California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

Pushing through temptations as a new vegan

Illustration by Dina Arakcheyeva/The Pioneer

Illustration by Dina Arakcheyeva/The Pioneer

Celeste Marie O’Connell,
Contributor

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A newly converted vegan experiences temptations that distract from required daily tasks.

Three weeks ago, I became a vegan and it feels great.

My successful transformation is owed in part to with familiarizing myself with veganism and exploring the various food options. I did not expect to be drawn to plant based products so easily, but the more accustomed I became to different types of vegan dishes, the easier it is to avoid non-vegan temptations.

Portion control has also been a huge help in this transition. This trains my body not to consume more than it should.

Changes to my diet resulted in a more active lifestyle and energetic feeling. With the help of being strong minded and sticking to the main reason of converting this process hasn’t been easier. Having a routine is what makes this process very easy.

My lifestyle as a vegan is rewarding but complex. On Sundays after work, I go to the market and buy all the products that I will need to prepare for the following week’s meal prep.

Meal prepping disciplines your body to eat what you have prepared for the week without wanting to eat out.

For this weeks shopping list, some of the items include of oatmeal, almond milk, powdered peanut butter, plant-based protein, arugula leaves, kale, spinach, blueberries, green tea, pineapple, watermelon, lemons, asparagus, chickpeas, zucchini, squash, quinoa, tofu, olive oil and Ziplock bags.

All these items will cost you about fifty dollars but it allows you to prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the whole week.

In the kitchen, I begin with measuring a 1⁄2 cup of oatmeal in a ziplock bag seven times for the week. With that, I put 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, a scoop of powdered peanut butter, and half a scoop of plant-based protein with a hint of salt in every bag.

This method helps to pre-measure my breakfast so it can be ready to eat after I leave the gym. Then when I’m ready to eat I’ll cook it over the stove with 1⁄2 a cup of almond milk and some water.

For lunch, I’ll be preparing a salad for the week. This consist of arugula leaves, kale, blueberries, spinach, chickpeas and lemon. This allows you to get your protein in while disciplining your body to eat the right at the same time. If wanting to snack in between meals you can snack on the pineapple and watermelon that was purchased.

Finally, for dinner, I’ll be preparing a zucchini pasta that incorporates many other vegetables. Make sure before preparing that you clean all vegetables.

After, you start with peeling eat zucchinis until you reach the seeds. Once that is done you cook all zucchini in a frying pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and a hint of salt and pepper, let it cook for a minute then add a cup of water and allow zucchini to soak until cooked.

In another pan, you begin to cook the asparagus with light oil and seasoning. When that begins to cook you can begin to add the squash, quinoa and tofu which will end up being your final product.

Lastly portioning it evenly into seven dishes is your ultimate goal along with the zucchini pasta. Throughout the day making sure you consume a gallon of water a day is important.

At 5:30 a.m., I head to the gym for two hours where I weight lift, run, squat, attend yoga classes and work on abs.

This helps me become more productive which ensures me of enjoyment of working out versus not enjoying my work out. After the gym, I head home and eat my breakfast that I have prepared for the week.

Along with my oatmeal, I consume a protein shake after every workout until it’s time to eat lunch in about three to four hours. Then I’ll consume the salad I’ve made for lunch.

When it’s dinner time there’s not much you have to worry about because your dinner is already made.

Disciplining yourself and having a strong mind is what allows your body not to give up.

I encourage anyone who hasn’t tried it to give it a try because it’s not as hard as people make it seem; it’s more about motivation and discipline.

With a few weeks in, I wouldn’t change this process for anything because the results that have occurred to my body and mentality motivate me to continue with the road to a healthier lifestyle.

I don’t ever see myself heading back to my unhealthy eating habits and my old ways anytime soon.

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Pushing through temptations as a new vegan