Challenging Foods

The vegan challenge was, to my great surprise, not THAT difficult. I did slip up twice— once by accident and once aided by the temptation of cheese— but for the most part, didn’t find that going vegan greatly impacted upon my life. This post will detail the foods I couldn’t consume— the ones I couldn’t live without, and the ones I didn’t miss at all.

Meat

I flippantly identify as a ‘vocational vegetarian’— meaning that I generally don’t eat meat but when presented with something particularly delicious, will readily acquiesce. (I suspect most actual vegetarians would regard my approach with disdain.) My point is that it was actually quite easy for me to eschew meat for a week, as this is my usual diet.

Milk

I started drinking soy milk while dating my ex-girlfriend, a soy-drinking vegetarian. We split up almost a year ago, but not until after I had become accustomed to the nutty taste of soy milk. For whatever reason, I’ve never switched back to dairy milk, and have soy with cereal, coffee and anything else that requires milk.

Soy milk: so good!

Soy milk: so good!

Chocolate

I am a self-confessed sweet tooth, and can often be found purchasing a chocolate bar to propel me through an afternoon of study. Although I did very little research before embarking on the vegan challenge, I recalled from conversations with vegan friends that Oreos were in fact vegan (side note: I’ve since done a bit of research and discovered this isn’t exactly true), so I purchased a couple of boxes to satiate my sweet tooth. But alas— it was not enough, and my first slip up of the challenge was chocolate related. I absent-mindedly purchased and ate a KitKat, in no less than five minutes, on the first day of the vegan challenge. Obviously used to not being a vegan, the idea that chocolate was forbidden did not even cross my mind until the last morsel of KitKat had long disappeared down my throat.

Cheese

I don’t share the same extreme love of cheese that many other students seem to. I’m content with a Black and Gold block of tasty to grate onto my tomato pasta now and then, but am no cheese aficionado. However, it was cheese that was my downfall during this vegan challenge. During the consumption of a particularly dry plate of nachos, I looked enviously upon the sour cream and cheese laden plates of my housemates. Guacamole was not enough to satisfy me, and I forgot all that I had learned about the cruelties of the dairy industry and piled on some Bega Tasty. I didn’t regret it.

Ice cream

I just love ice cream. I consume more ice cream than all the other dairy products combined, including milk and chocolate. While some may argue this either results in an extremely poor diet or an inevitable calcium deficiency, I believe that ice cream is an important part of my diet. I thus thought that ice cream would be the most challenging thing to give up as part of the vegan challenge— but I was wrong. I meant to purchase vegan ice cream prior to the commencement of the challenge, however, ran out of time, and just did without for the seven day period. Funnily enough, I didn’t miss my post-dinner bowl all that much.

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Lane’s Vegan Challenge: Food Diary

Vegan Challenge Food Diary

Monday
Bowl of muesli with soy milk
Earl grey tea with soy
A banana
An apple
Salad sandwich
Kit Kat (first slip up alert— obviously not vegan)
Vitaweats with Nuttelex and Vegemite
Stir-fried vegetables with white rice

Tuesday
Bowl of muesli with soy milk
Earl Grey tea with soy
Two apples
Leftover stir-fried vegetables with white rice
Oreos
Rice paper rolls with tofu and salad filling

Wednesday
Bowl of muesli with soy milk
A banana
Packet of chips
Soy cappuccino
Vegemite and Nuttelex sandwich
Vegemite and Nuttelex on Vitaweats
Vegan ‘burger’ with salad and tomato sauce

Ah, Vitaweats— my vegan saviour.

Ah, Vitaweats— my vegan saviour.

Thursday
Bowl of muesli with soy milk
An apple
Soy cappuccino
Salad sandwich
Vitaweats with Nuttelex and Vegemite
Vegan ‘burger’ with salad and tomato sauce
An orange
Oreos

Friday
Toast with mushrooms
A banana
Salad sandwich
Vitaweats with Nuttelex and Vegemite
Vegan nachos— corn chips with beans and salad (second slip up alert— I knowingly put some cheese onto my nachos)
Strawberries

Saturday
Toast with mushrooms
Soy cappuccino
Salad sandwich
Oreos
Pasta with tomato sauce

Sunday
Bowl of muesli with soy milk
A banana
Rice paper rolls from Marrickville Organic Markets
Leftover pasta with tomato sauce