In case you’re not already aware, I’m taking part in Veganuary for the third (or is it fourth?) year running. Having done it so many times before – and going full vegan for the entirety of my last relationship – I’m definitely finding it a lot easier this time around. That doesn’t mean it’s not without a few challenges but, overall, I’m so much more confident with what I’m doing now.

Here’s how my second week has gone. Catch up with my first week here.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Veganuary 2019 | Week One

DAY EIGHT – TUESDAY
I’m not going to lie – I can’t even remember exactly what I had for lunch or breakfast today but I’m pretty sure I had a cheese and onion sandwich. Man, I really need to mix up my lunch ideas. Dinner was horrible tonight. I planned to have stir-fry, but didn’t have the noodles in (I thought I’d ordered them with my online shop but obviously not!). So I put together a pre-made curry kit (all vegan might I add), but it didn’t taste very nice at all and I somehow got hot sauce in my eye when opening the packet; so not a huge success I must admit!

DAY NINE – WEDNESDAY
On Wednesday, I actually had time have breakfast at home for once, so this was avocado on toast! I can make it at work too, of course, but I rarely ever get up early enough to eat at home. Lunchtime was exciting though as I finally got a chance to try the Gregg’s vegan sausage roll! It was delicious and I was very impressed. Three different people were waiting for them to be cooked whilst I was there and loads of people we’re talking about it in the queue. I love that it’s got people talking. After work, I headed over to see the guy I’m seeing and he made me a vegan stir fry! It was delicious and I was really pleased; he wouldn’t even let me help and made the entire thing by himself. He’s a full-on meat lover and back before Christmas even offered to eat vegan with me every time he saw me in January which I thought was lovely. I told him he didn’t have to do that, but it’s nice that he still made a bit of effort. I think my veganism has rubbed off on him however as since then he’s told me his New Year’s resolution is to cut down on meat and dairy! So that made me really happy – every little helps 😉

DAY TEN – THURSDAY
Today I had a smoothie for breakfast but lunch was pretty disappointing. We had a big meeting at work so my boss got in a platter of sandwiches from M&S…none of which were vegan, of course. I knew this would be the case, so I still made sure to make a sandwich for work (cheese and onion), and had some of the crisps she bought. Not very exciting or varied at all! For dinner tonight I really didn’t have much patience so just grabbed random bits of what was in the freezer – breaded mushrooms, a vegetable pattie, a falafel burger, chips and some vegetables. So random and uninspiring, but it did fill me up and made a bit more space in the freezer.

DAY ELEVEN – FRIDAY
By Friday, I was running out of quick and easy vegan snacks at home, so I literally just packed the most random bits for lunch again. I had a pear, some Chipstix crisps and a Nakd bar – so not much at all! On the way home though, I popped into Sainsbury’s to pick up the vegan katsu curry that everyone has been raving about and ended up buying so many different things from their new vegan range – I was very impressed! Friday night is curry night in the Joy household so I had my vegan katsu curry and just ordered some onion bahjis – a successful evening of yummy food, I would say.

DAY TWELVE – SATURDAY
Saturday – as always – was a bit of a lazy morning for me. I grabbed a quick bowl of cereal before running out to get some basics from ASDA – but I wasn’t too impressed. I struggled to find where everything was kept and they didn’t even have my favourite chocolate bar! I managed to pick up a similar one however. When I got home, I spent most of my afternoon and evening Marie Kondo’ing my room so I just shoved some veggie and mozzarella balls in the oven quickly. I’d picked these up from the new range from Sainsbury’s and had been craving them all day…but when they were ready, it became very clear to me that it was actual mozzarella inside and they weren’t vegan. I contemplated throwing them away and making something else, but I just didn’t have the motivation. I also knew throwing them away and letting them go to waste would be the worst thing, so I sucked it up and chalked it down to an honest mistake: these things happen.

DAY THIRTEEN – SUNDAY
Today I had cereal for breakfast before heading over to my sister’s for Sunday lunch. She did a roast, but I substituted meat for a Linda McCartney pie and still got to have all the veggies. It was nice being able to sit down and have food with everyone else, with just a few subtle swaps to make it vegan. I was worried that following my mistake yesterday, I would easily slip out of veganism like in previous years (it’s a slippery slope after that first mistake!), but I did well!

I also got in some bits and took the time to make a vegan food plan for next week today.

DAY FOURTEEN – MONDAY
For the halfway mark, I had another struggling day as I was out all day in London for work. Although we went to a lovely restaurant, there was only one vegan option available which I did not like and since my boss doesn’t understand veganism, kicking up a fuss or not even eating wasn’t an option. Still, I chose the healthiest options I could and vowed to add another day onto my month of Veganuary to make up for it.

This week I didn’t use a food plan and it didn’t make things too hard at all, I’d say the only thing I struggled with without a food plan was meal prep for work lunches and updating this blog post! So I’ve decided to try again for next week. I am aware that it takes a lot of time and effort – and is likely to change – but hopefully having it there to refer back to will ensure I make healthier and more fulfilling lunch choices.

Have you tried Veganuary? Are you eating less meat this January? Let me know!

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As you all know, I take on the challenge of Veganuary every year. I’ve been an on and off vegan for the last three or so years – but Veganuary is the one time I take it most seriously. I do it for many different reasons – of course for the animals and the environment – but I mainly do it because it makes me feel really healthy and good about myself, which is a great thing to see in the new year!

I have varied content coming up about eating vegan, but here is the first of week being an account/food diary of my first week.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Veganuary 2019 | Week One

DAY ONE – TUESDAY
209 calories over budget.
I’d picked up a few basic vegan bits in advance so my first day of being vegan was stress-free for once! I had avocado on toast for breakfast (of course!) and for dinner I’d grabbed the BBQ Butternut Mac from Tesco’s Wicked range. I can’t say I particularly liked this as the flavour just seemed a bit off to me. It’s a shame because I really love the range from Wicked, I think it’s a great way to grab vegan stuff on the go, if a little pricey. Luckily, I had some garlic ciabatta alongside it, which filled me up. Then for supper, avocado on toast again.

I also decided to try and list my food in my Fitbit app as much as possible this year – not just to help with putting together these posts, but also to get a better grip on what is and isn’t right with what type of foods I’m eating. Today, I was 209 calories over budget but didn’t beat myself up about it too much as I was still easing into the new year and suffering from a cold.

DAY TWO – WEDNESDAY
341 calories under budget.
Today was my first day back at work so I used what was left of my vegan basics and just made myself a cheese and onion sandwich. I was unable to sleep much the night before (due to my cold and having slept in so much over Christmas), so made a stop on the way to work to grab some energy drinks and apple puff pastries from Co-op for breakfast/a treat for the office. Despite this treat for breakfast, I still somehow ended up under budget!

I’d put in a Tesco online shop over the weekend so picked my shopping up this evening – I ended up with tons of vegan goodies and had put together a comprehensive meal plan. For dinner, I had the rest of yesterday’s garlic ciabatta, some roasted vegetables and my infamous vegan pizza – pesto, mushroom and cheese. It was delicious and an old familiar favourite.

DAY THREE – THURSDAY
On Thursday, my cold returned at full menace, just as I thought I was getting over it. I think I’d probably gone back to work too soon and I felt so horrid. I think I probably ate a total of five biscuits in work and that’s about it! I went out for my friend’s leaving do in the evening and though we went to Aqua in Milton Keynes who had tons of vegan stuff. I had focaccia bread for starters and risotto for main – both were really tasty and inexpensive too. Because I wasn’t feeling well and knew my eating habits would be off, I temporarily stopped logging food to my Fitbit today.

DAY FOUR – FRIDAY
Friday saw me having a busy day in the office so paired with my cold, this was another day where I didn’t eat much at all. My boss treated us all to fish and chips for lunch so I just had chips – however, she did bring me back a vegetable and ‘probably vegan’ spring roll. I had to eat it – I couldn’t say no – but for the most part, it seemed vegan. This perhaps counts as a small mishap, but not one I’m being myself up over as it wasn’t intentional.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Veganuary 2019 | Week One

DAY FIVE – SATURDAY
On Saturday, I still felt horrid. I stayed in bed all day, watching TV and playing video games – and I’m ashamed to say all I had to eat was a full pack of Oreos! Later on, I managed a small bowl of mushroom pasta. I just didn’t have any appetite and couldn’t taste anything so could barely manage anything other than that. In hindsight, I should have forced myself to eat something to have more energy because I felt weak for the entire weekend, but when you feel so unwell, you just don’t think about these things.

DAY SIX – SUNDAY
On Sunday, I still felt rough, but not as bad as the day before. My nose was still blocked but overall, I mostly had a stuffy head. I spent most of the morning and afternoon relaxing in bed then at dinner, Dad made a mini roast. I had what I could – roast potatoes and vegetables – then made a mushroom tart to have instead of meat. It was delicious and turned out a lot better than my previous one.

DAY SEVEN – MONDAY
I was still feeling a little rough from the previous night so didn’t overly plan or prep lunch for Monday, even though it was my longest day of the week and I knew I wouldn’t be arriving home till almost 10pm. For lunch, I had the leftover mushroom tart and some chipsticks – not a lot, but I still didn’t have an appetite. I also had a pear (trying to be healthy here!). Despite getting home late, I thought ahead to lunch the following day and decided to make a proper dinner that would allow me leftovers. I made Asian Garlic Tofu with green beans and rice – and it was so good, despite the kitchen being an entire mess after!

To conclude my first week of Veganuary, I have found everything so easy this time around. I have had so much experience doing this now that a lot of things I don’t think twice about – I have a set collection of failsafe recipes I always fall back on (and I haven’t even had stirfry this week!), and I’m much more confident about what products I can and can’t use. I’ve even been telling people how easy it all is!

The only things I’ve struggled with this time around is meal prep really; being unwell or having late nights have left me struggling to find something quick and easy to make when I’m not in the mood to cook. This means I’ve had more (vegan) junk food than I should have, whereas normally I’d be eating a lot more vegetables by now! However, now that I’m feeling better, I’m hoping next week will be different.

Would you ever try Veganuary? Let me know!

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