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Part time Vegan

Could you go vegan? I tried it once . . .

‘I have a lot of friends that are vegans and I know that they will be cheering me on. I am challenging myself to see if I can actually do this. I like to think that I am not naive about where our food comes from, but if I’m honest, I don’t really question it much either. It is true that ignorance is bliss. My usual diet contains a lot of meat. My favourite dinner is hoisin duck stir fry!, so this will certainly be a challenge for me.

You may have seen a post that I wrote recently, titled ‘Dairy Free’. My diet is mostly dairy free, (with the exception of Nutella) so you could say that I am already half way there. So what will I be eating? A common misconception, is that vegan diets are boring and that all vegans are hippy, tree huggers, that only eat nuts! The reality is that there are hundreds of foods available for vegans. Another common response to veganism is that it is ‘unhealthy’. ‘Surely you need to eat meat for iron and to drink milk for calcium. It’s not healthy to have such a strict diet.’ A vegan friend of mine recently pointed out to me, it’s not vegans that are queuing up in the doctors surgery with high blood pressure. So I think I’ll take my chances.’

Day 1.
Full of enthusiasm, I am wondering around the supermarket with a trolly full of soya and tofu. I have a long shopping list of products and brands that are suitable for vegans, the list includes Oreos, Kettle Chips and Jam Donuts. All of the essential food groups, this is going to be great!

Day 2.
I cooked a creamy tofu curry, with stir fried vegetables and rice. It was delicious! Being the only vegan in the house, I am cooking separate food for Rob & Jude. If anybody needs me, I’ll be in the kitchen. (until October!)

Day 3.
Today’s breakfast . . . pancakes and banana milkshake! You can see my pancake recipe here. I felt really hungry today, probably because I have followed a load of vegan instagram accounts for inspiration. Scrolling through mouth watering photos of vanilla chia seed pudding will make your tummy rumble.

Day 4.
Feeling bloated. I’m not sure if it’s the vegetable and chickpea tagine I had for lunch or all the carbs I have eaten. I have been snacking on bagels and fruit bread all day, going to bed with tummy ache.

Day 5.
I have read a lot this week, in magazines and online about ‘part time vegans’. Apparently I’m not the only one, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Jay Z have all trialled veganism. Although, they called it a ‘spiritual and physical cleanse’. Huh??! I have to respect that most vegans choose to abstain from animal products, essentially for ethical reasons. I am simply curios and doing this just to see what it is like. A few people have been asking me, ‘Why are you doing this vegan thing?’ Why not.

Day 6.
Veggie hot dogs on the barbecue tonight. I am suddenly very aware of food and how much it brings people together. Most social occasions are associated with food. Barbecues, picnics, birthdays, Christmas etc. I really love to eat and cook, I can’t help but feel like vegans are missing out on so many wonderful foods. I can’t imagine never eating a roasted chicken again. I am half Jamaican you know.

Day 7.
I’m coming up to the end of my first week as a vegan. Huge respect to all the vegans out there, your awesomeness is keeping me going.

Day 8.
I have found the free from aisle! It’s incredible and it has everything a veggie girl could ask for, from rocky roads to garlic mayonnaise. Bring on week two!

Day 9.
I have been really surprised by the lack of vegan options in some restaurants and cafes. I am kind of tempted to name and shame them all. I thought that every food place would have at least one thing on their menu that would be suitable. Today, whist out with friends I had nothing but a black coffee, this place didn’t even have soya milk! They had better hope J-Lo doesn’t pop in for lunch!

Day 10.
Highlight of the day- Marks and Spencers Veggie Percy Pigs! They are gelatine free and taste exactly the same as their regular sweets. Ace!

I don’t know if I will ever become a full time vegan myself, but it was a fun challenge. I actually think my diet has been a lot more varied as a vegan due to the lack of convince food. I have cooked every meal scratch, made my own sauces and even baked a dairy free chocolate cake. I had to consider  what I was eating a lot more. Hmm, food for thought.

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