I am eating vegan only for the month of January! Veganuary is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, but I have been using being coeliac as an excuse. However after talking it through to a few people, I think I can challenge myself to a month! And see how I go from there. I will be cooking mostly from home as I’m trying to have a frugal month anyway, and if I do eat out maybe I’ll explore some plant based restaurants.
In short, the main reason I’m choosing to do veganuary is for our planet… followed by health, followed by the cruel animal agriculture industry and overuse of antibiotics on animals. Veganuary is a great way to kick start the reduction of dairy consumption, raise awareness and normalise veganism.
I also love a mini challenge! So far I’ve stocked up on lots of fresh fruit and veg, and will mostly be eating delicious home cooked veg with plenty of pulses. I’ll probably get more experimental with vegan substitutes later in the month, but so far I’ve just tracked down some vegan gluten free bread (I had no idea that the majority of them contain eggs), avocado oil spread and cashew milk. I eat 90% vegan anyway but it’s making those last few switches with cheese/butter/milk that I rely on that is the challenge. The trick is to think of all the food you can have rather than the ones you can’t.
So far I’ve made spicy sweet potato and bean stew, veggie stir fry with rice noodles, and gluten free porridge with cashew milk and peanut butter. This morning I had garlic mushrooms and spinach on toast (below), which literally took 5 minutes to make. This month will push me to experiment more rather than chucking cheese on top of things like pasta/bakes to make it tasty.
I will miss a good cheese board in social situations, but it’s something I’m yet to be challenged by, being only three days in. Also finding even vegetarian food I can eat in a restaurant can sometimes be hard – just the other day a chef grumpily cooked me something off-menu because the only gluten free dishes were meat based.
A good tip is finding someone to do it with you. I made the choice just before the new year when my sister and our two family friends decided to do it too! So we are chatting on our ‘vegans b vegans’ chat group and holding each other accountable. It also makes it more fun.
Would you ever go vegan or vegetarian? Is it something you are interested in or have thought about? I find it interesting that so many people I follow online are doing veganuary but no one in my office had even heard of it. I need to find more of these online like-minded people in my real life!
P.S. I actually wrote a blog post summing up why I believe in vegetarian/veganism but it ended up quite long and factual. While I do want to stand up for my beliefs, the last thing I want to do is come across as preachy and scare people off. One day maybe I’ll have the guts to publish it but for now it’s sitting in my drafts! One thing for sure, I’m going to use this month to inform myself further on eating animals vs plants.