“Vegans are like adults: first you hate them, then you become one yourself and realize they were right all along.“
Ok..so apparently I never hated vegans at all. I became a vegetarian when I was 12 or 13 and I finally realized, that animals had to be killed to become meat . When I was this young, it was still kinda unusual to be a veggie and I was having troubles for years with my dad and other people trying to convince me to eat meat. It all started with my former best friends birthday celebration at a farm: I was cuddling with baby chicks, cows, pigs and more.. and at some point the farmer started talking about “how farm animals die at a certain point of their lives and become meat.“ umm…yup ! Little Melina the over thinker went to the family computer afterwards and started to google..of course the first page I opened was PETA – and I forced myself to watch a 10 minute video about the slaughter of animals. CONGRATS – YOU ARE NOW A VEGETARIAN, MELINA !
I have always been a huge animal lover. I grew up with dogs and reptiles and while traveling through Asia with my parents no one could hold me back when I saw an animal – my mom was always afraid of me picking up poisonous animals It just felt natural for me not to eat them anymore and restriction was not one of my strengths at that point. I quit McDonalds and my favorite candy (which was the hardest part), because it contained gelatin – my decision at the age of 12.
When I became a vegi it was still kind of unpopular. I didn’t even know about veganism at that point, not even mentioning gluten free diets I’ve been through a lot of different stages in my life when it comes to my body and in the past…lets say 8 years…I was that kind of person who could eat and eat and eat and eat (…) and would never gain weight and stay skinny. My dad is half Italian, which means cheese like mozzarella is always in the fridge, pasta is one of his favorite meals and I used to consume crazy amounts of cheese when we were having dinner. I was a huge sweet tooth and I would eat tons of ice cream, chocolate or other candy everyday – it was crazy and it started to make me sick and tired at some point.. really tired ! I could sleep for 15 hours a day and I was craving more and more sugar (because it makes you addicted / same goes for dairy).
I informed myself about veganism a couple of years ago and I started overusing Pinterest for vegan recipes when I went to Bali: I ate the yummiest vegan food everyday and it was healthy at the same time. I MEAN: look at that cake picture on the top ? Thats freakin‘ vegan crepe cake with coconut cream and strawberries + lemon curd cake. I loved eating smoothie bowls everyday – ahh that feeling of eating ice cream without feeling guilty or shitty afterwards + you can eat a lot of it ! So many benefits … but hey: when you come back home and you still live with your parents it gets a little bit more tricky
and again: I’ve been following multiple animal rescue / rights organizations for years and years and I always felt so bad for everything that happened to an animal..and even though I didn’t eat meat or “dead products“ and even though I was donating money to animal rescue organizations every time I had some money left I still felt kind of shitty inside..because I knew that eating eggs and dairy products wasn’t good either. I stopped eating eggs quite some time ago, because they started to disgust me, I stopped using milk and cream and yoghurt months ago and switched to vegan alternatives .. but (OH OH) the cheese was my biggest problem.. and now we come to the point where I finally decided to adapt a healthy / healthier diet to my life:
I went off the pill 3 months ago and I didn’t feel the best in my body since a couple of months.. I’m not complaining about my body and I don’t want to compare myself to others – but I didn’t feel comfortable anymore and I finally wanted to get rid of my sugar & cheese cravings : for the animals, for the environment, for a better me ! I’ve not been vegan for a long time but I already feel so much better..I am not a nutrition expert or anything but I do think that (if you also try not to eat too much unnatural sugar) if you cut animal products off your diet and you eat lots and lots of fruits and veggies you will feel so much better immediately ! I had lots of water in my body, which is almost completely gone, I started drinking more water instead of juices or sodas, I am more active than before / not tired all the time, I found my passion for cooking again and I feel like its just getting better and better each week for the first time in YEARS I ate one chocolate bar (iChoc Vegan Rice Chocolate) over multiple days – just one tiny chunk every other day..when I was a vegetarian I would have eaten a whole chocolate bar within 30 seconds.
A BIG SHOUTOUT to all the inspiring vegans I’ve met while traveling solo + to all the amazing vegan food bloggers who make me want to try all of their food.
I will tell you in the next step how YOU can make it easier for yourself, if you want to become vegan, too:
1. Becoming vegetarian:
- Stop buying leather or fur products – there are plenty of beautiful vegan shoes and bags out there (yes! even Nike and other brands)
- if you can’t make the connection between meat / leather and fur AND living, loving,suffering animals in your head you need to watch one of those horrible videos about the meat industry
- cut off meat and gelatin and inform yourself about the names of ingredients that come from dead animals
2. Becoming vegan:
- watch : Forks over Knifes, Cowspiracy and Earthlings (it’s best to watch them in this order)
- quit drinking milk and exchange it with almond, coconut, hazelnut, rice, macadamia or any other nut “milk“ (I prefer “Alpro Vanilla Almond Milk“, because it’s thicker and it also tastes good in coffee + you can make some great lattes with it)
- exchange cream and yoghurt with vegan alternatives (try out “We Luve“ products, made from lupin flowers – you will never taste that it’s not made from dairy)
- give your non vegan food (especially candy) away – i know it sounds weird..but if you had a past of eating too much sugar its way better not to have it in your house
- always eat fresh fruits, nuts or (for e.g) coconut and apple chips if you need to snack on something
- get yourself some superfoods like a variety of nuts and dried fruits, frozen fruits are always good for a quick smoothie bowl / vegan ice cream
- always have bananas in your house + try to have as many fresh products as possible
- try out vegan cheese alternatives like “Wilmersburger“..but one special tipp: you won’t be craving cheese (not even vegan cheese) that much anymore after a couple of weeks
- take one step at a time…give yourself some time to quit animal products 100%
- follow vegan (food) bloggers on social media for your daily dose of mouthwatering, cruelty free food creations
- BEST ADVICE: spend hours on Pinterest and pin delicious vegan recipes <3
I’m done now If I’m able to take pictures of my food before eating it, I will post recipes of my favorite vegan foods soon <3