Having been a veggie for around 20 years now, I thought going vegan for a month would be easy. I rarely touch cheese, the fish counter gives me the heebie jeebies and I’m that (slightly annoying holier-than-thou) one in the restaurant filling my plate with colourful salad rather than lumps of beige and chips.
I love the exotic flavours of India as there is so much on offer for veggies and even suggested that this year we make a veggie Christmas curry rather than traditional turkey, which as you can imagine in company of three meat-eaters went down like a ton of bricks. So on the face of it, making that switch from veggie to vegan shouldn’t be that difficult at all.
Now here we are on day three and it’s tipping down with rain outside. I’m sipping on a “Higher Living” Green Chai tea and although it’s good, it’s not hitting me in the same spot as the milky and comforting taste of my regular Chai Tea Latte. When I fancy something sweet, I can no longer reach for some rich and creamy Greek yoghurt as this has milk in it, or even a nibble of Soreen malt loaf (although the banana loaf is vegan), which has milk in it, and I’ve had to wave goodbye to my beloved scrambled eggs on toast. Yup, it’s like a whole door of my regular favourites has been shut.
But as they say, when every door shuts another one opens. Being vegan may take a bit of getting used as I’ll have to think more about what I put in my mouth and maybe that’s a good thing. As someone who’s into their sport, ensuring I eat enough protein will also be a concern, however, I really enjoy beans, lentils, tofu and seeds. While everyone else was tucking into their turkey, I had a go at the Layered Vegetable Bake from the Honestly Healthy Cookbook which was delicious. I haven’t attempted eating out yet and fear this may be another level of awkwardness (being veggie is sometimes trying enough). Baked beans and jacket potato is always a good one to know when you’re a veggie who dislikes cheese but what else is on offer? Hmm, we will see.
And before you ask, I am trying out #Veganuary for health reasons. As I said before, my diet is very close to being a vegan anyway and often resort to just saying I’m vegan when we travel on a plane. Rather that than be served some mess of a vegetable dish smothered in gloopy globules of cheese. I’d like to see if cutting out the dairy and eggs suits me. Plus answer a few questions such as:
- How easy is it on a day-to-day basis to be a vegan?
- What can I eat for lunch when I’ve forgotten to prepare in advance? You’d be amazed at how many pre-packed dishes you’d think were vegan actually aren’t.
- How long does it take to make a quick vegan “fallback” meal (as in when you can’t be bothered to actually cook and resort to cereal (which isn’t vegan) and milk instead)?
- Will I feel any better in myself after a month?
- How will my partner cope having to cook and eat vegan meals? (He’s a gluten-free meat eater who’s already complaining about how I’ve swapped the GF pasta for courgetti)
- Will my mum be sending me extra supplements in the post because clearly, at age 33, I am not eating enough of XYZ or eating enough full-stop?
Only time will tell…
If you are vegan or enjoy cooking vegan food and have any suggestions, please let me know. I’d be intrigued to find out what your “fallback meals” are. What should I be stocking up on? Also please note, I am not a great chef and prefer spending time in the kitchen making it look sparkly clean rather than cooking. I can however slice and dice an avocado if that helps.