Day 1

Today is my first of 30 days attempting an entirely vegan lifestyle. Like an alcoholic going sober, I binged yesterday. The Corsair had a Subway party in the newsroom and I grabbed the most un-vegan sandwich off the party platter: pepperoni and salami. I didn't see the off-limits mayo packets until after I had downed the sandwich; I felt like I'd missed my chance to say goodbye. I knew, however, what the rest of the day had in store for me, first an appointment with Dr. D, giving me the go-ahead to go vegan, followed by a rendezvous with a Chipotle burrito. After a successful doctor's visit, I purchased, unwrapped and conquered a football-sized bundle of Mexican goodness. My quesadilla burrito included melted cheese inside the tortilla before filling it up with cilantro lime rice, black beans, chicken, salsa, lettuce, sour cream, more cheese and guacamole. I swear it was the size of an infant. And I ate it all.

I woke up this morning with Chipotle hangover. I was still full from the night before, so I skipped breakfast. I gave John a ride to school and told him my plans for the evening. "Chris is coming over and he's going to help me with my Chapman application. I told him I'd make him a pot roast."

John interjected, "Are you going to handle the meat? That's not really vegan."

"Damn," I thought. "He's right." This experiment will require more than simply eating vegan, I've got to start thinking vegan, too.

Chris is a picky eater, how could I cater to his needs while staying vegan? I settled on ordering him a pizza. Not vegan exactly... but I'm not eating it or cooking it... So why do I feel guilty about it? I wonder if all vegans struggle with these feelings of guilt, and I haven't even been vegan for a whole day yet!

I made a Trader Joe's run and spent $101 revamping my kitchen, so to speak. I brushed up on my reading skills by reading ingredient list after ingredient list. Trying to be as legit as possible, I turned down anything containing honey as well (if you think about it, honey is an animal product).

A valuable lesson I learned today: vegan does NOT mean low calorie. I ended up with a full cart; I grabbed veggies, more bread than I'm used to buying, some frozen grub and of course, those horribly amazing vegan chocolate chip cookies (140 calories per, yeesh! And who can eat just one?). Trader Joe's did have a good selection of milk alternatives, but no margarine or egg substitutes. I grabbed "buttery spread" and some almond milk, as I've tried soy milk before and am not particularly fond of it.

Upon opening my refrigerator to unload groceries, I had my first real brush with temptation. My mother, too, had been to the market, and she'd decided to stop by and leave me a gift. On the center shelf, staring up at me was thick slab of carrot cake. It was moist, with little bits of carrot and raisin sticking out of the sides, slathered in gooey cream cheese frosting, and adorned with a carrot made of carrot and green frosting. For the love of everything holy.

I grabbed the devil cake, along with a carton of eggs, and quickly made the trek to my mothers house. Once inside, I threw the temptations into her fridge, called out to her "Thanks for the cake, but I'm vegan!" and ran out of the house as quickly as possible for fear that I might change my mind.

For dinner tonight, John and I made some yummy tofu stir-fry. It was a hearty meal, and I didn't miss the meat. I also noshed a bit, had a cookie (or four) and a piece of chocolate. Several people have given me words of wisdom, mostly, "This is your first week? It's going to be the hardest week for your life," and, "Prepare for your detox." But you know what? I'm feeling pretty good.