I think when most people think of vegans they think we eat vegetables, fruits and that's about it. They probably assume that our diets are monotonous and bland. The thought that crosses most people minds when they hear the word 'vegan' is boring. Well, I'm here to tell you that the opposite it true.
I truly enjoy going to the grocery store and filling my cart with brightly colored, fresh, mostly organic foods. I've caught people looking into my cart on many an occasion and I often wonder what they think. If nothing else they must be admiring the bright colors and the mostly lacking presence of plastic packaging and boxes.
On a regular basis (once a month or more) I try and buy a new fruit, vegetable, grain or legume to try out. Some with success (leeks! A new staple for me) and some without much success (stupid beets). But it's always fun to find something new and make a new dish with it. Just last week I bought a few rambutan for Derick and I to try. It's this strange little fruit that looks similar to a sea urchin but obviously doesn't taste like one. Not that I've eaten sea urchin, but I imagine it doesn't taste at all sweet. Chances are I won't buy rambutan again for a long, long time (it's definitely not a local fruit) but now I know what it tastes like so if I'm ever in Thailand (someday I hope!) and see them I can buy them with confidence. There are just so many foods out there that I've discovered now that I'm so far removed from my former staple of meat as a main dish. Some of the other new foods I've tried:
Christmas Lima Beans (technically we haven't tried them, but they are waiting in my pantry)
Apricot (I have no idea why I hadn't had these before. They are excellent.)
Quinoa (I'd never even heard of this before I became a vegan. It's a staple for us now!)
In my former, pre-vegan life I probably would have tried the fruits but I would passed right by the other items. Oat Groats? Sounds so odd to me. It's an adventure to see what items I can make for a tasty lunch or dinner with fresh ingredients.
My pantry and fridge are a wealth of varied foods that are (mostly) healthy, nutritionally rich and yummy. I never get bored eating the foods I eat, never. Even if I had a salad every day for a week it would never be the same. I vary the greens, other toppings and make a different dressing almost every time.
We also eat "regular" things too. We still order pizza (no cheese, extra veggies and sauce), eat at Taco Bell (bean burritos, hold the cheese please!) and can chow down at lots of Italian places (pasta with tomato sauce). I've made some mean veggie fajitas at many Mexican places and I can usually find several options at most places.
If doubt that being a vegan will ever become a chore. It's my learning experience and a way to educate others as well and I find it satisfying and exciting. Knowledge is power and I have learned so much in this last year and I hope the fun continues for a long, long time.