A year on as a (non perfect) vegan

I can’t believe it has actually been a whole year since I decide to take part in Veganuary and a month later choosing to stick with this lifestyle (as much as possible). Before watching Cowspiracy back in November 2017 I was eating meat 2-3x a day. Cheese / milk / honey was part of our daily intake so cutting it out first felt overwhelming to say the least. Although I have followed some amazing vegan accounts and saw what they eat I just didn’t think I could pull it off. I am still not 100% vegan but 90% of the time I eat only plants and 100% of the time no meat. Here are all the things I learnt in the past 12 months, all the things that worked and those which didn’t. 



Worked
Learning new simple dishes. There are so many inspiration and recipes out there to try out. Initially I was afraid that they might not be as filling and satisfying but the ones I still continue to remake even a year later thick all the boxed. Tasty / easy and doesn’t leave me feeling hungry. (+ mental note I need to try out some new ones to extend my repertoire) .

Didn’t work
Veganising some of the dishes I made before. Because (in my opinion) not all recipes will turn out as it used to. Vegan cream cheese for example just didn’t work with our mac and cheese and even with block cheese we had a few disappointment. I know since we tired there are dozens out there to keep experimenting with. But I have to admit I just don’t miss cheese as much. However lentil spag balls is a huge success with the boys. Some worked, some didn’t that is how it is. .

Worked
Being kind to myself. I think stressing over something which ultimately a massive change not only to my diet but lifestyle do more harm than good. I knew I had to find a way to enjoy the transition and to stay vegan. Giving myself time and allow to make mistakes. I tried to stay honest with myself and to people around me with my slip ups and just embrace all the other changes I made. 

Didn’t work
Getting angry about it all. When I watched the documentaries and read the articles I felt an urge to start educating people around me about my new life choice. I started to identify myself as “vegan” and telling people why they should be considering to became one. But telling people that they are doing something wrong / harmful is the worst thing I could have done. No one wants to be told they are doing it all wrong. It took me a while to calm down and stop identifying myself as one thing. I am a mum of 2 / chocolate is life / I am passionate about yoga / reducing our waste and bla bla bla.  I am sticking with this now and only when asked I will ease into the subject.

Worked
The food. They are amazing. If someone out there still thinks that vegans only eat leaves they are sooooo wrong. The choices / the recipes and taste just exquisite and there is such a huge variety. Home cooked or eating out?! Never ever had any disappointment ever.

Didn’t work
Only eating the rainbow. Well, that things is supermarkets and chains are starting to realise veganism is here to stay and they are widening their range rapidly. Unfortunately not all their new products is the most healthiest so even thought it says vegan it doesn’t mean it is good for you. Balance and moderation are the key (mantra for everyday). But even with those two in mind when something taste too good and I am only living on 4 hours sleep I just devour all the “bad” too. (Oreos / ice cream /chocolate buttons / doughnuts and everything that is sweet)

Worked
Using meat substitutes during the first few months and still occasionally. Not sure if I was missing the texture or was just listening to advice but it worked. It was fun to experiment and I am glad I got to try a few but nowadays we hardly have them. Just don’t miss it in our dishes. If I do get some we have Iceland vegan range.

Didn’t work
Reading labels. I was told in the book “How to go Vegan” that I will learn to read labels and might be spending hours in supermarkets to start with. Well, I didn’t do that. I bought the items and realised later on the hidden egg or milk powers. Over the months not finding alternatives locally I decided to stick to them (and blame it on the “I am not a perfect vegan” motto) such as naan breads / Indian ready made sauces (in glass and helps us reduce take aways on lazy evenings) / pain au chocolate and other pastries.

Worked
Being honest with yourself and making it stress free. I let go of feeling bad about using normal cream cheese occasionally / buying McVities and finishing a pack in a day or having ice cream at my dad’s place in the summer where they use normal milk. I do my best because I do believe in “Adopting a vegan diet is the single biggest way we can reduce our impact on the planet. Not just greenhouse gases but global acidification, eutrophication, land use & water use” – Joesph Poore, but at the same time my household is not (yet) vegan and I still haven’t let go of things I got used it prior to my vegan journey.


Do your best and see where it takes you but overall make it stress free and enjoyable for you and the people around you. 


Anyone taking the first steps into veganism? Isn’t it crazy how accessible it got since last year?

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