A new veganing

Vegan junk food exists, and it’s ruining my life


My diet is trash, and I’m probably going to die if I keep this up.

Before going vegan, I predicted with this lifestyle I’d live and breathe vegetables and be healthy 24/7.

I mean, that was definitely the goal when I was planning this out in my head two months ago, but life happens. And by life, I mean I found out Oreos were vegan during the first week, and it was pretty much all downhill from there.

Vegan junk food exists, just like gluten-free junk food and probably any other style of diet junk food exists. No matter what you cut out of your diet, there’s probably a way to still eat crap. Trust me, I will find a way.

For example, potato chips, french fries and Hershey’s syrup are “accidentally vegan” and anything that isn’t vegan probably has a vegan knock-off in a grocery store somewhere.

I’ve found vegan cereals, vegan ice cream and apparently almond nog exists (eggnog isn’t really a junk food, but I just found out about this and it’s definitely worth mentioning).

An article from blogger The Minimalist Vegan described a “junk food vegan,” which encapsulates my diet and lifestyle perfectly.

A junk food vegan is a vegan who regularly consumes highly processed foods which are essentially made in science labs,” the blogger wrote.

They listed Oreos and vegan cheese as examples of “highly processed” foods. My personal diet also includes soy versions of meat and a considerable amount of almond milk ice cream.

As a result of my passion for cookies and almond-based frozen desserts, I’m constantly exhausted and have developed a caffeine addiction you wouldn’t believe. It’s like my body is screaming for nutrients and I’m feeding it soy espresso drinks instead.

Probably everyone else reading this article is wondering why I don’t just buy apples instead of Oreos next time I’m at the grocery store.

This sounds easy, but it isn’t.

Sugar is highly addictive, according to healthline.com.

“The brain knows that when we eat, we’re doing something ‘right,’ and releases a bunch of feel-good chemicals in the reward system …” the article said. “… The problem with modern junk foods is that they can cause a reward that is way more powerful than anything we were ever exposed to in nature.”

I’m not saying I’m addicted to junk food, but I guarantee if I had $3 left in my grocery budget, it would go toward potato chips or ice cream before I’d put it toward spinach or carrots.

This week, I’m going to follow a “vegan food pyramid,” which gives the recommended amount of food for each category, which a person on a plant-based diet should eat. In general, I don’t really eat much or often, so I think the hardest part of this will be eating regularly and getting enough food in accordance with this chart.

I hope to start showing my body as much as love as I’ve been showing animals and the environment this semester, because I’ve definitely been neglecting to do that.