I call myself a vegetarian with vegan tendencies

– Leona Lewis

My first week as a vegan has been surprisingly easy! I’ve had lots of inspiration to test new recipes and found some really great alternatives how to replace some of the food products I’ve used previously. The hardest part for me was not to give up meat, chicken or fish, but eggs and dairy products. I love cheese, greek natural yogurt, scrambled eggs and my coffee with milk.

Vegetable based diet is not new to me as I’ve used of eating veggies, and as you might know from my earlier posts and Instagram, I simply love green juices and smoothies, but during the last couple of months, mostly because of high workload, I ended up in an evil circle; poor eating habits and sleeping problems. After the Christmas celebrations I felt so blown up with salt and sugar, I just had to do something. I started looking for inspiration from blogs such as Vanelja, browsed through various vegetarian recipes on Internet and in my own recipe books and also watched an interesting document, Food Choices on Netflix, about how our diet habits impact, not only our health, but the whole planet and all living species. Then one day I came across the “vegan challenge” on Facebook and now here I am, trying out new eating habits. A vegan diet is not automatically a healthy diet, but my thought is to eat plant based and cut down on sugar and highly processed foods.

Of course I had to do some more research about veganism (which I encourage everyone to do if you choose to go on any kind of new diet). I knew the basics that as a vegan you basically don’t use any food of animal origin, but true veganism goes much deeper than that. Vegans are conscious about various things such as cosmetics, medication, clothing and entertainment, just to mention a few things that might include animal cruelty. All kind of violence and unnecessary torture towards animals is horrifying and cannot be justified in any way and I think most of us can agree with that. I’m probably never going to classify myself as an all-the-way vegan, but when it comes to food and a plant based diet I think there’s a really good point behind it all. If you’re interested in veganism I recommend you to watch the documentary Earthlings. It’s brutal but will probably make you think about things a bit differently and at least raise your awareness.

Food should never be something we take for granted, yet we never seem to really stop and think about the process behind our daily groceries. It’s food we just buy and consume but for what price? Our consumption habits are destroying the planet, either we like it or not. Climate change is real and one of the main causes along with burning fossil fuels and cutting down rainforests, is farming livestock. It’s not a big secret as we all can read about it everywhere. Instead of just closing our eyes and ignoring these horrible facts, we all should think of what could I do? We like to talk about how individuals should try to make a difference, influence, and I think there’s no better way of doing that than by making a choice.

Of those three large phenomenons, I truly think the easiest way to influence is to not support farming of livestock. Even if it would just mean being on a plant based diet for one day, week or month, it would still make a difference. It’s better to start somewhere and take actions instead of not doing anything. If I can make a difference by not eating animal products, even for just one month, I’ll go for it. Somehow I have a feeling my diet will be ongoing longer than that, but we’ll see. Even if these scary facts are right in front of our eyes, the truth is, change doesn’t happen overnight and we need to be gentle with ourselves and each others, and most importantly, try to respect each others choices no matter what our own opinion might be. Because there will always be different opinions. I think it’s better for everyone to overweight these things by themselves, without feeling pushed. Encouraging is always better than blaming. You can only choose for yourself, live by example and let everyone make their own choice.

So for me the choice to “turn vegan”, even if it’s just going to be for a month, was based on me wanting to eat healthier and to save our planet, in a small way. I can tell you it’s not that hard! I’ve already replaced cheese with hummus, greek yogurt with soy yogurt and coffee milk with oat milk. I still need to find a replacement for those scrambled eggs, though… just kidding! There’s lots of interesting vegan products to pick from and I actually found grocery shopping a lot easier, not having to wander through the meat and dairy sections.

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Here’s a few simple meals from my first week. Up in the left photo: Soy yogurt, one banana, blueberries, chia seeds and cashew nuts. On the right: Rye bread with hummus and baby spinach leafs along with lingonberry porridge. Down in the left photo: Mixed beans with wild rice and sweet chili sauce along with baby spinach leafs and cherry tomatoes. On the right: Falafels with hummus and plant based tomato-basil cream cheese, mixed green salads, red cabbage, red pepper and lemon olive oil. All four meals are super easy to prepare and taste great!

Now when you know the reason for my choice to go through with this vegan challenge, I’ll keep you guys posted along the way and will also share some of my favorite vegan recipes. I would  also love to hear about your thoughts and/or experience on veganism or plant based diet, so please feel free to leave a comment! I hope you’ll find this inspirational and maybe you’ll even like to try it yourself! I promise you, it’s totally worth it.

xx mybohem

 

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