sweden, denmark, and the plant-based diet

this weekend, steve and i were fortunate enough to be able to visit two countries i never thought i’d get to see: sweden and denmark.

i did not bring warm enough clothes. but these countries are absolutely gorgeous, particularly the city of copenhagen, where we met up with a few of steve’s friends and got to view the city through a local’s eyes.

of course, on our way to copenhagen (taxi, plane, bus, train, metro, train), we stopped in the swedish city of malmo for lunch at a little place called victors, and had a chance to wander around a bit before our train to copenhagen arrived.

when we finally arrived in denmark, we were fortunate to be able to stay with two different and wonderfully kind couples, who showed us around the city, brought us to fabulous restaurants, and put up with my constant photo-taking.

copenhagen is beautiful. buildings can only be built to a short height of six stories, so the city has an open, breezy feel to it. every street has wide bike lanes that are slightly raised from traffic, and absolutely everyone seems to ride their bicycle around town. while this dynamic makes things a bit hectic when walking for hours, it also gives the city a delightfully charming feel.

one of steve’s triathlete friends, david deak, was even kind enough to cook a few meals for us with his girlfriend, sharing his plant-based diet and food philosophy with us. one of our meals were these absolutely delicious buckwheat and quinoa pancakes. you must try them, immediately.

despite the cold wind that refused to die down, we were able to see all of the major copenhagen sights: the little mermaid, the opera house, the royal palace…

…and the free town of christiania, one of my favorite sights from the trip. there’s nothing quite like seeing hash and marijuana for sale in a display case. of course, i couldn’t take pictures inside this autonomous, rebellious little community, but i did get a photo of the gate separating the commune from the rest of the city:

love it.

we even visited the carlsberg brewery, and saw the largest collection of unopened beer bottles in the world.

as we took our hundred and one trains, buses, and planes back to budapest, steve and i couldn’t help talking constantly about how many animal products we consume on a daily basis. it’s easy to think that i eat a well-balanced diet because i like fruits and vegetables, but i’ve realized just how many quick sandwiches and bowls of pasta i often eat in my hurry to get out the door and explore the city. as much as i love veggies, i’m not consistently eating in a healthy way.

as a girl who finds it hard to imagine a day without smelly cheeses, crusty bread, or rare steaks, i was intrigued by the idea of plant-based eating. and while i’m not sure that i could completely give up meats, fish, and dairy for good, it seems like my diet could use a change. hungarian food is mostly chicken, with serious amounts of pasta, dumplings, and cream-based sauces on the side, and i’ve been struggling a lot with finding a healthy balance between the veggies i love and the rich, delicious local cuisine. but i think it’s time for me to stop eating meat and cheese at every single meal and get healthier, especially if i’m serious about eventually completing a marathon. it may even help my knee to heal completely and let me finally start running on a regular basis. and if limiting my intake of meats and cheeses will also help me lose weight, how can it be a bad thing?

so we’ll see what the future holds. going fully vegetarian over the summer wasn’t a completely successful experiment, but it did show me that if i want to try limiting my weekly intake of animal products, i need to spend more time and research planning my daily meals – something i tend to avoid. perhaps something as simple as meatless mondays is just what i need to get me on track.

would love to hear thoughts from some of my fellow foodies! how much meat, fish, and dairy products do you typically eat during the week? would you ever consider a vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based diet, or have you ever followed one? and am i nuts to think about starting this while still living in europe?


157 thoughts on “sweden, denmark, and the plant-based diet

  1. Wow, I am so jealous! Your pictures are beautiful! Looks like you guys are having an amazing time!

  2. What a gorgeous looking weekend! I’m always so impressed with your photos and writing, and obviously jealous of your adventures :)

  3. These photos are so absolutely gorgeous! My husband’s been on a diet the past two weeks, and I realized that, since I’m making separate food for him and fish is so much easier and quicker to cook for myself, I’ve become sort of an unintentional vegetarian. I’ve been eating fish once or sometimes twice a day, and I consume a ridiculous amount of dairy (I’m pregnant and need lots of protein). I must say, I don’t think I’d mind keeping it up! I haven’t been lacking any energy for it – though I do love meat, so I don’t think I’d ever give it up totally. I think it all depends on your body’s needs and what your convictions are.

    I’m stopping in from 20SB where I noticed you’re a new member. Welcome, Meg! Can’t wait to see more of your adventures!

  4. Great photos
    It’s nice to see something other than North America for a change. Europe is really an amazing place. I didn;t see any Ikea’s in the photos .. just kidding

  5. You went to Malmo! That is so cool – my last name is Malme, my husband’s ancestors came from there :) Will have to go someday.

    Your photos are lovely – what an amazing trip!

    I don’t know if I could give up dairy – I love cheese so much. Keep us readers posted on what you decide to do…

  6. thank you all SO much for reading! it’s very exciting for me to be on freshly pressed – i love my little blog and getting feedback is incredibly valuable. thanks for the support!

  7. Thanks for combining a couple of my current fascinations: Northern/Eastern Europe and Vegetarian/Vegan eating. Interesting read and great photos! Glad I clicked on you. :)

  8. fascinating. the pictures are beautiful and i loved that you delve into what you’re eating/how it’s affecting you…personally, i have been on a “red meat avoidance” diet–allowing myself some chicken, turkey, and fish–and feel better overall, but also realize that i need much more veggies. it’s interesting how we don’t necessarily realize just how few veggies we’re actually eating, even when we’re not eating meat (because of carbs, mainly, in my case). I’d love to hear more about how you implement this in your life–please keep us updated!

  9. I’m a Swedish vegan. Love the pics in this blog post. :) Also, congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! As far as I know there are plenty of good vegan and vegetarian foods available in Europe (not sure about Hungary though). At least in Sweden, Denmark and the UK it’s very easy to find plant-based food.

    • i think the fact that i only speak english is a big limiting factor – because i’m starting out i’m not necessarily as familiar with items like quinoa. i’ve eaten them, but never prepared them, and the fact that every food label is only in hungarian makes it really hard to even know what i’m buying! i think things will be a lot easier when i’m back in an english-speaking country and can read food labels again :)

      • Right. And I don’t really know how many people speak English in Hungary. Here in Scandinavia, most people know at least some English, but I suppose it varies in different countries.

  10. Copenhagen is truly amazing! I live in Sweden and I’ve been there several times, the city is so cosy and wonderful. Tough it is a major city it feels like you’re in a small town when you’re walking down the streets. You’ve totally captured the feeling I’m talking about in those photographs! Simply, beautiful photos, you make me wanting to go back to Copenhagen this moment!

    Have a great day!

  11. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 12. I still eat dairy and eggs, but don’t eat any meat. I’m living in Belgium right now, and in some ways it’s easier to be a vegetarian here than it was in the US; stores almost always have meat substitutes and many places have vegetarian meal options. However, when I went to the Azores a couple of years ago to visit my husband’s extended family, I practically became malnourished…they have meat in everything! So I can definitely understand how it might be a difficult task in some places.

  12. So funny you came up with the plant based diet thought in Denmark, their traditional food is so heavily meat based. I’m not vegetarian, but I don’t eat meat terribly often,usually once or twice a week, mainly due to time/budgetary restraints. That being said, cheese forms a massive part of my diet so I’m not sure I could give up both. Also, lovely photos of Copenhagen, it lashed rain the whole time I was there so none of mine turned out right.

    • part of the reason it came up is because the couple we were staying with (one of them, anyway) was on a strict vegan, gluten-free diet – they showed us how to eat more traditional foods but with a very healthy, plant-based spin. my intro to denmark was through their eyes, so i didn’t feel like i was missing much! :)

  13. Loved your pictures. Ìf you love Copenhagen, visit Aarhus, Odense or Aalborg.
    H. C. Andersen, have you ever heard of him? He came from Odense. I come from Aalborg, the fourth biggest town in Denmark, I Think Copenhagen is too big for mé, but I guess it depends on the City you come from and your relations to it.
    I’d happy to show you all around in Aalborg.

  14. Copenhagen is also on my list of must-visit cities! Your photos are lovely. Our family (me, the hubs, child and live-in grandma) have all gone mostly plant-based this year. We slowly weaned ourselves from meats during the last part of 2011. We still eat eggs from our own chickens but very little dairy. It’s been great! We all feel good, have lost some weight and have saved tons of money. :-) Good luck on your journey.

  15. beautiful pictures! try cutting out one food at a time…like no chicken. once you don’t miss it, cut out something else. it’s hard to do it all at once!

  16. I think limits breed creativity when it comes to plant-based eating– when you cut meat (and/or dairy and/or eggs) out of your diet, you’re forced to try all kinds of new and exciting recipes to meet your nutritional needs =)

    Great post!

  17. The Beet-Eating Heeb (BEH) could really relate to your post. He honeymooned with Wife of Beet-Eating Heeb (WOBEH) in Denmark and Sweden. They loved it!

    At the time, both BEH and WOBEH were full-scale carnivores. A year later, we began our journey from carnivorism to vegetarianism and on to veganism.

    BEH can assure you that your palate will change and that the more you educate yourself about the health, environmental and animal-welfare benefits of a vegan diet, the easier it be to reduce if not eliminate your animal consumption.

  18. Love the pictures. My grandmother is from Sweden and I want to go so much! Going to check out the recipe for the pancakes now. I’ve got this thing going with quiona – lovin’ it!

  19. I will try those pancakes. My husband and I have been vegetarians for over 20 years each. it is incredibly easy once you realize that not eating meat is not limiting at all. There’s so much more out there to eat. Also, if you are having a hard time finding products to replace your meat, visit an Asian or Indian store for inspiration. Good luck!

    • that was my strongest impression too! the buildings were all so beautiful and pristine, and the streets were so clean…i’m a boston girl who loves new york city, and it really felt like a completely different kind of city.

  20. First of all, thank you for that pancake recipe! It has been bookmarked and awaiting the weekend for me to make them!I think it is great that you are thinking about decreasing the amount of animal products you are consuming. I think an overall increase of fruits and veggies will make anyone’s body happier and will give you good results. When I went vegetarian a year and a half ago (I never have enjoyed the taste/smell of meat so I just stopped eating it) I lost 5 lbs…and then went vegan {found out that I am unable to digest dairy) and dropped another 5 lbs. It’s been 8 months now that I am gluten-free and vegan (with some minor set backs along the way) and I feel the healthiest than I ever have. I am so excited to hear how it goes for you! Much love, Cara

  21. My aunt’s family owns a summer house in Malmo, and from the pictures she’s shared with me, it is an absolute stunning town! The way I’ve embraced a meat free diet is to eliminate one meat at a time. I stopped eating pork some ten years back and just recently cut down beef from my diet and soon will drop chicken from my diet too.

    I lean more towards tofu, dark vegetables, lentils like a dhal curry and have a higher intake of fruits and nuts. Good luck in your quest.

    Cheers from Adelaide, South Australia

  22. Thank you so much I loved it!
    I am a Dane living in Canada eating mostly plant based foods because I love how I feel when I eat like that! It was not always like that. I was educated as a chef in Denmark and I love gourmet food – today I have changed how I eat without excluding anything. Still enjoying all my old favorites, but making sure I fill up on healthy plant-based foods first. Exchanging some meals with plant-based foods – sometimes I even feel like having days on just plant -based foods. I love that way of eating – it has changed my world.
    Thank you for a great blog!!

  23. Beautiful photos! As a vegan, I eat healthy sometimes and not so healthy sometimes. I think you nailed it, vegan or vegetarian is not in itself healthy or healthier. I do know being a vegan, I eat less processed foods and cook meals much more than I did before. I would encourage you to try and eat veggie a couple times a week; to me there isn’t much to lose. For me vegan is a choice I made due to my love of animals, not due to health concerns. I also live with my longtime love who happens to be a carnivore; I don’t judge how another eats, as long as they are happy with their own path. Good luck to you on yours!

  24. I have never visit Europe, yet. This great post really make me want to visit there sooner :)
    Seems, many amazing architectural building and no doubt, since I am living at tropical country Europe will be exciting for me.

  25. Beautiful photos…thank you for sharing.

    Personally, I don’t think I could eat a plant-based diet because I like my meats too much. But, I listened in on a webinar by Brendan Brazier on Learn It Live entitled “Plant-Based Performance Nutrition: How To Unlock Your Mental And Physical Potential Through Food”. I was fascinated by his personal story of how he came to understand the importance of nutrition to his athletic career. He also provided some great tips for general health. If you’re interested, you can find the recording at http://www.learnitlive.com/class/1717/Plant-Based-Performance-Nutrition-How-to-unlock-your-mental-and-physical-potential-through-food but you might need to register for the site first.

    • thank you so much for this! i’m not sure i’ll be able to go all the way to strict plant-based eating either, but i’d at least like to make some changes in my diet that lean that direction. i love meat and cheese too much to swear off them for life, although there do seem to be a lot of health benefits to doing so. we’ll see what happens and how i feel after a few months…!

  26. Lovely photos.

    I do try to limit my meat intake—I avoid red meats altogether–eat them probably once in two months. I eat fish on a regular basis, and lean chicken.

    I find a steam cooker is a great investment—I can use it to slow cook, which adds flavor to stews without adding fatty meats. And when I steam vegetables, I roll them in a bit of olive oil and sprinkle them a little with salt. This gives them a whole other level of flavor. I don’t eat meat for two-three days a week, and also eat only one meat-meal a day. If you stick to fish and lean chicken, meat eating is not all harmful.

    No matter what the cuisine, it is possible to improve its health quotient by replacing butter with olive oil, frying with baking, or a combination of sauteing and slow-cooking.

    Another trick I use is to eat fruits before every meal. My dietician recommended that, and it helps me not only eat less, but also digest better, and eliminate waste and toxins.

  27. I don’t know, I love to have cheese and wine when I am feeling creative. I’ve been thinking about a plant based diet too lately but have come to realize that there are certain foods that bring me joy, so as long as the animals have had a happy life and I am not overindulging I am keeping those foods in my life. Sometimes it’s good to go through a season of giving certain foods up though.
    Beautiful pictures, I love scandinavian countries.

  28. Great Post! I don’t think vegan or even vegetarian is for everyone. You have to know your own health, everyone’s is different. I avoided salt and ate what was basically a vegetarian diet for a while, and because my sodium count and cholesterol are naturally so low I ended up extremely ill with Septic Shock and now have to eat all foods. You have to check your numbers with a blood test by your doctor to know if you are weak in any areas.

  29. I have tried all of the above diets. My goal has been to go vegetarian or vegan for a long time, but I continue to fail at it. I usually recommend to my pts to give up dairy, easier said than done. Don’t feel guilty about eating meat, if you like it just scale back and eat only organic meat. Meatless Mondays is a fantastic program. I would definetly try to avoid seafood due to all of the heavy metals and PCBs that are found in it. Enjoy your time in Europe!

  30. You should absolutely read the book “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer – I never thought I could give up meat, and after reading this book, I haven’t eaten anything with a face in over a year, and I don’t miss it at all!

  31. I traveled to Denmark/Sweden for soccer when I was 11. It was my first international trip without my parents and this post took me back!

  32. Lovely pictures! I too have considered going vegan but am not sure if I want to. Meat makes me feel good and I don’t do well with carbs. I am concerned if I cut out meat and dairy my diet will become too carb heavy. I do try to only eat healthy sources of meat so if I can’t find local/grass fed meat, I will choose a vegetarian option. I also LOVE cheese and would have a hard time giving it up! I am concerned about animal products causing an acidic environment (an alkaline environment is favorable in the body) but I figure if I limit the amount of meat and consume plenty of vegetables I am probably okay. I have experimented with raw food recipes lately and have found some good ones. I think I will be happy incorporating more raw food into my diet but still having some animal products to go along with it. I think everyone needs to find the right ratio for their body and decide what makes them feel good! Good luck on your journey (in Europe and with food)!

  33. I have a friend who lives in Stockholm, we knew each other when she did a research in Bali. She is really nice and fun. She spent almost 3 months in Bali. She said that she’d miss Bali so much but she promised me she’ll be back to Bali.
    the funny thing is, I also have a colleague who live sin Denmark but now she’s a professor in Washington, we met in the summer here, She took her son to catch up with me. We were having a damn good time.

    By the way, your photos are absolutely fantastic. Came up with the ideas of plant-based diet,so lovely.

  34. Fabulous post! Loved the pictures. I do hope i’ll someday be able to visit these countries myself.
    and a vegetarian diet can’t be all that difficult m sure…. i’m a complete vegetarian (a huge no. of people in my country are actually) and trust me, there are MANY options in vegetarian food :)

  35. Great photos, although the giant collection of unopened beer bottles seems like an invitation for a break-in by some thirsty Scandinavians! Having completed my one and only marathon a couple of years ago (and with no intention of doing another!) I can confirm that a diet of burgers and cheese is one that will require a little alteration, but you don’t need to go too far in the other direction either. Good luck with it!

  36. Congrats on being FP. I too visited Malmo and Copenhagen, as well as other parts of Denmark and Sweden, including Stockholm. Thanks for reminding me of many pleasant memories. Happy travels to you.

    • we somehow didn’t! i had made it my mission to try one but between the vegans and the huge brunch we had one morning, our super short trip only gave us so many meals and we didn’t get the sandwiches. i was actually pretty disappointed – guess that means i have to go back :)

  37. Fantastic photos! I’ve been living in northern Finland for the last few months and, while I haven’t been to Sweden or Denmark, I did get to visit Russia, which was absolutely lovely! Finland is itself a beautiful country and I would recommend a visit.

    When it comes to food, I’m no expert, but recent studies suggest that our ancestors basically evolved on a high-meat diet (fatty meats, not lean meats for reasons of energy and to prevent “rabbit starvation”) supplemented with berries and starchy root vegetables. When agriculture developed and meat became a luxury, the poor basically switched to grains and oil/butter while the wealthy continued to feast on meats. Cheeses have also always been seen as a part of a good diet and, while milk consumption was often looked at as barbaric, cheese was prized. There has also been some research looking into saturated fats and heart disease, with a lot scientists saying there is really no link and that the science that supported that idea was flawed, so I wouldn’t worry too much about health. Humans, as far as I can tell, were not meant to live on plants alone, and I recommend the documentary “Did Cooking Make Us Human” for more on that.

    If you want to lose weight, I would cut the carbs or limit them to special occasions (Sunday’s maybe, or weekends in general). Carbs make your body produce insulin which is a fat-storing hormone. Eating a protein-and-fat-based diet for at least a few days each week will force your body to burn stored fat for fuel, which should help the pounds melt away quickly and painlessly.

  38. Ahh, I feel like I have to chime in here! I’ve been a vegetarian for four years now (though I do still eat fish, so technically I’m a “pescatarian”) and I just moved to Malmö. I’m originally from the states, but married a Danish man, and have spent a significant amount of time there. While in Denmark, I noticed the lack of alternatives to meat. Because I still eat dairy and eggs (and fish, which is a big deal in Denmark) I never had much of a problem, but I couldn’t imagine giving up my other easy sources of protein. While the Danes don’t eat enormous portions of meat like Americans seem to, they do eat small amounts on a fairly regular basis. When we moved to Malmö, I found that for some reason, the groceries here have massive amounts of vegetarian food, which is absolutely lovely for me, and makes being a vegetarian seem that much easier if you can splurge occasionally and get that “meat” fix. Even when we move back to Denmark, I definitely plan on keeping up my vegetarian diet, but like I said, I’m not really considering going vegan.

  39. Great pics, and I have to say I am impressed you managed to take a picture of the street I live on in Malmö, and the building I work in in Copenhagen.

      • Hmmm, do not recommend to try it on a windy/rainy day on the colder half of the year. Not that I am complaining to much :)

  40. I used to have Vegetarian Day every week. It’s like finding a particular day in a week to be vegetarian. For example, if you were born on Monday, every Monday will be your vegetarian day. It’s easy for a beginner like me :)

  41. Oh boy, I want those pancakes, ha ha! I think the key word is MODERATION. My husband and I try to skip meat a few times a week… Or have shrimp or fish instead of meat.. On of my favorites is my Med Pasta… (search on blog for recipe) its too good, and they say med based diets are good, right? We do try to not eat red meat even once a week, so it’s usually chicken or beans (I know, but some friends turned us on to Chana Masala, recipe also on my blog) and I can make that and have dinner for several nights, it’s too good! Also started drinking lots of water (with cucumber slices and fresh mint) yum!! I enjoy your blog!!

  42. As a Copenhagen citizen i am amazing of all that nice stuff you write about you trip to Denmark.
    Love from the Danish people.
    Born i Copenhagen Denmark in 1952

    • we hung out with two danes while they were there, and they were so incredibly kind to us. i have nothing but love for the people of denmark :)

  43. the photos are amamzing and the only pictures are my lovely and reall nice atuff yes, i agree, and near photos meat makle photos nice

  44. Great post! I was a political science major in college, so I love a healthy debate/ discussion. I was trying to engage one of my friends in a discussion about his vegetarian diet. Ready for the fight I asked a harmless question and calculated my retort. His answer totally blew me away… he said “I am a vegetarian because it makes me feel better!” This was not something I could argue, so I tried eating less and less meat and he was right! I think you are on the right path. I am not sure that individual methodology is about a particular label. I think each person has to experiment and see what is right for you! Thanks for the post!

    • i’ve heard that so many times – even just on this one post on my blog, so many of these commenters have said the same! i’m not sure i have the willpower to swear off animal products forever but it certainly seems to make people feel great – provided they’re still giving their bodies the proper nutrition.

  45. Oh, and did you notice that the street lights in Copenhagen are suspended from wires – no poles. This also adds to the open feeling of the cityscape. Please keep posting your travels and we’ll keep reading.

    • i didn’t consciously notice it at the time, but i’ve gone back through my photos and you’re absolutely right! definitely helps with the super open feeling – i really loved how spacious the city felt.

  46. Lovely to read. really still want to go to Sweden and Denmark…… hope it will happen one day and soon! thank you for sharing this. Was a joy to look at. will be keeping an eye on you!

  47. There is another take on food in Denmark: http://wp.me/p16vK0-8t

    And there is the Annika Dahlqvist story:


    My blog is largely from the perspective of benefits of low carbohydrate diets, in the way of perspective, contrary to popular opinion, my survey of people who switch to low-carb diets showed that they generally increase the amount vegetables (although they do forego the pancakes):

    Such diets are, in any case, largely therapeutic so if you are overweight, have diabetes or metabolic syndrome, you may want to follow Dr. Dahlqvist.

  48. Lovely photos again. I have fallen in love in Copenhagen now :)

    As for a plant based diet, I have been a vegetarian throughout my life and don’t think it is hard. But then again I stay in a place where it is easier to get plant based ingredients and I’ve never had meat so may be a little more easier for me to be a vegetarian. :)

  49. My mother is Danish, but I’ve only been to Denmark one time – must have been over ten years ago now. Your photos are so gorgeous that I’m convinced I need to make returning more of a priority.

    As for the diet, you’re not insane for wanting to shift to a more plant-based diet while living in Europe. I’ve been vegetarian for over five years now, and for nearly three of them have been living in the Balkans – two years in Macedonia, six months (and counting) in Albania. These aren’t the easiest countries to go vegetarian in if you’re eating out, but as long as you’re preparing meals at home it’s simple. Fruits and veggies are cheap and plentiful, I can buy beans and lentils at any outdoor market or grocery store. Although I sometimes wish I were in the States (no tofu? no seitan? no miso?), I can’t help wondering if my vegetarian diet is even a little better here. Without the option to buy prepared foods, I never fall back on eating things like fake chicken patties or veggie burgers; it’s all home-cooked meals here. I say, go for it – even if you start out with meatless mondays, you’re sure to find new ways of using the available produce to make delicious and filling meals.

  50. Great post…The plant-based diet is becoming very trendy in the U.S which is pretty awesome!!!! Your pics are just gorgeous and those buckwheat quinoa pancakes….mmmm…Keep on traveling and posting!!!!


  51. Wonderful photography and interestingly I have just purchased the books Forks over Knives which is all about transitioning to a plant-based diet! Congratulations on being freshly pressed!

  52. As a hungry dog, vegetables don’t sit well in my stomach but I’d eat less animals if they didn’t taste of meat. Love this post, places I hope my dad takes me for a walk in one day. Love Bones

  53. Great post! You make me want to travel to Sweden and Denmark!

    I have been living in eastern Hungary for seven months, and before I moved I was worried about being able to maintain my vegetarian diet while here. Although traditional Hungarian cooking is heavy on meat, my husband and I haven’t had any trouble finding ingredients (tofu, etc.) for cooking. We’ve had a lot of fried cheese when dining out. Dining out as a vegan would be a nightmare.

  54. Love your photos! I have relatives that live in Copenhagen and the Jutland…and I’m feeling nostalgic reading your post. As for a plant based diet, I live in the United States and whenever our Danish relatives visit (or in a few cases, live with us as students for a year) they always gain weight because our diet is so unhealthy compared to the Danish diet. I have tried a plant-based diet and it is so hard! But, so healthy. I have settled on eating lots of veggies, some fruit, and lean proteins and whole grains, but when I need to lose a few pounds, I cut out the whole grains for a couple of weeks or go light on them. Thanks for sharing!

  55. Beautiful photos!!! Eating more veggies and fruits really makes a difference in how you feel and look. I am not a vegan or vegetarian but I find that I feel great when I eat less processed more natural foods. Using the Vitamix can help you get more nutrients too or try things you normally wouldn’t try. Do you like portobella mushrooms? I found a recipe I keep tweaking every week.

    Meal for 2:
    2 Portobella Mushrooms stems removed
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    2 tablespoons water
    1/4 teaspoon both onion/garlic powder
    1/3 cup artichoke hearts (from glass container not can)
    4 plum/cherry/grape tomatoes (organic if you can)
    1 tablespoon panko breadcrumbs
    1 handful of fresh spinach (organic if you can)
    1/3 cup or less of feta-goat cheese
    1/3 cup or less of asiago shredded

    Mix up vinegar/water and powders
    Soak mushrooms in the vinegar mix for about a half hour (a bag works best but I didn’t want to waste the plastic so I used tupperware)
    After done soaking cook the portobellas stem side up for 20 min at 350
    (I use our glass bread loaf dish so it doesn’t get too messy)
    Chop the artichoke, tomatoes, and spinach
    Mix the veggies and breadcrumbs with the cheeses
    Take out the mushrooms after 20 minutes & dump the excess water
    Put the veggie/cheese mixture on top of mushrooms stem side up
    Bake another 10 minutes or until the tops are slightly golden

    You can have the stuffed mushrooms with a small side of pasta with sauce and voila you have a heart healthy veggie dinner! We’ve been eating these once a week different ways. This was my favorite recipe with them so far. Enjoy!!

    • thank you so much for this recipe – looks amazing! i wasn’t a fan of mushrooms for so long (something about the texture…) but i’ve warmed up to them in the last few years, and portobellos are definitely one of my new favorites. can’t wait to try this out :)

  56. Meatless Mondays is a good start! Not sure if I could or want to go completely plant-based, but I do incorporate more fruits and veggies in my diet this past 2 years. Maybe cutback on meats, go to eating eggs for 1 or 2 meals and bean or lentils another meal or 2 a week. There, you are more than half way through your week with no meats! Make pestos and salsas to accompany pasta, whole grains, and those meats when you do have them. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos. And enjoy Europe!

  57. Not a big fan of a plant-based diet (I find it unhealthy) but both Sweden and Denmark are wonderful countries. I hope I go visit them again soon!

  58. Hi there! Great story! And I love your pictures! I live in Copenhagen since three weeks myself, but kept on waiting for the weather to get better before making pictures… Silly, if I see your results. Stunning!

    I was a veggie for twelve years but a year ago, I started eating fish and meat again. The funny thing is, as meat isn’t so cheap here, I am almost a vegetarian again.. But my biggest food-love is for diary-products, so, sorry vegans, I don’t want to give that up until I found proper soya/rice products instead. The ones I tried I never really liked…

    I do love one vegan recepy, a soup with those little orange beans (linces? I don’t know the word in English..), sun-dried tomato’s in small pieces and all your vegetable left-overs, spiced with some tabasco. Delicious!

  59. Beautiful and inviting photographs. Those look like super clean cities. Congrats on your plans to go plant-based. You have my support.

  60. I’m so happy you enjoyed Sweden and Copenhagen! I just moved to Sweden four months ago and this past week explored Denmark semi solo which was an exciting adventure! I am not a vegetarian by any standard but I will always take more veggies than meat on my plate. I get tired of meat and never tire of veggies.

  61. Sweden is a beautiful country (of course I think since I’m Swedish haha) and Copenhagen also! I’m glad you’ve discovered two countries that you didn’t think you’d do!

  62. Truly wonderful photographs. Fifteen years ago, I embarked went veggie which lasted for about two years. During that time, I never felt better. I helped that the firm I worked with and the department I worked in, most of the folks were vegetarians.

    Should have stayed there. Left and it wasn’t long before I was back to eating those things we New Yorkers love to eat. So not cool!

    I consider the timing of your post a message since a week ago today, I went through my cabinets, freezer and refrigerator totally gutting it of salt, sugar and meat. For six days I have been living on vegetables, fruit, cranberry juice and water. Each day it gets better.

    Starting to feel much better and your post has inspired me.

    Glad you had a wonderful vacation and even happier that you shared. As for changing your diet go for it.

    • so glad i could provide some inspiration for you! i’ve definitely been seeing a lot of plant-based diet talk on my favorite blogs and foodie websites – it’s becoming a very popular way to eat. i’m so glad you’re feeling better :)

  63. Clicked on here primarily because I like your header a LOT… But turns out you’ve got some other great photos too :)

  64. It’s like a completely different world…I admire the imagination put into building cities as beautiful as these in your photos.

  65. I enjoyed your post I grew up overseas

    I have been plant based for a year now and really enjoy every aspect of the lifestyle. I do write about my experiences with it and the side effects of eating only plants. I am always looking for input from people trying it for the first time. Let me know if I can help.


  66. I know you write the blog, but did you also take the photos? How vivid those colors are! The photos look like something out of a magazine.

    Even more amazing is that humans pass by it every day and don’t even stop for a moment of awe… but suddenly when you photograph it and display it, everyone wants to purchase what was once free and by passed.

    Thanks for sharing your art. I am inspired.

    • the photos are all mine as well as the writing :) thank you so much!

      i think it happens to all of us – we get so used to the cities we live in that we take them for granted. i watch people in budapest every day strolling past the parliament building without a second glance, but i have only lived here for a few months so i’m still absolutely flabbergasted whenever i see it :) i’m sure when i’m back in boston i’ll ignore all the gorgeous sights that i see every day too, but i’ll certainly try not to!

  67. I’m doing vegetarian for lent but I am considering continuing with it. I have even thought here and there about going vegan… it seems a little… severe… but I am considering it. Just need to do more research on what kinds of food I can/should eat on this kind of diet. But as for now, I don’t miss meat at all. I am eating seafood a few times a week, but otherwise just doing grains/veggies/pastas/salads. I’m going to try those quinoa cakes though! There are so many interesting food blogs out there… I have links to a few on my 2nd blog (Clean. Green. Eat. Repeat.) to recipe resources that I have found inspiring. Good luck, and congrats on being FP.

  68. It is very nice to see people here making comment about a place I spend my childhood in, and I can only say they have only seen a small part of a great old Country there are housing a great part of history for many generations. Danmark is one the oldest places to visit, so go there and get spellbound with grand old buildings that smell of old ages, streets with cobble stones, and eating places, and have a cold Calsberg ol.

  69. Pingback: thoughts on meat-eating | ginger-snapped

  70. Lovely photos! I’m on a dairy-free diet and I’ve lost quite a lot of weight. You have to be a bit more imaginative about what you eat – no quick Italian cheesy meals. I’ve found myself eating more Chinese/Thai food. However, it’s not necessarily going to be that healthy – I end up eating lots of potatoes which are pretty heavy. And you have to take Calcium supplements to protect your bones for later life, so it’s not ideal.

  71. Beautiful pictures! I think those pancakes your friend made do look amazing. I’ll have to try them (though maybe not immediately – they kind of frown on me taking pancake breaks at work!). As far as the food stuff goes, We don’t strictly follow any particular diet, but we do try to eat a lot of whole and unprocessed foods. On ideal days, we have at least 2 veggie side dishes and a salad with whatever our main course is. Generally, we have about 3 or 4 vegetarian meals a week, 1 or 2 fish meals, and the others alternate between lean red meat and chicken. We probably only eat red meat ever 2 or 3 weeks. I don’t think I could go vegan – I like milk and eggs a lot, and I find leather to be very useful (though only if things are coming from animals that were killed for something other than their hides), and I don’t see how things like honey really exploit animals. I do, however, buy free range eggs and chicken (local as much as possible) and milk and beef from locally raised cows (which sometimes live just down the road from my house, so I can see that they are living well). That’s my 2 cents. Or, because I let it go on so long, my 8 cents. I hope you find a balance that works for you!

  72. I think it’s more a matter of rethinking where your food comes from than changing your entire diet. I could never be vegan (I had the experience of a totally vegan lunch this past weekend and as I stated in my blog, it’s NOT the lifestyle for me) but I do think we tend to consume too much mass-produced and processed meat products. We don’t have a large food budget but we’re discussing ways to change how we buy what we eat – I’m inquiring into some local (for me) organic co-ops, and badgering hubby to buy me some hens for eggs – I do think free-range chicken & eggs taste so much better, and grass-fed beef is ever so much yummier than grain-fed. We’ve also been exploring whole grain wheat alternatives – De Boles has a remarkable quinoa & rice based penne rigatta that is better (in my opinion) than “normal” semolina penne or whole-wheat penne. We’ll do our summer vegetable shopping at local farmers’ markets. While I don’t plan to give up meat or animal products anytime soon, I would like to plan more veggie-based meals during the week.

    And I fully intend to try the buckwheat and quinoa pancakes.

  73. What an insight into Copehagen (among the others) I’ve never thought of going there but I think I would now. Your photograhpy is good. I do not know what the cuisine is like in Denmark, Sweden or Hungary. With a bit of searching yuo are sure to uncover some veggie restaurants and natural foods markets. I used to be the junk food eating, smoking, drinking queen until 12 years ago when I got clean and my life blossomed. I am a vegan and eat a very easy and delicious diet. Follow your heart. It will lead you. I write a blog and have meal plans on there too. http://www.aveganobsession.com – there are 1000’s of others sharing their plant-based life and recipes. I hope this helps. Being happy is good for your health too…sounds like you are getting your daily helping of that! Congratulations on being FP’d.

  74. Some Swedish friends invite me to visit Sweden… and I guess your posted the one of great convincing photo for me^^ Thanks for the post:)

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  76. Nice photos! As a vegetarian for many years now, I enjoy my plant-based diets. However, when I travel to a place know for its excellent seafood … I have come close to breaking my pact to be vegetarian. That is a good goal to be vegetarian for the summer. It will be fun finding creative ways to satisfy your appetite and get the protein and vitamins needed.

  77. Pingback: Gastronomy Alumna: Hungry in Hungary « Gastronomy at BU

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