16 May 2017

A week of…Veganism

Yeah, the girl who said she couldn’t even be vegetarian, tried being Vegan!  Why?  I have been educating myself about the things I eat and what impact it has not just on my health, but on the environment too.  If you’re interested, watch the documentary ‘Cowspiracy’ that about sums everything up.  It made me question how much protein my body actually needs to maintain good health and how much I'm actually eating.  Is this good for me?  Is this good for the environment?   If you're interested in knowing more - I highly recommend the documentary Cowspiracy, I assure you - the facts will blow your mind! Anyway, I tried it out for a week and this is what I realised.

Being Vegan for a week - Aspiring Londoner

Firstly, my food shop cost me about a half of what it usually cost me.  I never realised how much meat and fish I consumed until now.  Every single one of my meals included either chicken or fish!  That kind of dependency can’t be good!  We tried out so many different kinds of beans.  What I also realised is that we ended up cooking from scratch a lot more.  I hadn’t realised how much information and resources are out there to help.  I’ve been pretty glued to this recipe book – ‘Beautifully Real Food’ by Sam Knight.  I’ll post separately about recipe books I use regularly.  There are some great food blogs out there that you can look to for inspiration too.

Being Vegan for a week - Aspiring Londoner

The first couple of days were the hardest.  A meal without some kind of meat or fish just didn't seem like proper food.  Although I was eating enough, my mind kept thinking I haven't eaten proper food.  In hindsight, a good thing was not being able to snack on all kinds of packaged crap.  Most of these are not vegan so I couldn't just mindlessly eat rubbish mid-afternoon or in the evening. 

We tried eating out a couple of times as I wanted to see what was available.  We went to a Gourmet Burger Kitchen to see if they could accommodate vegans.  Unfortunately, they couldn’t, as they had run out of sourdough buns.  We did find two great places, one in Newcastle and one in York (we were on a day trip).  If you’re in the Newcastle area – check out The Naked Deli.  It has great offerings of smoothies and clean food.  You can change the meat options to suit you so that works for most.  The place in York is called Goji Café, it is one of the best places to eat I’ve been to.  There are SO many options for food and dessert!  I highly recommend Goji Café whether you’re a vegan or not.  What I realised is that, if you’re vegan – going out to eat means you need to research into where you’re going and if the place will suit your requirements.

I’ve noticed a major benefit that has brought about a permanent change.  I’ve been struggling with hormonal breakouts the last year.  And they were awful – these breakouts pretty much covered my whole face and were extremely painful!  I couldn’t even massage in moisturiser properly as it hurt so much to touch my face.  Since I switched to plant-based milk (e.g. almond milk, cashew milk etc.), these have completely disappeared.  This has been the most beneficial aspect of this challenge for me – and one I’m sticking to!

I won’t lie, it’s difficult to give up meat, fish, dairy etc.  Especially for someone who has one of these food groups in every single one of her meals – I found it hard.  So I haven’t converted to being a full vegan, however I’ve cut down my meat/fish/consumption by 80% and given up dairy.  Aftermath?  I feel great!  No longer do I have to ‘think’ to eat healthily and I tend to make my own lunch for work so no more of those sugar/salt laden shop bought lunches.  This has in turn helped my energy levels and my workout too.  I felt less bloated and ‘felt’ that I saw more definition in my body.  But one thing to keep in my mind, is make sure you get enough protein from lentils and beans for muscle recovery from workouts.

I’m quite pleased I pushed myself to do something completely out of my comfort zone.  I’ve learnt so much!  I think I’m going to keep trying different thing like these and documenting them for you guys – let me know if you think of something I’d like!

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