Bring on the vegan goodies

This month’s project is the vegan pledge. I can’t remember exactly how and why it all started (I vaguely recall a discussion during Friday work lunch) but the fact is that I’ve now been vegan for 10 days and counting. I’m taking this challenge together with two colleagues, so the nice thing is we can give each other support (and quinoa and Bakabana) and stick together while we get trashed by the male, pork loving, “this is silly”, “Oh don’t you dream of a burger” non-vegan majority of our co-workers.

I’m not sure exactly how veganism is suppposed to make me happy but I figured this whole experiment can at least go under the “Constantly try new things” headline of my happiness spreadsheet (did i mention I have a happiness spreadsheet? I do. I know. But I have a spreadsheet for everything and this one is at least yielding some results, imho).  Kind of like step out of your box, try to see how you can live when you have to give up your daily, trusted patterns and most of all eating habits and see what you discover in the process. Plus I figured it can’t be wrong to discover there’s life after butter aand the cookie-overloaded December.

So far so good, at least as far as I’m concerned. I was not totally new to veganism – I’m mostly vegetarian anyway (or flexitarian, or whatever you call a person who eats only vegetables and the occasional Irish breakfast with 2 kg of meat in one go)  and I love creative cooking.  I have the Veganomicon on my book shelf ( btw Isa is so beyond cool. Just take a look here: http://vegetarianstar.com/2009/09/30/meatless-mouthful-isa-chandra-moskowitz-on-baketivism/) and a Google reader full of inspiring websites featuring vegan recipes. What I was not expecting, however, is this amazing amount energy I suddenly have had for the past week. I caught myself jumping off the stairs on the way out of the office on a random Tuesday, full of energy and ready to go racing in the gym and I kind of had a big “Is this really me?!” moment.

Some of my fellow vegan-for-a-month-and-sugar-deprived  buddies did show some signs of cranckiness though. I tried to tackle it by re-vamping a Romanian fasting recipe into a sexy looking vegan brownie and it kind of worked, for the short term at least. It also earned us some cheers from the Spanish male camp, which is no small achievement knowing the strong bond between the Spanish and all things pork. Ahem.

Other than the abovementioned brownie some highlights of the last week included:

  • Soba noodles with peanut sauce (via Molly)- this was Bo’s favourite as it featured cute, plumpy, innocent baby bok choys. Veganism aside, they were so cute I felt like a cruel whitch for chopping them.
  •  a scrumptious vegan curry (Isa again)
  • Endemame hummus
  • some leftover chilli from my freezer (this one)
  • finding the perfect Morrocan-spiced lentil soup (i’ll post the recipe at some point, it’s so simple and so flawless)
  • some roasted veggies pasta (here) that had my lovely friend N. exclaim “How can you do this for a whole month?” right before throwing the content of a whole bowl of grated parmezan on top of his dish)
  • some really boozy Blood Orange Martinis

Not bad hey? Still 20 days to go now and tons of recipes as inspiration (like this and this and this). I might skip the martinis next weekend though and maybe also skip the Saturday morning market trip and focus on finishing the mountain of baby bok choys left in my fridge…

Am I happier? I’ve definitely lots more energy and I find it really inspiring to be  trying all these new things. And when I’m rested I’m a bit more grounded and less jumpy, I always find. I doubt that I’ll extend this experiment beyond the month since I really miss my eggs (Oohhh the poached eggs!) and cheeses and I find it very difficult to feed other people who are less adventurous eaters than I am. But I would somehow like to hold on to this level of energy so maybe next month I’ll try to get myself to run every morning and see where that gets me.

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