guacamole

Week One, Following a Vegan Diet

So, welcome to my week one update on my newly adopted vegan diet! I can’t believe I am actually doing it – I am so proud of myself!

EVERYONE seems to be shocked when I tell them I’m now vegan. Their reactions tend to be similar to The Scream painting, followed by mutterings of ‘is she really going to do the whole month?!’. Actually, I’m really finding it an absolute breeze so far.

First of all, let’s talk food. Everyone thinks vegans eat lettuce and only lettuce and are going to starve themselves. NOT TRUE. I may only be in week one, but I’ve got plenty of food to eat! As I eat fairly healthily anyway, my actual meals haven’t been much different to my norm – I’m just having slightly larger portion sizes to make up for the lack of a grilled chicken breast in my salad. Instead of reaching for the (more than) occasional chocolate bar, I’m reaching for an apple or some melon instead.

Here’s some meal suggestions that I’ve tried, tested and loved so far this week. Let me know if you would like me to post any full recipes, as these are all so quick and easy to make!

Breakfast

  • Porridge with soya milk
  • Fruit salad

Lunch

  • Bagel with homemade guacamole
  • Bagel with jam and banana
  • Tomato and vegetable pasta

Dinner

  • Rice noodle stir fry with broccoli, sweet corn, carrot, cucumber and spring onion with sweet chilli sauce
  • Quinoa salad with beetroot, sweetcorn, spinach and mixed beans

The lovely Samantha over at Vertese has also been giving me some super helpful tips. Did you know that cinnamon helps you stay fuller for longer?! I’m not a massive fan of cinnamon but I’ve been sprinkling it on my porridge as and when I can remember and it does seem to be doing the trick – I’m not hungry until about 4 hours after eating! Result! I’m going to experiment more with cinnamon over the next few weeks, I’ll keep you guys in the loop!

There is a massive preconception that being vegan or eating healthily is expensive. Let’s just get to the truth here – IT’S NOT! My normal weekly shop comes to around £35 for two people, plus a few lunches. My weekly shop this week cost £40… that is only £5 difference! AND we’re actually making more packed lunches, so in the long run it is probably cheaper! Eating healthily for cheap can be done. We had our shop delivered from ASDA, but I might try out some other supermarkets to see how they differ.

So, now I’ve actually gone vegan, has it been worth it so far? I’ve been keeping a little food and mood diary to track my eating habits and see how this affects my body and wellbeing. So far, I’ve not really had anything negative to put! One massive change is that I don’t feel bloated and stuffed anymore. I had a really bad habit before of over eating, whereas now, even if I eat a slightly larger meal for dinner, it isn’t sitting on my stomach for hours after. My stomach looks a little flatter for this too, result! I’m not really noticing any changes in my energy levels yet, or any other physical changes, but I’m sure this is something that will probably take a little longer to kick in.

If you’re thinking of adopting a vegan lifestyle too, here are some tips that I hope will help you:

  • Just take the plunge and do it! For me, taking the leap to say ‘I’m going to commit to being vegan’ was actually the toughest part!
  • Don’t starve yourself of ‘cheat days’ – by this, I mean that there are plenty of foods to indulge in that are vegan friendly. It’s okay to enjoy a packet of crisps as part of a healthy, balanced diet – treat yourself with a weekend off! (Walkers Ready Salted & Salt and Vinegar are vegan friendly!)
  • Soya milk – ok not really a tip, but try it. I think it makes my porridge taste nicer!
  • Have some support – my boyfriend has been a star and has gone vegan too, to support me. It’s really helped and has completely removed any temptation. If you don’t have anyone willing to commit with you, maybe suggest to your parents or partner that you have a family vegan meal once a week? If not, even just moral support can be helpful. Tell your colleagues, get their backing (after all, you don’t want them accidentally putting cow’s milk in your coffee!)

Remember you can follow my journey with me across Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #VeganJodetopia – come and say hi! I’m sharing photos of my meals and all my highs and lows from this new lifestyle!

I’m so excited for what the rest of the month holds!

Jodie x