I am a meat, egg and cheese lover from Texas. I don’t eat a ton of carbs. I’ve decided to do a vegan diet for 30 days with no research (which isn’t the smartest I know)
August 30: After eating a last meal of oysters yesterday I feel ready to do this. I hit the salad bar at lunch. Then went to meet an old high school friend for drinks, Steffi Silberstein, at Flo & Santos. I had one beer and a great time. Then it was onto Chicago Diner for the first time. I had one of their Vegan “milkshakes” with my friend, Ellen. It literally was one of the best milkshakes I’d ever had (vegan or not).
August 31: I went to meet up with Lisa and Andy to talk about a photography project. Lisa made hummus and Andy made vegan bread. Again, some of the best bread I’ve ever tasted, vegan or not. And I drake lots of wine. I then had a last minute date with Drew at Handlebar. The fried avocado tacos were amazing. Annnnnd I drank a few beers.
September 1: I threw up in the morning. No clue as to why. Later on I had a martini lunch with Heather at The Kitchen and they magically had a vegan soup that was delicious. I had a dinner Bumble date with Chris at the Franklin Room where I watched him eat a dozen $1 oysters while I had the brussel sprouts. Sigh. I drank a whiskey flight (the International one is my fave) and then it was off to Clark Street Ale House for beers.
September 2: I threw up in the morning although there wasn’t much to throw up. I can’t remember the last time I felt this bad. The whole “winging” it thing isn’t working for me. So I went to Whole Foods and got some protein shake mix, avocados, supplements, almond milk, and peanut butter. Dropped $85 😦 Almost immediately after drinking a shake and taking the pills I felt better. I then met up with Heather and friends for the Saved By the Max dinner. All I could eat on the menu was fruit, salad and fries. The fries were tasty though. Plus I had a couple of beers. After that, I met up with with my friend Matt at Clark Street Ale House for a couple of beers and then we went to see our friend, Megan’s, improv show at Second City where I had a few more beers and more fries.
September 3: Threw up in the AM… again. Feel terrible… again. But I took my supplements, grabbed a vegan snack bar and went to the lake with Niki and all my old Leo Burnett buddies. Ate a ton of pita chips and hummus and drank 4 beers. Five hours later I walked to my friend, Eric’s, neighbor’s party where I ate veggies with no dip and drank a six pack. I then walked to Bar on Buena and ran into my friend Katie there. So I had another beer and a veggie burger. And then… for whatever reason I reached over and ate some of Katie’s nachos. Craaaap. Cheat #1.
September 4: Threw up again in the AM. BTW I NEVER throw up. NEVER. Then, I went to brunch at Northpond with Theo, Heather and Sara. I’d never been there before but they prepared a 3-course vegan version of the menu for me. It’s was fantastic! And I had a couple of bloodies. The girls and I then went on to day drink and shop for about four hours. I drank a few cocktails and had a couple of beers and MORE fries at Little Bad Wolf and Pork Shoppe. I started feeling crappy, so I went home and…. yep…. threw up again. I was in bed by 8:30 PM feeling miserable.
September 5: It’s Labor Day. I’m laying on my couch at 10:30 AM feeling cold and shaky. I think on about it for an hour, throw up three times, and then I decide to call it. My vegan experiment is over. I get on Grubhub and order a cheese pizza. It shows up and after I eat it, I feel SOOOOO much better. I then meet Erin, Kinsey, Tony, some girls, and a Bumble date at Kerryman. I probably drank 3 beers and ate a few chicken wings. Still feeling OK. A couple of us went to Tony’s place for a beer on the roof. Suddenly, I’m exhausted and need to go home. BUT I don’t throw up.
September 6: First morning I hadn’t thrown up days. I eat a cheese and egg breakfast sandwich and am thinking about oysters for dinner. My stomach feels almost back to normal. This experiment is a bust and I only have myself to blame for it. I was totally and completely in over my head.
Well, I fell pretty shy of my 30-day goal. But I don’t blame my failure on a vegan diet. I blame it on myself in the sense I was sooooo ill prepared. I really thought, “How hard can this be?” and then proceeded to make it three times as hard by not researching, preparing cooking, etc. I also blame it on the alcohol. I think I drink a lot for a plant-based diet to absorb and that has nothing to do with the vegan diet itself.
So what have a learned? Well, even though I didn’t make it as one, I have a whole new respect for vegans. You have to really understand how the body works and be willing to put in some time and effort to lead that lifestyle. And I also learned, that if I ever want to try it again, I need to be smarter about it. But for now, I’m back to burgers and I’m OK with that.
A big thanks to all who gave me such great advice! I tried folks. I didn’t do it right, but I did try.