Carrie Underwood has remained the queen of country music for well over 10 years. So you can't blame me for wanting to get a taste of her way of life. It's clear on her social media that Carrie values her health and promotes a well-balanced lifestyle. She often inspires others to adopt her way of living as well. For that reason, it seemed like a fun idea for me to attempt to imitate her wellness choices in the hopes of living a better life.

My initial research revealed that Carrie describes herself as a "Practical Vegan" and, lucky for me, I was already a vegetarian. I also found three articles that detailed Carrie's vegan diet in 2012 and 2016. By mixing and matching food from each, I came up with an epic meal guide for the week.

Day 1 

milk, sweet, oatmeal, rice, porridge
Jocelyn Hsu

Starting the day off with an early morning trip to the grocery store put me in a great mood. I bought 10x the amount of vegetables I usually buy in the name of wellness. At least, that's what I told myself as I numbly placed bags of vegetable medley on the conveyor belt.

Luckily, my oatmeal breakfast also included Green Giant Cauliflower Veggie Tots and my whole world changed for the better. I seriously considered only eating the veggie tots for the rest of the week because they were so wonderful. Sadly, I didn't think Carrie would approve of the lack of protein in my diet.

Lunch involved me eating veggie burgers paired with more vegetables. I didn't hate it but, I definitely didn't love it. Throughout the day, I had dry roasted almonds (my favorite) and low-ingredient protein bars. Carrie prefers the Raw Revolution brand but Larabars were easier to get my hands on. All in all, the day was painless and it gave me high hopes for the veggie tots to come.

Day 2

The promise of a Maui Mango Smoothie from Freshens made getting up for my 8 am class a little easier. I wasn't surprised to wake up feeling energized because I had eaten a fairly balanced diet on Day 1. Today, I ended up scheduling work and classes too close together, failing to allot myself enough time to purchase lunch and be on time. Eating several handfuls of almonds and a Larabar for lunch nearly broke me.

The minute I got home I ran to the kitchen, ready to demolish anything that was processed/pre-made. But it was only Day 2 and I wouldn't let myself quit so easily. So instead, I rushed to cook brown rice, vegan steak strips, and vegetables to make a sort of stir-fry. It didn't compare to the deep-dish cheese pizza I was craving; however, it was good enough that I ended another day with a win.

Day 3

Awake before the sun, I tip-toed through the kitchen (afraid of waking my roommates) to cook the veggie tots I had dreamt about. Three back-to-back classes were somewhat bearable due to the epic breakfast I ate and my overall cheery mood. Eating vegan was doing wonders for me physically and mentally. I was never too hungry and seldom felt bloated.

Lunch, on the other hand, was disappointing to say the least. I chose to visit the dining hall, where the only vegan option was a tofu soup that tasted like what I assume dirty dishwater tastes like. I blame this terrible meal for my sins that occurred later that night. At work, a guest gifted the staff free pizza and I forgot to ask myself "WWCD?" (What Would Carrie Do?).

Ultimately, I decided not to let one evening deter me from completing the week. With one loss, I went to bed ready to get back on track the next day.

Day 4

pastry, toast, wheat, cereal, sweet, bread
Logan DeBerry

I woke up regretting my dairy indulgence almost immediately. Feeling sluggish, I made the only breakfast that could truly heal me. You guessed it, veggie tots. Two cups of coffee were necessary to get moving and on the bus to get to class. Thankfully, vegan cheese and bean quesadillas were up next, per Carrie's recommendation.

This recipe was my favorite lunch/dinner idea I'd tried so far. The quesadillas required a combination of white beans and chickpeas to make a paste plus GO Veggie mozzarella cheese. The vegan cheese didn't leave me with any of the side effects that dairy often gives me. I ended up deciding to get a second job to pay for my new found love of these quesadillas (JK, I don't have time). 

Day 5

chicken, rice
Logan DeBerry

Finally having the opportunity to sleep in, I grabbed a smoothie around 10 am. I was scheduled to work in the afternoon, so I prepped a protein/veggie combo beforehand. I cooked rice, vegetables, and tofu with coconut oil and garlic powder. One of the biggest lessons I learned this week was that meal prep is the way to go if you're trying to eat healthy. 

Later that evening, I had serious sugar cravings. What goes well with vegetables and protein? Well, I tried to convince myself the answer was a chocolate milkshake. My actual solution was a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Larabar that tastes sweet and is only made of simple ingredients. I have a feeling Carrie would have been proud.

Day 6

At this point, Carrie Underwood's diet felt like my own. I was eager to wake up and fuel my body with food that I knew was great for me. Breakfast was a tofu scramble, and lunch gave me a reason to try and perfect my quesadillas. The repetition of some of the foods didn't bother me because I genuinely loved their taste.

For dinner, I made plans with my best friend to grab dinner at the dining hall. Lucky for me, a stir-fry station with tofu was on the menu. It's comforting to know vegan/vegetarian options are usually available if I'm creative. Afterwards, we went to CVS to buy vegan dark chocolate (and hair dye, oops) and had a girls night.

It soon became quite clear to me that I could happily keep this Carrie Underwood diet up for a very long time. 

Day 7

On my final day of eating like Carrie Underwood, I woke up at 11 am and grabbed a bowl of oatmeal without thinking. The challenge was truly becoming a no-brainer. I spent the rest of the morning (afternoon?) finishing up homework and munching on almonds mindlessly. Later, I created a vegan steak, brown rice, and vegetable combination that put all my previous attempts at a stir-fry to shame.

I fell asleep on the final night knowing I had actually done it. I didn't quit the challenge, but instead, I totally crushed it (minus that night I got pizza).


Prior to the week, I was nervous I wasn't going to follow through with the entire seven days. However, I am so glad I stuck to eating Carrie Underwood's diet and I would do it again in a heart beat. Each morning I woke up feeling more terrific than the last. If you have never tried a vegan diet before, I promise your body will thank you.

Being a "practical vegan" has its perks and I'm not sure I want to stop anytime soon. Having the ability to make mistakes and forgive myself is so crucial to living a healthy life. It's no surprise Carrie Underwood looks incredible and I have her to thank for my current state of joy.