One day, I woke up and realised that I am quite focused and locked on a diet dogma of primal eating. With my gut not being too happy either, it was time to learn something new – and that’s why I’ve tried a vegan diet for 30 days.

Inspired by my vegan and other friends, I’ve developed a certain care about how animals are treated, how vegetables are grown and the food is being made. Realising that quality meat is expensive, I discovered some meats that I can afford and also suit my desire for fairness towards the animals or the planet and also benefits one’s health – like wild caught sardines for example.

I’ve started looking for organic products, grass-fed butter and local vegetables. Quite liking vegetarian or some vegan dishes, I was eating them too.

Still, my mind was wondering, how it actually feels to eat like a vegan. Will my gut be happier? Great! Will it be easier to digest? Should be. Will I learn more about vegetables? 100%. Let’s do it.

Inspired by few great people (Calisthenic ninja Frank Medrano, or Derek Simnett – nutritionist & callisthenics guy worth following) and few friends around me, I just went for it.

The beginning felt quite cleansing, especially because animal products are harder to digest, so stopping to eat them brings an ease to your digestion and pleasant feeling of increased agility and lightness throughout the day. Since I love doing some crazy moves and like to jump here and there, I love this.

Smoothies

I bought a powerful blender to make smoothies, which I rarely made before. Being able to pack a lot of great things into a blender in a fast-paced morning and then slowly sip the funkily tasting result is great. As a lover of dark leafy green veg, this offers a way to prep it quickly, so I can drink it at any speed afterwards (and also chewed a bit – this adds the signal to your body that you’re eating food and allows for better digestion) The addition of seeds with great fats, minerals and proteins (like hemp, pumpkin, sunflower, flax, chia) is very welcome. So is the addition of powders full of antioxidants – turmeric + pepper, cinnamon, amla (higher in antioxidants than turmeric!), ashwaganda.

And of course – the fruits 🙂 In my case it’s always bananas. Sometimes few dates (especially the fresh variety from Arabic stores). Sometimes I make hemp milk to use in the smoothie too.

Breakfasts

Being a proud sourdough home-baker, and supporter of the nutrition, digestive and flavour qualities of sourdough bread, it’s my number one. I love it with peanut butter, bit of banana, cinnamon & some side salad. Or with homemade hummus (although my gut isn’t able to take all the energy from it yet). I actually like to spread coconut oil on the bread, maybe with a bit of marmite or just salt/herbs. One thing I’d love to try is make my own cashew cheesee, or just soak & roasted cashew spread with garlic & some herbs.

Having a good blender, I also enjoyed some good sourdough pancakes – blending sourdough with some veg, like kale/spinach and some spices – turmeric, pepper and even some hemp seeds. Very probiotic 🙂

Sourdough pancake with hummus & leafs

Snacks

I like to snack, since the rhytm of my days is very varying. (Something I might want to change). Having some food with me which is easy to digest is essential to carrying me between proper meals. Dates and bananas work well for me and my gut. Apples are more refreshing. I’d sometimes enjoy banana with peanut butter or soaked & roasted nuts which provides more long-lasting energy, although apparently fruit is better eaten alone). Oatcakes made with olive/coconut oil are a good thing. Or flapjacks (just developed a fermented flapjack recipe which tastes amazing, your gut might like it too). Sometimes I enjoy good high cocoa chocolate (as I learn more about cocoa I want more and more % 🙂 ). Another thing that I love to make & eat are power balls. Dates work well for binding, then you can add in some nuts, coconut, spices, cocoa and other goodies. One I am proud of recently is reminiscent of Nutella – date, roasted hazelnuts, cocoa & vanilla extract.

Raisin & roasted peanut balls, covered in coconut flour

Meals

I like to soak & boil batches of brown rice with turmeric, pepper & sometimes seaweed to have in the fridge. Similarly with other grains. I can then take it out, take some veg to steamsautée with other spices, add some soaked & roasted nuts or roasted seeds or chickpeas or tempeh and create a nice dish. Currently I am enjoying asian vibes with tamari soy sauce, ginger, toasted sesame oil. My veg of choice is blacknormal kale, as it’s full of nutrients. (Light steaming is ideal for retaining them).

Steamed sweet potatoes, black kale, dragon egg potatoes (fancy stuff), roasted seeds

Other dishes I like are roasted sweet potatoes or even normal potatoes, roasted carrots, parsnips, broccoli, squash (pumpkin)…

Roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes, seeds, asparagus. Too much fiber in this one, although very delicious 🙂

Lentils and beans are a hard one for me. I love their flavours, warmths of the indian dals and lentil soups, but my gut kind of disagrees often. Maybe my gut flora is not used to them and needs some time to build up & strengthen itself. I might get probiotics to aid this process soon. I ‘ve learned a seriously good red lentil dal that I can recommend 🙂

The beginning of a dal. Although this one is made for 70 people…

Chickpea curries with coconut milk (try homemade and you will fall in love) are great. Or pizza. Easily made vegan with tomato sauce, roasted seeds and herbs on top, or some roasted veg 🙂 So much flavour!

Pizza with tomato sauce, roasted seeds, and some italian herbs (oregano, rosemary)

And one more thing – I might have became too enthusiastic about fermented veg, so I ate bit of unpasteurised, live sauerkraut /kimchi with lot of my dishes 🙂

Roasted halfs of sweet potatoes work great as a carrier of hummus and other things.

Chickpea flour also offers itself for a great italian dish – Farinata. Baked with lot of olive oil, this is very delicious when fresh.

Crispiest farinata we’ve ever made with Lyndsay

Conclusion

My gut is all new to this and it needs to adapt. That takes more time than one month. One great feedback from my gut was high increase in bowel movements – instead of visiting the loo once in 3 days or so, I was squatting there twice a day most of the days.

Most of the dishes provide great feeling of lightness after eating (ass opposed to meat, especially with higher fat content) dishes.

Going vegan motivates you to learn about grains, legumes, lentils and vegetables – I am really enjoying this part.

Quick transition can leave you bloated often, especially after lentil/bean based dishes. Because I’d like to be comfortable with vegan food, I’ll look for some probiotics and start drinking teas that help digestion (Dandelion root, ginger) and prevent bloating (fennel). Caraway or cumin seeds are helping that too.