The Sustainable Living Challenge #1: Going Vegan for a week ft. Happy Panda!

Hellooo all my lovely readers!

Today’s post has been a while in the making, and now I finally get to share it with all of you. A while ago, Happy Panda and I started discussing some really fun collaboration ideas seeing as we are both passionate about the welfare of the planet and sustainability. One of the ideas we had was to challenge each other to make a week-long lifestyle change and we settled on tackling what we eat. Today, we’re sharing feedback on how the challenge went. I’ll be sharing how Happy Panda managed the challenge I set for her, and she’ll be sharing my thoughts on how I managed her challenge. Right, here is our first challenge to each other – 

THE CHALLENGE 

We challenged each other to make some changes to our daily food habits. If you aren’t aware, the meat and dairy industries are some of the most polluting industries across the world. While I am already a vegetarian, Tia isn’t. So she challenged me to be vegan for a week and I challenged her to be vegetarian for a week. We were hoping our experiences would help us adapt slowly to these lifestyles and help others see that these lifestyles are not that difficult to follow even if only 3 days/week. 

Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

THE WEEK

Day 1: The first day is always the easiest. Other than my morning cold coffee which I prefer with dairy milk – which I missed thoroughly – the rest of the day was a breeze.

Day 2: Since my sister was visiting for a few days, I ordered her favourite desserts from her favourite bakery. While I ordered a vegan one too – I was seriously tempted by the non-vegan pastries. The one thing I find tough while being vegan is managing my dessert cravings. While it is easy to find tasty eggless desserts in my city, it is still a challenge to find mind-blowing vegan desserts. 

Day 3: I can’t stress enough how much I dislike non-dairy milk. The only one I find bearable is oat milk but even that isn’t that great. Most vegan milk companies know that the milk doesn’t taste good so offer sugared up versions which offset the bitter undertones. Anyhow, my morning vegan coffee was getting to me, so I moved to iced coffee (black) – which honestly was better than vegan cold coffee. 

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

Day 4: Dessert cravings got too much so I ordered vegan ice cream which was TERRIBLE. I am guessing it was the brand of ice cream I ordered but OMG, all the flavours were abysmal. It could also be that it was sugar free ice cream but overall vegan dessert search was failing at this point. But other than that I discovered this amazing vegan salad dressing that is now my FAVOURITE. I literally make salads with that dressing 3 times a week. 

Day 5: Probably, the best day of the week since I discovered that freezing vegan yogurt makes it taste like ice cream. There is this one particular mango vegan yogurt that I can die for. I ate 4 of these tiny cups of frozen yogurt for dessert and felt very happy. 

Day 6: FIIIINE, I CAVED! I just couldn’t live without cold coffee anymore. I caved and made myself a huge glass of cold coffee with dairy milk and chugged it. I literally chugged it. I have come to realize that I can live without dairy every thing else but dairy milk in my cold coffee is a NEED. ☹

Day 7: Had my iced black coffee and wondered why my day was going so bad already. Ha-ha! I wanted to have my favourite apple -feta salad but had to pass on it since I didn’t have a replacement for feta. Ended up having just plain apples. Overall I felt happy that I was able to find a few vegan replacements this week that would make being vegan easier. 

THINGS I FOUND DIFFICULT –

  1. Of course, giving up on my dairy cold coffee was my biggest challenge and one that made this attempt a sort of a failure. I have tried a lot of vegan milks – almond, oat, cashew, soy – none of them make my cold coffee as happy as dairy milk. 
  2. I have an insane sweet tooth and while I have discovered amazing vegan chocolate, I haven’t found other great vegan desserts in my city. Also, vegan chocolate is SO expensive. 
  3. Cheese replacements weren’t easily available and the ones that I did find were extremely expensive. 
Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

TIPS –

  1. Replace cheese and mayo in salad dressings with Tahini. Obviously tahini doesn’t taste as good but it gives it that creamy texture that fools me into believing there is cheese present in it.
  2. Freezing flavoured vegan yogurt is a perfect replacement for ice cream. (In India, I prefer Epigamia’s Mango Vegan Yogurt)
  3. Move from dairy coffee to black coffee – you cut down on all its calories and you develop a taste for it in a few days.
  4. There are a lot of chefs that share vegan recipes on IG, they share amazing and easy recipes that can be replicated by everyone. Some of them are – Max La Manna, Fitgreenmind (Maya)

Do I recommend the lifestyle – 

Going vegan can help our planet in the fight against climate change but it isn’t the easiest diet to follow especially since replacements are expensive. Also, if you aren’t taking supplements, it can be difficult to get some nutrients and of course, protein.  Like I say with all my sustainability posts – if 100% isn’t possible – do at least 25% cause even that will make a big difference. So if possible, go vegan on alternate days in a week – even that much of a change from all of us can make a huge difference.

Thank you so much Happy Panda for doing this challenge with me, sharing your experience and collaborating on this project. I had such fun doing it and hopefully we can do more like this in the future. By the way, if you don’t already follow her blog, I highly recommend you go check it out. Happy Panda is such an inspiration to me and she always has such fantastic posts that are great to read, really relatable and just make you feel happy so do remember to go give her blog some love! By the way, speaking of giving her blog some love, if you want to see how I managed being vegetarian for a week, you can read about it on her blog here so be sure to check it out!

Did you enjoy reading about how we managed this challenge? Have any of you ever tried a challenge like this before? Would you attempt this challenge? Does anyone want to see us do more sustainability challenges? Also, does anyone have any fun suggestions for vegetarian meals? Let’s chat in the comments section! 

Lots of love

Blondey on a Mission xxx 

Author: blondeyonamission

Hey everyone! I'm a lifestyle and travel blogger from South Africa and about to relocate to the UK for university. My blog is all about stories, tips and advice with topics ranging from university, organisation, friends, books, travel and more. Please check it out and I hope you enjoy xxx

38 thoughts

  1. Well done girls,
    Tia, I can only suggest salads and more salads, if no meat eating add cheese to same as well as nuts. The Pasta with sauces, like mushroom, broccoli, tomato etc, sorry not much help but sure lots of recepies on the internet.
    xxx

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I’m a vegan myself and I’m so happy you tried going vegan for a week! I went from pescatarian to vegetarian to vegan, so I know how challenging it can be to transition. You just have to keep pushing and understand that your taste buds change over time. However, I understand that not everyone is going to be vegan & I’m just happy that people are taking steps to live more sustainable lifestyles😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh wow that is very admirable. I completely agree taste buds do change over time. While I probably won’t transition to being vegan or permanent vegetarian it is definitely a great way to be more sustainable if one does it often. Thanks for reading!☺️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, of course. But I think that if we start not to consume too much and waste do much food, vegan would not be a solution anymore

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m vegetarian. I tried vegan for a while, but it didn’t work for me. It warms my heart to see people making an effort to be as green as possible. My country is on fire and it’s super depressing

    Liked by 4 people

      1. For sure, although ultimately, decisions have to come from higher authorities. Thank you. People have been protesting in Canada to get their MPs to sign a climate pact at least

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Good try at going vegan. I’m vegetarian but I do lot of vegan. One day, I may be there, but one thing I tell folks is not to look for substitutes. Look for something new. I went vegetarian long before all these fake meats showed up. I still don’t care for them because I have bean burgers that I LOVE.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Probably not 😂 but it is now! 🥕

        Ahaha! Your friend is definitely on the right lines! Cheese should be everyone’s primary food group 😂😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I read your experience over on Moksha’s blog and found it super interesting so I wanted to hear her experience too with veganism! It was really interestong! For sure going vegan is a big challenge and it is hard to find good replacements sometimes… For ice cream, a friend of mine made me try vegan Ben&Jerry ice cream and it is delicious! For salads, I have also tried nutritional yeast and it is amazing!! I always put it in my salads now! In the end though, I agree that a little is always better than nothing, and it is also important to eat everything your body needs to function properly! Congrats to both of you for passing this challenge 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hey! Thanks so much for taking the time to read both our experiences it’s much appreciated!! Ooh I didn’t know Ben&Jerry did vegan ice cream I might try that… thanks so much for reading 😊💗

      Like

  6. Moksha! How brave of you to admit you caved! I admire that! Trading in a lifestyle is very difficult and you ladies did an amazing job at this challenge. I honestly don’t think I would fair quite as well if in your positions (currently I am trying to not consume as much bread lol it’s not working). 🤣

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much for reading and for your kind words! Well any challenge is always a good start! If I can share any advice, I think making challenges short makes them easier to complete so I sometimes say no bread/carbs for one week, which is much easier than just doing it generally or for a month. That way you have more chance of managing and it helps you slowly adapt into a lifestyle change because you do start getting used to it through the week. Hope this helps ☺️😇😁

      Liked by 2 people

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