Challenges, Goals, Life

Why I’m joining in with Veganuary 2020

Something non-bookish today, and I hope something interesting! If it doesn’t appeal, I’m sorry, please feel free to skip this post!

What is Veganuary?

Veganuary is a UK based non-profit organisation who organise Veganuary, a campaign to try and get people to try a vegan diet for the whole month of January.  Like dry January, only without animal products instead of without alcohol.

What’s my usual diet like?

I eat probably a fairly typical UK diet – omnivore, with a serious sweet tooth.  We eat mostly chicken in our house, with the occasional quorn/vegetarian meal, but also bacon sandwiches at a weekend, and while I don’t eat red meat very often, I love a steak if we’re going out. I am obsessed with chocolate, and I also love a glass of milk, so I’m expecting cutting out dairy to be harder than cutting out meat (even though I don’t like cheese!).

Why am I giving it a go?

I studied conservation at uni, and know that our diets play a huge role in contributing to greenhouse gases.  I’ve reduced my plastic usage at home, cut back on red meat as the worst dietary offender and recycle as much as possible, but I know that my diet is still doing way more harm to the environment than I’d like, so my primary reason for signing up to Veganuary is the possible environmental benefits.  Do I also feel good about not killing animals, you bet, but it isn’t my primary motivation right now.

 

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What am I looking forward to/what am I nervous about?

SO many vegan alternatives either already exist or are being introduced for Veganuary, from imitation pepperoni pizza at pizza hut to the new vegan KFC burger and I’m really excited to try some of them out! I loved the vegan sausage roll from Gregg’s last year and will now buy one by default instead of a normal sausage roll – just one switch, but it’s effortless, and hopefully by the end of the month I’ll find many more!  I’m excited about trying new recipes, like these red curry noodles from Thug Kitchen and the sweet and sticky tofu from Madeleine Olivia, as well as using my Vegan cookbooks (Veganeasy! & Vegan on the go). I’m looking forward to eating all the vegetables my husband doesn’t like that I usually just leave out of a recipe; since we have to cook separately for the month I might as well load up on them!

I’m nervous about how much work it’ll be – it’ll be much harder to just grab something at lunchtime if I haven’t made a packed lunch!  I’m not looking forward to the inevitable questions and judgement from family members when I have to say no thank you to a piece of cake, and I’m absolutely dreading the chocolate withdrawal (I know some dark chocolate is okay, but it isn’t the same, and vegan milk chocolate is expensive!).

Finally, I have absolutely no idea what to expect in terms of WW and weighing in each week – on the one hand cooking from scratch and not being able to eat all the sweets and cake at work can only be a good thing, but on the other hand, will I end up reaching for vegan ready meals and junk food when I’m tired and don’t want to cook?!

Will I stay vegan forever? What am I hoping to get out of it?

I can’t imagine staying vegan forever, but I’d like to prove myself wrong!  What I’m hoping is that it’ll force me to try new foods, new recipes, and generally reduce my reliance on animal products for the sake of convenience. I’m hoping that by the end of the month I’ll have a bank of vegan recipes and meal ideas I can swap in so that my diet is significantly more plant-based and contains a lot less animal products.  That might mean at the end of the month I’m happy to commit to going vegetarian, or it might mean I eat omnivore dinners with my husband but vegan breakfasts and lunches, or it might mean that I have several vegan days a week – in all honesty I really don’t know yet, but I’m curious to find out.

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