Lessons I learned when I tried veganism

Here is my beef with Veganism

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Lessons I learned when I tried veganism

(Courtesy of the 'Popsugar' facebook page)

(Courtesy of the 'Popsugar' facebook page)

(Courtesy of the 'Popsugar' facebook page)

(Courtesy of the 'Popsugar' facebook page)

By Isabel Marseille

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I never thought I’d hear myself say I’d go vegan… even if it was for just a week. I am the total opposite of a vegan: I love ice cream, wings and literally anything barbeque. Although growing up I had always eaten pretty healthily—making sure I ate fruits and vegetables—I still loved meat and dairy.

But coming to college, it’s natural to go through body changes, and I put on a few pounds since I’ve been at school, so I decided to make a change. Why not go vegan for a week and detox myself? Flush everything out and maybe even lose a few pounds?

Much easier said than done.

First of all, do your research! I neglected to do this in the beginning, and it came back to bite me. Since I’m on campus, I eat in the dining halls. I don’t have to go grocery shopping or cook, which is a plus for me. On my first day, I ate a black bean quesadilla with guacamole and a few slices of pineapple. Since my body isn’t used to this intake, I was still hungry afterward, so I decided to have some cereal. I ate Cheerios with almond milk, not knowing at the time that Cheerios aren’t vegan. They contain vitamin D3, which comes from sheep. I didn’t beat myself up about it, but noted to myself to do my homework if I really want to commit to this.

With that being said, I realized there are so many more restrictions than I thought, especially when you’re living on a college campus. I found out I couldn’t even have pasta, because it’s usually cooked with eggs. So day one, I was crazy hungry all day, only snacking on granola bars, fruit and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but I was determined to get through it, especially since I decided I would write about it.

Continuing on throughout my week of veganism, days two and three were the toughest. I felt completely drained. I had absolutely no energy, and even though I slept for a good amount of hours, I felt like I didn’t sleep at all. My stomach was constantly growling from hunger, and I couldn’t concentrate on my homework. During these few days, I wanted to quit my challenge- quitting was the easiest option. But I kept powering through, and it got easier. I got my energy back, I wasn’t hungry all the time anymore and my mind wasn’t constantly thinking about food. On top of it all, I physically felt good. I was eating tons of fruits, vegetables and drinking a lot of water and I felt great.

I started to see the changes in my body once it fully transitioned to the new diet. I was getting a lot of compliments on my skin, which seemed to be clearing up, I never felt bloated and I had plenty of energy to get through my extremely busy days. I even lost two inches off my waist at the end of the week!

Finishing up my week, I am really proud that I finished my challenge. What I can conclude from this short veganism lifestyle is to definitely do your research before you commit to such a huge change to your body, and don’t sweat the small things—especially on campus. At first, it was difficult because I felt very limited by my food options, but as the week went by, I became much more open-minded and more willing to try new things.

 

Isabel Marseille can be reached at [email protected]