So it is now February which means that the month of Veganuary is over. As I started late, I still have a few more days to go, but I thought I would do a summary post in conduction with the challenge’s official end.
So, how have I found it? Surprisingly, making vegan meals for a month really wasn’t that difficult. For breakfasts, I only had to omit yoghurt and I recently discovered that my local health food shop sells coconut yoghurt, which makes a nice occasional treat. I have been avoiding using soy substitutes, so have been getting my protein this month from nuts, seeds and dark leafy veggies. Many of my staple dinners are vegan anyway, so I only had to switch the kind of pesto that I used, and hold the cheesy topping. I did find the few times that I ate out difficult as only having one option on the menu was a bit disappointing. There is a vegetarian cafe near me though and another local cafe caters for lots of different diets, so I do have those for future eating choices. I have also branched out on my snack options -who knew that you could buy lentil or quinoa crisps? I’ll confess, I haven’t actually said no to any offers of chocolate, but when buying for myself, I have become much more familiar with which dark chocolate brands to go for. Some are completely vegan; some are technically dairy free but may have milk traces and some have milk as an ingredient. So it was worth looking at and deciding where my boundaries of strictness were.
I am pretty pleased that I’ve managed to stay off the cheese when my chocolate avoidance somewhat failed! I did have cheesy pizza the one time as a friend bought a few boxes as a thank you for a group of us helping her to move. This means I did cheat, but I reduced my animal products an awful lot and only bought vegan food for myself. So although it was tempting to beat myself up about this, I have stepped back from that and still think I have made some really good progress.
I guess the next question is what is in store for my diet from now on. I’m really proud of what I have done this month, and as I really want to keep my carbon and ethical footprint right down, I will definitely continue to eat as little animal products as possible, especially from those linked to cattle. After next week I will start to have eggs again, as I buy locally sourced ones. To me, the unfertilised egg is a waste product from a chicken and so to take an egg from a chicken living in good, outdoor conditions is fine to me. Honey from sustainable sources I am also fine with as bee keeping is an important method to protecting the declining bee populations. Everything else I plan to reduce as much as possible, whilst still accepting that I am human and imperfect!
Whether animal rights, environmental impact or health is your concern, moving to a more plant based diet will bring great benefits. I have been so inspired by the hosts of vegans out there, providing recipes, motivation and positivity so thank you to them! I am looking forward to living increasingly sustainably and my food basket has been such a good place to have a kickstart.
Have you changed your diet recently, or got involved with Veganuary? Let me know below!