Monday, February 1, 2016

January vegan month | what my family thinks

First of February thoughts "Damn, January went by way too fast" and "heyy, I ate vegan for a WHOLE MONTH!" While it wasn't at all as hard as I anticipated (thanks to 3 vegan weeks last summer), I am still really proud of myself for sticking to it for a month. I accidentally "cheated" on two occasions: the first time when I took a fish-oil supplement (oops) and the second time was when I started drinking a Vita Coco CafĂ© drink and realised there was milk in it after two sips (double oops). Apart from those two minor hiccups, I was an A-star vegan ;) But I wasn't the only one who took on the challenge to eat vegan for one month... 
January vegan month | what my family thinks

Since I didn't take as many food-pics as I had hoped during the final week of the January vegan challenge, I thought it would be fun to look at things from another perspective. After all, I didn't do this challenge all by myself, my whole family joined me too! It was probably one of the main reasons why it was so easy to stick to eating vegan all month. You've heard me talking quite enough about my favourite meals, reasons why to eat vegan etc, so today I'll let the others do the talking. I interviewed my siblings and parents and I got quite a big range of different answers & opinions!


My sister's thoughts

> Why did you join me on this vegan challenge?
Group pressure haha 

> Highlight of the month?
Vegan brownies (so easy to make, so few ingredients and so tasty!) and my shepherds pie. And if you combine avocado oil with soy cream in a dish it tastes like you have used half a pack of butter!!!! So tasty. 

> Lowpoint?
Coyo vanilla yoghurt. No cheese on my pasta and pizza.

> Cheats?
Yes, several times. By accident and sometimes on purpose ;) 

> How do you feel?
Overall great. I even lost some weight! 

> Favourite dish?
Umm so many! But I've got an unhealthy addiction for instant noodles ... I made the most delicious vegan version of a typical belgian dish; ham and cheese endives (without the ham and cheese of course) :) 

> Will you continue? Why? 
Yes, I would love to try to make more of an effort to eat vegan. There are some very tasty plant based alternatives that I prefer now to the dairy/meat/egg version for example vegan mayonaise, pancakes, Oatly in my tea... 

> Why do you think others should try to eat vegan too?
Why not? It is good to be confronted with your eating habits. And a month really isn't that long! 

January vegan month | what my family thinks

My brother's perspective

> Why did you join me on this vegan challenge?
Because I heard from others that the change to a vegan diet made them feel much better and gave them a feeling of revitalisation. 

> Highlight of the month?
Subconsciously adapting to the new diet and then suddenly realising that you don't miss eating meat and the other things you were eating before.

> Lowpoint?
In the first week(s) your body and digestive system have to adapt and cope with all the extra fiber. Haha.

> Cheats? 
A couple of times. A vietnamese noodle dish with grilled pork rolls. Twice birthday cakes at work. One was a tarte tatin and the other was a regular sponge cake. While eating them the taste of butter really stood out for me, and remained for a long while. It felt pretty heavy even though it was a relatively small piece each time.

> How do you feel?
Not extremely different than before, but certainly a bit better.

> Favourite dish?
Vegan brownies

> Will you continue? Why? 
I will definitely eat less dairy and meat. But I will still continue eating them, but with more focus on vegetables. When eating vegan you have to think creatively when cooking. More variation in vegetables and nuts, combined with less but good quality meat and cheese seems like the best of both worlds. And I couldn't live without cheese.

> Why do you think others should try to eat vegan too?
For ecological reasons, as the world population keeps rising and meat and dairy are a big part of the cause of global warming. Next to that people's health. Eating vegan for one month breaks your typical eating pattern/habits and forces you to explore different options. At the end you realise that you can still survive and enjoy food without having to consume much meat etc. The lighter, fibrous meals also improve your digestive system and sleep.


January vegan month | what my family thinks

Daddy cool, number-one vegan fan

> Why did you join me on this vegan challenge?
I felt great after the first run last summer, and I've always wanted to eat less meat, especially considering the fact that it's better for our planet.

> Highlight of the month?
Every meal was a highlight. 

> Lowpoint?
Cannot think of any. 

> Cheats?
When I was on a business trip: one double espresso with hot milk and a spaghetti bolognese. 

> How do you feel?
Good

> Favourite dish?
All

> Will you continue? Why? 
Yes but with occasional pigeon, deer and liver pencilled in. 

> Why do you think others should try to eat vegan too?
It's up to anyone to go vegan style if they want to... just think about the impact of the meat and dairy industries on our planet. 


January vegan month | what my family thinks


Last but not least, my mom!

> Why did you join me on this vegan challenge?
Family spirit, I thought it would be easier if we all would did it as a family. 

> Highlight of the month?
The grocery shopping: there are so many sections of the supermarket you can simply skip! 

> Lowpoint?
Finding the time to cook after a long day of work. 

> Cheats?
Lactose free milk in the airplane (it was the only option). The second time was at a friends party: ricotta ravioli with cream sauce. 

> How do you feel?
Great!

> Favourite dish?
Vegan shepherds pie. 

> Will you continue? Why? 
Yes, but not so strict. 

> Why do you think others should try to eat vegan too?
For the experience and learning how to consciously think about the food you're buying when grocery shopping. 

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As you can tell, each family member has quite different thoughts about this one-month challenge, and everyone definitely did their fair share of cheating, but we are unanimous about three things 1) eating vegan makes you feel good 2) we all want to eat less meat and dairy and 3) there's no good reason why others shouldn't try it. It gets easier as time passes, and your perspective on food really changes! I've just had my first real non-vegan meal of 2016: pasta with some parmesan cheese. However I feel like I'm on a vegan-flow and I don't really want to stop. But I guess the occasional cheese/dairy cheat will make it a little bit easier sometimes. It's all about the balance! I hope you enjoyed reading these mini-interviews, and I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this challenge - maybe we've convinced you to try it too?

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