I don’t think it comes as a surprise to any regular readers here to discover that I really love food. The real joy for me is that there is so much pleasure that comes from food; the shopping, the cooking and the eating. I like being in the kitchen – especially if I’m cooking for others. I’m one of those annoying ‘throw it all in a pot and see what happens’ chefs who always manages to make something edible from the dregs at the back of the fridge. I think that it’s partly this built-in love of challenging myself to cook which made me decide to give up all meat, eggs, dairy and animal products – yup, I’m taking part in veganuary.
Because I live in a University hall of residence most of the time, I don’t generally have to worry about cooking. It’s one of the caveats that comes with the gig – we’re expected to have meals in the dining room with the students more often than not, in order to stay up to date with the lives of the undergrads we live with. I don’t mind it – the food is surprisingly good, it saves me a tonne of money and I really enjoy sitting and listening to the chat from the residents. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the weekends though – no meals are served after 1pm on Saturday or Sunday, which gives me time to make homemade pizza or a vat of pasta or 18 vegetable spring rolls (my food guilty pleasure!).
However, in January, the whole of the hall is closed down because there are no classes until the next semester starts. This means that I have to find somewhere else to live – and need to remember to feed myself! Having literally no food – no leftovers in the fridge, no freezer full of reduced deals from the supermarket – made it easy to decide to try and go vegan, if only for a little while. Standing in the supermarket and realising how many foods include animal products was something of an eye-opener for me, and it’s made me want to try and be better – for the environment, for the animals, and for my health.
So far, I’ve found it pretty easy to stay within the vegan bounds – but then, I have spent the first four days of 2016 staying with a vegan! Highlights have been vegan parmesan (made from cashews, garlic and nutritional yeast) over ‘creamy’ garlic pasta, potato waffles and tomato ketchup (I never said I was classy…) and an indian which, whilst devoid of my usual korma sauce, was really tasty.
For lunch today I ignored the horrible weather outside and stuffed my face on a salad which was full of good things – rocket, avocado, tomatoes, beetroot, cucumber, kidney beans and a balsamic dressing. The dressing is still sitting in my desk drawer so that hopefully I won’t be tempted down the route of a Nandos later this week – but I’m feeling really pretty positive about this change.
I can’t promise that this is the start of a vegan forever, but in the last year I’ve gone from a red-meat-loving carnivore to a mostly pescatarian and now onto a trial-vegan diet, so I feel like I’m moving in the right direction. And if anyone has any exciting vegan recipes then please send them my way – I am so looking forward to cooking things I wouldn’t usually for the rest of this month!
Finally – I started to realise that at least trialling veganism was a possibility for me when I read this post from Sarah over at 2 Brides to 2 Mummies. Realising that I could still buy cornettos, pop tarts, salt and vinegar crisps and vegan squirty cream? Amazing.
I hope to post again after January is over to discuss how I’ve found going vegan-for-a-while. Who knows – maybe I’ll be a convert!admin