My week as a vegan

The last week has been spent trying to live as a vegan. I’m already vegetarian so this basically meant cutting out cheese and milk, I don’t really eat eggs anyway.

There have been high and low points. I’ve eaten much more healthily than usual, packing my plate with more fruit and vegetables and eating a more varied, colourful diet. Everything I’ve eaten has felt pretty guilt free so I’ve eaten lots of it, hunger certainly hasn’t been an issue. I hope to keep this up.

Low points were trying to drink tea without cow’s milk. It’s not terrible but it’s certainly not good either. I will definitely be going back. My period is due any moment so I have given in to chocolate a couple of times, and to cheese once. Poor Steve has suffered the effects of a bean and fruit based diet, and I had to make a couple of emergency stops whilst out running, so I know the change of diet has certainly taken effect!

I haven’t found it difficult to think of things to eat, it just takes a bit more effort on my part: checking labels, finding alternatives, and cooking more food from scratch.

What next?

I’m off to France tomorrow so cheese will be making a big comeback. Judging by my previous travel experience, cups of tea are not going to improve for me in France! I will be going back to cows milk for tea, but I will probably continue to use almond milk for cereal and smoothies. Mainly I really hope to carry on eating more fruit and veg and less carbs and sugar now that I’ve had a kick start.

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Final Day

Yesterday was the last day of my week trying to live as a vegan. My day started with another smoothie (banana, chia seeds, frozen berries, orange juice, soya yoghurt).  

My (first) lunch was a Clive’s Mexican Bean Pie.  

And my second lunch was beans on toast. Probably the first time I’ve had it without slathering it on cheese (except when I was on £1 a day).  

Later I had another two slices of toast with mushroom pate and finished off my dark chocolate and avocado truffles. Then for dinner I had a tin of vegetable soup.  

 

Sixth Day

So last night I made some dark and chocolate and avocado truffles, and I… accidentally… ended up eating some milk chocolate in the process.

I got back on track this morning with an almond milk, banana, and peanut butter smoothie. I snacked on an apple and a nakd bar, then stopped off at Smugglers for another quinoa salad (out of date so only cost £1!)  

On my return to the office I had ryvita with avocado and walnuts. And then my boss came in with some ferrero rocher and I caved. Those things are just too delicious!  

In my defence, my period is due. No more should need to be said.

Dinner was a butternut squash risotto.   

Followed by last night’s truffles and some “ice cream” made from peanut butter blended with banana and chia seeds and frozen.  

So more slippage today! But I am still really pleased with the healthy eating I’ve been doing – it’s about the journey not the destination!

Fifth Day

I ate some cheese today. It was left on Charlie’s plate and I couldn’t bear to let it go to waste. But I don’t see this as a complete failure (I’m certainly not going back to day one!), just a little slip, and an understandable one, because.. cheese. This is the longest I’ve ever been without cheese ever. The previous record was 18 hours.

This lack of competitive nature is what stops me from improving more at running. I can’t imagine ever teaching the point of injury or even tears. I’ve never had to break through “the wall” because I don’t get to it in the first place. At work we are putting together a team to enter the Great West Run, a famously hilly half marathon in Exeter this October. With that as my motivation I went out and ran 15k today.  

  It was a beautiful sunny morning and I ran a hilly route that I would never even have considered before, but I was rewarded with beautiful views. This was after having just a smoothie and some walnuts for breakfast.

I came home ravenous and started off with some rice cakes, before moving on to a sausage sandwich (yum!).  

  Dinner was a shepherds pie made with quorn mince and topped with sweet potato mash (and no cheese, apart from for the boys: my downfall).  

Not my most successful day, but a good healthy day, which can only be a good thing.

Fourth Day

Yesterday was a FANTASTIC day of fundraising. Volunteering in Health had its annual family fun day on the den in Teignmouth. The sun shone on us all day (a little bit too much in the case of my arms) and the money hasn’t yet been counted, but I’m confident that we smashed last year’s £1800.  

 My breakfast was weetabix with almond milk. I had a bad stomach ache all morning (too much fruit and veg I think) so treated myself to a proper (cows milk) cup of tea and carrot cake muffin, it totally worked, think I’d changed my diet a bit too drastically all at once! Lunch was a falafel salad which was delicious.  

  I got in from the fun day with an hour to spare until going out to another fundraiser in the evening (this one put in by Red Rock Harmony) so just had leftover curry with soy yoghurt.  

I’m over halfway! A little slip today but I can live with that, I couldn’t afford not to feel 100% on such a busy day. 

Third Day

Before you think I went to bed having only eaten ryvita for dinner, don’t panic! After I’d posted on here I had sausage and chips 🙂  

  Today has not been such a successful day! Oscar asked for a chocolate milkshake for breakfast, so I made a smoothie with almond milk, kiwi, and dark chocolate. My blender isn’t quite powerful enough so there were specks of chocolate in it, giving a weird texture.  

I also had tomatoes on toast – one of my favourite breakfasts.   

Today’s lunch was another salad, mango soy yoghurt, and nakd banana bread.

For dinner I had a cauliflower curry, which was tasty, but I don’t make a lot of curry as it never turns out quite right. Must ask my dad to give me a lesson as it’s all he eats!  

Tasty as dinner was, it was perhaps a bad choice of dinner to eat before a run.  

Why vegan?

I’ve been vegetarian my whole life, so I eat fairly healthily but I eat way too much dairy, sugar, and carbs. Recently I’ve started exercising (inspired by the 10k race I ran for this blog), and, with a wedding to go to, it seemed like a good time to try and eat better too. 

For about four of the last six years I’ve been breastfeeding, but not once did I let even a drop of milk past my lips. But if I’m so freaked out by the thought of drinking my own milk, milk that is designed for humans; then how can I be so ok about drinking milk that comes from animals?

That said, at this point I can’t see myself carrying on as vegan long term. After this week I hope I’ll eat more healthily, but I can’t bear the thought of not having a spinach and ricotta canelonni, or a goats cheese tart, or a cheesecake ever again. As a child it was always difficult being vegetarian, friends’ parents didn’t know what to give me “are you sure you don’t want some ham?” and menus never had very good vegetarian choices. Nowadays it’s easy, but vegan food still isn’t so straightforward. I don’t want to have to carry around my own milk and have to request something that’s not on the menu when I go out for dinner.

Why are you vegan?