The last day of the Verival Vegan Challenge has come! Our co-worker Annalena has been doing the self-test and has switched to a vegan diet for an entire month. This is her final report, in which she provides answers to exactly those 8 questions that she has raised in her first Vegan Challenge blogpost:

#1 How does the vegan diet work for me in general?

I’ve super quickly gotten used to eating plant-based only, which is why (apart from some teeny, tiny exceptions that happened out of inattentiveness or habituation) a vegan diet works very well for me in general.

#2 Can I imagine switching to a vegan diet on a long-term basis?

I’ve already made the decision that I won’t be eating a 100% vegan in the future, but I’d like to keep everything I prepare myself at home plant-based only. However, when I visit my grandparents on weekends, I wont’s say no to a piece of my granny’s delicious cake. Also, when I’m invited to someone’s place or when there’s no vegan option in a restaurant (that I could possibly like), I will have vegetarian food – just as before.

#3 How hard is it for me to give up on certain foods?

In fact, I’ve only really noticed which foods I’m not “allowed” to eat anymore in the first couple of days. However, the only real challenge there was to leave out the milk in my coffee. Afterwards, I’ve gotten so used to purchasing only vegan products in the supermarket and to ordering only vegan dishes in restaurants that it really didn’t seem like missing out on anything anymore. An exception of course, as already mentioned, is my granny’s delicious, homemade cake 😉

#4 Does the change of diet have an impact on my (mental and physical) well-being?

Apart from the fact that my body tolerates coffee better when I drink it black or with plant-based drink, I haven’t noticed any changes regarding my mental and physical well-being. Perhaps, it’s necessary to observe that for a longer duration than just a month.

#5 How do the people in my environment react?

The reactions of the people in my environment have been very positive, which might have the reason that I’ve been talking about wanting to try a vegan diet for quite a long time. Of course, there were still a couple of sceptical voices, but also the additional info that the challenge would only last for a month might have helped that these voices haven’t become too loud after all. However, I truly doubt that my dear granny would have gotten used to it, as she wasn’t happy at all when I once had to refuse her cake. 😉

#6 Am I confronted with prejudices and if yes, which ones?

These are probably the most frequent questions that I’ve kept hearing this month – and my answers to them:

– ‚Are you paying more attention now to a balanced diet?‘ – Yes.
– ‚Well, there’s nothing left for you to eat anymore then, is there?‘ – Of course there is! Vegan food is incredibly varied.
– ‚But you’re not doing that forever, are you?‘ – Not 100%, but for the most part.
– ‚There’s substitute products for almost everything now, so it’s not that hard anymore to be vegan, is it?‘ – That’s true!

#7 Did I (have to) make exceptions or was I able to complete the vegan challenge “flawlessly”?

As it happens, some unwanted exceptions or almost-exceptions did occur, which however, seems perfectly natural for an unexperienced vegan like me. I wrote about two of these incidents in my interim report. The longer I’ve been on a vegan diet though, the more I’ve cared about the ingredients products or dishes contain and therefore built up a better knowledge of whether they are vegan or not.

#8 What part do substitute products play for me?

Substitutes for milk and yoghurt are very important for me, because I love having muesli and overnight oats for breakfast. How could I not?! For me, muesli tastes best when eaten with a yoghurt alternative like soya or coconut yoghurt. For the overnight oats I like to use soya or cashew drink instead of cow milk. Other than that, I did not try too many substitute products, for example no cheese, which was actually easier than expected. However, in the future, I would like to taste all the different vegan cheese varieties that are available nowadays.“

If you have any more questions for us or Annalena, don’t hesitate to write us on Facebook oder directly here on the blog!