I LOVE cheese. I put it on everything. I’m even quoted as saying, “Everything tastes better with parmesan.” So when I told my friends that I was going to try being vegan for 30 days, they laughed. Deep, guttural belly laughs, for a long time. But I’m standing here 30 days later, successful. I, a self-proclaimed cheese addict, went vegan for 30 days and lived. Here’s how I did it.
I ate a lot of quinoa. Why? It has all the amino acids you need. Plus you can mix it with anything and it tastes great.
During the first week or two of my endeavor, I began to CRAVE all things dairy and for some odd reason, Italian sausage. To stop the undying urge to shove my mouth full of queso, I hit the internet to figure out what substitutes were out there.
I was nervous, very nervous to try these things, but I found some that rocked.
These are INCREDIBLE. This company takes almond milk and makes cheeses in the same manner you would for all kinds of animal milks, and the results are fantastic. I made my roommates do a blind taste test between regular cream cheese and Kite Hill’s verison. Guess what won. Kite hill.
I tried a lot of different replacement shredded cheeses and these were the only ones that didn’t make me want to gag (don’t get Daiya. It’s gross). The cheese has a slightly earthy taste, but when mixed into pasta, a salad, or even my Chipotle one day, it was pretty good.
Sounds hippy. Because it is. This long standing fake butter champion of vegan diets is actually passable as the real deal. Spread it on some toast and you really can’t tell the difference. I didn’t try baking with it though, so I’m not quite sure how it measures up in that department.
Once you get passed the slightly weird texture and the fact that this “sausage” is made from tofu, this stuff is pretty good. I only got it once because I was craving the real deal, but it did the trick. I hear the chorizo version is good too, but that’s just a rumor.
Hummus, Nut butters, and Almonds
As if I needed another reason to consume copious amounts of chipotle hummus and almond butter. But most importantly, I needed protein. I took to carrying around little baggies filled with almonds and cashews for whenever I got hungry. I looked like a squirrel with a backpack overflowing with nuts, but it did the trick.
All Things Dessert
Dark Chocolate is the king of vegan dessert. If the cocoa is high enough, usually around 50%, most manufacturers don’t include milk. And if you’re looking for something even sweeter, try vegan cookie dough. The Slender Seven cookie dough is gluten, dairy, soy, and peanut free, low in sugar, and (of course) vegan. And, not to mention, pretty delicious. It’s made from chickpeas or black beans and it saved my sweet tooth. Also Oreos are vegan, so go for it.
After 30 days of saying no to all sorts of cheesy treats, I reverted back to my hardcore dairy-filled life style for a weekend. And it didn’t go that well. I shockingly missed being a vegan. I realized how much better I felt during my 30 days. My skin cleared up, I felt, for lack of a better word, “lighter”, and I didn’t have that awful feeling of regret when you eat too much cheese and are slightly lactose intolerant.
My friends, my family, and all who know my love of cheese might call me crazy. But my 30 days of veganism is actually going to continue. Goodbye Parmeasean, hello tofu.