So why did I decide to go Vegan for January?
Founded in 2014, Veganuary is a challenge that we’re all relatively familiar with by now and a record breaking 582,000 people from 209 countries have signed up this year, and I’m one of them.
So why did I decide to take part? Well there two parts to this story. The first involves a slightly funny argument in a team meeting. Veganuary was raised and my lovely (if not slightly annoying) colleague Ali rolled his eyes and suggested that I’d never be able to sick to Veganuary and spending that long just eating “rabbit food” would be boring. So naturally, I immediately wanted to prove him wrong.
The second motivator was much more sensible and involved a lot of curiosity to see how I would fair as a vegan, how would I feel and how hard would it be? I also think its very important for me to understand the perks and challenges of all dietary patterns especially with the rise in popularity of plant-based diets.
One thing I do want to raise though is that at no point did I choose Veganuary as a method of losing weight or reducing body fat. More on this in my next blog…
I think its only fair that I explain that I started my vegan journey with a slight advantage. For my whole life I have been allergic to dairy proteins (although I can tolerate some dairy in biscuits/pasty etc but no cheese for me please) and since being around 14 I have also had quite a serious allergy to fish therefore removing these two groups wasn’t something I particularly had to navigate. This left me with meat, eggs, honey and products with small amounts of dairy in to remove.
My second advantage is that I have grown up reading food labels, I have a pretty good idea of what contains hidden dairy or things like fish sauce. This has definitely helped so far.
This however does’t mean that Veganism hasn’t been without its challenges…my overriding thoughts so far are…THIS IS HARD! It requires lots of planning and its made me realise how often I defaulted to meat as an easy meal. I’d often just throw together a chicken tray bake or stir fry or use beef for chillis and lasagne or curries.
There were quite a few hiccups the first week including a lamb curry at a family gathering on day one (good start Hannah!) but then honey on breakfast, shortbread biscuits and Lindt truffles which I grabbed without engaging my brain (a spill over from Christmas). But I think I’m starting to get into the swing of things. Breakfast has typically become a smoothie or a soy based greek yoghurt with fruit and granola or nuts. Lunch has ranged from soup to rice salads with roasted veg, bean chilli or if I really couldn’t be bothered good old fashioned beans on wholemeal toast.
Evening meals have been the easiest I my opinion including chickpea curries, pasta dishes (check the label on your pasta, only some is vegan), stir fries or bean burgers. Snacks too haven’t been too tricky and I tend to have stuck to fruit, naked bars, dark chocolate (such a chocaholic) and things like peanut butter on toast.
Overall I’m enjoying the challenge and I’m definitely eating more plants which is always a good thing. As this is an honest review I can’t say I feel much different, I’m quite tired which might be a sign I need to focus in on my iron intake but I did feel pretty good on a run the other day and survived my first SWEAT class of 2022 so its not all bad!
I’ll be back soon with another blog with more details of my goals for January and also why I’m not setting weight loss goals during this month!
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