It’s been about two months since I woke up one morning and spontaneously began my journey into veganism. I wouldn’t say I picked up the ball and ran with it – well not immediately, anyway. I’d say I picked up the ball, looked at it, walked tentatively with it for a while, gradually built up speed and THEN ran with it. Here I am, still running. And do you know what? It’s easy. REALLY easy. I’ve enjoyed my diet so much I’ve actually put on weight. Now THAT certainly wasn’t a part of the plan. I was hoping to lower my cholesterol a little and stay off the damned statins, but I haven’t had that checked yet.
I don’t miss meat and I don’t miss milk. There are so many alternatives to meat, and the “meaty satisfaction” experience isn’t amiss from well prepared vegan food. That isn’t to say that you have to spend much time preparing (I’d say the opposite is the case), but you have to make sure you don’t just eat lettuce leaves and tomatoes.
I’ve also recently started making delicious chocolate truffles with ground nuts, dates and peanut butter and coated with dark chocolate. I’ve given some to numerous people who have gratefully received them and genuinely insisted that they “won’t be sharing them with anyone else!”
I’ve found vegan restaurants, vegan options in non-vegan restaurants, a substantial range of vegan products in supermarkets and created lots of vegan meals myself just by chucking the ingredients in.
To put things into perspective in terms of hardship, I’d guess that it’s easier to eat vegan in this modern world in the UK than it would’ve been to actually EAT in the UK a hundred years ago. It is well within the capacity of most people.
I’m also loving my fruit smoothies mixed with oat milk in the blender. I use oat milk a lot. It’s a tasty drink on its own, but it also goes nicely in coffee – I’ve not tried it in tea yet. I also use it in porridge. Cow’s milk is simply not necessary and I have no reason to ever drink the stuff again.
If you were to embark on a vegan diet, remember that you don’t have to be too strict on yourself. I’ve spoken to a number of people in vegan circles who admit to being maybe 80% vegan or 90% vegan. It’s not a religion and it’s not a competition. During the last 8 weeks or so, I’d say I have been 99% vegan. There have been a couple of times when I’ve had butter (the only thing I miss is real butter) on toast, and if I buy wine or beer I don’t check the label (apparently there can be something in the finings that is of animal origin).
Here are some things that I’ve learned so far about a vegan diet:
- It’s very, very easy.
- It’s not expensive.
- You have to check labels on virtually everything. Things such as vegetable stocks and potato crisps often contain milk.
- Quorn is not vegan as it contains egg, unless you search out the vegan quorn which is sold in Tesco and Asda (and, I’m sure, many other places).
- Not all beers and wine are strictly vegan because of animal content in the finings.
- Some people will judge you immediately you tell them you are vegan, as a natural defence against their preconceived notion that YOU are judging THEM.
- Clancys vegetarian stall at Cardiff Market do the best pies ever – vegan or not.
- It’s great fun chucking stuff into pans on the cooker and seeing how it all turns out.
- I’ve not been constipated since I’ve been on a vegan diet!
- Vegans tend to be very nice people who like to talk about their food and are generally not judgemental at all.
So there you have it in a nutshell (which is vegan but generally not good for your teeth). As I’m finishing writing this, I’m in the process of making some samosas. I don’t have a clue how they’ll turn out – it’s all part of the fun!