So it’s been just over a week since we decided to try the Vegan lifestyle. Over the past few months, my girlfriend and I have researched articles and documentaries about a plant based diet. We then both decided to give it a go for September to see how it feels.
It wasn’t a cold start as we’ve been eating vegan a couple of times a week for the past few months but we are now 100% no meat, fish, dairy or honey in our diet. We choose September as we thought we wouldn’t be as busy or traveling as much.
This blog is my first week and my girlfriend is going to contribute a blog on here also soon. So I started my vegan or plant based diet in Berlin because I was there to attend an electronics and Tech show, IFA 2017. I was a little worried about not being able to start this new lifestyle at home but the date was set and we stuck to it.
I was staying in the Hotel Palace. The breakfast buffet was well stocked and very tasty. Fruit, nuts and juice. It was funny because when I was queuing for a table the maitre d offered me a smoothie and straight away I asked if there was any dairy in it. I was happy that I remembered and it showed me that I was ready. The smoothie was banana and coconut milk. Very tasty!
I’m not going to go through each day step by step but lunch at IFA has numerous food outlets and a few vegan options. I was getting surprised how easy veganism was going to be. I was flying back to Dublin from Berlin Tegel Airport that night and Terminal C was not so vegan friendly. I actually asked for a vegetarian option first, I was going to ease them into it and even that wasn’t available. To their credit, I tweeted my disappointment and the responded with a link for me to point out my observations and a day later, the airport responded with a reply.
Back to Dublin and we ate out Saturday and Sunday for lunch (not usual for us) but we visited The Fumbally cafe on New Street and The Happy Pear in Clondalkin. We really enjoyed both. Reviews to follow.
At the weekend we also did our first vegan shop and it was interesting experience. We are passing over great sections of the supermarket but it takes us as long as we are reading ingredients more often.
I was back in the office on Monday. I work for a large multinational in Dublin. I’m lucky because we get breakfast provided every day and I’ve been having a plant based breakfast for 4 out if every five days for the last few months.
My first team lunch this quarter happened also on Monday and we went to P Mac’s bar around the corner from the office. Really good pub grub and around the table the topic of my new lifestyle choice is in full flow. What I can or cannot eat or drink?, Why did I decide to do this? and How much I would love the burgers, chicken wings or fish everyone else is eating? One of my colleagues asked me if I had felt any difference after 3 days so I joked that the sex was much better which got a great laugh and some more thought by others about potentially turning vegan. I had a walnut, beetroot and quinoa salad and some sweet potato fries. Filling but also not feeling stuffed is a real benefit to this diet.
After this lunch and anytime during the week that my colleagues see something mentioning the word vegan they are fowarding to me. Some are supportive and some are still questioning why along with teasing me.
I’m lucky to be based in the city centre and to have a choice for places to get lunch from, be that eating in or taking back to the office. Evenings are cooking at home and seeing as I don’t live with my girlfriend, it’s preparing meals either for one or a large batch for a number of days.
This week I also attended a summit for work in the convention center. A full day on Thursday and this was probably my biggest day for learnings. A light breakfast was to be provided and so I was relying on a vegan option to be waiting for me as I now have to remember to reply to those dietary requests for allergies etc.
The breakfast was a very light continental breakfast with mainly pastries full of buttery and eggy goodness. There were a few strawberries on the plate for decoration and so I gathered a bowl full. The first coffee break was some tasty cookies for everyone else and my tummy was starting to rumble.
Lunch and things started to change. The Convention Centre Dublin had a special allergy station with one of the chefs present to advise on all food related questions. He requested a really tasty chickpea curry and highlighted the salads I could add to it.
As everyone else had their creamy desserts, I had 2 fresh fruit and date salads. Really good. At the afternoon break, I now understand you need to be vocal and ask for the vegan option and I was presented with some “free from everything” ginger stem cookies.
Afterwards there was a drinks reception and unfortunately there were no vegan options so I had a couple of cranberry juices and headed home.
So my first week was a positive learning experience. I need to plan better and prepare more for the times vegan options are not available. I tweeted about this at the airport in Berlin but I’m not going to get my soapbox out everytime I’m not catered for.
Both my girlfriend and I are enjoying it and also the responses we are getting from family, friends and colleagues. We attended a talk by Rich Roll (vegan author and ultra athlete) along with his wife Julie in August and he made the point and being ambassadors for the lifestyle and that’s what we are planning to do.
We are not going to preach about how everyone else should be on a plant based lifestyle but explain why we made the choice and how we are finding the experience. Thank you for reading my blog and I also have a Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account where you can see more of what’s going on from day to day. I’d love to hear your comments, support and advice!