My First Month Going Vegan

*As a disclaimer, I’m currently in eating disorder recovery and have decided with my nutritionist to go with the idea of being “mostly vegan” while I work through my recovery.

After months of the universe giving me hints to try to go vegan, I made the leap about a month ago and haven’t looked back! I always been curious about plant-based lifestyles. I grew eating meat, eggs and dairy as part of a “balanced” diet. I ate some fruits and vegetables but was never terribly excited about them.

In the past few years I’ve started to think about how I ethically feel about eating meat. I understood where my food came from and tried to choose meats, dairy and eggs that came from organic and/or free-range farms. This tactic worked for a couple years but I still felt discontent with food choices (barring the disordered eating).

The lightbulb finally went off in my head when I’d had a lead up of experiences in the past year that eventually bubbled over when I watched a video of a pig trying to save its friend from slaughter. I don’t know why, but I previously had chosen to consciously ignore the fact that pigs are incredibly smart. This video undid that ignorance and I had the realization that I was eating animals with souls. As an obsessive animal lover, I was horrified! My dog had a soul, but I would never eat them! So why was a pig okay? Why a cow?

I then decided to take the ultimate plunge and watch a slaughterhouse video (the official turning point I believe for most previously carnivorous vegans). The video evoked so many emotions in me I wasn’t expecting. I then walked out of my room and announced to my roommates I was OFFICIALLY going to try to go vegan.

Then I promptly realized all of the meat and animal by-products I had in my kitchen that I didn’t want to go to waste.

Now you may be asking, okay I get the no meat part, but why not vegetarian? Well, I’ve never liked eggs and have honestly been replacing them already in my baking. Also, I’m lactose intolerant and have been drinking nut milks for a few years now. Finally, I know that the dairy industry is problematic (I have yet to do deep research on that but I knew enough) and have chosen to no longer support inhumane practices.

This first month has been overall a great experience. As I had not-so-vegan food in my fridge and pantry (I still have some things like chicken and beef bouillon), I can by no means say I’ve been perfect. I also traveled to Iceland for a week and decided to put my lifestyle change on hold in order to experience local cuisine. In my personal opinion, a vegan lifestyle should vary by person for whatever works for them.

For my wins from the past month, I’ve discovered a newfound love of vegetables and fruits. The Whole Foods produce section made me audibly gasp last week. I’ve noticed a rise in energy levels and a general excitement towards food that I didn’t have before. I’ve discovered some amazing recipes I’ve never made before and I’ve learned how to fry tofu. I tried (and liked) vegan cheese! I’ve also rediscovered the importance of feeding your body whole foods so it can feel its best.

For my needed improvements, I have yet to find a fast food meal that sounds appealing to me. This is where I’ve noticed I’ve “gone off the wagon” the most.

Overall, I’m proud of myself. My lifestyle change has made me feel more at peace with my personal values. I also have been learning about the environmental benefits of going vegan. I know that it’s a journey and that it’s a transition, which are always a bit messy. I’m excited to see my next steps and so far, am elated with becoming vegan.

Thanks for reading! xoxo

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Making Nut Milk

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Making nut milk is incredibly easy and I love doing it for multiple reasons. First off, I know exactly what goes in. Second, it’s cheaper. And third, it’s healthier! All you do is soak the nuts and then spend a few minutes blending it all up.

First thing to do is to soak the nuts overnight. I usually fill up a mason jar halfway with the nuts and fill the rest with filtered water. Depending on the nuts you use, they may only take half a day or maybe a whole day or two. I used to make cashew milk, which would soak up the water super quickly, but due to dietary restrictions I now only make almond milk. I usually try to let my almonds sit for as long as possible, usually a little over a day. Whenever you walk by it, stir the nuts around or shake the jar. You may see some powder floating around. This is totally fine! You can leave it in there or you can put in fresh water.

Zero Waste Tip: I try to buy my almonds in bulk to avoid paying for and wasting packaging.

When I go to make the milk, I gather everything I need:

  • Large bowl
  • Cheesecloth
  • Funnel
  • Large glass container
  • Strainer
  • If you want to add some extra flavoring, I usually add in stevia, vanilla and cinnamon

Almond Milk Setup

First, you want to strain your almonds in the sink and give them a little rinse with warm water. Then, grab a blender and put a handful in. There’s no exact measurement, but usually I start with a 1 heaping cup of almonds.

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Then, add in filtered water. You want to add in three or four times the amount water to the amount of almonds you have. Again, I don’t really do exact measurements and just eyeball everything.

Next I add in a splash of vanilla, a couple drops of stevia, and cinnamon. You can also add in a couple dates to sweeten the milk instead of using stevia. I opt for stevia as it doesn’t affect my sugar levels.

Now you just blend it up until it looks like milk! This is maybe for ten seconds. It doesn’t take very long to blend up. If you’re using nuts, like almonds, their skins will float around and that’s totally fine. That’s why the next step is straining!

After some trial and error I’ve found that draping my cheesecloth over a large bowl and pouring in the milk as I blend it is the best method for me. Once the bowl is full, or once I’ve blended all my almonds, I strain out any almond pieces and set them aside.

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Once all your almonds are blended and the milk is strained, simply funnel it into a glass container and put it in the fridge!

Zero Waste Tip: Reuse containers. I like to use old cold brew glass containers and old large kombucha jars!

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Now you have your homemade nut milk!!! This is so easy, quick and any of my friends that have tried it have been impressed by the taste and quality.

Be sure to save your leftover almond pieces! I’ll have a post with ideas on what to do with them so there’s no waste.

Please comment with any questions or tips you have! If you make your own nut milk and have a different method let me know! Also, what kind of flavors do you put in?

Have a great week and remember to K.I.S.S. (Keep It Super Simple)! Mwah.