July 1st happened to be in the middle of a family reunion. I had warned everyone the day before that I was taking on this challenge. Luckily I do have a few family members who are or have been vegetarian or vegan. That didn’t help me too much though when I heard what was for breakfast: bacon and eggs. Even as a mostly-vegetarian, I cannot turn down bacon. Except this time I had to. To make it even more difficult my cousin, MJ, offered an out to me that I should delay the start of the challenge until after the group-eating, family reunion days were over. I almost took her up on it since it was she is mostly-vegan, but I decided to stick to my commitment since there is never going to be a convenient time to give up meat, eggs, and dairy. Instead, I went grocery shopping with a list that she helped me put together.
A few things that are going to be huge game changers in this challenge are:
Coconut-milk yogurt: I know right? I never knew it existed but is genius. The only difference I could sense was the consistency was a bit thicker almost like greek yogurt which I prefer anyway! And there was no coconut taste, just the strawberry or blueberry flavor.
Goddess salad dressing: It tastes so creamy I’m shocked they haven’t used any dairy in it. This is going to be my guilty pleasure that I see myself pouring on everything.
Vanilla Almond milk: I am not a huge fan of soy milk so I was not looking forward to that substitute. However, MJ suggested this alternative and I am sold. It is so delicious and also low fat!
Other staples that I stocked up on: Veggies, brown rice, cereal, granola bars*, HUMMUS, pita pockets, tortillas, beans, salsa, veggie burgers* etc.
*Be careful with these though since many contain dairy even if it doesn’t seem like they would. I accidentally bought granola bars with milk in them (and ate one before I realized) and I also knowingly bought black bean burgers that contain egg whites. I know that’s cheating but at least for my first week I gave myself a pass on that since they are mostly vegan and I need some variety until I will be cooking on my own.
So, breakfast day 1: Organic raisin bran with vanilla almond soy milk and a banana
Lunch: This I thought was going to be very difficult since we were at 6 Flags, and amusement park. That’s probably the least vegan-friendly place on the planet right? Wrong! Luckily there was a burrito shop so I was able to get beans and rice with salsa, corn and lettuce (they didn’t have a vegetarian options with peppers or onions but I made do). It was heart-wrenching to say no to the creamy nacho cheese and sour cream, but after I ate I didn’t have that same gross feeling I usually do after I pound a dairy-stuffed burrito.
I was sad about not being able to get my traditional huge waffle ice cream cone at 6-Flags, but instead I got some delicious frozen lemonade as an mid-day treat!
Dinner: Veggie burger in a pita pocket with hummus. The fam ordered some Super Smokers BBQ (this wasn’t hard for me to pass on since I don’t like BBQ). There were some sides I could eat, or at least thought I could eat 😦 like green beans (which I later found out were probably cooked in pork fat) and apple sauce.
Day 2: Breakfast, same as the day before
Snack: Carrots and hummus
Lunch: Pita pocket stuffed with spinach, tomatoes, onion, yellow pepper and cucumber topped with goddess dressing.
Snack: Chips and salsa
Dinner: Black bean burger on an English muffin with leftover veggies from my lunch wrap and goddess dressing. (I know getting repetitive, but like I said I had limited resources the first few days)
Day 3: I came to a sad realization when I wanted to make peanut butter and banana toast: the bread that my mom has contains milk and butter.. So back to cereal and almond milk until I can find an alternative.
Lunch: I’m about to make a pita pocket (since there’s no bread) with grilled peppers and onions with tomatoes and cucumber and avocado.. and let’s be honest probably some goddess dressing.
Dinner: tonight my mom is making fish, but I will make a stir-fry on the side to go with it with some brown rice. I’ll make extra rice so that I can have a burrito tomorrow!