The Challenge

The vegan challenge was an interesting week for me. It definitely had its challenges and
triumphs – but I came out of it knowing that if I decided to go full on vegan I could, the
issue would be will power.

Zoe

Zoe

The other issue would be living on campus – in a catered residence, there’s little to no choice on what meals you are served, let alone the choice of unpopular vegan dishes. It also made substituting certain foods difficult, and often I would just leave the animal product part out.

I stumbled across this post on XOJane – Cheap, Easy Vegan Meals for When You Want to Die – it just resonated you know…?

MILK:
For me, my daily food schedule revolves mostly around 5 cups of tea a day, with a splash of milk. I have never quite liked the bitterness of black tea, so a week of black tea meant I unintentionally cut back to one cup – that’s all my taste buds would allow. So I cut back on caffeine too, no tea, no coffee. A key to unlocking these things would have been to substitute for almond or rice milk (I severely dislike soy!)

MEAT:
Never having been obsessed with eating meat at every meal, or even once a day – though I was in the habit of having red meat once or twice a week – but there was no issue in working around it. I am prone to iron-deficiency however, but eating so much greenery beefed up that part of my diet.

CHEESE:
This was excruciatingly painful to give up. That doesn’t quite explain the soul destroying process that was my week without cheese, but I don’t think anything else will.

BAKED GOODS:
The temptation to eat my friend’s homemade mouthwatering choc-chip cookies was too much, and I caved – once. Which was pretty good, considering we live together and she had just made them in bulk and kept saying “Nobody will know”.

I’m pretty proud of myself for holding out (mostly) until the end of the week – I am disappointed that I know it will be just too easy to slip into old habits. But I think the key for me is to keep trying different substitutes. With access to a kitchen and my own groceries next year, I think that becoming vegan is a definite possibility.

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Zoe’s Vegan Challenge: Food Diary

Vegan Challenge Food Diary

Monday:
Plain pasta, (which was even gluten free) with steamed veggies, five bean mix and whole grain mustard…. Delicious.
Water
An apple
Mash potato (diary free!), veggies, mixed beans and hummus.

Beans - filling and somewhat delicious.

Beans – filling and somewhat delicious.

Tuesday:
Canned spaghetti on toast
Milk-less tea, also known as black tea.
Lentil burger patty with beetroot, cucumber, grated carrot and hummus.
Mexican spiced bean mix and mixed salad on a sundried tomato tortilla wrap.
Cookie – slip-up alert, delicious homemade choc chip, slighty on the chewy side cookies.

Wednesday:
‘Wot No Dairy?’ “yoghurt” – made of cultured pea protein.
Salad sandwich (sans the cheese!)
Mixed nuts and sultanas.
Black tea.
Orange, melon, kiwifruit.
Tomato and chickpea pasta.
Alcohol…

Cultured pea protein...

Cultured pea protein…

Thursday:
Lentil pattie burger.
Fruit salad.
Lemonade.
Tofu sausage – strangely not sausage like.

Friday:
Avocado with squeezed lemon on toast
Pineapple and orange frappe from Hoochie Mama’s in Newtown.
Hot chips and salad.
Saffron rice, chickpeas and veggies.
Black tea.

Saturday:
Toast with vegemite.
Vitawheats.
Black tea.
Barrocca (hangover)
Pasta, grated carrot, mixed bean, steamed veggies.
Orange, melon, kiwi fruit.

Newly vegan - this was a strange combo...

Newly vegan – this was a strange combo…

Sunday:
Black tea.
Potato gems, roasted tomato, toast.
Apple
Pear
Pasta with tomato-y basil sauce.