I have never been fond of going to the extremes - there was a time when I honestly believed that going completely plant-based itself is really extreme. Especially being vegan - something that seems so impossible to reach for people. Never would I have ever imagined I would be here today spreading the vegan message.
You will never know just how easy it is to be plant based until you try it. Of course it's important to concentrate on plant based whole foods, but for all of you there transitioning to a healthier, compassionate lifestyle - there are substitutions for almost everything! Even in Estonia.
The choice of vegan cheese, vegan ham, plant based milk, (n)ice-creams and plant yogurts is impressive! Going vegan doesn't mean you have to give up your favourite dishes - you'll just have a plant based substitute for almost everything! Like I said - it's better to reduce the amount of processed foods in your menu but already choosing plant based processed foods over animal products is a big step for the betterment of your health and our planet.
Like I said I really don't like to go to the extremes. Being vegan really isn't a competition who can be more vegan. If we choose the all or nothing attitude it really doesn't do any good for ourselves nor the animals. Even though I really admire people who manage to be totally plant based and only eat healthy whole foods - I do root for the people who are vegan but slip from time to time - or those who eat vegan junk food. To err is only human!
Yep. This post really was inspired by the fact that we went to Helsinki for lunch yesterday with my husband. A day cruise just to get a McVegan in Finland. And it was totally worth it! Don't get me wrong - the vegan gourmet burgers we have at home - BurgerBox or VegMachine - are unquestionably better but the fact that you can get a vegan burger at McDonald's... for me is a statement itself.
We also had a stroll through the local supermarkets and the vegan choice there was amazing! Although the choice in Estonia is also really good, I sensed some kind of freedom there. The freedom to be vegan without being judged. The freedom to go to any little store and you will have a decent amount of vegan options there.
So, by no means am I promoting McDonald's nor fast food in general - my blog is about healthy plant based whole foods. But I like to see the bigger picture. I'm really happy that a global company is helping to normalise veganism. People who are transitioning to a vegan diet don't have to feel like they are giving up everything familiar overnight. Because at the end of the day, we don't live in a perfect world - if we would I wouldn't even have the need to write this post promoting healthy plant based lifestyle. There would be no fast food restaurants and everybody in the world would be vegan.
Eating in McDonald's once in a blue moon doesn't make you less healthy - same as eating some animal products (by accident) doesn't automatically make you less vegan. There can be all kinds of situations where there isn't possible to be 100% vegan. Of course it's important to try... but there is no need to be beaten up about it when it doesn't always work.
We all are on our own health journey and everybody has their own goals and difficulties. If a few years ago my goal was to be totally plant based, then today I try to eat as little processed foods as I can and concentrate on nutritious whole foods. Just as going vegan took time, it takes time to change one's habits and cravings for processed foods. And even if you feel you don't want to give up processed foods it's also fine! Every step or colour of the plant based spectrum is fine, as long as you are taking care of your health and not harming others.
After posting this McDonald's picture in my local Facebook vegan group I automatically had people saying how McDonald's isn't healthy for you - vegan or not vegan. Of course it isn't! But the bottom line is that when I choose to eat junk food once in a while I have options. Just as everybody else has.