- I tried to eat like Ariana Grande for a week. The singer has reportedly been vegan since 2013.
- Being vegan is said to lead to an increase in energy levels, but I felt more exhausted as the week continued.
- After a week of following a version of Grande’s diet, I felt pretty tired and was happy to go back to my regular eating routine.
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Ariana Grande will go down in history as one of the biggest singers of the 21st century. With her recently released “Sweetener” album and current world tour, it seems there’s nothing that can stop this pop queen.
The question is: How in the world does Grande have the energy to maintain her superstar status, post on Instagram, and perform on tour? The answer presumably lies in the singer’s impressive (albeit daunting) vegan diet.
Grande’s trainer, Harley Pasternak, described Grande’s diet as “macrobiotic Japanese” to Glamour magazine. And based on past Instagram posts, the pop queen is also a huge fan of blueberries. That said, Grande hasn’t spoken much about her diet in a few years, so it’s unclear if this is still how she eats.
So does Grande’s supposed Japanese vegan diet give her superwoman energy? I’ll find out as I dedicate an entire week to eating fancy Asian-inspired vegan food and way too many blueberries.
Day 1: I went grocery shopping at the ever popular Trader Joe’s – and forgot you should never go grocery shopping on an empty stomach
I’m a loyal Trader Joe’s shopper, and I have been since my mum moved across the street from one in high school. It’s honestly the best grocery store for people with dietary restrictions, especially vegans, as there are plenty of inexpensive, yummy options to choose from.
As Grande mostly follows a Japanese vegan diet, I loaded my cart up with a few different options, including vegan Japanese fried rice, vegan orange-chicken morsels, and vegetable spring rolls. I’ve also tossed in a ton of blueberries and miscellaneous veggies to help me get through the next seven days on a full stomach.
I’m in the middle of moving, which means I’m busy getting rid of all the things I forgot I had in my pantry.
Rather than make a smoothie for breakfast, I opt for a bowl of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, which, surprisingly, are vegan (assuming you don’t mind eating white sugar).
Though Grande might not eat a giant bowl of cereal in the morning, since the early-morning sugar consumption is not ideal, I am lazy and honestly needed to get rid of this product before consuming the acai packets I bought.
The day is almost over, and I’ve somehow completely forgotten to eat since most of my daytime hours were spent packing and avoiding the mountain of work I have to finish before Monday. I opt for some frozen blueberries and banana chips to hold me over until dinnertime.
Pro tip: Frozen blueberries make a great vegan ice-cream alternative and it’s cheaper (and healthier!) than a pint of sorbet.
My dinner consists of all five vegetable spring rolls that I impatiently wait to cook in my roommate’s toaster oven. For frozen vegan food, these babies are packed with tons of veggies and plenty of flavour, though I wish I had bought a vegan sauce to dip them in and was energetic enough to make white rice.
Day 2: I’ve vowed not to be lazy when it comes to cooking meals for myself – today I am dedicated to eating three full vegan meals
Unsurprisingly, Grande has great taste in breakfast food – the superstar is apparently a fan of oatmeal and smoothies.
While I have plenty of oatmeal in my kitchen, it’s a little too hot to break out the oats. Instead, I opt for an acai bowl topped with a sliced banana, strawberries, and blueberries. It’s delicious and satisfying. I also snack on a few banana chips because I’m really feeling the whole banana vibe right now.
I spend the morning apartment hunting and am too hungry to make it back home to eat the tofu-based morsels I have in my freezer. I quickly search for a place nearby on Yelp and make my way to Luchadores NYC, where I order a veggie burrito with no cheese.
The menu said the beans and rice were vegan but I double-check with the employees to make sure. Luckily, they are, and I enjoy the filling meal with a strawberry lemonade and homemade tortilla chips.
It’s been a long day and I have a ton of things to finish before night. I order a soy latte to get me through the remainder of the day. Grande is supposedly a fan of Starbucks’ venti vanilla-bean Frappuccino, no whip, but I can’t imagine having that much sugar right now. I get my latte without sugar and snack on more frozen blueberries.
I become so overwhelmed with sorting through my mountain of clothes that I forget to eat and I quickly warm up a few tortillas on the stove as a makeshift dinner.
I’ve failed at my attempt to eat three full vegan meals today but honestly, I’m not as tired as I expected to be after 12 hours of apartment hunting, cleaning, and packing. Maybe Grande’s onto something here.
Day 3: I start the day with a vegan smoothie, a banana, and some tortilla chips
Sunday mornings are normally my egg-and-cheese-sandwich days because I love myself. But today I make a vegan-approved acai smoothie sans fresh fruit. It’s not as filling and I have to eat a banana and some tortilla chips to fill me up before the day begins.
Though Grande prefers a Japanese-focused vegan diet, I decide to make a vegan Southwest quinoa bowl for meal-prepped lunches this week. It took quite a bit of time and energy to make them but they turned out really well. I have a small bowl for lunch to confirm it’s delicious.
My boyfriend found out I was eating like Grande this week and surprised me with a vegan chocolate doughnut from Doughnut Plant. Unfortunately for him, I respect the pop queen too much to take a photo of myself licking a doughnut. I’ll politely let that PR faux pas die.
The doughnut, however, is delicious.
Even though I have premade fried rice in my freezer right now, my friend persuades me to go out to eat. They choose a lovely Sichuan restaurant near my apartment, and the waiters are kind enough to make my fried-rice dish vegan. They also provide fresh tea and oranges to go with the meal. I’m honestly the happiest temporary vegan at dinner.
Day 4: I’m too busy to actually cook so I rely on takeout and food I already prepared
Mondays mean I wake up late and don’t have time to make an acai bowl before heading to work. I opt for a vegan Larabar to get me through a morning filled with meetings.
For lunch, I devour one of the Southwest quinoa bowls I prepped yesterday. Since it looks seriously messed up in my plastic container, please enjoy this Instagram-worthy photo I took of the meal yesterday.
Though it’s a day old, the avocado sauce still tastes fresh, and the meal is ultimately pretty filling.
I snack on banana chips and popcorn for the remainder of the workday and I finally get to enjoy my reward: a bowl of vegan ramen.
I’ve been craving ramen for a few weeks, so I thought there’s no better time to enjoy this $US15 bowl of perfection than while pretending to be Ariana Grande.
Day 5: I don’t have the energy to make a smoothie
Although Grande is a fan of coffee and breakfast smoothies, I’m just unable to dedicate my morning to that much effort. Instead, I grab the mint tea I’ve let steep in my fridge overnight, add ice, and make my way to the subway. I enjoy another Larabar while waiting.
At work, I devour a whole carton of fresh strawberries, snack on a bag of baby carrots, and fill up on the Southwest quinoa bowl for lunch.
I have a dinner meeting tonight and want to make sure I’m not stuffed beforehand so I refuse to snack the rest of the day. This is a lot harder than it sounds because I’m a dedicated snacker and rarely eat full meals.
Yes, I promise I’m an adult – I just have horrible eating habits. Sorry, Ariana.
It’s finally time for my dinner meeting, and I’ve never been so excited. We decide to meet at Eataly even though a lot of food there is not vegan-friendly. But if Grande, who has Italian roots, can make it work, so can I.
The whole table decides to join me in my vegan escapades – honestly, it was pretty generous of them, given the number of delicious, cheese-related options on the menu – and we order a ton of roasted vegetables and chickpea-filled salads.
It’s all delicious – and I’m a true believer that any cuisine can be made vegan and taste wonderful.
Day 6: I am starting to wonder how Grande does it
Grande’s schedule is pretty demanding so I’m not sure I have room to complain, but I have no idea how this woman does everything she does without downing gallons of caffeine-filled drinks.
This morning’s drink of choice is Peet’s almond-milk cold brew, which is premade, so I don’t have to worry about stopping in my local cafe before work. I pair the drink with a Nature Valley crunchy granola bar.
Unlike Grande, I’m an adult who doesn’t quite understand you need full meals to survive.
My quinoa bowl smells a little iffy when I warm it up today – and it makes sense, since it’s had several days in the fridge. I hate wasting food but I opt not to eat my lunch. I’m also too busy to go out and grab food so I get some carrots and a piece of baguette left over from a meeting.
Ariana, please don’t judge me.
It’s 7 p.m., and my stomach is growling to the point where I’m not certain I’ll be able to make it home to make the stir-fry I wanted to enjoy.
As I head home, I pass Two Boots pizza and make a last-minute decision to spend even more money on food by ordering a personal vegan pizza to take home. It’s worth every penny.
Day 7: I finally made a vegan stir-fy and it was amazing
Acai bowls aside, I down some green juice this morning to get the nutrients I’ve neglected to get over the past few days. I also finish off a bag of banana chips because it feels like the right thing to do.
I also finish off a bag of banana chips because it feels like the right thing to do.
It’s basically dinnertime when I decide I should probably eat more food, so I make the stir-fry that I should have eaten yesterday. I prepare fresh jasmine rice on the stove to eat with it and kind of feel like a professional chef.
When the food is finally finished cooking, I devour two full bowls of rice and veggies – I didn’t realise how hungry I was until I took the first bite. And not to toot my own horn, but it tasted pretty darn good. If there were a vegan cooking competition on TV, I’d probably win. Just saying.
As I finish my last bowl of stir-fry, I realise my seven-day vegan challenge is complete and I can finally take time to reflect on how eating like Ariana Grande definitely is harder than the worldwide star makes it seem.
Conclusion: It’s easy for me to see how the star stays in killer shape but I don’t know how she keeps her energy levels up
Going vegan is said to help you maintain higher energy levels sans caffeine, but this entire week I consumed more coffee than I normally would. I felt tired and more exhausted, too, but I could probably chalk this all up to my disdain for eating full meals and the stress of moving out of my apartment.
Whatever the case may be, it’s impressive that Grande has so much energy to expend on her career. Honestly, who else could pull off conquering the music world while fending off paparazzi and being a dedicated vegan? Bravo, Ms. Grande.
And remember – just because a certain diet routine works for a celebrity doesn’t mean it will work for you (or me!) so talk to your doctor before dramatically changing your diet.