Vegan: What I’ve learned…

I wasn’t sure how to title this post: The One In Which I Failed Epically or perhaps How to Not Be vegan, or perhaps How to fail in more than one way at once.

See I’m sitting here, sort of watching Because I said So and eating chocolate. Sugar (goes against this challenge I set for myself for February) and most definitely not vegan, which goes against the challenge this week.


So what went wrong? There are a few reasons I can point to why being vegan this week wasn’t incredibly successful for me.

  • No plan: usually my life doesn’t require a meal plan. Mainly because vegetarian food is readily available and I’ve been eating it for so many years it’s just what I do. However, I think for veganism, I should have had more of a plan.
  • Life: where I’m at now, the life I’m living didn’t fit the vegan lifestyle this week. Most of my friends aren’t into food in the same way (into experimenting or trying healthy food). This is when having an action plan would have helped.
  • No Passion for the cause: being vegan is something I think you really have to care about to stick with it. And to be honest, my heart just wasn’t in it. I wanted it to be, I wanted to care, and in fact a lot of what vegans care about is stuff I care about. And I can see myself one day being pretty much vegan since so many meals I already eat are vegan.

What have I learned?

  • Lots of foods I don’t give a second thought to eating aren’t vegan (margarine? I just assumed it was made from vegetable oils…)
  • Without a game plan, if you aren’t surrounded by people living a healthy vegan lifestyle, it can be tough to be “strong” and stick to it.
  • When it comes to something like a vegan diet, or any significant change in diet, it takes energy and thought; you can’t just eat what you’re craving.

I know a lot of the other 7 Day Vegan Challengers have been doing awesome on the challenge and congrats to all of you! I’ll definitely participate in the twitter chat tomorrow (as long as I remember the right time!) but I think I’m unfortunately done with the challenge itself.

What has been the biggest obstacle for all of you this week? What have you learned from the challenge?  

PS While yes, I had some chocolate today, I still think my “Sugar and Coffee Free February” is going really well because my overall consumption of both has gone down significantly. I’ve been drinking 1-2 cups of black or green tea, and I have been feeling fine. I’d like to try a day or two of caffeine free days this week, and see if I get any withdrawal symptoms.



Filed under eating, food, health

8 responses to “Vegan: What I’ve learned…

  1. Veganism (permanently) definitely isn’t for me either. Though I did well this week and stuck to the challenge (so far anyways!) that was mostly because I prepared for it. Also, I know honey is a debateable topic, but I didn’t even think twice about using my burts bees lip chap.

    Veganism is hard though, and not something I want to do forever. I would like to try and eat vegan a couple times a week after the challenge is over (I mostly wanted to get away from my dependence on cheese doing this challenge) but the whole lifestyle thing really is not for me.

    At least you tried!!

    • I think the cheese weaning was big thing for many people! It’s amazing how easy it is to “depend on cheese”. But once you cut back on it, it’s pretty easy to just eat less of it.

  2. I have learned that I am a flexitarian. There is room in my diet for organic meats and dairy. This challenge has also taught be to be more aware of what I put in my mouth and where it came from, I am very thankful for the experience 🙂

  3. Very thoughtful, honest post!
    I definitely agree that having a plan has been key in this challenge. If not for my meal planning, I would have been done for.
    The main thing I learned this week? I can live without cheese! I probably never will… but it’s nice to know I don’t NEED it and I’ll definitely be cutting back on it going forward.

  4. I don’t think it’s a failure – the point of a challenge is exactly that, to challenge yourself. Even if you don’t end up being vegan 24/7 for the week, you have still challenged yourself in a way to see what it might be like to be vegan. Even the sugar free/coffee thing – chances are you aren’t going to live a life void of these items, so if you’ve had a few here and there, it’s like living your normal, balanced life 🙂

    • Bronwyn Coyne

      Totally agree. It’s life. It’s interesting to try what other people put great efforts in to, at least in the very way of knowing what they’re doing.

      I remember going to one of the meet the dietitian nights, and Heather Mccoll said, “put yourself on every diet, just for week. Just so you know what the people doing them are going through.” I mean it’s interesting, seeing how much thought actually goes into food for someone who is vegan, I can’t even imagine a soy or gluten allergy! There is also something learned. 🙂

  5. I dont see that you failed at all. It was a HARD challenge, and a vegan lifestyle definitely isnt for everyone. Thats probably the biggest thing I learned.

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