Trying Ariana Grande's Diet & Workout for TWO WEEKS!
I tried out Beyoncés diet for one week and it was really doable
Beyoncé and me.
- I tried to eat like for the week to see what it was like.
- Beyoncé tries to eat vegan and plant-based meals.
- It wasn't as difficult as I'd expected it to be.
- It's changed the way I look at my typical diet and convinced me to eat more plant-based meals.
Don't we all just want to be a little more like Beyoncé? Well, it turns out that eating like her is more accessible than you might think.
Beyoncé has, at times, been vegan, switched to a looser, mostly plant-based diet, and even followed a more traditional (but still healthy) diet over the years.
She even followed the Master Cleanse to get in shape for "Dreamgirls," though that's a more extreme, short-term cleanse diet that requires adherents to drink a lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water concoction several times per day.
A few years ago, she and her husband Jay Z took on the , and, while she doesn't follow a strict vegan diet, as she told The New York Times, she does still try to be more on the plant-based side.
"The benefits of a plant-based diet need to be known," she told The New York Times in 2015. "We should spend more time loving ourselves, which means taking better care of ourselves with good nutrition and making healthier food choices."
Following a plant-based diet means that you try to eat mostly vegetables, grains, and legumes, instead of making meat or other animal products the centerpiece of your meals.
"Moving towards a more plant-centric pattern of eating has major health benefits, but there's no reason to go strictly vegan, unless you're called to for ethical reasons," registered dietitian Rachael Hartley told INSIDER by email. "Being mostly plant-based as opposed to strict vegan will give you a wider variety of food options when you eat outside of the house, which actually may help you make a healthier choice, since the vegan option isn't necessarily the most nutritious or balanced. There are many nutrients found in animal foods that are difficult to get adequate amounts of in a vegan diet, including DHA and EPA omega-3 fats, vitamin B12, and iron."
After trying veganism before, I felt confident going into a week of "mostly plant-based" eating. But I wasn't exactly sure what I should and shouldn't eat, other than a few concrete guidelines.
According to Delish, Beyoncé avoids red meat, doesn't snack too often, and avoids sweets and desserts (at least, most of the time). Armed with that knowledge, I decided to try my best to focus on vegan and plant-based foods for the week, but felt reassured knowing that if I slipped up once or twice, it wasn't going to make or break the week. After spending the weekend prior in Nashville, I was looking forward to a bit of a reset — and lots of vegetables.
I had a smoothie for my first meal. Lauren Schumacker
I started off this challenge with a smoothie, one of my favorite breakfasts. For this particular smoothie, I blended unsweetened almond milk, frozen banana, frozen blueberries, frozen cranberries, frozen baby spinach, and some blueberry cashew yogurt. I forgot to check the label on the yogurt for honey, so I'm not certain that it was definitely vegan, but it was, at least, plant-based. I felt like I was off to a strong start.
For lunch, I was still determined to try and be vegan, if possible. The only downside of smoothies without much protein in them is that I tend to get hungry relatively early on in the day, so I wanted something a little bit heartier for lunch. I boiled some pasta and made a quick vegan mushroom sauce to put on top. It was delicious and filling and, because it was pasta, I didn't feel deprived at all.
Dinner was Gwyneth Paltrow's veggie paella from her book, "My Father's Daughter." I hadn't made it before, but I'll definitely make it over and over again. It wasn't too much work, was chock-full of veggies, and, since it's a rice dish, was pretty filling. Later on that night, I snacked on some whole wheat pretzels and peanut butter before drinking some tea and going to bed. All in all, I felt pretty good about day 1 and confident about what the rest of the week would hold.
Regular aioli >vegan aioli Lauren Schumacker
I woke up with a ton of energy after having slept well the night before. I wasn't super hungry, however, and then got busy with work and accidentally skipped breakfast.
After that, I noticed my energy and mood begin to take a dip, so I decided on an early lunch of leftover paella with a little bit of vegan aioli. I'd personally rather eat a little bit of mayo with whole eggs and healthy oil (like avocado oil) instead of a vegan version that had some added sugar in it, but the aioli really did elevate the paella, rounding out the flavors and making it even more satisfying.
I had to work late on day 2. I had a protein bar to keep my energy up, but I got more than a little bit irritable by the time I got home and realized I still needed to make dinner. I wanted to make something well-rounded, but instead, I ended up with some pasta and leftover arrabiata sauce that I found in the fridge. It wasn't the best way to end the day and I realized just how important it is for me to either eat at regular intervals, or at least plan ahead so that I know what I'll be making when it comes time to do so.
This veggie chili was a favorite. Lauren Schumacker
When I woke up the next morning, I felt better than I had when I went to bed. I ate an apple and peanut butter for breakfast, which was quick and easy, but filling and nutritious, so I felt good about my last-minute fix.
Then I headed off to work. It kept me full until midday when I heated up some (more) leftover paella for lunch. It was still just as delicious on day three as it had been two evenings prior. The rice kept me full enough that I didn't feel like I needed my usual mid-afternoon snack, which is good, because Beyonce apparently tries to avoid snacking.
I went home and had another standout Gwyneth Paltrow recipe — this one I'd made before — vegetarian chili garnished with cilantro and scallions. I also ate a slice of whole grain bread dipped in some good olive oil, which meant I was able to fit in some of those healthy fats Allen told me were important to include.
The vegetables really shined in these dishes. Lauren Schumacker
I knew I had dinner plans with my sister that night, so I wanted to make sure that the rest of the day I was extra-aware of the choices I was making. I started the day with grapes and coffee for a quick breakfast. Then, for lunch I ate some of the leftover chili, but this time I also added a dollop of low-fat sour cream. Not vegan, but still plant-based.
It snowed in Chicago so I was fighting the comfort food cravings all day long. When I met my sister at a little restaurant down the block from her apartment, we decided we'd split a couple of things: two veggie-focused dishes, and a turkey sandwich.
The turkey sandwich wasn't the best choice in terms of a plant-based diet, but the highlights of the meal were the veggie dishes anyway. We ordered buffalo cauliflower and beet tostadas and couldn't stop talking about how great they were. This was the point when I started to entertain the idea of trying to make a more concerted effort to be more plant-based even after the week was over.
Another day, another smoothie. Lauren Schumacker
I woke up still thinking about the veggie dishes I'd had for dinner the night before and made a smoothie. This one, like the one I'd started the week with, made me question why I rarely put cranberries in my smoothies — they're so healthy and help balance out the sweetness of the other fruit. I ate the last few bites of paella for lunch, knowing, again, that dinner might be tricky.
We had a 1st birthday party that evening and I wasn't sure exactly what my options would be when it came to food. I'll admit it: I ate a few treats that I shouldn't have (like birthday cake, which I don't regret at all), but tried to make my dinner mostly salad. I paired that with a bit of chicken and a small spoonful of pasta with marinara sauce and ricotta cheese. Not the most off-plan dinner choice I could have made, but not the best either.
No matter what anyone says, zoodles are not pasta. Lauren Schumacker
I woke up feeling not as great as I'd hoped I would— maybe due to the sugary treats I ate the night before. I wanted a warm, comforting breakfast, so I decided to experiment a bit.
I've made cinnamon breakfast quinoa before, but I decided to mix things up a little and add cacao powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Lunch was leftover chili. Surprisingly, even after a few helpings over the course of a few days, I wasn't sick of it yet. It was still as tasty as it had been the first night I ate it for dinner. I snacked on some popcorn (Beyonce likes popcorn too) in between lunch and dinner to hold me over.
I needed to make a new dish for dinner unless I wanted chili again (and two meals in a row felt like too much). I decided on zucchini noodles with vegan pesto, cherry tomatoes, a little whole grain bread, and a tiny bit of salmon on the side.
I am adamant that zucchini noodles are not a substitute for pasta, but I like them as long as I look at them as a separate thing. Dinner was delicious and didn't leave me feeling starving afterwards. I went to bed happy, knowing that I only had one more day to go.
The last day of my Beyoncé challenge was, honestly, kind of a dud. I started with an apple and peanut butter again, followed it up with the last of the chili, and ended the day with pizza, which, according to Delish, is what Beyonce told Shape is one of her favorite splurges.
The pizza was actually a disappointing way to end the week. Overall, the week was a lot easier on me than I thought it would be. I put a little bit of effort in and tried to be more cognizant of the choices I made, but, ultimately, I didn't ever feel like I had to go all or nothing.
Being primarily plant-based for the week made me realize that I like the way that eating like that makes me feel. Yes, I ate some meat, fish, and dairy (and even cake) over the course of the week, but, for me, that's real life.
Being plant-based — or mostly plant-based — can be more sustainable and more approachable than going completely vegan or having a super-strict diet. That being said any dietary choices can be great if you keep a few things in mind.
"Regardless of the diet that people choose to follow, it's important to remember portion sizes and moderation, balance, and variety," registered dietitian and clinical instructor of dietetics at Missouri State University Natalie Allen told INSIDER. "All three of those diets have advantages, so pick one that works best for you and look at the overall picture: are you getting fruits and vegetables, some protein foods, and some foods that are high in vitamins and minerals? Then you're probably going to be fine. They can all work and they all have advantages, so don't beat yourself up if the plant-based diet didn't work and maybe make your snacks fruit or vegetables, that's a really good place to start."
I'm not happy when I'm so focused on what I can't eat that making food or going out to eat feels like work. I'm much happier, sleep better, and just generally feel better when I focus on balance — and veggies, grains, and legumes — instead of restriction. It sounds like Bey agrees.
She told The New York Times that , slept better, and had glowier skin. And if that's not an endorsement, I'm not sure what is.
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