A new veganing

One month down, forever to go.

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Well, folks, I’ve been a vegan for little over a month now, so I’d say it’s time for an update.

From health concerns to new recipes, this month I’ve researched and experienced it all.

I’ll just say it: I’ve cheated twice — both times with pancakes — because I’m not perfect and diner pancakes are delicious. Do I wish I wouldn’t have cheated? Sure, especially because the second time, I put butter on them and felt like I was going to die afterward. The universe was definitely cursing me for cheating.

So far, I don’t crave a lot of things I don’t eat anymore. After I became a vegetarian, I always had cravings for chicken and hot dogs — I still do sometimes — but this time around I haven’t missed a lot. The only thing I hate going without is pizza.

Something I used to do was open the fridge just to grab a fistful of shredded cheese and eat it straight out of the package. I tried vegan cheese once, and I promise that is something I will never (ever) eat again, especially by the handful.

As a vegan, I pay a lot more attention to what I’m eating to ensure I won’t get sick — or, you know, die — from lack of essential nutrients.

I won’t lie to you and say I’ve been eating a lean, mean, green diet either. I discovered a vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe a few weeks ago and I’ve been going downhill ever since.

Aside from cookies, my diet consists of mostly hummus, bagels, pasta, brown rice, beans and tomatoes. Those are the core foods in a lot of recipes I know how to make, so I usually have them on hand. I also eat a lot of pretzels, Oreos and soy-based meat alternatives, but it balances out, right? (Wrong).

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how average or even below-average my diet is. I spent plenty of health classes in grade school learning about the Food Pyramid, and I can promise you I’m not following anything remotely close to those guidelines.

If I’m critiquing myself — and I am — I’d say I need to work on meal prepping. This way, I can eat things other than avocado toast or beans with rice when I’m in a pinch. I want to expand my horizons in the world of vegan cooking.

I also have to say that, for a vegan, my vegetable consumption is subpar. I have yet to eat a salad (gross) but it definitely wouldn’t kill me to eat carrots with hummus or something similar every once in awhile.

My only real problem since going vegan is eating out. Most restaurants have one or two vegan options, or at least some sides to choose from, but after a while, it’s all kind of the same. I know I chose this for myself, but it’s still frustrating.

In the coming weeks, I aim to follow vegan health guidelines, make sure I’m getting the right vitamins and do some research into hunting, as the season is coming up soon. Stay tuned, ladies and gents, ‘A new veganing’ isn’t ending anytime soon.