Gone Vegan: Halfway There

Shannon Corcoran

For those who didn’t read my first article, here’s a quick brief: I’m spending the month of October as a vegan, trying not to eat any animal byproducts for 31 days: no milk, no cheese, no meat. Now I’m officially past the halfway mark, and needless to say, it’s been an adventure.

Day one was challenging, and my first obstacle was the café. Of course the soy milk machine wasn’t working that day, and almost everything else had dairy products in it. So I settled for dry cereal and took it back to my dorm to eat with the soy milk I had bought.

Lunch and dinner have been more frustrating. Most of the soups aren’t vegan, so I basically live off vegetarian chili and minestrone. And as much as I like pasta, it gets boring after a while. Somehow I’ve made it work, thanks to my kitchen in Hill and all of the random vegan foods such as vegetables that I’ve bought recently.

Sadly, cooking hasn’t been as fun as I thought. I expected to make fresh and healthy meals at least once a day, but that’s proven to be nearly impossible. By the end of week one, I discovered just how many ingredients are necessary for one meal, and my kitchen doesn’t have the capacity for them. So I got creative with the basics. Who knew store-bought veggie burgers with pesto and vegan cheese were amazing? The same goes for vegan chicken.

However, tofu, or should I say tof-EW, is another story. For all the vegetarians out there, I bet you feel my pain. Tofu is rough. Because vegans and vegetarians need alternative sources of protein than meat, tofu is a popular option. But it’s tasteless, so I loaded it up with spices and just winged it. I recommend finding another way to get protein, such as beans, soy milk and the vegan versions of bacon and chicken.

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t cheated. Recently I ate pancakes…and apple cider doughnuts. I couldn’t help myself. It’s prime apple season!

Now that I’m in the final two-week stretch, I hope to conquer vegan brownies. The past two weeks introduced me to a massive vegan community online. I visit FoodGawker.com daily, and I discovered how to make a replacement for eggs, such as apple sauce, as well as how to include beans in a variety of meals. Being a vegan has made me appreciate meat a lot more than I thought it would. Also, living a vegan lifestyle is a lot harder for college students.