I’m A Vegan, Hear Me Roar

I’m not actually vegan but, I will be pescatarian by the 1st of March.

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.

Orson Welles

I’m a very big food person. More than that, I subscribe heavily to a fine-dining culture. I like to spoil myself, be spoiled, etc. I love to eat out, food is one thing but the ambiance of a gorgeous restaurant or a cute little cafe enhances the experience. It makes me feel like a knowledgeable young woman who is “cultured” (by European standards of course, because every other culture doesn’t matter) and knows things and has seen more of the world than the average person is able to point out on a map.

I love food y’all.

And I’m not just a big foodie, I’m practically a Michelin 5-star chef (do they even give 5 stars?). Because I love food, I love cooking; I know exactly what tastes I want dancing on my tongue.

My mum would honestly be so impressed.

And because I love food so much, I am always (sometimes, actually) eager to try new cuisines (mostly for cultural capital and clout). I used to be so anti-vegan for what I can now see clearly as stupid and purposeless reasons, but then again Nigerian food culture does not exist without meat so I really didn’t get that access to unadulterated information.

But then we all found out about Beyoncé’s vegan diet; which at the time I thought was interesting given that all the stereotypes about vegans were that they had barely anything to eat but plants and meanwhile Beyoncé is out here being thicc af.

You know, I too, would like to be thicc af. Especially since I’ve always been skinny.

But, I wasn’t about to switch diets just because Beyoncé has a nice ass, it’s also like, impossible to be vegan in Nigeria. No, I actually decided to take a more involved role in my eating habits last summer.

So I don’t lead you on in this post, I won’t be posting what my meals were because I eat so much food I hardly have any space in my head to remember any of them. I also don’t remember where I ate most of them but I will provide whatever information I can. Here, I’m going to be showing you what a no-dairy, no red meat diet looks like.

It was a cloudy, rainy day in a tiny idyllic and probably boring (I don’t know, I was only there for about three hours) town in Germany: Bacharach..

And if you are a native English speaker, trust me the way you read that is not at all the way it’s supposed to be read.

Back to Bacharach.

Bacharach, a town in Rhineland Palatinate, Germany.
Look at the rain on the ground, isn’t it beautiful!

I was sitting for a hot chocolate and a cheesecake with one of my German teachers, her childhood best friend and a couple of students who had come on the trip as well. I ordered hot chocolate because at the time, I would do anything for hot chocolate. Also, hadn’t had a cheesecake in a while.

My German teacher is vegan and she regularly talks about why she believes in her dietary choices; which of course I respect. We had begun some kind of conversation about dairy, because that summer my sister was also going dairy-free. We talked about some of the benefits that going dairy-free would bring; clearer skin, weight loss, more energy, etc. And at the time, the dairy-heavy diet that Germany had forced on me had ruined my skin and simultaneously my self-esteem.

P.S I do not intend to disguise this as a vegan meal, this is a non-dairy, no red meat diet, I repeat…

I’m pretty sure the meal above was from Vapiano. Ugh, the shrimp was soo good.

Anyway, that was the day I committed to a different eating-style and seeing as I would be moving into an apartment off-campus the following semester, I was pleased to be given the space and opportunity to be in control of my food. And ever since I stopped eating certain things I’ve been taking a closer look at the labels on groceries, the ingredients in recipes and just focusing on my health in general.

I’ve also been very obnoxious about it.

I’ve thrown my superior eating habits at people’s faces; it’s very easy to do it in college when every college event features a couple of boxes of pizza and students frequent the on-campus Chik-Fil-A like it’s a religion.

By the way, in addition to to not eating certain things, I also have committed to not putting anything with Chik-Fil-A logo into my mouth. Don’t question it, Google is free.

Literally one of the best Pesto Paninis I’ve ever had.

It wasn’t hard to stop eating dairy. I was never hung up with it anyway, I never really ate cereal, I detested cheese except on pizza and pasta (when they sprinkle so little of it that you can’t taste it) and I was far too lazy to be committed to sweetened vanilla yoghurt.

Every other dairy product was too unnecessary for me.

Red meat wasn’t hard to let go of either. I never really ate it before anyway. I indulged here and there in Germany for the culture but I don’t care much for red meat dishes, except if they’re Nigerian delicacies.

As much as I don’t eat dairy or red meat, I cracked. I cracked so hard on the red meat aspect when I went back home. It’s not my fault, my dad had Kilishi waiting in the car when he and my mum came to pick up their wonderfully hard-working children from the airport.

Another thing I discovered post-dairy is… wait for it… Soy Lattes.

I’m crazy about soy lattes.

I’ve had lattes with the disgustingly-sourced cow milk. I’ve had vanilla lattes from Starbucks that were so sickly sweet, I wondered how Americans were still standing. I’ve also had vanilla soy lattes in multiple cities across Germany, in France, in the largest Starbucks in America (don’t I sound like someone who’s blog you’d want to read?) but there’s just something about it. The soy milk changes everything. I’m always going on and on about soy lattes and you really wouldn’t know unless you tried one, but it’s magic.

Another magic thing about the post-dairy life? Pesto. And I don’t know if this counts but lactose free birthday cakes? *Italian Chef’s kiss*

I’m trying to go vegan eventually, I just think for someone like me who has like 0% body fat (my metabolism and I need to have a little talk) it’s much healthier to transition into it. And while I do think no-one should be eating dairy haha I think at the least people should care more about their health to not just put anything into their mouths.

Stay tuned for more Germany-related posts as I am clearly not tired of bragging about it.

xx

Naomi.

P.S: To anyone that may have been impressed by the fact that I can do the “R’s” of three different languages (my last post), the French “r” and the German “r” are like, exactly the same, so it really isn’t that impressive. But I’ll add that I can easily do the American “r” and Nigerian “r” (pronounced “ah”) so that must count for something.

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