I have recently made the change to go Vegan.
I was Vegetarian for nearly 5 years, all through University and in my first years of working after. During that time I was pretty lazy. I replaced any meat with cheese and was relying on Quorn Products for my meals.
I work in the Film Industry which entails long 12 hour days for 5 or sometimes 6 days a week. When I first started my energy levels were low and sometimes found myself nearly falling asleep at the wheel on the way back home. This was due to lack of Iron and so I found myself eating some meat again as liquid iron supplements I was given tasted like blood. I did notice a difference in my energy levels but I was never happy that I was eating meat.
Then over a couple of years I moved on from just having white meat to having red meat as well. I have always been funny about eating meat off the bone and chewing on bits of fat so I went for the easy ready made and processed options and gained quite a bit of weight in the process. Whilst I lived in South London a couple of years ago it would at times take me 2 hours to drive back from work in the evening which would mean I would have to go to bed as soon as I got home to wake up at 5am for work the next morning. So my dinner would be a garage brought sandwich and as I never did a large food shop I would just end up eating pizza in front of the TV at the weekend. I needed to make a change.
Firstly I moved home. I found a room that was only 6 minutes away from the studio where I knew I was going to be based for a while and my landlady, Gina, who I was moving in with told me to treat her home like my own. So we used to make dinner for each other. Already I was eating better and noticed a change. Her evening meals usually consisted of steamed veg and something vegetarian or fishy put in the oven. When you cook for someone else you always aim to please, satisfy and experiment. So when it was my turn to cook, I would always try and make little change or cook something new, starting with making the addition of roasted sweet potato and parsnip to add to the side of our steam veg and then mixing it up and having a stir fry some nights and beginning to make veg stews in my slow cooker for some real comfort food. I had stopped gaining weight and loved that I was eating less meat and taking the time to make a proper meal.
Shortly after moving in with Gina I met Hannah, my now soon to be wife. Hannah and I were, I guess, complete opposites in what we did in our spare time. Hannah spent most of her spare time in Lycra and training for Triathlons, whilst I spent mine slobbing out on the sofa. But even after our ,very active, first date this all changed. She awoke an energy in me that I never really knew I had and made me realise the importance of having hobbies and discovered that there are other ways to relax than just in front of the TV. She inspired me to start doing couch to 5k behind her back. But after being able to run for 3 minutes for the first time I couldn’t contain my excitement so I let her in to my little secret. With some of her help and persuasion I have since then completed two half marathons.
Even after being together for only a few months we had a routine in the short amount of time that we saw each other as I was working and she was training. Hannah had introduced me into the wonderful world of bircher which we would have before parkrun on Saturday morning and then would eat an abnormally huge sausage baguette after. But every now and then I would cook her something new and try and win my way to her heart through delicious food. This was our routine until we decided to move in with each other six months later.
Jump forward another six months and shortly after Christmas I decided to go Vegetarian again as I just found myself being put off meat easily and with a new found love of cooking I wanted to do it properly. But even going Vegetarian again I could already feel my energy levels dropping at work (but didn’t help that I was flat out at work either!) and when I got home all I wanted to was go to bed. I tried having Iron Tablets this time, to avoid having the metallic tasting liquid, which helped a little but not hugely and my weight that I had lost before Christmas was now back on. I hadn’t been running as much and my pesky sweet tooth was as sweet as ever so found it very easy to eat chocolate bars to keep me going.
I have always found myself intrigued by a vegan diet I thought I could never cut out the cheese, milk, eggs or most of all chocolate. So during this time I had been trying out some alternatives and started enjoying and adapting to them. I was even seeing what I could buy whilst out and about and was pleasantly surprised by what was on offer. When cooking at home I was gradually trying to cut out cheese and Quorn from meals to see what else I could do with pulses and Vegetables. So I started making Vegetable Tagines, Sushi and Pasta dishes and they were delicious.
I decided to try and go Vegan for 1 week which turned into 2, then 3 and then a whole month. I had noticed that my energy levels had gone right up as I was consuming more Iron and Protein through lentils, chickpeas, nuts and wholewheat pasta etc. I found myself being able to spend more time with Hannah in the evening and not relying on coffee to keep me up at work. And more importantly I managed to finally get my sweet tooth under control. Since saying no to milk chocolate I found I was sourcing my sweetness through fruit, such as mango, instead and if I did indulge in dark chocolate I never found myself bingeing on it like I would with milk chocolate. As Hannah as been Vegan before she was very supportive and has given me useful tips on things that she learned from her time as a Vegan.
We went on holiday to Croatia last month and unfortunately I wasn’t as successful as being a vegan there and did end up having some cheese and I did notice how grotty I felt afterwards and honestly I don’t think I am missing out not having it. So I learnt my lesson but I refused to eat chocolate so I wouldnt completely fall off the wagon whilst I was there as I was planning to be back on track when I returned to the UK.
Since gradually moving onto a plant based diet I have managed to lose 1 and a half stone from just making those few changes which if I am completely honest hasn’t been that painful and I have never once felt deprived as there are so many other delicious alternatives and it has made me more aware of what I am eating.
I have a few weeks before I have to go back to work so decided that I would use this time to get my store cupboard stocked up, do some proper research and try new recipes that I can take into work with me or have the in the evening so I don’t have to stay up late cooking each night.
I now vow to eat Vegan and live as a vegan for the foreseeable future. Including using cruelty free and vegan beauty and fashion products so I can say that I am doing my bit.
I know having a vegan blog is nothing new but here are my reasons for starting one:
- To show my journey in becoming vegan.
- To keep track of and create tasty vegan meals that are are easy to fit into a busy work life that don’t just rely on meat and cheese substitutes.
- To share vegan discoveries, products and treats.
- To hopefully inspire others to join me on a similar journey.
Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy my future posts and meals.
I would love to hear your feedback so please leave any comments.
All the best