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Resources for the Swiss Vegan

5 Feb

Ok, as promised, I have started a page with all the great “finds” we have come across in the 3 years since my wife moved over here. When she came over, she had a pretty limited and unbalanced vegetarian diet. As I always want the very best for her, I started scouring the internet for vegetarian products so we could balance her diet (and mine, because I always ate vegetarian at home when she prepared food, which was most of the meals). So, without further rambling, here you go:

Vegetarian/Vegan products at the grocery stores

  • Cornatur – Available at Migros.  However, most are not vegan friendly as several have eggs in it.
  • Delicorn – Available at Coop. Check the ingredients to see if they are vegan or just vegetarian.
  • Asian Mock Meats – The link is just to the picture so you know what to look for.  You can find this in most Asian food stores (I buy mine at Alimentation Asiatique Thao, mentioned below).  There are other mock meat alternatives, but find the ones in the blue can the best.

Asian Grocery Stores – Always a great place to find tofu, but also vegan meat alternatives

  • Alimentation Asiatique Thao – Ave des Jordils 4, 1006 Lausanne
  • Tan Tan – Rue du Simplon 47, 1006 Lausanne
  • Uchitomi (Japanese store) – Ruelle Grand-Saint-Jean 5, 1003 Lausanne
  • Fleurs d’Asie Pham Sàrl – avenue d’Epenex 1C, 1022 Chavannes-près-Renens

Online Stores

  • Iherb.com – US based, but ships to Switzerland on the cheap!  Trick is to use their “Global Priority Mail by DHL” option.  You can only order up to 4lbs (1.8 kilos) with this option but it’s cheap, and I’ve never been taxed on this option.  You can find so much stuff here.  I’ve bought wheat gluten, nutritional yeast, rice, beans, protein bars/powders, vitamins, cleaning products, snacks…the list goes on.  You just got to check it out yourself.  (for some reason, this link above is blocked, you can search them out on google as “iherb.com” and it should take you there, sorry for the inconvenience. I’ve appealed this block, but haven’t heard back yet).
  • Larada.org – This is a Swiss-based vegan online store.  The guys who run it are pretty cool.  It’s in German, but if you send them an email, one of the guys (Rafael I think) speaks English and is always happy to help you out.  You can get vegan cheese, cold-cuts, mayo, etc.  Pretty much a vegan version of whatever you want.
  • Vegusto – Another Swiss-based online store.  I haven’t tried this one yet.  Let me know if you do.
  • Futur Naturprodukte – This place is the only place I can order fresh Tempeh from.  I haven’t found it anywhere else.  They also sell tofu, veggie burgers and seitan.

Stores in Lausanne

  • Magbio – Route de Neuchâtel 2, 1032 Romanel – This is my favorite local store.  They are a “Bio” store, so you can get a lot of vegan stuff here.  We get our alternative milks, tofu, produce, grains and nuts from here.  You can get ready made seitan and tempeh, both in a jar.  I prefer to make my own seitan and buy fresh tempeh.
  • La Biotique – avenue de Montchoisi 3, 1006 Lausanne – Pretty small but conveniently in town
  • Topinambour – avenue William-Fraisse 9, 1006 Lausanne – You can find all sorts of nut oils, brewer’s yeast and other bio
    products.

Other Links

Well, there you have it.  Have any other suggestions?  Leave a comment or email me and I’ll add to this page.

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Day 2

4 Feb

Well, on to day two, a tougher test, a work day. That means less time to make/get stuff and having to deal with what is available quickly and conveniently.  Anyone who lives in Switzerland knows that these two words regarding anything is a tall order.  The culture here is more slow-paced, not a rat race, resulting in slower service and less convenience for the people who work, but that’s a topic for another day perhaps.  Onto my day.

I got up around 7am.  Decided to weigh myself to see if this diet is going to promote weight loss.  I was 77.3 kg (170.4 lbs).  I then checked the score of the Super Bowl, and happy to see the Ravens had pulled off the upset.  There is something about the Niners that just irks me. They just reek of arrogance, which is way different from having confidence.  But, from the coach and his shitty handshaking skills, to the QB who tries to patent a TD celebration that he stole from the world of wrestling, and finally their idiot CB spouting off anti-gay remarks while playing for the city with probably the biggest openly gay community in the US, just makes it hard to root for them.  I’m also a little bitter that Carlos Rogers went on from the Redskins where he could never keep his hands on sure interceptions to making the pro bowl with the Niners the first year he leaves us.

Ok, let me get back on track, as you can tell, I’m very passionate about the NFL, and am sad I have to wait till August to start getting excited for my beloved Skins.

Got up around 7am…had my coffee and some muesli with almond/rice milk and then kissed my lovely wife good bye and headed to work.

Had an apple as a snack, and then went to work out at noon.  Here comes the hard part.  I need my protein fix after the gym, so I was pretty dejected to see what was available at the cafeteria. I went to the salad bar to start.  Nothing with beans!  Oh, here’s some pasta salad…wtf? It’s got parmesan on it! Other salad bits I checked out already had other dairy/meat products in it.  So what I ended up with was: shredded carrots, zucchini, squash, red cabbage (which once I started eating saw that there was blue cheese crumbles in it! Caught that just in time), cucumbers, cubed potatoes and celery…still, really no protein.  I went to the hot, side-dish section and heaped on some sweet potatoes and then went to the salad fixings section and cleaned them out of their pumpkin seeds, protein procurement success!

Once I was done with my lunch, I still felt like I didn’t get enough protein.  Thankfully, as my Boy Scout training prepared me, I did have my contingency plan.  I brought myself a Ziploc of this:

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Bought this from iherb.com once again.

It’s pretty disgusting. A plant based protein drink without all the great milk powder and chocolate flavoring just tastes “planty,” as my wife puts it.  She doesn’t touch the stuff.  I do because it packs a lot of protein, and that is my main concern about switching to a plant-based diet.

I mixed this stuff with some water and apple juice, still pretty gross, but palatable.  Out of just juice to mix with it, pineapple juice works the best with this particular brand.  If you want to further mask the taste, you can blend it up with some banana and other fruit.  Anyway, this kept me full for the afternoon.

I came home around 8pm to this lovely dish my wife had prepared:

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She took a “chicken tabbouleh pita” recipe (from Bob Greene’s, The Best Life Diet) and made it chickpea tabbouleh pitas and served it up with “roasted new potatoes with herbs” (from Williams-Sonoma, Potato).  Very tasty.  I had two helpings…I gotta stop doing that.  But it was good stuff!

About an hour after eating, my wife and I got hit with the chocolate cravings again.  But this time, she was prepared.  She made vegan cake in a mug from Cook’s Hideout (chocolate microwave mug cake).  It didn’t come out like the pictures on the website:

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It did taste good though, and gave us our fix. It was a little rich for me to eat the whole thing, so I set it aside after eating half and maybe I’ll have some more later.

So, there you have it, a successful day 2.  No huge cravings just yet for meat or dairy.  Lunch at work will be a true test though.  I don’t know how often I can drink that Raw Meal stuff in place of a real lunch.  I did order some vegan protein bars but those won’t come for another two weeks or so. I’m signing of here.  See you tomorrow!