The age old South African Proverb, “But, lark, how do you get your protein, Boet?”
Probably the question I get asked the most as a vegan, other than, “but you still eat fish, right?” & “so are you saying if you were starving you wouldn’t eat a cow?”… Alright, Jarryd, calm your farm.
The truth is, I am absolutely not protein deficient. I have an abundance of fresh, delicious, nutrient-dense foods that meet all my protein needs. I live off of chickpeas, tofu, @OhMega nut butter & avocado on EVERYTHING. If anything, I am definitely vegan wine, yoghurt & biscuit deficient!
Since I’ve been vegan, there hasn’t been a single day that I felt like I’m missing out on anything. At the same time, the unpopular opinion amongst the vegan community is that this lifestyle is not for everyone. I firmly believe that we need to listen to our body’s cues & if your body is telling you to chow down on a KFC dunked wing, then who the heck am I to stop you? But, perhaps give KFC a miss. Just as a general rule of thumb, really.
I will admit that in the beginning I found it difficult to figure out what to eat & when to eat it. You are so conditioned to eat meat for dinner that when there isn’t any on the plate, you assume it’s a flipping slaai! For months, I would under eat, and then overeat, trying to find balance on my plate. Eating a whole lot of @Fry’s fish fillets & chickpeas straight out the tin… Not much has changed actually, now that I think about it.
Want another vegan secret that the rest of the gang doesn’t want you to know? Being vegan absolutely does not mean that you are healthy! This is because we are not a holier-than-thou group of people, eating kale that we grow ourselves & bathing in oat milk, as much as we would love that. (Oat milk is hell expensive; it would be a very shallow bath.)
For the most part, we all live off of peanut butter straight out the jar & A LOT OF HUMMUS. I, myself, have gone through a few different phases of exactly this. Extremely thin, eating steamed broccoli with a deep inhale of oxygen as a side, to eating falafels for 3 meals a day & thinking that it’s fine, ‘cause “I’m vegan.” No, Claire. It’s not fine. Drink some damn water!
Truth be told, balance is the name of the game here. While I realise that this may be a difficult concept in the midst of lockdown level 2, “FREE THE BOOZE!” & visiting your Oom for a braai, just remember that everything in moderation. Also, maybe eat a bit more broccoli & a bit less boerewors, seun!
Just eat more plants!
Until next time…