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Green+Aquamarine: Veganuary: the Results

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Veganuary: the Results

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!

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At 1 February 2015 at 18:38 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done for completing Veganuary. I'm a vegetarian and I've toyed with the idea of trying veganism a few times but I've never committed. I think I would struggle to cut out my morning cup of tea :(
Jenny x

At 1 February 2015 at 19:29 , Blogger Jasmin Charlotte said...

Good work! You have done so well. Although I couldn't give up meat totally, I want to cut down this year for sure. What's the deal with soy? I never know if I should be avoiding it or not! x

Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

At 1 February 2015 at 20:39 , Blogger Charlene said...

Well done on doing so well! I'm glad you're not beating yourself up about an occasional piece of chocolate or a pizza - it sounds like you still managed to radically overhaul your diet. I've been vegetarian for years and I've considered trying veganism many times but I've never committed - which is silly really because it's probably not as impossible as I'm imagining!


At 1 February 2015 at 20:45 , Blogger Kathryn said...

Well done on your achievement! I've actually really been considering trying to go vegan for a short while, I'll most likely become a vegetarian first and then vegan. I'm not a big meat eater, but I do love milk, eggs and yoghurt. I agree with you on the egg and honey points! And those lentil and quinoa crisps sound really interesting.


At 2 February 2015 at 00:26 , Blogger Eleanor MayC said...

Thank you! I used to be a culpa addict, but because I'm now living alone and not making great potfuls for everyone, I have found myself moving towards lemon waters and herbal teas. It is great to reduce your animal product consumption if you feel inclined that way -I think it best to set your own rules! x

At 2 February 2015 at 00:30 , Blogger Eleanor MayC said...

Last semester I became more or less vegetarian due to having to pay for my own food for the first time, so it definitely helped! When I'm cooking for myself, I desire meat and dairy much less, although it's harder in restaurants with lots of tasty options! There's a few issues with soy really. Some research suggests that it may cause various health problems including (in extreme cases) links/associations with cancers. For me, my issue is that soya is often grown in areas that were previously rain forests, and so it contributes to deforestation and climate change. Areas of forest are actually burnt down without the wood even being utilised for industry because soya is so lucrative. It's a personal thing really; hope this helps! xx

At 2 February 2015 at 00:33 , Blogger Eleanor MayC said...

I get the sense that if I had gone cold turkey I may have built up even more habits -it is surprising how well you deal with making the switch so long as you have plenty of recipes and solutions up your sleeve! Have a go at being vegan until your even meal, or during weekdays to get a feel of what it is like and enjoy experimenting with new recipes! xx

At 2 February 2015 at 00:36 , Blogger Eleanor MayC said...

Thank you! Essentially, that is what I have ended up doing as I haven't been buying myself meat for the last few months, so only have it on the odd occasion when eating out or being fed at someone's house. Back at home, I can see the chickens that we get our eggs from just about from my house, so I know that they have a pretty chilled life outside! The crisps go very well with hummus; it's quite addictive!

At 2 February 2015 at 12:16 , Blogger Charlotte A said...

I started Veganuary but I didn't get very far. I massively cut down on milk and butter, cut out yogurt completely and tried to stop eggs and cheese but I really struggled with those so that only lasted a week. I find lunches impossible without either one to bulk out a sandwich or salad. I'm sticking with my usual vegetarian diet for now but I will still keep my dairy intake as low as I can!

At 3 February 2015 at 19:45 , Blogger Eleanor MayC said...

That's still really good though! Milk is easiest to replace, but we rely on cheese so much it is tricky. Well done for what you've been doing!


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