Why hello there! Today I am going to talk about something a little different than what you have read in the last few posts here. I feel it is important to provide an overall scope of things that go on as although running and fitness is important, but food and my lifestyle is key to everything as well. Shall we?
Full disclosure, I am a meat eater, very much a meat eater, my girlfriend Victoria eats from a plant based diet. I found this out well before we started dating and I always found it interesting for someone to be a vegan or eat only plant-based foods. Like a typical ignorant person, I wondered what they ate all day. Just fruit, veg, and nuts I thought, pretty boring food and life for that person. I was very wrong….
If you will indulge me, let me talk about what I found:
It is not all boring food!
I didn’t know what to expect when I went out to some vegan/healthy food cafe’s and restuarants with Victoria on our first few dates. In all honesty, I expected boring salads, I had never dated a vegan or someone who only eats plant-based food.
Then I went to places like Tony and Jen’s and at the time a place called Raw Food Rebellion. Not only was the food that they offered, good for you, it was all from plant-based food. The cover image for this post is the chilli con carne from Raw Food Rebellion (sadly closed now) It. Was. Amazing! We went there a few times and I always made sure to have it.
Tony and Jen’s offer such a great range of food for Vegans and Victoria without fail have the vegan pancakes of the month, because if you had the chance to have a big ole stack of pancakes… Would you turn it down?! Both offer/offered great vegan desserts as well, as I know that is something that Victoria misses as some of her intolerances stop her from being able to have baked goods. (Kind of my mini mission to make gluten-free muffins and cakes for her… Or at least find somewhere that can!)
I have improved my cooking skills
I thought I was an okay cook, to begin with, but since seeing some difficulties that Victoria has eating out, I thought I would start cooking little two or three-course meals for her at home. This has almost become my Monday thing to do so we have a little date night at home as we have my vegan food. I try to make food that you would see anywhere, but it is just veganised… As why should Vegan food look different? Below is some of the food I have made over the past few Vegan Mondays. I might add recipes and mini blogs about the food if people are interested! Everything is still trail and error, but I know I am getting better at all of them… Except for my vegan buttercream, that is still an issue for me! Getting there though.
Vegan/health food can be expensive
This was one of the few negatives I had when cooking… To gather some of the free form ingredients can be a little costly (not overly though). So to cook large quantities of this would be expensive… Or maybe cheaper if you are buying in bulk. I get that free form type food is not overly popular so it would probably cost more for shops to get in and that this will not change for a while, but jeez it can be pretty expensive! Maybe in time, this will lower as these ingredients become popular
People who eat a plant-based diet, or have certain intolerances do not have it easy when eating out.
I found out pretty quickly that it is not easy to eat out when you are a vegan. If my girlfriend wants to try a new place, there has to be a lot of research put in to see if that restaurant will actually have a meal that she can have and then have to contact that restaurant beforehand to see if they can accommodate her. This is out of politeness to the restaurant and the chef to give them notice. She also doesn’t want to turn up to a restaurant and find out that they cannot make her something and have her night ruined by having to leave. In certain places this is fine, but as soon as you are out of a city, it becomes awkward. We were on a mini road trip and went to the one food place there and did not call ahead as we thought we would be okay. Now the waiting staff were lovely and tried their best to help Victoria out, but we were informed that the Vegan chef was not in that day and could not help her out. I feel that there needs to be some change for vegans as some places still offer the barest meal options for them and while I can pretty much eat anywhere, it seems unfair that other people can’t, still.
Though in saying that, we have a few places that we love to go to and know we will never have any difficulties in eating at. So it is not terrible, just obviously a little awkward for her and I wish that it wasn’t.
Not all vegans try to turn meat eaters away from meat
I think this is an important thing to finish on. Victoria hasn’t been annoyed at me for eating meat. In fact, when she has her big stack of pancakes at Tony and Jen’s, I am sat there having a double dose of beef in my stew… (The stew there is ace by the way) One time in a place called the Woodworkers, I said I would get the vegan platter. It was lovely, but I also got some chicken pieces to go with it. Victoria made some jokes at my expense. But I loved it. Now when we go there, depending on how hungry I am, I will get this or just the chicken strips and some parts of the vegan platter. The sweet potato wedges are my favourites.
I enjoy the vegan food that Victoria makes for me… Well for her and I just steal her portions from her food prep when I have dinner at her place. She cooks at hers so why would I expect her to make me food with meat in it? Not exactly fair as I have no intolerances and as co-worker informed me, sometimes it is okay to go a day without meat.
So there you have it! I may return to this again later at some point to further this and maybe update on some more stories of what happens when we go out to eat. Let me know where your favourite places to eat are. Know anywhere in Northern Ireland that accommodates vegans? Let me know I want to try as many places as possible! Also, what experiences have you had as a vegan or with a vegan. Have you any awesome recipes I can steal?
Thanks for reading,