When transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, figuring out what to eat can be a challenge.
When you’re used to eating and cooking one way, changing your diet can mean learning an entirely new set of foods.
I was vegetarian for many years, so the transition wasn’t as hard for me. Cutting out cheese and eggs was definitely the hardest part! I used to love an egg and cheese breakfast sandwich or an omelette for breakfast.
One January, after deciding to do Veganuary (eat vegan for the month of January), I was at the airport on my way home and grabbed an egg and cheese breakfast sandwich from one of the cafés. I was about halfway through when I remembered I was supposed to be vegan that month!
Mistakes will happen and it’s not the end of the world. If one day you eat some cheese, it’s not the end of the world or of your vegan journey. Get back on track the next meal!
Breakfast: I’m really bad at eating breakfast. I’d much rather sleep an extra 20 minutes than wake up to eat something. Most mornings, I just have coffee. Sometimes, I’ll grab a few slices of brown bread to bring with me and/or a banana. Rarely, I’ll sit down and have a proper breakfast unless it’s the weekend. On the weekends, I will make toast with avocado or with peanut butter and banana, or slice up a mango. Sometimes, I make oatmeal. Rarely pancakes. But most mornings, like this morning, it’s just coffee.
Lunch: I can handle coffee alone on weekdays because I am fed lunch at 11:30am. Where I work, lunch is provided. The kitchen staff are accommodating to my diet and I always have something to eat. Today, I had spaghetti with a tomato and veggie sauce (everyone else had a meat sauce) with some fried bananas (the starchy ones, ibitoki), a potato and spinach soup, a salad with cucumber, tomato, carrots and onion, and some orange slices. I am lucky that my job provides such healthy vegan options! If you aren’t served lunch at work (as most people), buffets are easy lunch options! As I mentioned in my previous article, buffets are usually very vegan friendly, and if you don’t take meat, they often give you a discount, making it very wallet friendly too!
Dinner: I was being lazy and just bought some chapati at Simba and ate it with guacamole (you can find a recipe for guacamole on last week’s Meatless Monday post here). Often, I just order something from Jumia. I don’t usually cook on weeknights – I’m too tired and just want to relax when I get home. It’s not at all wallet friendly, but the shopping and the cooking take too much of my time to make me really want to cook at home. I love cooking and some days I’ll get super motivated to do it, but most days, I get home late and I’m tired, lazy and hungry, so I just order something to come to me, already prepared. It’s a bad habit I’m trying to break. I do have some easy, quick dinner options I’ve posted on my Instagram page. Things like, lentil bolognese spaghetti, one-pot veggies (also a previous meatless monday post), and veggie pasta. And again, so many Rwandan foods are vegan! Rice and beans, peas and carrots with ugali, etc.
I hope this was somewhat helpful! I know my eating habits aren’t the best, but I do the best I can and hope if you’re interested in a vegan lifestyle, just do your best!
I will be posting more vegan recipes here for Meatless Monday to help give more inspiration and support and as always, you can check out my Instagram for more ideas @vegan_in_rwanda .