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The Vegan Trial

Last week, after my food tour around Gainesville, I realized how easy it would be to try a

vegan diet (di·et1ˈdīət/noun 1.the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.)

In this town, many restaurants have great vegan options....not just salads, where I would have to bring my own dressing...haha.

I would never even attempt it with my parents or Mikey ...because it would be impossible, especially in Independence, Ky. The fact that I don't enjoy cooking/making/baking my own meals very often, would make it so I would just eat raw veggies and nuts! (We don't even have Trader Joe's near Independence, Ky. I love all their pre-packed vegan options.)

Working with a bunch of hippies at Mellow Mushroom throughout my college years had its effect on me. It showed me that people who were able to keep to a strict vegan diet, were awesome! For the simple fact that they have to know what is going into their body. Most vegans do it because of animal love and/or they are against animal cruelty. They have a true passion for the reason they eat the way they do! I have watched one or two of those Netflix documentaries about becoming vegan, I love Ellen, and my best friend Kate and her husband are vegan, all these reasons have inspired me.

But, really the only reason it really appeals to to see if I can do it. It's really only healthier, if you don't eat all processed foods. Tofu is completely processed and being vegan doesn't automatically eliminate processed foods from your life. Yes, you can still eat OREOS, drink BEER, have CHIPOTLE, and FRIES. Really it's not as restrictive as it seems. I think it can be incredibly healthy done the right way. I also believe a well balanced diet without processed food, but including meat- like the paleo diet, can be just as healthy. I believe it's all about what you feel is right for you. I love all food, but there is one thing that vegan and paleo diets completely agree with.... MILK IS DISGUSTING!

I have been following this vegan diet for over a week. I feel good, but actually not too much different. I am not craving meat, and I am not craving dairy! I had a great time exploring a way to include more veggies, and plant based food into my life!

Almost every day before work I ate a wrap with garlic hummus, on a high protein wrap, with avocado, carrots, lettuce, red/yellow/orange pepper slices, cilantro and hot sauce. It is soo good, that I will continue to eat this to add all these healthy things to my everyday diet. YUMM! Accompanied by a side of tabouli, found at Trader Joe's

Gainesville has a good amount of health food stores. I like Trader Joe's the best. I tried the So delicious coconut milk yogurt- this can be found at most stores these days- but I find the Trader Joe's brand dairy free/soy free yogurt option is much better! I could go on and on about all the food I had. Vegan diet allows dark chocolate, but I still crave milk chocolate, so I grabbed the milk chocolate bar made with rice milk. :) Glad to know this is out there, I would much rather eat this than Hershey's!

Chipotle was delicious without meat, I didn't even get the sofritas (tofu option) I just added beans, and all the veggie options they had. It was a great comfort food. A wonderful companion to the sad sad sad movie I bought to watch on my night off! Seriously, when I brought the movie back to start watching it, I realized it had been described as " The Beaches of 2015." I was crying like a baby while hugging my burrito.

Luckily, I stumbled upon a great Caribbean food place. Reggae Shack Cafe had so many vegan options, including vegan smoothies. The giant Guava smoothie was delicious.

I ordered the spicy tempeh (fermented soybean- better for you than the non-fremented soy options). This is pictured below, and I had left overs for another meal. Great deal!

I am now at the end of my vegan journey, because I will soon be hanging out with

my 7 year old nephew, and I am sure we will have Pizza at least once!

I will definitely continue to buy these vegan cookies found at Publix, because they are healthy and tasty.

I am happy that I have accomplished this vegan challenge. My next challenge- paleo?!! Maybe? But for now I will continue to add as many healthy well balanced dishes to my life as possible!

Thanks for reading! Below is a link to my youtube post from last week. You will find a link to 3 year old Julius and I making our REAL first vlog. He is super not so much. hahah.

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