"You're crazy, why would you do this to us?" - Ben McGuire AKA Eco Warrior Prince
I left a cushy digital marketing job, turned my back on Melbourne's cosmopolitan scene with its amazing food, fashion, arts and culture, not to mention the conveniences of city living - UBER, trains, buses, trams, 24 hour stores - to live on an off-grid 120-acre farm in The Middle of Nowhere where I have to collect firewood to have a hot shower, just so Ben and I could pursue our certified organic farm and food business interests - mind you, without any farming experience whatsoever - and he thinks going vegan is insane?!
Anyway, all questions about my sanity aside, my first month as a Vegan Warrior Princess is now officially over. I had some spectacular vegan diet fails, swore off rice milk, and learned not to trust alcohol as it can contain animal byproducts (still can't get over the fact that some wine producers use dairy and eggs to filter their beverages!).
I also miss eating cheese and crackers, cheese on its own, brie cheese, camembert cheese, blue vein cheese and annoyed that so much vegan cheese is expensive, tastes like cardboard, and wrapped in single-use disposable plastic.
My coffee fix isn't the same either. I've said good bye to dairy milk and am eyeing all other alternatives suspiciously. I haven't yet grown accustomed to drinking coffee with soy milk (I'm extremely suss about soy and its affect on hormones), oat milk and almond milk. And drinking coffee black is still out of the question. My taste buds haven't adjusted yet. I'm giving it time.
And I miss being able to order in a pizza as the local pizza joint doesn't do vegan pizzas. I live in a country town. Vegan cafes and vegan people are a rarity. I can expect thick cut chips or french fries and garden salads as my only menu options if I decide to dine out anywhere around here. Vegans living in progressive cities - like my hometown of Melbourne - have it soooo much easier.
One month down and another 11 months still to go, but seriously, who's counting?
On the plus side, I am even more thoughtful in how I prepare, cook and order my meals, feel like my energy levels have increased, have become a more creative cook because I can't just rely on butter or cheese to enhance flavours (and as previously mentioned, I can't even rely on dining out) and I'm eating an even wider selection of vegetables, nuts and seeds than I used to as a vegetarian.
I am now not only a cheap drunk (cheaper still now that I can't drink all available alcohol), but a cheap eater as well.
So below is my vegan food photo diary for the month of January.
It's not always possible for me to take a photo of each and every single meal because it means having my iPhone fully charged or with me at all times, but as I undertake this vegan diet challenge, I will give it my best shot.
And speaking of shots, I think I will definitely need to take lessons in food photography because these images taken with my smartphone are mediocre at best and don't do any of my meals justice.
But enough about what I think. I want to know - what do you think?
Trying to work out why I went vegan? Read my post: Why I'll be Eating a Whole Foods, Plant-Based Diet (AKA Vegan Diet) in 2017.