Going Vegan – What has Changed Two Years On?

Hey Sweeties,

In November 2015 I wrote a post about going vegan (here) and a couple of months later I documented my experience trying out Veganuary (week 1, week 2 & 3, and week 4) as I wanted to properly explore if going vegan was sustainable for me, and I thought it was worthwhile me writing an update post to let you know what -if anything- has changed two years on.

Going Vegan: An Update

This year I feel the Veganuary campaign has gained momentum with more people seeming to be taking part, whether it just be for the month, or to explore -like I did- if going vegan works for them long term.

Going vegan

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Veganuary | Week 1 Highlight

Hey Sweeties,

As you know, I’ve been on a journey to eating a more plant-based diet for I’d say a little under a year now, gradually finding healthier/vegan alternatives to the food and treats I enjoy in my daily life and making those adjustments and replacements accordingly. In my New Year post, I mentioned that in re of the above, I will be participating in Veganuary –a challenge to go 100% vegan for a month, and while I want to keep you updated with progress, I thought it would be fun to do a weekly post on a Friday highlighting a new recipe, ingredient or even a new restaurant I have discovered and/or particularly been loving in the past week. My discovery this week is overnight oats.

Veganuary Overnight oats

Overnight oats are no secret, the internet is filled with a million recipes and pretty much anything goes. I decided to give them a go this week because at work, while there is often a carton of almond milk in the fridge, I can’t rely on this, particularly during Veganuary so I thought I would try overnight oats as this way I can guarantee myself a vegan breakfast. Essentially overnight oats is porridge made cold the night before and left in the fridge overnight to soak and thicken. As I said, the internet is filled with tons of recipes but this is how I have been enjoying them:

1 cup of oats in a bowl; almond or soy milk to cover; about a teaspoon of cinnamon; some maple syrup and again, about a teaspoon of chia seeds. I mix these all together and leave in the fridge. In the morning, I add a dollop of almond butter and a handful of blueberries. Typically this is eaten cold but if I am honest, I like to zap my oats in the microwave for 30 seconds or so just to heat it a little and I find this totally delicious. The trend also it seems is to decant portions into mason jars so they are easy to transport on the go, personally this isn’t for me, particularly as I like to heat mine a little so I just use a Sistema Microwave Porridge Bowl.

Veganuary Overnight oats

I think it’s important to note that while you can change your diet and lifestyle overnight, I personally am finding it easier to make these changes gradually. This is partly down to living with a partner and even though I feel I can make the switch easily, my lifestyle choices does impact him too which I need to be considerate of. It also takes time to find those food alternatives and educate yourself properly to ensure you’re nourishing your body correctly.

Have any of you tried overnight oats?

Until next time x

 

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Going Vegan

Hey Sweeties,

I am contemplating going vegan.

I have been doing a ton of reading on this as it’s not something to take on lightly. That being said, I can be quite impulsive and when I get an idea or I want to do something, I want to do it now.

Becoming vegetarian, I have activated straightaway, I now no longer eat meat. Becoming vegan on the other hand is something I am still exploring but I like the idea of living off a plant-based diet so why not give it a go? I have nothing to lose. I already know that my body does really well on a mostly plant-based diet since leaving the family nest eight, nearly nine years ago and my meat consumption more than halving. From a moral perspective, as an animal lover I can simply no longer ignore the facts and realities of food manufacturing and it’s not something I am willing to support.

When people think of vegans, they think of malnourished looking skinny people. There are of course people that match this description completely and you know why? Because they haven’t educated themselves on how to replace the nutrients and protein they miss from a normal diet. They also don’t support their well-being with good quality skincare, if at all but I recognise that this is regarded as a privilege. Nowadays, being vegetarian and vegan is so well researched and understood, it’s easy to live a healthy, well balanced lifestyle on a plant-based diet.

Oh she glows Angela liddon

This is such a good book! Lots of delicious recipes

People also approach decisions about going vegetarian and vegan as if it’s a bit of a whim and not to be taken seriously. But it’s a serious decision and it doesn’t matter if it appears out of the blue or something that has been slowly researched and worked towards by the individual. If I recognise that my diet needs changing, regardless if it’s for health and/or moral reasons, it’s my decision and it needs respecting.

When I informed my Mum on the phone, I knew the first concern she was going to have was how I was going to replace the protein and other nutrients I would now be missing, and true to form, that was her concern and rightly so. But I haven’t lived with my family since 2007, they have no idea what my kitchen cupboards look like or what my daily diet involves. But as regular readers will know, I have been building to a more sustainable change for a while now, particularly since purchasing and reviewing Ella Woodward’s Deliciously Ella, Madeline Shaw’s Get the Glow and Davina McCall’s Five Weeks to Sugar-Free a few months ago. During the same conversation, my Mum also highlighted that we (humans), weren’t born with teeth if we weren’t meant to eat meat and I agree with that, before supermarkets we ate what we caught, but I’m not becoming vegetarian/vegan because I think eating meat and animal products is bad or wrong. Becoming vegetarian for me has been a long time coming, I have simply never enjoyed meat, always favouring meat-free meals where possible and I have just got to the time of my life where I want to make a very definite and deliberate change to address it once and for all. As for becoming vegan, I am up for the challenge to see if I can live on a plant-based diet sustainably, but the world won’t end if I accidently/deliberately eat a cake made with eggs over a coffee in Costa. Life isn’t about restriction and I think when you start banning certain foods from your life for the wrong reasons you just create problems and resentment and make falling off the wagon more likely.

In western culture, we are very blessed to have so many things open and available to us and I am not just talking about food. But in equal measure, where certain rules are in place, we can get away with our own interpretations in order for something to adapt and fit into our lifestyles. We should never take this for granted.

While I acknowledge that veganism will be more difficult, once I become familiar with the brands and food stuffs that I can eat, they’ll become routine as will the preparation of meals without animal products. The biggest thing I think I’ll miss is cheese and regardless to the vegan friendly versions, it will never quite be the same. I also don’t interpret the production of honey (from bees) in the same league as other types of food manufacturing involving animals, so as an FYI, I’ll still be eating honey!

So what do you guys think? Anyone else thinking of making a similar change or maybe you already have? Let me know and please share any tips and advice.

Until next time x

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