The Quiet Vegan

You know how vegans are always thought to be excessively talking about themselves being vegans. Looking at other, non-vegan people with disgust, accusative stares or, the slightly milder version, pity in their eyes.

Vegans are those people who just have to tell you how unhealthy or barbarian your daily choices and eating habits are, they somehow never fail to magically create occasions to talk about how veganism is superior and the one right thing, no matter what.

I’ve been vegan for about 5 years now and I’m not one of them.

The way I see it, in every “evolution” of any vegan person there’s that phase where you start digging into information about veganism. There’s the health perspective, the environmental perspective and, of course, the ethical/moral perspective. On each of those perspectives there are loads of information available and in this specific phase the person will really soak up any info he/she can get. One new bit of knowledge leads you to further research and the more you read up and inform yourself, the more grounded your decision of being vegan gets. That phase of self-information is crucial for becoming a long-term, happy vegan and everyone who sees veganism as more than just a fad will experience and live through it.

As vital and eye-opening that phase massive info-haul is, it also comes with consequences. Some typical “symptoms” are:

  • Sadness

(“How can it be that other beings are being treated the way they are?” You can literally feel every crushed animal – this can become so dramatic that you are close to being seriously depressed.)

  • Anger

(“How can it be possible that you did not know about this so far? How come this crucial information has been kept from you over all these years? How can media, lobbies and the government plainly LIE about all these things – up to the point that Children love to go to McD and order a “Happy Meal”? And how can it be that that “Happy Meal” consists of the screaming token of desperation and death?”)

  • Confusion & Regret

(“Why wasn’t I told that before? What else is a lie? How could I not have known or suspected this? Was I just too lazy, ignorant and egoistic to notice? How could I hurt all these beings for all these years?”)

  • Urge to talk about your new knowledge

As you’re informing yourself about all reasons for becoming vegan and you live through these first 3 symptoms, your urge to talk about your learnings, feelings and thoughts grows stronger. This is only natural and in fact healthy, since not talking about it would probably leave you alone in your room, crying and hating the world.

If you’re lucky to have people around you who you can talk about this stuff and you are additionally gifted with just the right amount of social intelligence and sensibility, you are going to do just fine with this “symptom”.

If you’re, on the contrary, lacking one or both of these circumstances it could get, well… messy.

You might stumble into some serious arguments, hurt and be hurt by your “folks” and, as a bonus, leave people thinking all vegans are the intolerant, judgmental assholes I partly described at the beginning of this post.

I believe, in order to have a healthy development as a vegan, that the “talking about it all the time”-symptom is naturally bound to diminish at some point. After some time you are going to find it easier to live vegan, you’re gonna have replaced your old habits with new ones and it’s not gonna be all “new” anymore. You won’t have to think about every item you buy anymore and you’ll know by hard which options on your favorite restaurant’s menu are vegan. You’re just gonna get USED to living this way – and that’s GOOD!

Somewhere around at this point I hope you are gonna have come to peace with the fact that not everyone on this planet is living vegan. Heck, not even everyone you know is. Most likely, even your best friends, family and partner are far from it. And that’s still hard, I know. BUT, over time you’ll be able to somehow live with that, too.

You’re not gonna have to scream “THIS IS MURDER!” in their faces, everytime your friends eat a Salami-Pizza or drink coffee with cow-milk. You’re not gonna start crying everytime your boyfriend bakes some eggs.

This doesn’t mean you stopped caring. I think this change is very important. You’d go crazy if you wouldn’t, somehow, come to terms with your non-vegan environment.

Would I wish that all my colleagues ordered vegan food with me instead of eating gross meaty-takeout every day at work? Yes.

Would I be glad if my family started to integrate vegan food into their weekly-lunch plans? Of course.

Would I be happy if my boyfriend would ditch that omelet? Absolutely.

But would it help if I told them, every damn time? Unfortunately, I think not.

I don’t know if this, my approach is the right approach. I’m just trying to not go crazy, to not be a constant pain in the ass no one wants to have around but to live by being a non-intrusive example. Over time, this is the only approach that has brought me some real results.

Yes, you may ask me about my thoughts on all things vegan, but only if it’s not in the “I-wanna-pick-a-fight”- kinda tone. I will calmly talk about my personal opinions and views, and I will do my best to try not to attack or “judge” you.

I believe that people who know me appreciate this about me, BUT there are certain situations that really push me.

Work-colleague tells me he’s eaten something vegan and it tasted actually good. Other co-worker talks about how environmentally-awesome he’s planning to eat next Friday while biting into his Leberkäs-Semmel (disgusting Austrian meat derivative in a bun). Great, I nod and smile. You want applause? Go get it somewhere else, please.

Person tells me that actually, not buying food seasonally is just as bad as eating meat. Wow, glad you figured that out, but maybe you wanna start dealing with your own stuff and improving there first?

“Friend” tells me that he exclusively eats Bio-meat, and just very little of that in fact, when I saw him eat a “Schnitzelsemmel” from a discounter the week before. Would be a nice step if you actually stuck with that, but pleeeeease, just stop talking to me already.

You see, I am really trying here. To be nice and not intolerant and not judgy – but please, stop pushing me or I’ll become exactly that vegan you don’t want me to be!

P.s.: Oh, and – SURPRISE – I don’t want every conversation to somehow circle back to me being vegan. I am actually interested in other topics, too. I do have a life. Being vegan is not the only thing that defines me, so please don’t reduce me to that. Thanks!

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taste the lifestyle (80/10/10)

…i’m melting! like, literally.

it’s summer here and today has been about the hottest day in a couple of years. oh wait, tomorrow, they said it will be even hotter. yay.

don’t get me wrong, sun on your skin is awesome but there definitely is something like too hot.

ok, to the point now (if i somehow just randomly stop typing and you’ll get a weird unfinished post, it’s save to assume that i just died of heat!) .

 

i just came home from a couple of days at an absolutely stunning lake where i stayed with my family. that is mum, dad & 2 younger brothers!

believe me, it was awesome and i didn’t mind the heat at all 😉IMG_1258

 

 

 

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still fun at age 20!

 

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gorgeous hidden mountain-lake we also visited

 

 

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simply beautiful.

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mmmh i just really enjoyed doing nooooothing productive at all and relaxing with my clan!

just so refreshing.

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 don’t mind the weather. it still was freaking hot, clouds kept coming and leaving 🙂

 

 
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my little baby brother…<3

 

so, this post is supposed to give you a glimpse into my current lifestyle. i’ll try to keep it as short and sweet as possible, but i suppose i’ll still have some explaining to do!

as you already know i am a committed and food-loving vegan and if you’ve been around for a while you’ll know that i am able to inhale tons of fruit. veggies are the main stars of most of my dinners, often accompanied by vegan protein sources such as chickpeas, lentils and beans. i gotta say that i’ve been eating many more raw nuts than everyone i know or i’ve heard of during the last couple of years and my go-to snacks are always dried fruit such as dried figs or dates.

i generally have been avoiding fat-sources other than nuts for the longest time, meaning no or low oil since i’m kinda sensitive when it comes to (vegan) oils. also, i don’t miss it for taste at all.

something changed.

probably a couple of months ago i stumbled across a video of Freelee the Banana Girl on youtube and started watching some more of her videos on her channel. this girl looks absolutely amazing and lives off fruit only. yes, i said fruit only! (plus some leafy greens like spinach, kale etc.)

since i already had quite some days where i would eat fruit only & felt really great i got interested and looked into what is known as “The Banana Girl Movement“. this lifestyle stems from a book that is relatively good known within the “raw movement” written by Douglas Graham and called “The 80/10/10 Diet“.

80_10_10-cover-offwebsite

 

cut reeeeeeeally down to the most basic points (in my view), Graham says that the optimal total nutrition ratio for the human body is 80 % carbs, 10% protein and 10% fat. Healthy & perfect sources for carbs are fruit and veggies, which themselves are made up of an overall nutrition ratio of 80/10/10. all food should be exclusively vegan, raw or as unprocessed as possible and if doable, organic.

this entire idea of nutrition and wellbeing due to food is not a new one and is supported by various scientific findings such as The China Study and is essential for a happy, healthy and long life. the concept of 80/10/10 is also widely referred to as “LFRV” (low fat raw vegan) and “LFHC” (low fat high carb).

the Banana Girl Movement/Lifestyle is based on these findings. just a couple of years ago a sub-group of the Banana Girl Diet was “formed” by Freelee and her mother. this sub-group is called “RawTilFour” and basically means eating raw, HCLF vegan meals for all day and then rounding it off with an equally vegan, 80/10/10 kind of COOKED meal. think baked potatoes, vegan pasta with low fat (and low sodium) tomato sauce and tons of veggies.

ok, so far so good. i just recently found a website where the entire idea is briefly summarized in an excellent way, so i’ll spare you a bad try of me explaining it and just ask you to read this post here in case you’re interested!

back to me!

the entire idea or concept sounds completely reasonable (and scientifically backed up) and moreover totally fits my lifestyle already, only with a few alterations that i started incorporating after watching Freelee’s videos, joining the facebook group and reading the book by Doug Graham:

  • eliminate salt completely (stores water in the body & damages taste buds!)
  • cut back nut consumption drastically (waaaay to much fat!!!)
  • cooked veggies & some grains instead of legumes & beans (a little adaption needed but just as yummy)
  • eat more more more fruit to get the needed calories in (we’re talking kilos of fruit!)
  • drink more water (minimum of 3 liters per day; not too hard for me anyways;) )

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yummmmmmy vegan pasta al pomodoro at a restaurant accompanied by unsalted, no oil salad. 

note: when dining out salt and oil consumption is often very hard to control. this is no biggie however, as you don’t eat out everyday and it is still a vegan and high carb meal 🙂

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homemade corn-pasta with spinach and tomato sauce. no oil, no salt, no worries! 

 

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homemade vegan bananashake: bananas, water, cinnamon and you’re in heaven!

 

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thank god he gave us dates! super delicious, super nutritious, super easy to carry around! 

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standard for me: minimum of 4 apples & 2 bananas a day!

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homemade veggie pan sans oil. all you need is water for roasting! was accompanied by a lot of rice.

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brokkoli is my friend! this one especially 🙂

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figs…oh, how i love thee! dried, sweet & heeeeelthy!

ok, so what exactly does my lifestyle look like right now?

as i really feel great & thrive right now, i don’t plan on changing anything to how i’ve been livin in the past. depending on daily circumstances and my feelings & cravings i have some days where i only eat fruit, but really a whole lot of it. undereating stands no chance! (apples, bananas, dates and pineapples are my favs right now!)

some other days i would eat fruit until dinner and then have some cooked 80/10/10 meal at night. and also a lot of it! i’m having seconds, thirds and sometimes even thirds! 😉

when i’m out with friends or family i’ll sometimes have huge salads or cooked vegan, carb-based meals for dinner or even lunch. as said, it’s not always possible to control the amount of salt and/or oil in a meal when dining out, but i’ll just not make a big deal out of it and relax since i dine out relatively rarely.

the key here is to always drink a lot of clear water and really eat enough calories!

so, do i “cheat“?

first of all, i refuse to call it cheating when i don’t exactly stick to the guidelines. yes, i still have my cup of coffee with some soy milk, but i’m cutting back big time. yes, i’ll also sometimes eat some nuts with my meal of as a snack, but i also reduced this a lot which actually feels good.

and the “worst thing” (haha) is that i still enjoy some rice cakes with dark vegan chocolate on top of them, occasionally. sorry, but i just love them sometimes!;)

no, seriously, i don’t want to restrict myself. i enjoy this lifestyle and won’t allow it to become like a set of rules than need punishment when i don’t exactly stick to them a 100%.

however, i automatically come closer to the recommended things and feel really unbelievable! i have so much energy that it is hard for me not to work out some days, which i sometimes should as my muscles would still ache a little!;) i’m doing some kind of workout every freaking day, even when its just walking, it’s movement and feels fantastic!

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ok wow, this post has gotten really long. in case i got you interested now, please check out the book by Doug Graham, Freelee’s youtube channel and her facebook pages, as well as The China Study or the according movie “Forks over Knifes”! These recommendations are seriously life-changing and i wish everyone would know about them.

 

in case you want to share your opinion, thoughts, experiences or have a question, please feel free to comment on this post!

 

i wish you a wonderful night,

yours s.

healthful living – things i’m loving lately

i believe that there is always room for improvement. 

this statement holds true for every aspect life has to offer, and we should never stop questioning our motives, thoughts and actions. once we stop moving we stop progressing and will not just stand still, but rather fall back.

i know i announced that this blog will not focus on food and therefore diet anymore, but still, when i feel like posting about health there is no way the topic of food can be neglected.

i’ve been vegan for quite a while now (≈2.5 years i think) and could not be more convinced that eating plants only is the ultimate road to health, fitness and a peaceful mind. yes, i like to take a holistic perspective on health, meaning i believe that body, mind and spirit are inseperably intertwined and cannot be treated as if they simply coexisted.

i am happy to say that i seem to always stumble upon new, valuable sources about nutrition and health and therefore continue learning. a business student can indeed, too, be highly interested in these kinds of topics – i’m living proof!

 

you will be able to read about some of these sources and my personal experiences on the road to heath in the future, for example when i post about my top 5 books and my top 5 movies. moreover, i plan on writing one or more separate posts on what i regard as a “healthy life” for myself, but not tonight!

all i will say now is that i’m trying to limit the (vegan) chocolate and eliminate all processed foods altogether at the moment. basically, i eat TONS of fruit, loads of vegetables and clean grains and starches such as rice, potatoes and quinoa. soy consumption is also something i want to cut back on, as most soy products are quite processed. last but not least i try to not do vegetable oil and salt and, truth be told, hardly ever miss it at all!

on top of the diet part, i continue and upgrade my workouts regularly. i’m really enjoying doing at least a small exercise routine almost daily and love seeing my body becoming more & more toned from week to week!

as already stated, i will explain the what and why in detail within the upcoming posts, but tonight you’re getting some pictures! 🙂

 

 

so here come some things i’m loving lately:
  • corn-pasta dishes

although i’m not gluten-intolerant i tried corn pasta and instantly fell in love! somehow i feel as if my body needs less effort to digest and i personally can’t seem to recognize any loss of taste. so, gluten-sensitive or not, give corn-pasta a chance!

 

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(creamy balsamic-tomato corn-pasta with spinach)

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(pasta salad i made for my and my bf’s family. everybody came back for seconds! 😉 )

  • banana shakesEvernote Camera Roll 20130714 234040

i love love LOVE these! not long ago i made my banana-shakes with bananas & soymylk, but now i know way better! go and try just blending some bananas with pure, cold water. i’d never believed this combo was superior, but trust me, it is! i always add cinnamon to my shake and sometimes even some vanilla-powder. yummmmmm.

  • dark chocolate rice cakes

medium

no matter how determined i am to cut back on chocolate, i absolutely need these babies every now and then. especially this one time a month, if you know what i mean!

i however decide not to feel guilty! dogmas never seem to lead to happiness, one of these however sometimes seem to do exactly so. 😉

  • raw fruit balls

Evernote Camera Roll 20130714 234112a more healthy treat are these homemade raw fruit balls. from time to time i indulge in these all-raw balls, which contain dates, bananas, coconut flakes, some nuts like almonds or cashews and, in my case, cinnamon and cocoa/carob. if you’re interested in some recipes just google “raw fruit balls” and you’ll get some hits! 😉

or, just play around in your kitchen and get your hands dirty for once!

  • tons of fruit each day

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(stocking up the kitchen! looooads of fruit each shopping trip, things like soy-yogurt and flaxseed are “sometimes-food” i don’t omit completely)

so yeah, there you have it, some things i’m loving lately.

i’m looking forward to writing the other, more detailed, promised posts but so long, love your body, mind and soul & go learn something you didn’t know before!

yours,

s.

EATING OUT

 

it’s annoying to always ask for the ingredients of a meal when eating out with your friends & family, don’t tell me!

i want to give you some ideas on what meals are vegan choices when eating out, so you can start to enjoy going to restaurants again.

it really CAN be fun! 😀

 

 

a special tip is to look at the online-menu of the place you plan to visit, if there is one available.

 

 

 

– ITALIAN:

italian restaurants are great places for vegans.

true italians don’t use any eggs in the pizzas & pastas, so all you need to look out for is, of course, the cheese.

i tried pizzas sans cheese & meat and found they were delicious!

oh, if you like, try a pizza sans cheeze, with mushrooms, corn, chillis & of course tomato-sauce.  it’s my favorite! 🙂

 

pasta’s also a goodie. always!

the classical “safe” meal is of course “pasta aglio é oglio”.

but there are different kinds of vegan pestos like “arrabiata”, just ask your waiter & don’t be ashamed!

 

 

 

– ASIAN:

i love asian food!

there are so many opportunities.

you can always ask the cook if he would be so kind to make you some vegan dish. there are so many vegan ingredients to be found in the asian kitchen, so it will be no biggie for him to create you a vegan meal.

the basic vegan meal that’s mostly to be found on the menu is some dish containing tofu, veggies & rice.

 

another favorite of mine is vegan maki! i love these lil’ rice-rolls.

go ahead and skip through the menu, or speak up and ask the staff! 🙂

salty, sweet, you can find everything a vegan stomach could ask for!

 

 

 

– INDIAN:

indian restaurants always offer a variety of vegetarian meals.

you still need to pay attention to dairy, for many indian dishes contain butter, milk and so on.

best thing is to ask the staff & let him know what you can’t eat!

chickpeas, lentils, lots of fresh veggies, potatoes & rice are waiting for you 🙂

 

 

 

– ARABIAN:

FALAFEL-BURGERS! falafel are made out of chickpeas, so is humus.

look for some vegetarian dishes & watch the dairy, for yogurt-sauces are popular.

 

still you’re gonna find some great dishes & snacks to-go!

 

p.s.: try a vegan “Kebap”, filled with fresh veggies & vegan sauce 🙂

 

 

 

LIFE OF A VEGAN

hey there!

i thought about some general vegan posts i’m gonna do, to make sure you people get a little insight into the „vegan world“.

being vegan sometimes feels like being an outcast, but „new“ or „unusual“ lifestyles and ideas never used to be popular in its beginning-times.

this post is gonna show you how an ordinary day as a vegan could look like.

it’s about preparing your meals at home & gives you some recipe-ideas.

i’m also going to write a post on how to survive an omni*-party and an „eating out guide“,

but let’s talk about a day at home first!

* an „omni“ is an „omnivore“, which means people who eat whatever they can get, by means of meat, fish, dairy, eggs, gelatine & other animal-based foods. you get the idea. you’re surrounded by omnis! 😉

SAMPLE DAY OF A VEGAN’S LIFE

Breakfast

breakfast is important, for our bodies need to fill up the energy levels after some good sleep.

some people like a really early breakfast, some (like me) prefer it to be later.

– what about some

HOMEMADE GRANOLA?

–> enjoy it with any mylk you like best: soy-, almond-, hemp-, rice-, oat- or spelt-mylk.

– you can’t really eat much after getting up?

here’s some yummy & not-too-rich idea: “QUICK BREAKFAST”

– not a granola-fan?

i can hardly imagine, but of course there are various other options:

– try different nut-butters, such as peanut-, almond- or macadamia-butter;

– get some jam, but remember to check if it’s gelatine-free!

– use vegan margarine & top it with some maple-syrup;

– make yourself some yummy “BANANARAMA” (banana-butter)

– find a yummy chocolate-spread sans milk;
– oh, and don’t you ever forget about the delicious   “WAKE-ME-UP – CUP”  !

– you’re more the savoury breakfast-type?

no prob!

– get some (toasted) bread or sandwich & eat it with vegan cheese (available at vegan online shops & big supermarkets) or even vegan fake-meat (same here).

– if you’re fond of scrambled eggs, try a fake-version of it by using tofu.

just search the internet for a good alternative, there are many great recipes waiting for you out there!

– and, last but not least, fruit has always been the quickest breakfast to-go!

Lunch & Dinner

well, what do we have here?

millions of opportunities!

the basics:

– protein

lentils, beans, tofu & other soy-products, tempeh, seitan;

– whole grains

quinoa, amaranth, spelt, oat, wheat, rice, whole-grain pasta, …

– veggies

think along;)

here are some ideas:

SPICY PROTEIN PAN

 

SALAD – STYLE GRILLED VEGGIES

or what about a Champignon-Veggie-Pan? 🙂

you need to know that i only post recipes without the added whole-grains, for it’s not that complicated to cook rice, quinoa or so. so just make the things i post & then add your fav. whole-gains! 🙂

another great tip is to visit this site: Katies Blog !

i often use her recipes, they’re awesome!

Snacks

it happens i’ve written an entire post about my fav. snacks right here .

but, just so you get the idea:

TRAIL MIX

some GRILLED VEGGIES with LENTIL – SPREAD

(i also added some tomato-sauce here& used it as dip)

TOFU ROSSO – SALAD

AMARANTH – PUDDING

CHAI – COFFEE – SHAKE

see, a yummy vegan day is possible & very recommendable 🙂