Back in October I saw people talking about Veganuary aka. going vegan for January, and it seemed like a pretty good idea. I'm not vegetarian even - in fact I love all kinds of meat - and actually fairly sceptical that a vegan diet is healthy, but I was interested to see if I could do it. Then, my editor spotted my tweets and asked me to do it and write it up as an article, so here we are: I'm doing it.
In case you don't know, a vegan diet avoids all animal products and animal by-products (think milk, eggs, butter and even honey) and some people take it even further by banishing any foodstuff that could potentially cause any harm to animals whatsoever - bananas are often sprayed with a shellfish based pesticide, for example.
I'm not going that far. For me, I'll be avoiding animal products and by-products and looking out for vegan friendly stickers on things like wine, beer and processed foods (like cereal and bread).
I'm hoping to come out the other side with a fresh look at the way we eat and with lots of new ideas for healthy eating - though I will be reintroducing meat. Hopefully I'll feel a bit better in myself and maybe even shift a few post-xmas pounds too.
Here's a list of surprising things that are not vegan friendly that I keep forgetting about:
- Worcestershire sauce - made from anchovies
- Many condiments - usually thanks to egg
- Seemingly healthy snack bars - most use honey. Nakd don't.
- Chocolate - obvious really!
- Pre-packaged juice - usually the stuff from concentrate. A lot has added vitamin D from an animal source.
It's a minefield!
I've started off with a juice fast from The Healthy Juice Company just to detox and reset my system after an entire month of cheese, mince pies and Harvey's Bristol Cream and I'm feeling excited to make lots of vegan food. Pinterest has been a great source of inspiration and I'll blog some of my favourite recipes. I'm expecting that most of my meals will be Indian inspired, as so many delicious curries are naturally vegan friendly. Also - so much avocado coming my way! The good thing about avoiding animal fats is that there is a lot more room for other kinds of calories.
In the meantime, any tips then do send them my way. I'm most worried about no eggs or yoghurt...
Oh, and if you fancy giving it a go too then no worries about being late to the party: Veganuary, sponsored by Nakd, is free to sign up to at www.veganuary.com