Week two and I’m writing this blog post with a lot less negativity toward being vegan. Turns out my food choices haven’t plummeted to the sum total of the fruit and veg aisle. I’ve done some research and reminded myself of meals you can make using vegan based food. I’m also making sure that I’m consuming as much protein as possible by eating chia seeds, beans, quinoa and pulses in every meal.
In general I’m feeling a lot better because I’ve increased my calorie in-take to make up for the subtraction of eggs, fish and cheese from my diet. I’m not convinced being vegan is better for me yet; sometimes I’m really focused and other times I’m shattered and/or have a headache. I’ve also had days were my stomach has been really cramped because I’ve eaten (I assume) too much fibre in the form of nuts, dates, seeds and peanut butter.
The supermarket is now foreign territory (it takes me fifteen minutes to pick a snack). I’m getting astonishingly fast at reading labels though – it’s like a super power just a really shit one. Luckily Ocado has created an easy to navigate, vegan section to make online shopping a whole lot easier!
I didn’t weigh myself before I went vegan because it really wasn’t about that for me but I think I’ve stayed the same. In-fact, I posted a yoga picture on Instagram the other day and the first account to like it was someone with the username ‘big booties’. Curves are still there, apparently.
Other people’s reactions to me going vegan have been interesting too, some friends have been open minded and others have been…….less so. I’ve had messages from people asking whether I’ve tried vegan restaurants in the area and others sharing their own experiences. On the other hand people have asked quite bluntly, ‘why on earth are you doing that?’, or have shot me a look that says, ‘you’re pretty fucking weird’.
Around six months ago I decided to give up refined sugar which has been WAY more positive than me going vegan. In the most undignified way if someone put chocolate in front of me, I was eating the lot. I rode the roller coaster of sugar highs and lows for a long time; once I got the taste for it I couldn’t control myself.
Fructose (sugar occurring in foods) doesn’t tell us when our body is full, it converts directly into fat in the body and makes us poorly. While I’m not a nutritionist I’ve read books and monitored my own body and you DO want to avoid sugar. Without realising I was consuming over twenty five teaspoons of sugar everyday when it is now recommended women consume no more than six. Over the past twelve months my sugar consumption has been through fruit, as-well as natural sweeteners like maple syrup and 99% dark chocolate (which I’ve recently learnt aren’t great either) but I’m on a journey with all of this.
So in a nut shell I’m feeling better this week – hooray! I’m having breakfast in a FULL vegan cafe in Manchester and I’m excited about it. For the last two weeks I’ll be monitoring my intake of fibre – which would be a lot easier if I wasn’t having a love affair with peanut butter. I’ll also continue to vary my meals to avoid boredom, pick up some new cooking skills (no guarantee) and increase my intake of protein in every meal. Speak to you next week!
-1 cup of oats (to blend into flour)
-2 tbsp flaxseeds
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp vanilla essence (1/2 tsp vanilla powder)
-2 tbsp brown malt syrup (or maple syrup)
-2 tbsp coconut oil
-3 tbsp water
-2 tbsp cacao powder
-1 tbsp cashew butter
-pinch of salt
Blend the oats in a food processor until they turn into a flour – take this out and set aside. Pit the dates and blend them in the food processor along with the wet ingredients (water, coconut oil, cashew butter, syrup and vanilla essence) until it is smooth like a paste. Now add the remaining dry ingredients (oat flour, flax seeds and cacao powder). It should be thick but moist. Press the mixture into a tin lined with tin foil and leave to set in the fridge for thirty minutes at least. Finally cut them into squares and enjoy with a little extra nut butter spread on top.