Vegan Carnivore: Taking the 21-Day Vegan Challenge

Why would someone who self-identifies as a carnivore, with such a strong affinity for burgers, shakes, and an undying love for Shake Shack, even try to go vegan? Because though my taste buds may feel more instantly gratified by gooey, meaty, greasy goodness, my body will thank me later.

Veganism really makes sense. Fruits and vegetables are easier for our bodies to process, and according to recent news (Forks over Knives is a great watch) eating meat significantly increases the likelihood of developing cancer. Aside from that, I do feel the weight of every burger in which I indulge, while my vegan friends bounce around with seemingly unlimited energy. That's the kind of energy I want.

So for health reasons, not to mention being more sustainable and lighter on the environment, veganism is one of my long-term goals.  My friend and I decided to go on a 21-day vegan challenge. If it worked for Beyoncé, it should work for us too, right?

My vegan friends bounce around with seemingly unlimited energy. That’s the kind of energy I want.

I wasn't entirely ready when we started. I didn't have time to do the grocery shopping I had wanted the weekend before, so I wound up eating out a lot for the first week or so. Turns out that being vegan doesn't preclude you from eating junk. French fries were filling, as were spaghetti and Asian takeout. I knew I could do better. With more preparation the next week I started cooking more for myself, buying more produce, and finding healthy (if more expensive) vegan places to dine if I had to eat out.

It was tough having to resist when we were treated to a round of shakes at the office. A free Shake Shack shake, my favorite go-to life-giving force, and I couldn't partake. I also had to resist savory, succulent goodies at the Fourth of July (those I took home and froze for later).

By the end of the three weeks, I could sense a change. While the first week I had been famished nearly all the time, by the third week I actually had less of an appetite. My stomach had adjusted to eating less food, and I was full sooner. My skin was noticeably clearer, and while I didn't have unlimited bouncy energy, I didn't seem to drag as often as I used to. Overall, I was quite pleased. I went back to eat those fourth of July left overs almost immediately, but moving towards veganism, even if not fully, is still a long term goal. And now, having tested a diet discipline that I didn't know I had, I feel more encouraged than ever.

A video log of my journey can be found here (link)