Can you easily eat healthy around Newark? I challenged myself to eat vegan for a week and the results were surprising.
In late April, I was sitting in my Intro to Vegetarianism class when our teacher tasked us to eat vegetarian for three days, in order to compare the eating habits to a controlled day of eating.
Vegetarian? I thought. Three days? Why not just be vegan for a whole week? How hard can it be?
Just for some background: I am a typical student who eats out on a regular basis and only cooks meals when his mom sends him leftovers from holiday dinners. I am not some health nut looking to jump on the next best beach diet.
However, forgetting about meat entirely is one thing. Forgetting about cheese and eggs too is a whole different story.
My options became super limited and I had to constantly think about where I was going to eat, and what I could eat.
I also had to constantly think about sticking with my goal and not letting temptation take hold (I was staring at my friend eating pizza and my brain started doing somersaults. I was about to go nuts).
Even before I went vegan, I was telling my friends about it and getting reactions the same as if I had three heads.
€œCan you survive?€
€œYoure gonna get sick.€
€œWhere are you gonna eat?€
€œHow are you gonna do it?€
My dad always told me to just stick with it. So, for all the questions, I had a straight answer:
€œIm just gonna do it.€
After buying some B12 vitamins, I was set to begin my challenge of eating vegan for a full week without a break. I soon found out being vegan is not harder than it looks.
I stocked up on pita bread, vegan sausage€”along with other vegan meat€”and salsa for breakfast meals. Ive had vegan sausage before and the difference is really minor. In fact, most, if not all, flavors of vegan meat only have a minor difference in taste.
What about eating out when youre vegan?
You dont have to drive all the way up north to Whole Foods just to get some decent vegan grub. Main Street does have options to choose from.
You have Banh Mi Boy, which is the first place I visited for my vegan challenge. I got a fried tofu sandwich that was native to Vietnam€”the eponymous Banh Mi. Actually, the sandwich was good€”really good. So I got another and headed out.
There. Already, I got my first vegan dinner and lunch for tomorrow.
The awareness I had for the void I felt missing meat and cheese seemed to die down. After the second day, I resorted to a successful plan of eating vegetarian sushi and making trips up to Whole Foods. A very simple, yet repetitive, food choice but it really worked out and it was way healthier than what I was already eating.
What people really need to get over when trying to eat healthy is the excuse and temptation that comes from going without our certain favorites, like chocolate cake and cheeseburgers. When you have a goal, you just have to go for it. Theres no real psychological hoo-hah to it.
A simple college boy like me easily survived a week of being vegan and Im actually continuing it!
People have a problem with saying €œI cant€ when it comes to exercise, eating right or even applying to a job. You shouldnt set an insurmountable wall in front of you, keeping you from doing something great just because its difficult.