en route, Kitchen, Office

Vegan lent recapitulation

by Anna
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First Hetty disappeared and then I did, too?!? No! I was just antsy and could not get myself to sit down at the computer… I have been working on new projects for the blog, new things for the shop and a little modewaerts corner to take to flea markets. Yesterday was the first market I attended as a seller this year and – being one of the first outdoor markets in my town this year – it was a great success. Nice temperatures and some sun made people want to go out and explore, which was fabulous for me. Outdoor markets make great field trips and the markets early in the year are extra special to me. Now, how do I make a connection to the end of my vegan experience?!?

Truth be told: I have been avoiding to write about my vegan lent. I did not write any reports while fasting vegan, I did not even take notes. Once I mentioned that it was not going all that great. And that is why I pushed writing this post away. Here I am now, happy to report that I ate a lot of cheese during the past week. Obviously only cheese that I am allowed to eat as a lactose-intolerant, but cheese nevertheless.

I had little trouble abstaining from meat, I am already used to not having milk, yoghurt and other dairy products (never liked butter, by the way) but not being able to have parmesan cheese was a struggle. Having breakfast other than my beloved mueslis was a challenge: jams usually contain gelatine thus animal protein. Eggs are obviously animal produce. Bread rolls may or may not contain milk. Bringing my own bread, jams or granola is not an option at a restaurant and seemed rude when eating at other peoples places. Luckily I only had breakfast out twice during lent, so this was not a biggie. However, I interupted my vegan challenge for it.

Let’s talk some more about eating out. The first challenge I faced was a church lunch. They do the most wonderful thing and ALWAYS serve a vegetarian dish along the non-veggie plate. I find this so very thoughtful and kind and am very happy about it. Yet, it was a creamy broccoli soup that particular sunday. Nay… I was in company so I ate it anyway, while I was not happy to break my rules on day five of the challenge.

I should say that I intended no breaks whatsoever. I knew I could make my birthday meal a vegan one since I was preparing all the dishes myself. I would find something to eat for my mamas birthday and other than that I felt there would be no events where I could not stick to eating vegan. Well, I was wrong. My mum wanted to go out for her birthday which made it impossible to stick to my challenge. Vegetarian it was that evening. I only hesitantly admit that on my own birthday, while the picnic was vegan, I also broke out and went all the way and ate meat at night. I had not planned to go out to eat, but my family treated me to a wonderful meal at a fun restaurant, and who is going to say no to that? (Not me.)

These three occasions would not have broken my pact. Lapses are human(e). And isn’t it the case that sundays are fast-free during lent? I could have done with that. Then the first week of April came and a particularly challenging day. (Ok, it was a plain bad day.) I went to my parents after work, there were two sausages in a jar on the countertop. I ate them. I felt bad for eating them and yet I felt good, because meat did me good that evening.

The next day: My first day at school (I am taking a class) exhausted me. I had to return the car to my parents and drop off the keys. I do not remember what kind of meat was sitting on the counter-top, but I ate it. I felt bad for stuffing comparatively huge amounts of meat in my mouth and the meat not even being from happy animals. Looking back, I think I was exhausted and hungry and in need of a quick fix of food. Or was my body just craving meat? I cannot tell. What I do know is that this happened during week four. And this kept on going during week four. Any experience which that out there, dear longer terms vegans? I got back on track for the weekend – more time to think about what to eat and to prepare meals.

Overall I learned that a vegan lifestyle requires planning. I love to plan! Just sometimes it is best to relax and enjoy and let life lead you. Also one can hardly expect to find something vegan on a regular restaurant menu. It is just not an option. Not that I was expecting anything else.

Before I startet fasting vegan I was already used to cooking from scratch and with fresh produce and the planning this takes. I was up for the challenge of veganism, knowing it would be hard for me because I regularly eat out at my parents. There is hardly anything to put on a sandwich if you do not have any vegan spreads on hand. Of course hummus is made in less than five minutes – if you have the ingredients on hand. What I am trying to say is this: veganism needs even more planning than a general healthy eating lifestyle. Many, many people are leading a vegan lifestyle and I pledge to myself to mainly feed myself vegan in the future without feeling bad when I cannot do so.

Vegan lent was quite the experience. It was not unsuccessful, yet it could have gone better. It did not win me over for good, still I will stick to it on most days. There it is, my experience with veganism. How do you experience eating vegan? How do you deal with cravings? How do you prepare for challenging days/weeks? And how does veganism during travels work?

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