My travels have landed me in Podgorica Montenegro. And with this I have decided to go veganish. I previously ate tofu and vegan spring rolls while in Zagreb, Croatia, but never really considered this lifestyle until going further south. This decision has happened due to a seemingly reoccurring disdain for the smell of certain meats such as chicken and also pork. No matter how I try to cook these items I end up wasting time, money, and energy. My first go at it was pretty uneventful. I had to throw away two days worth of food until I finally made some salsa. I usually can eat store bought salsa such as old el paso but considering that I am in the Balkan region and their taste of salsa is a bit different than mine, my youtube search pulled up an easy recipe calling for a can of crushed tomatoes, cumin, garlic, lime (had to use lemon), jalapeno pepper (not available) so I used a package of hot peppers, and salt. I was pretty stoked about my creation and ate it with some tortilla chips from the grocery store.
I have only been eating once a day for a while now and I know that is unhealthy, so with trying to go vegan/vegetarian for most of my meals (eventually all one day) I have decided to start exercising again. One rule of thumb when trying to find a decent exercise location in a foreign city, look for the big chain hotels. They always have a spa and gym available. I did the same thing in Zagreb and was able to get unlimited sauna, swimming pool, gym, and aerobics for about 50 euro a month. Here in Podgorica it is a little more pricey, and the unlimited access is limited to -with my 60 euro plan 3x a week gym and aerobics classes, and 1x a week sauna (includes Turkish bath).
Now back to my healthier eating habits. My usual go to meal is always fries and ketchup, and this is due to the different cultural foods in the Balkan area than I am used to. I try to cook in the same way as I did in the US and for some reason it doesn’t work. I love salads but lettuce usually can’t be stored in the refrigerators that I have come across. This has caused me to be a bit lethargic in my eating, and so I ventured onto youtube once again to find healthier meals. I ended up cooking some swiss chards, which I had never heard of before but my body was craving some greens. At first try I messed it up by boiling frozen the swiss chards and coupling it with ramen noodles and other veggies. I deleted that dish quickly. Before throwing the chards away I googled and found a recipe that was similar to the items I had in the home. That is when I heated up some olive oil, threw the chards in, and then gradually introduced onions, fresh tomatoes, and then mushrooms. The finished results was so lovely. I also put some butter in there (not vegan friendly but at least I am trying). I really enjoyed my lunch and paired it with some multi grain bread with cream cheese and orange juice.
My third attempt was making a smoothie, and it eventually turned into a smoothie bowl. Something that I had never heard of before, but clearly vegan youtubers had. I used tahini, oats, orange juice, honey, cinnamon, and two bananas. It tasted pretty decent the first day, but the day after was incredible. I could taste more of the cinnamon flavor and luckily I had discovered the smoothie bowl so I made one with chia seeds, granola, and more bananas placed on top.
I have more recipes to try out on this journey and I am so overwhelmed yet optimistic about my energy level and overall health by finding foods that will not put me in a stump again of not feeling hungry.
If you are interested in trying out some of the recipes that I am then please go over to my youtube channel and click on the eating healthy playlist. I will try to add more videos in the future and maybe one day decide to try out some recipes of my own. Until then..