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.