impulse I also got cheese in it.

I felt I deserved some cheese in my bowl after a long week without dairy. However, this one slip up led to a weekend of mistakes.

I concluded that during the week it is much easier to stick to this diet, as I could pack my lunch, eat snacks from my own house, and have my dinners planned and made at home. The weekends were harder as I did not know where I would be eating for every meal, making it harder to always have vegan options.

All in all, I found following a vegan diet easier than I believed previously. I always hear people say that they could never do it because it is too hard. But, eating vegan does not mean you have to give up all your favorite foods. You’d be surprised how many things are vegan.

So, if you’ve ever wanted to try out a new diet, whatever it may be, don’t shy away because you think it will be to hard. No matter what you can stop at any time and switch things up however you want. Although I deviated from the path on the weekend, I’m going to continue this into next week and take it day by day.