It’s Lizzy here, the Meze PR and Social Media manager, and I took part in Veganuary this year! It’s definitely been an experience and I’d love to tell you all about it in case you’re curious about doing it next year or converting to the veggie side full time!
I’ve been vegetarian since I watched Seaspiracy around 8 or 9 months ago. I’m fully aware that parts of the documentary were exaggerated but even after doing a bit of research I was compelled to make a change to my diet. There are hundreds of meat alternatives so it wasn’t too difficult and I didn’t think veganism would be too different… how wrong I was. I did not realise how many products contained milk! I can’t even have a packet of Monster Munch with my meal deal! So I spent the first week testing out different snacks and foods.
In the beginning I constantly felt famished. Nothing I ate seemed to satisfy my hunger. I wasn’t sure whether this was due to the fact I wasn’t 100% sure what I was allowed to eat at this point or because what I was eating wasn’t as substantial as non-vegan foods, but rest assured my body got used to my new diet and after a while I stopped feeling so hungry.
Not only did I feel hungry but I also felt tired for a while. I later learnt that the vegan diet lacks in vitamin B12, which contributes to energy levels! So if you’re looking to try out the vegan diet make sure you have some kind of supplement for this.
The things I have missed the most during this month is dairy milk and cheese! Although I have oat milk in my cereal I haven’t been able to find a plant milk that I can get along with in hot drinks and boy, have I missed a cuppa! And although vegans may have mastered good old cheddar I’ve been craving my favourites like halloumi and wensleydale. They’re the first things on my shopping list for February.
Something I owe to Veganuary is I FINALLY, at 23 years of age, started to learn to cook. Cooking previously brought me no joy, if anything it brought me a lot of stress, but I took Veganuary as an opportunity to push the boat out. I have learnt so much about flavours and seasoning and, dare I say, I’ve actually started to enjoy it? My favourite dishes I’ve cooked have been falafel wraps and refried bean tacos!
It’s been an eye-opening month. I will definitely continue eating a lot of the same things I’ve tried this month, and because I started learning to cook with vegan ingredients that is the basis I have for all cooking I do. Although Veganuary was more challenging than I thought it would be it felt good that I was reducing my carbon footprint and helping the environment, even if it’s just a smidge.
If you haven’t already why not try out some vegan recipes, even if it’s just once a week! Here are some of our vegan/vegetarian cookbooks to help you out!