Week two would both be easier but also a little bit more challenging than week one. How so? Easier because I knew I’d get used to coffees without cow milk and barbecues without meat. More challenging because I knew I’d spend the weekend in Amsterdam, a city with sooo much good (not so vegan) food. But like I said in my previous post, I wouldn’t be too strict with myself when not at home, and I feel like I pretty successfully completed week two.
Just like week one, I experimented more with different vegan alternatives in the kitchen. While the vegan pizza was not really a big success in my opinion (the cheese just does it for me.. and without it, meh), the all-vegan barbecue dinner was so tasty! Instead of recapping my whole week, I made a little list of things I discovered during my vegan challenge.
- Making delicious vegan food can be quite simple (avocado toast, oatmeal), but most of the time it’s A LOT of work. I don’t like buying these meat ‘replacements’ and veggie burgers in the supermarket so that means making everything from scratch AKA a lot of veggie chopping
- You get used to everything, if you just give it a little time. At first I thought only liked my coffee with cow milk, but now I found out that coffee with foamy nut milk (Nut Dream) tastes just as good or even better.
- I don’t really miss meat, and I’m thinking of not eating pork meat anymore. Before this vegan challenge I was eating meat two or three times a week, but I might cut that down even more since I don’t seem to miss it.
- I miss eggs and yoghurt and cheese sometimes, I must admit
- When you’re doing a vegan diet, it’s so much easier to say ‘no’ to the less healthy stuff, like when someone offers a cookie. Now you have a pretty good reason to say “no” since most of those sugary things are not vegan (except Oreos, but thank god I don’t like those so much)
- I think it's hard to know if I'm getting enough protein into my diet. I've read that protein from animal sources are better, and I kind of miss my quark and protein shakes.
- It's also difficult to know which vitamins you might be lacking after switching over to a vegan diet, any tips? So far I'm taking vitamin B12 as a supplement.
- There’s a real lack of vegan dishes on most restaurant menus. I’ve noticed that almost all dishes contain some kind of animal product. You really need to go to a vegetarian or vegan restaurant if you want to eat something good, such a pity since those seem to be quite rare in Antwerp (Amsterdam on the other hand is vegan heaven! And I miss the Vegan Deli in Munich :( )
- When ‘cheating' on your vegan challenge, it doesn’t feel as satisfying as you think it would. I didn’t eat all-vegan in Amsterdam and I actually didn't enjoy those meals so much that it was worth it.
- The longer I do the vegan diet, the easier it gets and the most convinced I become of the benefits. I really believe that this will be how people will be eating in the future since it's much more sustainable.
- I feel great eating vegan! Not weak, not hungry. My skin is glowing and I think I lost a little bit of weight, which are all plus-points.
So enough waffling now, on to my 'food diary' of week two!
Vegan barbecue night! I prepared this whole meal for my family one night and it was so much work but so so good. I'll run you through it...
Freshly made pesto with basil from the garden
A simple garden salad with pears (also from the garden) and a mustard dressing
Mini vegan burgers from Jamie Oliver, these were tha bomb, thanks Jamie!
Roasted & spiced crispy chickpeas from the oven
Tomato salsa with black sesame
Roasted sweet corn
Beetroot salad with red quinoa, ginger, herbs and pecan nuts inspired by Rens Kroes
Barbecue skewers with tofu and mushrooms, with garlic thyme olive oil
So yummy! It was definitely worth the effort
As a dessert: vegan mochi ice cream, my favourite Japanese dessert
Found some Shiitake mushrooms in the garden, my favourite mushrooms ever. I simply fried them in a pan with some basmati rice and lots of herbs
Breakfast with a cashew milk-raspberry-banana smoothie bowl topped with Mymuesli paleo muesli and a cup of coffee
Garden salad with red beans, red sweet pepper, avocado and sesame
Snack time. This is my all-time favourite snack combination and it happens to be vegan as well, so glad when I found out that my favourite Trek bar is vegan, YUM
Sneaky dessert in bed: soy yoghurt with red berries and muesli
First cheat of the week: flat white with cow milk at Scandinavian Embassy, the best coffee place in Amsterdam
Cheat brekky: Poached eggs with salmon, so yummy
Fruit overload at Pluk Amsterdam, this makes me so happy. I wish I had this mini fruit market in my house, vegan fruit heaven
Fresh juices at CT Coffee & Coconuts. How pretty is that, I want a juicer so bad!
Buckwheat porridge with mango and strawberry at CT Coffee & Coconuts. Though I hope that this dish was vegan, it's probably wishdful thin
king, no idea what kind of milk they used in it!
Making up for my "sinful" weekend with a de-licious salad from SLA which I got before taking the train. I love SLA, I really do. I could eat their salads every day
So that was my week, not too bad, but also not 100% vegan. Anyway, this is my last week and I will really try to stick to it all the way now! Next Monday is my birthday and I won't eat vegan that day, but we'll see, maybe I want to continue this afterwards, or at least a few days a week? Do any of you want to try the 21 day vegan challenge after reading this?