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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Four Reasons Why I Love being Vegetarian | #NationalVegetarianWeek

Hey Sweeties,

Apologies for it being a bit quiet around here and on my social channels for the past three weeks or so, I have just returned from 2.5 weeks in America on honeymoon, and before that I was working like a maniac to get everything done on time. I haven’t had a proper holiday since Trek America a couple of years ago, so a proper break was well overdue.

Anyway, there will be more on ClaireySweetie very soon about my recent trip/honeymoon so stay tuned. Right, time for today’s post-

(On a quick side note, before I get called out (which to be honest is unlikely because I don’t think anyone follows my blog so religiously that contradictions would be picked up, that being said…) -to be clear I try to keep to a 90% plant-based diet as per my post a while back now (here) explaining my reasons. I have tried going 100% vegan and to be honest, for me it’s not maintainable but it certainly is a guide to how I like to eat/live going forward. For example, a little bit of cheese is fine; cakes made with egg are fine… but I no longer consume dairy milk, and I won’t eat eggs say poached, scrambled etc. Basically, anything I can conveniently purchase and/or made free from meat and dairy, I do. Anyway, let’s crack on.)

Four Reasons Why I Love being Vegetarian

Vegetarian Week

1. Bloody Love Vegetables (& Fruit)

I really do and to be honest, if I didn’t I would have a serious problem in trying to live vegetarian. My favourite vegetables are broccoli, aubergine, courgettes, and I guess tomatoes for their versatility. I’m not the biggest fan of parsnips and I cannot deal with mashed potato.. potatoes every other way not a problem, mashed? no.

On my breakfast I love adding blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. A fresh salad bar is also like, my favourite thing, particularly for lunch.

2. I (almost*) Care more about Animals than I do People

For as long as I can remember (so let’s assume from birth), I have been incredibly sensitive to animal cruelty; seeing dead animals on the road; those horrendous scenes in nature programmes; and any film involving an animal dying. To be honest, how I haven’t always been vegetarian is a bit of a mystery to me.

*I definitely do care more about animals than people

Vegetarian Week

3. Being Vegetarian-Vegan Works for Me

They some blood types/people are very suited to a mostly vegetarian diet and this is me. Some vegetarians and vegans particularly, look incredibly malnourished and really there is no excuse, especially with so much advice and education available now. Ultimately it’s about listening to your body and finding out what works, what doesn’t, and identifying anything it needs more of.

Vegetarian Week

Lentil ragu from Prezzo’s Vegan menu

4. It’s Easy!

I reckon there is a huge difference in being vegetarian twenty years ago compared to today, now there is such a good variety of free-from ingredients, products, ready meals etc. it makes meal planning so much more easier. Also, with the likes of Deliciously Ella and co, food bloggers are helping reinvent not only the way people think about vegetables, but also how to prepare them. Maple roasted sweet potato wedges anyone?

Vegetarian Week

Vegetarian roast dinner

That all being said, considering how easy and already tasty vegetables are, it’s incredible how unimaginative many restaurants are with their vegetarian offering. The amount of times I visit a restaurant to find just ONE vegetarian option on the menu, and 9/10 it’s either tomato pasta or a risotto of some kind. Pathetic.

If you’re vegetarian/vegan, what do you love most about it?

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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