Gone #vegan for Lent

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Hi friends.

I have just completed a new #22daysvegan challenge that I set for myself through @vegan_african. One of my last #vegan meals, as pictured above, consisted of a baby spinach and sweet potato salad, with beetroot falafels and sprinkled with toasted cashews and pumpkin seed for that extra bite and texture. If you recall, last year during Lent 2013, I felt it was time to venture into the land of no meat and try a vegetarian diet for 40 days. I did not make it past 19 days and there are probably a few reasons for this.

1. Although not exclusively breastfeeding my little one, perhaps I was not getting enough from my vegetarian diet to suit the lifestyle of the mother of a fairly young baby
2. I might have been ill prepared for a vegetarian diet. Although I would consider my diet fairly healthy, I found my consumption of iron rich green vegetables and pulses such as lentils was not my strong point. I had probably only cooked any daal resembling meals only once.
3. I was used to eating less carbohydrates and little to no nuts and seeds, all of which would be essential in supplementing the filling up feel and nutrients normally gained from a protein rich omnivorous diet.
4. I had no idea about the use and benefits of supplements such as flax seed and shelled hemp, both of which are great additives to any meal in order to boost the in take of iron, protein and other nutrients.
5. I simply omitted meat from my diet, without making any significant adjustments to compensate for the nutrients I would not be getting.
6. There may have been a slight ulterior motive to lose weight than to promote spiritual growth and dedication to why people go without something in the #lenten season in the first place, just a tiny smidge of that. I did give up a huge part of my normal diet.

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Pictured above: Traditional cornmeal porridge topped with pureed banana, medjool date and pear, garnished with strawberries. No added sugar.

Come 2014, I have decided to give it another shot. Only this time, the first half of lent would be mostly vegan, 22 days, and then follow through with “mainly” vegetarian for the remaining days. As I made it through the 22 days by being perhaps 95% vegan, I feel I was much better prepared and I have been blown away by my discoveries. I have been tracking these experiences on my account dedicated to the #22daysvegan challenge, @vegan_african. Check it out on Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook.

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Pictured above: Asparagus and sweet potato, ingredients for a heart warming vegan style soup.

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6 thoughts on “Gone #vegan for Lent

  1. Yummy looking salad! I become a pescatarian for lent in giving up meat each year. I too find it amazing how each turn I further develop and refine my intensions (this year though not exclusively breastfeeding having a wee one to consider myself) and as a result my menu becomes a reflection of not only my increased awareness and spirituality, but also my knowledge of food, textures, and health. I appreciate knowing that I’m not alone in these endeavors.
    Continued Best!!!

  2. … and I have missed our banter. I find it serendipitously amazing how food evokes such similar experiences with people who wouldn’t normally pass one another in the farmers’ market or grocery store, but brings them together none the less. I thank you for your creativity and platform.

    • Awww what a lovely comment. Thank you. Yours is by far the most creative and colourful, and I often thought of you as I mashed up some avocado or held a beetroot and an egg. I sometimes question whether my focus is right during times like Lent in terms of my spiritual growth, but perhaps my growth in food is a direct result of what I have been feeding my spirit, and not the other way around. Cuddles to your little man!!!

      • Lent is for questioning and renewal, but don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re a Dynamo!
        Thank you! It is indeed an adventure with a 4 month old – our first.
        Each year I set personal goals for myself, and I allow the “function” of not eating meat keep me honest in focusing on those goals. Of those goals this year is continued diligence with my blog. Each time I think of eating, I can’t help but ruminate on at least one of the goals I’ve set for myself. It happens as a reflex. I don’t do well at New Years’ resolutions, so I try to perform renewals and choose compact goals during lent that have more lasting impressions for the rest of the year.
        Because it has become a given that I wont eat meat, I’ve found that over the years, our menus organically (pun not necessarily intended) become more evolved and refined, as such the goals more palpable. It can’t help but do so, because we as people grow more and more each year. I work from there or else it becomes just too much pressure, HA!

        All of this from such a yummy inspiring salad!! 🙂

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