For World Vegan month in November, I decided to go vegan. It was the second time in 2017 that I went vegan having completed Veganuary in January.
In January, I always knew I’d go back to being a vegetarian and I was fine with that. I have wanted to go vegan for years and knowing what happens to male chicks, male calves and how the chickens and cows are treated, I felt that I couldn’t participate anymore. After a couple of heated debates on Facebook, I felt more determined than ever to go vegan so I entered November with every intention on remaining vegan. So how have my first 3 months vegan gone?
|My (honest) First 3 Months Vegan+
I struggle to put on weight and drop weight easily. This may sound like most women’s dream but it is not my dream. I need to put on weight due to various health reasons. Going vegan, I was expecting some weight loss and knew I’d have to be really wise with my food choices. It has now been just over 3 months since and the last time I was weighed at hospital, I had maintained my weight. My blood results were all good so I am going in the right direction health wise.
Has is been difficult? No. Compared to all my failed attempts, for me, it has been an easy step. I put this down to three key factors:
1. Veganism has skyrocketed, making it easier than ever! My nearest shop is 2 miles away. Despite living in the middle of nowhere, vegan options are available. Obviously fruit, veg, grains and pulses (the bulk of a healthy vegan diet) can be bought almost everywhere, but I adore faux-meat. My town sells a few Linda McCartney products and if we travel further out, I can usually pick up a couple of things in my larger Tesco. I go to uni in Cardiff near a giant Tesco which also helps a lot.
Due to the increasing popularity of an ethical, vegan diet, I can eat in almost any restaurant. Even Pizza Hut do vegan cheese now and their “bacon bits” in the salad bar are vegan too. Amazing!
2. I have been part of the cruelty-free blogger network for years now so I have many supportive vegans on my Twitter feed and have read many posts about all different aspects of veganism. I also joined ‘Gloucestershire Vegans’ on Facebook. These online supports have been so helpful. Not sure if somethings vegan? Feeling bad for making a mistake? Want to eat out locally with the family? No problem. There’s always someone to help judge-free. In fact, I’d recommend all veg-curious to join their local counties vegan Facebook group.
3. Prior to going vegan, I had been consuming plant-milks for years and only ate cheese on a pizza. I also didn’t eat eggs except in products. I would even describe my diet as around 85% vegan. My downfall was Quorn, some crisps, biscuits and the rare piece of chocolate – Junk food. Did I want to give up junk food? Definitely not! I love crisps. I just check the packets now (something I’m used to as companies are always changing their ingredients). It has made me cut down which is a positive thing, but I still enjoy my favourite salt and vinegar Walkers Squares. Quorn have even released vegan sandwich slices recently which will make my lunchbox happy again.
|ASDA Meat-Free Popcorn Chicken|
|Korean Fried Cauliflower Balls|
Have I made mistakes? Yes. Am I kicking myself about them? Nope!
In the first or second week of going vegan, I cooked a vegan Quorn spicy “chicken” burgers next to my mums regular Quorn chicken burger. As I was eating, I was surprised at how un-spicy my burger was. We had got our burgers muddled. Throwing away the rest of the burger would have been wasteful so I ate it and just made sure not to repeat that mistake.
My partner bought me a wicker weaving day for Christmas (so relaxing and fun!), ran by his veggie band-member friend. He made us some toast from some local, delicious looking bread. Before I had the chance to say, he had buttered every slice. I didn’t want to be rude at his generosity of sharing his bread so I ate it. He also made us tea with plant-milk, sweetened with honey. He has already added it before I could say anything and would have felt very rude asking him to chuck it away and make me a new cup. I am ok with this.
I still have a body lotion, shampoo and an almost empty lipbalm containing honey. I enjoy using them and will continue to use them until they run out. Will I buy more? Of course not. I have done quite a bit of research on the honey industry since going vegan and have been shocked at what I have discovered so I will definitely not be buying anymore.
Little mistakes are what makes us human. It is how we learn from these mistakes that matter most.
|Finally cruelty-free <3|
Whilst some may disagree, I believe my first 3 months as a vegan have gone very well. Better than I ever expected. I am enjoying making vegan foods and sharing it with my omnivorous and vegetarian family. I just need to perfect those Yorkshire puddings and I’ll be sorted! My next 3 months will be focused on getting my nutrition spot on.
Are you a vegan? If so, when did you become vegan and why? If you are not vegan, have you ever tried going vegan? What made you stop?
+ Photo by Miika Laaksonen