Vegan Challenge: Completed

As of 12:01 AM on Sunday morning, I am officially finished the 7 day vegan challenge!

How was it? Well. It was a LOT easier than I had anticipated. It was also harder, if that makes any sense.

Harder

I expected the challenge to be hard. Going seven days without milk, eggs, or cheese?! It seemed almost impossible. But I totally thought that about going without bacon, too, and I have now been a vegetarian for more than a year, so I guess I’m not all that surprised that the challenge went relatively smoothly.

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The one thing about it that I found to be most difficult was checking absolutely everything for its ingredients. We went out and bought a whole ton of groceries for the challenge, including four pre-packaged salads that I figured would be great. Nuh uh. I went to make myself a bowl and happened to check the ingredients first: one of the two kinds I bought randomly had sour cream in the dressing. Mwah mwah. So no ensalada salad for me. Weirdly, this happened with a bag of lime and black pepper chips at a party, too. Why would lime and black pepper chips have sour cream in them?!

Other than a small snafu on the first morning of the challenge where I poured myself a glass of milk and took a sip before Bryan said, “Uh, how vegan is that milk?” things went really well.

So. Freaking. Yummy.

So. Freaking. Yummy.

Better

It took a lot of planning, but I find that any good meal plan does. I had taken out a cookbook from the library that I thought was vegetarian which actually turned out to be vegan (Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook) and that was immensely helpful – I ended up asking my mom to buy it for me for my birthday (11 days!!!). We tried the vegan crepes. I also used a lot of the resources from the 7 Day Vegan Challenge site, including this amazing tofu-spinach lasagna from PETA. Seriously, it’s some of the best lasagna I’ve EVER had!

The challenge also encouraged us to try some new things that we otherwise might not have gotten around to. Noorish is a restaurant here in the city that we have driven by on countless occasions, saying, “We should go there someday.” But we never did, because why? It’s a bit out of the way for us and there are plenty of other places to go. But it is one of the most popular organic and vegan friendly places around, so I knew that this was a great chance for us to check it out.

And OH MY GOD it did not disappoint. I had vegan mac and “cheese” and it was absolutely to die for, and for dessert, we had kiwi lime pie. Raw, organic, vegan dessert. And it is definitely in my top 3 best desserts EVER. So, yah, thanks, 7 day vegan challenge, for making that happen.

I'm dying just looking at it.

I’m dying just looking at it.

Faster, Stronger

Being vegan has also changed the way that I look at food and how it makes me feel. Since the challenge ended, though I have been eating lots of macarons (finally went to the locally famous Duchess Bake Shop and oh man, I will never get store-bought ones again!), I have also been paying way more attention to what goes into my body. We went on an Elk Island adventure yesterday (post on that soon) and we stopped to get snacks. We made much healthier choices – spicy chipotle hummus, carrots, and a natural trail mix – than we would have before, and I do think it is because I did so much ingredient checking during the last week. I felt really clean and strong the whole time, which was amazing.

On top of all of that, I’m pretty sure that it gave me superpowers, a la Scott Pilgrim, since I had some amazing yoga classes and two of the best runs of my life.

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I am not going to go fully vegan or anything but I think there are definite benefits to minimizing dairy and other animal byproducts every once and a while, so maybe I’ll do another 7 day challenge in a few months.

Have you ever done a challenge that you thought was going to be the HARDEST THING EVER only to find that it was much easier than you thought? Did you/are you going to try the 7 day vegan challenge?

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Jessica

Jessica

Jessica can most often be found with her nose in a book, or writing her newest short story/screenplay/novel, but she also has a passion for travel, child-care & development, psychology, feminism (and other forms of equality), and making the world a better place in general. Email Me