We Tried It: Jay Z and Beyoncé’s Vegan Diet

12/13/2013 at 03:07 PM ET

Jay Z and Beyoncé's 22-Day Vegan Diet Challenge
Mary Margaret

Jay Z and Beyoncé Vegan Diet: Week 1

What Is It: Jay Z and Beyoncé’s 22-day vegan challenge

Who Tried It: Mary Margaret, PEOPLE Music Editor

Why She Did It: Pure curiosity

There were a few things I forgot before delving into Bey and Jay’s plant-based extravaganza: they can hire a personal chef (I cannot), it’s holiday season (Reese’s peanut butter trees, how I long for you…) and I thoroughly enjoy food products that once grazed fields and swam in oceans. I’ve even eaten a bunny (okay, it was a rabbit sausage).

But, alas, since I vowed to go green in a roomful of colleagues, it’s Day 8 and I just polished a veggie burger. And in hopes that all this saving-of-animals-by-not-consuming-them thing has added to my good karma and creativity jar, I’m going to take a stab at describing my experience thus far using song titles from Blue Ivy’s mom and pop:

Naughty Girl: One breakthrough moment came when I realized alcohol was never banned in Hov’s blog. Hallelujah! I learned that most liquor is vegan (duh, vodka is made from potatoes) but you’ve gotta watch the wine since many have random, animal-based additives. Oh, you can also have chocolate! (Just check the label first for milk, etc!)

Irreplaceable: As much as it’s been great to eat more veggies, I really do miss eggs, fish (I would murder some sushi right now) and other banned foods. On a trip to veatery (vegan eatery, get it?) Blossom, I had the (no cream, no butter) fettuccine alfredo and while it was tasty, if you’ve had the real thing, it just wasn’t as good. I’d give it a B in ability to satisfy.

If I Were a Boy: …this would be twice as hard. Though my husband was on hand for my Whole Foods trip, he only had to witness and not partake in being “that girl” who kept asking if something was vegan because a label was unclear.

Empire State of Mind: …this would easier if I was still living in L.A. For all of its charms, Manhattan’s vegan establishments are too many train stops away from one another. Around the corner (literally) from my former lovely pad in sunny Los Feliz, there were TWO vegan juice places. ‘Nuff said.

Best Thing I Ever Had: (Okay, I tweaked that song title.) Repeat after me—the chickpea is your friend. Say it again. And then again. Whether it’s pureed (hummus) or molded into a delightful, crunchy ball (falafel), this delightful orb will save your sanity.

The Verdict: It’s not as hard to do as one would think! And it still might take another week to fully detox from a lifetime of freely eating—and I am already planning my post-vegan meals (I’m coming for you, chicken parmigiana!)—but I have to admit, I bizarrely have more energy despite the continued consumption of carbs. Maybe it’s the extra leafy greens or the general channeling of Sasha Fierce, but I don’t get that afternoon slump. Is it the new diet? Or simply the extra incentive to stay away from all those candy bowls around the office? Either way, this vegan thing is not half bad. I am 100% sure I won’t stick with it once the challenge is done, but I’ll hopefully remember some valuable lessons of being more mindful of what you’re eating, planning your meals in advance and getting more than the daily recommended dose of fruits and veg.

WATCH: Dr Oz’s Healthy Eating Tips

FILED UNDER: Beyoncé , Food , Health , Jay Z , We Tried It

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rebecca on

Wonderful that you tried this! Congrats and do hope you do more research into the future. The more you do, the less smart and compassionate it will seem to make so many rather glib and sarcastic comments about enjoying eating animals who “grazed” or “swam.” The truth is: despite any false labels, Free range isn’t (free. At all.) “Grass fed” doesn’t spare that sweet mother cow from the bolt-gun… Most fish people eat never saw an ocean…And the price of the eggs on your plate is several million baby chicks suffocated in plastic bags or ground up alive. These animals really suffer. Whether you go vegan or not, please repect the hard work that goes into trying to rescue these animals from short lives of misery, and educating people about the horrible truths is challenging.
Just wanted to offer you some research links. I respect people more if they watch the undercover videos: http://www.mercyforanimals.org and also http://www.humanemyth.org I wish you the best….and thanks to Jay and Bey for giving the vegan life a try. It’s a cool world.

Chris on

If it can lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc…. If you can be kinder to others. If you can reduce your carbon footprint. If you can help solve the world hunger problem. If you can have more energy, clearer skin and wonderful bathroom experiences. Why not maintain a vegan diet?

Let food be thy medicine-hippocrates

If slaughterhouses had glass walls we would all be vegetarians – Paul McCartney

Nicole on

I would like to make it clear that is really not hard at alllll to eat vegan. I’m broke and busy and I eat genuinely delicious meals everyday.

I also want to make it clear that most of your meat never grazed on anything but the concrete floor of a packed feedlot.

You should really watch Earthlings. V/O’ed by Joaquin Phoenix and backed by Woody Harrelson. Educate yourself ❤ (http://www.earthlings.com)

Jack on

Having been a vegan for over eight years – good junior high decision-making – I can promise that people who give up certain foodstuffs don’t miss them for long. It only took a few months for me to realise that I had come to find the smell of cheese absolutely repulsive, where before pasta was not pasta without an equal proportion of parmesan! I always think it’s admirable for people to try out eating a vegan diet whether they stick with it or not, but I do find that sometimes too short a trial can make things seem much harder than they actually are because you only see the steepest side of the learning curve.

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