Vicky Tarakanova describes what life is like as a vegan


Victoriya Tarakanova

Vicky’s vegan power breakfast bowl with organic vegan protein powder, vegan protein powder, organic chia, organic flaxseeed, and natural metamucil is healthy and perfect for sports.

The term “veganism” often comes with negative assumptions: picky eater, very expensive, and most commonly, crazy. Even Vicky Tarakanova (‘17) recognizes this as a vegan herself. At the start of this year, Tarakanova celebrated her one year anniversary of successfully being vegan, a challenge that she took up at the beginning of 2016. Since Vicky transitioned from vegetarian to vegan, she was already used to excluding meat from her diet, yet it was still a challenge. As Vicky pointed out, “Veganism is like the ultimate, ‘radical’ commitment of the dietary world.”
When asked about how her family perceives her veganism, Vicky gave Tyro the hard truth: “My family doesn’t even understand veganism – they love their meat and still offer me chicken from time to time just to see what I’ll say.” Given that she finds the smell of meat cooking nauseating, Tarakanova has not had a problem avoiding their offers.
Since becoming vegan is a significant change in lifestyle, one would need lots encouragement. This type of motivation differs from vegan to vegan. As for Tarakanova, she was inspired to make the switch in order to become a more healthy and strong individual. She was convinced to pursue a vegan lifestyle after watching videos in APES, thanks to Mr. Gryzwa, which showed the many artificial preservatives in American meat and dairy products and how unfairly the animals are treated. “After doing some research, I decided to wait a couple weeks and make it official on New Year’s Day. ” Vicky added.
Another major concern with becoming vegan is knowing how and where to shop. Tarakanova shared her insight on this matter. “Pick N’ Save has everything I need, but sometimes I’ll go by Wal-Mart or Trader Joe’s.” Vicky mentioned that seeking help from the vegan community is a great way for beginners to learn the many options that are available. The vegan community was a godsend for Tarakanova, as it “introduced me to so many delicious spices, seeds, and super foods that I would never have bought or tried before, and now those [foods] have become a staple of my diet.”
It goes without saying that being vegan means homemade meals and all the more effort, but that’s no problem for Vicky. “I make every meal I eat, and it usually takes about five to ten minutes unless I decide to go ‘all out’. I know exactly what goes into my food and my body this way, and I love cooking, so I wouldn’t have it any other way.” She claimed that because her ingredients are all-natural and environmentally friendly, she feels more secure and content with knowing what’s on her plate and how it affects her health.
In terms of self-improvement, Victoriya Tarakanova reached her goals and is proud of how far she has come. She has found that the vegan diet has left her more energized and motivated to do things. “I sleep better, I lost weight and gained muscle … everything on the inside and the outside is working more smoothly and naturally, and it feels like my lifestyle is working with my body rather than against it.” Tarakanova also mentioned that while being vegan has tested her self-control, she is a happier and healthier person.
Tarakanova believes that aspiring vegans should do their research before completely changing their lives and not knowing what to expect. Despite veganism’s negative connotations, Victoriya Tarakanova has no regrets whatsoever.