Firstly, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Valentine’s day – I hope you are all suitably loved-up?
In my last blog I wrote that I was researching and planning to go vegan for February hence the amazing title; Vebruary! Well, the great news is that I am currently maintaining a vegan diet, and have been for 16 days (I started 2 days early to prove to myself that I could do it!).
The key has been in the planning – if I hadn’t looked into what is and isn’t vegan friendly beforehand I would probably be living on dry toast! Many of my friends are vegan, so who better to ask than them! It certainly created some ‘healthy’ discussion on Facebook that’s for sure.
Taking all their advice I started my preparations by considering my current diet and how I could adapt that so it would be a relatively smooth transition.
Examples of current omnivore breakfasts and vegan adaptations (imaginatively highlighted in green!)
- Overnight oats – make with coconut milk instead of natural yogurt
- Poached eggs with avocado and oat cakes – remove egg and add fresh tomato or mushrooms
- Porridge with cinnamon – no change needed as I do not make porridge with milk
- Toast, with butter and Marmite – swap butter for sunflower spread.
Phew, so far so good! Not too much change required.
Current omnivore lunch examples with vegan adaptations:
- Sandwich/wrap, ham and cheese are particular favourite fillings – experiment with fillings
- Soup – homemade will ensure it is vegan friendly
- Savoury snacks, particularly sausage rolls and anti-pasti – vegan friendly brand Great Food, produce falafel and pakora bites which I have found to be an amazing substitute.
With the planning still going strong, I felt it would be evening meals that would cause the biggest hurdle as we often eat out , get takeaways and I regularly cook the family meals. I didn’t want to impose Vebruary on them – unless of course they wanted to join me.
- Spaghetti bolognaise – swapped the meat for lots of diced mushrooms, a few extra herbs and a generous glug of red wine (who even knew that some wines aren’t vegan – errrrrm, me but through my research learnt about the amazing Barnivore site. Back to the spag bol, it was actually really nice, even Paul ate it and he hates mushrooms!
- Sweet and sour chicken Cantonese style – you cannot mimic this legendary dish so I have simply put it out of my mind
- Chicken korma – swapped the meat for potatoes and some veg and used coconut milk
- Chilli con carne – ditched the meat and added more beans
- Roast dinner – as normal, obviously minus the meat and Yorkshire puds (this was soul destroying!) but on the plus side Bisto beef gravy granules are vegan friendly – wow!
A fantastic resource through out the past two weeks has been the Veganuary website and even if you aren’t ready to go vegan yourself, it’s a great resource to learn more about the reasons for, nutritional advice and products that are vegan.
So, what I can report is that after 2 weeks I do feel better, less bloated and I have lost 5lbs, but will honestly say that love is definitely NOT in the air – I can only assume that my body is getting used to these new foods and therefore the air is filled with something less than sweet!
Please come back to see how I got on at the end of my 28 day vegan diet challenge…
Imaginitive title credit: Dom Walsh