Give Me Back My Five Bucks

My 30 day vegan challenge

IMG_8184Back in September I embarked on a 30-day vegan challenge. I’ve been vegetarian since 2013, and always knew going vegan was something I wanted to attempt. It was an interesting month for sure, and I learned a lot about vegan alternatives for cooking at home, as well as which restaurants in the city were vegan-friendly. Oh, and the Oh She Glows cookbook became my best friend.

I made a few mistakes in the beginning because I’m so used to just making sure dishes didn’t have meat in it, and when traveling I just reverted back to being vegetarian. It was easier than trying to find vegan-friendly restaurants (although I did find a couple excellent ones in Toronto!), or packing food when traveling on business.

On the other hand, I was surprised at how many restaurants accommodated vegans, and got to try a few really great restaurants I had wanted to try for a long time. And I found it quite easy (after a few up-front expenses) to adapt to cooking vegan when at home. I thought it would be hardest to cut out eggs since I used to eat them a lot, but surprisingly it hasn’t been something I’ve craved.

Becoming vegan long-term is something I know I could do. But I’m not quite comfortable with being the person that everyone has to accommodate during social events. It’s especially hard at work events or lunch meetings that are held in restaurants that are not vegan-friendly. So my decision for right now is to stay vegetarian but really lower my dairy intake. I’ll be cooking vegan at home, and will just be vegetarian when going out and traveling. I think this is a good compromise because I don’t go to restaurants much anyway, and when I’m at home I can regulate my food a lot better. :)

Have you ever tried going vegan or vegetarian before?

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


Comments

  1. Cass says:

    I pretty much live Vegetarian at home. If I use meat to cook it’s only ever Ground Chicken and that’s mostly for my husband. When I go out to eat I find that’s when I’ll eat more meat since I don’t buy it.
    I also pretty much went Vegan when I followed the book You are What you Eat (Best $19 I ever spent, such a great book). But found it harder to maintain when out for the same reasons you mentioned.
    Interestingly enough the hardest thing I ever did was cutting Sugar completely – it’s in EVERYTHING!
    Good luck.

  2. melissa says:

    I was vegetarian for 12 years but have been eating meat/seafood for the past 10. This was for many reasons, but mainly health. I now study nutrition and while all the teachers I’ve had to date do not suggest a vegan diet, they promote a plant-based diet. This is pretty much what I do.

    I found long-term, being vegan didn’t sustain me, my activity-levels or my health issues. And while you may save some money, you will likely have to incorporate supplements like B12. You also have to be really vigilant about making sure you get appropriate and “absorbable” levels of iron and protein.

    In my practice I will support all my clients choices, whether they be religious, personal etc but it’s important people understand the implications of taking on a limited diet.

    If people are looking for cost-savings, there are alternatives for locally raised, pastured meats, dairy eggs and fish that are infinitely healthier and can be found at a better price if you buy in bulk or shares. Even consuming those once in awhile could make a huge difference in your nutrient/health profile.

    All the best!

  3. RJ says:

    I have been a vegetarian for 4 years now (well I still eat eggs, dairy and fish, so can we say FLEXITARIAN?) and I have never felt better in my life. I have decided as well that I eventually want to embark on a vegan journey as well, and the way I see it is that the HARDEST things to give up would be dairy. In terms of eggs, I only eat egg whites, I eat fish (on a monthly bases) about twice.

    I have committed myself to going vegan in 2016 (not exactly Jan. 1st because I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions) and I am excited about it. I am consistently educating myself and I am confident I can do it… BY THE WAY OH SHE GLOWS IS AN AMAZING BOOK =)

  4. Kayla says:

    I have been a vegetarian for 6 years! Once I got into the habit of it, it became second nature–I rarely find it a challenge anymore. I take an Omega 369 supplement and a vegetarian liquid iron supplement called Floradix too, which really gave me a boost vs. when I was not taking it.

    My favorite thing from Oh She Glows is the Big Vegan Bowl! I am trying to incorporate more vegan meals into my diet lately too. Awesome job Krystal, that is such a big transition to make!

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