Earlier this year, I tried to be vegan. Keyword: tried.
There were myriad reasons for wanting to make this change… health, weight loss, the traumatic videos I watched on Netflix about the food industry and the fact that livestock farming produces an obscene amount of carbon emissions. So I decided it was about time I made a change. And boy was I on fire!
For 28 days.
In the truest millennial fashion, I thought I ought to document the journey. I took photos of the food that I made and the food I bought. I started an Instagram account just for my food, in the hopes that it would help me remain committed to my journey! (#millennial). I even took a before picture, in the hopes that one day, I’d have an after that would show an incredible transformation, glowing skin and all.
I still look like a before picture.
But I have some cool photographs from it! And despite my supposed ‘failure’ I’m pretty proud of myself for committing for a month. Perhaps next time, I’ll go longer.
In my brief yet beautiful stint as a veganista, I struggled to figure out how to get off meat and still have a reasonable protein source. That’s essentially the concern that many people have when they choose to stop eating meat.
Enter tofu. It’s a bean curd made from coagulated soy milk (mmmmmm). It’s often used as a substitute for meat, but, as I came to discover, it can also be a substitute for cheese. You have to wonder about food that can take on multiple personalities.
I got well acquainted with Tofu on my 28 day journey. It comes in various levels of firmness, and can be cooked literally however you want. I was intrigued by a vegan Saag Paneer recipe that I found online, so that’s what I decided to make first. It quickly became a staple in my meals, mainly because it tasted so good and was surprisingly easy to make. After mastering Saag Paneer, I attempted sweet and sour tofu, and I quickly fell in love. It was SO good.
In case you’re curious as to what ‘broke’ me after so long, I went to subway and ordered a vegetarian sub. It was perfect, until I came to the sauces and asked for a dressing I later came to discover has ‘raw eggs’ as one of it’s ingredients. Being completely downtrodden about the fact that I had been defeated by some sneaky eggs in my sub dressing, I decided to console myself with a burger from Shake Shack. Yep. It was all or nothing.