Veganuary! I love this so much. I read somewhere that this only started a few years ago by a couple who were discussing Movember and how they could start a vegan version to help the animals. They were drinking wine and got tipsy and came up with Veganuary. How hilar.
Before I start rambling, let me just say this: I don’t like it when anyone pushes their diet or food lifestyle choices on anyone else. Whether that’s a vegan telling you to stop eating cheese or a meat eater telling you chicken is good for you – I don’t care. Do whatever you want. It’s your body and your decision. This post is for people trying veganism throughout the month of January and some info, tips and tricks that I’ve learned.
So, let’s chat about dairy for a quick second:
The human body isn’t designed to digest dairy and most of the population, unbeknownst to them, are in fact lactose intolerant. And here’s a shocking fact: cows milk is just for cows. Mad that. Just like goats milk is for baba goats, cats milk is for baba kitties and pigs milk is for those lil piglets. We only need milk in our diets when we are growing babies.
Also, milk doesn’t make your bones stronger. It does, however, contain contaminates and can cause disease. In a nutshell: it’s not beneficial to your health and leads to skin problems, digestive problems and long term health risks.
Milk alternatives that are excellent in your coffee:
1. Oat milk – Oatley Barista tastes amazing in coffee and tea. Very ‘creamy’ and foamble. You can make a latte at home.
2. Cashew milk
3. Hazelnut milk
4. Almond milk
5. Hemp milk
All can be found in your average supermarket. Either in the refrigerated isle or the long life milk isle.
1. Violife cheddar, original, Mediterranean, mozzarella and Parmesan. Your pizza will be living.
2. Sheese – a soft cheese that you can put on a cracker or mix with a soya cream to make a fake carbonara sauce. Ya can find it in Holland and Barrett.
3. Literally all of the Sainsbury’s cheeses. They do feta, fancy ones with cranberry’s in – all sorts. They also do a bag of grated which melts nice on pizza.
I went vegan in March 2015 and I did think I’d just be eating fruit, veg and tofu. Almost three years down the line and I’m still going strong. I don’t have any deficiencies, I’m not lacking anything (at least I don’t think I am) and I feel the healthiest I’ve ever been. And that’s even after discovering Oreos are vegan. However, in my first few months, I was motivated by documentaries and learning about the lifestyle.
I don’t really want to go into detail about how animals are treated because 1. It sounds very preachy and I don’t really care if you’re a vegan or not, I’m just lending advice and 2. It’s horrible and I don’t really want to talk about it.
Nevertheless, here are a few things that may spark interest or spur you on:
1. Vegucated (this was on Netflix – maybe try YouTube)
2. Forks over Knives – Netflix
3. Cowspiracy – Netflix
4. 101 Reasons to go Vegan – YouTube
5. Earthlings – YouTube
They talk about the health benefits of adopting a vegan lifestyle and information about how veganism helps the environment. Also, of course, how dairy and meat farms treat the animals. It’s not for the faint hearted but those parts swore me off meat and dairy for life.
Eating on the go
You can always go to vegan restaurants and search menus to see what is suitable for you. However, I always found just grabbing a bite to eat was the hardest. Whether that was at Uni or on my dinner break at work. I do tend to take my own lunch now because it’s better and cheaper. Although supermarkets have provided us with some cheeky meal deals!
My faves are:
1. Boots sandwich – last time I went it was some form of hummus situation on a tomato bread. But it seems to change all the time. But they do always have an option.
2. M&S vegetable samosa – they also have a sandwich apparently but I’m yet to find it. But the veg samosa is quite literally what dreams are made of.
3. Tesco falafel and hummus wrap – it also has a good helping of mango chutney on it too so what’s not to love?
4. Sainsbury’s avocado and basil sandwich – may not be everyone’s cup of tea because the basil is v powerful. But have no fear as they do have mini vegetable samosas too.
5. Co-op falafel and hummus wrap – similar to the Tesco one however the salad is a bit nicer.
Last but certainly not least, a very important list of great foods that are accidentally vegan:
⁃ Oreos (original and strawberry cheesecake)
⁃ Bourbon biscuits, ginger biscuits and hobnobs
⁃ Cadbury’s Bournville including the hot chocolate
⁃ Co-op’s jam donuts
⁃ Most salted, prawn cocktail and salt and vinegar crisps
⁃ M&S bacon crisps
⁃ Jus-Rol products (unless they say “all butter” in the name obv)
⁃ Most bagels
⁃ Peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter & hazelnut butter
⁃ Hummus hummus hummus
⁃ Sorbets (do check the ingredients though – some of them are stupid but most are fine)
⁃ Gin and tonic (all you need anyway)
I’m not the healthiest vegan in the world by any stretch of the imagination. I am too obsessed with vegan cheese toasties and Quorn chicken nuggets.
The hardest thing is probably listening to meat eaters telling you you’re not getting enough protein. Ignore them! Eat plants! Be a hippie! Be the awkward family member at the dinner table! Who cares! Do it for you! Or don’t do it at all! I don’t really care what you do! Lol!
Good luck, kids x