One Month Vegan Challenge
I’ve been craaaaaving life change lately. This comes at an inopportune time, since everything is going pretty well, but I’m just…antsy.
First I was tempted to get a puppy, then I was going to cut my hair, then I considered buying a new car, then I thought maybe I should just have a baby. Ironically, The Beast objected the most to the hair comment. I guess I’m going to be a long-haired granny someday.
Instead of the dramatic threats mentioned above, I decided on a month-long vegan challenge. I started last Saturday, June 15th, and I’m going to try my dardest to avoid all animal products until July 15th. If you’ve read this blog, you may know that I like to make vegan meals and sweets from time to time (see pictures at the top of this post), but I also loooooove cheese…in a big way. I love cheese so much that I once set out to make a vegan burger, and ended up stuffing it with pepperjack. Whups.
Since I like experimenting in the kitchen, going vegan for 30 days gives me an excuse to teach myself how to make new things. It’s a nice way for me to switch up my routine and get a taste of that “life change” I craved, but without doing anything drastic. Truthfully I’m still dreaming about getting a puppy…like I’m literally dreaming about it nearly every night, from my 14th floor bed, which has no simple or quick path to get outdoors, and therefore no logical way to take care of a puppy. Can you tell The Beast has tried to talk sense in to me a few times about this matter? Anyway, I digress.
The Beast fully supports my month-long vegan lifestyle, but he definitely hopes it won’t become a permanent diet change. My family, on the other hand, thinks I’m batshit crazy. After hearing the news of my veganism, my brother promptly tweeted me this. I tried to explain my need for life change, and my mom said something along the lines of, “…because nothing says ‘excitement’ like vegan food.” Although my mom’s comment was sarcastic, I actually do think vegan food is exciting, because it’s different and creative yet still tasty. So THERE, family.
One week in and I’ve been surprised to find that my vegan challenge isn’t much of a challenge at all…yet. I made two homemade meals that have stretched me through the workweek: a large batch of barley sweet potato salad with a cilantro honey dressing, and some sprouted green lentil chickpea burgers that I topped with avocado. The Beast also enjoyed the burgers, but sandwiched each patty he ate with mounds of melted cheese (can’t blame him – even Vegan Katie knows that cheese makes everything better).
Since a world without dessert is not a world I live in, I made my Almond Butter Spelt Cookies, but with vegan chocolate chips instead of dried cherries. I love that they are sweet and chewy, yet completely free of refined sugars.
I’ve also gone out to eat twice this week without any vegan confusion or issue at all. I met my sister for lunch at Panera on Tuesday, and chose vegan black bean soup (which I always order anyway), and a Greek salad without feta – easy peasy. Wednesday The Beast and I went to Pizza Luce and I ordered a vegan Lil’ Gracie: vegan sausage, olives, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and vegan Rinotta cheese (made from nuts). I admit that when our pizzas arrived I eyed The Beast’s cheesy pizza with envy, but my vegan version ended up being more satisfying than I imagined. To be fair, the vegan cheese was a bit stretchier than normal cheese, but not in an offensive way. It took care of my cheese craving, and that’s really all that mattered.
I realize that many people eat vegan because it makes them feel better. I’m already a vegetarian who eats vegetable and legume-filled meals, so I don’t expect much of a change, but I will definitely shout it from the rooftops if I do. If any of you are vegan, or have experimented with eating vegan, let me know if you have any insights/tips to share. Or, if you have any recipe requests for this vegan month, please leave a comment below!
To summarize this post, don’t be confused by my suddenly vegan-centric blog recipes. I’ll be back to my lacto-ovo ways by late July. :)