Burgers and soups and fries, OH MY!

They say that time flies when you’re having fun and I suppose it’s true. It’s been two months since I made the decision to become vegan and the things I’ve learned have made it a really fascinating journey so far.

For a few seconds I planned a one month challenge, but a couple of days in I knew I was in for the long haul. I still can’t believe how easy the decision was, and how easy it has {mostly} been. But more on that later.

I have read so much on present farming practices, especially large scale mass production. The facts in terms of animal welfare are so disturbing that so many times I just can’t keep reading. And while I find it the easiest thing in the world to stop eating animal flesh it’s been harder to give up eggs and cheese. But reading about the sometimes atrocious things that happen in order for me to enjoy my cheese or frittata strengthens my resolve and I feel better about having some tiny effect.

Turns out I really love tofu, also quinoa has become my staple go to protein meal base. Add some roasted vegies and you have a meal. But I have been relying a lot on carbs, so while I look the same I feel heavier. The challenge at the moment is to find better choices that rely more on vegetables and proteins like tofu and legumes. I was also a bit ecstatic to learn that soy cheese melts like a dream. So good that anyone who has tasted my grilled cheese sandwich {olive oil on the bread} refuses to believe that it’s not regular cheese.

I am now stocking a dairy free drinking chocolate at the cafe so with almond milk my mochas are on, and I have also sourced a dairy free chai powder, which tastes even better with almond milk than regular. Although with the surplus carbs I mostly stick to black tea.

😦

Still drinking way too much vodka and champagne though.

😉

Confession time: I have slipped a few times. Not because I really wanted to eat whatever it was but just because the people we were eating with had either gone to a lot of trouble cooking for us {I ate half a small schnitzel and some cheese and crackers} or I was absolutely shattered from exhaustion {spaghetti bolognese}. To be honest I did not enjoy the bolognese even though the sauce was delicious, but the cheese and schnitzel went down with, yes, some guilt, but they tasted good too. But when your friends pull out all the stops making dinner for you I refuse to feel too bad. I did skip the octopus they cooked and they were fine with it.

Eating out is still tricky, as there really aren’t many vegan options on most menus. Vegetarian, yes, lots. But not so much vegan. But I make the best of what’s available and am happy with a few sides rather than a big meal anyway. Even a family dinner at a German restaurant slash beer garden, a.k.a., pork knuckle and sausage heaven, there was a vegie burger and lots of salads. {The peach vodka cocktail also hit the spot.} And a girls shopping night with my daughter recently included a pit stop for dinner, and I was stoked to see a bona fide vegan burger on the menu, which was delicious. Fries are vegan too, not that I need more of those, ditto jam donuts!

I had a comment recently asking how I manage to fry bacon every day and not be tempted. The thing is I was never one of those bacon freaks to start with, and after having to cook it just about every day for eight months I hate it more than ever, due to the splatter factor. Bacon fat seems to fly all over the kitchen, and I have been burnt on my face, neck, arms, and hands more times than I can count. I like to think it’s the pig’s revenge on us humans. So no, frying bacon is definitely not a temptation at all.

And speaking of the cafe I have somewhat sneakily managed to offer up soups which are pretty much all vegan varieties. Even ones that might be topped with cheese or bacon I can eat without the garnish. And it seems that the veggie soups are way more popular, as they sell out every day. The one meat option so far, chicken, leek, and sweetcorn, didn’t sell at all. My personal favourite was one I made up on the fly, while tomatoes roasted in the oven I sauteed some onion, diced potato and red peppers, garlic, and fresh herbs. I added some vegetable stock and the tomatoes, blitzed it all with some fresh basil leaves, and hey presto: roast tomato and basil soup with crusty sourdough. So good.

There have been a couple of “are you STILL doing that vegan thing?” questions, but mostly the novelty has worn off. It’s funny how unappealing meat is to me now, as I definitely used to enjoy a bloody steak. I slow cooked some osso bucco for my family the other day, and while I could appreciate that it looked absolutely perfect I wasn’t remotely interested in trying it. Prawns still seem to be that one seafood thing I find harder to resist, but I know I don’t really want one so I don’t have one.

But easily the best thing is that I unequivocally do not feel like I am missing out on a single thing. And I love that I would rather carry a few extra carb related kilos than eat animals again.

Two months in there is no doubt that vegan is a mindset and lifestyle, not a diet. It’s a bunch of small choices made for some big reasons.

And I’m definitely cool with that.

-Ana.

 

 

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