What I have learnt when being a 7 day Vegan
That vegan is not only a diet but also a lifestyle, I heard several times before having tried it myself. Or rather – having decided to seriously challenge myself.
I To start with… – ENTHUSIASM
At the beginning of my vegan experience, I was extremely excited. I gave myself 7 days to try out a dietary regime in which all animal products are strictly banned. No meat, no fish, no diary and no eggs – it may sound quite insane for an adamant carnivore. Yet, I have never been a great fan of steaks. Moreover, I had been vegetarian for 4 years as a teenager for ethical reasons. This time, I was merely curious of veganism and motivated to cleanse my body. No animal products in diet sounded like a perfect detoxifying plan. So, I decided to have a shot.
II Some difficulties at the beginning – INTERNAL STRUGGLE
However, my 7-day vegan challenge was not entirely compliant with the ideology in all respect. I didn’t give up ALL animal products. That is, “animal clothes,” such as fur, leather, wool, etc, together with cosmetics that are tested on animals. Even though, I looked up whether the products of my preferences are vegan/ cruelty-free. The result was quite unfortunate: the majority of them are brands listed as having poor ethics when it comes to animal testing. I would have to dispose of almost all beauty products I was in possession. That, in turn, is waste, of which I’m very critical.
To all vegans the most significant is that the food must be healthy. No junk food substitutes. Period. In my case, it wasn’t extremely difficult as on daily basis I have always been eating well and properly. Quinoa, tofu, chia seeds, spirulina, goji berries – these names didn’t alarm me, I’ve been using unusual products for a while. However, these ingredients don’t serve the function of staple foods in most of households. Lots of vegans-to-be may be frightened when going through a recipe of vegan casserole for the first time. “It’s a matter of habit; you’re getting used to it,” my vegan friends like to say. Anticipating this, it would be just effortless to substitute meat with white bread and other junk food – even when processed with soy, even veggie-flavoured chips, veggie burgers (eggs…) and many more – veganism is not about this. Animal products must be replaced with particular food that is abundant of vitamins, minerals and proteins. Here comes so-called super foods – minimum calories, maximum nutritional value.
III A piece of cake? – SHADE OF DOUBT
Although, superfoods and other vegan-firendly dishes may sound fancy – such as kale chips, chilaquiles with pepitas, or vegan dan dan noodles, when going vegan, extra time for shopping and cooking must be taken into consideration. Unless, you don’t find what you need in the nearest store, online shops offer organic, vegan, cruelty-free products. They’re quite expensive though.
Furthermore, the case with cooking: I, personally, am big fan of dining out – but not 7-day a week. I like cooking, spending time in the kitchen, getting groceries, etc.
Veganism gives the cooking experience a totally new dimension – it’d be more affordable to dine out than cooking myself. That is, prepare to spend few more hours cooking and shopping when becoming vegan.
Beauty products, clothing, all of the crazy ingredients and extra time needed for grocery shopping and cooking must be taken into consideration before making the first step into veganism. Although, you might think that’s all what vegan experience gave me. No. As I have gone through 7-day vegan challenge, I’d be really pleased to provide you with some further recommendations and tips. Thus, you may enjoy learning from my mistakes. Stay tuned for the next post.