80 Things I learned from being Vegan-Gluten-Free for 1 month

UPDATE: I received comments from a Vegan friend regarding the article. Thank you Fer! I added them in blue. Also I thought of more things and added them in red too. 

Hello!!

I learned that November is the Vegan month and what a better way to start the month than remembering that time I was Vegan-Gluten-Free for a whooooooole month! Article here. I learned many things along the way, some good, some less good.. some are only facts!

Overall it was a great experience, I would probably do it again, but definitely not for life (I am not ready for it just yet, but i can tell you that probably 50% of my home recipes and the things I eat are Vegan + conscious)

I hope you like it! Do not forget to comment below 🙂

Positive

1.-  I did not die (LOL)
2.- I lost weight – always good right?
3.-  I learnt about the existence of Sarrasin, Quinoa, Rice, & Chick-Pea Flour
4.- Discovered 5 restaurants with Vegan Options in Geneva
Ou bien Encore, Wild Girls Deli, Grutli, HelVeg , Aux deux Portes
5.- Coconut OIL, CREAM, ICE-CREAM and everything from it will be your best friend
6.- Discovered TREK – the Vegan-Gluten-Free -Yummy Bars
7.- Cooked 12 different recipes from Deliciously Ella – Books here, here and here.
BOOK ELLA
8.- I had A LOT of energy
9.- It was not that hard after all – positive all the way
10.- I did not miss bread, I notice I eat it by habit and not by need or taste
11.- I did not have a particular crave for red meat, cheese, or any not “allowed” thing
12.- Positive feedback from friends and readers about this, a lot of people are interested in the subject.
13. I CREATED my first recipe!! 100% mine – Dried Tomatoes Cake with Tofu
14.- My digestion was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G – eating, loo, repeat … TMI .. probably yes, but you wanted the details …
15.-  Made peace with TOFU
16.-  Prepared my first VEGAN Mousse au Chocolat!
17.-  Flat stomach welcome!
18.- I saved 8 animals for being killed  🙂
19.- Discovered and followed 5 amazing vegan blogs
20.- This book is amazing!! But …. I could never GO Vegan  even if you do not want to commit.
but i could never
21.- Fries are VEGAN-GLUTEN-FREE guys!
22.-  DARK chocolate is VEGAN
23.- PEANUT-BUTTER is VEGAN
24.- Doing your own NUTELLA is simple as saying Hello! Thanks to Ella! Recipe on the book.
25.-  Food can heal you – Check How NOT to Die – Amazing book
26.-  Humus became my second name
27.- Mexican food is very very easy to convert to a Vegan-Gluten-free diet – VIVA MEXICO!
28.-  I love Chia Pudding all the way forever and ever
29.- Dark Chocolate Sorbet is AMAZING – You can find it at MANU’s (Geneva)!!
30.- The existence of Nutritional Yeast and that you can do Vegan Cheese with it!
31.- Fell in love with Wild Rice
32.- Hard to explain, but I was actually liberated for a month. I could eat as much as I wanted (from the things that I could) and also I has the perfect excuse to say no to useless binging like croissants…. oops
33.- I actually miss it…. but not.. but yes…. I now feel closer to Vegans and understand them in a higher lever 🙂

My Vegan Pancakes

My Vegan Pancakes

34.- You can easily cut-off lactose (which I am doing as a rule now) replacing by vegetable oils and just skipping the cheese. In a nice risotto, you will not even miss the parmesan trust me!
35.- Fruits are life!
36.- I discovered there sell Vegan Vanilla ICE-CREAM at COOP!!!!
38.- Found out about a bunch of new vegetables that I did not even knew existed!
39.- Learned a way to be a “Friendly Vegan” – do not buy meat, but if you are invited or have no alternative enjoy the ride …. 🙂 I actually made that up..”friendly vegan”

Negative

40.- I think it is super rude when you are invited for dinner to impose your way of eating, it is not part of my education. I was taught to eat what you are served, specially if you do not know the people very well.
Diana, it is not super rude at all to tell the one who invited you to dinner that you prefer not to eat meat or dairy. It is however preferable that you inform him/her before, maybe in the very moment he/she is inviting you. It would be a faux-pas to do it once seated with the meal served on your plate. Firstly, it is a very intimate decision what you eat (also the hosts have their preferences) and it might have been determined by other reasons, such as allergy, intolerance or religious believes. Secondly, usually meat costs way more than vegetables, so in the end the the host might find it even interesting, but maybe a bit challenging to satisfy you.
The way our parents educated us is important to a certain point. From that point, we have our own adult mind and can decide accordingly. I believe it is more rude to expect your guests to eat meat or dairy, which is disrespectful, if they informed you about their preferences, rather than refusing to eat something.
This is true, however I was in the situation that a Granny invited me over. I felt bad telling her I would not eat her plate. I managed to pass the things to Emmanuel and dissimulate. Also a lot of people are not informed about Veganism and have no idea that butter is actually dairy & cheese has lactose… so sometimes even if you inform you can find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. I managed to get through (with a couple of eyes rolling tho) . 
41.- If you are solo on going vegan it can cause issues in your couple, specially if you have craving. It was not my case
42.- It is hard to just come home, eat something and not think about it, you need to PLAN everything – lunch, dinner etc
43.- People look at you weird – they do not get it
44.- I will not become Vegan on the long run, but definitely will adapt most of my meals
45.- Going to the supermarket is frustrating- not many vegan options
There is an app called Happy Cow and helps you find Vegan stores. Unfortunately in Geneva there are not many 🙁
I agree, once you know what to buy it is fine. In Switzerland the diet is mostly based in Dairy (cheese, milk, yogurt, cream) & vegetables are not easy to grow in the region. So the supermarkets can be reduced on vegan options. 

46.- You fart more than average – specially if you eat only beans like me in the first week – oops
47.-  Found  out that depending on what you eat, vegan is not the only option to save the world – you need to eat local too – bye AVOCADO.
48.- People on organic markets and stores are kind of weird and religious about it…. this is a generality and I assume a cliche – but in general it is true
49.-It is I-M-P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E to go to a normal restaurant – it is either vegetarian or gluten free options hardly both
The most difficult is to follow a Vegan diet low on carbs or gluten-free. If you are not celiac I would not recommend to cut of Gluten of your diet. A tip to eat out in restaurants without Vegan options is to order tons of side dishes: rice, vegetables, potatoes, etc! 

50.- I ate a lot of carbs, which makes it hard to regulate the calorie income.

Mexican Vegan Tacos

Mexican Vegan Tacos

51.- I kind of missed (a lot ) Eggs, more than anything.
Me too, that’ s not a shame to admit. But once you get rid of them, you will feel them even from 100 yards and who knows, if it will be still pleasant to smell. Remember, all the animal products are intense, their ability to penetrate foods is strong, so you don’t even remember how the normal rice tastes without the meat sauce.
Fer shared a recipe for Vegan Omelette – I can’t wait to try! Here
52.- For a couple it is hard if both are not in the same channel, right honey?
53.- Forget about birthday cakes… forevaaa
Fer replied that there are many ways of making cakes and I searched on this, I was talking more about Office Birthday Cakes… I missed quite a few during my month challenge. 
54.- I could not see my life without croissants…. let me think…. NO
I miss them too. But you were talking about calories up there, so why not to put it on the same plate. Count the calories of butter and eggs in one or two croissants with a dish of pasta… However, things are evolving. In Berlin, we saw vegan donuts. It it not impossible. Just try.
Yes, but the best thing about croissants is the butter. Margarine will never taste the same. Maybe once in a while….. just a tiny miny bit?
55.- In the long-run you really need to be careful not to have nutrients missing from your diet & be more careful with what you NEED to eat.
Nahhhh the only nutrient you have to be careful is B12, that are bacteries! 1 pill every 2 weeks is enough. 
Everyone can have a deficiency in B12, not only vegans. But think about it, you are eating more fruits and vegetables that give you more nutrients and vitamins than meat and dairy. I can tell you one thing, I haven’t been sick (flu, cough) for more than 3 years! of course if you eat oreos and drink Coke all day you need to be careful… and yes Oreos are vegan 🙂 

That’s why I decided to do a medical check-up once in a year or two, to see what is the difference and if I am not missing anything. If you are interested, I can send you the results of three years ago and the ones I will be getting now in November 🙂 I am not a fundamentalist, I fear for my blood composition too, but this experiment seems to be making me more active than I have been before quitting meat and dairy.

56.-Your social life reduces a lot – It gets limited unless you hang with Vegans only, which is kind of IMPOSSIBLE.
Or people that respect your decision, because if you hang only with Vegans it becomes a sect.  Yes, this is true. People still do not know what is respect in its true meaning. We only respect what we have been taught by our parents, but do not use our hearts to see beyond that. Respect towards those who are different is the base. Only a few years ago Europe started to respect different people. Before…there were not even the technologies for wheelchair people… like electric stairs etc… but it is improving. Take homosexuals. It is still cool if you go around telling jokes about them today in society…However respect is a wide term and everybody needs to learn about it. We cannot expect that people will accept us from one day to another. But what would black people gain, if they did not have brave people who stood up for their rights? … Martin Luther King for example…
Great example! 
57.- I cooked way too much, and ended up cleaning and spending my life in the kitchen. Do not mind that much to to do but…
 Just to repeat myself, it is easier if you are two to do it. But even if not, you could cook for three days and just combine the single things. You leave legumes in water for one night, while you boil the potatoes. Next day you just do spinach and you find a nice combination with a third small ingredients…like nuts…and that’s it. Don’t follow recipes, just create and learn from yourself, from good combinations, or bad ones. Vegan dinners we attend here are the best inspiration for us.
58.-  I still do not understand why Vegans do not wear Wool – I do not kill the sheep right … beeeeeh
This was explained more in another email from Fer, once it gets industrialized that is where the problem begins….
59.- Same as before, I do not get the why do not eat honey. Thanks to beekeeping, there are more bees than before and when people find a bee nest instead of exterminating it they call an Beekeeper and gets the bees in a box. This saves them and also they put them in wild flower fields for production and make sure the different species are alive. Of course, you need to know where and to whom you are buying honey from 🙂
60.- I think that our world is not black or white – Vegans vs the world! I think we should all be conscious of what we eat everyday: where does it come from, what does it have inside, is it sustainable, organic, etc.
61.- Vegans cannot only hide between the Vegan wall and that there is no alternative way, I researched several options on how to have a sustainable diet without being 100% Vegan
Of course, there are many ways for sustainable living, but the simple consumer at the bottom can significantly contribute by changing the life style. This includes what you eat, what you wear and what you buy. Just an example… After I moved three times from flat to flat, I discover that I didn’t miss the clothes I left in my parents house…We really have exaggerated needs today in all directions
Check: Cowspiracy
62.-  There is not an universal diet for everyone, we should not judge people from what they eat (or do not eat)
Check this video on Eskimo Diet
Obesity only exists in Humans, dogs & cats.   That is correct, do not judge people for what they eat. But it has to be valid in both directions. I learned from experience that I have been too harsh on the ones close to me, which was unfair from me. On the other hand, I did not feel pleased when my colleagues were laughing at the reasons why I went vegan. But who has more to say in this contest? The ones who continues in the way he/she has been told by his ancestors, or the ones who started to inform themselves about what is behind the curtain of a fabulous plate served in a restaurant? There is much information that is hidden to the consumer, for obvious reasons. This information would be unpleasant for many eyes and ears. This is why it is good to keep the eyes open and tell others without shame of why you think it like that. However, experience tells me, that people only limit themselves to express some discomfort about such unpleasant images or mass industry without proper animal care. At least if we turned back to the old houshold farming, where we cared personally about the animals, maybe that might be an improvement.
63.- It is not the only way to be healthy
Vegan, as I said before can be super unhelthy (Coke & Oreos). However, the only way to be health is with Whole Foods Plant Based Vegan Diet.  Here are some of the professionals I follow:
 John Mc.Dougall MD, Caldwell Esselstyn MD, Michael Greger MD , Douglas J. Lisle, Ph.D., Michael Klaper MD, T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Dean Ornish MD, Neal Barnard, M.D, Matthew Lederman, MD, Joel Fuhrman MD, William Harris, M.D.,Alona Pulde, MD Jeff Novick.
Our health substantially depends on what comes inside our bodies (intake), on what we do with our body in a day (movement) and on genetical predispositions. If we are lucky to exclude the last one, not suffering of any kind of disease after our relatives, it is then only up to us how we manage our health. It is completely in our hands. So, if there is enough movement and if there is a rationally structured regular diet, there is a good probability, that we will live healthy. But one must watch out for what is in his/her plate, especially nowadays, when mass Industry produces food to be stored the longest possible, so it can be sold in any place on earth. Just think that my boss associates christmas with the smell of oranges, because as a kid he only ate them during christmas time. Many countries in communism didn’t have what for others was a standard. Now there is no more scarcity anymore. You can have anything, as long as you have the Money to buy it. But those are absurdities of the market…why do they offer me to buy water from Switzerland or France, if we in Slovakia have great natural wells beneath surface?
64.- There are not a whole range of eating options out there!
65.- You rely a lot on Soy based products and I am not a huge fan of that … it is often modified and processed heavily causing hormonal issues.
Diana, think of how difficult it is for the cattle farmers to keep 10.000 pieces of animals in a good state of health, so they can grow until they´re adult. It is common practice to inject cows with antibiotics and other medicines. Once I was seated in row to see my doctor and while sitting there, I heard two elderly people speak about how was the poultry farming in my native village back in the 70´s. They said that for them it is not comprehensible how today´s Industry can grow chickens in 40 days. They could best do it in 70 and that was already fast. Today, the chickens cannot bear their own weight, because their bones grow so rapidly… In either way, you don’t need to eat just soy. Have a look at tempeh. But I prefer legumes from somewhere here in Europe….
Yes, I was not comparing to meat, but other options. Here in Switzerland most of “Vegan” Products are Soybased. However, I found other options like rice milk, coconut milk & oats. 
66.- MEGA sophisticated fake bacon & meat & cheese are totally hypocrite. So complicated to re-create something that exists. I think we should focus more on un-processed local products that highly processed fake ingredients.
True, no doubt about that. You miss meat? Well don’t play around using tons of nuts, oil and other stuff to recreate what you crave for. On the other hand, some things are beautiful demonstrations of how human can come up with surrogate products by saving even the resources. Have you tried home made ice cream with frozen bananas or avocado? Just process them in a blender when they are half way unfrozen and add some chocolate. Or do you know aqua faba? You can do white snow with it, instead of eggs. Both options are super cheap.

Shopping Vegan!

Shopping Vegan!

67.-  You also eat a lot of fat from nuts & oils, it is good fat, but sill fat.
68.-  Restricting some products from your diet can drive to unbalaced and shock in your body (1 month is totally fine…. but in the long run it can cause serious damage). If you are considering a Vegan diet do not foget to consult a doctor and also check your hormones, this is key.
69.- I am now open to many true information about the food industry – I put this as negative, because Ignorance is happiness… but still ignorance.
70.- While travelling you miss a lot about the country you visit because gastronomy is a culture’s soul
71.- Eating Vegan-Gluten-Free can be super expensive, specially if you go to special stores
72.- This list is too long

Facts

73.- The Vegans that do not use leather are called “Ethical Vegans”
74.- Vegan living often reduces the intake of saturated fat, animal hormones, and cholesterol while increasing the intake of fresh fruits and veggies. That has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Source – Do Something
75.- Gluten is everywhere – Soya sauce … really?
76.- Vegan is not only about food, it is a lifestyle without any animal related product – beauty products, leather skin, fur, etc.
77.-  Reducing your meat ingestion DOES help the planet! However, be concious of all the other things you buy… Quinoa from Peru ….. ehem…

Vegan Curry

Vegan Curry

78.- By reducing your meat & dairy consumtion you naturally eat more fruits and vegetables!
79.-Vegetarians can be deficient in Vitamin B12, which only comes from animal sources (though it can also be in fortified yeast extract products). Research suggests that a Vitamin B12 deficiency may be tied to the weakening of bones. Source : Fact retreiver
B12 can lead to serious harms of the health and one should be aware of it. In the long run it can develop anemia, memory loses and other diseases. Wishing you good luck with your assessments regarding your life style, it is also a key of happiness 🙂
80.- I felt much more closer to this vision and was able to understand it in a different way than just reading about it! Super interesting experience!

Additional – BE CAREFUL on labels -The food industry moves fast and also tries to trick consumers. They noticed people are more aware of what they eat so the re-package things and add NATURAL and put in all green  (which does not mean anything BTW , if it is not ORGANIC approved Natural means nothing) and also:

Organic – means that it does not have pesticides or used natural pesticides.
Vegan- No diary, meat or eggs -nothing that comes from animals
Vegeterian- No meat
Sustainable – lower footprint than the average industry.

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