I can’t believe how fast time has gone… It’s been one year since we went vegan already! Do you still remember the first recipe I posted on here? It was the one for these delicious pancakes, which is still one of my favorite recipes. Last year we celebrated New Year’s Eve eating all the non-vegan snacks we wanted to eat for one last time. It’s funny to watch back on it, because I had expected to miss a lot of those things while being vegan, but actually I didn’t at all. Having said goodbye to those things on the last day of 2016 was a great idea, it worked out perfectly fine for us, and we didn’t regret going vegan for one single second.
So we kicked off our vegan life with those pancakes, which was a great start, but this year we decided to handle it a little different. Because truth must be told guys; being vegan is AWESOME, but it’s a mythe that it makes you lose weight (or at least in our case it is). We had expected to become totally fit and super healthy by eliminating all animal products out of our life, but the fact is that there are so many good vegan substitutes already. Being vegan doesn’t mean having to miss out on junk food, candy, soda, and so on. The first few months our weight dropped a little, but after a while we just started gaining it all again. And I won’t deny it, I just like to eat, very much. And that’s not a shame at all, but sometimes I just cross my limits, and after a while I start to regret having eaten so much.
That’s why, for 2018, we made a new resolution: to become more fit and in shape. Don’t worry, I won’t be turning this blog into a fitness blog, that’s not the plan at all. But I do want to look even more into eating healthy, and mostly balanced, and to most of all love my body for what it is. Going vegan has helped me to gain another perspective on life, to think more about the value of all creatures on this earth, to think more about what I buy and what I put on and into my body. Going vegan has made me discover horrible and beautiful things, made me discover so many new products, techniques, places and people.
I won’t say that it’s been easy every single second of the past year. Sometimes I get frustrated when I see something in the supermarket that has milk or other animal products in it that shouldn’t be in there at all. Sometimes I get angry that a super basic vegetable soup at uni contains milk. Sometimes I get annoyed that I can’t eat a regular candy bar anymore. Sometimes I get tired of having to check every single damn E-number, and then I get frustrated over the fact that they put so many of those in a lot of products. Sometimes I want to yell at every single person in my family for making stupid jokes about the fact that we choose not to eat what they eat. Sometimes I walk by a pizza place, inhale the lovely smell, look at all the cheese they put on top of it, and wonder “would it make such a difference to eat one of those for one last time?” But then I remember why we’re doing this, I remember all the horrible images of animals getting tortured, all the evidence of how sick animals products make us. All those innocent animals dying… Just a quick thought of that is enough to walk on and enjoy a lovely vegan meal at home.
I don’t feel ashamed to write about this, because I think a lot of vegans experience the same thoughts and doubts from time to time. Sometimes you just want to be able to grab a quick snack just like everyone else, without having to check all the ingredients. I think that’s perfectly normal. But even if you have those moments, or maybe if you even cheat from time to time, I don’t want to believe that makes you a “bad vegan”. After all we always remember why we went vegan, what a beautiful mindset and life it is, and I’m sure that is the most important thing of all. I’m also sure that the longer you are vegan, the easier it gets. Especially because there’s a real vegan revolution coming up, and I think 2018 is going to be even more mind blowing. For example, I’m almost praying that Pizza Hut will very soon release their vegan cheese in Belgium as well, because seriously, how amazing would that be? 🙂 It’s those little (or actually very big) things, that make it easier, and even more fun. I think it’s wonderful to see how more and more people are realising veganism is the future, and that it’s definitely not boring, unhealthy or ‘tasteless’ at all. We just have to keep on believing in a better future, and make people realise how great being vegan can be! Whenever someone asks me advice on being vegan, or asks for recipes or information on how to replace certain ingredients, it makes me so happy and proud, and that’s how I know I will never go back to a life filled with animal products. Animals give us love, and plants give us all the rest.
One last thing I have to mention: as you might have noticed, my blog also changed a little. To celebrate it’s 1st birthday, I’ve bought my own domain name. From now on you can easily find all my posts on http://www.onceyougovegan.com ! 🙂 I’ve also given it a new logo and touched it up with some fresh colours and fonts. Furthermore nothing has changed, and I’ll be striving to share more recipes, hotspots and products reviews with you guys in the upcoming year. Thanks for all the support, reads and nice comments. 2017 has been my first year of foodblogging, and I really enjoyed it. I know there’s still lots of room for my blog to grow, but I want to take it nice and slow and not put too much pressure on myself when it comes to achieving high stats every month. I’m just very thankful for everyone who’s been following, reading, sharing and cooking, and I hope we can continue that way in this new year.
Lots of love,
Now that you’ve read my little evaluation of my first year as a vegan, I would of course like to share some food with you guys. As I’ve said before, we’re not kicking off the new year with pancakes this time. We’ve stuffed ourselves with a lot of great food during the holidays, so now it’s time for a little detox. We’re kicking 2018 off in an even greener way, with even more vegetables, more water, more vitamines and more exercise. That’s why in this post I’ll be sharing with you guys what we’re eating to cleanse our bodies a little bit from all the holiday food. Starting off with a green juice, continuing with delicious fruit, a vegetable snack and a buddha bowl for dinner. Enjoy!
- What do you need? (2 small glasses)
– Juice of 1 lemon
– Juice of 5 oranges
– 2 cups of frozen mixed fruit and veg (mango, kale, lemongrass, banana)
– 1 small chunk of ginger / 1 teaspoon of ginger powder
- How do you make it?
Add all the ingredients to a blender and mix until no chunks are left. Drink directly so that no vitamines go to waste.
- What do you need? (about 4 servings)
– 1 apple
– 2 kiwi’s
– 1 mango
– 1 mandarin
– 1 orange
– 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
– 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
– 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
- How do you make it?
Peel and cut all the fruit into chunks and add to a bowl. Add lemon juice to prevent the fruit from turning brown. Add chia and hemp seeds for some extra power and their healthy benefits. Perfect as a snack all day through.
Roasted chickpea snack
- What do you need?
– 1 can of chickpeas
– Smoked paprika powder
– Olive oil
- How do you make it?
Preheat the oven at 180 to 200 degrees (Celsius). Drain the chickpeas, rinse them with cold water and set aside until dry. Add some olive oil, a teaspoon of smoked paprika powder and salt (to taste) and stir through. Spread the chickpeas out on a baking tray and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy as a super healthy snack.
- What do you need? (2 bowls)
– 150g rice
– 6 carrots
– 2 avocado’s
– 10 cherry tomatoes
– Fresh spinach
– Roasted chickpeas
– Rice vinegar
– Soy sauce
– Sesame oil
– Sunflower oil
– 1/2 lemon
– Ginger powder
– Salt and pepper
– Italian herbs
– Sesame seeds
- How do you make it?
Prepare the rice, following the instructions on the package. Let cool down for a bit and add a couple spoons of rice vinegar.
Cut the carrots into small bars. Add them to a pan, together with two cups of water, one tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper and some Italian herbs. Let them cook, stew and eventually bake until they’re ready.
Cut the tomatoes in half and the avocado in slides. Add to a bowl, together with the rice, carrots, spinach and chickpeas.
For the sauce: add a couple spoons of soy sauce, neutral oil, lemon juice to a bowl. Add a teaspoon of sesame oil and ginger powder and whisk everything together until you’ve gained a good sauce. Drizzle over the vegetables and rice and finish off with some sesame seeds.
If you’re body is also craving a day of healthy food after the holidays, then this little menu might be perfect for you. Combined with some green tea through the day, these foods will make you feel more energized and cleansed again. And of course lots of variations are possible, as long as you stick to clean fruits and vegetables.
I hope your 2018 started off as great as ours did 🙂 Enjoy!