The first 1,000 followers – and our vegan beginnings


Today we won’t share any recipes with you. Today we say a huge THANK YOU to our first 1,000 followers on Instagram! And we would like to take this opportunity to share how it all started. Read on to learn why we went vegan in the first place and what motivated us to start our food blog.

Going vegan – how it all began

Sina never was a big meat eater and has been enjoying a semi-vegetarian diet for a few years already. I (Nils) on the other hand was a full blown omnivore, with meat being an integral part of virtually every lunch and dinner. And interestingly I was the one proposing to go vegan. But why?

The concept of veganism that promised better health and a more sustainable way of living had appealed to me for a long time already, but never enough to switch diets completely. I had tried to put in one vegan day per week, what didn’t work so well – it was always “the next day”. Some people prefer to go vegetarian at first, but in my case I knew that as vegetarian I would just replace every gram of meat with a gram of cheese, and that would not exactly be healthier than before. So one day, after watching another food documentary, we took the decision to start an experiment: eating only plant-based/vegan food for the next 30 days. And now, more than a year later, the experiment still hasn’t stopped 🙂

Among the first things we did AFTER deciding to go vegan was to read up on the topic to ensure we would in fact reap the many health and fitness benefits of a fully plant-based diet. What we learned is for example that as a vegan (and even as a non-vegan) it is super important to ensure sufficient levels of vitamins, in particular B12 and D3, and also omega 3 fatty acids to avoid malnutrition. If you are new to veganism always make sure you get enough vitamins, especially B12. Fortunately the topic is well documented and it’s no problem to buy supplements if needed. Researching veganism in more detail not only taught us about the risks and benefits, it also motivated us to keep going, which brings me to the next topic…

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Staying vegan – success factors

While it was a big step for us to GO VEGAN in the first place, the real challenge is STAYING VEGAN afterwards in the long run. Looking back at the last year, these are some of the factors that helped us stay on course:

  1. Read books that motivate you to embrace the vegan lifestyle, don’t focus on pure cook books only. The first book on veganism that we bought was “Main Street Vegan” by Victoria Moran.
  2. Celebrate making and eating vegan food. Since going vegan, our meals just look so much better, not just because all ingredients are fresh, but also because we are more creative in decorating the dishes.
  3. Do it together. Both of us went vegan at the same time and that way we felt accountable to each other, and of course less tempted to fall back into omnivore habits.
  4. Only have plant-based food in the apartment. You don’t have to throw away the non-vegan food, you can for example give it away to friends (if packaged) or just eat everything you have before starting your vegan journey (if you have A LOT of non-vegan supplies this might not be the best option though).
  5. Engage with fellow vegans, online and offline. There is a whole community out there that shares the passion for the vegan lifestyle. Curiously some of our friends turned vegan around the same time as us, and some of them even had been vegans for years. For us this community was and is a great source of motivation

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Why start a food blog?

Soon after we started our vegan journey we discovered the tremendous variety of the vegan cuisine and immediately wanted to share this with others. At the same time we didn’t want to spam our family and friends with photos of our breakfast every day. So we created our Instagram account @thegrumpygoji which allowed us to share our vegan food experiments with the world, without having to spam our family and friends.

Another reason is that we wanted to GIVE BACK to the community. Before going vegan we already followed some other vegan food bloggers such as Plant Based Jane, Freistyle and Two Spoons and their content was and is very inspiring for us and we hope that our food blog is inspiring some people out here in return.

1,000 followers, now what?
What is the most fulfilling aspect of this blog is the impact that we have on other people, to encourage them to explore a vegan dish, to eat and live a little bit (or a lot) healthier, and to contribute to a more sustainable world, one meal at a time. And of course we are happy if more people feel encouraged to try something plant-based, so we’ll keep up posting photos of vegan food and sharing our recipes – so if you have a really good friend that is interested in living a healthier and more sustainable life, tell them about @thegrumpygoji and let us know what they think about it 🙂

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