We all know that I love a bandwagon, so it’s no surprise that I have decided to jump aboard Veganuary. Plus, any movement that winds up Piers Morgan is a win in my book. However, for me, there were many reasons for wanting to try Veganuary.
I’m no big meat eater
I’ve never been a massive meat eater. I have been a vegetarian on and off since I was a teenager. The problem was I never really approached it properly or thought about where to get my nutrition from. At university I started eating some meat again after my housemate cooked me a bacon bap and hungover me was too weak to say no. Then I left university and I became a vegetarian again. That was until I met Mr C who informed me that my tofu curries were vile – rude! It just became easier to eat meat again. So my lack of meat was never driven by any well-meaning principles. I just wasn’t that arsed about eating meat.
A recent food intolerance test revealed that I am actually intolerant to beef (much to my oldest daughter’s delight because she can’t stand beef) and veal. Therefore, I stopped cooking it. There was no point cooking it for just two members of the household. It’s not practical. The only meat I was eating was the occasional bit of chicken and some fish. I also can’t eat egg yolk and I have to drink lactose-free milk. Yep, woe betide anyone who invites me to a dinner party. I’m a nightmare ;-).
I decided that due to my already very restrictive diet, Veganuary wouldn’t actually be that hard for me to do. I was curious to see if I missed dairy and how I would feel overall. What did I have to lose? Well, let’s say that Mr C wasn’t overly enamoured with the idea but he has since come round and has been incredibly supportive.
Reasons why we should give Veganuary a go
I don’t want to go into it all here but since reading about the treatment of animals and how they suffer so we can eat, I’m appalled. It’s just horrific, suffice to say I don’t think I will ever be drinking milk again.
I have heard all the talk about how becoming a vegan can help the environment but I never really understood why that was the case until now. According to the Veganuary website it can “Make a more positive impact than giving up your car” Going vegan will halve your greenhouse emissions, reduce pollution and water usage. It can even prevent deforestation and save wild animals from extinction.
Not only can we feel smug knowing that we are being kinder to animals and that we are doing our bit for the environment, we can also feel good in ourselves. Going vegan is really good for our health. Apparently, health is the second most common reason for people going vegan. I think I somehow need to convince the carnivore that is Mr C to go vegan. Being a vegan will cut your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. How amazing is that? More and more people are ditching animal products in order to combat specific health problems. Apparently, Bill Clinton became a vegan after he had to have emergency heart surgery.
Meat eaters will tell you that you aren’t getting enough nutrition and I will admit that in the past that has worried me. However, this time I have planned for it. I am taking multivitamins ( I was actually already taking these before I embarked on the vegan diet.) It is possible to get all your nutrition from your food. I am now getting my calcium intake from my oat milk, alpro plant based yoghurts, oranges and watercress. I’m getting my iron from my sweet potatoes and dark green veg. I’m getting my omega from flaxseed and protein from brown rice, nuts, lentils and soy.
How I have found Veganuary so far
I have made a few mistakes. I didn’t realise that my Quorn mince had egg white in it and the same for my gluten-free bread. However, I have now found some alternatives. I just need to be careful when reading the ingredients list.
Apart from those early mistakes, I haven’t found it that hard so far. I think being organised is key. I make sure that I have plenty of vegan snacks and I have now found a good milk replacement for my coffee – Oatly. I have also found that on Jersey, the best supermarket for doing my food shop is the Waitrose in St Brelade and St Clements. They have a good selection of vegan products for me and I’m also able to shop for the rest of my family at the same time.
Have I noticed a difference in myself?
I would like to say that I have evolved into this beautiful and amazing clear skinned, flowing hair toned goddess, but sadly that’s not the case. Mainly because I have discovered vegan chocolate and I still don’t move enough. However, it’s still early days. One benefit I have noticed is that I am no longer craving those gluten-free cookies I was addicted to. Yes, yes, I am still eating chocolate but it’s dark chocolate and that’s good for you, right?
I have also noticed that I have cut down on my coffee. Most days I only have 1 coffee (might be more at the weekends) and despite my lack of caffeine I seem to have more energy. I am rising at 5am and I have started running again. I am also sleeping better. Is that a result of going vegan? Who knows but I’m going to say it is. I have to say that I am really enjoying Veganuary.
I think there are many reasons for going vegan for a month. We don’t have anything to lose and we might find that we enjoy it. I will report back at the end of the month. Will I still be vegan or will I be stuffing my face with all the chicken?