What I learned from going Vegan for six months

Family

Exactly one year ago I have had enough.

I watched and read all about it and I knew I was right and I knew it was the best thing to do. So I did it, despite all my concerns. I went vegan.

Why I went vegan

At the end of 2018 I have watched movies, read articles and got let me be honest – I scrolled a lot of vegan Instagram feeds. I realised that I have many opinions about Veganism, even though I never actually lived vegan. Everything I learned in this time about living vegan wasn’t going to show me the real deal. I wanted to try it out and make up my own mind about all the pro’s and con’s of this way of living.

To me, there were just so many reasons at some point that I couldn’t keep on doing – or eating – what I have been doing/eating. The first step was to decide that something had to change about my behaviour.

I would not have been able to imagine myself ever becoming vegan and I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. First things first, I talked about it with my husband and whether he would support me with that. I asked for his support and help but I wouldn’t have imagined that he would go vegan too!

This was basically the first and very important step and I was more than glad that I would not only have his support but we would be together in this.

Now it was time to understand how we had to change our grocery shopping habits. The obvious things like milk and cream could be replaced by soy and haver. In the beginning it meant to invest a bit more time in the supermarket by checking the ingredients list. Soon we found that there were vegan alternatives that actually tasted great and it didn’t feel like a compromise.

How to start:

The first thing that helped me keep my mind focused on my goal was the App from PETA, called Veganstart. It’s a 30 days subscription on which you receive an E-mail everyday about the different aspects of veganism and how to deal with them. You get tips on what to eat when you’re invited to a non-vegan dinner or how to tell to your family and friends. There were so many great information in these mails as well and it really helped me in the first month.

Additionally to that, I used the App PETA Zwei, which is a list of all vegan items in any supermarket chain in Germany. I used it a lot in the beginning and after a while I knew what to look for if I wanted to see whether or not something was vegan or not.

We had replaced what we used to cook but we also had reduced the number of meals we could cook so I started researching some new recipes and came across a couple of great vegan cooking blogs that I want to share with you below:

  1. Pick up Limes : Hands down the best vegan food blog I came across. The recipes are ALWAYS a success and every meal is tasty, even if sometimes I don’t have all ingredients on hand. If you start out with veganism, I highly recommend you to check out this blog. My three favorite recipes are the Beetroot Soup, Loaded Avocado and Hummus Sandwich and the Thai Green Curry.
  2. Vegan Richa: I love indian food and I am so glad that there are some vegan indian recipes out there but this blog is also showing how to prepare indian meals that are usually prepared with meat. A great source for anybody who loves indian food as me.
  3. Blueberry Vegan: The best chocolate and vanilla cupcakes recipe ever! It felt a bit harder to find great vegan recipes for cakes and cookies. For example, I have tried three different recipes until I got some ok vegan brownies. You have to be patient here to find the right recipe. It will save you some time and effort if you ask around your vegan friends or Social Media channels for great recipes. Blueberry Vegan was recommended by a friend and she told me to try out the cupcakes. The result was amazing and I have only used this recipe for cupcakes since then.

I started to collect all my favorite recipes and put them together in one book. This way I would always have one source to look up all the recipes I have discovered. This is a never ending project to me because I like to keep collecting all great recipes I get from trying out, or from my friends and family.

What I have learnt

About the well-being during this time, I have to say that we did feel very good. Especially I felt great as my digestion system became regulated like never before in my life. In the beginning bloating and stomach ache would happen occasionally but in the big picture I felt great. Becoming vegan also brought me back to cooking and preparing food by myself. Simply because I could learn new things and try-out different recipes I became very motivated to cook more again.

Currently I am back to eating everything, though I have completely switched my habits when it comes to milk consumption. I do still only use plant-based alternatives for milk. I continue using plant-based cream for cooking and I continue choosing the vegan or vegetarian dish over meat dishes during the week. At home we continue cooking 90% vegan and I am very happy with that. I think at some point, I will go back to being vegan again.

My mantra is: “We don’t need a few people doing it perfectly but many people doing it imperfectly.”

This is definitely where I am at right now. Doing it imperfectly but it’s the perfect fit for me.

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