So, after taking part in Veganuary
this year, you might be wondering what’s next for me following this challenge – aka will I be/have I stayed vegan.
Well, the short answer is no.
No, I haven’t stayed vegan. As anyone would (except for maybe those who had gone veggie first and transitioned into it), I found going vegan hard and did miss meat. Not as much as I thought I would, but I think what I missed most was the home comforts.
I missed Friday night curries with my dad and my brother (and sometimes other family members) – a tradition that had been in our family for years. I missed my dad’s roast dinners – trust me, you haven’t had a proper roast dinner till you’ve had one made by my dad. His roast potatoes are to die for. And, finally, I missed pizza.
Not really a home comfort, but I do love a pepperoni pizza every now and then as a treat to myself or when I’m feeling down.
What did I not miss? Pretty much everything else!
I mean I missed proper cheese and that, but I found with my vegan cheese I wasn’t really missing out on much. My dad bought a KFC the other day and I’ve discovered I’ve gone off KFC completely. McDonalds I’m in too minds about – I did miss it, but not as much as I thought I would and it’s not as nice as I remembered.
And how has it affected me, eating ‘normally’ again?
Well physically I don’t feel much different, but I’ve noticed I am bloated more again and I do feel more groggy after eating lots. As in, when I had a big hearty vegan meal, even if I felt stuffed, I felt…ok. But when I pigged out after Maccy D’s the other day, I’d eaten way too much and felt sick. Maybe it’s just that I’d eaten more, but the general gist of it is that I definitely felt better in myself eating vegan foods.
So what now?
Well, the general plan was always to take a month off to stuff my face with all my favourite foods to congratulate myself for lasting that long. I’m so proud of myself.
But, the easier being vegan got and the better I began to feel in myself, the more I was tempted to carry on.
So, I’ve decided to kind of be a half vegan.
I haven’t quite worked out the complete plan yet but generally I’m leaning towards maybe just eating meat at weekends, or now and again. The only thing I’m worried about is wanting to eat a bit of meat during lunchtimes at work – a ham and tomato sandwich for example, or some salami in a wrap. I struggled a lot with thinking of different lunchtime ideas that were vegan, so this is something I’ll have to look into more.
I do feel that by incorporating a vegan diet into my lifestyle as much as possible, I’m still doing good.
Before all this, I thought vegans were really strict. They’re not. To be vegan is to try but to be accepting if you accidentally eat a bit of chicken in what you think is vegetable spring rolls (*raises hand slowly* that will teach me not to read packaging properly). It’s about trying to incorporate a healthy and vegan diet into your lifestyle as much as possible, but not being so strict that, if you’re finding it hard and end up giving in for a chicken nugget or whatever, it doesn’t automatically mean you have FAILED and you’re a bad human being.
Basically, if your intentions are good, your still doing a hell of a lot better than most.
I read this fab post explaining it and found myself agreeing completely – and feeling less bad about my decision.
So, in conclusion, Veganuary has taught me a lot by myself and a lot
of it will stay with me. I’ll be incorporating a mostly vegan diet still (perhaps 85%), but, long term, looking to introduce being vegan back into my life completely.
And I’ll without a doubt be doing Veganuary again next year.
What do you think? Would you ever consider being a ‘part time’ vegan? Let me know!
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