El Chisme: Being a Boricua Vegan

Hola mi gente!

Have any of you been vegan-curious or just wanting to change a few basics in life to be more healthy? If so, this one is for you!

I first went vegan about 4 years ago, I don't actually remember the date so I will never have a vegan anniversary BUT that's okay! We'll go with that timeline! When I first made the transition, I started as a dairy-free pescatarian but eventually made my way to full veganville. I'm not going to lie to you, the transition to veganville was HARD, I wanted to give up so many times. Preparing meals was difficult at first and attending family gatherings was like an extreme sport. The family didn't really understand what being vegan meant yet, and who could blame them? A boricua vegan at that point was like finding a unicorn. My husband and I would have to decide if we were going to eat beforehand or bring food with us to add to the rice and beans we knew would always be there, but if we decided to bring food we then had to decide what to bring. It was like a vicious cycle with neverending questions and sad meals at the end of them. Honestly in the end though, transitioning to a fully vegan lifestyle was totally worth it because of how much better my body feels daily. I'm probably not the most healthy vegan in the world because I still stuff my face with junk food whenever I damn well please, but in comparison to how I felt before I'm definitely more healthy now! I'm also way more conscious of what I put in and on my body, as well as the impact I have on this little planet of ours. Before veganism, I gave off slight hippie vibes but now my friends probably think I'm a full-on hippie and I'm cool with that!

For the first few months being full-on vegan, my husband and I ate A LOT of potatoes (when I say a lot, I mean more than you can probably think of lol). We didn't really have the palette for tofu yet and I couldn't get any veganized recipes for the traditional Puerto Rican dishes we grew up on to taste how we wanted them to. We wanted them to taste like home and comfort but the vegan versions just weren't hitting. Eventually, we discovered seitan and other plant-based meats/items like things from Gardein and Impossible Meat! Sure, they're processed and not SUPER healthy for you, but in moderation, they're totally fine. It's all about balance friend!

Once those alternatives came into my life, tacos were a thing again! That's one of my husband's favorites so I spent MONTHS and countless times trying to perfect the vegan taco. Impossible meat was honestly the game-changer for us, once I made tacos with that it was a wrap! I made the perfect vegan "beef" taco, I was legit so happy I could've cried lol! Once that happened, I honestly stopped and thought "okay, I do this!" Things no longer felt so daunting about being fully vegan once I made that one perfect meal.

Since then, I've been able to perfect a few others as well! I'm hoping to be able to share those recipes with you so if you're curious and want to try being vegan for a meal or two, you'll have the resources easily available to you. Anywho, I say all this to say, being vegan can be a struggle especially with a culture that thrives on meats and fried foods, but it's not impossible! You really have to make the journey your own and rely heavily on your own instincts and flavor profiles; don't be afraid to take a recipe and make it your own! If you don't like tofu, try seitan! If you need something gluten-free or more natural, try mushrooms or jackfruit! The possibilities are endless as long as you keep an open mind and don't box yourself in!

That's all I have for y'all today mis amores. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Until next time! Peace and love to Infinity and Beyond.

- Buns Out!

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