The prospect of going vegan was a daunting thought. Being a vegan meant giving up all animal by-products. Meat, dairy and many of my usual go-to snacks had to be purged from my diet.
As someone who basically survives off chicken, steak and protein bars, I knew this was going to be tough.
However, the first step to succeeding in any sort of diet is to be prepared. I researched foods I could eat, planned out my meals and wrote out a shopping list. I was determined to be ready to tackle any food craving that might hit me throughout my week as a vegan.
I fixed all of my lunches for the week prior to starting my diet so I wouldn't feel tempted to break my diet due to a time crunch.
The night before I started, I weighed in at 108 pounds. I felt bloated and lethargic and was desperately trying to get rid of my acne. I was ready for a change.
For breakfast, I ate two slices of fresh pumpernickel bread that I purchased from my local bakery, which were preservative free. I topped it with all-natural peanut butter.
Of course, I had to have my coffee as well, and I drank it black. This was difficult, as I normally load my coffee up with cream and sugar, but as the week went on, I began to enjoy having my coffee in its truest form.
For lunch, I had fresh spinach leaves topped with a baked sweet potato. I alternated between eating Vega Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein and Snack Bars and Luna Protein Chocolate Walnut Fudge Bars to satisfy my sweet tooth, as well as an apple for extra nutrients.
The sweet potato was actually really filling, so most days I ate the sweet potato and had trouble finishing the rest of my lunch!
I would rather have too much food packed and save it for later, rather than packing too little and being tempted to dip into that not-so-healthy stash of snacks hidden away at work.
Dinner was the fun part. I was forced to be creative! On the first night, I decided to try out vegan fajitas. They consisted of onions and peppers sautéed and seasoned in a flour tortilla.
I'm not going to lie, by the end of day one, I had a migraine that I just couldn't shake. I didn't think I could keep it up. My body wasn't handling this new change well, and I was very tempted to give up.
On day two, I had a salad for dinner. I loaded it up with shredded carrots and other vegetables and vegan-friendly Italian dressing. Once again, I ended the day with a migraine that I just couldn't kick.
By the third day, I no longer had a migraine, as my body was beginning to adjust to my new diet. I ate pineapple barbecue rice for dinner and had whole-wheat pasta the next two nights.
To supplement my protein intake, I drank Vega Protein Power and blended it together with fruit and water to make Vegan-friendly smoothies.
When I got home from work each day, I felt motivated and ready to conquer the rest of the afternoon. Normally after I get home from a full day of teaching third graders, I feel sleepy and take a two-hour nap.
However, this week I felt energized. After those first two days, I spent my afternoons mountain biking, running and hitting up the gym. My running times were faster than usual, and my body didn't feel achy after working out.
By the of the end week, I was no longer bloated, my acne had cleared and when I went to weigh myself, I was 104 pounds.
I had lost four pounds of weight in just one week!
If you're thinking of going vegan, I definitely recommend it. It's difficult at first, and requires a ton of planning, but the end result is totally worth it.