My Vegan February

veganuary vegan

If you have a little look back to my goals and wishes for 2017, one of them was to go vegan for a month. Ideally I would have loved this to be January as a way to kickstart my new year, but I felt that was a little bit inconvenient for my family as I will be living back at home for the first three weeks of 2017. My family are meat eaters, with the exception of my sister who has recently turned vegetarian, and I don’t want to cause too much hassle in changing my diet so drastically. I already have a mostly vegetarian diet whilst I’m at university as I prefer to swap out my meat for meat-free alternatives so switching to vegan should be easier when I’m at university again!

I know it may be seen as a little bit of a cop out that I’ve chosen the shortest month of the year to go vegan, but it’s the only month of the year I will be entirely at university! This means no tricky situations at home when we have to cook a separate family meal just for me! I also think 4 weeks is a nice time frame to try things out!

As I mentioned above, I already don’t eat meat at university, and recently I’ve had to cut out dairy too to help with my stomach so I’m practically there you might think, however, there’s lots of stuff that will still have to change. being dairy free doesn’t automatically make me vegan, I have still eaten dairy on occasions when I just can’t help myself and have some cheese. So going vegan will be completely a dairy free zone! Plus there is the removal of products such as eggs and honey from my diet! Besides as I am not strictly a vegetarian there are still times I enjoy some meat, so again this will be a meat free month!

vegan chocolate dairy free moo-free

My Favourite Vegan Chocolate

Now I feel as though I should explain why I am doing this. I’m not doing it as part of a fad so I can join the vegan trend or any of that, I simply am curious about the health benefits that I could gain from these changes. I highly doubt that I will be a vegan convert after the month, but it might be nice to see what changes I can make towards a vegan lifestyle depending on how my body feels. Having done extensive googling on the subject I can see the massive health benefits in the long term I could have from having a plant based diet. Just simply typing in ‘health benefits of a vegan diet’ comes up with many health benefits from the reduction in risk of several cancers and Type 2 diabetes to better skin and stronger hair. Of course, some of these health benefits won’t happen after just one month but, I may see small improvements in my skin and energy levels.

I’ve been toying with the idea of becoming vegetarian for a while as I’m not a huge meat person and I have been doing some research into the environmental effects as well as the health benefits too. I think Planet Earth II has made me so much more conscious of the impact we have have as humans on the world and I got all a bit emotional during the last episode with the baby turtles! I know my actions aren’t going to change the world, but they can contribute to the bigger picture. I also recently watched the documentary Vegucated on Netflix and I have to say it was an emotional and thought provoking documentary following the lives of 3 meat eaters going vegan for 6 weeks. It also looks at the ethics behind the farming of animal products.

So I’ve done some research and have created a list of the substitutes I’ll need to buy over the course of the month. Soya milk and Quorn have been part of my university diet for a while now so this won’t change. However, my chocolate cravings will have to find a new way to be satisfied and so will my cheese cravings! I’ve invested in some nutritional yeast to make my own cheese and have about a gazillion vegan recipes saved on my Pinterest board! Prepared or what?!

vegan

Rawberry Vegan Cafe in Winchester

What am I hoping to gain?

Obviously in such a short time frame I’m hardly going to see major health risks reduced or any real significant changes. However, I am hoping that going vegan will be an opportunity to get to try new things and break out of my food comfort zone. I know it’s going to be hard but I like a challenge! I want to expand my food horizons and to force myself to cook new things. I’ve always wanted to try tofu so now I guess I have a chance to make my own opinion on this love it or hate it food.

I’ve also heard that a vegan diet can improve energy levels and quality of sleep. As previously mentioned before on the blog I’ve had trouble sleeping in the past so I’m always open to trying new ways to improve it! I also have really oily skin that’s prone to breakouts and by going vegan I can hopefully control this a bit more.

I’ve just got to remember to make sure I’m eating enough protein and nutrients from my other foods! I’ll also have to be more mindful over what I’m picking up when I go food shopping! Hopefully it will make me less susceptible to impulse buys in the supermarkets!

Why don’t you set yourself the challenge of going vegan for a month in 2017?

And why not join me in February! It could be that new challenge you’re looking for or a new opportunity! I wish I could have joined thousands of others in Veganuary! This international campaign promotes and supports those that want to try going vegan! There is loads of advice and recipe ideas so there really is no excuse!

It was so amazing to see so many brands backing and supporting Veganuary, with restaurants like Yo Sushi, Las Iguanas and Pizza Express all promoting their vegan options and sometimes at a discounted rate! I have to say I tried a few of them out and the vegan pizza at Pizza Express is amazing! Dairy free pizza just might have to be added to one of my favourite meals out!

I’ll be sure to post my progress and how I’m finding it! Plus any delicious vegan recipes I stumble across! Also feel free to let me know of any awesome vegan recipes I should try!

Ox

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