week 1: i’m vegan?

So I’ve been vegan for just over a week now and here are somethings that I have learned in that short time.

1.) I will not continue as a vegan after Easter (the official end date to the ‘vegan challenge’)

This is not because I miss meat or dairy or anything like that, more because of the next few things that I have learned this week.

There are a lot positives to being vegan, in fact I will incorporate some of the diet into my life after the challenge ends.  I’m lactose intolerant so I’m not supposed to have dairy products anyway; however, I can take tablets that allow me to eat them on occasions. I always thought that if the food contained dairy products and were processed, then it would be ok.  Not the case.

Now that I have strictly cut this out of my diet I realize that I made my life significantly more uncomfortable.  Without even trace amounts of dairy I feel infinitely better and I will carry this aspect of  veganism in my daily diet.

2.) The world is not kind to vegans and vegetarians

I now understand the difficulty that people go through to get a meal or buy things in the super market when they choose these diets and the reaction from some people and I will be much more understanding in the future.

This might be the main reason I don’t think I could keep up the life-style, but maybe the whole reason that some people become vegan; society makes it difficult to exclude animal products from your diet when it isn’t that difficult to do it on you own.

Pretty much anything that isn’t a raw ingredient in a supermarket has egg or milk or binding/clarifying agent (usually gelatine or bone char). In fact, I just read an article this morning that said that a large number of drugs contain gelatin or animal skin in their coatings.

When it comes to going out for food, you are extremely limited and even if you find a vegan option you need to make sure it’s not cooked in the same oil or pan as other food.

Hypothetically, if I was to continue as a vegan, then I would not mind if different types of foods mixed in cooking pans, but for this experiment I decided to go the whole nine yards, thus making life difficult for me and anyone around me when I venture into the meaty world.

3.) Cooking vegan food is very rewarding, but unforgiving

There have been some amazing discoveries in the kitchen in the first week of being vegan: vegan brownies, vegan sticky toffee pudding, tomato/orange/sage soup, veggie chilli burritos and others; on the other hand, a number of meals have gone wrong and left me feeling sad and hungry: rice, bean and salsa wraps, going to breakfast and watching someone eat a full english while you only have toast, etc.  Maybe that last one is my fault.

Vegan cooking is a challenge and is definitely making me a better cook because if I don’t learn to make tasty and healthy treats, the next few weeks will be very difficult.

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