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Vegan Challenge Reflections

cous cous and chickpea salad

As you probably know, I was doing my one-week vegan challenge last week and it’s time to report back! Basically, its been a great experience that I would absolutely recommend to anyone. I had been expecting it to be really hard, but it’s been SO easy. I made my plan of what I was going to eat for the week and I stuck to it without any problems. As I said at the beginning, my main objective of the week was to get back into cooking stuff from scratch with fresh ingredients which has definitely worked! It was an absolute joy for me to be making all this delicious food and I felt so much better for it.

I ate a lot less in the last week than I usually do, and I never felt hungry. Usually, whenever I am on an eat less drive I am completely starving all the time, not so much because I’m actually hungry, but because psychologically I’m depriving myself. But this last week, nothing. I only had one tiny little wobble on Thursday night watching the Masterchef final, when they had a shot of somebody pouring cream into a pan that made me go ‘hhhhm, cream’ but apart from that I didn’t really miss diary products and eggs at all.

However, I have decided that I can’t commit to being a proper vegan, all the time. There are things I know I’ll miss eventually (mashed potato with butter or cheese sauce for example) and I do eat out a lot, its one of my life’s greatest pleasures, and most restaurants simply make no provisions for vegans. Much as I’d like to, I’m not the one to make them change, and neither am I ready to give up eating out.

What I will do though, is maintain some of the changes in my diet I made as a result of the challenge, particularly making humous and baba ganoush for my work lunches to last me the week on a Sunday night, instead of relying on the cheese sandwiches Dave makes. I also prefer soy milk to normal milk on my morning oats. And I’ve yet to try vegan baking, so that’s something to look forward to. It’ll be interesting to see how I incorporate a slight vegan focus into my everyday life once I stop thinking about it consciously.

Strangely, given what I’ve said above about eating less, I haven’t lost any weight. Well, I’ve lost a kilo, but I fluctuate that up or down all the time anyway, so it’s nothing out of the ordinary. I can only put it down to the fact that I am the weight I have been for most of the last 7 years without doing anything, and this is obviously the weight my body wants me to be.

Finally, just to say thank you to Naomi Rose and Diana for the inspiration and advice!

Edit for those interested in what meals I actually cooked. I don’t have recipe links for all of them, but a bit of googling should provide plenty of options. There are millions of vegan blogs out there full of ideas, and the BBC food website is always a treasure trove of information and inspiration.

So there you go:
* Humous
* baba ganoush
* Homemade veggie sausage hot dogs
* Cauldron veggie sausages with roast potatoes and veg
* Ramen soup
* Spicy pumpkin soup
* Tarka Dal
* Spinach curry (based on this Spinach and Paneer recipe, but without the paneer or milk and without liquidising the spinach)
* Miso soup and veggie sushi
* Vegetable chilli
* Chickpea and cous cous salad
* Carrot and coriander soup


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • The Small Fabric Of My Life 27 October 2009, 7:30 pm

    An interesting experiment. Do you have a list of the meals?

  • Eyeliah 27 October 2009, 9:42 pm

    Glad it went well, something I should consider one of these days.

  • Oranges And Apples 27 October 2009, 9:52 pm

    Jane, I'll add an edit with the list of meals tomorrow. A few of them are made up or from recipe books though.

  • Diana 28 October 2009, 6:02 am

    This sounds like it went really great! There are substitutes here for vegan cheeses and creams but I'm not sure if they have that in Germany. Now, when I go out to eat, I bring my own cheese 🙂
    SO happy for you!

  • Naomi Rose 28 October 2009, 1:05 pm

    How did I only just see this?! I'm so happy with the results that you had, and some of the stuff you made I've never made! Totally going to try the recipes! x