Record, Cook, Watch, Repeat

A very strange phenomenon has piqued my fascination recently. As someone who can easily become obsessed with something, finding something I love and engulfing myself in it, this new fad is no exception to that habit. What is this new craze, you might ask? If you haven’t been on YouTube and specifically searched for it, you may not have heard of it. And even if you have, trying to describe it is odd.

The types of videos I’m implying are in the realm of “what I eat in a day.” People film, either in vlog style or with fancy music and editing software, themselves making the different food they have throughout the day. I know what you’re thinking: why? Like so many other strange YouTube trends, it’s hard to explain why it’s so interesting and entertaining.

For me, I really enjoy seeing what other vegans eat throughout the day, or even what they buy for groceries (grocery shopping is my guilty pleasure). I know very few vegans in real life. South Dakota isn’t exactly vegan-friendly; the state’s agriculture relies on the meat and dairy industries. I can’t tell you how many times I have reported stories about farming and ranching (trust me, it’s been plenty). Not only do I wish I had access to some of the different food these people have who live in California and can find every fruit under the sun, but I also enjoy finding inspiration on meal ideas as I continue to thrive in the vegan lifestyle.

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I usually like to make a new recipe every week or so while I have my own kitchen to play in. This creation was an attempt at tofu scramble with sriacha, black beans and corn.

These videos also helpful for someone with a past like mine that is very restrictive. Even when I first became interested in veganism, I didn’t educate myself nearly enough to actually sustain long term. I didn’t understand the best foods to eat and how much to eat of them. Especially YouTubers who consider themselves “high carb low fat,” I love hearing them emphasize eating in abundance; food is fuel, it nourishes every cell in our bodies, and it is NOT the enemy. Many of the vegan YouTubers I even watch come from similar backgrounds like my own; even though I don’t know these people in real life, I feel like I can relate to them on a level that those without any ED history can’t fully understand. And I still struggle constantly with basically relearning how to truly eat properly. My hunger cues can still be out of whack, and my digestion still isn’t great, but I’ve made major progress.

I think it’s amazing that videos like these are educating the public about living a healthy vegan lifestyle and are gaining so much popularity. There is such a stereotype around what veganism is really about, and these videos can make the subject much more approachable. They can be a stepping stone into researching the lifestyle even more and possibly considering it for yourself.

The food obsession doesn’t stop there. My mind thinks of all the food blogs out there, the Instagram accounts solely dedicated to eye-pleasing plates of food. It’s almost as if our love for cooking and food-related TV programs just extended itself into the social media world. Rather than relying on expert chefs in stainless steel kitchens whipping up five-star dishes, people can tune into everyday home cooks who lead similar lives to ours and find some realistic inspiration for themselves. I must also mention that there are no TV chefs or cooking shows even remotely vegan, so YouTube is a great place to immerse yourself in the community.

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Some people make such pretty creations, I would just want to stare at it all day. Hopefully I can practice enough with cooking to really find some confidence in my abilities. We’re getting there.

Again, this is probably just a trend to ebb and flow as so many others do, but this is one I fully stand behind. I love seeing cool lunches to take to work or school, or how to be vegan in college, or fun new ways to whip up potatoes. I continue to discover new things to try and discover so many possibilities while actually enjoying what I eat. Also, videos like these can start the conversation needed to start breaking those common misconceptions about veganism and vegan people. They aren’t all hippies, they eat more than salads, and they get enough protein.

So after I watch a few episodes of my current binge series, what do I end up doing? Strolling onto to YouTube, and when in doubt, find a new “What I Ate Today” to check out. Like I said, obsessed.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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