Tigerlilly Quinn: A month of vegan

Friday, 31 January 2014

A month of vegan

It feels like just the other day when I announced I was doing vegan January. I had planned to update you along the way with how I was getting on, recipes etc..but somehow it just became so normal that I kind of forgot most of the time I was doing anything different.

Admittedly the first week or so I really did miss cheese. I used to eat cheese at least once a day, in fact in university I used to have grated cheese on noodles so much was my addiction. Once I'd got my head around not adding cheese to most of my meals then I think half the battle was over. We found ourselves eating a lot of thai and indian food as well as plenty of wraps, roasted veg, stir fries etc. The problem I didn't foresee was that most meat substitutes are not vegan so my go-to meals of veggie sausages, chicken pieces etc were out the window. It wasn't until a few weeks in did I find lots of vegan friendly substitutes (in our local grocery store hurrah!). I spend a good few days getting slightly addicted to vegan fish fingers!


In terms of health I do feel 'lighter' and less sluggish. As a veggie I led a pretty healthy diet anyway so I think perhaps I didn't see a dramatic change that I may have if I was living a high fat diet. My skin is certainly a lot fresher and brighter, I've noticed less dark circles under my eyes which is often attributed to diary. I never weigh myself so I have no idea if my weight has changed but I don't feel like my clothes are any looser so I don't think so (this was not the goal anyway so no issues there).

Living in Bristol it is really easy to eat out as a vegan as the city is full of veggie and vegan cafes or places with such options (especially in the area I live in). There have been a couple of occasions when I've been at a cafe and the only option was soup though, and once after a walk I found myself drinking black coffee as my family tucked into delicious looking cakes (that was hard!).


The main thing I've realised after this month is that I've felt a weight lifted off me in terms of my own morals. I've struggled for a long time with not agreeing with the dairy industry but not really putting any of those feelings into actions. A kind reader did inform me of Cow Nation which is a site you can buy diary products from in the knowledge that the cows will be allowed to live out their natural lives and with their calves too. I think this is an excellent idea for people who still want to eat diary and something I might look into in the future. There is also Egg Nation where we are going to buy our eggs from now on. I was really surprised to hear that even free range organic hens only have a laying age of 68 days before they are killed.

I'm not quite ready to call myself a vegan as I think it would be hypocritical (I still wear leather and wool - although you can buy vegan wool clothing here ) . For the most part though I'm really happy to carry on living a largely vegan lifestyle where convenient (e.g if I find myself in a situation where the only non meat option if veggie and not vegan I will go for the veggie option). We will carry on not drinking dairy and look into cow nation for cheese and certainly egg nation for eggs (they are really not that much more expensive than organic).

I hope that in the future I will actually become a fully fledged vegan ;) but I feel like this is a good place to start!

p.s I just remembered I had discovered vegan wool brand Izzy Land before and wrote about them here a while back!

p.p.s I wrote about some horrible practises regarding wool here and some shops that have pledged to avoid them.

22 comments:

BavarianSojourn said...

That all looks delicious, and I love the idea of cow nation...

Natasha said...

I'm happy it went so well for you. Cow Nation and Egg Nation sound like great ideas and I'd definitely have bought from them if they were here. We have a friend with chickens and we get eggs from her every now and then. Actually only twice so far. I wish we had more vegan options at restaurants in my town because that's the only really difficult part for me.

Polly Davies said...

Well done!! I'm trying to cut down on how much cheese I eat {um... grated cheese on noodles is so good!!} I only eat eggs from our hens, as I know they are well looked after even after they have stopped laying ha!! Off to look at cow nation now...

Polly Davies said...

p.s... those meals all look delicious

laura redburn said...

well done you! and mm, that wrap looks tasty.

Lia Billimore said...

It's good that it became the norm so quickly! I found it quite tough & i don't eat dairy really anyway (except eggs!), and only chicken! :)

Life With The Crew said...

Go you! Thanks for addressing issues that most people choose to turn a blind eye to. I consider myself a pretty aware consumer and animal rights activist, but I have never heard of mulesing. I will now look at all of my loving woolen items a bit differently. I guess that is why supporting small local farmers, for wool to knit with, as well as for growing our food, is very important to do. Thanks for sharing those links. Cow Nation is awesome!
lifewiththecrew.typepad.com

Jess@AlongCameCherry said...

I cannot even begin to imagine what vegan fishfingers taste like! I mentioned the other day that I cut out dairy for ages, I discovered basil flavoured tofu which was a lot harder than normal tofu and tasted delish, it was amazing cut into cubes on top of pasta to replace cheese. There was also a make of vegan biscuit's called Nana's, they were America and me and my sister were addicted. They did a peanut butter one which was the most amazing thing I've ever eaten, I still get cravings for them now but they don't sell them here anymore due to the high fat content (from oil). BUGGER! I never weigh myself either, and I totally get what you mean about it making you feel 'lighter'. I could really do with losing the dark circles under my eyes but just don't think I could cut out dairy again, not least because with everyone else eating it I would have to spend even more money on food! x

Adele Jarrett-Kerr said...

Thanks for mentioning Cow Nation and Egg Nation. As you know, I have serious issues with standard dairy farming practices so I'm going to have to look into this. Although, perhaps we should just go dairy-free since Laurence has to be, anyway! I guess what scares me is having to do a cheese free life for a toddler who doesn't eat much of any other protein. She eats eggs and dhal though and maybe she'd branch out more if cheese just wasn't an option.... Hmm...

Indah Nuria Savitri said...

looks delicious! and healthy too for sure...good luck with that and with my food combining, I've been trying to reduce my protein consumption, particularly dairy products ...cheers from Indonesia..

fritha strickland said...

thanks Indah! x

fritha strickland said...

it's tricky isn't it. I know that Wilf could be raised vegan and be just as healthy/healthier with a balanced diet but like T he does like cheese and yogurt and they are really easy go-to's. Annoyingly Cow Nation seem to be out of stock at the min but I will report back just as soon as I make an order! x

fritha strickland said...

try them! Tom says they must have made a break though in 'fish less fish technology' they really are good! I've never heard of that tofu! I need to try it! The peanut butter thing sounds amazing! Yes it's tricky if you're not all eating the same for sure, Tom pretty much went vegan too but I don't think he would want to continue dairy free (he is pretty much veggie though) x

fritha strickland said...

thanks for saying that! I know it's awful isn't it, but good to hear a fair few high streets won't sell them. It's all so tricky, I keep discovering more and more things I should be avoiding and sometimes you can only do what you can! xx

fritha strickland said...

I think maybe I didn't really eat eggs so much anyway, it was just the cheese issue! x

fritha strickland said...

I would so love hens of our own but our garden it too tiny, so jealous! x

fritha strickland said...

I wish we had neighbours with chickens (or even a garden big enough of our own). That's so tricky when their isn't options isn't it! x

Polly Davies said...

I know people who have them in tiny spaces, they just have a small run... tbh I wouldn't like them cooped up at all... mine have the free run of the bottom half of our gardens {and next doors unused garden!!}

Wild & Grizzly said...

Those wraps looks delicious, I think it's a good idea to try and have a few of these days a month for us as it would really mix up our eating habits x

Globalmouse said...

Well done for a month of going vegan! I would love to do it too and do often think about it...but cake could definitely be a problem!! That wrap looks amazing though...I'd love to know what you put in that...do you have the recipe anywhere?!

Adele Jarrett-Kerr said...

I've decided to try going without milk and cheese as it's silly buying them when Laurence can't eat them anyway. I've used the last of the cheese this morning to give Talitha a sandwich to take to her childminder's and after that I'm going to have to try to get her to accept other fillings! We're going to keep yoghurts though as it's just a great way for both of us to get our probiotics and a quick thing for me to give her. Looking forward to your report back. :)

Natasha said...

I'd love to have some chickens one day, but travelling is difficult enough with 3 dogs already. I made a really amazing cashew feta the other day. Alone it's not that convincing, but it a spinach "feta" pie it tasted exactly like the real thing. It's the recipe from the Mouthwatering Vegan cookbook.

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