In the past few years, veganism has been steadily gaining more followers and supporters as people want to promote a lifestyle that not only is healthier but also prevents animal cruelty. Netflix has even come out with an original movie this summer, Okja where the central message shows the general public that consuming animals is harmful and works to sway opinions on turning vegan. Veganism is being vegetarian with the addition of avoiding all dairy products and any other animal by products such as honey, fur, leather, etc. I started noticing that veganism was blowing up since more and more people were making the decision to become vegan and start a completely different lifestyle so I tried becoming vegan for a week.
On day 1 I decided to kick off my vegan week by going to one of the most popular and well-known vegan restaurants in the LA area- By Chloe in Silver Lake. I got a “guac burger” and fries with beet ketchup and the meal was so delicious. Although the burger obviously didn’t taste like real meat (as some people try claiming vegan patties do), the patty made up of black beans, quinoa, and bread crumbs was equally as delicious as an In-N-Out burger! The fries tasted normal and even better than non-vegan fries in my opinion so all in all, By Chloe was a great start to my vegan diet and I would definitely go there again.
After my meal I got an acai bowl for dessert at UbaTuba and it was a super tasty dessert that I always got anyways so it helped that it also happened to be vegan.
On day 2 I decided to go grocery shopping so I could make my own vegan meals and I got bagels, avocados, tomatoes, cereal, rice, beans, and tofu. For my first meal, I made a toasted bagel with avocado slices and lemon pepper for seasoning and it was super yummy and simple. For dinner I made imitation scrambled eggs using the tofu and adding different seasonings that I found through YouTube tutorials and put that on toast.
On day 3 I went to fast food places that I like and just modified my orders so that it would be vegan and I knew how to modify the food also through videos I found (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNeaf2m_vyA&t=222s). Knowing how to modify my orders to make it vegan made it a lot easier because I would be able to eat my favorite foods still all while still sticking to the strict vegan diet.
On day 4 I went to a korean tofu house and made sure the broth wasn’t meat based and didn’t get meat inside of my tofu soup. The soup was still very rich and delicious and I was able to eat the traditional korean sides that were vegetables such as the kimchi, the pickled cucumber, and the bean sprouts.
On day 5 I started struggling more because I would crave chicken and beef since I’m so used to those being in my everyday diet. It was harder to stick to the vegan diet because I couldn’t even eat eggs which I also really love. However, I knew i needed to keep going so I looked up some recipes that could substitute veggies for meat and tried making imitation chicken fried rice. The recipe didn’t end up really tasting like chicken so I went to Whole Foods and bought Daiya chicken and added rice and other veggies to make it more flavorful.
On day 6 I cooked a stir fry with yakisoba noodles, assorted veggies (broccoli, red and green peppers, spinach) and a homemade sauce of soy sauce, oil, and brown sugar. The stir fry ended up tasting really good and was pretty filling as well.
For my last day I went out to eat again at By Chloe since it was so good and I wanted to end my vegan week at a true vegan restaurant just to wrap up the whole week.
After my week of being vegan I realized it was a lot harder to adjust to this lifestyle than it seems and that you have to be really dedicated in order to stay vegan. At some points I wanted to cheat and have meat so you also need to keep a strong mindset and remember that you are changing your thoughts on meat. The hardest part about being vegan was remembering that even if the food item isn’t meat, if it is associated with an animal (animal by product) then you can’t eat it as well. I would forget that even Nutella isn’t vegan so I couldn’t eat that when I snacked and I couldn’t eat cereal with normal milk. Although it is hard becoming vegan all of a sudden, I think it would be a lot easier if I watched more videos talking about the cons of consuming meat and if I eased into it more. This week taught me a lot about the dedication people have for a cause that they are passionate about. Comment below if you would try challenging yourself to a week of being vegan and seeing if this lifestyle is for you or not!
The Fab Team,
Edith, Itzel, & Sara