Veganuary 2016 Part 4

5 February 2016

Almond butter crumpets and coffee

I wanted to wait a little after Veganuary ended before I put down my final thoughts on the month (even though I had finished a little early). I just wasn't sure what I was going to want to do next.

In a lot of ways Veganuary was really, really hard, and the post-January blow out on cheese and chocolate happened in a big way, even though I tried not do (this may or may not have included me eating half a jar of nutella with a spoon after a particularly long day). But in other ways it has made me a lot more aware of what I eat. I'm really conscious now of just how much meat I was eating and I actually really enjoyed being pushed to experiment more and up my fruit and veg intake. 

I'm not, if you couldn't tell from my instagram this week, going to be staying vegan. Not at the moment anyway. But I do think the experience will have a lasting impact on my diet. I'm going to be trying a lot more veggie/vegan recipes in the future (which will all be collected on this new veggie part of the blog) and will be taking more of a 'flexitarian' approach to dining for the time being.

Veganuary was definitely a push too far for me at the moment but I think this month made me really question why I ever stopped being vegetarian and I'm aiming for at least 2-3 veggie days a week going forward. I know there's very mixed views on these kinds of approaches, but I seem to have found myself feeling pretty on the fence about this (not a feeling I am used to) so I think a meat free monday (plus an extra day or two) will be a good start for me for now, while I decide whether to cut out meat or dairy more long term.

Looking back at January a bit more though, here's some general thoughts to finish off this adventure -

  • First, I was really amazed how supportive people were. I think in a few cases this may have just been because it was only temporary, but generally everyone was great, if a little confused about what vegans actually do and why. I wasn't brave enough to venture into any serious vegan communities because I felt too much like a tourist but the people around me were amazing. Everyone was really understanding, when I did cheat no-one screamed at me and when I didn't want to my meat eating friends were cool with that too. Cheers everyone.
  • Vegan food does mean repeating the same ingredients a lot, even if its in different meals. I don't know if it's just because they're so fashionable right now but if I had a pound for every vegan recipe with an avocado in...Which was not so great for me since I had to cut them out of my diet. There's also mushrooms everywhere, especially when you eat out, which made me constantly want to cry. On the other side of that coin though, people do some bloody brilliant things with vegetables, aubergine bacon and parsnip fries were two of my absolute favourite things this month.
  • Vegan cheese sucks. I'm sorry, I really wanted to be proved wrong but it just didn't happen. After a month without it though, I did stop missing actual cheese quite so much.
  • Vegan food looks loads prettier on instagram than greasy meat does. So if you're like most bloggers and consider how good it'll look with a filter on when ordering, vegan might be the way to go.
  • Companies suck at labelling vegan food. Vegetarian logos are really easy to find, but 'suitable for vegans'? Not so much. Even on foods that are totally cruelty free, which is mega frustrating. I am now a pro at label reading though and am pretty proud that I can spot any animal products in about 0.2 seconds. 
So thanks January, you were a pretty weird one. I've still got loads more vegan foods I want to try to make and some reviews coming your way so hopefully meat eater or not you'll all stick with me while I try to figure out what to cook for the rest of 2016. 

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