Going vegan # 2 / How to get started

To be honest we didn’t plan these 14 days of exploring the vegan lifestyle very much. We already live a flexitarian lifestyle but aim to eat even less meat. All of a sudden we felt the motivation to go all in and test vegan eating first hand. Within two days we began.

Some preparation is definitely recommendable but most importantly I would advice anyone wanting to reduce their meat consumption just to trial vegan or vegetarian eating and learn as they go along. However if you have any health conditions make sure you get the proper guidedance.

Vegan in a quick decision

For long we have aimed to reduce our meat consumption but it has proven more difficult than expected. For some time we have discussed how to take the next step and after watching an American documentary called ‘What the Health’ on Netflix we looked at each other and said:

“What if we went vegan for two weeks?”

I am not claiming that the documentary holds the whole truth. I think it is good entertainment and I am sure that most of what it states is true. I however also believe that some truth has been left out. Besides, taking place in the United States I believe that the average eating habits and lobbyisme are quite different from here in Denmark and Scandinavia in general.

None the less it inspired us to just try out plant based eating for a shorter period to experience benefits and challenges first hand.

Why go vegan

Basically we want to eat more plant based to reduce our negative impact on the environment.

Read more on how and why in my previous post.

Preparing to test vegan eating

All ready the same day we ordered a vegan meal box for four days from aarstiderne who delivers recipes and ingredients right to doorstep in Denmark and Sweden. This left us to only come up with vegan dinners for three days for the first week not to forget breakfast and lunch for the whole week.

We agreed to allow for our youngest who turns 8 months March 2nd to only try our vegan dished and otherwise continue with everything she would normally eat.

For our daughter who is three and son who is seven we agreed to inspired and push them gently to eat as much vegan as possible. Most importantly though make sure that the period was going to be fun meaning letting them eat something familiar and even animal based if necessary.

For breakfast we usually eat porrigde or oats and muesli with milk. The milk we replaced with oat milk. For coffee we bought soy milk with vanilla.

For lunch we bought a vegan pate, some pesto and made sure we had avocado and banana as safe choices for the kids.

Besides, we bought a little more vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts than usually and allowed for shopping a few more times than usually in order fir us to adjust as we went along.

Family of five going vegan for two weeks #1

For the next two weeks our family of five will embark on a vegan exploration trip. We will try to live as vegan as possible.

We do this because we have tried to cut down on our meat consumption for almost three years now. To be honest we have not found the journey easy. We all enjoy a great variety of vegatables but breaking free of old habits and favorite dishes have proven more difficult than first expected.

We want to eat more plant based because it is better for the environment. Producing meat require a lot of land and leads to high carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile we also believe more plant based foods will be beneficial for our health.

Status quo

Today we eat meat free dinners 1-2 times a weeks and going further have proven difficult for us. For lunch we still feel quite stuck in old habits of eating a lot of traditional Danish cold cut meats and some caned or smoked fish. 

Our goal

We aim to get a lot more plant based food into our eating habits while having fun exploring new foods. It is important to us that we use our curiosity during this test period.

We don’t expect to go all vegan after our exploration trip but we hope a lot more plant based products will find their way into our diets when animal based options are left out for two weeks.

I once heard a doctor say that children choose from whatever they have available. I very much believe this is true and hope once there is no meat available their natural curiosity will lead them and us for that matter towards some new plant based favorites.

Our youngest daughter is only 7 months at the beginning of this vegan exploration trip. She will try the food we eat but will besides that follow the national nutritional guidelines and get meat, fish, oils and supplements. Our other children are 3 and 7 years old. The eldest will eat almost fully vegan as we prepare the food he eats during school. Our eldest daughter is still in kindergarten where her lunch will be prepared. Her afternoon meal we prepare and this will be as vegan as possible.

Ups and downs living vegan

I hope to write a few more posts on our ups and downs during this journey but turning 38 this March I have finally got to know myself well enough to know that my ambitions are always sky-high and over optimistic. Somehow it is like I’m 18 again when I sit in from of my macbook. In reality many years have passed and three wonderful children take up a lot of my time leaving almost no time for hobbies like writing this blog.

Not a scientific study

Our vegan journey is by no means a scientific study and should not be seen as an attempt to claim that a vegan diet is more healthy than the diets suggested by health organizations around the world.

I highly recommend seeking guidance if you want to go all in on the vegan lifestyle for a longer period.



Gluten and dairy free buns based on oat and quinoa flour

These delicious gluten free buns are incrediblely easy to make. Within less than two hours you have 15 delicious buns ready to eat. For this recipe I have used psyllium husks, popped quinoa and dried dates, figs and apples.

The buns are intended to be eaten as they are and are ideal for on-the-go like the children’s lunch box. They however also taste wonderful with butter, jam or chocolate.

What to add

15 g of organic yeast

5dl lukewarm water

20 g of psyllium husks

20 g of popped quinoa

150 g of quinoa flower

200 g of oat flour

50 g of dried fruits

1 teaspoon of salt

What to do

  1. Mix water and yeast
  2. Add psyllium husks and quinoa flour. Whip to an even and sticky paste. Leave for 5 minutes
  3. Add the remaining ingredients but hold back a bit of the flour. Knead until the dough is even.
  4. The dough is still sticky but adding water onto your hands you allow you to shape 15-16 buns
  5. Let the buns rise for 45-60 minutes
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 200ºC in a preheated hot air oven

The buns stay fresh and soft for a few days but may also be keep in the freezer if needed.

There’s no allergy towards gluten in our family. My reason for experimenting with a recipe for gluten free buns originates from my curiosity and my belief that it is better to eat a wide variety of foods to avoid later developing allergies. In many aspects of life I believe more focus on preventing than curing no matter if we are taking illness, bullying or car accidents would be beneficial and effective.

Links

For this recipe I went all in on products from Danish based Urtekram. Everything except from the water, yeast and psyllium husks are Urtekram products which are always organic.  I’m a big fan of their products.

The butter on the photo is Lurpak. Probably the best butter in the world ♡

Last but not least I have to mention our favorite chocolate slices (pålægschokolade in Danish). Wonder what to call this great product as I believe it does not exist outside Denmark. Hope you get what I mean. It is thin slices of chocolate to put onto bread like a slice of cheese. We have fallen in love with the 72 percent dark chocolate from änglamark which is organic and fairtrade.

Though it could look like it this post contains no affiliate links. It is the results of my honest opinions, experiences and beliefs.

I hope you enjoy

 

Children love new toys even if they are preloved

And I could add that us parents love to spoil our children.

Though our family is on a journey to live a more sustainable life we still want new things and I still love to spoil my two lovely children. One way to do so while still being sustainable is buying second hand.

My children are currently having a winter break from kindergarten and somehow we have created an unintentionally tradition of giving our children something new to play with when they have longer holidays. To keep the tradition alive I visited a second hand shop yesterday and found quite a lovely pile of preloved toys (see the photo). It’s a lovely mix of books and toys, old and new, plastic and wood.

Second hand online

Besides second hand shops we sell and buy online using Danish based apps and homepages like DBA and Reshopper. We especially look for wooden toys and LEGO. I find the quality of the preloved toys quite good and will always recommend others to do the same as much as possible.

Flea markets treasures

Some of our favorite toys are second hand found at a flea market close to where we have spend many of our summer holidays. Visiting the flea market and finding new toys is quite and event for both of my eldest children.

I wish more people would sell and buy toys second hand. I believe the world has enough cheap low quality toys that are just lying around not being used. If you only have a small amount of money to spend why not buy preloved toys? I know it is not fully accepted and maybe a bit of a tabu for most people but does it have to be like that?

A bit of toy industry facts

The toy industry of close to 80 billion US dollars globally is dominated by 5 major companies Mattel, LEGO, Namco Bandai, Hasbro and Jakks Pacific. The toy industry has seen challenging years recently. Out of the major 5 companies LEGO has however experienced 25% growth from 2014-2015. In 2016 the industry in total saw growth again during first half year and especially in the subcategory of outdoor and sporting.

If recent numbers indicate a trend towards more intelligent toys like toys to make children active and increase their creatively I welcome the development. I hope the development will also show a decline in sales of cheap stupid toys that are only used once and impossible to resell after use. The kind you get at McDonalds or buy for 10, 20 or 30 DKK at Flying Tiger or similar.

Long live toys of good quality made sustainably and ethically correct. Use them, love them and pass them on for others to continue their life circle.

Sources

  1. Statista.com
  2. fortune.com
  3. cnbc.com