Let me begin this by stating how much I love meat. I mean, I really really love meat. If I could only choose one food group to eat for the rest of my life it would be meat. Any meal without a slab of beef, a rack of ribs or a smorgasbord of chicken parts just feels incomplete. With that being understood, I partook in my most difficult food challenge yet, which included conquering a kilo of schnitzel and mountain of fries and eating burgers the size of my body; I was to go a week not only as a vegetarian, but as a vegan!
If I was to conquer this monumental task (or at the very least survive), I had to plan accordingly. The weekend before “hell week,” I purchased a Magic Bullet blender and a boat load of fruits and vegetables. I thought I would have one last sacrificial bloody steak or juicy cheeseburger before starting my cleanse, but I erred on the side of caution and eased my way into the process by having an uneventful eating weekend, where a yogurt and a bit of chicken in my Pad Thai were my only non-vegan food items. I know… boring!!!
Anyway, let’s get to the main event. I won’t bore you with a step-by-step telling of my every meal. I’ll just mention a few suggestions and leave you with the highlights (or maybe more aptly put, lowlights).
What I did was begin every morning with a random juice (or whatever substance came out) blend of fruits and vegetables in an effort to introduce more raw foods to my diet. This was quick and easy thanks to the Magic Bullet (full disclosure this is not a sponsored post nor are we sponsored, but we’re all ears if you want to discuss business). Rather than follow any recipes, i just jammed in whatever fruits and vegetables I happened to have that day. Although there were three constants: almond milk, flaxseed and chia seed.
Speaking of almond milk, I completely converted. Meaning, I’ve given up my days of cow milk in favor of almond milk. Simply put, I just think it’s better, and better for you.
I even started googling some racy images of junk food. It wasn’t until that moment that I fully understood the term “food porn.”
Other than being a bit more hungry at times, the challenge was going smoothly until I hit the midweek hump. There I was in the office dreaming about cheeseburgers. I even started googling some racy images of junk food. It wasn’t until that moment that I fully understood the term “food porn.” I felt like I needed some alone time with my Instagram.
Fortunately, I didn’t give in to my lustful moments and remained faithful to my diet. Although I must confess, as I was eating my quinoa, beans and asparagus, I was desiring so much more. One dish I did quite enjoy during my quest was a sweet potato black bean hash, although I had to leave out the egg.
I had almost reached my goal, but my last day presented a daunting challenge – being vegan while traveling! I started the day like any other day, with a juice blend. I also forced as much down as I could because I knew vegan friendly options would be difficult during my flight from Amsterdam to Reykjavik. I also had some muesli and bread with hummus. Actually, I need to stop right now and give a huge shout out to hummus; you saved me time and again. Hummus…
I was able to survive the transit, albeit with a grumbling stomach. And of course, I celebrated my first day in Iceland in style with this bad boy – a cheeseburger with a pancake and pepper cheese sauce on top with a side of waffle fries.
P.S. I felt so sick afterwards, but it was so totally worth it!
P.P.S. If you’re looking for some good food and beer in Reykjavik, check out Islenski Barinn
P.P.P.S. Yes, I had to work in an image of a cheeseburger in a post about being vegan
Although I could never maintain a strict vegan diet, I was able to pick up and keep some healthier habits. I still start every day with a juicing and have managed to eat a more balanced diet, while cutting out a lot of junk.
I’m stricter during the week than the weekends, so I still lust after fried, salty, cheesy food, but now those tasty treats are even tastier now that I eat them less often, which only adds to the culinary experience. I’ve reduced my animal and animal bi-product consumption and still challenge myself to have vegan days. Overall, I feel healthier and happier with my new moderate eating habits and am glad I pushed myself to make some necessary improvements.