Going Vegan For A Day: Two Bloggers Try It

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Hi everyone!

When Beth and Aaron proposed the guest post idea of going vegan for a day, I thought it was such a fun idea. Below, you will read about their day as they tried to eat completely vegan. I found it fun to read and can completely relate to their struggles with finding hidden animal ingredients in products.

I hope you enjoy their post as much as I did. Also, check out their awesome website Cross Border Cravings!

While I leave for Leah’s wedding early afternoon today I will still be posting as regular over the next couple days (our hotel has wireless internet). So be sure to check back for all the fun!!

~Angela :)

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Cross-Border Challenge: Vegan for a Day

Hi Oh She Glows readers! I’m really excited to be here today as I am a huge fan of Angela’s site! My name is Beth and I share a healthy living blog with my friend Aaron over at CrossBorderCravings.com. Aaron and I met in Canada while both in University and have been great friends since. Now that I live in Washington DC and Aaron is up in Ontario, one way we stay in touch is through our blog. We both have a great interest in healthy food and activity and enjoy sharing our ideas on both with one another and anyone else who might feel the same.

Aaron and I both eat a diet consisting of all of the major food groups, including meat and dairy. However, we thought it might be fun to challenge ourselves to eat vegan for an entire day. Here’s everything we ate, and our thoughts on the whole experience. Enjoy!

Breakfast:

Aaron:

Before I begin, I want to give you an idea of what products I usually consume. Having dabbled in vegetarianism I have a few habits that I have kept, so I don’t really eat a lot of animal products. The products that I would normally buy are tuna, salmon, margarine, cheese, and yogurt. Chicken and eggs find their way into my fridge maybe once every few months. The products I never buy are cow’s milk and red meats.

I started the day off with toast and jam! Not just any jam, but homemade jam! The left is blackcurrant and the right is rhubarb marmalade… Mmm!! Around lunch time, I realized that bread is not actually vegan! I’m off to a bad start, apparently!

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Beth:

This morning I realized what a challenge today was really going to be! After a hard work-out at the gym, I came home in need of something filling – fast! I considered an energy bar and found milk products in the ingredients. Then I considered organic cereal and found milk and egg products! It’s obvious when eating vegan to stay away from eggs, dairy and meat, but not so obvious that many foods contain traces of these things.

Finally I settled on a soy yogurt bowl. It contained:

· 1 peach soy yogurt

· 1 tbsp. ground flax

· 1 chopped apple

· 2 tbsp. nut and raisin mix

· 1 tsp. peanut butter

· cinnamon

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Lunch:

Aaron:

I did better when it came to lunch – butternut squash soup! Definitely vegan J And a few cherries on the side.

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Beth:

For lunch, I headed to JavaGreen, a mostly organic vegan/vegetarian café in downtown DC. JavaGreen also offers a lot of raw food and I decided if I was going to try it, I may as well go all the way! I ate vegan and raw for lunch with the raw pizza. It was my first time eating raw and I didn’t mind it at all! It was nothing like real pizza but the taste of the veggies was excellent. For dessert I had a vegan peanut butter cookie. I don’t usually eat sweets after lunch but they looked too good to resist!

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Dinner:

Aaron:

For dinner I had some stir-fried veggies over rice. I think the sauce was vegan, but some of those ingredients I wasn’t sure about!

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Beth:

For dinner I also had stir-fried veggies over rice! I checked on my sauces and found meat or dairy traces in all of them! I ended up seasoning my dish with soy sauce, mustard, salt and pepper. I also added a little hummus and salsa to top it off.

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Snacks:

Beth:

This was my pre-workout snack – a rice cake with raspberry preserves.

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In Conclusion:

Beth:

I had a lot of fun with today. It was really educational to see how many foods really do contain some form of animal products. I am a huge foodie and like to enjoy as much of a variety of tastes and foods as possible. As a result, I don’t think I will be turning vegan anytime soon! However, I do think that eating responsibly is important and I hope that this experience today has taught me how to implement some positive changes in my own habits.

Aaron:

The results? Vegan Tuesday was harder than I thought! Because I don’t eat a whole lot of animal products, I thought it would be a breeze… I was wrong! A couple meals were a bit of a struggle because I didn’t have a big variety of food to choose from (needed groceries!). I definitely think that if I had shopped with the intention of preparing only vegan meals then I would have had an easier go with it. I found I had to cut out some of the major staples in my meals. Yogurt and cheese I think are the hardest to part with. Luckily, there is a lot of soy yogurt out there. Cheese on the other hand, I just can’t stomach the vegan stuff!

Thanks so much to Angela for having us on Oh She Glows! We’d love to hear your feedback and see you over at www.CrossBorderCravings.com!

Beth

Today’s question:

Have you ever tried eating vegan/vegetarian for a day? What was it like?

Would you try it?

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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy August 13, 2009

How was the bread not actually vegan, in the first breakfast photo? I’m curious.

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2 Maureen August 13, 2009

I actually started eating Vegan about a month ago after eating vegetarian for a few months and I have found the opposite of what Beth concluded. I am eating a wider range of foods than ever before and the tastes of most meals is an explosion of flavours in your mouth. I am also eating more protein than when I ate animal products. I believe if you had both done a bit more research before attempting your Vegan for a day you would have had a better experience.

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3 Jess August 13, 2009

I’ve done meatless days but I’m still waffling on the vegan days. I just love dairy and eggs!

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4 Pam August 13, 2009

Great looking dishes!

I have done this before…vegan for a day and it is fun to mix up your food choices….get’s you being more creative!

Great idea and post!

Thanks!

http://www.alovefornewrecipes.blogspot.com

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5 Ellen @ Peace in Motion August 13, 2009

Freshman year of college I had a professor who was vegan and challenged out class to go vegan for a week. We all tried it, and it actually pretty easy for me. A lot of people had difficulty, due to eating the standard American diet, but I found going vegan much simpler than I thought it would be!

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6 brandi August 13, 2009

what a cool guest post! I was a vegetarian for a while in high school, but I wasn’t very educated about it so it didn’t last longer than a few months.

It’s really easy for me to be vegetarian, and I eat that way somedays ,depending on our meal plans, etc. I’ve never tried vegan, though.

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7 Pam at Highway to Health August 13, 2009

This is a great post. I was vegetarian for a while but I slowly started adding meat into my diet. I don’t think I could be vegan because it’s too restrictive and I tend to have some disordered eating. Maybe in a few years I could re-evaluate but for now I don’t think I would be able to.

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8 Nina August 13, 2009

Those are exactly the problems I find with veganism. I’m already vegetarian, and when I started about 5 months ago, I tried to go vegan at first. I love yogurt and cheese wayyyy too much. I could probably do the soy yogurt, but i’m totally with Aaron on the vegan cheese. CANNOT STAND it. I don’t know if its the texture, or the taste, or what. I just can’t do it. Also sometimes I still drink real milk, as my husband is not vegetarian and buys cow’s milk.

I’ll have to check out their blog! and I can’t wait to FINALLY try your glo bars on saturday at the HLS!! so excited!

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9 Shelly August 13, 2009

I’ve never tried to go vegan and don’t really intentionally eat a vegetarian diet (although I generally only eat meat at dinner, and only white meat or seafood at that, so I guess that makes me a flexitarian….I think that’s a silly term though.) I would honestly have many more meat free days if I didn’t live with my boyfriend, who’s idea of the perfect dinner is a chicken breast and veggies (not that that’s bad at all!)…I am generally unwilling to cook two meals and he lifts weights and therefore needs to make sure he gets enough protein. He wouldn’t be cool with a meatless dinner. But on the days I don’t eat any meat (I’d say a day or two every couple of weeks) I don’t miss it. It’s pretty much my least favorite food group. I have no interesting in veganism however because I love Greek Yogurt and cheese way too much!

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10 Cait (Cait's Plate) August 13, 2009

LOVED this post! Beth’s soy yogurt bowl looks too good to be true…and that vegan peanut butter cookie!? WHAT! So delicious. I wish there were more places like that around me.

I’ve gone vegetarian before but never vegan. I’ve only recently started eating WAY less meat than I used to (and it feels AWESOME) so I figure trying to go vegan will be next on the list of things to try :)

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11 Lainie August 13, 2009

I’ve always wanted to try to go vegan…even if it is jst for a day. The lifestyle intrigues me. Great job, guys!

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12 Sarah August 13, 2009

I’m sort of a flexitarian now so I’m familiar with vegetarian eating but I haven’t ever really tried to go vegan. I would have to learn the “code words” to look for in products, but it would be a challenge and a fun one at that. I might have to try it ;-)

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13 JB August 13, 2009

well, i AM vegan, so i’ve been doing it for a lot longer than a day. i love being vegan, and never want to leave this lifestyle. about the bread: yeah, not all bread is vegan. i read the ingredients on EVERYTHING. it’s an essential part of being vegan. you’d be surprised that even some soy yogurts contain cultures from dairy. so you must read, read, read! anyway, i’m glad you had fun with being vegan for a day. i think more people should be open to test driving it! :)

oh and i’m with you aaron…most vegan cheese really sucks. and a lot of it is super processed and completely unhealthy anyway,

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14 Emily August 13, 2009

Can you post some more resources about veganism and transitioning to a vegan diet? I would like to switch for health reasons, and there is an information overload on the web. When you look at PETA’s vegan shopping list, they mainly point out processed, junky foods you can eat anyway (like unfrosted poptarts), where I want to learn how to eat a healthful vegan diet that doesn’t just substitute what I’m eating already with processed substitutes.

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15 Jess August 13, 2009

I think that Beth and Aaron had so much difficulty with this challenge due to their use of so many processed foods. Processed foods like the ones they mentioned: bread, sauces, energy bars, and cereal,etc. have an array of ingredients most of which one cannot even understand and end up containing animal products. This challenge would have been much easier if they stuck to “real foods” as in food closest to its natural state.

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16 Allison August 13, 2009

Maybe this is obvious to vegans… but to a non-vegan, I’m really surprised that bread isn’t vegan.

Flour? Yeast? Sugar? Salt? Water?

Unless you mean a super-processed bread, in which case I wouldn’t be surprised that there are traces of animal products…

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17 Madelin @ What is for breakfast? August 13, 2009

Great post! It really is hard to be vegan I think, though some days I surprise myself and find I have actually eaten vegan for the day! You really do have to read the ingredients on every single thing.

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18 britt August 13, 2009

such a fun post! thanks for sharing.

i don’t eat chicken, pork, or beef, but i do eat seafood. i couldn’t live without the stuff. i try not to drink milk but don’t fret about it but i couldn’t live without cheese. i try to be flexible in everything because i want eating to be fun, not stressful. the one thing i do make a point of staying away from, though, is definitely the chicken, pork, and beef.

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19 AGS August 13, 2009

Thank you both for shairng your day! It was interesting to read. I ate vegetarian for 2 years, and was vegan for a month (a little while back). I didn’t find either very difficult. Some social situations very harder. I make nearly everything I put in my mouth (including sauces), so that probably explains the ease. Even now, without thinking, I’ll eat vegetarian or vegan unintentionally b/c my husband and I try to eat as “close to the source” as possible.

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20 Maggie August 13, 2009

A lot of breads contain dried eggs or sometimes small amounts of dairy.
I’ve found since becoming a vegan (like JB pointed out) that you are always reading labels. I’ve never been more aware of what goes in my food then I am now and I think it’s great.
Some people think that a vegan diet is ‘restrictive’ but I’ve found (for me personally) that it has opened me up to whole new world of different foods, I’ve never tried so many different types of fruits and vegetables.
I’ve never really tried vegan cheese before besides tofutti but I found that one was a pretty good substitute, not too sure about the other versions though, they look a little too weird to me :)

Emily – What kind of info are you looking for?
This website has a lot of good information /www.vegan-nutritionista.com/
Or if you are into podcasts, Vegetarian Food for Thought is a great one to listen to.
If you are interested in recipes there are a lot of great ones at Fat Free Vegan and Happy Herbivore

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21 Hallie August 13, 2009

How interesting! Sometimes I’m accidentally vegetarian, or even sometimes on purpose, if I don’t eat meat with lunch or dinner (and I rarely have any at breakfast) but I’ve never tried to go vegan for a whole day. I can’t do this with my current diet plan, but maybe in a few months I’ll give this a try. I think it would be an eye-opener!

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22 Paige @ Running Around Normal August 13, 2009

What a cool post. I bet it was frustrating finding traces of animal products in your food.

It’s also a cool story about how you guys blog together to keep up with each other :)

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23 kristi (sweet cheeks) August 13, 2009

that is such a great idea! I would love to try that out sometime…I bet it would be harder than it looks for sure!

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24 Recipes for Creativity August 13, 2009

I’ve been a vegetarian for 13 years, but I’m sure in that time I’ve accidentally consumed some meat products, because sometimes there is meat stuff in things in restaurants or meals other people make. I’ve also gone vegan before, which is very hard! Lots of products have dairy, as you found out! Neat project, glad you did it!

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25 janetha August 13, 2009

fun to read this post, interesting!! i have eaten vegan meals a bunch because i have several friends who are vegan. i also do a lot of vegan cooking and baking. i think i could go a whole day, week, month being vegan with no sweat, but i don’t prefer to.

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26 Jessica August 13, 2009

great post! it is crazy how unvegan certain things are!
-muffy

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27 SarahF August 13, 2009

Interesting idea to try and go vegan.

I was a vegetarian for 3 years but when I moved into dorm rooms at university I ended up getting really sick because I wasn’t eating enough protein (pretty much the only thing I was eating was lots of carbs…pasta was pretty much the only thing that didn’t have meat in it). I subbed back in chicken and fish and have continued to eat that way for another 5 years. I no longer enjoy the taste of red meat or pork so I just don’t eat it.

I love milk and ice cream too much to ever be vegan. Also yogurt and eggs. But I think it’s good to try these experiments everyonce and a while so that you expand past the 4 or 5 things that many people just rotate their meals with (I know I’m terribly guilty for being unoriginal with my meals).

Might just have to try this!

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28 Faith August 13, 2009

Great post! It’s interesting to see just how many foods that you think are vegetarian/vegan really do contain animal products.

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29 Marilyn August 13, 2009

I actually became vegetarian about 5 years ago. I gave it a month long test to see how it’d be, then had my favorite meat product at the end (ribs). It just wasn’t the same, so I decided to give up meat for good.

I eat seafood occasionally but very rarely, and occasionally dairy (but also very rarely). I do miss meat, but there are some good alternatives out there :) [seriously, tofurky peppered soy jerky is delicious].

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30 Sana August 13, 2009

I ate tried the Liz Lovely vegan cookies and they ROCKED MY SOCKS OFF!!! Here is the post if anyone wants to read it http://blueberrymuffins.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/to-trying-new-things-2/. I will deff be eating vegan desserts for sure :)

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31 Dana (www.eatsleepgetfit.com) August 13, 2009

I include vegetarian products in my diet throughout the week on a regular basis. I was one of those people who was a picky eater (still am) but have tried so many different things and I actually love them! It a nice change of pace, I usually only eat chicken, very rarely red meat.

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32 Susan August 13, 2009

Lovely post!! I went vegan for a month a few years ago. It maaaay have been because I found out my favourite beer is vegan so I figured i could do it :P

I went hardcore vegan though, cutting out all regular sugars and salts because some of them go through animal charcoal filters. It was hard!! A LOT of recipe flops on my part (I still cringe at the smell of apple cider vinegar after a failed vegannaise attempt). But I also discovered some awesome foods during that month – nutritional yeast, gomashio, Bragg’s, egg replacement powder, FLAX. The experiment ended when I got sick and lost my appetite. When my appetite came back, the only thing I wanted was a cheesy fried egg sandwich :P

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33 Helena August 13, 2009

I’m vegetarian at the moment (because I don’t like handling meat lol!), but have had vegan days when I was out of dairy, sort of by accident.

I’m actually considering substituting meat/non-soy protein for all grains/carbs in my diet after reading up on a ‘primal’ diet. It still sounds kind of odd (being against most conventional advice), but the science behind it makes it seem like a good fit for me.

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34 Minta August 14, 2009

Good on them for trying! I naturally find being a vegan a breeze, but then I’ve been a vegan for a long time so I’ve had plenty of practice. How wonderful that they gave it a go though.

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