Vegan for a Week, Part One

Butternut squash, chickpeas and green beans, brown rice, and spinach

I am three days into a week of vegan eating. So far, so good.

Some things I’ve learned:

Animal products are everywhere

I was surprised to learn that many foods that I would have assumed are vegan contain trace amounts of animal products. While I am eating a cereal on a “vegan-approved” list (Special K Red Berries) that I already liked, I decided not to worry about trace amounts in my food this week. I figure if it’s good enough for PETA, it’s good enough for me. Long lists of ingredients in processed foods do disturb me, though. From bone char used for refining sugar to insects used for coloring, it’s complicated to be absolutely vegan.

Something fishy about Guinness

I was shocked to discover that Guinness (along with many other beers) is not vegan. Guinness especially shocked me since I had toured the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, which has exhibits based on its famed four ingredients: barley, hops, water, and yeast. There is no exhibit on isinglass, a substance from the bladder of a fish that is used “during the clarification process as a magnet to get rid of excess yeast.” Some vegan lists recommend German beers because Germany’s Beer Purity Law regulates what ingredients may be used.

Honey don’t

Honey is debated in the vegan community, although the majority of vegans seem to be against it since some bees are killed when it is harvested. Others point out that many more insects are killed in organic farming and many animals that may have died survive due to the pollination that domestic bees do.

What have I been eating?


  • Coffee with soy milk
  • Cereal with blueberries and soy milk
  • Vegetarian chili over brown rice
  • Cantaloupe
  • Hummus with toast
  • Spinach salad

Day 1 went well. I am used to occasionally having soy milk in coffee and cereal, bringing my lunch to school, and having a quick dinner on Mondays before going to a tennis clinic, so it didn’t feel that different. When my husband was standing in the kitchen, though, eating what he called “a big bowl of meat” while I ate salad, it did feel a little strange. That’s not his usual meal, but they were left over chicken wings from Super Bowl Sunday.


  • Coffee with soy milk
  • Cereal with banana and soy milk
  • Vegetarian chili over brown rice
  • Cantaloupe
  • Clementine
  • Roasted butternut squash
  • Chickpeas with green beans and tahini
  • Sautéed spinach
  • Brown rice

Day 2 was good. I really liked the variety of all the different flavors for dinner. I admit, the smell of frying burgers was tantalizing as my husband cooked dinner for himself and the kids. Even more alluring was the block of sharp cheddar he had out on the counter!


  • Coffee with soy milk
  • Cereal with blueberries and soy milk
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • Apple
  • Almonds
  • Veggie burger
  • Baked sweet potato with salsa
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Edamame

Update: Vegan for a Week, Part Two

This Facebook group has a lot of good articles and recipes.

(Thanks to Alicia for recommending this challenge.)

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.
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5 Responses to Vegan for a Week, Part One

  1. Alicia says:

    Wow, that plate of food looks great, so healthy! Good work Marcy!

  2. stalley0507 says:

    Great post! It was a difficult challenge but a great learning experience!

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  5. Jennifer says:

    I like the idea of this challenge, but it seems like a lot of work and research! I’m just to fond of convenience and meat. Good for you though!
    Jennifer recently posted..The year of "clarity"My Profile

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