If you follow me on my social channels and read my blog, you’ll know I’m trying my best to adopt a healthier lifestyle that is based on being vegan. I’ve been doing this for the past 3-4 months but I’ve found it to be incredibly hard for many reasons.
Particularly with a vegan diet, not only do I think the availability of vegan meal replacements are difficult to find but adjusting to different tastes, food textures and so on is extremely hard. To find out why I failed at being vegan and the difficulties I’m still facing, read on.
1. Tastes & Textures of Vegan Food
The first point to note is that vegan food replacements are quite weird. Swapping chicken for tofu is probably one of the best transitions I’ve had, though still, I much prefer to eat chicken than I do tofu. To get it feeling the same texture, it’s a faff.
A faff that takes too much time and isn’t convenient when I’m working all day and my evenings are short. Although, I find that when I have time to prepare it properly (by pressing it), I can make some nice meals with it. My favourite being: Cajun Tofu and Brown Rice.
The worst vegan food replacement was definitely brown or green lentils as a substitute for beef or turkey mince. It was disgusting and stunk.
Biggest Downside To Tofu
I find that because tofu is quite soft, it’s hard to add to sauce-y meals like curry, chilli and so on. As a result, I only ever cook it in the same way, frying it in spice and avocado oil or similar and pairing it with rice and salad.
One thing I’ve noticed is I don’t have as much tofu as I would chicken. That means I end up having more rice, potatoes or salad which can increase my carb intake which is already a lot higher than my protein intake. It doesn’t really matter that much but I’d prefer if I could eat more protein than carbohydrates.
2. It’s Hard To Keep Meals Exciting (& Nutritious)
I don’t know about anyone else but meal times are my favourite times of the day. However, when trying to eat vegan, I found it hard to keep the meals exciting without them taking up too much time to prepare and make.
I love making my vegan pizza but to make the dough and store it, it’s hard. It isn’t the same after freezing and defrosting it. Neither is it after leaving it in the fridge for a day or so. It forms a “crust” on the outside, which does go when you knead and bake it but still.
Anyway, because the ‘exciting’ vegan meals demand a lot more effort and time, I end up opting for beans on toast, soup or vegan cheese on toast. None of these meals are that nutritious and so, I feel like it’d be better to make a bulk batch of perhaps chilli or curry that includes meat but then add a shit tonne of veggies too.
3. Vegan Restaurant Menus’ Are Limited
Not every restaurant has vegan options and those that do are quite limited. I don’t know if it’s me being OCD but I always worry when you go chain restaurants like a Hungry Horse or similar, that the vegan options aren’t really vegan.
I suppose if you aren’t fully educated on what’s vegan and what’s not, you could add a sauce or prepare a meal on the same side/board that a non-vegan meal was prepared and so it could make it non-vegan too. But, maybe I’m just paranoid about that kind of thing?
A great italian restaurant in Leek that offer super tasty vegan pizzas is the Napoli.
(Referring to the Napoli,) if you go on a Tuesday it’s strictly pizza night so all pizzas cost around £8.99 (I think). That means you can save around £4 – £5 in some cases.
I tried the Vegan Pesto pizza which was really nice. I don’t normally like pesto but thought I’d give it another try to which I was pleasantly surprised.
4. I Like Chicken Too Much
It’s probably because I haven’t yet found a great substitute for chicken yet, but I always end up adding it to a meal. Maybe I don’t like vegan substitutes because I’m not used to them? Anyway, if I don’t add chicken to a meal, I’d be eating a plate of rice, potatoes or salad and that honestly will not do me. I’d starve.
I find that you can add it to anything and it always works. It doesn’t matter how you cook it, season it or whatever, it 99.9% of the time tastes great.
I’ve grown up eating meat for 18-20 years of my life (I’m aware I probably didn’t eat it straight when I was a baby), and so, it’s hard to change my diet and completely walk away from it.
Plus, It’s Full of Protein
I’ve already mentioned this but without adding chicken to a meal, I lose the amount of protein I’m eating.
As much as vegan diet is great for helping the environment, making you healthier and also great for losing weight, if you don’t eat a balanced vegan diet, you’ll deprive yourself of important nutrients, making your diet a lot more unhealthy than you’d expect.
If you’re trying to adopt a vegan diet and lifestyle or have successfully done so, comment below how you’re finding/have found this transition. Do you have any tips to share?