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 4 -Meeting Deliciously Ella

Hey Sweeties,

So here we are, all those participating in Veganuary have made it to the end –hurrah!

If you read my last Veganuary post (week’s 2&3), you’ll have read that on Saturday I was going to be meeting Ella Woodward and that my friends, is understandably this week’s highlight –meeting Deliciously Ella.

Before buying Deliciously Ella’s first book (review here), I would never have really known or understood how to live on a plant-based diet without just consuming tons and tons of vegetables. I wouldn’t have learnt about the different plant milks (although I had purchased almond milk a couple of years previously when on shakes diet during the summer); I wouldn’t have understood the benefits of various nuts and seeds, and overall how to replace the things my body would be otherwise missing. That all being said, you can imagine my excitement for the release of her second book, Deliciously Ella Every Day and it made sense to try and time the purchasing of her book with a signing so I could meet her. Looking at the scheduled book tour, the only opportunity to me was in Harrods, London.

Cutting a long story short, I totally fangirled when I met Ella and she was as friendly and lovely as she comes across in the media, on her blog etc. Rather than say how much I love her book, I thought I would instead congratulate her on her upcoming wedding (one Bride to another ‘n all) and she then asked me about mine and it turns out our weddings are both in April! Stay tuned in a couple of weeks when I review her new book on here once I’ve had a chance to try out some of her recipes.

Deliciously Ella Every Day

Deliciously Ella

Since becoming vegan, there is no doubt that I am suited to a plant-based diet, my body doesn’t miss meat and thrives on vegetables and the like and exploring the journey has in many ways given me a new found enjoyment for food preparation and recipe discovery. I also feel great both in body and mind (despite wedding stress, but that aside). To be fair, my diet changes haven’t been dramatic so my body hasn’t suddenly had to cope with a sudden change of diet. I haven’t missed cheese, my sweet tooth has definitely calmed and dare I say I feel better on the inside. While I don’t believe everything I read, there is a lot out there now on the benefits of living meat and dairy free (see this Cowspiracy infographic for example).

Going forward, I now live a 90% vegan lifestyle –that 10% allows me the flexibility to not deny myself the odd non-vegan treat if I feel I want it or if I’m in a situation where I cannot avoid eating something with dairy in it. And as I’ve said previously, while I care for bees, I still eat honey (but mostly I have now replaced this for maple syrup). Ultimately, I’m doing this because I enjoy it and not because I think eating animals and animal products wrong.

Have any of you bought either or both of the Deliciously Ella books?

Until next time x

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Veganuary | Weeks 2 & 3

Hey Sweeties,

So firstly I want to apologise for not posting my Veganuary update last week, but I was so overwhelmed with wedding stress that I ended up not posting at all, like anything. So today I have combined weeks 2 and 3 together; a product and an experience (kind of).

As you’re reading this (depending on the time of day), I’m in London to meet Ella Woodward at her book signing for her new book,Deliciously Ella Every Day. You’ll remember my post last year where I reviewed Ella’s first book, along with Madeline Shaw’s Get The Glow and Davina McCall’s 5 Weeks to Sugar-Free. I have become a huge fan of Ella Woodward and delighted at her recent success so as you can appreciate, I am very excited about meeting her today.

At the beginning of the month as I was heading back to the car in town, I was dressed in gym gear carrying a Holland & Barrett bag in one hand, and in the other my new favourite toy, my brand new Spiralizer; I was literally a walking January cliché!

Salter Spiralizer

Salter Spiralizer

Salter Spiralizer

Salter Spiralizer

I’m going to cut straight to it (excuse the pun), but believe the hype; Spiralizers are Amazing! I am obsessed and I don’t use that word lightly. I’m not going to lie though, the first time I got it out its box, while you think it’s obvious how to use, I don’t think it is so I had to quickly jump on YouTube to find a how-to video. Yes, really. But there are so many online that I can’t be the only one that got flummoxed by something so simple looking.  That all being said, once you’ve worked out which end to attach to what, you can create a meal in minutes and it’s honestly the best thing probably since sliced bread, probably. Buy one!

Now for my experience.

Yesterday I got properly stuck in Waitrose trying to find something for lunch that wasn’t something really boring (i.e. a very plain salad), overpriced or totally not suitable for vegans. Earlier in the week I visited Tesco and again, while finding something wasn’t instantly easy, I ended up with a bowl of simple mixed leaves and a small tub of falafel with humus which combined together was delicious. I tried to create the same at Waitrose only to find their falafel contained milk and egg!! –why on God’s earth do they make them with dairy products included? Absolutely no need. I ended up with this Itsu Vegetable Festival Crystal Noodle Cup which from my basic understanding of ingredients, is vegan friendly and was actually really nice and not expensive.

Veganuary -Itsu Vegetable festival

Call me crazy, but I like that I can’t just buy anything in a supermarket anymore, I enjoy the challenge of finding something suitable which often requires me to be more creative with my options. It also requires me to be 100% more conscious with what I am putting in my body and where it has come from. But I think supermarkets need to think so much more about providing enough fast lunch options for those with specific dietary needs, but don’t rack up the cost because it’s ‘specialist’. If you look along the shelves now, their superfood salads despite not seeming that much value for money, are always topped with cheese or contain meat. Even if you’re not vegan, not everybody likes everything included with cheese. That being said, some of the top supermarkets are making the effort to publish lists of the vegan friendly products that they stock so it’s worth taking a look at their websites before you shop.

Until next time x

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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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