So March is pretty much over, which means that I've been vegan for three months! It's crazy how time flies, and it really doesn't feel like the new year was that long ago. At the same time it feels like I've always eaten this way - it's become so natural to me, and I really don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. It has been difficult sometimes and I've had to make a couple of exceptions, but it's all worth it, because the list of advantages is so much longer. Here is what I've learnt so far, good and bad -
Sometimes lunch will be a plain bagel with jam, because that's the only thing available. Glasgow is a remarkably easy city to be a vegan in, with vegan-friendly places on every corner. However, Sweden so far hasn't been as easy, but since the vast majority of my meals are well-balanced and nourishing, the odd compromise is not the whole world.
Being the odd one out can be exhausting. You will have to deal with dubious looks, confused comments and sceptical questions. It can make you feel really weary, but 99% of the time people don't mean any harm, so it's just important to try and remember that. Not everyone will understand, but that's okay. And thankfully, most people around me are very supportive and understanding.
There is a whole world of inspiring recipes out there. I've always liked cooking, but this time last year I was definitely stuck in a bit of a rut. Going vegan has re-ignited my love for cooking as I've started trying out new recipes, and I've definitely found a lot of new favourite flavours and go-to meals.
Healthy food can be exciting and delicious. This is sort of related to the above, but a bowl of (for example) roasted sweet potato, kale, quinoa and avocado makes me genuinely happy, and I enjoy it so much. Not only do I enjoy the flavours immensely, I also know I'm nourishing myself and caring for the world. Healthy food doesn't have to be boring, it can be colourful, fun and incredibly flavoursome.
Eating the rainbow is wonderful for energy-levels. My plant-based diet has given me so much more energy, and even when I've had stressful weeks with a packed schedule I've never felt too weary to get through the day. Sure, a long day will always be tiring, but there's a difference between being tired and being completely void of energy.
Being vegan doesn't mean giving up chocolate or cake. I don't really miss cheese at all, but cake and chocolate were the two things I was a bit worried about before taking the leap. I needn't have worried though! There are plenty of wonderful alternatives out there, both to make at home and to eat out.
You don't have to spend more money on food, but you might want to. Food has become something that I really enjoy investing in. Naturally, I like saving money as much as the next person, but I don't mind buying fresh fruit and vegetables, almond butter, maple syrup and so on - because I think it's truly worth it.
Veganism is a long and arduous but incredibly rewarding journey. Moreover, there is always more to learn and things you hadn't thought about, so it can feel a bit overwhelming at times, but I find that by taking it slow and not beating myself up, it works wonderfully. I've started to replace all my skincare and make-up products with cruelty-free alternatives (though slowly, as I'm using up what's left), and I'm also having a look at better alternatives for household items. It's a process!
I hope you enjoyed reading this! With veganism becoming a bigger part of my life, it's naturally going to become a recurring subject on my blog as well. I'm thinking of putting together a 'What I Eat in a Day' post (I've actually already started collecting material for it), so hopefully that's something that people would enjoy.