Riki’s Vegan Diary​

Recently, I had a conversation with my friend. He told me about his experience as a Vegan and about what inspired him to make a change in his lifestyle choices. I was quite intrigued and he suggested two Netflix shows to watch: ‘What the Health’ and ‘Cowspiracy’ – I went home, curious and skeptical. I started with ‘Cowspiracy’ and a few facts brought up in the shows caught my attention.

I shall spare you the boring yet surprising statistics. However, being a budding engineering student, I have always been interested in sustainability and reducing Carbon footprints. Imagine my confusion, as I watched the shows and researched further, realizing how my lifestyle choices were negating changes made in the engineering industry to reduce greenhouse emissions much more than I imagined.

So, I called my best friend and pitched the idea – “Let’s go Vegan!”. I promise you she laughed hysterically after which we discussed the absurdity of the idea. We wondered why we ate meat so much? Of course, it tastes amazing but could we do without it? Or perhaps reduce it. Could we still get the nutrients that we needed by switching to a plant-based diet? Simply put, we decided to find out and here we are.

I have been Vegan for two weeks today, and it feels great, somewhat empowering yet confusing; that an African-inspired foodie such as myself would choose to let go of meat/fish in a quest to understand why I love meat/fish or, whether I really need to indulge in it as much as I do. I have decided to share my journey and thoughts with you.

How do I feel so far?

  • The length of my food shopping time has increased – I’m having to read food labels and nutritional facts before I consume or purchase any food product. You would think that it’s common sense to do so normally, but I’ve found that I really haven’t done it as much as I should.
  • More Energized – I can’t so much explain the scientific reasons behind it, but I feel more energized and focused. My digestive system sure feels good with all the vegetables and light meals that I have been consuming.
  • Inspired and yet confused – I want to try out more plant-based meals and my brain is bursting with ideas. However, it’s still tricky coming up with ideas for multiple ways to experiment with vegetables.
  • I think that sometimes I miss meat/fish and cheese – This usually happens when I’m scrolling through social media or walking past restaurants in town. The thought swiftly disappears though because I end up anticipating the next Vegan meal to try.
  • Oops, on Day 8, I ended up eating Oxtail and Curry goat at a dinner party – I know, clearly not part of the social experiment. I can say that I have no regrets about enjoying the meal at that moment. However, guilt slowly crept in, in the days that followed. I didn’t stop though, because mistakes shouldn’t stop actions, so we move.

Being a decision taken on impulse, I think I will understand the purpose of this Vegan challenge hopefully at the end of the 30 days; or perhaps this could become a long-term search trying to understand lifestyle choices. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes whilst sharing recipes that I try out along the journey.

So here we are, Week 2 review of Riki’s 30-day Vegan Diary. Follow my Instagram – RIKICOOKS for daily updates on vegan options that I explore.

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