Going vegan for Veganuary

Veganuary challengeAs the Buying Assistant at Ethical Superstore, I heard about Veganuary a little while ago. I initially wanted to take part to support my colleague Abigail, who has wanted to make the jump from being a vegetarian to a vegan for a little while now. I also saw it as a personal challenge and thought it would kick start a healthy eating plan after consuming my body weight in cheese and chocolate over the Christmas period. I have never been a huge meat eater so that wasn’t a concern for me but being a vegan is not something I ever thought I could do successfully as I love dairy too much. Working at Ethical Superstore though, it has made me more conscious of what goes on within the dairy industry and also aware of the many alternative products there are available now.

Vegan alternativesNow that I am half way through the month I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my more successful meals and what I have found easy and a little trickier. In the last 2 weeks, I have tried to experiment as much as I can with milk, cheese and eggs to find alternatives that won’t make me crave the real thing too much. I am now used to almond or soya milk in my daily coffees and condiments and spreads weren’t too difficult to get used to as I already bought the low fat versions anyway. Planning meals seems to be the key as it isn’t as easy to pick something to eat up on the go and vegan snacks can often be difficult to find. I’ve found that products you would expect to be vegan aren’t and vice versa so reading ingredients lists are extremely important.
There are so many vegan products available at Ethical Superstore that the first food shop for essentials and chocolate treats was easy…

Vegan breakfastI think Vegan Egg has been one of my favourite buys so far and was surprisingly easy to make. It comes in a powder form and in 6 minutes you have what looks and tastes like scrambled egg. I would advise seasoning it as you go for more flavour though and I mixed mushrooms into mine to bulk it up. This was perfect as a lazy weekend breakfast with crumpets, beans and tomatoes.

Another favourite has been my home made houmous, with only a handful of ingredients needed and a quick and easy recipe to follow; it is great as a healthy snack or a starter with chopped veg or falafel.

hummus

On the whole, Veganuary has been relatively easy so far and the only problems I’ve faced have been having the strength and willpower to not order a huge cheese pizza in a restaurant and finding a vegan cheese that tastes anything like cheese. I have already noticed how it has benefited my health too and I have lost 7 pounds in the last fortnight and feel full of energy so am looking forward to what the rest of January brings.

Please feel free to share any of your recipes and food plans with me too, I’d love to hear from you and receive some inspiration for the rest of the month (recipes can be sent to my food diary Instagram account)

Good luck to everyone taking part in this year’s Veganuary…you’re all doing a wonderful job!

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