A question that I get asked very often is of course ‘Why did you go vegan?’ ‘don’t you miss meat…fish? come on you must miss bacalhau (cod fish in Portuguese)!’ So let’s start my debut blog post and tell you a little bit about my journey. There was a changing point in my life in December 2013, in many ways, and one of them was starting to think about what I was putting inside of my body (don’t let your mind wonder, I am talking about food here). You see, the saying ‘you are what you eat’ is old but it holds a lot of truth to it. Then, at my workplace I met a lot of lovely people, some will be my friends for life, including my amazing friend Karen. She was vegan, well she is THE vegan, if you know what I mean. At the time I had quite a few conversations with her and she undoubtedly started my vegan thinking process. She’d been vegan for almost three decades, back when you would not be relying on vegan ready made mocked meat dishes, vegan meal deals or even the good old falafel wrap that every supermarket sells now. She was and is hard core, my role model. I then went on to watch ‘Fat, sick and nearly dead’ and ‘Vegucated’, available on Netflix. Those two documentaries triggered even more the change that was already fermenting in me. The first one narrates the journey of this Australian over weight man that was taking all the pills possible for high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and the list of health problems went on. He then basically switched to eating only plant smoothies for a while and the changes in his health were just unbelievable. The second documentary mentioned shows the life of a few New Yorkers after switching to a vegan diet for a few weeks, and it touches not only the health benefits but also the animal welfare and the struggles that ‘normal’ people go through during the process. These are great documentaries to watch but there are A LOT more. So that’s how I realised, hold on, meat is wrong. During the next year I became pescatarian for a few months, then vegetarian and ultimately vegan, by the end of 2014. There was just no other option and I could not live with the thought of including any animal products in my diet, after all the knowledge I gathered. Now I wished I’d gone cold tofurky (vegan turkey)- meaning, cut all animals products over night, but… whatever the journey, the goal is the same. Since then I became healthier, happier and with a true sense of purpose in my life. If you are wondering… nope, I did not die from protein deficiency yet (do you really know anyone that is protein deficient?…), my iron levels are good thank you very much, I’ve got enough B12 and well, my brain functions just fine (some might disagree but hey…). To put things in perspective, in the last 5 years I met and married my husband (yes, vegan too), moved cities a couple of times, bought a house, travelled quite a lot, completed a PhD degree and gave birth to the love of my life, my son Rafael, who’s 6 months, conceived and thriving only on plants. I know these are pretty standard things normal people do, but this is it, you can be vegan and live life and do all the stuff you want to. My vegan journey will continue for the rest of my life, but this is how it started, in a nutshell.
What can you expect from this blog? Well, if you are just passing by and don’t know me, I was born in Portugal. In general, Portuguese people are lovely and are very proud of their country and their delicious dishes. Yes don’t get me wrong, our cuisine is delicious, from savoury to very sweet dishes. Hell, my mum is a cook and owned a restaurant where the main dish was roasted piglet! Veganism is not about hating the taste of meat, fish or dairy. Or hating your family, for that matter. To me it’s about what it represents and how many lives were lost in the process, as well as the impact it has on earth, the one my son is going to grow on (if Mars is not an option in the meantime). So anyway, getting to the nitty-gritty of this website: I will be sharing my versions of traditional Portuguese dishes- vegan style, as well as other recipes, some nutrition facts and animal welfare articles.
If you came across my blog and don’t know me, I assume you have at least some curiosity about this subject and lifestyle. If you are a friend of mine and are not vegan, I’m sorry, you might hate me a little bit reading these posts, especially lines about how animals are treated so you can enjoy your steak, for example. But that’s ok. If I make you think a little bit about your choices, chose to cook a vegan dish once a week, to me is a win, and some chicken, cow, pig, cod fish! will thank you for still being alive. I was a scout for a few year in my late teens and something that stayed with me was that we should leave this world a little bit better than how we found it. I know with this blog I will (as well as just existing because I’m awesome).
Fell free to leave comments, suggestions… tell me I’m an idiot, ‘stop messing with my feelings and conscience!’, I won’t take it personally. Overall, hope you enjoy and learn a few new things.
PS: I love blogs for new ideas, mainly recipes. However, one thing that really annoys me is all the text before we get to the important bits: the actual list of ingredients and method. Is not really important to know why you like that specific food so much, if it was a recipe from your great grandmother (including their life stories too), and certainly a picture of every single step is usually unnecessary. Rest assured that you wont be getting that here (mainly because my great grandmothers would be rolling on their graves knowing what I’m doing with their precious recipes- ‘veg whaaat??’ -bless them). I might tell you a couple of lines about the typical dish and what to expect- but that’s all! Let’s cook and have fun, shall we?