I decided to go Vegan for 30 days after watching Leonardo di Caprio‘s documentary Before the Flood. The documentary opened my eyes to the fact that as human beings we are so disassociated with our World and our impact on it, especially when it comes to food.
One of the most profound statements in the documentary…
Of all the reasons for tropical deforestation, the foremost is beef.
Beef is one of the most inefficient uses of resources on the planet.
In the U.S., 47 percent of the land is used for food production and, of that, the lion’s share is just to grow feed for cattle. The things that we actually eat—fruit, vegetables, nuts—it’s a percent.
Most importantly, cows produce methane. And methane is a powerful greenhouse gas … About 10-12 percent of total U.S. emissions is due to beef. It’s staggering … Maybe not everyone is ready to eat tofu 24/7. I get that.
But even if you just have to have some flesh between your teeth, if you switch to chicken, you will have eliminated 80 percent of what you emit, depending on where you are coming from.
Now that was one of the most profound pieces of information I have ever heard. One small change as small as that could reduce my carbon footprint.
7 Day Vegan Diet
I started going about what I was going to plan to eat. I reached out to a few nutritionist friends, namely Rhiannon Lambert @rhitrition, who advised me about what vitamins and nutrients I would need to supplement while being on the vegan train. These were B12, Whole Proteins and Iron.
Searching for a good vitamin source and stumbled across Together vitamins. I liked these vitamins particularly because the company are dedicated to making the most natural, wholesome and healthiest supplements you’ll find! I would recommend the Vegan Bundle to give you all your dietary needs. VITL vegan supplements were great for the extra boost of my daily dose!
Next the menu:
Breakfast: One of the hardest bits about vegan from my point of view. I love eggs, sustainably sourced they are an amazing source of protein, fat and vitamin B12 and are delicious.
- Vegan Granola: (See Picture) – this became my go to. I went with lots of different variations which I have listed in one of my previous blogs Easy Vegan Granola. Loaded with pecans, walnuts, sultanas, seeds, coconut flakes… the list goes on. I would have this with Pip N Nut Coconut Almond milk (in my opinion the best flavour!)
- Avocado Toast: Tasty – especially when served on E5 sourdough
- Argan on Toast: A game changer if you miss the butter. Get some delicious bread and drizzle argan oil and season. Delicious.
- Thai: The base was made from coconut milk, ginger, turmeric, chilli, yellow split pea lentils and lemon. I would throw in a number of different veggies from sugar snap peas, baby corn, squash, and fried up tofu.
- Indian: Coconut, red lentil and tomato base with a choice of turmeric with garam masala, tikka, cayenne, or a general curry powder. These curries are best had with aubergine, root veg and courgette.
- Fusions: With a general base of coconut and tomato I would add different spices from Ras el Hanout or other spices to vary things up.
All of these curries cost me as little at £10 to make about 9 meals. I would make two types of curry and then freeze half. Switching between flavours on different days meant the variety was great. These really took the difficulty of finding vegan options around work – which sometimes was extremely difficult as a lot of places only provided Vegan Options.
Supper and Eating Out: I wanted to see what London had to offer on the vegan front!
- Tofu Stir Fry: My go-to for a quick and tasty fix in the evening.
- Redemption Bar: A purely Vegan restaurant. It’s a dining experience as the whole menu is free-form yet they provide three delicious courses, cocktails and desserts that are delicious.
- Falafel Bar: Situated next to Shoreditch High Street station there is a falafel pop-up run by two Turkish men. They provide crunchy yet soft falafels with sides. Their sauces are made with tahini and other non-animal products. Large portions and plenty of salad for only a few pounds.
- Cook Daily: Massive bowls of veggie goodness. Quirky names, interesting fillings and my first introduction to chickN (not sure even now what it was). They are delicious and huge but come at a price of £9.
- The Rookery: Not a known vegan restaurant but I will give this wonderful bar a shout out. They took their seasonal and sustainable menu to the kitchen and went through each meal with the chef. They then came back and let me know at least 4 dishes and sides they could adapt in order I could eat. Very thoughtful
- Cafe Fleur: Nestled in Wandsworth this cute little cafe provides a full menu of Vegan options dotted throughout. Their tasty Vegan Brunch) pictured below was colourful and tasty. Great coffee and a perfect atmosphere. This is the perfect spot for the weekend.
Right, let me get to the pros and cons of the Vegan Lifestyle.
- People treat you differently. Every time you bring a meal, morsel or anything to do with food there is a constant reminder that you are different.
- Bloating. Be warned lentils maybe your friend and your foe.
- Tiredness. You must make sure you supplement. I became extremely tired on week 3.
- Less choice.
- Careful planning of every meal.
- Skin fluctuations.
- The first week there was no bloating and I felt – different – lighter.
- Slept like a baby the entire month. It was incredible.
- Less anxiety and irritability.
- Meal planning meant less money spent.
- Tonnes of veg in my diet.
- Felt good – never any guilt.
- Learned more about the food industry and left the challenge feeling enlightened.
The question many ask – am I still Vegan? The answer to that is no. I enjoyed the challenge and I have learned a lot about a lifestyle that I was unfamiliar with. There are certain elements of my diet that I enjoy for example eggs however, the whole experience has taught me to question my sources, research my producers and make sure I eat with kindness and empathy.
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