My Week As A Vegan

Normally one to scoff at faddy diets and distrust the health freaks who raise their eyebrows when I tell them that my drunk food of choice is a large mixed doner kebab, when I stumbled across an article weighing up the pros and cons of being a vegan- as a student and from a money saving perspective- I decided that with the support of my housemates I would take on the challenge and embrace, for one week only, being a vegan.

My Tesco delivery came to a respective £45, which is about what I’d normally spend on a weekly shop, so no drastic saving or drastic splurging. The items, apart from extra portions of fruit and veg, were as you'd expect a little different from usual… Featuring two packs of tofu, quinoa, bulgur wheat, rice noodles, soya milk and, wait for it, ten cans of beans!

Beans, beans, the more you eat...

 

When I told my parents about my challenge the first thing my mum said was that I would get spotty, I would poo more and I would become iron deficient. She was genuinely so concerned she sent me newspaper clippings in the post about a girl who nearly died from being a vegan, whereas my dad’s main concern was that I might not be able to drink beer. Assuring him that could, whilst frantically googling ‘Is beer vegan?’ I decided to ignore mum’s trusted advice and proceed with my plans. I mean, how hard could a week of not eating meat or dairy actually be?

Day one started off pretty well. I had a normal breakfast of porridge (using soya milk) and black coffee, a snazzy lunch of homemade falafels, organic hummus and toasted pitta, and tofu rice noodles in a chilli sauce with a massive cobra beer for dinner.

Day two presented me with my first real test, so soon into the week, as the thought of eating porridge when I was making scrambled eggs for my boyfriend was distinctly unappealing. However, I stayed true to my new morals and ate the gruel, followed by a questionable salad for lunch of carrot, mango, sunflower seeds and hummus but finished the day with a solid dish of curry noodles (plus three pints).

Day three and I was still going strong, even going out for dinner at a VEGAN/ VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT in town called Alley Café. There might have been mayo in the tempeh burger I had, but on the menu it said the burger was suitable for vegans so I don’t think it counts. Also, it was really nice and would 10/10 recommend.

Vegan burgers 'n' beer at Alley Cafe

Day four and I am starting to get bored of porridge. Making a vegan meal is also a lot more time consuming than one may think and the lack of cheese on my chilli was noticeable. It was really filling though and actually really nice but mum was right…let’s just say that my bowel movements have changed slightly...and not for the better. 

Day five was breaking day. Everything I cooked for myself was vegan. However…the Women’s Network ordered £65 of FREE DOMINOS PIZZA and what’s a girl to do?!!

After cracking on day five, my commitment issues followed me into day six. Although I managed to incorporate tofu into my dinner, on campus it was dark and cold and rainy and so I had to warm myself with some spicy chicken pasta and a chocolate cookie. 

Day seven and I have basically given up. I made myself a sweet potato and chickpea curry (spot on) however my housemate drove me to McDonald’s at 10pm to officially celebrate the end of vegan week. I didn’t have meat though- just well deserved mozzarella dippers.

Now my housemates/boyfriend/family etc. have told me that my ‘week’ as a vegan definitely doesn’t count because I caved BUT I think going from my normal carnivorous diet to not even being allowed the joy that is cheese I did pretty well. Since doing the week, I've deffo cut down on my meat intake and now drink soya milk instead of cows milk, although I don't think anything would ever make me give up cheese...

My one true love