This past week, I have learned a few things about myself and veganism. Firstly, it is harder than I thought to strictly follow something you aren’t accustomed to. I suppose veganism is trial and error. For example, when you eat out, you have to be very specific with what you want. I ordered spaghetti in marinara sauce over the weekend and they put cheese on top of it. It is an honest mistake, and not really even a mistake because most people put cheese on their spaghetti, regardless. However, if you are a vegan or vegetarian you have to be extremely specific when placing an order. Most people (especially in the area that I live) assume that everyone eats the same way that they do, and in this case is a meat-eater. The other thing that I’ve learned is that once you take something willingly out of your diet, you crave it. I guess that it has to do with your brain being fully aware that you once enjoyed that dish or treat and now you are willing yourself not to eat it.
I would say that this week I ate mostly vegan, probably somewhere around 90% of everything I consumed was vegan. I consciously made the decision to omit animal products from each meal. I took it one step at a time. Throughout this week, I monitored what I was consuming. I tracked my protein intake to make sure that I was eating what I needed to eat. I recently learned in my chemistry course about proteins. To figure out how many grams you need to consume of it each day, you take your weight and multiply it by 0.36 (some experts even suggest 0.4 or 0.5). I need around 40 grams of protein each day, and most days I was consuming more than that. After stating that I’m a vegetarian, the first thing people ask is, “How do you get protein?” If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, it is so easy to consume enough protein, and complete proteins, too! Some things you probably already consume regularly (think: broccoli and peanut butter). I’m going to link a few websites I found that could explain it better than I can here, here, here, and here. (I also found a cool vegan website here.)
This week I “cheated” (if you will) by taking a few bites of pizza, eating a chocolate bar, the cheese on my spaghetti, and garlic bread. Overall, I feel good about my choices. Although I didn’t completely eat vegan, I did drastically cut down on my animal product consumption. There were times were I felt super hungry but then snacked on something like a fresh fruit cup or KIND bar (check ingredients). My choices definitely leave me feeling satisfied. The only thing different that I’ve noticed is that I eat more often, which is fine by me because I am making better and healthier choices. The next update I’ll do will be at the end of this one-month trial period. Stay tuned!