Can you believe it’s already almost Easter? For those who celebrate, that means Lent is almost over. This year, I decided to try a Vegan Challenge for Lent.
For the first few weeks, I ate a vegan diet about 95% of the time. I allowed myself 1 day a week to consume foods that may have been made with dairy or eggs. I cooked entirely vegan.
With about two weeks left in Lent, I decided to make a change. I re-introduced yogurt, whey and eggs because I felt I wasn’t getting enough lean protein. I have remained meat & fish-free all Lent long.
Was it hard? Surprisingly, no! Going vegan was definitely not without its challenges, but I was surprised at how easy it was for me. I’ve highlighted some more details below.
The Verdict on Vegan
The biggest challenge(s): Sources of lean protein. I know a lot of vegans/vegetarians get defensive when you suggest they don’t get enough protein, so let me clarify. I do feel that there are plenty of plant-based proteins. However… they don’t pack as much protein per gram as animal sources (my favorites being fish and eggs).
The biggest myth: “A vegan diet is boring.” False! I can honestly say I was never bored of my options. Going veg allowed me to think outside the box when cooking for myself. I enjoyed plant-based pizza, burgers, burritos, and tons more.
Whey and honey pop up everywhere! I had an especially hard time finding cereal, salad dressings, and protein/energy bars without these ingredients.
Also, it’s not difficult to find/request vegan options at some restaurants… in Austin, at least.
Observations: My vegan diet turned into carbs on carbs on carbs. They were complex ‘good-for-you’ carbs, but a lot of sources of vegan protein are also very starchy – beans, lentils, quinoa, etc. I’m actually looking forward to leaning out my dinners again, specifically.
Changes in Physique/Wellness? None. If anything, I expect to lean out a bit when I go back to eating eggs, fish, Greek yogurt and, on occasion, lean meats.
#1 Vegan Recipe: My big sexy vegan pancake that I ate every day for 10 days. 🙂 I need this back in my life! Second place goes to this week’s tofu stir fry with cauliflower rice (shown above).
- I didn’t miss meat very much at all. As I suspected, I missed whey/milk and eggs more than anything.
- I could definitely be a pescatarian. Being a vegetarian wouldn’t be hard. But there’s no way I could stay a vegan!
What’s Next: A burger. And fish for dinner EVERY DAY. =)
Of Possible Interest:
So that’s my recap. Whew, that was a lot.
Have a Happy Easter/Passover, everybody. To my friends up north, sending some warm spring weather your way!
- Could you ever be a vegan?
- Thoughts on plant-based protein? It’s a sticky subject! I’d love to hear your thoughts.