Being Vegan for a Week

—Sydney Gaff, Co-Head Web Editor—

Something that teens have a reputation for is unhealthy eating. This is common because with the crazy-busy schedule of a high schooler, with sports, academics, and trying to be with friends, teens tend to go to places that don’t serve the best of foods for healthy eating.

A way to turn your diet around is simply just cutting out the fatty foods that are high in sugar and grease. One way to take this to the extreme is going vegan; and that is exactly what I did!

There are many questions I asked as I prepared for my week of eating vegan: what am I going to eat? Am I only going to eat vegetables for the rest of the week? Ms. Penland, a teacher who is also vegan here at Cosby, said, “Most grocery stores have plenty of vegan options (lots of whole food options, which should be the staple of any diet, like fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, and grains; and now even more are carrying specialty items you used to have to go to a specialty grocery store for).”

For the next week I am going to cut out all meat and meat products from my diet, which will also remove a lot of junk food from my diet, as well.

Sunday

This day was easily the hardest day, and included a lot of planning for the week. For breakfast I ate Cheerios with almond milk,  instead of regular milk.

Later that day, I went out to Starbucks and instead of getting a drink with milk, I got an iced tea and a fruit bar that had apple and mango in it.

For dinner that night I ate at Wegmans, at their food bar. Eating there made the process of picking out what to eat easier, since there were little signs that said the ingredients in the food and if they were vegan or not.

Monday

Normally, before school, I do not have breakfast and that stood true for Monday as well. However, for lunch, I brought a lot of little snacks instead of a meal, such as celery, cauliflower, cucumbers, and cashews.

For dinner I had a vegetable soup that was homemade, and was not made with anything from animals, including the broth. For something sweet for the day, I ate Lärabar double chocolate brownie bites, which are vegan and contain ingredients such as almonds, dates, and cocoa powder.

Tuesday

Today, lunch was mostly the same as yesterday; it contained an apple, celery, peanut butter, almonds, and some other snacks.

I’ve noticed by this point in the week that I feel fuller after eating less than I normally do, and that stands true for every meal. I have noticed that I don’t have to eat as much as I normally need to do to satisfy my appetite.

Wednesday

For lunch, I continued with the same set-up I had used all week, which was a lot of snack sized portions of vegetables and almonds along with some hummus.
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For dinner, I ate leftovers of the vegetable soup I had earlier in the week, and I also found out that Oreos are vegan, so for something sweet at the end of the night I had a couple of Oreos.

Thursday

Thursday is once again a normal day for my lunch with it being a snack set up of fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Friday

Friday is day 6 of my adventure of eating vegan, and lunch was the same as it has been all week with the normal fruits and vegetables.

For dinner my mother made her homemade vegan pizza with vegan cheese instead of a normal, dairy based cheese. The pizza turned out to taste great, and the only thing that was different about the cheese was the consistency, which I found manageable if there isn’t too much of it on the pizza.

Saturday

This day could have possibly been the hardest of them all. This is because it was the last day, so I could see the finish line, but I just wasn’t quite there yet. Today, I was not home all day, so I packed my own snacks and took it with me. For food, I brought cucumbers, hummus, fruit strips from Wegmans, and cashews for protein.

Later, for dinner, I went to Panera Bread and got a veggie mediterranean sandwich without the feta cheese.

This week I have learned a lot about both myself and eating a balanced diet. In the beginning it was tough because I felt that I couldn’t eat anything that I wanted, but by the end I found substitutes for can take the place of dairy products and help relieve cravings for things such as chocolate.
Photos Courtesy of Erik Wannee, Sydney Gaff