The Vegan Challenge: Days One and Two

So I said that one of my goals for this month was to eat vegan for a week, and in the spirit of getting things done this month I thought I would start this week. So here we go, days one and two…

Day One

Breakfast was muesli and soya milk plus a vitamin tablet. Whilst I try to have a vitamin tablet everyday anyway I figured it would be particularly important whilst I’m playing around and restricting my diet. And here is where I encountered my first problem- muesli isn’t vegan. The one I buy has whey protein in it which is derived from cows milk. However I only brought this pack of cereal last week so I would feel very frivolous buying a replacement hence- it stays I’m afraid.

Lunch was some spicy lentil soup and a pitta bread with a handful of cherries and a couple of satsumas. I snacked on cashew nuts whilst a work and all in all was feeling quite pleased with myself until I got home, read the soup packet and realised that it wasn’t vegan either!

For dinner I made southern fried quorn style burgers in a pitta with tomato, cucumber, salad and reggae reggae relish with a side of peas. This was a) very scrummy b) I think it’s possible that I believe every meal is better with peas and c) yet again not vegan. Quorn isn’t vegan, much to my surprise, which at the end of my first day left me realising how difficult this would be. I thought I had been really good in my food choices but to eat a truly vegan diet you have to cut out much more than the obvious meat, fish, milk, cheese and yogurt, it would seem that most things are off the menu. Day two was going to require a lot more planning methinks!

Day Two

So breakfast was a repeat of yesterday since this is pretty much my staple breakfast regardless. I’m using un-sweetened soya milk at the moment and I’m surprised how much I’ve liked it. I can chug back a carton of the vanilla flavoured soya in a day it’s so delicious but I’ve always been a bit suspicious of the un-sweetened version. Possibly because my Mum hates soya milk and gave me a lasting suspicion of it as a child! Despite the fact my cereal isn’t completely vegan I’ve made the switch to soya milk and some change is better than no change!

For lunch I made myself a large couscous salad with tomato, cucumber and carrot . This was delicious mostly because I’ve discovered that if you make couscous with vegetable stock rather than just water it makes it taste 10 times better. No seriously you should give it a try! And this was a 100% vegan so score one for me! Though out the day I snacked on my vegan banana bread, which I rave about on here regularly and some dried fruit as well.

For dinner I made this lentil and spinach soup which I know is 100% vegan because I made it from scratch! Whilst this doesn’t look particularly nice it tasted pretty good and was fully of nutrients from the spinach.

I think I’m going to christen this week ‘vegan light’. I will try my best to eat as vegan as I possibly can but I’ve been surprised how difficult this really is. Hopefully later in the month I will learn from this and be able to try a week eating completely vegan.

Have you ever tried changing your diets my friends? How successful were you?

Lindy xxx



Filed under 3 in 30, banana bread, cooking, Life, Soup, Vegan diet

153 responses to “The Vegan Challenge: Days One and Two

  1. I was going to try to be vegan for a week too! The quorn in a pita and the cous cous all look great. But the rest of it…well its making me rethink some things. Great post! 🙂

  2. Hey there Lindy,

    So glad you tried the vegan diet. It does seem difficult at first but only until you learn what is vegan and what isn’t. Then you don’t even have to think twice when purchasing food. Being vegan myself, I’ve made it a habit to read labels, which we should be doing anyway, so I rarely encounter purchasing a non-vegan product. I also recommend getting into other milks such as almond (my favorite) or rice. And try seitan (awesome beef substitute), tempeh and tofu. There are also a bunch of AMAZING vegan products out there such as Vegenaise (tastes like Hellman’s to me), Earth Balance (tastes like regular butter) and Daiya (tastes like cheese!)

    Best of luck to you and if you have any questions, you’re more than welcome to ask me! =)

    • Couldn’t agree more! I’ve been vegan for just over a year now and I’ve found the best way to know if something’s vegan is, like you found, making it yourself. I’ve really improved my culinary skills and gained a new hobby 🙂

      • And I agree with you! =) I too have definitely gotten into cooking a lot more since going vegan. I find it to not only be therapeutic but rewarding as well. Hence why I started my own blog at

        Congrats on being vegan for over a year! I’ve found that with time it gets better and better. What’s not to love?

  3. I’ve been considering becoming vegan for a while and seeing how yummy your food looks so far makes me want to finally give it a real try!

  4. I’ve been thinking about trying a vegan diet for a while. I’m still on the fence about it. But I’ve tried juice fasts, and low carb diets. Low carb diet is probably the best way to slim down. Juice fasts = torture, never again lol

  5. I have also just made the switch to a vegan diet, I’ve never been a vegetarian or a vegan but have made the change for some in order to get healthy and get my weight on track! I’m only on my 3rd day but I’ve kept it all Vegan so far! I list my meals in my blog too so you can see what I’ve had so far if you need a little help coming up with stuff.

    • Hiya! Glad you and many others are trying a vegan lifestyle. It’s wonderful and I find the excess weight just falls off when combined with a bit of light exercise like yoga. There are many new vegan foods on the market, I tasted Alpro soya cream the other day with some strawberries and it’s delicious! Mostly I stick to basic recipes of veg, grains and beans or nuts combined with spices to make them exciting! Indian, Chinese, Thai can all be made vegan so the world is open! I found getting a good recipe book at the start helped me to try new things. There are many out there my favourite is one called Simply Vegan. Best wishes to you and all the others on here especially ticklepea for her blog! Kind Blessings Crystal Stara

  6. mzuritam

    Hi, Lindy, for health reasons we’re going completely raw vegetables, fruit, nuts and cooked beans for a couple of months and I’m telling you! It’s like going through detox…no meat, no dairy and no grains. We keep stuffing ourselves full of the “good stuff” so we’re not so hungry that we give in to any sudden cravings for the “bad stuff”, at least until our time’s up. We intend to keep on this diet later, adding an occasional fish or turkey, for variety (we get bored easily).. Hope your plans go well! I loved reading your thoughts.

  7. Wow…kudos to you for eating vegan for a week! I don’t think I could even last for 4 hours. I might be okay with the couscous salad…as long as it was paired with a rare steak… 😉

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  8. Doing it for a week sounds doable…more than that and you just might lose too much weight and look sick! I don’t think I’ve ever laid eyes on a vegan who looks healthy.

    • Then you ain’t seen me. Ha! The reason that lots of vegans look unhealthy is because, like a lot of the posts and responses here, they simply try and do a vegan version of their regular diet. Vegan cheese, vegan mayo, vegan meat substitutes etc are all nutritionally dubious to say the least. To be a healthy vegan will be more costly and time-consuming but it is obviously a question of priorities. It is not the fault of veganism itself that some vegans look very unhealthy, but I think it is the fault of our diets based on heavily-processed, ready-made foods, this kind of diet does not consider the nutritional needs of vegans and is not really compatible with veganism. I have been vegan for 7 years and have never been healthier!

      • Absolutely!! Everyone always comments how I look good for my age and have a healthy complexion. I feel just like you that vegan living means learning a whole new way of cooking using veg, grains, beans and nuts or seeds. They can be combined to make some wonderful recipes and you will feel more satisfied afterwards than any other diet. Vegan living is healthy, helps you feel alive both bodily and spiritually and helps the Earth.
        Kind Blessings
        Crystal Stara

    • You ain’t seen me either! I’m technically overweight. And believe it or not I’ve only met ONE vegan who looks unhealthy and skinny. The rest look completely normal.

  9. Last summer I tried being vegetarian. I failed miserably. I find it so hard to actually stick to it when your whole life you were brought up to want and crave certain foods…like meat.

  10. Good attempt! I have always wanted to try fasting and I did but ONLY for half day! On that special half day, I didn’t know why I kept thinking of the food, felt hungry all the time even though I did take light food. Well, at least I tried :p

  11. Hello,
    I’ve been following a vegan diet for twenty years. May I suggest:
    – I make my own muesli every morning. You can too. Buy oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill), add unsweetened coconut, raw almonds, your choice of fruit, plain soy milk.
    – Almonds are more nutritious than cashews. I like to carry a baggie of almonds when traveling, or even if just running around town.
    – Morningstar, Gardenburger, and Boca all make vegan burgers that are available in supermarket freezers. They also make non-vegan burgers, but their vegan burgers are clearly marked on the front of the package.
    – Gardein is a relatively new vegan analogue that is also available in supermarket freezers. Tofurky vegan sausages and sandwich slices are sold in many supermarket produce sections.
    – Bolthouse Farms makes a delicious soy Vanilla Chai that is sold in bottles in supermarket produce sections, if you ever want a change from soy milk.
    – If you have access to a Whole Foods or other well-stocked natural foods store you’ll find all kinds of vegan analogues: ice cream, yoghurt, chocolates, soups, sandwich slices, etc etc etc.
    I invite you to browse my vegan recipe collection and try a few dishes. Food always tastes best when it’s homemade (plus you know just what’s in it!).
    Good luck with your challenge, and hope you’ll decide to stick with it!

  12. Changing diets can be done! I’m a strict vegetarian bordering on vegan, but you’re right being vegan is hard – Really hard.

    Not because not eating meat or dairy is hard, but there are so many nuances as to what is and isn’t vegan.

    Take most refined sugar for example.

    Animal bone char (mostly cow bones leftover from slaughterhouses) is used in the refining process.

    Yes – burned up cattle bones make your sugar white as snow – though not nearly as pure.

    If you look harder I’m sure tons of vegetarian things around you are really not vegan… being vegan is a truly worthwhile lifestyle choice, but don’t be too hard on yourself for unknowingly “breaking the rules” at first.

    I think it is awesome that you’re trying! Good luck! 🙂

  13. I am in the same boat lately. Great blog. Super photos. I think I started to get hungry even.

  14. I went off sugar for a year once. Then came my 25th and time for cake D:

  15. Congrats on being freshly pressed! I’m not vegan, but I do say I’m on a slow train towards vegetarianism. We’re mostly vegetarian at home, occasionally eating fish or sustainably raised chicken when we can afford it. I think I could rather easily go ahead and be vegetarian, but vegan would be much harder as I’d have to give up dairy and eggs, and cheese is basically my favorite food in the whole wide world. Good luck with the rest of your vegan week!

  16. I’ve never been succesful at changing my diet -.- lol but what motivated you to do this vegan-for-a-week thing? great post! loved it and the pictures too 🙂

  17. topnotchdog

    An inspiring blog, you go! 🙂 Beautiful photos, too.

    I find it’s easy (and delicious!) to eat vegan, but at first it was challenging to catch all the ways animal parts end up in packaged and processed foods (like you have found, whey for eg). FWIW I just whip up my own muesli from rolled oats, blueberries, almonds, etc.—fresh and yummy. I can identify with that feeling of catching something on an ingredients list—every once in a while something gets by me, but overall I’ve found it’s pretty easy to go shopping now that I am used to it.

    I sometimes find new items at VegNews to try. Oh, and my favorite cookbook are Vegan Planet and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Simple and delicious.

    Happy eating 😉

  18. I have been vegan for 18 months and love it. It takes a while to change habits and what is available in the larder but it has been a great adventure of trying new foods and cooking consciously, it has made me passionate about food (and veganism!). I was also shocked to find that Quorn is not vegan but I find I very rarely eat any “meat substitutes” any more, there are so many delicious things to do with vegetables. The whole thing has been a lot easier than I expected it to be although eating out can still be a minefield 🙂

  19. What a great challenge – I might give it a try. I became a vegetarian a couple of years ago and that’s made me much more curious about how achievable a completely vegan diet would be. Trying it for a week sounds like a great idea. Bit of a shocker that Quorn isn’t vegan though! What’s in it? Great post – congrats on FP!

  20. kathyrandall

    Being vegan is hard, but it does become much easier if you cut out processed food, which really isn’t that great for us anyway. My parents have been vegan for over 2 years, and my mom put together a blog about it. I made the Peach Ice Cream. It is to die for.
    Good luck with the rest of the week!

  21. Very interesting! I’ve long wondered if I could do this! Vegetarian–no problem, but no cheese?? You gotta be kidding me!

    • “Health is Wealth” actually makes a KILLER vegan mozzarella–tastes,shreds and melts like the real deal–1/10th of a block has only 70 calories!! They make a cheddar, too, which isn’t bad–but the feeling of not consuming dairy (none of the sluggish side effects and none of the guilt!) is PRICELESS!

  22. i don’t think i would have the discipline to eat vegan!

  23. jcharbour

    Good Luck! I have been dairy free for 2 weeks now and it can be hard but you do feel better!

  24. Ick, sorry this would never be for me, but Good Luck!

  25. I tried to eat less and more healthily. I managed for a couple of weeks to live off only fruit and healthy meals now I’m more of a balanced diet,got the rubbish and got the good.

  26. I’ve significantly lessened my meat intake this last year, and it’s gone well. I’d like to try a raw foods type of fast, but the strict regimen of such diets is daunting! There’s too much I like to eat! Thanks for sharing your journey.

  27. Hi Lindy, good for you on taking the vegan challenge. How do you feel about being freshly pressed?

    I’ve been a vegan about 3 years or so now. I tried to be vegetarian on and off since my twenties (I’m now 50) and after day 3 or 4 I always gave up craving meat or similar. This time the logic was unavoidable within my morality and my spiritual beliefs and was so confrontational I believed I had to do it. Maybe the final push was when I went on a yoga retreat in Scotland and read one of their leaflets that said that the puss from cows with mastitis goes into dairy milk and is considered by the industry to be OK.

    When I decided to go for it I gave most of my non-vegan food away to charities locally. There were bits I finished off because I don’t believe in waste, but that was a moral dilemma in itself. A couple of times I gagged and was in tears over what I was eating, I was so torn about what I was doing.

    For me the realisation that I couldn’t continue not to be vegan and live with myself was an horrific nightmare and felt like a desolate landscape. I thought of all the things I didn’t want to give up – cheese, fish, lamb, butter, wine (animal products are used in the fining process for most big name wines) honey – so I went on the internet and for everything I wanted that wasn’t vegan I put the word ‘vegan’ in front of it and found it existed. Even blue cheese! I found it on an American website, though, and made the stupid mistake of paying about £20 or more in shipping to get products I could easily have got in England if I had known where to get them. The cheese was a Scottish product anyway!

    The person I first made the thought journey with which left me feeling cornered then told me that he was giving up soya because it addles your brain. I still worry about it, but not as much as I used to. I discovered that a culture in which people often live into their hundreds, strong and in good health, habitually eats tons of the stuff. I started eating tofu and soya mince, then discovered seitan and tempeh. Seitan is a wheat gluten meat replacement product. In Bulgaria, where I am at the moment, i can buy it in chicken and beef/lamb steak style. Last night I made something approximating a teriyaki. Tempeh is fermented soya bean cake. I didn’t like the version I got in England but what I get here is really nice. The brand I get here is sold in slices or rashers and it is often used like bacon. Tastes great in a sandwich with ketchup or brown sauce, good with baked beans etc.

    I’ve only read this post and your about me page and I’m not sure where you are. I know some UK websites that do loads of vegan food, really nice, and you can buy the things I have mentioned in whole food and health food shops. If you like honey, agave nectar is a good replacement and in England I found it in Sainsbury’s as well. You can get vegan ‘milk’ chocolate, vegan cheese (my favourite is called Sheese, it is the best that I know), tuna, chicken, fishcakes, sausages, hotdogs, chorizos, etc, and if you are into home cooking most things can be adapted into vegan versions – patisseries, cakes, etc. There are also support forums for diet and lifestyle.

    If you live in the UK let me know.and I can tell you where to shop for things online, at least the sites that I have used. Being a vegan is a great way to discover the joys of cooking your own recipes, if you don’t already. If you like eating out there are vegan restaurants or vegan friendly restaurants a-plenty. is a great online international community and directory of shops and restaurants with descriptions and reviews.

    I really like being a vegan. I hope you go for it. For me the alternative is going back to contributing to animal suffering and unnecessary killing for appetite. People say the vegan vision isn’t possible. But the individual vegan choice IS possible, and is better, to my mind, than continuing with the conscious individual choice to use animal products. And if you slip, don’t worry. Just start again. Even if, as I have with wine at the moment, you find you have been such a weakling you choose to cheat over a period. That is me, and i feel bad and inconsistent, because . . . all sorts of reasons. But if anything is bad it is me and my choices, not veganism. I believe veganism is right, not only a good option.

    I didn’t mean to write such a long essay. I hope you don’t mind.

  28. I’ve been around vegetarians for years and years so that idea was never too weird for me, but since making a few vegan friends at university, I’ve come to realise how ‘crazy’ being vegan is (to start at least). I’ve always wanted to try going vegan for a period of time but never had the get up and go, so I take my hat off to you! It’s especially crazy when you’re trying to eat out, I thought being a vegetarian was tricky but Vegan is just impossible in most places. Unless it’s a Vegan restaurant of course 😉 (they can make gorgeous gorgeous cake).

  29. I definitely understand how hard it can be…even after being a vegetarian for 20 years some things still surprise me…like certain grapefruit juices are not vegetarian!! Just learned that one a few years ago! The “all natural” juices are colored with insects (carmine) rather than chemicals!

  30. HI Lidy,
    I came across your blog while checking out wordpress’s homepage. It caught my eye because my friend Elizabeth and I went vegan for a week and blogged about it a couple months ago. Thought I’d share it with you. (If you’re interested.)

    It did take a lot of planning (and I blew it on the whey too!) It was a lot of fun though (and I actually lost 4 pounds – since gained back, sigh… – without even trying!) And yes, those peas look yummy!!!
    Good luck!

  31. In the past month, I have completely overhauled my diet from “whatever I want, as long as it’s fried” to mostly healthy. Every once in a while, I get a craving for something sugary or slathered in butter, but I’ve been doing pretty well overall. I would love to go vegan, but I’m just not strong enough. Good for you!

  32. Good luck on your vegan diet! I’ve done several cleansing diets and posted my 21 day cleanse if you’d like to check it out. At the beginning you may feel this very limiting but there truly are so many wonderful dishes and foods you can prepare – you just need to begin and explore all your possibilities! I didn’t stay vegan but I will admit I felt so much better!!

  33. hey
    good going
    I want to ‘go vegan’
    but its scary, no butter, no cheese!

    I have successfully cut down tea and coffee and almost completely cut off added sugar

    looking forward to your progress report

  34. How funny, I’m on day 2 of eliminating dairy for two weeks to see if it helps my eczema. I read this really interesting article about inflammation that said 40% of the population have gluten and dairy sensitivities-which can lead to chronic conditions like eczema, asthma, arthritis, even depression. So far I’m doing well-but eating definitely takes full consciousness and planning! I’m not blogging about it yet, but it’s in the works.

  35. I’m in year 12 of a vegetarian diet. I had no intentions of making it a life change. Guess it just happened. Loved this post!

  36. Oh and of course, there is a plethora of great food which doesn’t rely on meat replacement products at all. But maybe me even saying that is a bit of ex-meat-eater’s guilt. Calling them meat-replacement products at all, though in some of the products I’ve mentioned a definite effort is made to replicate the taste. It is what it is and not what it’s not, and moving right away from TRYING to replace tastes and textures when things are not explicitly styled that way can be great. Meat eaters, some of them, anyway, tease. It is defensive and sometimes, unfortunately, deliberately offensive. I became quite angry myself after I felt cornered, but I’m being so distracted at the moment I can’t even think why. But I felt nagged and I didn’t like it being taken for granted by people talking to me that vegetarianism/veganism was kinder. To be honest, I felt strongly that they were freaks and weird and extremists and too much into recruitment. I didn’t like that they were putting animal consciousness on a par with our own. I’ve changed on that to a great extent. But for me choosing to be a vegan was a decision I made about the kind of human being I wanted to be, rather than the degree of an animal’s consciousness. It was about my right and obligation not to kill and to reject violence and anything which would contribute to the cycle of causing animal suffering. I don’t have all the answers I want yet, though. Like would farmed animals survive if they were not farmed for human use. And people talk about ‘beasts of burden’ liking to work on farms and sometimes, often, as a single woman and non-driver, I find myself resenting the people who would disagree with that when I consider tilling the land and harvesting the crops I don’t yet have!

  37. Your meals are making me hungry! Granted, I’m a vegetarian anyway (well, I eat seafood), but I have found it difficult whenever I’ve experimented with being vegan. I tend to miss certain textures or even a heaviness in the meals.

  38. Miranda

    I think it’s great that you’re trying something new – life is too short to stick to the same old, same old! It’s fun to deviate from the norm.

    It is tough to follow a strictly vegan diet, especially if you might be placed in a non-veg-friendly area (which happens a lot). I think this speaks more to the sad state of the food industry than the true difficulties of following a vegan diet, however.

    Don’t forget that more than half of your diet should be raw foods (the enzymes in veggies are pH- and heat-sensitive, meaning that if you cook them over 118 degrees, virtually all nutrients will disappear) and that green smoothies are AMAZING! Big handfuls of spinach, water, a bit of banana and some strawberries may not sound all that appetizing (by the way, the longer you go without meat and dairy, the more your tastebuds will re-awaken and this stuff will taste delicious to you) but it does wonders for your energy levels and body. My lifestyle and job is very physically demanding and I don’t think I could pull it off without regularly having green smoothies. Kale, celery, romaine, etc. all work as well. Give it a try!

    I wish you the best of luck and I hope you discover lots of fun things about food 🙂

  39. Hi. May i commend your efforts at trying an all vegan menu.
    I agree with you on “…to eat a truly vegan diet you have to cut out much more than the obvious meat, fish, milk, cheese and yogurt, it would seem that most things are off the menu.”
    As a vegan for approx 22 mths, there are so many ingredients that you would need to stay away from, that it would be not only difficult as your expereince indicates, but also risky to choose from a menu when you eat out.
    For this reason, most meals are home made, and from scratch. The main staple you could say is the soya bean, which is adapted to make the milk, cheese, and ‘vegan meat’ like sausages – there’s soy ham, hot dogs, fish sticks, patties, and soya chunks or minced etc. Basically it’s a ccall for one to be as creative as possible with the appropriate ingredients and local produce avaialble. Generally it’s an overall improved way of living.

  40. I’ve done vegan/vegetarian weeks off and on for a while now – sometimes it’s really hard when I’m away at college but I always feel better doing it!

    great post


  41. Great,, i believe i will try it as well..:-D

  42. Amanda

    Congrats on trying to eat a healthier diet! This is something I am very conflicted over on a daily basis. I love meat. I crave meat. But I’ve researched a lot and know that meat has been linked with many long term healthy issues not too mention the whole treatment of those animals being butchered. I will probably always eat meat but we are starting to raise our own thus knowing exactly where it comes from, what it was fed, and how it lived.

    Great blog!


  43. I tried to do it too and I made the same experience, it is really difficult to find stuff to eat that is no meat, dairy etc. I finally gave up because I just didn’t want to life without all the good things like chees and yogurt – or a really good burger. 🙂

  44. I think I’ve found a new favorite word: “scrummy”!!!


  45. I like the look of your ‘vegan light’ soup, and I’m encouraged to try out something like that myself. Being a healthy eater can be inspirational to other people! 🙂

  46. Emily929

    Three years ago, when we figured out that the only solution to my husband’s health problems was a vegan diet, I was in the depths of despair. I thought vegans were granola-eating hippies who lived in communes and bombed labs that used animals for testing. Was I ever wrong! Here’s the post I wrote about our adventures in meat-and-dairy free eating, entitled “My Life as a Reluctant Vegan.”

  47. Eating vegan would be extreamly difficult. But that’s great that you are giving it a try!

  48. Now, not to bash anyone, but what exactly are vegans trying to prove?
    I mean, those vegand who doesn’t do it for the diet.

  49. Good for you! I think it’s okay that maybe a couple meals weren’t 100% vegan – they almost were, and making some effort is far better than making no effort at all, I always say! In time you’ll learn what contains hidden animal products and what doesn’t. It does get easier.

    I’d like to share a couple of my favorite vegan products: 1) Tofurky sausages. Oh, man I love these. So does my boyfriend, who is a carnivore. The Italian sausage is great cut up into some pasta and the beer brats are wonderful on a bun! 2) Earth Balance vegan butter. This stuff melts like the real thing and has an outstanding taste. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

    Good job, girl!

  50. I think peas make every meal better, too! They are nature’s candy in my book.

  51. I must say, I am extremely happy you are choosing to try the Vegan life! I’ve been a vegetarian for close to five years, and within the past 5 months have transitioned into 100% vegan! (well, 98%, the other 2% are lifestyle changes I am not aware of yet!) The best of luck to you, you will feel a million times healthier and the animals will thank you!

  52. Hi! Just came across your blog about going vegan (I am in the process of strting my own about the very same topic!)

    I went vegan about two months ago–mostly for economic reasons (I love vegetables and with summer here, and all the farmer’s markets around, I’ve been eating pretty well :-). But since I stopped eating animal products, I’ve noticed a remarkable change in my stress levels and a feeling of just being lighter and freer. I’ve lost about 15 pounds and my body is full of energy an responds to sustained endurance levels (I am also an athlete).

    Good luck on your journey! Feel free to write back if you have any quetsions

  53. wow – you’re awesome! i really applaud the challenge you’ve taken on for yourself! I absolutely tried changing my diet and after seemingly making no changes for 3 months, I succeeded – woo hoo! what did it for me was being supported to camp out for 8 days at True North Health up in Santa Rosa, CA. while it’s technically a water fasting clinic, I was on what everyone joked on the “eating plan” and boy did it stick. I went from pretending to eat healthy to eating oats, fruits, and veggies everyday for the past 2 months!

  54. well everything looks tasty, but it sounds like vegan can be tough! i was vegetarian for a while, and that was tough enough. i commend you. keep up the good work. “A” for effort.

  55. I’m a vegetarian and I’d like to, at some point, be vegan for a week. It seems hard, though…

  56. wow. that lentil and spinach soup looks…um…well…

  57. Good for you. I tried to be vegan full-time last summer for health reasons and lasted two and a half months. Cooking for a non-vegan family as well whilst being a working mom was really my downfall. Too time-consuming plus I don’t like a lot of soy products. I now eat white meat, fish and low or non-fat dairy and find it suits me much better. I guess you have to find what works for you. Good luck and congrats on being freshly pressed.

  58. Good post! I’ve just started to be a vegan in the past few months – which is harder than I thought it would be! Most take away places do not have a good vegan option, which is hard when you forget your lunch at home! My partner though cannot have gluten, dairy, or soya – so she has to really plan! I think the key is a lot of planning and set up in the beginning, which will pay off later when you have meals lined up! The other key is to always carry snacks, like nuts, around with you! Good luck with the rest of your challenge! I personally feel a lot better in my body since switching my diet, I hope you feel the same! x

  59. Congrats on freshly pressed! Ha! I was just thinking this morning that I should try going vegan for a week… Have you seen the book ‘The Kind Diet’ by Alicia Silverstone? There are lots of good recipes in there!

  60. Whole Being Fitness

    I’m a vegan who has been soy and gluten-free for two years now and I will never go back to eating the “S.A.D.” way again (Standard American Diet). Major props to you for making an effort! That’s a lot more than most people do. The health & environmental benefits can’t be beat. It’s no more difficult to maintain a vegan diet than it is to make any lifestyle change… it takes consistency and willingness to step outside of your comfort zone. 🙂

  61. thedailywifesuite

    Congrats on your first two days! Vegetarian & vegan lifestyles are all about planning ahead! You seem to be off to great start & I hope that you achieve your goal in this Vegan challenge! Happy eating!!!

  62. I tried vegan for a day, couldn’t keep it up so hard to avoid dairy. But the food is really good. Preparation is really the key, I think I am going to try to go vegan for a week also. Lets see how it goes

  63. Not only am I vegetarian, but I keep kosher, too. You’d be surprised at how many everyday products are kosher in the US – but NOT kosher elsewhere in the world. Because my husband and I travel full-time, we often encounter difficulties because of this. (It’s sort of like trying to explain to a South African why you don’t eat meat… people just don’t understand!) As a result, when we travel I generally cook a lot myself, in a tiny little pot, and we eat a lot of raw fruits/veggies. I think you really can’t go wrong as long as you keep it very simple.
    There is an app out there for the iPhone called vegan kick-start. It has a few good recipe ideas, although I haven’t been impressed. If I were you I’d focus on taking normal vegetarian recipes and “veganizing” them. 🙂 Good luck!

  64. I am a vegetarian, so going vegan for weeks at a time isn’t too difficult for me. I have gone vegan for 2 weeks at a time a couple times and find it to be a fun challenge. Awesome that you gave this a try and are sticking with it!

  65. Great post – I love the photos. The soup looks delicious (then again, green is my favorite color).

    I’ve been a vegan for over 10 years. It can be hard at first, but it gets easier. I mess up sometimes still (all those ingredients) but I don’t beat myself up over it. I hope you have fun and enjoy the week!

  66. It is worth noting that there is no such thing as “vegan-light”. It is either vegan or not vegan. We are a fairly hardcore bunch. Because the whole point of being vegan is that you eliminate certain things from your diet, rather than simply try [not very hard] to do without a couple of things, maybe, for only a few days. I also think it strange that anybody, vegan-light or otherwise, would eat a foodstuff without even checking the pack to see what exactly they’re putting in their mouth. Another weird facet of our increasingly weird attitude towards food. Also, veganism is often considered a healthy choice. It is also worth noting that whilst dairy and meat have some rather negative effects on health, so too can many vegan substitutes such as soya and wheat/gluten and a dependence on these can probably be as damaging as a dependence on non-vegan foods. My advice to anyone who would really like to become vegan: eat as many vegetables and nuts and pulses and grains of as many varieties as you can find, avoid substitute replica foods, take a vitamin B12 supplement (perhaps Chlorella?) and get plenty of fresh air….

  67. It’s taken me three years just to work down to fish, so even vegetarian is somewhat of a challenge, and of course that’s not even vegetarian. My niece is vegan and I told her that someday I would try vegan for one day a week. I, like you, will need help with what is and what isn’t vegan. At any rate, I would just love to see most people try the new meatless Monday movement that I think Peta is trying to get the word out for. That would be an awesome place to start for most people.

  68. Good for you! It’s always difficult to take that first step. I’ve tried on several occasions to eat vegan, and have only over the course of the last three or four months been successful at maintaining my goal.

    To help ease your pain, may I suggest the following recipe from a fellow blogger whose food I always admire:
    (Hint: Make guacamole to go on top.)

    If you’re looking for some sweet vegan treats, I have several recipes posted on my own blog. I’ll be adding more as time goes on.

    Keep up the hard work!

  69. I would go vegetarian for a week… I could even give up everything else. Meat, eggs, and all that, but I could not give up my cheese

  70. tecnologiatu

    Posts recipes, please!

  71. Wow! That is a tough goal – kudos for taking it on.

  72. I was vegan for 3 months once. Now I am back to no meat, very little fish. Good luck with your challenge!

  73. livinglearningeating

    Ah, I feel like semi-vegan is good enough 😉

    I’m a vegetarian, and don’t even eat CLOSE to vegan at the moment (check out all the ice cream and yogurt and honey on my blog, 😛 ) but think that, at some point in my life, I’ll move towards a semi-vegan diet. As in, infrequent animal products, but if it happens (or if it’s in something), meh? Whatevs… 😛

  74. I will one day work my way up to this venture (baby steps). I do love to celebrate a Meatless Monday, but it has yet to go beyond it. Maybe we will start with a pescatarian week, vegeitarian week and then a vegan week.

    It would be fun to try, at my age, to find replacements for my cravings like nachos.

    Good Luck!

  75. Nice one. I’m going vegetarian for a month which is a push for me, so good to see someone going the whole way, even if it’s harder than you expected good on you for being honest and giving it a go.

  76. Congratulations on trying out a vegan diet! I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for around a year and a half and love it. Being vegetarian or vegan has so many benefits for us, including less health problems (i.e. heart disease and cancer), lower blood pressure and cholesterol, less risk of getting food poisoning, and a longer lifespan. The impact a vegetarian or vegan diet has on the environment is even greater and includes benefits such as less pollution from farm animal wastes, less greenhouse gases, and less food being wasted (it takes 16 lbs. of grain to produce 1 lb. of beef). Also, if you’re concerned about animal welfare, then vegetarianism or veganism is really the only way to go. Although I still eat eggs and dairy products, I am sure to purchase the most cruelty free possible. On top of that, I don’t use cosmetics tested on animals or wear fabrics/materials that come from animals, such as fur, feathers, or leather.

    After you adjust to a vegetarian/vegan diet, choosing safe foods becomes much easier, so if you desire to eat vegan more often, just keep at it. Health food stores tend to have the best selection of vegan and vegetarian foods, so maybe you could find some interesting vegan foods there.

  77. Wow, definite props to you! I’m a vegetarian, and even some days that can be hard! Cutting out my sour patch kids because of gelatin definitely made me sad, but I feel so good about what I’m doing. Vegan, I know, has to be difficult. But a tip, MorningStar Farms, makes Vegan Veggie Burgers and on their website they have a bunch of recipes for Vegans. I just recently got a book called The Kind Diet, and it was written by Alicia Silverstone who is a Vegan herself. I personally couldn’t do it, but it could help you out this week, plus its just a really good book. Good Luck and it makes me so happy to hear people want to try eating better. Vegetarianism is definitely the best decision I’ve ever made for myself (:

  78. Great really seems like you’re getting the hang of it. As a vegan, I think your lentil/spinach soup looks yummy! I went vegan about 6 years ago, but it took me about 2 years from a S.A.D. diet to veg to vegan to really get it right, I just kept trying. It was worth it for me, big time. Another thing I did was once I actually went vegan, I started going raw vegan, that has taken even longer, mostly because I was going about it with the wrong information, but still, it is worth it… it really becomes so much easier and you don’t feel like you’re restricting at all, rather that you’re opening yourself up to eating more of the foods that agree with you better, however you slice it! I’m always writing about being vegan and raw and I actually help people to change their diets and lifestyles, starting with eating more whole foods, to going vegan and all the way up to eating a high-fruit vegan diet! I think giving a one-week trial is a great idea, and you just keep going allowing yourself to learn with experience. Feel free to check out my blog anytime, and I’ll be checking up on yours too!

  79. I went veg for 4 months! It’s hard being a university student and affording healthy groceries so I’ve given it up until I’m settled in a career and can try again 🙂 Good luck with the rest of the week!

  80. E

    Hi there! Your first day reminds me a lot of when I started being vegan; I’ve been vegetarian since the age of 10 so eliminating meat and meat-based products wasn’t an issue, but you would be surprised how many processed foods sneak in nasty little ingredients like whey! I remember the very first day I attempted veganism, I came home from the grocery store all proud of myself for buying lentil soups and garden burgers, and lo and behold, the nibble of pre made cookie dough my mum offered me was not vegan! (a bit obvious now, but I had no idea then!)

    Anyway, well done giving it a shot! If you need some vegan recipe ideas, check out my current blog, and my old food blog

    Best of Luck,

  81. Hi everyone,
    Going vegetarian will be a lot easier if you know how to prepare and enjoy tofu products. The easiest way to enjoy tofu on a hot summer day is to buy a small box of the silken soft tofu, cut the tofu into 1″ cubes and carefully empty the box into a medium-sized or large bowl. Add a can of mixed fruits, with the juice, add water to taste plus a few small ice cubes. Serve immediately to yourself and two or three friends.

  82. I have been a fruitaterin for nearly a 8 months! I love my diet:) best of luck.

  83. I’m a vegetarian but I’m going vegan for a few weeks to figure out if I react to dairy. I think you’re on the right track in realizing that it’s hard to eat processed foods that are vegan. I eat a lot of beans, vegetables, and whole grains that I put together myself. Once you get the hang of it, it’s much easier!

  84. I’ve never understood the whole vegan diet thing. I don’t understand why someone would eat faux food that tastes like real food. If one wants something that tastes like milk or cheese or meat, why would someone eat artificially created foodstuffs.

    I rarely eat meat, maybe a few times a week, and have eaten entirely vegetarian fr weeks at a time and enjoy it. But I have never had a desire to eat food that isn’t really what it appears to be. I’m not sure I’m saying this all right and hopefully won’t offend someone.

    Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  85. I’ve been going vegan for the week also! Have you been to I’ve been making lots of recipes from there and they have all been great.

  86. I so relate. I’m 203 days into my own bloggy vegetarian challenge. They haven’t all been successful, but I’m at 53 consecutive days without meat, seafood, or eggs.

  87. Wow! I have thought about trying out vegan a few times, but never had the guts to! And now, I won’t lol looks tough! (I will be trying to couscous out though, I love it plain so I’m sure it will be great) I’m currently blogging my mission to loose 25kilo’s so I’ll be keeping an eye on you for tasty recipes…no pressure! 😀 Great post and I like the pictures too!

  88. Pingback: The Vegan Challenge: Days One and Two (via ticklepea) « iqwespeaks

  89. It’s amazing that so few products have no animal-derived ingredients. Even orange juice, if it’s fortified with calcium (from bones) and vitamin D3 (from meat). It’s hard to maintain a well-rounded and interesting vegan diet if you can’t make most things from scratch, but there’s no “failure” at veganism– even a short experiment makes you look at processed/prepared foods more closely, which is always interesting.

    Random vegan culinary advice: Try more mushrooms and sea vegetables. Go easy on the nutritional yeast (you will burn out on that flavor, and what will you do then?). Admit to yourself that sometimes delicacy totally trumps nutritional value, and that acknowleding this doesn’t make you a bad person. Try the vegetarian posole in Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian cookbook. Don’t be a jerk. Put an avocado on it.

    • You can try looking for products with a kosher certification. If it’s got meat derivatives, it’ll have to be labeled at OU-meat and it will have to come from a kosher animal… if it’s just labeled OU (kosher) then it should be fine…

  90. brackenspace

    wow that’s impressive, i don’t think i could go vegan although i have been vegetarian for three years now… all the best to you 🙂

  91. Great food…i’m hungry!

  92. I ate vegan for a month earlier this year. It wasn’t especially difficult for me, as I work at a Co-op and spend most of the day helping people with dietary restrictions of one type or another. The hardest part was trying to find something I could eat at restaurants. That is a definite challenge. And if you start missing cheese I have just two words for you: Daiya Nachos.

  93. It’s one of the things I’m dying to fulfill. Thanks for the inspiration!

  94. Liked your post. I’ve been vegan (mostly) for several years because I tried it and Voila–no arthritis! I thought I’d die without sour cream, but you adjust. And I’ve read labels for years anyway. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 16, so the vegan wasn’t terrible. But so many recipes (so many that I liked) had cheese in them! But I have discovered goat cheese, and even though it’s an animal product, I don’t feel bad using it because it’s alkaline, and that is my big thing now: the alkaline/acid balance. The key is variety. Then you don’t have to worry about nutrition or protein. Congrats on FP!

  95. Person

    I’ve been a vegaterian for a while now and it’s awesome. Miss meat waaaay less than expected.

  96. It is not easy to follow diet.That needs great self challange.

    I tried my best to quit fat and sugar. That all I can do for now,maybe one day I can be one of those vegan.

  97. Good luck to you. It gets easier as time goes by.

  98. A very delicious post! I particularly like the lentil and spinanch soup pic – I can see the photographer (upside-down) in the spoon! Good luck with the rest of the challenge 😀

  99. It’s nice to see people try something new sometimes.
    On average 1 person = 100 dead animals per year I heard.

  100. I don’t think a week is enough. Shouldn’t a month be a better time frame? Anyone tried it for a month instead?

  101. Congrats on trying to eat a healthier diet!looks delicious!

  102. Sounds harder than I tought it would be as well. Good luck.

    • hi! had to respond to your comment- it’s only difficult if you rely on store-bought, pre-packaged products. labels are very sneaky, and those loooong ingredient names are chock full of not so awesome stuff. By mastering a few favorite recipes, you can have quick meals that are balanced, nutritious and incredible. i promise!

  103. What a coincidence!! I’ve been re-trying to live as a vegan these past three weeks. Been trying last year and could only stay for a month. This time I hope I can stay much longer. I feel guilty eating anything which comes from slaughtered animals. I choose to be a ovo lacto vegetarian. Good luck!! 🙂

  104. i love the variety of food you have there! you gave me some great ideas!

  105. i love the variety of food you have there!

  106. Very interesting, but not for me thanks.
    I know there’s a lot of vegetarians in South Africa, but Vegans? I wonder….
    I just love my meat and cheese, especially Biltong!! 😉

  107. ictumwet

    Been trying it out to make it yourself so you don’t mistake the product..I’m learning new things everyday.
    All the best!

  108. Wow, Lindy! A most impressive effort. Best wishes to continue your Vegan journey.

    If you’re interested, did a post just a few days ago on my favorite Green Smoothie recipe:

    And congratulations on your Fresh Pressing!

    -Cat Pantsius in Minneapolis
    Serious Weight Loss, Recipes, and Foodie Goodness

  109. Keep up the good work! I used to be a real “meat and potatoes” man, but went vegan years back and never looked back.

    The diet is actually more varied than you realise at the moment. I love strong flavours so I use a lot of garlic and chilli etc.

    Add “fake meats” which are really good quality these days if you are hankering over the old “style” of meaty food.

  110. Good post! I go vegan for as much as 6 months at a time and will try to do it permanently. The health benefits do exist for me. My problem is that after a while I always seem to ease back into previous habits and then find myself eating everything again. When I do the vegan thing I try to stay away from all the processed “taste like meat” foods and stick to the beans, veggies, and stuff. You would be surprised how much your tastebuds increase and how great a pot of beans or roasted vegetables can taste or how filling they can be.

    Congrats on the Freshly Pressed!

  111. xnici

    Hello from Romania. Is not so difficult to be vegan. I am for a year. And for four years i haven’t eat meat at all. It’s easy when you know how to eat. You cand find some books with recepies on the internet to download them. Believe me, it’s easy, but you have to start slowly. First you give up on meet. After a while when you are happy with the choise, you give up on milk, cheese etc. I am vegan because I love animals. But I am healthier, I am 30 kg slimmer, I am happy now. I was depressed, I’m not anymore. Raw food is the best. In 10 minutes you prepare your food. I love to “cook” raw 🙂
    Good luck!

  112. I have tried many times to diet so to speak. I ghave up smoking to be more healthy but just put lots of weight on. I don’t about meat per say, but I do enjoy a good steak and I love Kangaroo. I guess I’m just not meant to be a vego!

  113. Hey, congrats on the ‘fresh press’ also on the ‘week of vegan’ challenge. I’ve been vegan for 10 years and whilst it takes some momentum to get going, I can honestly say VEGAN is the best tasting food I’ve ever had (once you get passed the ‘i can only eat carrot and peas’ stage. I blog about my obsession… and last week I posted a 1 WEEK VEGAN MEAL PLAN – 21 recipes…all easy and so good. If you want to check out one of the days…

    Good luck. Vegan food can really open up your eyes to some amazing food and honestly, when I stopped eating animals I felt such a weight lifted from me. HUGE guilt …vamooshed! x

  114. Congrats on FP! Nice blog.

  115. Dee

    I often go through phases where I’m not really into meat and it turns me off. CHEESE? No way, I couldn’t live without it. I love soy milk so I would be okay with that.

  116. your blog is inspirational!
    I wish i could follow your steps in being a vegan but i have so much troubles with diairy products…

  117. Kudos! I switched from an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet to a vegan one on January 1st. For several reasons, I could only maintain it until June. However, I plan on switching back to vegan next year. For me, part of the challenges that I faced when choosing a vegan diet was trying to eliminate “animal free” products made by companies that are not vegan at all, which requires some research and, if you should choose so, compromising (or not).

    Congrats on the vegan diet, I hope your experiment serves as inspiration to others.

  118. Shamless plug –

    Congrats on getting FP!

    I too have tried to go Vegan, but my challenge is a year. I totally understand the fact that something should be Vegan, but then isn’t…

    On my blog, there are a ton of recipes and suggestions to get you through the challenge.


  119. I love this article. I have wanted to go vegan too. Vegetarian is easy and have been successful at it for years now. Vegan is another story. I admire your efforts and good luck. I wish I was as committed as you are. I tried it once for about a week and decided I couldn’t live without cheese. It’s just the cheese.

  120. hannahbullimore

    wow well done! Me and my sister are veggie, she’s desperae to be a vegan so i’ll show her this to help her decide if she’s ready to become a vegan!

  121. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with making things from scratch. The shop-bought foods tend to have all sorts of random ingredients you just don’t need to add. How about getting some lentils involved? Veg and lentil curry is something I’m going to be making next week – I’ll post the recipe if it’s good

  122. wow, great effort! i tried to be vegan before 6 once but kept forgetting and having cheese 😦

  123. It will make a lot of difference. You will feel relaxed and cheerful throughout the day :)) Although I still eat non-veg food 2-3 times a month, I eat vegan food every other day and it feels great 🙂

  124. congrats on FP and congrats to you for challenging yourself to think differently about what you eat and why you eat it! I have some great tips, resources on my blog, . Every little bit we can do that makes us more aware and respectful of whats around us is incredible. And, I feel your pain about items ‘sneaking’ in some animal biproduct. Especially those that say ‘soy cheese’ or Quorn for example. You would be surprised to learn what else is lurking behind those long ingredient names. . .

  125. Great job on trying something new. We have been vegan for years, but living in San Francisco and working the health industry, its quite easy. Being vegan is gives us so much more energy and I am happy to see that you are trying it on yourself. Just remember that it’s not always for everyone and the most important part of your process is to stay happy. Enjoy and Good Luck!

  126. Inspiring. Modifying one’s diet in a major way can be very challenging. I’m currently in the process of giving more awareness to why, what and how I consume foods. It’s an interesting journey for sure.

  127. I just switched back to a vegetarian diet this week – just gives a different feel in my yoga practice. I don’t think I can do vegan yet though… I’m still getting used to not having fish and chicken =)

  128. I’ve been thinking of doing this as I didn’t think it was going to be a big step but after seeing a vegan diet on telly (and this), I’ve realised it’s a bigger step than I realised!! Well done 🙂

  129. We love this article and would love to post it on Worthy Mentions!

    Email us if you’re interested!

  130. Wow great job, that spinach/lentil soup must have been so delicious!

  131. some have tried to stereotype eating habits as liberal and conservative….like painting all liberals as veggies/vegans and all conservatives as meat eaters….I laugh because eating habits go beyond someone’s socio-economic-political opinions….I know plenty of conservative vegans and liberal meat eaters

    I’m conservative..and a meat eater….and I make no apologies for it and will not rag on anybody here for their choice in eating habits as long as my choice of eating habits is respected…might I change my mind at some point? sure….we’ll see

    also…if you’re a veggie/vegan already or thinking about becoming one speak with your doctor about what supplements you should be taking to make up for what might be lacking in a veggie/vegan diet…and most supplement makers use plant cellulose as a binder and filler nowadays I think

    also you can search the internet for vegan recipes….some vegan recipes for things like cakes and biscuits and pancakes/waffles and baked goods in general hail form the Depression Era when things like eggs and milk were scarce

    and in baking applesauce makes a good vegan fat-free replacement for the fat

  132. – vegan biscuits recipe (can make them either rolled or in drop biscuit form)….I’ve used the applesauce trick for replacing the fat (in this case oil) to good effect in this and the depression cake recipe…’s a 1-to-1 substitution – can replace butter/margarine with 1/4 cup applesauce although I haven’t tried making this recipe yet so I don’t know how well the applesauce trick works for cookies..also be careful when using sugar…some refineries use bone char to refine the sugar so refined sugar might not necessarily be a vegan product…might be better off buying unrefined sugar from the organic section of the supermarket – applesauce trick works great in place of the oil and again just be careful of using the brown sugar if it’s refined or buy unrefined organic brown sugar

  133. but as i said I’m a meat eater so definitely not a vegan and therefore not as concerned about refined sugar products….:-P

  134. i actually like the look of spinach and lentil soup :-). Very tempting and am already wanting to make some.

  135. Elizabeth

    I am vegetarian, yet was raised eating meat… and when I say meat I mean all the bad stuff, like steak, pot roast, roast beef, pork, bacon, hotdogs, etc and I loved it. When I decided to try veggies as a full time gig I realized it would be hard and there were several times I went back on my word, mainly because it seemed easier at times, especially while out or visiting others, sometimes it was simply because I couldn’t think of anything to make for dinner that wasn’t meat, i have kids and found that it’s hard to switch the whole family! The good news… we did it and we feel great! It’s not easy but you do feel much better!!!

  136. Vegan is so good for you. Great for heart, digestive system, and overall energy. I transitioned by changing one thing a week until I was there. It was the recipe for success. Nice challenge thanks for sharing!

  137. Pingback: The Vegan Challenge–Ticklepea « Worthy Mentions

  138. realanonymousgirl2011

    Good luck! It does seem to be a challenge but I give you kudos for trying. Personally, I like couscous. sometimes I add garlic, oregano and some dried cranberries to mine and it gives it a little kick.

  139. I’ve been vegan for a year now and I must say once you get the hang of what’s what and how to read ingredients (I am not too strict, if it says ‘may contain’ then I will buy it as that just means it is made in a factory that handles eggs/milk etc, but whey powder etc is out!) it is very easy. It is important to make sure you get lots of protein from beans, seeds,pulses, tofu, mushrooms etc. Do you think you’ll carry on?

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