We went Vegan for a week!

Sela Diab and Evin Nesburn

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In honor of National Vegan Month, we decided to go vegan for a school week. As ice cream fanatics who enjoy an occasional burger and frequent sushi trip, we knew this week was going to be challenging! 

We figured we could easily go a week without meat or fish, but the real challenge was being able to withhold dairy, especially because so many everyday food staples include some form of it. Thankfully, there were more alternatives than we could have imagined which made this week somewhat manageable, and encouraged us to continue some of the plant-based trends in the future!

We found it pretty easy to maintain veganism in such a large city such as Los Angeles. But, we would imagine it could be hard for people who live in areas with fewer vegan options or for families who do not regularly cook vegan meals. Still, going vegan for a week is good to try out to see what fits into your lifestyle and your family’s lifestyle so that you can adopt certain trends in the future.

Our favorite dishes from vegan-friendly restaurants include the Vegan Supreme pizza and cashew toast from Peddler’s Fork, practically any vegan option from Erewhon, Sunlife’s Hawaiian Bowl, the avocado toast and iced oat milk cinnamon latte from Juicy Ladies, and Bristol Farm’s wide range of vegan selections. Many restaurants now provide vegan options, so you don’t have to find exclusively vegan restaurants. There are so many amazing restaurants all over the city that will provide vegan alternatives or at least cater to your specific needs. Being vegan should not be a limiting factor in trying new cuisines!

We both made mistakes, and that is ok. Without thinking, Evin ate a honey nut rice cake with almond butter and berries, forgetting that, in fact, honey is not vegan. While this mistake was not as bad as eating meat, it was still substantial and made her pay closer attention to what she ate throughout the week! Sela accidentally ate Peddler’s Fork broccolini with feta cheese without realizing that the cheese is part of the dish. It is easy to forget that some of your favorite foods include aspects that are non-vegan, but in adopting new trends, one is bound to make a mistake and learn from it. For the rest of the week, though, we paid close attention to what we ate and did not make any other minor mistakes!

In the photo gallery above, we have provided some of our favorite vegan options in replacement of dairy or meat. These replacements helped us get through the week, and we continue to eat these foods every week. We are pleasantly surprised with what the market has to offer, which has made it easy to replace meat or dairy with other alternatives.

If you choose to take up a more plant-based lifestyle or even become vegan, it is crucial that you talk to your health practitioner on which supplements you should start taking. Many health practitioners think that Vitamin B12 is crucial to supplement, especially with a vegan lifestyle.