Today will be my last day for a month eating foods which include; milk, eggs and meat. From tomorrow I shall be taking part in Veganuary – a month long soiree in becoming a hard and fast vegan.
I have to say I’m quite excited and optimistic about Veganuary. I found out about it at work one day and thought, hell why not?! After all being vegetarian is a diet I am actively heading towards. Being a vegan for a month will hopefully ingrain that better way of eating.
However, before having even started this challenge I have been quite surprised by such negativity and the downright opinionated comment’s I’ve been receiving. Considering it’s my choice to do this (I am, by most accounts an adult), and the fact I’ve not made any huge announcements about it, the vegan/meat diet opinions have been flying about with zeal.
I’ve not entered into debate. I thought it better to actually experience being a vegan, and arm myself with intelligent, evidence based facts before slaying anyone. Not that it should be like that.
This isn’t a diet competition and I’m certainly not going to start waving my vegan flag because this isn’t an easy journey, nor should it be taken lightly.
Everyone is of course free to eat what they want. I am a meat eater. A paleo fan. In the past I’ve probably eaten a herd of cows a year (if not more). Eating meat was not only expected of me but it was relished.
But now, I feel like I know better (both in my heart and my mind).
Reasons why I am going vegan in January and heading towards becoming a vegetarian:
- Aside from the brutality of actually eating another mammal; which I do because packaged meat is disjointed (excuse the pun) from the poor animal that I (don’t) recognise in a supermarket. Being so far removed from farms, slaughter houses and killing I constantly forget the pain and suffering of the animal, but if I was in a position to do it myself I would rather starve than take the life of another being. That in itself makes eating meat absolutely senseless to me and yet I still eat meat.
- Secondly the health benefits of eating meat have been quashed on far too many occasions now. Science has proved (numerous times), and without a shadow of a doubt, that taking meat/fish out of your diet will not only stop cancer, bring down heart disease and make you live longer, but that this nonsense about vitamin deficiency can be cleared up instantly by taking a vitamin pill or ensuring (like any diet) you get a whole based diet. It’s not eating fish that gives you the magic omega nutrients, it’s the food they eat and consume which hold the real nutrients (micro algae etc).
- Then there is of course factory farming, a process of rearing animals on an intense scale because the margin between giving an animal space and the profit you can make from it is just too small, with the population it has to feed
- Meat and fish, free range, grass fed is expensive and I can’t afford it. When eating meat I cannot eat anything but that because how else will I know what I’m eating?
- Just because I’ve always eaten meat doesn’t mean I have to keep eating meat.
- Just because I love the smell of bacon, or the taste of steak doesn’t mean I can’t change what is essentially just habits.
- Finally when people say “you shouldn’t do that” my first thought is always “hell yes, I am!”.
So with all that stupidness out of the way I’m left to concentrate on how exactly I’m going to get through the next 31 days without milk chocolate…
Before I start this challenge I wanted to see just what my starting point is so I have something to measure against come 31st January.
Here are my vital stats:
- Weight: 142Ibs (I’m not even going there)
- General health: Good, no major illness or problems
- Current fitness: Good, 1 x sprints per week, 2 x dumb bell work outs per week, 5 x walks per week. Also running with Mouse quite a bit!
- Sleep pattern: Approx 8hrs (depends how much exercise I’ve had and how much is going on in my head)
- Overall energy levels: Okay, although can vary (if anyone is iron deficient it would be me, as have suffered in the past. I do take a high iron tablet anyway (and that’s with serious red meat addiction, go figure). I get severe energy slumps mid afternoon. Also too much exercise can bring on delayed muscle soreness which in turn depletes my energy levels.
So having bought most of the contents from my local health shop, armed with a list of good meal ideas, and conversing with a community of like minded folk I feel ready to go.
I don’t have many health expectations over the next 31 days other than to avoid hunger pangs, cope with chocolate cravings without killing someone, and finding a good enough substitute for butter. Everything else experienced will be a surprise.
My one major concern will be putting weight on due to an increased uptake of carbs, (especially granulated sugar), so I’ll keep an open mind on that one.
I’ll keep you updated and let you know how I’m getting on.
Oh by the way – every time some one states that I will clearly be ‘deficient’ (in some way of another), if I don’t eat meat, over the next 31 days, I will put £1 aside. At the end I will donate however much I’ve collected to a local charity. I’ve already got £5 and I haven’t even started yet 😉
Wishing all my lovely readers a very Happy, peaceful, joyful New Year
Cover photo courtesy of Brisbane Falling
Well done! If you get a serious milk chocolate craving try finding some Vego bars, they are soooo good and just like milk whole nut chocolate bars 🙂
Thank you very much, I shall check out those bars. I have managed to get some vegan chocolate from H&B and it doesn’t taste too bad at all!
I think this is a great idea. I currently eat meat but can’t afford organic/free range. I would like to follow plant-based wholefood diet. There are some great blogs out there with wonderful recipies. I particularly like my new roots.
I’m looking forward to following your month.
Thank you Jo, I think so too. It’s always worth giving these things a go just to see if they work.
I also like another one called Zen Habits, which leads onto a ‘7 day Vegan‘ website.
Will let you know how I get on. Thanks for reading the post.
Wow! I think it’s wonderful that you’re going there. I’ve been seriously considering vegetarianism (less strict that vegan) and just reading about your venture into Veganuary (love it!) has me looking at starting out the new year with a vegetarian diet. What you’re doing IS a great challenge! Please give us frequent updates.
That’s very kind of you to say. I think you heading towards vegetarianism is very commendable because you’re already food/animal aware. Good luck with it and will be looking out for your updates! 🙂
Thank you Sir 🙂
Good for you! There are so many products these days that make it easier to be vegan than it has been in the past. You’re right though, milk chocolate will be the hardest to do without. Happy New Year — Sandy
Happy New Year to you Sandy. I shall certainly give it my best shot. At the moment (7th), the end of January is looking quite a way off! But I shall keep you posted 🙂
Yay! I am so excited for you. I have been Vegan for a year now and my only regret is that I didn’t become Vegan sooner! If you ever need any support or would like some book or recipe suggestions please feel free to reach out to me. I have a lot of Vegan recipes posted on my Pinterest board “What if there isn’t food in our next life?” I have made some of them and always comment on the recipes I make. I can tell you I have not lost any weight but my husband (who also went Vegan) has lost 25 pounds. I feel great, though, and I am certain my cholesterol and blood pressure have gone down. I exercise more and have recently began running – I must have more energy! The best thing I can tell you is that I feel really happy and blessed – that may sound weird – but I believe it is because I am not participating in the cruelty of meat and dairy industries. I consider myself much more fortunate since becoming Vegan. I am so happy you are trying Veganuary! All the best for you.
Thank you very much for all your kind words. Apologies in my delayed response to you but your comments are very much appreciated.
Good luck! I second the Vego bar rec, and if you don’t feel like nuts the Organica rice milk chocolate bars are the smoothest alternative to milk chocolate I’ve found so far (they are very sweet though!). You can also always make a nice hot chocolate with the non-dairy milk of your choice, that sometimes hits the spot.
i’m supporting you on this one. i have cleaner eating in my goals as well. my reasons are more towards (actually) getting better fitness with high alkaline diets (fruits, greens, whole foods) and contributing to better environment. I just found out animal agriculture is the major culprit of Greenhouse effect, compared to fossil fuels from all transportation. Google ‘cowspiracy’.
Go for it! I’m veggie (though I do eat fish, so pescatarian really) and have been most of my life. Technically I would eat free range meats, but even if I could afford them, I’ve been veggie so long I just can’t get my head around the idea. I’m not sure I could do the vegan thing (I have enough trouble getting sufficient protein already and fear I haven’t patience for the extra effort it would require without fish and eggs), but there are plenty of reason’s to try it, if it appeals to you. I’m looking forward to reading about how you get on. Especially with the protein element, as you’re obviously fit and active and will need to find a fair bit of it from somewhere. I might get some ideas! 🙂
Pingback: Veganuary – Conclusions | The Forget-me-Not Cultivation Blog·