Friday 9 May 2014

Being Vegan

I've been vegan for a while now, being able to pin point an exact date is hard since I had a long transition period and I just kinda slipped into it.  I really recommend this method if you're thinking of going vegan.

This post is a reflection on issues (Eating Out), positives of a vegan lifestyle that I've found so far and some good resources.

Eating Out

I would be lying if I was to say that I've not had the odd slip up since being vegan, it's all part of the learning process, you just got to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again.

When I have slipped up, it's been when I've been eating out.  This is mainly my own fault, I'm quite a shy person and I'm very worried about how people will react when I tell them I'm vegan.  Therefore in restaurants, I tend to try and go for something that looks vegan and hope for the best. DO NOT DO THIS!

For example, we went for an Indian meal, and to be fair I did enquire whether they cook their curries in butter ghee and was informed they didn't.  So I went for a dish that looked like it didn't contain any cream, however when it came to the table, the chef had drizzled cream all over it- not wanting to cause a fuss I ate it with a heavy heart, this happened again at another Indian restaurant.

LESSON LEARNT: Indian restaurants like to drizzle cream over everything, even if on the menu it doesn't mention that cream is an ingredient!

I had a similar slip up recently at a Teppanyaki place, I'm getting better as I rang up the place beforehand, and told them I was vegan, the waitress on the other end didn't seem to know what it meant and asked me if I ate pork or fish! When I got there, I picked something off the menu that seemed relatively safe- avocado maki sushi and again I attempted to ask the waitress if it was vegan, to which she replied it was vegetarian, and contained no animal products.  When the dish came, it was drizzled in mayonnaise! This time I managed to eat around the mayonnaise, however this meant I could eat the avocado on the top of the sushi, which is the whole point I chose the did in the first place!

LESSON LEARNT: Don't assume they know what vegan means, be prepared to talk through what you can and can't eat.  Don't be fobbed off with vague responses.  

However, don't be depressed, if you tell them your vegan, and they understand what it means, you can get some amazing dishes, like this salad I got whilst working away at a hotel last week.


Ok, so eating out can be a bit of a mind field at times but there are positives:

  • You discover new foods, take the meat away and you have to find things to eat in it's place. As a meat eater, I had a very boring diet, now it's more varied and I eat fruit and veg I would never have considered before. I love asparagus, broccoli, strawberries, kiwis, melons, pineapples, the list goes on!
  • There is still a lot of stuff you can eat that will surprise people.  People are always surprised Oreos are vegan. Bisto original gravy is also vegan, so much nicer than the watery vegetable gravy!
  • I've lost 7% of my own body weight since January. At the start of the year, I joined a weigh in group with a couple of colleagues, I've not consciously made much of an effort to lose weight, but it's just dropped off.  This is mainly due to not being able to eat desserts in many restaurants (at home is a different story) and having to refuse a lot of the snacks that colleagues bring in.  My other meat eating colleagues have had to make more of an effort to loose the weight. *Disclaimer* being vegan doesn't automatically make you thin, there is still a lot of crap you can eat  if you wish, e.g. Oreos!


I've got a lot of information off the following Facebook groups:

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