As we fast approach the end of the year I think many of us start the process of reviewing the last 12 months.. things that went well, things that didn't go so well (but we learnt from them) things we are proud of..
A massive proud point for me this year is committing to going vegan. Veganuary is fast approaching, many people go vegan for the month of January, so if your thinking of trying it, do it! Here are my experiences so far.
I did Veganuary in 2019 and kept it going until March. I eased up in Lockdown, I wish I hadn't but I did. From there on I ate less meat and dairy, then stopped eating meat again earlier this year. I decided to commit to going Vegan on holiday!
This may sound like the worst time as many people consider the vegan diet to be restrictive (it isn't!) But I can honestly say I ate some of the loveliest foods and didn't feel I was missing out!
I thought cheese would be hard to give up as I have always lived off cheese on toast.. but I've found a cheese alternative I like, Applewood Vegan, but to be honest I'm eating food that is so much more interesting and flavoursome than I used to that there isn't much time to miss anything that I choose to no longer eat.
So what was my reason for going vegan.. Well its played on my mind for a long time now that animals aren't for eating. I spent many years consuming meat and dairy and seeing it as normal. But my yoga has taught me in all aspects of our life we should value all living things equally and do no harm (we call this Ahimsa in yoga).
I feel lighter since fully committing to being vegan. I read a great book called How to go Vegan on holiday and I knew then I wasn't going back. I also met a lovely couple at yoga who are vegan and their friendship and support has been wonderful.
The book I mention is very compassionate to the reader, it's easy to make mistakes in the beginning and accidentally misread a food label or give in to a craving, but don't give up! It's great lifestyle that I believe makes you feel healthier and I personally feel like I'm doing a good thing for animals, the planet, other humans and myself.
Don't beat yourself up about choices you made in the past, for example, my sofa is leather, and I feel bad that I wasn't more conscious or considerate when I bought it. But I won't buy a leather one again. I am committed to making better choices going forward.
I think the key is to plan your food so its delicious and not boring! I'll give you some examples of what I eat:
Breakfast, loads of cereals and breads are vegan, so no issues there! There are loads of things you can put on toast; Jam (check the gelling agent) peanut butter, beans, mushrooms, avocado.. plant based milks on cereal are yummy and there are loads of choices.
Main meals, lentil chilli or shepherd's pie are favourites! Stir frys, jacket potatoes (I use Vitalite instead of butter) wraps, soups, curries, pies.. honestly not much has changed here other than I find vegan alternatives that actually are nicer then what I used to eat!
Snacks, nuts, rice cakes with peanut butter.. I don't eat much fruit (loads of veg but I should eat more fruit!) I'll be honest I have a very sweet tooth! And to my delight there a loads of biscuits that are vegan (Oreos, Biscoff, Tescos Dark Choc Digestives, some HobNobs) News Resolution might have to be to reduce my sugar intake!..
I can honestly say I've found the whole process enjoyable, I feel better and I've even got my husband to join me! He says he feels so much better for it too!
I'd say give Veganuary a go, and just maybe, you won't look back!
Thanks for reading!