If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you may have seen me mention I’m taking part in Veganuary this month! You can probably guess from the name, but for those who don’t know this is basically a challenge to go Vegan for the whole of January. There are so many reasons to cut down on the amount of meat, eggs and dairy we consume. I won’t talk about them in this blog post, but you can find out more on the Veganuary website if you’re interested.
I stopped eating meat over 6 years ago and have thought about going Vegan for a while. After consuming my body weight in cheese, wine and chocolate over Christmas, I thought now would be the perfect opportunity to give it a try.
Here’s how I got on in week 1…
Jan 1st (Pre-Veganuary): Woke up at 6.30am (still drunk) to the sound of my cat eating a bird under my bed. Great way to start the year. Fell back asleep for a few hours, before waking to a horrific hangover. Spent most of the day in bed sleeping and watching Netflix, before eventually dragging myself to the kitchen to cook the spinach and ricotta pizza I’d bought the night before. Started reading about Veganuary online and decided this would be my last pizza for a while. The challenge starts tomorrow…
Jan 2nd: Woke up late so cooked up some roast potatoes and baked beans for brunch. Then it was time for my first vegan food shop! I made a list of meals I wanted to try this week so I had a rough idea of what to buy. I picked up a big bag of oats, bread, a few cartons of almond milk, plus plenty of fruit, vegetables, nuts and snacks. One of my friends came over for dinner that evening so I cooked us a sweet potato, spinach and bean curry (adapted from this Deliciously Ella recipe), served with quinoa and brown rice.
Jan 3rd: First day back at work after New Year! I prepared some overnight oats the evening before (made by soaking oats in almond milk) so breakfast was ready and waiting. Added some seeds and nuts for a protein boost. Lunch was ciabatta stuffed with houmous, spinach, avocado, tomatoes and various other veggies, then dinner was a baked potato with beans (I was feeling lazy).
Jan 4th: Another day, another bowl of overnight oats for breakfast. I tend to eat at my desk once I get to work, so I like having something ready-prepared which I can grab on my way out the door. Lunch was leftover curry served with quinoa and rice. Dinner was another veggie-filled ciabatta, followed by a homemade smoothie for dessert. I love smoothies and they’re so easy to make. Today I mixed frozen banana, almond milk, a spoonful of raw cocoa and spirulina powder, then popped it all in my nutribullet. The spirulina turned it a weird forest green colour, but it tasted delicious.
Jan 5th: Starting to get really good at making overnight oats… Lunch was the last of my leftover curry, then dinner was tofu and vegetable stir fry, served with rice noodles. I was craving carbs after a heavy gym session so also had half a baguette with some dairy free butter.
Jan 6th: Breakfast was (you guessed it) more overnight oats. I usually have it with nuts, seeds and berries, but today I added a dollop of peanut butter to mix it up a little. If anyone has any other easy breakfast ideas please let me know in the comments below! Lunch was avocado on toast, then for dinner I went to a Chinese Buffet for my sister’s birthday. This was my first time eating out as a vegan, so I was a little worried about finding something I could eat. I checked with the servers and they didn’t seem to be 100% confident on which dishes contained eggs or dairy (annoying). I stuck to the dishes marked “Vegetarian” and avoided anything that looked like it might have butter, milk, eggs or cheese in it. It’s a good job I like green beans, tofu and vermicelli noodles! I also filled up on a plate of chips with ketchup.
Jan 7th: Treated myself to a lie-in then made a massive stack of pancakes for brunch (another Deliciously Ella recipe). Dinner was another tofu stir fry, then I went out for karaoke and drinks in the evening. I forgot to do my research beforehand, so I tried to stick to gin and tonics as I know most spirits are vegan-friendly.
I should probably point out that the above is just a quick summary of what I ate this week. I also snacked on fruit, nuts and Aldi’s Raw Choc Brownie bars. I exercise almost every day so I’m always conscious about keeping my calorie intake up. If you’re thinking about trying Veganuary I’d definitely recommend using the advice on the website and downloading the My Fitness Pal App. I’ve used it before for tracking weight loss, and found it’s really helpful for making sure you’re eating enough!