Is it kind of funny that I’m writing this the day after a post which had raw meat as its featured image? In case you hadn’t guessed, I’m quite a meat eater. My idea of a perfect meal is a bloody blue steak or a perfectly pink in the middle burger.
So, as the reactions of friends who I’ve so far told about my new venture have reinforced, I’m pretty much the last person you’d expect to cut meat out of their diet. And not only am I cutting out meat, but also dairy, eggs and other animal products. Yep, you read that right, I’m going Vegan.
At least for January. I’m taking on the personal challenge of participating in Veganuary.
I first came across Veganuary back in October when I attended Vegfest London with Luisa of Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat (she actually wrote an awesome blog post on the event here which is well worth a read) where I spoke to the founders, signed up and was given a cute wristband.
So what exactly is Veganuary?
Launched last January (2014), Veganuary is a non-profit global campaign with the goal to change public attitudes toward veganism by encouraging people to try Vegan for the month of January, while providing support to those transitioning to a plant based diet.
January was chosen as it’s generally seen as a time for resolutions and new beginnings. And I suspect it must have been a little factor that the portmanteau doesn’t work as well for any other month!
Why am I doing it?
I’ll be honest – it isn’t about the animals for me (not that I don’t love animals, I mean, who doesn’t?). A lot of people are doing the Dryathlon this month, I did contemplate that, but realistically Veganuary is more of a challenge for me. And I like a challenge.
My current diet consists heavily of meat, alcohol and junk food. I eat out or get takeaways constantly and rarely think about the impact what I put in my mouth will have on my health. I’m not saying that meat and animal products are unhealthy, and it isn’t my intention to cut them out long term (but who knows, by the end of January that might change!) but I think that participating in Veganuary will help change my attitude toward food, and have a knock on effect on my health.
I’ve always considered a dish without meat to be a side dish – I want to change that attitude, and also to eat more fruit, vegetables, grains etc as my diet is seriously lacking in them. I may also actually give cooking a go! Although I doubt you’ll see any recipe posts or cooking tips from me anytime soon!
And maybe, just maybe, I might lose a few of the lb I’ve piled on lately, haha!
What will be my main struggles?
Without a doubt, my upcoming long weekend in San Diego will be the most difficult few days. Not only am I going to the USA where I usually love to indulge in all the super sized unhealthy foods they do so well, but I won’t have cooking facilities and have less of an idea as to what my options eating out will be. I also have several hours between flights early morning at JFK Airport. For medical reasons I won’t be able to not eat a meal during that period and don’t know what will be open.
I have prepared myself for slip ups, whether intentional or not, while I’m over there. If that happens I will at least be eating a vegetarian diet for those four days, and will extend Veganuary by a further week at the beginning of February to compensate. That may sound like a cop out, but I’m being realistic, and it’s better to have a plan if it happens than to just give up on the whole thing if I hit an obstacle.
Foodwise, I think that cutting out eggs will be the hardest. Not only am I a massive fan of eggs, but they’re a hidden food in so many things.
I also hate seitan and vegan cheese which I discovered at Vegfest. Oh, that reminds me, at Vegfest I did have this delicious vegan pad thai and fresh lemonade…
How will this affect Girl At The Rock Show?
It won’t really. I know my readers have come to expect a certain type of content (meat heavy!) and I have plenty purposely stored up to keep you reading!
I’m not going to go on about the benefits of veganism here because quite frankly it’d be hypocritical and I don’t know enough on the subject yet! In fact, don’t expect that kind of content on my blog – my focus in my posts about Veganuary will be my own experiences. Maybe a food diary, or some restaurant reviews, and of course a round up at the end as to how it went.
If you want to know more about Veganuary or Veganism, take a look at the Veganuary site – it’s got a ton of helpful information whether you’re an established vegan or know nothing on the subject at all (like me!).
But overall, I hope that this will help make my blog a little more well rounded and also attract some new readers!
So what did I eat on my first day as a Vegan?
I think I’ve done pretty well really. I had half a pink grapefruit for breakfast. I haven’t had grapefruit for years, it was good.
At lunchtime I went to Wagamama with a friend. Wagamama seems to be a really good choice of chain for vegans, as there are a few vegan options already but also ingredients can easily be substituted.
I went for the Yasai Yaki Soba (soba noodles with mushrooms, other vegetables, egg, peppers, beansprouts, white and spring onions. garnished with fried shallots, pickled ginger and sesame seeds) for my main course. But I asked for no egg and because the soba noodles contain egg I substituted those for udon noodles (which are my favourite anyway).
On the side I had the Wok-fried Greens (tender stem broccoli and bok choi, stir-fried in a garlic and soy sauce) which were DELICIOUS. And I tried one of the new raw juices, Blueberry Spice (blueberry, apple and carrot with a taste of ginger).
It was a good meal – tasty and satisfying.
And later I snacked on cherries and a Nakd Cashew Cookie Bar (I bought a load of Nakd bars and nibbles at Vegfest!).
So, stay tuned to see how I get on! I’d love to hear any vegan tips people may have, or from anyone who is also doing Veganuary!
All photos my own.
Psst… apologies to anyone vegan/vegetarian reading this post who may not like to see meat – I suspect the ‘you may also enjoy’ feature of my blog below the main post may suggest meat based posts, unfortunately I can’t control what it displays.