Week 1 Update

Just over 7 days down in our reluctant vegan journey so far and it’s been a pretty productive week so far with a lot to cover. Too much for this blog post actually, so I’ll leave some of that for our first Podcast episode that you can catch on iTunes here — http://reluctantvegan.com.au/itunes (scroll down for other podcast providers)

There were three main things I learnt in the first 7 days of being Vegan.

  1. People will try bring you down
  2. It’s expensive
  3. I have a long way to go

We hit a small speed bump along the way this week when Jess received a rather confronting text message from a family member about why she is doing what she is doing. To be honest, she probably reacted better than me. It made me so frustrated, angry and moreso worried for Jess that what she is trying to do is being put under so much scrutiny. I truly believe that the changes Jess has made in her life are quite heroic. It takes some Gaul and guts to stick to your guns in today’s society. With social media putting people under more scrutiny than ever, I honestly couldn’t have done what she has done so far.

For her beliefs to come under fire though was seriously concerning and frankly absolute rubbish. She was told that people don’t care and aren’t being impacted by what she has done so far in her life and changing her values. It immediately came off as counterintuitive considering it was clearly impacting the feelings of this person.

So it’s certainly a learning curve in finding tactics on how to deal with people. To treat them with respect and force them to show the same back to you. You can’t win with everyone, but we’ll be sure to give everyone a chance. That’s all we ask back.

Diet was the next area to tackle in this Vegan journey. During this ‘transition’ stage from Vegetarian to Vegan I’ve found the substitutes the way to go and make moving to a full plants based diet much more reasonable.

Dairy (and mainly cheese) was the main area I was worried about with this 6 week adventure but I was pleasantly surprised to find some great replacements in key areas. Milk in my coffee was replaced with a combination of soy, coconut and almond milk (venue depending) and my first try of different milk in my coffee was pretty uneventful. It really didn’t taste that much different.

Pizza is still possible with Vegan cheese and Almond Feta! Bellissimo!

With a replacement cheese in the fridge as well it meant that everyday items and dinners were still possible. This is easy, I thought! I spoke too soon….

I was out in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne during the week and came across a gold mine for Vegans, the Wholefood Merchants! Seriously, this place blew me away. It was like I had died and gone to Vegan heaven. It had all the pre mentioned replacement items plus MUCH more. They’re supporting a full Vegan lifestyle with animal free cleaning, beauty and clothing products all available. The tough part I soon found of the availability of all these items, is the price.

A small shop with a few basic items for groceries, 1 bag full of less than 12 products — it cost $96! It bought me back to earth pretty quickly. It might be delicious but it leaves a bad taste in your mouth when it hits your hip pocket that badly. Something that I’d like to explore more in future blog posts.

I also had my first experience of the restrictions around being Vegan on the weekend. The setting: a good friends bucks party at a local pub. The Vegetarian meals were unfortunately not Vegan (dairy in the veggie burger and chips etc. we’re fried in animal fat) so I had to settle for a small bowl of steamed Vegetables. The funniest part was sitting in the middle of 30 guys all devouring their massive Chicken Parmas and Steaks. The least funniest part was having next to zero food in a night devoted to drinking plenty of alcohol.

Getting blood tests done so we can measure the results at the end

We bookended our first week with a trip to the Doctor. Not because we’re sick, but because we want to put an objective and analytical measurement on what we’re doing over the 6 weeks. One of the biggest objections we get is the negative impact it will have on our health. ‘What about all the protein/iron/calcium/[insert vitamin here]’ is one of the most common remarks we’ve got used to. So instead of taking our word for it, we wanted science to prove it. So we got our full blood work and health check done so we can compare at the end of the 6 weeks to see if this type of diet has had any impact. Stay tuned for the results.

We’ve also launched the first episode of the Reluctant Vegan Podcast! You can subscribe to the Reluctant Vegan Podcast where ever good Podcasts are listened to:

It’s been a big first week, but I know we’re only a fraction of the way there. Onwards and upwards!

Dan