About a year ago I stumbled upon the vegan corner of YouTube. Not on purpose, I honestly never understood veganism. However, for some reason i was intrigued by this Youtubers, they had such a healthy diet and mentality, just what I was wanting myself. After a while of research I made my decision. I was going vegan. And I did. And I still am.
However, a lot have happened since I first started experimenting with vegan dishes in the kitchen to where I am today. I’ve certainly learned a lot over the past year and thought that I might share my experiences with you. Have in mind that these are things I’ve learned over the course of the year. These are issues that seems very difficult to me as a new vegan, but that I’ve learned how to overcome and how to deal with. I am not saying these things are easy in the beginning, they’re not. But as you become more experienced and confident, they do get easier.
If you lived your whole life eating meat, eggs and dairy products, it might seem very overwhelming to cut these out of your diet. Like what’s left to eat? Lettuce? Wrong. So wrong. You can basically eat whatever you’ve eaten before. Just a vegan version of it of course. Any dish can be made vegan. You just have to do things a little differently and have a different mindset. Watch YouTube videos, they are great when it comes to learning to cook/eat vegan! I have no problems making myself breakfast, lunch, dinner or any other meal. There are so many foods that are naturally vegan, and so many different ways to prepare it, that the variations are endless. If I want tacos? No problem, I’ll make bean-tacos! Same with Nachos, just without the cheese. And if you want to make it with cheese, there are quite a few vegan cheeses out here. To be honest though, not all of them are very good. The vegan cheese is defiantly a trials and error project. And there might be a lot of error before you find the right one.
As I said above, I realized very quickly that eating at my own place was no problem at all. However, the problem occurred when I went to eat at someone else’s house. I of course didn’t want to be rude and not eat anything, nor did I expect them to make vegan food for me. Very few people knows how to cook vegan food, because it’s so far from what they’re used to. The solution? Bring you own food. I know it might sound weird or rude, but it’s easier and better for everyone. I’m not saying you should bring an entire meal when you go to a dinner party, just bring a little bit. Usually, a lot of the side dishes are vegan, while the main dish is not. Just bring your own main dish, and eat whatever side dishes are served. Like when we for example have fajita at my boyfriend’s parent’s house, I just bring my own vegan fajitas/taco filling. No problem.
Another thing I’ve struggled with is eating at restaurants. There are not a lot of vegan restaurants here in Norway. I actually don’t believe we have a single one here in Bergen, which if I’m honest, have been rather difficult. It took me a while to have the courage to ask for what I really wanted. Usually restaurants have a few vegetarian options though, and a good place to start is with one of those dishes. They contain no meat, but usually does contain dairy products, most often cheese. In those cases, just ask for the dish without cheese. You might get some weird looks, I know I’ve gotten a few, but it’s alright. After a while as you get more confident with yourself as a vegan, these things will no longer be a struggle.
Last thing I want to add is that it might not be a perfect and easy road. In certain situations I’ve eaten non-vegan food, and usually felt pretty bad about it afterwards. Like I was not a worthy vegan. Though some people might see it that way, I’ve grown to see it differently. I look at it as a lesson learned, another bump in the road of this vegan journey of mine. It’s a journey, and for me, not an overnight change. I am actively changing my lifestyle for the better, and even thug I might not be perfect, I’m doing a lot better than before this journey began. I’ve eaten meat, dairy and eggs for 21 years, and all of my family and friends still does. When I change my lifestyle so drastically I need to accept that I might have some setbacks. Some people just wake up one day and from that day on, they are vegan. Never looking back. I am not one of those. I’ve realized I need time, I need to experiment, do some trials and errors to find what works for me. The longer I’m getting into this lifestyle though, the easier it gets. I am far more comfortable with it today than I was 6 months ago, and I’m positive this is the right path for me. I’ve got a journey ahead of me, but I’m already well on my way.
If you’ve got any questions, just let me know!