Try It: Vegetarian for a Week

Grace Marshall, Staff Writer

Some of my favorite foods are steak, chicken, and pork, so I knew signing up for the “Vegetarian for a Week” article was going to be a challenge. Actually, that was exactly the reason I signed up for the article: it gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone. I think it is good, at least once in awhile, to challenge oneself. I had never been a vegetarian before, so I was not really sure what to expect. What would I eat? Would it be hard to find vegetarian food in the Campus Center? All these questions crossed my mind multiple times before and during the week. Luckily, I have a few friends who are vegetarian, so I knew that they would be there to help if needed.

The day before I was supposed to start, my mom came to me with a few concerns. She was worried that I would not be getting enough protein, because most of the protein that I do get comes from meat. Although I reassured her, I can not honestly say that I kept this promise. For breakfast, I usually have a granola bar, which is what I eat regardless of being “vegetarian” or not. On the other hand, I had to change a few things for lunch. While I did notice that the Campus Center offered daily vegetarian options, I chose to buy food from the snackbar instead. I am not a huge veggie person, which is funny because I still decided to go vegetarian. I think lunch is where I really struggled that week. There were not always options that I found appetizing, so I would resort to buying Nutella and Sun Chips from the snack bar. My dad usually cooks dinner in my house, and this past week he tweaked what he was making every night so I could eat it. I basically just had pasta, so I did kind of break my promise with my mom. I chose to take the unhealthy route most of the time, but somehow I still managed to be a vegetarian for one whole week.

I have come across random articles in the past couple of years about people discussing their vegetarian lifestyle. One common theme is how being a vegetarian “makes your body feel better.” In my experience, my body did not feel any different. Maybe I would have felt a change if I had stayed vegetarian for longer as  one week is too short to fully experience a whole different lifestyle. It could have also been because I did not always decide to eat vegetables in the place of meat; I chose to eat chips and pretzels. I found it difficult to immediately adjust my whole diet, which might be why I did not work as hard to find the healthy alternatives. If I were to do this week over again, though, I would try to eat more fruit and vegetables instead of junk food, because it would help me fully understand what it is actually like to be a vegetarian. Though it was not easy, I am proud to say I successfully completed the challenge of being a vegetarian for a week.