This has felt like the longest month ever!
Am I the only one who feels like this month has gone on forever?! I don’t want to wish time away but January, being the most depressing month of the year, needs to be done with now. But anyway. It’s been a while since my last Veganuary update. I intended to post weekly updates but that just didn’t happen as I’ve had so much going on, including preparing for our holiday to Jamaica!
Anyway, It’s continued to be a bit of a whirlwind and I’ve carried on writing a food diary for each day, there are some days I forgot to update as I went along and completely forgot what I had, oops!
Breakfast – Jam on toast
Snack – ‘Cheese’ spread on crackers with tomatoes
Lunch – Vegan sausages with baked beans
Snack – Chips
Dinner – Tomato pasta pasta with olives and vegan cheese.
Really struggling with chocolate cravings. My mum gets a delivery of 5 Lindt dark chocolate but they all have milk in despite being dark 😭 I give in and had a couple of squares of the coconut intense bar.
Breakfast – Blueberries and soya yogurt
Snack – Jam on toast
Dinner – Spaghetti Bolognaise made with diced mushrooms and aubergine and passata
There’s Camembert in the fridge and it’s calling my name I’m sure, ugh! However I saw a post on twitter earlier by Peta of the cruelty that cows go through, it’s actually horrific to watch and I feel so guilty for having those squares of chocolate! Cheese thoughts subside after this.
Breakfast – Marmite on toast
Lunch & Dinner – I made a huge stir fry and had it as a late lunch and again at dinner time. It was yummy!
It’s that time of the month and my body is calling for chocolate. I ignore my conscience and devour a couple of Ferraro Rochere in the house and a Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt which contains milk too, boo! So I guess you could say I’m not succeeding at keeping the chocolate cravings at bay aha! Yet this is not an excuse for me to give up.
Breakfast – Marmite on toast (again yawn). All out of milk alternatives so can’t have cereal or porridge.
I’m feeling really limited and lacking inspiration at the moment. I’m starting to get bored and feeling like I don’t have many options. For example, turns out the crackers I thought were ‘safe’ have honey in them, which is frustrating because despite my best efforts I’m starting to feel like it’s impossible! I suppose it’s a very slow and rocky learning curve for those transitioning into vegan, I think if I were to ever consider going vegan properly it would be a very slow process of cutting things out gradually. I suppose I’m overwhelmed at the sudden transition.
I decide to tackle this frustration, I write a meal plan by properly going through some vegan magazines and I don’t actually know how I’ve done it up to this point without getting meal inspiration?!
I do a quick shop at Sainsbury’s and stock up on urgent supplies; oat milk and cereal. And get tomato soup and fresh bread for dinner. I also got some Tilda rice, they have some delicious varieties of rice as well as lentils and grains.
I was looking for maple syrup but ended up getting two liquid chocolate shots which are vegan, by Sweet Freedom. I’m also impressed by Sainsbury’s free from range and find some vegan pesto (I didn’t know it wasn’t vegan).
Breakfast – Choco hoops with oat milk
Snack – Marmite on toast
Honestly, can’t remember the rest?!
Breakfast – Vegan fry up! Hash browns, suasuages, mushrooms, tomatoes and beans
Lunch – Marmite on toast
Dinner – Home made pea soup
Snack – Vanilla soya yogurt, with a banana and sweet freedom sauce.
Breakfast – Avocado with toast, mushrooms and tomatoes
Lunch – Me and my mum went to Yo sushi! I had; avocado maki, firecracker rice, tofu katsu curry, pumpkin fritters and some fresh fruit. This really filled me up and wasn’t hungry at dinner time.
Snack – Vanilla soya yogurt with strawberries, banana, pomegranate seeds and sweet freedom sauce topping drizzled on top. Beaut!
Breakfast – Cereal with oat milk
Lunch – Hash browns, sausages, mushrooms tomatoes and baked beans with toast and sliced avocado
Dinner – Leftover pea soup with bread
Breakfast – Cereal and oat milk
Lunch – Wholemeal pasta and vegan pesto with tomatos
Dinner – Puerto Rican inspired rice with aubergine, mushrooms and peppers
Breakfast – Cereal with oat milk
Lunch – Leftover Puerto Rican rice
Dinner – Thai inspired red curry with noodles
Snack – Soya yogurt and banana with sweet freedom liquid choclate sauce
Breakfast – I don’t think I had any??!!!!
Snack – Salted crisps
Lunch – Vegan falafel wrap
Dinner – Left over curry noodles
Breakfast – toast with vitality and marmite beans and mushrooms
Hot mocha while we went for a walk to the park
Then the moment I officaly threw in the towel: Lunch – Mcdonald’s Veggie Deluxe.
Now if you know me well, you’ll know what I NEVER eat McDonald’s, it’s honestly the rarest thing. Since becoming a mum it’s something that I tend to avoid it. But today I poorly planned and was under-prepared. I was walking with Corben to the park when he decided he desperately needed a wee and was hungry, the nearest place from where we were was Mc Donald’s and as I hadn’t had much to eat I was hungry at this point too. I know there was nowhere else around that I could grab a vegan meal or snack. Corben had some chips, which is the second time he’s ever had anything from McDonald’s.
As I sat in there, I couldn’t help thinking that if I wans’t doing Veganuary I probably wouldn’t have ended up in McDonald’s. I found that, because I was limiting myself so much and felt very restricted I almost wanted to ‘splurge’ and ended up in the worst fast food restaurant. It made me realise that although the Vegan diet ethically makes sense and helps me act on my beliefs, it’s not a healthy relationship for me at this time in my life. When I went vegetarian (pescatarian), it felt like a natural step for me to take and I didn’t feel restricted in any way.
My mindset started off really strong, if you remember from my Preparing for Veganuary post. But I hit a bit of a wall where I was lacking motivation and inspiration, from then on it became a chore rather than an exciting challenge.
Moving forward, there are so many things I’ve learned. For example, apricots are a great source of Vit A and magnesuim. Pumpkin seeds contain iron and zinc. Marmite is a source of Vit B12! And avocados are good for everything aha! There are also simple switches I will make, like swapping butter for vegan margerine. Using diced mushrooms/veg instead of soya mince (which contails milk). I already use oat/almond milk instead of cows milk. I’ve also still made vegan meals, like this simple breakfast I posted on Instagram. I will refer to Vegan magazines and recipe books for meal inspiration, but without that added pressure, I can embrace veganism a lot easier. I’ve realised that it doesn’t suit everyone’s lifestyle, especially for me as a mum: I was cooking two seperate meals every lunch and dinner and most of the time preparing a seperate breakfast, it really started to take its toll. It also takes a lot of commitment: there will be times you crave your favourite sweet or chocolate-y treat. For me chocolate was the big killer, i’m officially a chocoholic.
Food is such a big and important part of our lives, so it’s essential that we have a good relationship with food and try and keep it balanced.
I felt guilty if i had a square of dark chocolate which contained milk! I carried that guilt around like a burden and towards the end I felt like I was punishing myself. For me, as long as i’m making ethical choices and being smarter about where i spend my money, supporting small businesses where I can and making as much home made food as possible, then that’s where I can help contribute to a better society and community. We can all make ethical choices every time we spend money and as long as we do what we can to reduce our impact on the planet, then that’s a step forward in the right direction. But having said all of that, I don’t want to discourage anyone. I’m so glad I challenged myself to do it.
Tips for anyone considering Veganism/Veganuary
I would still encourage anyone to try out Veganuary, as you learn a lot about food nutrition and your eating habits. It was a real insight for me as I’ve never written a food diary before, which is interesting to see how much I actually consume and how my appetite peaks at a certain time of the month! If you are considering doing Veganuary, my tips are to:
- Be prepared. Do your research beforehand and stock up on everything you’ll need: vegan cheeses, soya yogurts, vegan sausages etc. There’s probably an alternative to your favourite foods so you can just switch over.
- Meal plan. I can’t even stress this one enough. Know what you’re having for the week and make sure you have everything you need as you don’t want to be caught short. It takes a lot of worry off knowing what you’re going to eat every day, also great to help you budget.
- Food Prep. It really helped when I had back ups and leftovers in the fridge to quickly pop in the microwave.
- Make snacks. If you have an active and social lifestlye, make sure you take snacks with you as if you get peckish or go somewhere you’re not familiar with, you know you have something to keep you going without lapsing.
- Enjoy it! Despite everything i said above, it is an exciting challenge, and makes you question your eating habits, your diet and just food culture in general. It’s great if you want to try out new foods and experiment with ingredients. So just do your research and enjoy the ride!
There we go, I hope you’ve enjoyed finding out more about my Veganuary journey! I’ve been completely honest from start to finish and wanted to share the highs and lows.
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