January is over, finally! It might have felt like the never-ending month but there are some elements of January that I will be continuing with – namely Veganuary. I decided to commit to Veganuary but I was unsure of how I would find it. On the one hand, I reasoned that I should find it easy as I had already had to give up so much of what I love due to food intolerances. On the other hand, I questioned whether giving up yet more food was a sensible course of action. So how did I find it?
How did I find Veganuary?
The first couple of weeks of Veganuary were an absolute blast, once I’d worked out what to have for breakfast. I didn’t miss my meat or fish, but then I was never a big eater of either. At first I struggled with finding milk for my daily coffee, but then I discovered Oatly and all was right with the coffee world again. FYI, Oatly makes the best cappuccinos.
I would like to say that I felt full of energy but I didn’t notice any discernible difference. However, this was also the month that I decided to start getting up at 5am, so perhaps that’s why I wasn’t bouncing around with energy. Perhaps it was the vegan diet that enabled me to get up at that ungodly hour.
I wouldn’t say that I noticed less bloating and this was also the month that my IBS continued to flare up. However, I don’t think the Vegan diet was the cause. I suspect that it’s my love of coffee. Sad times. I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to my coffee just yet.
I expected to miss cheese but I really didn’t, which was a big surprise. However, as I type the word cheese I suddenly find myself with an unerring desire to go and gnaw on some halloumi, so perhaps I am missing it deep down.
The last week of January has felt tough and I have found myself craving chicken soup as a result. Plus, I started having nightmares about avocados. I love avocado but I think this was a sign that I needed a break from it.
I have found myself lacking in energy, feeling grotty and run down. However, I’m not sure that this is a result of my vegan diet, I think I am just run down in general and there are a lot of bugs going round at the moment. As a precaution I have upped my vitamins and I am already feeling better.
Have I found Veganuary more expensive?
I was fully expecting to find Veganuary more expensive but I haven’t. Perhaps that’s because we have been buying less meat and less ready meals. However, our food bill had already increased due to me having to buy gluten-free products. We have been cooking more vegetables and eating more fruit and on the whole, we are also wasting less. Many vegan products have a long use-by date so I find that I am not having to throw food away.
How have I found shopping for Veganuary?
Living on Jersey means that shopping for vegan items can be trickier. We aren’t going to have the same range of products that you get over on the mainland. However, Waitrose has recently brought out an excellent vegan range and both the St Brelade’s and the St Clement’s have a really good vegan range. Incidentally, the St Clement’s Waitrose also has an extensive gluten-free range.
How have I found cooking for the family during Veganuary?
I am married to a through and through carnivore who was horrified when I mentioned that I wanted to try Veganuary. In fact his words were “don’t expect me to join you”. I didn’t expect my family to join me and I still bought them meat. They tended to have their meat dishes on the two nights I was at running club. I would then grab a quick vegan ready meal. For the rest of the week they would eat vegan like me. No one complained. The children didn’t realise that the meatballs I served them were not made from meat. In fact, they are probably eating a more varied and healthier diet now.
Did I lose weight?
We are in the age of body positivity and it is considered very unfashionable to admit that you are unhappy with your body. However, I am unhappy with how I look and I would like to lose weight. I did harbour some rather far-fetched dreams that following a vegan diet would change me into a yogi toned, clear skin, long-haired flowing and glowing goddess. Sadly the reality was a little different. I didn’t end up glowing, I had a skin outbreak and I still have a long way until I become toned. I also thought that I hadn’t lost weight – I don’t get on the scales – but it seems that I have. A coat I couldn’t do up before Christmas, I now can. Mr C, who has now cut down on meat due to my vegan diet, has also lost weight. Yaaay!
Will I be continuing with Veganuary?
Yes, I am planning on continuing with Veganuary. It hasn’t been all plain vegan sailing. There have been some disasters and I have eaten some vile vegan meals, but there are also so many benefits to the vegan diet and I think it would be foolish of me to stop now. Therefore, I am going to continue with it and I will evaluate how I am feeling in a couple of months.
Wish me luck.