As someone who has been interested in healthy eating and sustainability, I’ve been curious about going vegan for quite some time. So, for the past 7 days, I decided to give it a try. I was lucky enough to have supportive friends who were willing to join me in my 7-day vegan journey, which made the experience even more enjoyable. Though we did encounter a slight hiccup when one of my friends was confused between vegan and vegetarian, we did some research and quickly clarified the difference. In fact, we also discovered a range of dietary options that we could incorporate into our lives, which was fascinating.
Anyway, if you’re confused about the difference between vegan and vegetarian, here’s a quick breakdown:
- Vegetarians: involve avoiding meat, poultry, and seafood but may still include animal products like eggs, dairy, and honey.
- Vegan: Involves abstaining from all animal products or by-products, including meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy, and honey.
Veganism is a stricter form of vegetarianism that aims to eliminate all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty. Both diets can have health benefits when followed properly, but veganism is also associated with a reduced environmental impact and ethical considerations beyond just health.
How did it feel to be a vegan?
During the 7-day vegan journey, the first thing I noticed was how much more aware I became of what I was putting in my body. I had to be more mindful of my food choices and read labels carefully to make sure there were no animal products or by-products in my food. Since it was my first time being a vegan, to be safe, my meal was mainly based on potatoes, tofu, and vegetables. Surprisingly, I felt full easily and only had rice twice during the week, which was a significant departure from my usual daily intake.
Cooking vegan meals was also much easier than I expected, especially compared to traditional Malay cuisine. All of my vegan meals involved simple cooking methods such as baking, boiling, stir-frying, or even eating raw. The best part was that they required only a handful of ingredients, making meal preparation quick, efficient, and less time-consuming.
I also found that being vegan was a lot easier than I had initially thought. There are so many vegan options available in grocery stores and restaurants these days, and I was pleasantly surprised by how delicious and filling many of these options were.
My friends and I all lost 2 kilos in just 7 days of being vegan, which was an unexpected bonus of the experience.
The Challenges Of Being A Vegan.
One of the biggest challenges I faced during my week as a vegan was eating out. There aren’t many restaurants in my area that offer vegan options. Even when I did find some vegan options, the variety was limited, and I had to compromise on taste and flavor.
Another challenge I faced was getting enough protein in my diet. As someone who usually relies on meat and dairy for protein, I had to be more intentional about incorporating protein-rich plant-based foods like tofu, beans, and lentils into my meals to meet my daily protein needs.
Another challenge I faced was satisfying my sweet tooth. As someone who loves dairy-based desserts like cheesecake and ice cream, I had to find vegan-friendly alternatives. Luckily, many traditional Malay pastries, or kuih are made with coconut, coconut milk, and flour, which helped me satisfy my sugar cravings. Additionally, I turned to fruits as a healthier option.
Vegan Dish I Made.
Will I Continue to Be a Vegan?
My week as a vegan was a positive experience. Not only did I lose 2 kilos, but it was also an excellent opportunity to challenge myself and try new foods. Although I don’t plan to become a full-time vegan, I do intend to incorporate more plant-based meals into my diet and reduce my meat intake to once or twice a week. I believe that a vegan diet can be a healthy and sustainable choice, and I’m glad I had the chance to explore it for a week.
If you’re thinking about going vegan, I highly recommend giving it a try. While it may seem daunting at first, with some planning and research, it can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
X, Hani. ❤