I'm a carnivore who ate vegan for a week, and it changed the way I think about my normal diet

zjuzjaka/ShutterstockAs a carnivore, I decided to eat vegan for a week — and I really liked it.
  • Vegan diets are a lifestyle choice that require careful researching and planning.
  • I signed up for a vegan meal delivery service to up my vegetable intake.
  • I’m a total carnivore, but I decided to eat vegan for a week – and I really liked it.

I’m what my travel doctor calls an “adventurous eater.” As a frequent globetrotter, my culinary habits make her nervous. I get it. In my world, very few foods are off-limits.

In an effort to spring clean my eating habits and step up my vegetable intake, I decided to orderHungryroot, a vegan meal delivery service. For $US69 per week, I’d get roughly six plant-based meals (two servings of each), such as lemon kale caesar salad, kale pesto sautéed greens, and creamy corn cauliflower risotto.

To be honest, I signed up because the dishes looked tasty and super easy to prepare. Nothing takes more than 15 minutes from start to finish. As a woman who lives alone, simplicity is key to healthy eating. If meal prep takes too long, I automatically default to take-out or going out to eat.


What I expected

Fedorovacz/ShutterstockI like meat and have never been able to wrap my mind around meat substitutes.

I’m an earth and animal lover and see all the compelling ethical and environmental reasons why one may consider a vegan diet. However, it’s never been enough to sway me to the non-meat side. I like meat and have never been able to wrap my mind around meat substitutes.

I thought for sure I’d break down at some point during the week and have a cheeseburger emergency. I was also convinced that I’d be in a constant state of hunger. There’s no way tofu and veggies could be filling, right?

I assumed I’d feel better health-wise, but wasn’t sure how that would manifest itself.

I tried to keep an open mind and be OK with whatever happened. And if I did have a bacon breakdown, I decided that I wouldn’t beat myself up. Baby steps!

Here’s how the great meat-free experiment went:


I slept better than ever

Leszek Glasner/ShutterstockI was able to fall asleep more easily.

Sleep isn’t always my friend (although the snooze button sure is). I was able to fall asleep more easily than usual and log eight solid hours of z’s every night.


I had more energy

misfire_studio/ShutterstockI noticed a definite uptick during my workouts this week.

I tend to have a lot of energy but noticed a definite uptick during my workouts this week. I felt like I got more out my classes and was able to go harder. There were even a few days where I worked out and went for a run. That’s borderline athletic!


My GI system improved

Studio C/ShutterstockThings were more normal this week than they have been in a very long time.

I’ve had a finicky stomach for years, and let’s just say things were more normal this week than they have been in a very long time. Never underestimate the power of regularity.


My skin was glowing

gpointstudio/ShutterstockMy friends could not stop commenting on how good my skin looked.

My friends could not stop commenting on how good my skin looked. I admit, it’s been pretty flawless since I started this experiment. I even managed to bypass my monthly hormonal breakout.


I lost three pounds

Africa Studio/ShutterstockI stuck to my normal exercise regimen and lost three pounds while eating vegan.

I stuck to my normal exercise regimen and lost three pounds while eating vegan. I’m not one to diet – if I lose weight, it happens – so this was an unexpected result.


I actually enjoyed eating vegan

SunCity/ShutterstockThe biggest surprise was that I enjoyed the dietary experiment.

The biggest surprise was that I enjoyed the dietary experiment. I didn’t crave meat, nor did I feel like my food choices were “limited.”

If anything, I was trying a variety of ingredients in new ways, and that appealed to the part of me that loves to cook. Who knew there are some pretty convincing versions of vegan cheese?


In the end …

KucherAV/ShutterstockPhysically, I feel amazing, and I plan to make more conscious food choices.

It’s unlikely that I’m going to adopt a total vegan lifestyle, although I’m now eating at least 50% plant-based meals.

Physically, I feel amazing. I’m making more conscious food choices. There were zero negatives to going vegan for a week. And looking at the bigger picture, scaling back on meat consumption can only do good things for our planet. It’s a win-win situation.

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