Veganism: the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, and an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals. A follower of the diet or the philosophy is known as a vegan.
Before you decide to hit the escape button, especially after reading that description, just keep reading. You will see what it is like to live with a vegan. Especially when you are not one yourself. I say I am not, but by default I follow a vegan diet, ALMOST. Cheese and chocolates are my vice.
My darling husband decided to become vegan a little over 6 months ago and for a number of reasons. I fully support the idea and really didn’t realize how serious he was and still is. It’s one thing to say you are going vegan and another actually becoming one. The ideal route to take is to empty out all things that have milk, cheese, butter, gelatin or meat in them. Great! The only problem is… when you really start reading the ingredients of all your food in your groceries cupboard, you end up with absolutely nothing.
We are not the Gates of the world who can just empty out our food cupboard. Nope! It had to take place systematically and needed to replace many items with vegan products. I am first to admit, that the whole process has been and still is extremely daunting and yet very informative. Reading the labels and making sure you are not purchasing something that has an odd ingredient like gelatin. Also don’t assume that vegetarian items are vegan. Vegetarian is not vegan. Chicken spice is not chicken. The good news is, living in Dubai and being vegan is not such a hassle. You can order from vegan restaurants and buy almost everything vegan. I have made some finger licking good meals and my customer aka husband is very happy with the spread each time. In his words: “I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything being a vegan“.
All things said, it is extremely expensive buying the replacements. Vegan cheese, vegan ice cream, vegan burger patties, vegan butters, vegan chocolates and the delicious vegan spreads. BUT don’t fret, there is a way to cut down on costs. Make. It. Yourself.
Disclaimer: I tried making my own cheese sauce, hummus and chocolates. I did not have a descent blender and ended up burning it out. It is important to have a really good food processor if you decide to make your own goodies at home. Then again, a good food processor is not cost effective either. However, it does save you money in the long run. If all fails, which it has in my case, I always have a couple of cans of Lebanese recipe ful and hummus in the house with arabic bread.
With a bit of YouTube surfing, blog reading and web searching you can find really good vegan recipes. I always stick to making the food look colorful and slightly spicy. Always have the essentials like spinach, oats, berries, root vegetables, beans, onions and garlic. Do your research and make sure you cover all the bases of your nutritional intake.
It has been challenging to accommodate my husband’s dietary needs. The responsibility of someone else’s health and wishes is not a joke. However, it can be done and I will continue to support his choice. If anything, I am learning a ton of new ways to be creative with food.
This is not to convince anyone to become vegan or inviting anyone to bombard us with videos or links on why we should or shouldn’t be vegan. I write this out of my own opinion and merely share my experiences. Eat what makes you happy.