Being Vegan, Vegan Being: Jana -This “VeGangster” wants YOU to Love, Eat, Smile.

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I´m Jana, in the middle of my twenties and I´m from Northern Germany. I grew up in a suburb from Hamburg but currently live in Rostock on the Baltic Sea for the university which I will finish in summer 2017. I love being outside, enjoy nature and being around the ones I love (including animals ;)) and I want to protect that as much as I can.

What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?

When I started my Instagram Profile I was a vegetarian and it wasn´t even my intention to do this whole food blogging thing. I just discovered some accounts with great recipes and beautiful food photography because I always loved to cook and bake. One day, I tried to take some photos of my food and of course, they were pretty bad in quality 😀 And then I did it again and again and again and it was so much fun. Not only paying attention to WHAT I eat (more fruits and veggies, superfoods and ingredients I haven´t even heard of before) but also HOW I prepare it – a feast for the eyes, you know 😉

Step by step, I included more vegan products into my daily life and educated myself more and more about the food industry and what it does to the animals and our environment. I don´t know the exact date, but there was this time, I decided to cook and bake vegan, because I just didn´t want to be part of this cruel industry anymore – also because I was diagnosed with lactose-intolerance, but this wasn´t the main reason. I didn´t want my family to change anything for me, so when my mother cooked something, which was ‘only’ vegetarian but not vegan or my grandma made me a birthday cake with eggs and milk I did eat that. But know, everybody who is important to me knows how I feel about this topic and respects that. So I don´t eat ANY animal product now.

How long have you been Vegan?

I´m still a vegan newbie. I started to include more vegan food into my daily life in March 2016. That was the time when I have still eaten animal products with my family like I said above. The moment I didn´t want to eat or use animal products AT ALL anymore was in October 2016 – and I feel great with that.

Why is being Vegan important to you?

Being vegan for me means caring about our environment including all the beautiful plants and animals. I think it´s the least we can do to protect the places we all love so much. So many people say: “I want to travel the world, seeing this and that” but if we keep doing what we do with nature, there won´t be much left to see… I mean being less egoistic and more selfless and everybody who lives like this, has my deep respect!

Do you have a blog or favorite vegan blog you read?

There are a few Instagram Profiles I would like to share, which helped me a lot in my transition. Some of them have also a blog: @elavegan, @eatwithfingers, @greensmoothiegourmet, @edgarraw, @plantifulsoul, @noraspiration. I hope they don´t mind, that I have mentioned them here!

If you like to see how I share my vegan lifestyle, please feel yourself welcome to my blog on www.loveeatsmile.wordpress.com and/or Instagram: @loveeatsmile

Any recommended Vegan books?

To be honest: I love to read but not this kind of lecture. I´m more the Internet and documentary kind of person, so I just can recommend some cooking and baking books for the German readers from ‘La Veganista’ 😉

Do you have a favorite movie or videos or your own media that you want to share?

If you want to educate yourself more about the vegan lifestyle I recommend “Cowspiracy” and “Food Choices”. Also try to get your information from different kinds of media and producer, because there are always different kind of opinions and when you listen/read different ones you learn to build your own.

Do you miss any non-Vegan foods?

Of course, there are some times which are not that easy than others. For example, Christmas or eating in a restaurant, in a hotel during a holiday or at some friends party where is a big buffet. But for me, it´s absolutely okay because I know what I´m doing it for. I bring my own food, eat before I go to a party or ask the waitress to skip the animal products in a vegetarian dish. It´s definitely not impossible and I love seeing more and more vegan labels in the supermarket.

What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?

I only can speak for Rostock, because I´m still a newbie (but I was told that there are several great places in Hamburg ;)). And as Rostock is a place with lots of students, there are several places to go for vegans. There is a vegan Burger Diner called “Vegangster,” an Arabic Falafel Diner called “El Waleed” and my most favorite Restaurant: “Holy Pizza” – nothing more to say 😀

What’s your favorite recipe? Please share it.

I actually can´t just name one, because there a so many delicious breakfast recipes, several ideas for Lunch and Dinner and of course vegans can have dessert! I have some of my favorites on my blog and I´m sure to add several more!

What is the one big stereotype you hear about Vegans that you want to dispel?

Something that I hear most: “Vegan? How can you live just from vegetables and fruit?” or “Seriously, what do you eat?” or whenever I feel a bit dizzy or flabby it´s like “maybe you have a lack of something you only get from animal products”… And sometimes I explain my point of view and sometimes it´s a bit annoying, especially when you hear that over and over again. No, I don´t just eat fruit and veggies, we maybe just include more of these foods in our lifestyle than others – as this would be something wrong, right?! And no, just because we are sneezing, we don´t need meat to fix that and get better. And yes, I have enough energy for doing workouts and going running – btw I never felt more energized before! And no, I´m not too skinny or lose too much weight because of the veganism, I just eat healthier and try to balance everything.

Some encouraging words for new Vegans?

Like I said before: educate yourself about this topic from different kind of views and build your own opinion, Don´t judge others and don´t let yourself be judged by others. If you feel like it´s the right thing to do, then go for it and stand up for it – not only for veganism but every big choice you make in life. Instagram helps a lot when you have struggles or questions!

Jana would like to ask other Vegans this question!

I love dogs and I´m more than sure to have one some day. And I´m not quite sure how to feed him… So what do you feed your dog? Is it vegan or if not is there a special product you are using?

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