Vegan – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Whazzzzup my bamboozles?!?

 

Without further ado, my surprisingly very energetic self will proceed to dictate the different aspects of the vegan lifestyle.

THE GOOD

Since I ditched animal products, I have had the most energy since I can remember. I actually enjoy my food bite by bite, without gulping down those disgusting meat fibers and then spending a day and a half removing them from my teeth. Moreover I love eating fresh or lightly cooked veggies and yogurt with fruit and nuts (and cinnamon) all day every day.

A hearty pasta dish is always there if I want to splurge!

I want to really try to avoid the ethical concept here. But the argument of not eating dead bodies is something to consider. And that is rich coming from a person raised with a culture of eating animal brains and intestines and hearts – basically one step before cannibals. Except for morally questionable, when we think about it it’s also quite gross.

The added health benefits are also a huge plus. Our bodies cannot have enough of vitamins and minerals from food (supplements are mostly causing expensive urine), the same as they cannot have enough water, our stomach capacity is the only limitation. Like said above, 6-7 cups daily is roughly what we should intake, and I do not know about you, but with a bit of carbs, I simply cannot eat anymore. There are not enough hours in a day!

Regarding the eternal carb-protein fight, I do not have a strong opinion. I like carbs too damn much to even think about not eating them, plus they help regenerate mind tissue, which is irreplaceable. I did try to eat only meat and salads, I lasted 2 days before going nuts. But I know people that kept this for months and lost quite a bit of weight.

The main point here is that a plant based balanced diet gives the most energy and nutrients than any other. Sugar, chips and beer are also vegan but your heart will NOT thank you for eating those 24/7. Good quality meat is much harder to come by than vegetables, that’s for sure. Therefore I think I am doing myself a favor for not putting drug enhanced meat flesh in my body as a staple anymore. Only time and blood tests will show for sure!

Last but not least, if you are a cook and/or a sweet tooth, you will be in heaven. With a good blender there are so many recipes to try and experiment, that I would do it even out of curiosity to be honest. There is quite a thrill in exploring the taste and texture of new ingredients, and trust me when I say you do not *need* any animal based ingredients. We simply *choose* to use them because they are easier to come across and we’re used to them and their taste. However there are many things you can put in your cake except for milk and eggs, and the results will reward you. In vegan recipes we can combine literally anything. Fruits with veggies and couscous make amazing dishes!

And because it’s not my creation without a bit of gory, ever heard that rumor that vegans are never constipated? Yes, it’s true. Sometimes too much so.

 

THE BAD

Vegan diet can require quiet a bit of effort. I am very privileged to have my meals in the work canteen every working day, when there is always abundance of choices for vegetarians and vegans. Otherwise, fast meals benefit the omnivores, that’s for sure. Be it in supermarkets, eateries, cafes, restaurants, it is a challenge to find something with no traces of milk and eggs. Most cookies, pastries even potato chips (bye bye Pringles… you are missed!) include milk for some reason. Which is quite frustrating since this milk is not necessary in a lot of cases, and could easily be substituted for any plant based solution, only cow milk is easier to find and – let’s face it- cheaper.

Also, travel lovers beware. You will face a challenge (the chips-and-nuts-till-you-drop challenge) in a lot of countries, especially remote places in Northern Europe. Au contraire in Asia…. Ah. Heaven. The simple reason behind this is that some cultures are used to animal products as basic components to recipes for texture mainly, whereas others are not. Guess which have lower average cholesterol levels.

Speaking of cholesterol, a little footnote. It is a fact that our modern diet consists of a lot of junk food, which immediately becomes a no no once we veganize our life. Mc Donalds, KFC, Dominos and so on and so forth would be a no man’s land before you could say “curly fries’ if the world was vegan (which is something to keep in mind in case anybody wonders why meat eating is promoted so intensely,  just saying). Therefore, do not feel guilty if you feel the need to overindulge in fries with vegan mayo and chips. Saturated fats are 100% useless and unhealthy, but we get a nice, saturating (sic) feeling when we eat them, which inspired the term “comfort food” as well. This is absolutely fine, it will go away after a while. Just remember to control it a bit and not eat those every single day. Even though you might want to. Pretty much like regular junk food actually 🙂

THE UGLY

Don’t be surprised if some people you know start acting weird and/or dismissive. For some reason we have made it our job to criticise and fuss about what other people eat/wear/live in/visit and so on and so forth even though it doesn’t affect us in the slightest. Therefore, expect comments like “what do you eat?” “don’t you have protein/iron/vitamin B12/chocolate/carbon trioxide deficiency?” “biologically we are meant to eat meat as one can tell by the shape of our teeth” and relevant colorful additions.

I will not dignify them with a response in this post, but it’s ironic how we swear by being politically correct these days and yet we do not realise how rude it is to ask from someone to justify THEIR life choices. If I actually fancy to live 50 years without bacon, call me crazy (as you will) but it’s really none of your business.

THE TECHNICAL 

The first thing that I have to say is that I was hungry. A lot.

Unless you want to fill your belly with starchy carbs, the food is much lighter and easily digested when plant based. I have been eating like a pig, and let the pigs excuse me for that. Do not feel alarmed, just remember to try and test what keeps you full for longer (did anyone say avocados?) and stick with it. For me for instance, a surprising ingredient is oranges. They keep my appetite very much at bay.

Related, a handy little tip : always keep some (washed) fruit and nuts in your bag. They will be proven useful when you least expected, as some munchies cannot be anticipated.

Also important factor, I need more time to shop and prepare my meals, as it’s not as easy to grab a bite outside anymore. Meals have to be planned, or it will be chips and bread non stop. This can get a bit annoying, but if this is the price to taking better care of myself and our planet’s future, so be it. And I also need a blender that I cannot being myself to buy as I am moving all the time. Lots of spices I already have, a steam cooker would also rock. But that’s for when I actually have a home to call my own, not just an house, and I can FINALLY have a lemon tree and grow my basil and my tomatoes. One day.

Parting note, the recipe for this yummy chocolate peanut butter walnut cake that’s in the picture. Cause we really know how to eat. (can also be made in muffins)

 

250 gr flour

150 gr maple/agave syrup

1 tbsp from each : baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon

150 ml soy milk and coconut milk

40 gr cocoa

Crushed walnuts as preferred

Vanilla extract

 

We mix all the ingredients, first the dry and then the liquids with a fork, stirring gently, leaving the walnuts last. We bake for 35-40 minutes in 170 degrees.

 

Make sure to preheat the oven, grease the pan and shift the flour and happy chocoveganing!


 

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One comment on “Vegan – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
  1. Isa says:

    Hey, honest and interesting column this, to read what the challenges are-
    I’d say ignore the “critics” (there’s always ppl all too willing to impart what the Dutch call “ongevraagd commentaar” (un-asked for commentary) around them. Sad.

    And by the way, if it helps, I happen to have a small “vertical” blender, very handy, light and compact (size of one of those Strabucks bottles, plastic bottle with small motor apart, so very easy to store) that I never use (using a big glass jar one instead) so if you want it you’re very welcome to it. 🙂

    Greetz!
    Isa

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