The 7-Day Vegan Challenge, Final Days & Parting Thoughts
It's time for the last post of my vegan challenge! Read below about my fancy Friday, succulent Saturday and surprising Sunday, along with my final thoughts regarding this whole wonderful week.
Since my father would be off to a business trip on Saturday we decided to go celebrate the weekend with dinner at a restaurant, that obviously would feed me vegan food as well as meat to my carnivorous brothers. We ended up in one of our standard restaurants, the Classic American Diner in Jumbo shopping centre, where I ate the first vegan burger ever! The burger's "meat" was pulled soy, which was different to what I was used to, but still delicious! Pairing the meal with a cranberry long drink sure was a tasty experience overall!
This was a special day as my second cousin had her graduation party and all that was served was vegan food. I had mostly couscous, three kinds of hummus and my first try on seitan (wheat gluten). It was a pure win! The food was not only suitable for this week's diet, it was also super delicious - ooh, not to mention the chocolate cake that was served, like, a chocolatey dream come true! It seems starting this challenge this week wasn't a bad decision after all! :)
(I didn't get to snap any pictures because I was too busy drinking champagne to pass the time and wait with my socially awkward self that we'd leave after mingling with enough people. I know you've felt the same at some point in your lives ;) )
Sunday - the end
This day was started with a cup of morning coffee with an old acquaintance; their name is almond milk and came around iKaffe ran out (the door). Ha. Jokes aside, it was great to taste almond milk in my coffee again, even though the consistency is completely different than oat or coconut milk. I do like it! My favourite is still oat milk but almond milk is definitely cutting it close. :)
Breakfast was the usual power juice I talked about earlier, just as terrible-tasting yet energy-boosting as always! Nothing special happened here except for the mentioned almond milk's comeback.
For lunch I tried out seitan that I had tasted the day before. I know gluten is not that good for me, but I just HAD to try out the seitan nuggets that I caught with my eyes at the grocery store. They tasted like regular nuggets but with this wheat-overpowering that made them savoury enough to be eaten. I also made instant noodles with taco sauce, which added to the "realness" of the dish.
Afternoon snack was the remains of my Tesco drinking chocolate and a bowl of red grapes - a forever favourite!
After participating in the election of Finland's president by voting for the first time ever (!) Mum and I went to a recycling centre to get a bedside table for me, who needs to put her warm drinks and books near bed. Then we went to a new store in Koivukylä called Hehku. Hehku was also the place I hauled makeup and skincare products from today - a video of that should be up sometime this week! Anyway, coming home felt extra good as Mum had made these lemon energy bites (that I don't know the recipe for - yet) to be served with "election coffee". These balls of lemon were a healthy snack (!!) and had the taste of lemon cookie dough and were so delicious! I want to learn the recipe for them because from what I heard, these required little to no cooking skills, which is super suitable for a cook like me! ;)
To top this vegan challenge off, we ordered pizza for dinner from one of our local pizza restaurant that makes vegan pizza. Mine included a gluten-free crust, tomato sauce, vegan cheese, falafel, arugula, pineapple and bell pepper. I honestly was so taken aback at how nice it tasted, just as surprisingly good as my vegan burger a few days before! Not that I would have thought about it to be bad, I just didn't realise how delicious a vegan pizza could be - it was beyond amazing!
Now for the wrap-up of this whole challenge. I never would've guessed changing your eating habits to a more conscious diet would be so easy and mindbogglingly eye-opening. I realised that meat doesn't have to be a part of my everyday meals, it's just that over the years, as I've leaned towards greens, I just want to have an excuse to garnish my meals with protein from meat. I've always loved plant food better than any meat, all my favourite foods are vegetables, fruits and berries, and now I can feel safe knowing foods like beans can replace the meat any day.
After this challenge I am more open to trying out new things - never would I have thought falafel and soy would etch themselves forever in my heart - and hopefully I can now relate to both the struggle and the freedom of my hippie-vegan friends.
As much as I loved doing this challenge, I don't think I can commit myself to a wholly-vegan diet. Just yet at least, because of foods like salmon and "true" cheese are weak spots of mine. Otherwise I know I can gradually let go of the meat as it's a necessity no longer, and go for more ethical choices. As a contradiction to many beliefs, vegan food isn't too expensive or hard to acquire, it just takes the right amount of research and work, inspiration and willpower - all worth it for a better planet.
I hope you liked following me through my week as a vegan (with three posts...) because I really liked photographing the food highlights of these seven days and write about it all here! Next up for my planning is planning my fitness routine from February onwards, and I can already tell it's going to be exciting!