Alexa is working toward a vegetarian diet, and is loaded with questions. Jennifer’s got answers. We talk about anything as long as it is vegan. Are tattoos vegan? How do I politely not eat Thanksgiving dinner? How do I order without pissing off the waitress? We know you are dying to ask!

Hey Guys, I am starting to feel that people are starting to honestly read this blog. People are leaving comments that aren’t spam, and articles are being read. On top of that, I got my first SLR (Single Lens Reflective) camera, which means our photos are going to be much better. So I feel like the blog is working more towards where I imagined it to be. 

Which means we are adding new segments- Alexa Asks, Jen Answers. Here Alexa asks common questions and I puts my know-it-all-ness to action. Some questions might not actually be from Alexa, but commonly asked questions that I would commonly hear in the past. So let’s get started with question number one:

asksalexaWhat were the hardest foods to give up when going vegan?

There are two ways of looking at this question. One way is what is the hardest thing for other people to understand that you can’t eat. This is something that affects you at restaurants and family get togethers. The second way of looking at this question is what is personally the hardest thing for you to stop eating.

For the first question, dairy is the hardest thing for people to stop serving you at family functions. I think meat, fish, and eggs are pretty straight forward- they are or will be animals. Lard, honey, and gelatin are a little less obvious but not as commonly used in modern kitchens. But no matter how many times I say I don’t eat milk, I find cheese in my kale salad or butter melted on the veggies. Traditionally, European cuisine uses meat or cheeses as the focus points in meals. So many people are unsure what to put in the dinner to make it pop.

Desserts are the hardest because I feel like everyone is judging me when I don’t grab for a slice of cake. People tend to think of veganism as a “diet” not a “lifestyle.” So when it comes to dessert time many people expect you to make the exception and treat yourself. By not grabbing the cake I feel like people think I am becoming a diet freak. Making your own dessert helps but can be tricky if your family also like to bake. Thanksgiving then becomes a dessert battle ground with 4 pies for 7 people to pick from. And guess which pie no one ends up eating- your vegan one. Ugh.

The flip of the question then becomes what was personally hardest to give up. I’ve given up meat before, so that was pretty easy to give up. I didn’t like milk much, so that was another easy one. Cheese was always a pain to buy, and would usually go bad in the fridge. It was hard to find recipes that didn’t use cheese. So most of the time I just omitted it from the recipe.

Eggs are what I found hardest to give up, to my surprise. I read it was the hardest from a few vegan cookbooks, and it is probably because it has the least amount of choices for alternatives. Sure there are tofu scrambles, egg powders for baking, and chickpea flour omelets, but they aren’t quite the same. But there is nothing that really replaces a runny yolk. Nothing. Even today I still eat them from time to time, provided I know where the eggs come from. I still don’t tell people that I eat eggs so they don’t try and serve it to me.

Pepperoni is another food that I crave a lot. No I haven’t caved in like eggs since I don’t think there is any ethical way of obtaining pepperoni. I’m just saying if a pig and a cow died and their wills said that they wanted me to eat them, I would make a lifetime supply of pepperoni. But that’s not happening. It seems that vegans are more obsessed with recreating bacon, not pepperoni. So I haven’t found anything that I am satisfied with – yet.

Overall, I am pretty solid about what I eat on my own. I think the biggest issue is with everyone else trying to serve me dairy. It isn’t something I crave, but I see it being served to me everywhere I go.