Have you heard about Veganuary, the campaign launched in 2014 to encourage people to try going vegan for 1 month in January? I heard about it for the first time in December last year and decided to take part in Veganuary 2017. Picked a good year too – it was their biggest one yet with nearly 60000 people signing up to it!
I have been a vegetarian for 20 years now (was amazed when I worked out it had been that long!) and had started gradually reducing my dairy intake for the last year for health reasons. Changing to a plant based diet had occasionally popped up in my mind over the years and was something I had been considering more and more so Veganuary seemed perfect timing.
So how did it go? Well it proved not to be as challenging as I always thought it would be. Cutting down on the dairy already and a reasonably healthy tilt to our diet meant that many of our meals were already vegan or could be made vegan with little tweaks. There were a few shocks though…farewell salad cream (sob sob).
We started early with this seriously tasty roast vegetable and hummus pie on Christmas Eve. Off to a very good start!
I do like to try new foods and recipes so have been having a good old rummage through Pinterest (why not give me a follow!) and have come up with more recipes than I have time to cook! So far some of my successful ones have included
Vegan Gingerbread Cupcakes (my photo does not do the taste justice!)
Vegan Haggis, Neeps and Tatties
And made ventures into the world of Buddha bowls
(lets not talk about the less than successful meal attempts…..)
Taking part in Veganuary made me more adventurous in trying new meals and I have discovered the weirdest of things can actually be seriously tasty (yep I am looking at you mayonnaise made from chickpea liquid and you gooey cheese made from potato and carrot). I have discovered new ingredients that I love – nutritional yeast where have you been all my life?! It helped break my dislike for vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and even brussel sprouts…next stop mushrooms (possibly)…
To be fair we don’t eat out very often so I haven’t really had to face that hurdle. Being someone who finds having to ask things in restaurants brings on serious anxiety stresses, it is something that freaks me a little. Still I am all about trying to challenge myself now so it may actually turn to be a good thing that I have to question staff now about my options. Eating round other people’s houses is another thing that will bring challenges I imagine…think I will simply offer to take my own food to avoid stressing people!
So where do I go from Veganuary now we are in February? I intend to continue with a vegan lifestyle as best I can and as much as is practical. Having taken that step I have gained so much and feel that many of my reasons for not doing it sooner seem..well…a little selfish. I am enjoying both what I eat and doing something that I feel for me is a positive thing. Would love to hear your stories of Veganuary if you took part!