How I tackled #Veganuary as a meat eater
Happy Veganuary boys and girls!
I’m almost in my 4th and final week of trialling a plant-based Vegan diet and would like to share some hints, tips and thoughts from a meat eater’s point of view.
Me and my bf heard about Veganuary and we decided to it out. I was a bit apprehensive as I love my fried chicken but I liked the sound of a challenge so I accepted the task and we set up our own whatsapp group so that we could encourage each other – this really helped motivate us in cooking, sharing recipes and posting photos of the delicious food we made.
My first actual day of Veganuary was awful. I was in North Carolina and the host held a banquet for breakfast of your typical Americano breakfast fry up. You name it; eggs, bacon, all things cheesy was whacked out before my drooling eyes. I couldn’t eat any of it but I stayed strong and went for the fruit.
To begin with I just stopped buying eggs, salmon and eating cheese. The food I was buying was my usual food just without the those 3 things and I was just making noodles and peanut sauce all the time as I couldn’t be bothered to go do a food shop. Then shaun started experimenting and making some crazy bean quinoa shit posting it all up in my grill on whatsapp, talking about the nutritional values of everything including proteins in mushrooms and posting “How to Be Vegan” youtube videos and totally showing me up. So I went shopping and bought a shit ton of food with the right nutritional value as well as random bits of organic healthy stuff suggested by the internet that I’ve never tried before.
I had gone to America 10 days the week before I started Veganuary and had eaten my weight in food. This included loads of meat which I don’t usually eat because it’s expensive to buy. Zit-topia basically happened to my face, I broke out and got a weird allergic rash on my skin! (my body struggles to digest meat).
- My spots were going down
- I was pooing about 3 times a day (same with Shaun lol).
- I constantly felt super hungry
- My farts were getting hella stinky a bit like rotten eggs/sulphur and it was stressing me out. It’s not your usual i-can-get-away-with-it-fart. They are attacks on mankind.
- My skin was clearing up a lot better.
- I was still pooing a lot. I had diarhea for a bit
- I’m constantly bloated I think it’s from the gasy veg.
- I’m not getting as tired at 3pm. But I’m still super hungry all the time. I don’t think vegetables fill me up? I’m eating every 1-2 hours.
- Found it hard going into restaurants/pubs not many places do Vegan food. I felt like I was casted out.
- I started to experiment LOADS with different types of foods and recipes Buying new products I’ve never even heard of
- I’ve stopped snacking on sugary snacks. Work treats were the bain of my life but Veganism gave me an excuse not to eat any of the cookies, donuts, cake and chocolate.
- My skin texture is the best it’s been in years! It’s so soft!!
- I’m not pooing as much
- Still bloated AF and the deathly fart smells are diminishing…slowly.
- I’m not losing weight as such but I’m toning out a bit more.
- The only thing in Costa (i was using a free gift card someone had handed to be at the station) that I found was vegan was the fruit pot and the TINIEST pot of Tomato & Basil soup. Costa WTF.
Shaun has been talking to me a lot about how the animals are slaughtered and shiz and it’s made me feel bad about tI’m just starting my fourth week but I thought I would throw out some recipes we tried and some motivational tips I would suggest to help people who are meat eaters edge towards a more plant based diet.
What my weekly shop would consist of
Sweet potatoes, mushroom, tomatoes, tin of chopped tomatoes, chick peas, durum wheat pasta, aubergine, avocado, oat milk, tofu, sushi rice, onion, garlic, peppers, carrots, coyo/alpro kale, coconut yoghurt, creamed coconut bar, coconut milk, courgette, green & blacks 85% dark chocolate, almonds, walnuts, cashews, dates, pineapple and strawberries.
Stuff I’ve bought to keep in the cupboard
Yellow mustard, nutritional yeast flakes, cornstarch, chickpea flour, egg replacement, unrefined sugar, algave.
The diet has cut out all the nasty sugary snacks I use to eat because they all seem to contain milk and eggs.
- It helped having my boyfriend and my friend Sara go Vegan together so we would post snaps of our dinner/lunch to each other and egg each other on. It’s nice to know you have someone else on the same boat plus you can share great recipes you discover! If none of your friends want to do it join a community like a subredit, fb group, a meet up group or even a forum be around likeminded people really helps.
- If you can, pre-cook dinner in bulk for how many days you can stand eating the same dish! This saves sooo much time and you don’t have to be fretting about being caught out (whilst lunching at work) and figuring what and where to eat.
- Take one day out e.g a sunday and plan your food diary ahead for the week and what recipes you’d like to use it will help with your grocery shop and you wont left feeling stuck on what to eat each day 🙂 It saves so much time and stress. I made something new and different each time so that I could add a new dish to my culinary skills! It’s fun to experiment
- Use a nutritional calorie counter app if you work out a lot and are worried about nutritional intake. You should be eating 1.5g x your weight in kg in terms of protein (you can used plant based organic protein powder to top up if necessary although i havent). I used the MYFITNESSPAL app to help log my meals/future meals and look up nutritional values and make sure i’m eating okay. This has helped monitor my stats after a while you start learning how much each food is worth.
- If you do suddenly find that you don’t have food and want to eat out a lot of places will have off menu options you just have to call up and as k the restaurants. They are are usually really accommodating if they’re not then they’ve lost a customer.
- Pre-make snacks << this is a must if you work in an office environment. I usually get peckish at 11am and 3-4pm and I would usually grab a chocolate bar from the work sweet bowl or when someone brings in a triple chocolate cake..and then I faint from sugar overload… So it’s good to have something ready, tasty and healthy to eat when you’re hungry and craving.
- MUST READ LABELS. The food industry like to add random shit into the most irrelevant foods.
- Most of all ENJOY it !! You’re helping the planet try not to get wound up like “oh i cant eat a lot of stuff” and depressed. There’s so much tasty shit out there go experiment and feel proud you’re taking action for your health too.
Tasty Vegan Recipes
- Mac n Cheese by Veganyumminess
- Vegetable Steamed Buns by The Woks Of Life
- Vegan Cheesecake by the Minimalist Baker
- 15 Must Make Vegan Sweet Potato Dinners
- Panko Breaded Tofu Nuggets with Terriyaki Sauce & Sticky Rice
- Sweet potato cottage/shepherd’ss pie
- My boyfriend also showed me this AMAZING chef who makes vegan food look like your normal rustic pub/gourmet meal! Including vegan steaks = Avante Garden Vegan
Delicious burger @ Shakespeare Pub in Cantebury
Mac n Cheese
I love Eggs and Salmon so it would be hard for me to give those up and be Vegan but I didn’t find the past 3 weeks that hard mainly because I don’t eat much meat anyways and I already use alpro/dairy substitute products for milk, yoghurt and butter. It’s great I tried a vegan diet it made me realise how much they have to give up in order for a more ethical world. Despite it being straight forward for me I can understand that it’s not easy especially when you’re eating out and surrounded by a world that constantly date rapes people’s food with milk and egg. On a night out my boyfriend ordered a “Vegan” meal and out came sour cream and cheese lol restaurants still need to get with the different diets. Furthermore, a lot of people are STILL judging the vegan diet saying stuff like “what are you eating? lettuce?” which is ridiculous in this day and age. I think everyone should try it as it’s made me and my boyfriend more ethical, more conscious on what we eat, more adventurous with ingredients and cooking. We’re going to continue being experimental with our food and he’s even decided to continue being Vegan past January! I’m reverting to Pescatarian 🙂 #Veganuary