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Next year, early January 2012, it will be 20 years ago that I stopped eating meat. I started out as a pescatarian but as time progressed, fish just seemed to become a replacement for meat. That was not what I had intended. So I banned seafood from my diet as well, and became a lacto-ovo vegetarian: eating no animal products except dairy, eggs and honey.

Now I’m ready for the next step.

I’ve made a resolution to eat much fewer animal products in 2011.

I didn’t particularly start out being a vegetarian just because of animal welfare; that was part of my motivation along with environmental issues and the belief a meat-free diet is healthier. But I now really hate the thought that animals are being harmed and killed to produce cheese, milk and yes, even eggs. That I buy organic produce does not change that fact.

So where to begin?

First I need to get the vegan lifestyle more into my system; have loads of animal-free products, recipes and alternatives at hand. I can only accomplish that by committing 100%! So let me introduce my personal 10 day vegan pilot: ExtraVeganza!

ExtraVeganza logo, © variomatic

Cool logo huh? A HUGE ‘THANK YOU’ to variomatic who created it for me! :))

ExtraVeganza

I’m going to kick-off Gnoe’s vegan adventures on January 27th by taking part in Happie Herbi’s Eat Good, Feel Good workshop.

I hope to blog about my findings each day for the whole 10 day period (Thursday January 28th-Sunday February 5th). Think Julie & Julia, but in a vegan version. ;)

I want to log my menus for future reference but you can also expect recipes, product reviews and my thoughts on cookbooks or recipe websites. As time allows, anyway ;)

I plan to visit the recently opened Vegetarische Slager (‘Vegetarian Butcher’) in The Hague, compare different vegan alternatives like seitan (‘Buddhist meat’), tempeh, different kinds of tofu and possible ready-cooked ‘meat replacers’. Most shop-bought vegetarian burgers contain either egg or milk-derived proteins though.

One evening Mr Gnoe and I will be eating out at Kitchen Punx in ACU, the only (!) vegan eatery in my not-so-small hometown.

Of course I’ll make sure that my diet is healthy, supplementing B12. If it’s not too much of a hassle I’ll keep track of my nutritional intake in the ‘nutrition gauge’ (Eetmeter) on the Voedingscentrum website. This Nutrition Centre is funded by our Ministry of Health and considered a reliable source of information.

But to begin with I need to put together an ExtraVeganza pilot tab in my Netvibes page so I’ll have all vegan resources in one spot — I might just share the page when I’m done!

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