I am sure any vegan will agree that it can be a real challenge trying to live your life according to your principles. The important thing to bear in mind when you face problems is the reason why you have chosen to become vegan. From my point of view, the best aspect of becoming vegan (apart from the obvious clear conscience aspect from feeling that I am doing the right thing) is that it has forced me to become much more inventive and resourceful, particularly where food is concerned. I would say that I am a resourceful person in any case, but veganism has certainly increased my inventiveness with cooking! I am more creative now, and I heard my own thoughts echoed by a vegan chef on TV recently, who said that what he liked most about veganism was that it challenges him to be much more creative with food. Since giving up dairy and eggs, I have tried foods and cooking methods I would never have considered before, not even as a vegetarian.
For example, I now regularly use plant milks; mostly soya, but I have also tried rice, oat and nut milks, all of which taste good (better than soya in fact!), and there are quite a few others I have yet to try, I gather. I use these for cupcakes, pancakes and sauces, besides adding them to tea and coffee. I also now use the non-dairy spreads (butter replacers), Pure and Vitalite, which are delicious, and which I had never tried before. Pure comes in three varieties; soya, sunflower , and olive, and I have tried them all, and they are all very tasty. I also enjoy soya cream, and have tried the Swedish Glace non-dairy ice-cream (awesome!), not to mention various vegan cheeses (not so keen on them , but I believe there are some very good ones on the market today. It is just a question of finding a place near me that sells them!) Since becoming vegan I have also tried flaxseeds, as an egg replacer, and nutritional yeast (to make a "cheesy" sauce, for macaroni cheese.)
Additionally, I now bake my own vegan cakes and cookies (I recently created a cookie recipe with pine-nuts and coriander seeds – see my blog Citrus Cookie Crunch-Time!), and I use a lovely cupcake recipe, which I will share soon. I am also now trying different fruits and vegetables, ones I never really tried before like papayas, mangoes, squashes, and avocados. I have also recently discovered delicious vegetable quiches in the health food shops: made with tofutti, the brand-name is Mama Cucina, and I love them either hot or cold (when they are cooked, they are deliciously fluffy, almost like a soufflé!) I also intend to try baking my own vegan quiches some time: I have a recipe that I want to try.
So although meals now require more planning and consideration, and effort, in making a special trip to the right shops, it is worth it, for all the new discoveries I have made!