I’ve done it! I’ve completed a whole month of eating nearly no animal products and I feel so proud of myself (smug face) for sticking with it. There were a couple of mishaps but nothing too bad. When I did dry January I buckled at 10.30pm on 31st January 2014 – my mate had come to stay and cracked open the Rijoca. Seriously, do I have no backbone?
Anyhow, I wrote a post were I explained my reasons for giving up animal products for one month. It wasn’t easy because January is cold, slightly joyless and you need a bit of comfort. On the other hand I have zero social life in January due to the post Christmas spending clamp down. Luckily there were no delicious canapes waved under my nose (because of course this always happens to me…..)
I’ve whipped up a list of what I’ve learned (good and bad) by trying a Vegan diet:
- There is a limit to how much houmous and #avotoast I can eat in a month.
- There are so many delicious treats you can eat. Take a look at Veganuary for some great ideas.
- This is not a diet! If you want to lose weight you have to use more energy than you put in. Please don’t think that doing Veganuary will make you lose weight – I certainly didn’t.
- Almond butter and bananas on toast is delicious.
- I really can’t stomach dairy free margarine on toast but……
- Good quality marmalade on wholemeal toast really doesn’t need butter to taste delicious.
- I spent the first 22 days feeling uncomfortable and bloated. It took a long while for my body to get used to the extra fibre. This got better when I started drinking more water.
- I have really missed eggs, they are such a delicious source of protein. I’m yet to find a breakfast I love more than boiled eggs and soldiers.
- I lost the plot when my non-Veganuary following husband let some good cheese go mouldy in the fridge. Just because I’m not eating the cheese doesn’t mean I want to see it wasted. Sorry Joel for getting so angry. This is also secret test to see if he actually reads my blog…
- I have never been hungry during Veganuary. There are so many delicious things to eat, including plenty of stodge it wasn’t a problem.
- The Thug Kitchen and Anna Jones cookbooks are cookbook are awesome. Don’t even attempt veganuary without them. You need delicious and inspiring meals to keep you on track.
- Make massive quantities of any meal so you have leftovers ready in the fridge. It makes a day where you open the fridge and have no idea what to cook so much easier. I re-heated a portion of my mushroom hotpot 3 days in a row.
- Tofu. Tofu does not taste like cheese, eggs or chicken. I’ve seen so much cobblers written about it this month but I can safely say i’m converted. Pressed, marinated for 10 minutes and added to a stir fry it is delicious! Even my fussy Mum was pleasantly surprised!
- I didn’t miss cheese with my beans on toast with marmite and piccalili to pep it up.
- Occasionally I came across very hostile reactions to my decision to eat food that took less resources to produce and involved the death of less creatures. I can’t kid myself that the egg and dairy industry are like something from a nursery rhyme book however I have never rammed this down anyone’s throat.
- I don’t have to be a perfect human being to try to make more choices that are better for the planet.
- Jackfruit. Why have I never heard of this before? Big shout out to the women on the Bia Vegan stall on Norwich market for an amazing lunch!
- Norwich is full of fantastic independent cafes with plenty of Vegan options.
- Poo. You would think that you would visit the toilet more frequently eating more veg but sadly this was not the case. Things eventually went back to normal. I’d like to give a special thanks to all my friends who have put up with the poo chat.
- My shopping bill went down, however, due to my love of Booja Booja, Vego and Green & Blacks chocolates this did not result in me spending less money.
- People are really generous of spirit. I had a lovely lunch with my friends and the delicious effort they went to reminded people are kind, intrigued and not at all put out when they are trying a different way of eating.
- Felix was allergic to dairy and eggs when he was little so I was already used to cooking without these ingredients. It helped massively.
- I didn’t once eat fake bacon, veggie sausages or vegetarian mince. They just didn’t appeal to me at all.
- Existing Vegan friends have been very supportive. Thank you guys xx
So what’s next? I’m not at all perfect and nor would I pretend to be so I won’t remain vegan. I’m so pleased I tried Veganuary and it has changed the way we plan to eat. Maybe I’ll try it in the summer when there is more variety of seasonal fruit and veg?
In the meantime I’m on the search for an egg producer who treats their chickens like pets.