As already mentioned in Week 1: Vegan & Plastic-free Life or was it Vegan & Plastic-free Life – Second try? This is not my first time trying out a vegan diet. In fact, it all started with a vegan cookbook 6 years ago, back when I was a vegetarian or actually a pescetarian as I sometimes still ate fish. I had been an on-off vegetarian for about 3 years because most of the time I just did not know what to eat and I had this typical image of “my usual plate and just removing the meat”. So you might guess my meals were getting really boring. I always love good food but was also convinced by veganism that I was not ready to give up yet. Online I found the cookbook XY from a German guy, I was curious. But vegans can only eat vegetables! I was proven wrong when I hold his book in my hands. Everything looked so tasty and there was more to eat than just green salad or veggies. I tried his recipes, backed my own cookies, even cooked at my dads birthday and everybody was surprised that it was vegan. What happened? I went to Rome, Italy for 7 months and went back to eating vegetarian (“Do you only travel for food?” – Rome). After my stay in Italy, I moved to my own flat and started to cook vegan at home and eat vegetarian when eating out or pescetarian when on holiday (Oh Sicily, your food is heaven!). And again, I started travelling. And I am not talking about a 2-week holiday. No, I went to Australia for one year where I would be backpacking which also means I would be moving all of the time. So I just did not want to carry around so much food and started eating cheese and eggs again. Side note, I got the eggs from a friend who had her own chicken, so I thought it might be better than store-bought ones. After this one year in Australia, I travelled more and just needed to try their foods (The food isn’t that bad here – Cambodia and Let’s talk food Ecuador). But now that I will settle down for a while I want to give the vegan food another shot as you might have found out in Week 1: Vegan & Plastic-free Life and Vegan & Plastic-free Life – Second try. So starting this new week I thought it would be good to summarise
1. Food I eat that is not vegan,
2. Plastic & general waste in my everyday life,
3. The things I managed to change so far,
4. What I want to change these coming weeks and how
5. My favourite Vegan Food Blogs.
So lets’ start:
1. Things I eat that are not vegan.
Some days I have overnight oats for breakfast which are vegan or I have a baguette with margarine and Jam which might seem vegan but they are not! The jam contains ‘gélifiant’ which is thickener usually made from animal bones… there are also plant-based alternatives but there is nothing better than some crushed bones for breakfast, right?! Baguette because usually it is covered with butter this is what makes it golden. So what we learned, whenever it is golden = there is butter on top. Whenever I eat out I try to get a Vegan option if available otherwise something vegetarian. Back to my sweet tooth though, I just love French patisserie which is not Vegan *slowly crying* BUT the vegan wave is slowly coming to smaller cities even in France, so you can find Vegan Patisseries! Wait, can I actually hear the angels sing? Sooner or later I might get myself Pâtisserie Vegan, which is full of typical French Patisserie just that the recipes are vegan. So even though some products do seem vegan, usually there is something added that does not make it vegan.
2. Plastic & general waste
Oh dear, where should I even start? It seems impossible to buy food without buying plastic as well. Margarine comes in plastic, the coffee is in plastic, sometimes vegetables and fruits come in plastic, soy milk comes in a carton, fruit & vegetable in plastic nets, just talking about the food. Unfortunately, this is not where it stops, then we also have all shampoos and shower gels in plastic packing and who are even filled with chemicals themselves. But we don’t stop with our hair, no, no, our toothpaste, toothbrush, Q-tips and all kind of facial cleansing products. You see it is endless!
3. What I changed and how!
Lets’ start with the food, I usually drink water from the tap or when your tap water is not drinkable LifeStraw which is also perfect for travelling. If I buy juices I get a regional apple juice in a glass bottle from the supermarket or even better, from your farmers market. I try to buy most veggies and fruits from the farmers market and bring my fruit nets, no need for plastic bags. Or if you have loads of plastic bags you could just use these! As I cook fresh and don’t eat ready-made meals I have less waste.
From the kitchen to the bathroom, only recently I bought my first Bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic toothbrush. I use vegan soap shampoo and regular soap instead of shower gel. My skincare is from Lush, they are natural (not all of them are vegan though), not tested on animals and come without wrapping if they are in a container you can bring these back to the shop where they will recycle them.
4. What I want to change in the future.
I want to slowly switch to waste-free or plastic-free products, like natural dental floss and reusable cotton rounds, alternatives for clingfilm. To buy without packaging but rather bring your own containers, there are some shops as well like le bocal Strasbourg and day by day Strasbourg. So far I have not been there yet but I will go there and check them out. Another thing, I would love to start is a little garden well I mean just grow some herbs so that I don’t have to buy these. Especially, as fresh herbs always come in a plastic package.
5. Some of my favourite vegan food blog websites.
Recently I used mainly Minimalist Baker, as you might have realised but there are some pretty amazing and usually simple recipes. So I googled a bit and found these food blogs Vegan Richa, Olives for Dinner, Healthy Happy Life, Keepin’ it Kind, Fork and Beans – Dinner Ideas, Vegan Yack Attack, Isa Chandra
I think it is important to point out that we should all try to avoid producing any waste if it is plastic, aluminium, paper or throw away food. You say recycling? A lot of items do not get recycled as it cost money, time and energy. Also as I read in a helpful post, recycling should be the last option. Nobody expects you to switch your whole life and habits within a day but we should all make an effort!