Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Going to the dark side: VEGAN CHALLENGE

I’ve endeavoured to challenge myself to go where I've never dared to go before.

I will become vegan for one whole week—and trust me, one week already seems daunting.  I’ve never been vegetarian in my life.  You see, to keep this rotund belly of mine nothing short of happy, I very much require the sustenance of meat, fish, butter, cheese, noodles and eggs.  And more eggs.  And bacon.  Lots of bacon.  Sometimes all at the same time.

Slight problem: I’m not sure how to go about being vegan for even a single day.  Going vegan will include avoiding eggs or meals prepared with lard or other animal substances (this includes any type of animal stock).  Curiosity has tasked me this challenge, as it is certainly not for health reasons.  Humans are not made to survive as vegans; we are omnivores by nature.

So it is a morbid curiosity that has led me here.

But what is so curious about being a vegan, you ask?
I’m curious how a staunch vegan would survive in today’s modern world.  As convenient as everything is, I’m hard pressed to find an easy way to avoid anything related to animals without forfeiting a healthy diet (I can’t very well just eat rice this entire time, can I).

Really?  Is that the only reason you’re doing this?

Yes, it’s not a particularly compelling reason. The thought began 2 years ago back in New York when my brother commented to me about my blog.  He said, “My wife and I actually read your blog.  We enjoy it, but do you ever write anything about vegetarian options?”  His wife is vegetarian—and admittedly, I had a thing against most vegetarians (not her, because she’s not preachy, fussy or condescending about it), but it brought about a good point.

I didn’t even know where to start as a vegetarian.  I knew maybe one or two vegetarian restaurants in New York and Hong Kong, both of which I never bothered stepping foot into.  I thought to myself then, I’ll become vegetarian for a whole month and discover all the vegetarian options out there.  Surely, there’s a reason why so many have gone this route.

It never happened.  So I thought, let’s be more realistic and make it 2 weeks of vegetarian eating.  Still seemed daunting, so I thought, okay 1 week.  Still never happened.

Here I am 2 years later in Singapore, with less knowledge about the food options compared to New York, yet going not just vegetarian, but VEGAN.  If I'm going to go out, then I'm going to go all out.

Where do I begin. Short of basic grains and raw vegetable salads, I was going blank.  I’ll be picking the brains of vegetarian friends of friends (I don’t have any direct friends who are vegetarians yet—it was a matter of principle) and hoping I don’t throw the towel in after two days of this.

I’m also hoping work duties don’t interrupt my one week session, but if it does, I might have to break my vegan diet for a meal or two in the name of professional duties.  Noble am I.

I am dreading the likely grumpiness that will result and apologize to surrounding friends in advance for my picky eating and sour moods.

Vegan diet to commence soon…

Taking any and all recommendations on home recipes, restaurants and ways to keep sane.

 And so Mr. Turkey, you live to see another 7 days as I forfeit my meat eating habits.  Gobble gobble.

3 comments:

  1. I don't know what you have available over there. South Indian vegan options have good flavor. Chinese Buddhist cuisine uses plenty of sugar in their flavor masking so you might only miss meat texturally. True Japanese Shojin cuisine might be the best but also most expensive.

    Examples from NYC:
    http://ramblingsandgamblings.blogspot.com/2010/10/diet-break-indian-food-food.html
    http://ramblingsandgamblings.blogspot.com/2011/02/return-to-kajitsu-food.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'll take you to tons of places in Singapore. Where and when do you want to begin?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good luck on the vegan challenge! How's it going so far? If you need any inspiration for your own cooking, the blog below has pretty creative recipes and not all of them have weird ingredients like carob flakes&egg replacer. I've only tried a few of them, but they tend to turn out great.
    http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/31/15-minute-creamy-avocado-pasta/
    Also, you love butternut squash, right? Here's a yummy recipe: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/butternut-squash-pilaf.html
    -Ath

    ReplyDelete

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