Hi guys! I am back at it! As you may recall in my last post, my long term partner and I separated. I took some time off to do a little self-care, a little dating and figure out what in the world I wanted. It has been quite a journey already but I can’t lie, I’m pretty freaking happy right now. On this journey of self-discovery, I decided to try veganism. Being vegan had never been on my radar before, I mean not really. One of my best friends and her partner have been vegan for about six years. So of course, she was and probably still is, like the healthiest person I know. Personally, I thought I could not be vegan because I love cheese, sushi and of course meat. But becoming vegan was surprisingly easy for me.
First off, it’s cheaper per meal. Buying fresh fruit and veggies has been wonderful and I actually consume them all the time. There are vegan meat alternatives which I also purchase and as a single person I can make it last two meals at least and I have cooked for someone else as well and still had plenty left over. I had to totally restock my house with food. It basically felt like I was moving into my apartment all over again.
But I spent a whopping $100 bucks to have snacks, dinners and lunches. I don’t really eat breakfast but I did buy cereal and that counts as a snack to me. My friend and her partner spend anywhere from $100 to $200 dollars a month on their groceries. That is way cheaper than when I was shopping alone eating any and all the things.
I have included a picture of my actual my personal shopping list at the bottom of this post. These are things I could buy during any trip, so depending on what I have up on the menu that particular week (sometimes two if I’m really lucky) I use my master list to get me through.
Vegan Food, What Food?
But cheese?! I know, I know. Vegan cheese is delicious and in some cases, most really, I could hardly tell the difference. I love the cheese. It’s freaking good! Now mind you, I am lucky I have people in my life that have been vegan for a long time so they helped me out a lot and continue to help me with meal ideas and brands to try. Don’t let your love of cheese stop you. We’ve got options folks!
Now I know I mentioned sushi and meat, but guess freaking what? I haven’t had to really give that up either. We have alternatives there too and it is much better for you. Veggie crumbles is equivalent to ground beef, I have added it to my spaghetti and nachos, didn’t notice a difference. It was pretty good, if I may say so myself. I also have a pretty sensitive stomach so most red meat made my tummy upset and even chicken at times. So this in fact, helped my digestive system and put a little pep in my step again.
If you are anything like me, you love sweets. Cookies, cupcakes, brownies you name it! And boy I have tried them all and not gonna lie. It freaking delicious! I think I love vegan cupcakes more than the standard ones. My favorites have been a carrot cake and pumpkin spice cupcakes from Sweetpea. If you haven’t been, do yourself a favor and go like right now. You can thank me later. See, there are options!
Vegan Recipes & Resources
There are lots of recipes online, ahem Pinterest looking at you, and of course there are all kinds of vegan groups. My encounters with people of the vegan community have been pretty positive. People are nice and offer advice when I ask for it. As the weather gets colder, I find myself wanting chili and hearty stews which are also available to you as a plant based meal. Most stews have a ton of veggies anyway. Rather than using beef stock use vegetable stock! You can me your same recipes pretty much and just remove the meat. This is also a great option if you need some crockpot meals too.
Now, the person I have been spending quite a bit of time with is vegan and has introduced me to a lot of different restaurants around Portland. For those of us lucky enough to live in big cities like Portland and Los Angeles we have lots of eatery options. If you are in Portland or planning to visit, keep your eye out for my list of favorite vegan restaurants. If you don’t, there’s an app! Yeah, there is an app for everything. Check out Happy Cow. It will let you know where the vegan options are located near you. This is especially great if you are travelling long distances or visiting a new place altogether. Just because you are out of town does not mean you have to abandon all hopes of eating yummy food.
Trust me when I tell you, this decision was surprising to everyone, including myself. But it was the right time and I was in the right mindset to make some major changes in my life. I am so happy I did, not just for me but for our shitty environment that is destroyed by farming. Watching a baby cow taken away from its mother was heartbreaking. But my health has improved too. I know that it is different for everyone and people have lodged many reasons against being vegan. To each his own I suppose. I can say personally, I feel great, I love the food and I’m not supporting an industry that is harmful to literally everyone.
Feels like a win to me! What are your thoughts? Have you ever been vegan? Why wouldn’t you or why do you do it? Share below