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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Siena chapter.

I have always wanted to try changing what I eat or try going on a diet, but have never had the time or patience for it. I don’t eat a lot of unhealthy food and rarely have fast food in general, but I have always been curious to see how changing my diet would make me feel. Would I feel more awake? Stronger? Would I be more energetic? I wanted to finally give it a try and see if there were any results.

This was the first time that I have ever tried to change what I eat, and it was a little harder than I thought it would be. It all started because my housemate, Steph, said she wanted to try cooking a vegan meal…and somehow that turned into my house trying to be vegan for a week. My other housemate, Kenz, and I were the two who wanted to eat vegan meals and snacks the entire week long (especially since our boyfriends joked about how they didn’t think we’d be able to do it). That finalized it and the two of us decided we wanted to prove we could.

Grace Constable
The first two days weren’t as bad as I thought. I had a lot of fruits, veggies, and beans. For dinner, I even made vegan penne alla vodka. I had low standards considering it was my first attempt at cooking a completely vegan meal, but it turned out amazing! I had found a normal recipe and just substituted ingredients that I needed to.

Pro Tip: I learned that oat milk is extremely delicious in recipes for baking and cooking as a substitute for milk! I wanted to try something different, since I’ve been drinking almond milk recently.

The first day that it really hit me that I couldn’t have any dairy or meat was day number four. I was starting to look on Pinterest for more ideas, because I was running out of them. I started craving the foods that were non-vegan and that I couldn’t have. Things only got worse when there was a big storm and the power went out on campus for a total of 30 hours. We couldn’t cook, so we were forced to get takeout and the options were limited. I was disappointed to see some places had such few options. I wasn’t in the mood for just a salad as a meal, so we had to really look to find places to eat.

We did find a great place near Siena for brunch that had a ton of vegan options! With my mimosa, I had vegan french toast with wild berries and home fries. It was delicious and definitely the best breakfast I had the entire week (besides the incredibly yummy overnight oats Steph makes).

By the end of the week, I was ready to eat non-vegan again. I could definitely feel a change in my energy levels overall – I felt a lot more lively and focused. I work out five/six days a week and workouts that would usually make me exhausted only added to my energy. This was the biggest perk about going vegan for a week. I wouldn’t say I would completely switch to vegan, but I’ll definitely start cooking a bit healthier now that I know more recipes!

Nikki Gazdik is a Siena College Class of 2022 alumna. She studied Accounting during her time at Siena.