nomeatbarefeet

a vegan couple: eating; running; living–minimally.

Tag: vegan

Vegan is not a diet, but when it is…

 

We are vegans.

For us this is not just how we eat.

For us this is not just about trying to be healthier.

For us this is not a trend.

For us this is not a diet.

For myself, the evolving relationship with being vegan——with eating a wholly plant-based diet——started more as just another turn in my life. Becoming vegetarian was easy. Meat held no power over me, and giving it up was as simple as setting an ice cube out in the hot sun and watching it slowly melt away. (Here I have to credit Katie as the impetus.) As time when on, however, it felt like a shift away from all animal products was not only logical but essential.

Turning “pure vegetarian” or “wholly plant-based” was not hard, but it did and still does present us with a life-shifting paradigm. I, however, am all about embracing such paradigms. Each step in one’s life, each encounter with “the new” and “the different” can will bring the possibility of challenges and hardships. But I have adopted the ethos that it is often better to simply make/accept something into your life, make it who you are and move forward with it. But isn’t this what people do, rather dramatically and instantaneously when they have children? Or when they marry? Or date? Or start school or a new job? Yes, you bring your old-self with you to these new experiences, but the newness of those experiences requires of you to be open and willing to accept both the unknown and change. Without these capacities you will continually drag a weight behind you, scarring your life and the lives of those around you as you continually lament your situation.

Openness. Acceptance. The Unknown. Change.

Many people avoid these at all costs, but becoming vegan is all about them. It is all about seeing your food, seeing yourself, seeing animals, seeing your relationships with the world……differently. That is why vegan is not a diet. Vegan is not about a short term change. It is not about a limited stance, an immediate view of your world, but rather about how what you are doing will affect life in the long term. Diets are crap because they do not focus on changing your life overall. Diets don’t aim to change you they simply change your behavior. While

While I began a vegan rather unconcerned about the lives of the animals I have grown into a person who is wholly aware that through my actions less suffering is occurring by 1. Will my not consuming animal products alleviate all suffering? No. Will my not partaking in animal products change the world? Probably not. But “vegan,” for me, is about living by means of a set of principles and demonstrating, through my actions and words, that I choose not to engage, to the best of my abilities, in increasing the amount of suffering in the world.

I am not perfect. My actions are not perfect. I will fail. But the absence of perfection and the prospect of failure does not prevent my trying, nor should it stop anyone reading this. That is why when vegan becomes a diet it has failed to engage the participant with the real essence of what the very concept of vegan is. Yes, any step towards alleviating suffering is the right step, and choosing vegan-as-a-diet may display similar outward behavior, however going vegan purely for diet reasons is to disregard the substantively complex nature of what it means to be vegan.

We are vegan.

In all our imperfections and deficiencies.

And you should be to.

Give it try.

Eating Vegan in England: London and Canterbury

Getting the opportunity to head to England might turn out to be a once in a lifetime opportunity, so we decided to live it up and indulge in as much delicious vegan food as we could. I’ve detailed our trip, which consisted of 3 days in London, 3 days in Canterbury, and 1 final day back in London. The food we found was some of the most amazing fare we have ever tasted, which only goes to show that veg food can be found all over the world and can be accessible and affordable for anyone who really wants to eat healthy and ethically.

Flight Out

As I said in the other England post, everyone should fly British Airways. Let’s leave aside the free booze—the food was actually pretty good for airline food. We were amazed. Plus, we got ours first!

Meal: Brown rice, lentils, kidney beans, green beans, spinach, artichokes, chickpea (just one); a salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes in a balsamic dressing; fruit salad with pineapples, strawberries, oranges, grapes, and honeydew; plus a roll and bottled water.

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LONDON

Vx73 Caledonian Rd, London

This might look like just a vegan boutique, but Vx (pronounced “V cross”) offers lots of pastries and simple sandwiches.

Toasty with vegan “wheaty” (seitan) chorizo with Jeezo vegan cheese. (no picture)

Panini with vegan bacon, ham, and a gherkin with Violife vegan cheese. (no picture)

Plus two chocolate doughnuts and a soya cream filled apple pastry-thingy…(don’t judge)

InSpiral Lounge250 Camden High Street, Camden Lock, London

Unfortunately the light was so low that I couldn’t get a good picture of our food.

Gnocchi with cashew cream spinach sauce and a Caesar Salad.

Risotto bites and a Caesar Salad with some sort of pea side. (Not gonna lie: I cannot remember everything we ate.)

Mildred’s45 Lexington St, London

Chinese Dumplings with kim-chi

Mixed Mushroom porchini and ale pie with mushy peas and chips

Burger of the Day: kidney bean, pepper, back olive, tofu and spring onion with aeoli and sweet potato chips

CANTERBURY

The Veg Box1-2 Jewry Ln, Bridge, Canterbury

Day 1

Couscous pot with leeks and carrots and a harissa yogurt dipping sauce

Banana, Squash and Chickpea curry with Basmati Rice

Two Chocolate Cupcakes to go! (no picture)

Day 2

Celeriac, leek, and sage soup with a olive and sun-dried tomato pate.

LONDON

222 Veggie Vegan222 N End Rd, West Kensington, London

*Oyster Mushroom & Spinach Raclette: Spinach and tofu cottage cheese on roasted potatoes, topped with sautéed oyster mushrooms and a light cashew creamy sauce. (Best, richest cashew cream sauce EVER—a very umami flavor and ridiculously smooth.)

Seitan Stroganoff: Seitan strips, caramelized onions, fresh herbs and pepper cubes in (equally as smooth) cashew cream sauce with organic brown basmati rice.

222 Pancake: (Usually with Vanilla Ice Cream) we had this with Raspberry Ice Cream wrapped in wholemeal pancake topped with warm vanilla and chocolate sauces. (no picture)

Cookies and Scream, The Market Hall, Camden Lock Market, London

**a (warmed) Gosh Brownie topped with (Soya) Vanilla Ice Cream!

Plus a Chico Cookie to go for the flight back…

THE FLIGHT BACK

Another better than expected meal…

Meal: couscous with roasted mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini; bean salad with chickpeas, edamame, baby black beans and peas in some sort of mint sauce; nectarine and raspberry fruit salad; rolls with vegan butter; more free booze.

A Chico Cookie (peanut butter and chocolate chips) from Cookies and Scream!

CONCLUSIONS

*The winner for the trip was 222 Veggie Vegan’s Oyster Mushroom & Spinach Raclette — those seared oyster mushrooms and that cashew cream sauce?!?! Sublime.

**Hands down the dessert winner was Cookies and Scream‘s Gosh Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream — what?! you can have a brownie, by itself, for lunch or dinner! On a side note, soy ice cream in the UK is incredibly smooth (almost like soft serve) rather than being ‘icy’ like it is in The States.

It was really nice to be immersed in a large city that afforded us so many options and such diverse, delicious food. That being said, ‘Veg’ and ‘Vegan’ options are getting easier and easier to find no matter where you live, and we can only hope that this trend continues into the future.

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