Where do I start?
Okay, at the beginning!
I’ve noticed that the vegan diet has been a massive buzz word in the past 12 months, I’ve read that the number of vegan’s in the UK has risen 360% in the past 10 years. Naturally, I was curious, whilst I’m a huge animal lover and completely understand the ethical reasons, a small part of me wonders if some well-known people are using the diet as a way to raise their profile and or another diet in disguise.
Call me a hypocrite, but I could be wrong and I want to understand the lifestyle more, the best way for me to do this was by trying a vegan lifestyle for 7 days.
So…‘What is a Vegan?’
“Veganism is currently defined as a way of living that attempts to exclude all forms of animal exploitation and cruelty, be it for food, clothing or any other purpose”. In simple terms, I wouldn’t be eating any animal products for the next 7 days, I’d try to avoid wearing my favourite leather shoes and bags, you’ll have to excuse the fact I drive a big ole SUV with leather seats.
I went to the supermarket, what did I BUY?
I picked up our normal essentials but I made an effort to buy a wider selection of vegetables, dips, and grains -I went in expecting to buy ‘Quorn‘ and quickly realized that this isn’t Vegan-friendly, so I settled with some tofu and vegan cream cheese.
I had some objectives:
*Buy food I’d use after the challenge.
*Buy food which was cost-effective, nutritious and tasty.
*Avoid buying vegan junk food (Note: I totally ate this!)
So, the 7 days started and here’s how I got on…
What have I been eating?
“Oh, Vegans only eat salad” – Dream on!
I started by mass prepping the basics for my first few days of lunches, which were – soya beans, kale, veggie balls, lentils and hummus. After such a promising ‘Health Blogger’ start, I just made it up as I went along and followed by cravings. My cravings and lack of time led me to the unglamorous world of fried tofu in English muffins and beans on toast.
I settled down to a huge plate of vegan pie and a mash, I found vegan cheese so I made vegan cheesy vegetables, vegan pie and mash, creamy coconut oats…
I even went out for dinner and ordered a vegan pizza, which wasn’t that bad at all! There were days when I missed rich salty butter, but I swapped to olive oil which wasn’t all that disappointing and used flax seed instead of eggs. I don’t drink cows milk, so my usual almond milk was no change, alongside my standard soya yoghurt and Ben’n’Jerry’s dairy-free ice cream as a wonderful addition.
I filmed a YouTube Video where I’ve gone into a little more detail about my food prepping and what I ate during my 7 days – You can watch that below.
What I didn’t expect…
Trying 7 days as a Vegan was relatively simple, I didn’t feel too restricted, but for the first few days, I was extremely hungry. On the other hand, I made a very considered effort to eat wholesome, varied food, take my supplements and ensure I was eating enough calories. I can see how easy it would be to restrict food, but with a little effort and some prior research, I rarely felt restricted.
One thing I will mention is the fact that people rarely have a protein deficiency but Iron and B12 deficiency is a lot higher in frequency for people who are following a vegan diet. Don’t forget those supplements, alongside Omega 3 and a multivitamin, if you’re considering making this change to your lifestyle.
Filming myself each day was so much harder than writing a blog post, I felt pressured at times and unsure how to describe how I was feeling and how much information, is too much information? Am I an emotional wreck? Should I film in my dressing gown? sod it…
Will I become a Vegan?
In a simple answer, no.
What I will do, is have one meat-free/vegan day each week, take more consideration into the meat and eggs we buy and continue to eat a more varied diet. I know Veganism is hugely topical subject, with many people for and against and after trying this for 7 days, I can see both points of view. I don’t, however, agree with the aggression towards for Veganism or against it, I believe that we should live and let live. Due to this simple fact, I actually kept my 7 days as a Vegan a secret (until now) on my social media, a small part of me is hesitant about reading the reactions this will receive, however, how can we learn about something new unless we try?
Are you thinking of switching to a Vegan diet?
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What are your views on this topic?