I Am Not A Domestic Goddess

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I think there’s a preconceived notion that in order to be vegan or live a plant-based lifestyle, you have to be great at cooking. A lot of vegan Youtubers and Instagrammers seem to have lives filled with picture perfect smoothie bowls and beautifully cut vegetables. Vegan cookbook authors fill their pages with complicated recipes in an effort to show readers how elevated and high-class plants can be. Many urban vegan restaurants offer cuisine far from the typical iceberg salad one would be forced to consume at, say, a small-town diner. Given a cursory glance, going plant-based might seem too complicated and exhausting to an omnivore.

I can’t blame the more culinary-inclined vegans for doing downright magical things in the kitchen. In fact, I have a TON of admiration for someone who can pull off such complicated recipes (and not have eaten half of the ingredients in the process). But my style is decidedly less glam. I’ve never made a tartare or remoulade. The majority of my diet consists of frozen vegetables. I use my microwave multiple times every single day and my Vitamix only once because I’m too lazy to clean it again. My culinary abilities don’t extend far beyond baking or sautéeing. I constantly make variations of the same things. By no means am I on the “domestic goddess” level. I just eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. And not a lot of processed food, because it makes me feel like a hot pile of garbage.

Because of this, I cringe when people assume that being vegan is hard. It’s a learning process, sure, but not hard. Like translating one language to another, it's possible to translate a diet from omnivorous to plant-based. It might require experimentation of delicious proportions, but that extra bit of effort pays off. You don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen or buy ingredients you don’t know how to use (unless you’re feeling frisky). And Google will continue to be your best friend. Literally, just put “vegan” in front of anything you normally eat and search.

If you're vegan, what was your biggest barrier in transitioning? If you're not vegan, what's your current barrier?

Danielle Kocher