She awakens ready to face the day, the first day of a vegan lifestyle. Excited. Apprehensive. Hungry. A few words that accurately describe how she’s feeling right now. It’s April 10th 2017, the adventure has began.
6 days have passed, it’s Easter Sunday, I’m taking the day off from uni work and it feels like a good idea to post an update.
So far, I haven’t encountered any major hurdles. I’ve spoken about my choices with my closest friends and family, but I don’t want to brag about it or make it seem like I’m preaching. I’ve been spouting a lot of vegan facts, much to the annoyance of my best friend, ‘Margaret Marshmallow’, but it’s just so exiting to learn about all the celebrities I didn’t know were vegan (coming up in a later post) or the best ways to absorb maximum nutrients from our food (also for a later date). My boyfriend, ‘Pumkpin’, has been really supportive, for which I am very grateful.
Simple things I’ve been enjoying so far are included in a list at the end of this post.
I’ve been using a vegan protein shake on workout days; although vegans can get all of their protein from natural sources, if you’re trying to build muscle a supplement can help. I like Reflex Nutrition’s vegan protein powder.
As it’s Easter I of course went out and bought a vegan Easter egg, I chose Sainsbury’s own brand vegan white chocolate egg. I made the right choice. This thing is amazing.
Later, I’m making an Easter treat of vegan pancakes, cooked in walnut oil and served with hot cherries and vegan chocolate sauce. I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes, and write up a recipe if it’s as awesome as I’m hoping it will be. – UPDATE: The pancakes were delicious but a little stodgy, so more experimentation needed before a recipe is posted. 🙂
A point of interest: I subscribe to emails from Plant Based News, and this morning I awoke to an alert about the media writing about how a dairy-free diet is bad for us. This is a topic I’ve thought long and hard about, and done extensive research into, and I personally no-longer feel that I need to worry about it. The article cites mixed messages, if you’re interested have a look for yourself.
I can only state what I feel is right for me and if you are thinking of becoming vegan but are worried about this, make sure you do some research to find out what you are most comfortable with. I believe we can be healthy without dairy, but it is up to you to decide if you agree.
Finally, I encountered the hurdle of alcohol. It’s something I always kept in my mind as a vegetarian, but now I’ve committed to a stricter ethical lifestyle I want to pay more attention to this. I’ve discovered that cider often contains gelatine, and beer is made using isinglass (dried swim bladders of fish). The Barnivore website is a great tool to find out what is and isn’t vegan/vegetarian, and I’ll be creating a list of things I’ve found and enjoy. So far I’ve discovered Badger Ale’s Tangle Foot and Hopping Hare are both vegan, but not all Badger Ales are, so check first.
Most spirits are vegan and I’ve been drinking gin and vodka, both Sainsbury’s and Co-op label their products as vegan.
That’s it for now, going to post a few product reviews and link them in here, then I’m going to make those awesome cherry pancakes I’m dreaming of.
Yummy things list:
- Porridge oats with ground linseeds. (The linseeds are a great source of Omega 3 ALA, aka flaxseeds.)
- Mashed avocado for healthy fats, on toast with ground linseeds and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (Nutritional yeast is a vegan’s best friend, among other things it’s good for vitamin B12.)
- Potato salad with veggies like carrot; celery and olives; seeds for a protein boost; hummus for iron and other vitamins and minerals; and raisins for added nutrients and touch of sweetness. (Dried fruits are packed with goodness, but should be eaten in moderation due to their high sugar content and alongside meals for better dental health.)
- Raisins are great in cous cous too, I’ll add some of my easy cous cous recipes later.
- Nuts alongside fresh fruit for snacking. Apple slices topped with peanut butter are a major win. Celery with peanut butter is also surprisingly tasty! In fact, peanut butter pretty much goes with everything. You can buy tasty – but expensive – alternative nut butters too, like cashew and pistachio.
- Stir fry with various combinations of veggies; kale (I add lemon juice for vitamin C to help my body absorb maximum iron), green beans, leek, marrow, asparagus and mushrooms. Sometimes I lightly season, I also make my own satay (which is great on a few noodles at lunchtime too, edamame beans thrown in, I’ll add recipes later.) I like rice noodles and brown rice for carbs.
- Thai Green curry with various veggies – get creative . I’ve been using Co-op Thai green curry paste, it’s spicy but delicious.
- Wraps with salad and hummus.
- Soy milk yogurts and desserts.
- Frozen mashed banana instead of ice cream. Easy to do but requires a little patience. Don’t leave it in there for days, it sets like concrete.
- Nakd bars. (Delicious, vegan and all natural, review coming up – eventually.)
- McVities mini gingerbread men, Co-op ginger nuts and choc chip cookies – turns out this stuff is accidentally vegan, good for picnics and movie nights. (I might create an accidentally vegan list at some point too, although there are already some great Youtube videos out there on this topic.)