I started all of this vegan stuff about a month ago. Well I shouldn’t really say vegan because literally up until this weekend I am still using regular butter so I am not a vegan yet! At first I was obsessed with finding vegan alternatives for EVERYTHING! I’ve had the beyond meat and impossible burgers before and loved them, so I thought switching to a plant-based vegan diet would be a breeze… I would just find all these substitutes and it wouldn’t be that hard to change. I tried a bunch of “vegan cheeses” and they were all pretty gross. So far the only one staying in the rotation is violife feta, which really tastes more like goat cheese to me… but I like both so I am good with that. I bought vegan jerky and vegan blueberry tarts and vegan chocolate bars. I bought all manner of Gardein brand fake-meats and basically anything that could be considered “convenient” vegan substitutes.
But then I started reading about junk food vegans, and realised that was the exact path I was headed down. So sure, I was doing right by animals, but I still wouldn’t be doing right by my health. Vegan deserts just means no animal products… it doesn’t mean healthy. This was my biggest first lesson to learn this month! Also as a type 2 diabetic, I cannot subsist on potatoes, rice and pasta. So I had to roll up my sleeves and start digging deeper! I understand now that if I want any real chance to reverse my diabetes and live a healthy life I have to go beyond vegan and go full plant-based vegan with as little oil as possible. At first this sounded so incredibly daunting and like I would never be able to eat anything again but within just a week or so I have already found it a pretty easy switch.
Remember those vegan cookbooks Andrew bought me to help get me started? Well I have started working my way through two of them: Thug Kitchen 101 and Oh She Glows for Dinner. Both books offer a ton of upfront info on moving into a plant-based vegan diet. TK is more for quick simple recipes, and OSG feels more like indulgent entrees that take some time but you really reap the reward in flavour! I made the cauliflower and potato curry from OSG last night in my instant pot and it was amaaaazing!!! Andrew agreed that it was an absolute flavour bomb and said that it needs to stay in the regular rotation and he is a meat-eater with very discerning tastes, so that is high praise indeed!! P.S. how lucky am I to have this hunk supporting me through a pretty drastic life change?? I know, he is pretty amazing!!
In my pursuit of all things plant-based, I have done my best to get rid of the “convenience” food (except the jerky.. I love it as an occasional snack and no one is taking that away from me lol) and to focus on the fact that this diet will simply require me to plan more and cook more. It is what it is because I want to live and live well. And as of yesterday, I am no longer eating any animal products at all. I had already cut out meat, eggs and milk… but I was holding out on cheese and butter. I will diligently read labels and endeavour to make sure my diet is not only vegan but plant-based with very little oil. I have followed so many vegan accounts on Instagram and YouTube, but am happy to take any recommendations you may have!
So… Am I vegan yet?