While I was in Italy about two weeks ago, I thought one night about seriously trying to eat only vegan for a certain period of time. After my last ‘encounters’ with vegan food (here, here and here) I got really curious about trying out a vegan diet, and finding out how it would make me feel. Because my birthday is on the 17th of August, I decided I would start last Monday, on the 27th of July, so I could do 21 vegan days up until my birthday (a day on which I want to eat ALL the food, literally). So on Sunday night I had my last non-vegan meal - mussels with fries and lots of mayo - and started fresh on Monday. I’ll tell you now how my first week went!
What is veganism?
First of all, I want to explain a bit what veganism is, in case some of you don’t know exactly. Dictionary.com defines ‘Vegan’ as “a vegetarian who omits all animal products from the diet”. There are different types of vegans, because some also do not wear any leather and don’t use beauty products which were tested on animals or have any animal by-product in them. I’m only vegan for 21 days when it comes to my diet (dietary vegan)
Why am I doing it?
I have been interested in the whole vegan thing for a little while now, and I’m really curious to know what it’s like to eat only vegan for a while. I decided to start with 21 days because it’s a good amount of time and apparantly it takes 21 days to create a new habit. I don’t think I will continue to eat strictly vegan after this (especially not on my birthday), but I think I will definitely reduce my intake of meat and dairy products. It’s a fun little experiment for me to try, and especially good to try out some good vegan recipes.
What I'm not eating:
- Meat & fish
- Any dairy products: milk, yoghurt, cheese, butter etc.
- Any other animal (by)product
What I CAN eat (the alternatives)
- Bread, crackers, pasta etc. (only if they don’t contain any of the above)
- Quinoa, bulgur, wheat, polenta, buckwheat
- Beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas etc.
- Herbs, oils, vinegars & spices
- Nut milk, oat milk, rice milk, coconut milk
- Soy products such as tofu, tempeh, soy milk, soy cream
- French fries (fried in vegetable oil)
- All vegan cakes & cookies
- All the fruit and vegetables you can think of :)
See, not so bad huh? There are millions of things you CAN eat, and veganism really isn't as restrictive as you might think!
So what have I been eating this whole week? I took as many pictures as I could so I could share with you. Eating all vegan is actually not as hard as it seems! Though I don't miss eating meat and fish, I do miss eating eggs and yoghurt though. But apart from that, I don’t think it’s actually too difficult, it just requires some creativity.
Banana, strawberry and raspberry smoothie bowl (+ added water) with melon and strawberries
Coffee with nut milk. Nut Dream is my favourite because it's the only vegan milk that actually foams up in the Aeroccino. I also like this brand much more than Alpro! ps. my cats are all of the sudden not interested at all in what I'm eating, which is a plus ;)
My parents are also joining me on this vegan 'adventure' so my mom made this delicious lunch one day, all veggies and quinoa!
Beetroot, carrot, cucumber and apple juice. I went shopping this day and didn't have lunch so I was starving. Finding something vegan to eat when you're not at home isn't the easiest task so I decided to grab a fresh juice
One of our first vegan dinners, not feeling really inspired. But it gets easier as time passes and you get more inspiration. This is a carrot salad with mustard dressing, tomatoes, salad from the garden and crispy fried rice
My usual smoothie bowl brekkie with some pretty toppings: chia seed, goji berries, flax seed, crunchy peanut butter, coconut flakes and poppy seeds
During one day in Antwerp we got hungry and went on the hunt for a vegan lunch spot. Green Way wasn't serving lunch anymore (I really want to try this though), so we went to Broers Van Julienne. The food was all fresh & vegetarian/vegan but the girl who worked there was really unfriendly unfortunately.
These spelt crackers are my favourite crackers and also vegan
My sister made chili sin carne one evening and my mom made the best fries and salad. I made the guacamole - talk about team work ;) it's good that we all love cooking!
Thankfully our vegetable garden also offers plenty of vegan goodies: baby zucchini, purple beans and many herbs. I can't wait for the sweet corn to be ready
Overnight oats/bircher muesli with berry sauce and fruit. A very easy yet filling breakfast
Leftover chili sin carne with avocado toast
Vegan banana bread. This was SO good, I will share the recipe very soon!
Oatmeal with chia seeds and fruit + I added some peanut butter
Homemade tomato and red pepper soup, made by my sister. Super tasty!
I had the soup with bread and some of this garden salad for lunch one day. I always sprinkle some hemp seeds on the salads to add a little bit of extra protein
Smoothie bowl as usual with peaches and strawberries
Gazpacho for lunch with bits of cucumber, red pepper, croutons and basil from the garden
Brekky this morning: raspberry smoothie bowl with paleo muesli (I just found out this contains honey - not vegan - but oh well, it's too good not to eat). Toast with homemade vegan nutella. In the background you can see cashew milk, which I also made this morning. Are you interested in the recipe?
This smoothie is made of frozen banana, frozen raspberries and homemade cashew milk
So vegan food doesn't look so bad right? What do you think?
I said to myself before starting that if I would go for a dinner, party or weekend away, that I wouldn't be too strict with myself. Last Friday I was invited to a summer barbecue and I did eat cheese and meat, but I don’t feel too bad about it. It’s fun to do a 21 day challenge but I also think you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself! I’ve been eating all-vegan except for one night last week and I’m already pretty proud about that! Week one was good so far, let’s so how I do the next two weeks! Would you consider trying a vegan diet?