Buongiorno and Bismillah,
One of my resolutions for 2017 was to try to be Vegan for one week! But if you don’t know what I am talking about here is veganism explained by me:
Why did I take this decision?
Not to sound mean but the animals were not the first cause that pushed me towards this lifestyle. Being a Muslim and eating Halal meat I didn’t feel like I was making the animals “suffer”, but that’s another topic! The first time I heard the word “vegan” was when I used to work at my parent’s restaurant and a client asked to not put mozzarella on his pizza because he is vegan. I have never heard that word before but since then it became so popular. I became very curious about it and I decided that before completely judging the idea I should at least give it a shot. Curiosity wasn’t enough to start. I made lots of research and found about all the health and environmental benefits that come with being vegan. ( I explain then in the other article). Those were the main reasons why I cut out all the animal-based products from my diet: no milk, no cheese, no meeting, no fried chicken, no sushi, no fish, no hot wings, no mozzarella. Basically any Italian person nightmare hahaha!
When I started I was super motivated, I straight up jumped into it the second day. I was super excited about everything!
What was challenging?
Of course, there were some things making my life harder:
- Making my Arab parents understand veganism was quite interesting. Before starting I showed them some of the documentaries that I watched (“Cowspiracy”, “What the health”, etc.) and they understood the meaning behind them. But they were not ready to commit to it, which is okay. When I started not eating meat or food containing animal products my mom would literally be so so sad that she cooked some awesome food for the family and I wasn’t enjoying it with them.
- Starting too fast made me quit fast. The proper way to change your lifestyle is to take it a step at a time, I didn’t and it was quite hard. I didn’t even exchange some foods like most people did, for example using “vegan cheese” or “vegan meat” instead of dairy cheese and real meat. The first days I had very low energy because I wasn’t eating enough calories.
- Cooking. When I finally was really into it I would cook every meal for myself and I loved doing it! The problem is that when UNI started and job and everything, I didn’t have any time to cook anymore. I tried meal prepping but somedays you just can’t bother spending that time on preparing food cos you rather prep for an exam or something. A friend of mine that started this journey with me, she doesn’t cook for herself and it was hell for her cos she didn’t know what to eat every day.
What were the pros?
- So much energy. After the first week of trying to understand what to do, what to eat, how much to eat, I was an energy bomb! I never felt so uplifted and empowered from within before! It was like if all the fruits and veggies cleaned my body of all the lazy and tired feelings. I also started working out and building muscle. YES BUILDING MUSCLE IS POSSIBLE ON A VEGAN DIET! Veggies are so so full of protein even more than meat.
- Yes, I did spend a lot of time cooking but my food always looked awesome! My creativity in the kitchen was crazy. I cooked every day for me and my family and they were happy to try new flavours and dishes from the Asian cuisine, to the Indian, to the African, the Nordic! It was so much fun and “Instagram worthy” hahaha. Through this, I was able to get in touch with so many international vegan bloggers and their favourite recipes. (all the food you saw here is vegan food I cooked!)
- Learning. I learned so much about the things we use every day. The makeup products, the plastic packaging, the snacks, the clothes. The society we live in is so so customisation that we don’t even know the ingredients that go into the things we use on a daily basis.
Did I quit?
Yes and No. Yes because I do not consider myself vegan, No because I consider myself a “trying to be vegan”. I stopped being vegan because I felt like I was losing motivation and wasn’t fully committed. During those 2 months, I still eat honey (because of personal reasons) and I tried all kinds of vegan milk! But I am still trying to implement some vegan values into my day to day diet.
I am really proud of myself for not only trying but also keep it up for quite some time. I am a lot more aware of what I put in my body now and the impact I have on this planet. I do not eat meat anymore, my challenges are fish and cheese! Hopefully, in 2018 I will be able to become fully vegan!