Can you believe I’m in my final week?!

No, me either…

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DAY TWENTY-ONE – THURSDAY 21ST
Today for dinner I had my fail safe stuffed mushrooms with a side of crispy sweet potato fries..only they weren’t so crispy and had little flavour in them. I do feel a little unadventurous going back to stuffed mushrooms again, but as a whole, it’s a tad more complicated then just something random on toast and it has tons of flavour. Hey, if it ain’t broke, right?!

DAY TWENTY-TWO – FRIDAY 22ND
Another fail safe was stir fry, but since my dad and my brother had curry, it was almost necessary to have something filling and overly delicious.
DAY TWENTY-THREE – SATURDAY 23RD
Saturday I lazed about for the most part, getting up around noon for a simple lunch of mushrooms on toast. They were yummy, but I soon found out that eating JUST mushrooms on toast today was a bad idea..

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DAY TWENTY-FOUR – SUNDAY 24TH  
..which led to a terrible hangover today. Like, bad enough that it (almost) put me off drink for life. I put off eating for as long as I could, but eventually gave in and had some avocado on toast for a late dinner/supper.

Now. HOLD THE DAMN PHONE.

I know everyone raves about avocado on toast but really? I thought it would be rank. I’m not a lover of avocado at the best of times, I mean it’s okay in a salad or something the weird slimy texture when peeled is enough alone to put me off.

But I was wrong. It turns out that something as simple as avocado on toast is so damn nice.

DAY TWENTY-FIVE – MONDAY 25TH
In fact, it’s so damn nice but I had it again for dinner today. Lunch was a cheese and onion sandwich with crisps, and again I found myself feeling super healthy again today. All I’ve been drinking at work is pretty much water non-stop, as I’ve ran out of green tea, so it could be that…

DAY TWENTY-SIX – TUESDAY 26THToday for lunch I had a super filling cheese, onion, cucumber, carrot and tomato roll which filled me up to no end. I simply chopped up anything healthy in my fridge and threw it in. Dinner was simply chips and curry sauce as I went out for a drink at my local and couldn’t help but gorge on something not-so-healthy but still vegan according to the pubs website.

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DAY TWENTY-SEVEN – WEDNESDAY 27TH
Getting back late the night before, I found myself way too tired to make a proper lunch, so today I simply had olives and Oreos. So very basic, but still rather yummy! For dinner I braved another one of Linda McCartney’s frozen range of vegan & veggie food and was pleasantly surprised. Despite the fact that it burned my mouth to fuck, the cheese plait, along with roasted vegetables and crispy sweet potatoes again was delicious and something I’d definitely have again.

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT – THURSDAY 28TH
For lunch, I recreated Tuesday’s lunch and had a giant roll with many a healthy fillings. I actually had a date tonight, so another night arriving home late meant I just fixed myself a quick sandwich for dinner/supper, but having such a big lunch anyway I didn’t want much.

DAY TWENTY-NINE – FRIDAY 29TH
Today was admittedly a bit of a struggle for me as I had plans to head into London again. I planned ahead and found a lovely looking vegan restaurant, only upon arrival, found it was closed. We didn’t have much time to look elsewhere before we headed straight over to ASOS’s DigiDating event (super fun, by the way) but despite the fact I hadn’t eaten since dinnertime the previous day, I didn’t worry too much as I had plans to meet some friends later for another vegan friendly restaurant. Only on the way home, we got the wrong train and didn’t make dinner.

I think this made me realize how tough it is being vegan when you’re out and about and just want something on the go. I did get some oreos, but it made me realize it’s not like you can just grab much from a vending machine or grab something to takeaway from the many foodie bars in a train station.

Friday I threw together a quick salad for lunch and, as I had plans to go out that evening, quickly had some avocado on toast for dinner. Heading into the uber cool Vaults in London was tough when they were serving delicious pizza, but I persevered…!

DAY THIRTY – SATURDAY 30TH
Today was a tough day, I’ll admit, when many of my vegan friendly food plans fell through. Firstly, as I was heading to London again, I sourced a vegan friendly restaurant myself and my friend could go to for lunch before our event. Only, it was closed. So off we headed to ASOS’s DigiDating event (which was super fun by the way) and I didn’t worry about it too much – I had plans with other friends that evening to go for a meal at another vegan friendly restaurant so figured even though I hadn’t eaten since dinner the previous evening, it would just make me eager for our meal.

Only we got the wrong train meaning I missed the meal. Do’h. I eventually grabbed some Oreos from a vending machine, but it made me realize how hard it is for vegans to grab vegan food on the go. It’s not like any of the food stands in train stations sold anything vegan, and even when popping into a mini M&S I couldn’t find anything.

Trying vegan has reminded me how important it is to plan ahead and know what you can buy that is vegan, but it still made me realize there’s little to no option for spontaneous eating out and about or on the go…

DAY THIRTY-ONE – SUNDAY 31ST 
And so we make it to my last day! My last dinner is in actual fact another stir fry, something nice and filling, as I take time to reflect on the past month.

It’s been tough, but I did it. I didn’t give in, despite wanting to at many points, even when giving in would be the easier option like on Saturday. But I persevered and I’m so damn glad I did.

So, I’ll soon be posting a conclusion post about how I feel, my next steps and some of my favourite recipes. However, in the meantime, that’s me. That’s my meal diary over and out and this is me saying I BLOODY WELL DID IT.

I want to throw myself a party, but more importantly I want you to know despite being tough at times it’s also been REALLY FUN. I’d totally recommend it, even if it’s just for a month.

Veganuary is definitely one of the best ideas I’ve ever had (as in terms of participating, I didn’t make it up, ha!) and I’d challenge you all to give it a go next year.In the meantime, I think I owe myself a drink for completing it all!

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I officially hit four weeks of being Vegan today! That’s crazy…! Although I’m not quite done yet (Veganuary finishes on the 31st), it’s reasurring to know that I’m going to make it.
I’ll of course be posting about that on the 31st, but in the meantime I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite vegan instagrammers. Some of these I’ve only followed recently, but they’ve all been a massive help. 
I’ve never been very good at food presentation and some of these are just proof that vegan food can look damn delicious, whether thrown together randomly or not. Ever taken a photo of food and thought it was missing something? I used to think that when I first started taking pictures of my vegan food but in some of these photos, I honestly couldn’t even tell there wasn’t any meat on the plate at all.

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@Leiveggie makes even the most complicated of meals look super easy to make. Her vegan mac and cheese (as shown above) looks AMAZING, and with tofu, roasted broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes and a splash of ranch dressing, it looks super filling too. Even that tofu looks nice and I have yet to try tofu…
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@vegoutmaning offers a real mix on her instagram, including breakfast, dinner and dessert which is nice. Her chia pudding is even making me consider attempting to make my own again…and that breakfast smoothie looks like something out of a restaurant!

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Smoothies, cakes and delicious breakfasts – what more could you ask for? I am absolutely loving the breakfast photos lately, with all the goodness just piled into one bowl, and it inspires me to want to do that myself but I never get up early enough. Still, there’s the weekend, and I think some of these would be perfect for a Sunday morning lie in. @porridgequeen’s feed fulfills my lust and makes breakfast look like the most important meal of the day..

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Another real mix of vegan friendly food, you’ll find everything from the simple home comforts of baked bean, rice and broccoli to adventurous maki that wouldn’t look out of place in Yo Sushi!, @veganosaurusflex does it all. And he’s super buff too. Just saying. If you ever needed to try going vegan in the hopes to get fit, he proves that it’s doable..

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Here we have @majaalicefood, who, like me, is kind of testing the waters a little although she’s attempting to give up meat for a whole year as opposed to just a month. And judging by her feed, she’s doing pretty damn well at it, my food does NOT look that good for just testing the waters! I particularly love her homemade vegan bread = vegan baking looks tough but worth it!

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And finally, we have @plantbasedkrystal who just goes to show that just because you’re going healthy, doesn’t mean you have to give up your sweet tooth! She has lots of vegan alternatives to yummy deserts and food worth indulging for…

So there you have it, five of my favourite vegan instagrammers gracing my feed right now, reminding me that I’m not missing out on anything by giving up meat. I wish they could all come cook for me…

Do you follow any foodie instagrammers? Or will you start following some vegan friendly bloggers now? Let me know!

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Here’s the music I’ve been loving this month!

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Panic! At The Disco have a couple of entries of course as I’ve been listening to their new album on repeat! I feel sorry for my poor dad who has to listen to me signing along to Halleujah at the top of my (very bad, I admit) voice most mornings…

I’ve also picked two (slightly) local bands. 

You might have heard of Eliza and the Bear, as a couple of their songs are quite well known now and I saw them at a local gig on Saturday. They were pretty awesome and it was so nice going to a gig again, I haven’t been to a ‘small’ gig in so long.
One of their support bands, Slowlights, I absolutely fell in love with. Their sound just hit me instantly and made me feel like I was in some basement bar in New York listening to an up-and-coming band. They very much reminded me of The 1975 (who I then had to include as well ha) and if you’ve ever seen Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist then you’ll know exactly what kind of sound I’m talking about – this London based band would be right at home on that movie’s soundtrack or just in New York in general.

And of course, David Bowie had to appear on this months playlist. I’m not going to lie and say I was a huge fan, but I grew up listening to him with my brother who was a big fan and I always liked his music. On top of that, I always looked up for him for being a complete legend. Honestly, I probably knew him more so as an actor than an artist, especially since The Labyrinth is one of my all time favourite movies, but that’s the beauty of it – he was known as so many different things to so many different people.
Such a sad loss.
The last song is personally one of my favourites from Queen and David Bowie and simply had to have a place on the playlist.

Anyway. Do let me know what you think, I’d especially love to hear your thoughts on Slowlights and Eliza and the Bear!

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I’m definitely a yes person. If there’s something I want to do, I’ll go ahead and book it almost instantly, which can sometimes be a bad thing when I pester my friends to give me an answer like, RIGHT NOW because I get scared if I don’t book it or buy it there and then, my chance will be lost forever.
Hence why I have a nice array of little adventures lined up for 2016. Since Mexico has been pushed back to another year, I had to fulfil my desire for adventure another way, didn’t I?

I thought it might be nice to pop together a little post of things I’m looking forward to the most this year, especially as I’ll be blogging about most of them anyway.

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GIGS

So many gigs! Okay, well, apart from Slam Dunk,
there’s two actual gigs so far but I’m sure there will be more. These
are SUM41 on The Kerrang! Tour in February, which is great as I thought
I’d never have the chance to see them, and BUSTED in May
of course!!

THE CRYSTAL MAZE
Yes, in March I’m going on The Crystal Maze. Well, technically it won’t be on TV but basically these awesome dudes started a crowdfund and raised the funds to build the whole set again – complete with the crystal dome – for people to come and compete. SO MUCH FUN. I grew up watching this show, wishing I’d had the chance to go on it myself and now I will! The Aztec Zone is my favourite…

WALES
My bestie
found a good deal on Groupon for a two night stay in a holiday village
which I think is a super sweet idea as for years now me and my friends
have spoken about staying in a little caravan park (like the good old
days with our families) for an old school throwback holiday. This hasn’t
been planned as such yet but the deal is there to be booked and I’m
making sure we take a trip to Bounce Below…

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LOST VILLAGE FESTIVAL
Lost Village is this quirky impressive festival in the middle of some woods in Lincolnshire. I’m not really sure what to expect, but my cousin went last year and it sounds amazing. Dress up is encouraged, as is letting go and just exploring the woods to discover impromptu theatre, pop up DJ sets and HOT TUBS. So cool. Lost Village takes place over a festival in May, which will then be followed the very next day by…

SLAM DUNK
One of my favourite not-so-low-key music festivals is Slam Dunk. I’d always wanted to go but never really went until recently and since then have been for two years running (this year will be my third). It’s awesome because it’s really up my street in terms of music and I’ve seen so many different bands over just one day for such a cheap ticket. In past years I’ve seen The All American Rejects, You Me At Six, The Ataris, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus… it’s always a nice day with lots of sunshine, lots of drinks and lots of friends.

This year I’ll be exhausted as it’s the day after Lost Village, but me and my friends have actually booked into a hotel for the night rather then navigating a way home, and I have the following day off work to recover luckily. This also means that outfit planning is a MUST.

IBIZA
IBIZA
BABY! Yeah, I’m surprised too. Ibiza doesn’t really seem like my scene
and if I’m honest, it’s never really appealed to me. But again, we found
a super awesome package deal, and since I’m not going to Mexico this
year, it’s the perfect opportunity to top up my tan. The deal includes
activities and entries to club throughout the week which is what makes
it really cheap and this even includes an awesome inflatable assault
course in the sea on the Monday. YAY! Also it’s generally quite cheap –
for Ibiza – but expensive for a general holiday. But that’s because we
decided that if we’re only gonna do Ibiza once in our lives (well I am)
we might as well go all out. So we’ve booked into a studio overlooking
the pool at Ibiza Rocks hotel! Fun times. Party hard. Yay.
VENICE
My bestie also got a deal from her mum for Christmas for a few nights in either Rome or Venice and of course, has decided to take me! Eek! She’s picked Venice (great choice) and we just have to book the flights. This will be perfect for a girly city-break towards the end of this year and I can’t wait.
…no wonder I’m so skint all the time!

On top of all this, hopefully I’ll get away with work this year and there’s always room for little jaunts and adventures here and there when I’m driving of course. I think it’s important to fill your life with things to look forward to, whether it’s holidays in the sun or mid week breaks with the friends you love the most.

What are you looking forward to this year? Let me know!

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For this week, I didn’t really feel like I needed to do a weekly shop, as some of my meal plans from last week I’d skipped out on and I still had a lot in the cupboards. So my food diary is kind of bland and varied this week I’m afraid!

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DAY FIFTEEN – FRIDAY 15TH

Today for lunch I just threw together a light salad, as I knew I’d be having a somewhat filling dinner that night. I decided to make dinner for my friends and although the kitchen was a tip afterwards, it just about managed to be a success. For starters we had stuffed mushrooms, and for main, homemade vegan pizza, homemade onion rings (which didn’t have much flavour) and pizza express doughballs with my own vegan substituted butter. Afters was vegan ice cream bought by a friend!

Now, looking back afterwards, I’ve noticed that doughballs (in the restaurant, anyway) list milk/dairy as an ingredient, but the ones from Tesco do not. I think had I checked this before hand, I wouldn’t have risked it. I’d checked the ingredients for the ones I bought from Tesco, but never thought to check with Pizza Express directly. I mean, essentially it’s the same doughballs by the same company, right?

But I went by the ingredients of the ones I used so hopefully I should be okay.

Dinner was nice overall. It was lovely to cook for friends, an actual challenge for me, and definitely nice doing something different to going out and getting drunk.

DAY SIXTEEN – SATURDAY 16TH

Today, after a lovely lie in, I attempted mushrooms on toast again, this time using the actual toaster for the bread. Success! It was really nice!

For dinner, I headed into town with a friend for dinner and a few drinks, and had a vegetable curry at The Whitehouse. This was lovely, bar a bit spicy, and it was definitely nice to go back to a comfort food.

DAY SEVENTEEN – SUNDAY 17TH
TODAY I WAS SO HUNGOVER. It was horrible. Somehow, a couple of glasses of wine the previous night turned into, er, well, more like a few bottles. I’m really not liking the whole drinking thing so much lately. It’s really lovely when it’s sociable, but I hate drinking too much, making a fool of myself and spending all day hungover. I’m getting too old for this.

When I finally found my stomach settled enough to eat, I made a delicious creamy, mushroomy kind of pasta thing, but by the time I’d had two bites I was full up. NO FAIR. I’ll definitely try making it again though…

DAY EIGHTEEN – MONDAY 18TH
I’d thrown some fresh tomato and basil pasta together the previous night for lunch today but found myself too tired to make the sauce. Alas, lunch was filling but rather bland.

On Sunday, my nan had come round to make a vegetable curry with me so this was my dinner tonight, with plain rice and a plain naan too. This was super filling and yummy and I must remember to grab the recipe from her so that I can make it again.   

DAY NINETEEN – TUESDAY 19TH
I went back to a boring lunch today, a cheese and onion sandwich and a packet of crisps.  But for dinner I made mushroom risotto which was super yummy and again, a new recipe for me! And…that’s about it for Tuesday!

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DAY TWENTY – WEDNESDAY 20TH
Today for lunch I had risotto left over from yesterday, which was a nice, filling and warm lunch. Lately, I’ve becoming a bit more forward planning with my food, thinking about what things can be made easily or perhaps other recipes that are less basic but that I can make enough of to last me for lunch the next day.

Is this what being an adult is?!

The past few days I’ve skipped breakfast because I just haven’t had the energy to try something new (not that I had anything in the cupboards anyway) and jam on toast was getting a bit repetitive.

I think again, the hardest part has been breakfast. Personally, I haven’t found much variety for breakfasts and none that can be put together anyway – I never leave myself enough time in the morning for anything but a quick bite of toast. However, I think this is a lesson I’ll be taking with me once this month is over – having more of a variety of breakfast and making sure I get up early enough to sit down and eat it properly to start my day off right.

Health wise, I haven’t felt a massive improvement other then the sense that some days I look in the mirror and think my tummy is a tad more flat/my waist a bit more defined. This didn’t happen a lot beforehand but likewise there’s been a couple of days when I’ve felt I looked a bit thinner the day before and less so the following day.

It might be my imagination but I do think perhaps it’s been where I’ve been having energy drinks or packets of crisps – my best friend had commented that since started this all, I looked less bloated (as opposed to losing weight). I didn’t even think I got bloated, but that would mean a lot in all honesty.

It makes sense that the fatty foods that aren’t so bad for me didn’t necessarily make me put on a lot of weight, but the bloating may be the answer to why I used to notice a subtle difference on a day to day basis.

Hmm. Food for thought – and definitely motivation to stick at it all.

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