Awake and curious Food Vegan

Almost vegan for a month

Casi vegana por un mes
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Almost Vegan for a month

Food is a fundamental part of my life, and the world of vegan food is a dimension full of colour and flavour, hence, this would be the first of many posts related to this topic. This post in specific it’s going to be a summary of the Veganuary challenge I did this year (2017).

In the path to a sustainable lifestyle, I had to rethink my habits in many aspects of my life, one of them being the things I eat. The people I’ve met, the books I’ve read, the people I follow online, the documentaries I’ve seen, led me to understand a few things about the food that I didn’t know before.

Our transition to an (almost) vegan diet

Since 2015 we have been decreasing the amount of beef we eat. Mainly because it’s just not as tasty and as good as the one we used to eat in Venezuela. But, it was in 2016 when we started to make more changes in our diet and moving towards a vegetarian or flexitarian diet (as some of you might call it)

Here I show you an average of what we were consuming in 2016

Beef – 4 a 6 times during 2016
Chicken – 250g – per week – per person
Pork – 125g – every fortnight  – per person
Fish – 1/2 pieces – per week – per person
Eggs – 6 eggs – per week – per person
^Dairy 200g cheese – Every fortnight – per person
           125g butter – Every 3 weeks – per person

^Milk is something that has been almost totally out of our diet for a long time now, we’ve been trading it for plant milk, like almond milk. Yoghurt is something that comes and goes in our fridge.

Note: The animal products we consumed in 2016 were mostly bought from the farmers market, where they pride themselves off giving the animals a good quality of life and the food that they ate came from organic produce. We tried our best to buy zero waste style, bringing our own containers or buying things in glass.

By November 2016 we were only consuming one type of animal meat per week, either beef, chicken, pork or fish. I would say our diet was mostly vegetarian (fish, eggs and the occasional dairy). Which is why I told my husband that we should try to do the Veganuary challenge for 2017.

Saying goodbye to 2016 with meat and starting January 2017 with veggies

I have to confess that the lasts couple of days of December and the first three days of January, I completely failed. We share our festivities with other Venezuelan friends, and we had our typical dishes that are loaded with ham, beef and chicken. I decided not to beat myself about it since I know that when I become too rigid with my goals I end up by not fulfilling them.

I started on the 4th of January 2017. At the beginning, as I’m sure it happens to many people, I was worry about feeling satisfied with food (especially my husband, since men do eat a bit more). So, I bought loads of nuts and seeds and I must say I burned myself out making so much food in advance so we could be prepared.

At the end of the week I was shattered, and though the food was delicious, the excess of “good fat” took a toll on my skin. It goes to show you that anything in excess is no good. But, I also noticed that my palate started to change, though I am a sweet tooth, the thing I craved the most was fruits. The veganuary website is very helpful, an excellent guide to start and it will help you not to limit yourself with just nuts like it happened to me. Pinterest it’s awesome as well!

What I discover from myself in this vegan diet

  • I bought lots of broccoli and I had to come clean to myself, I don’t like it, nor the broccoli or the cauliflower, I like trees, but I don’t want to eat them!
  • I love mushrooms, any type, in any food
  • I enjoy hummus and avocado sooooo much
  • It is so yummy to eat lots of fruits at any time of the day
  • I’m obsessed with porridge, it’s my favourite breakfast nowadays, especially in cold days

Being vegan is a social challenge

The other part that was hard for me, was when I went out with friends. They don’t have almond milk everywhere you go, which is why I had to trade the hot chocolate for a herbal tea. Eating out with friends that are not in the same page you are it can be challenging because I have to say that my reasons to be on this vegan challenge it has nothing to do with my taste, it is about ethics and the conservation of our environment.

At the end of Veganuary

In the last week, I noticed that it hadn’t been so hard to get used to the diet. Of course, I have been doing a lot of changes since 2016, and so the transition was way easier. At the end of the month I realised I had about 4-5 non-vegan meals, but vegetarian. Which is why I decided to continue with the challenge in the following weeks, and now is just part of my routine, if I can substitute something with a vegan option, I will do it.

Finding culinary balance at home

The eggs or dairy are most of the time for my husband, or for when is his turn to cook, or if we go out and I don’t find the vegan option. But, since we took this path, we have been going to a few restaurants around London that are vegan and, exploring this beautiful gastronomy.

Fish and seafood, are the only thing I am allowing myself at the moment, once a week or every fortnight. I feel happy because my lifestyle is every day more in tune with my values. They say you must do what you preach, and I’m glad that I’m getting there.

I will let you know in another post the reasons why I decided to have a plant based diet, and also how I balance that with a ZeroWaste lifestyle.

**Important note** I am not a medic or a nutritionist. I am only sharing my personal opinion about my path towards a sustainable lifestyle. I would kindly suggest for you to consult with your doctor to take a decision about your diet, each body is different and we are responsible for what we eat. This is just my personal experience and how a vegan diet has affected my life.

I invite you to try “meatless Monday” or try to make one of your meals of the day completely plant based, I bet you’ll get creative in the kitchen. And if you were one that also tried the veganuary challenge, I invite you to let me know how was it for you below in the comments. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you are vegetarian or vegan, eating more veggies and fruits never hurt anyone.

If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian. ~Paul McCartney

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  • Reply
    25th February 2017 at 3:58 pm

    ¡Guau Romina! ¡muchas felicidades! me encanta que cuentes todas las ventajas y también las dificultades con las que te has encontrado porque ayuda mucho tu experiencia. Nosotros vamos por el lunes sin carne aunque a veces son los martes o los viernes jajaja, la cuestión es que ahora consumimos muchísima menos carne, incluso mi marido que es carnívoro total, y estamos descubriendo nuevas recetas y nuevas maneras de disfrutar de buena comida sin carne. Sin duda no es fácil pero creo que poco a poco vamos por buen camino. Gracias por compartir con todos, tu experiencia. ¡Me encanta!

    • Reply
      26th February 2017 at 8:03 am

      Gracias a ti por leerme! Y al final lo importante del camino es transitarlo, cada quien a su paso. Mi esposo también es super carnívoro, y al principio me decía que el nunca podría vivir comiendo así. Pero poco a poco fuimos introduciendo cambios donde ambos estuviéramos cómodos y viendo documentales al respecto, y notando como la salud mejoraba, las finanzas también y probábamos nuevas recetas que nos encantaban, entonces la perspectiva fue cambiando. Si salimos ó incluso si a él le provoca, pues a veces come una pieza de pollo o así, pero se ha vuelto la excepción, no la regla. Me encanta que te haya gustado el artículo 🙂 gracias por compartir!

  • Reply
    25th February 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Genial Romi! Sin duda un gran reto! Los admiro full por tener tanta fuerza de voluntad y completar el reto Veganuary! En nuestra casa estamos llenando nuestras comidas de colores y disfrutando mucho las frutas y veggies también! Trataremos de disminuir las cantidades de carnes poco a poco!

    Con respecto al brócoli y coliflor yo opina lo mismo que tu, no me gustaba para nada, pero intenta hacerlo de diferentes maneras solos nunca saben bien.. mi receta favorita del coliflor es ponerlo con aceite de oliva y paprika en polvo a hornearse hasta que quede doradito y sabe genial! Y el brócoli al vapor hasta que este al dente y aparte sofríes en una cucharadita de aceite oliva ajo y almendras fileteadas y a eso le lanzas el brócoli ! Tambien queda divino.

    Espero que pronto nos podamos reunir en casa y hacer una mega comida vegetariana 😉 un abrazo a los dos!


    • Reply
      26th February 2017 at 8:06 am

      Nassrita! Gracias por leer mi publicación, pues mira más que reduzcan la cantidad de carne, es que coman conscientemente. Que sea de calidad, que el animal haya tenido una vida digna, que no le hayan inyectado tantos antibioticos y demás de cosas. Todo eso lo terminamos consumiendo nosotros a través de los animales, y nuestra salud se ve afectada a largo plazo. Me contenta un montón que estén comiendo muchas frutas y vegetales 🙂

      Quedamos pendiente de esa comida….abrazo grande a los dos!

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