I have found sticking to vegan to be a pretty straightforward process. Because I eat a mainly vegetarian diet anyway, I don’t miss or crave the meat. Eggs I have missed now and again. Butter has been replaced with vegan spread, and I don’t love either, so that was simple. I have given up yoghurt, which I miss. Soy yoghurt tastes like cardboard to me and the popular brands contain all sorts of weird additional ingredients. Finally there is milk. There is one simple place that I have missed my milk: tea.
In order to overcome that I’ve switched to drinking white tea, which is pretty nice to drink (it’s not a British cuppa, but it’ll do). And I have the bonus added side effect of less caffeine, which has definitely helped my restless leg syndrome at night.
So all in all, no problemo.
Now I’m half way through, here are some downsides:
I am not sure that I am really eating any healthier. In fact, I think I might be eating less healthily than I was.
This is because the program (which we have loosely followed) relies on lots of shop-bought items, such as oven chips, veggie burgers, all different kinds of breads, and all different kinds of vegan substitutes (fake meat, milk, butter, yoghurt, eggs, etc). I have an intense distrust of fake foods, so have avoided many of them simply because I find them distasteful and would, for example, rather not eat meat at all than have fake meat. The amount of bread and carbs in general that I eat has gone up hugely over the last two weeks, and I am not feeling great about it. Shop-bought tortillas, and other breads, contain many dubious ingredients that I think we should keep out of our bodies. Before eating vegan I would have made salads, or had lots of boiled veg with feta, goats cheese, or sometimes meat, but instead I am eating carb-heavy options such as chips and tortillas with beans. Salads (for me) need something protein-based to make them into a good meal, but beans (which I have never really liked that much) just don’t do it for me 🙁
I am definitely not looking or feeling any better than I was before I started
I’ve had some bad problems with my skin breaking out – which I’ve attributed to vast amounts of dark chocolate. Not only that, but my eczema has been getting progressively worse.
Despite lots of veg and green smoothies, I think the high carb load I’m eating is really affecting me in a negative way. My eczema itches so much at night it is driving me crazy and no amount of cream seems to help. My skin has just been terrible this month too. In fact, my skin is so bad that I haven’t told many people I’m eating vegan because I’m worried they will look at me and think I am crazy because it is clearly not doing me any good!!
I haven’t weighed in, but I don’t think my weight has changed at all (unlike my husband who has lost almost 5lb since we started).
I am going to try to reduce the carbs over the next two weeks, but in all honesty I think it is carbohydrates that are keeping me full and on-track. Without them maybe I’d be turning to meat, eggs or cheese to fill me up.
So, overall, I’m really not in love with this way of eating.
The nitty-gritty food diary:
Muesli, strawberries, oat milk. Tea w/oat milk.
Green smoothie: mango, spinach, grape.
Peanut butter sandwich with vegan spread. Grapes. Tea w/oat milk
Home made mushroom curry, poppadoms, homemade peshwari nan, mango chutney
Muesli, banana, oat milk. Tea w/oat milk.
Banana. White tea.
Covent garden soup (roasted tomato). Homemade bread with vegan spread. Grapes. Decaf coffee w/coconut cream.
Pasta, jar of sauce, chilli powder, spinach, mushrooms, tofu.
Headache all day. Terrible.
Pains in abdomen (back and front of lower ribs). Skin looking slightly better now I’ve stopped dark choc. Eczema really itching.
Green smoothie: spinach, cucumber, lime, pineapple, strawberries, water. White tea.
1.5 bananas, cashews and raisins
Chips and pitta and humus at pub, J2O apple mango drink.
White tea. Large handful raisins.
Courgette, mushroom, tofu, pepper, rice noodles, wagamama chilli stir fry sauce.
Headach mild today. Still pain at bottom of ribs all round. Eczema playing up in night, really itching.
Slept a bit better last night. Less restless.
Green smoothie: Pineapple, spinach, lime, grapes. Wholemeal home made bread, vegan spread, marmalade. White tea.
Covent garden soup (tomato and roasted pepper), Wholemeal home made bread, vegan spread. Large mango.
White tea. 2 dark choc mint crisps
Mushroom, onion, pepper, black beans. Fajita spice. Pitta bread. Home made guacamole, tortilla chips.
Last night best nights sleep in weeks.
Muesli, strawberries, banana, almond milk. White tea.
White tea. 2 x darkchoc mint crisps
Covent garden soup (tomato and roasted red pepper), home made bread and vegan spread. Grapes. Granola bar. Berry tea.
Extra large green smoothie: spinach, carrot, cucumber, 1/2 pineapple, water and almond milk. 4 crackers.
A lovely sundried tomato and spinach risotto (no cheese or butter!).