For more than 27 years, I lived undiagnosed with Pure O, a form of OCD that is associated with horrible intrusive thoughts.
I have always loved eating meat. It could be my southern upbringing, or it could be the fact that steak and prosciutto taste really fucking delicious.
My mom likes to tell the story of me growing in my baby molars early so I could gnaw on strips of beef like a little dog. It’s a pretty short story, but it has a happy ending.
ANYWAY. I wanted to see if I could be vegan for even a week and I wanted to see how it would make me feel. I know a week isn’t exactly a good representation of how I would feel if I was permanently vegan due to an adjustment period.
I know you guys are going to tell me I did it wrong. I’m sure I did it all wrong.
I awake really excited to eat some eggs. These dreams are crushed pretty much as soon as they are conceived.
Instead I eat:
•Peanut and banana on a rice cake
•So many pistachios
•Tortilla chips with hummus
•So many olives
•A whole container of fresh pineapple
•Soy chai latte
•A really delicious sandwich that consisted of kale salad, olives, onion, tomato, and hummus
•An all-fruit strawberry popsicle
Feelings invoked: Confusion. I could not tell when I was hungry and when I was full, my stomach just vaguely hurt all day. I think my primary error was eating such a small breakfast and then going off to a two-hour facial that was 50 minutes away from my house. I also hadn’t done my vegan grocery shopping yet, so I did all of that while I was famished. I spent about $95 (much more than my usual non-vegan grocery bill) and ate most of that sushi in the Publix parking lot.
I had bad stomach pains at bed time.
Stomach still hurts pretty badly.
•Black iced coffee
•Veggie pad thai
•So many pistachios
•Chips with hummus
•Another one of those awesome sandwiches
•Roasted asparagus and carrots with ketchup
Feelings: Rage. Just full of grouch. I also feel heavy and bloated. I suspect I am not getting enough protein. I also suspect I am getting my period soon because my boobs hurt and I almost start crying at the sight of some road kill before I realize it is a palm frond. I rejoice in my timing. Don’t grown-ups keep track of their “cycle”? Do they call it their “cycle’? I really just want some salty, cured meats.
•Amy’s vegan Thai thing
•Two granola bars
•Beans and avocado on baguette
•Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye
•Hummus and pita
More feelings: Pre-granola bars, I was feeling a lot of negative emotions. I wrote down some pretty rough stuff about myself in my Moleskine. We don’t really need to go into that. Once I ate the granola bars, in rapid succession, I felt happier. Later, my husband pointed out that beer is in fact vegan. I felt super drunk on two beers. Thanks vegetables! I also felt lighter and no longer bloated, if you catch my meaning. Thanks again vegetables!
•Dry English muffin
•Taco Bell veggie cantina bowl
•Pita with hummus, avocado, and onion
•Soy chai latte
•Half a box of fruit leather from Target
Emotions: Unjustly hung-over. I truly do not deserve this two-beer hangover. I’m pretty angry about the vegan nuggets. They were super bland and expensive. Swedish Fish being vegan really helped, though.
After work, I went fucking crazy at the health food store near my house.
•Amy’s veggie bowl with black eyed peas
•Chips and hummus
•Vegan Thai noodle salad
•Pita with roasted garlic cloves and olives
•Coconut milk “ice-cream”
•Sweet potato fries
•Vegan, raw chocolate tart
Note-worthy details: This was the first day I didn’t feel deprived, but at what price? From Swedish Fish down was consumed while watching "Downton Abbey" (season two) with my mother. I cried so much. Fully PMS-ing at this juncture. My mom ate a lot of cheese in front of me. I smelled it a couple of times. Cheese vapors are not that satisfying. My mom also insulted my Pickletini. Rude, doesn’t she know that Pickeltini is famous now? Coconut milk is the only viable non-dairy ice-cream substitution.
It all starts to fall apart. My company holds an employee “appreciation lunch.” I am told there will be veggie sandwiches, so I plan to take the cheese off. There are only mealy tomatoes and a sprinkling of lettuce so I rage-eat the cheese and feel guilty.
The full list of ingested things:
•The rest of that vegan tart
•Fully vegan Chipotle burrito
•Coconut milk ice-cream
Some More Emotions: Guilt. Crampy. I officially start my period. That burrito was super satisfying. If I was an actual vegan, I would eat at Chipotle constantly.
My husband and I run a 5k. There are 1002 participants. He comes in 23rd; I come in 500th. They give out free pizza afterward. At least I get the cheese? Do you guys hate me? I kept it vegetarian! I improved my 5k time! I deserved it!
Full Saturday menu:
•Brownie bite (not vegan)
•Free pizza (not vegan)
•Roasted veggie plate and breakfast potatoes (not sure if this was vegan, but it seemed like the only possibly vegan thing on the menu at this particular establishment).
•Passion tea lemonade
•Hummus and pita
•The rest of that fruit leather
•Green salad with olives and vegan bits
•Salt and vinegar potato chips
•Vegetable minestrone soup
•ALL OF THE COCKTAILS
Things to know: I feel really bad about the pizza and brownie bite (I shoved that thing in my mouth so fast), but I was exhausted and famished from the race and gave no fucks at the time. Later that night, we went out dancing and I drank a bunch of whiskey and vodka. When I returned home at 5 AM on Sunday, I made an egg and cheese sandwich.
It was the best thing I had ever eaten.
There is still an unopened package of tofu in my fridge. Its fate is uncertain.
Thursday and Friday were the only days I felt sated. I found it pretty hard to keep full overall. Had I not been PMS-ing, I probably would have been better at this. Maybe not though.
I missed eggs and cheese the most. This leads me to believe that I could be mostly vegetarian and only eat meat on special occasions. I have been eating meat constantly since Sunday though, so perhaps that is another falsehood. I’m pretty sure I would need an iron supplement to pull this off.
I would like to thank olives, bread, hummus and alcohol. You guys are the real heroes here.
SO TELL ME: What did I do wrongest? Are you super disappointed in me? Are any of you vegan?
HOW DO YOU DO IT?