Vegan month is over. What a lot of thoughts. I had intentions of blogging week by week. Sorry about that. I did keep notes and my feelings burn brightly in my memory. A lot of excitement went with my first week. I like food challenges. I like a bit of denial. It felt so easy initially. Breakfasts quickly became a rhythm of toast with either cashew cheese and tomato and sometimes avocado. Other times it was peanut butter and rice syrup. More often than not I went down the sweet path.
The first week especially I mostly craved sweet things. I think it went hand in hand with my increased carb diet. Lunches remained with my usual salads. I added sweet potato to make them more filling, instead of the usual tinned tuna. I was surprised to find I got sick of salad before too long. I craved cooked food. In the evenings of the first week I made three mains and completely filled my fridge. A red lentil stew. An eggplant and pumpkin curry. And my favourite – the mushroom curry where the sauce was thickened with blended carrots. I had big helpings with brown rice mostly. That first week I honestly debated if I would ever go back to meat. I didn’t miss it. Even though my brother cooked bacon and steaks around me. I only craved yoghurt. I toyed with the idea of being vegetarian. But week two, that desire ended.
So what happened? Maybe the gloss of newness of the path wore off. There was a few dinner parties during the month where I had to sit down next to carnivores and eat and enjoy my lentil patties with tahini dressing. The last dinner with friends almost tipped me over the edge. But I held firm. And half-heartedly ate a fantastic laksa with firm tofu.
I do have to divulge I did break – once intentionally. And once unintentionally. I wanted to keep eating the bread I have always ate – Sol Bread Mega Grain. But they use honey. I kept on with that. I did notice that later in the month they changed it up to rice syrup instead, so that was a bonus. The second time I bought some coconut icecream that is sugar free and amazing and the flavours I have bought in the past have all been vegan too. But this time I accidentally bought some pecan honey flavour (note: it is amazing, buy it!).
From a dietary standpoint I did appreciate being forced into eating more veggies and in a form I don’t normally – with lots of lentils and chickpeas. I made super easy pastas – the sauces were creamy avocado with basil, or a mind-blowing one which was tomatoes two ways (tinned and sundried), walnuts and chilli powder. It actually looked like bolognaise and tasted far far better than I thought it would.
I will take things away from my time. I will now eat tofu in day to day life. Especially in soups. I will try and incorporate a meat-free day into my week. I will probably never be vegan indefinitely, at least not at this point, but I am very glad I gave this challenge a go. Maybe it will be Vegan February annually.
Ps. Yes I’m back to eating butter and meat and I’ve been loving it.