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

jodie-logo

Going vegan for the month

Here at Vertese®, we get to work with some great people. In today’s blog post, Jodie from Jodetopia shares her initial experience of embarking on a vegan diet for the month of February. She’ll be sharing hints, tips and challenging some common misconceptions about vegan diets and how Vertese are helping her learn about her bodies nutritional requirements.

photo of Jodie

Hi, I’m Jodie and I’m going to be adopting a vegan diet this February, and hopefully, sharing my experiences with you.

A face to the name

Let’s start off with a little bit about me, so you know the girl behind the coming few articles…

I’m 20 years old, live in Kent in England and work full time in property management (i.e. a world away from the blogosphere). I have a lovely little space on the internet where I blog about all things life, beauty and fashion. You can find me over at www.jodetopia.com or on Twitter @Jodetopia – feel free to pop over and say hi!

Saying goodbye to those food habits

Those who know me personally will be aware that although I try to eat healthily as much as I can, I am easily swayed, like many, by a good pizza or Mexican (I am literally obsessed with nachos). I’ve been toying with the idea of a vegan diet for a while now, as I really do think this is the best way for me to be the healthiest version of myself.

It’s partly psychological – the foods that sway me from my healthy eating are foods which cannot be consumed following a vegan diet. If I completely ban myself from eating these foods, I cannot even be tempted to eat them! You hear so many stories about how healthy vegans are so I really want to see if this dietary change lives up to the hype.

Getting on top of my health – will a vegan diet help?

I am generally quite a weak person – I pick up colds easily, I’m tired pretty much 90% of the time, I can sleep for England and there is normally something or other wrong with me. I think a lot of this is due to my diet, going back and forward between eating healthily and then binging on junk food the next week really cannot be doing me any favours. I’m really interested to see how this changes over February – will a vegan diet give me a new found energy? Will I be able to stay out past 11pm without needing a nap in the corner?

The facts that stood out to me

A lot of young people eat badly, and I think this is such a worrying factor of modern day life. Everywhere you go there are fast food restaurants or cake shops or advertisements of a juicy GBK burger. These companies are literally shoving all this bad food in our faces and essentially brainwashing us from a young age to think it’s OK to eat unhealthily. Have you ever noticed how next to many primary/secondary schools there’s a corner shop full of chocolates and crisps? They’re relying on children to spend their pocket money on sweets after school!

Did you know that in 2014, studies showed that 31.2% of children aged 2 to 15 were classed as either overweight or obese? How awful is that!

Away from the data and back to me

Although weight loss is not my primary reason for changing to a vegan lifestyle, I want to focus more on my internal health and mental wellbeing, I am hoping that I will see some weight loss too. I’ve recently had my contraceptive implant removed, and I should see a change in weight from this also. I’ve taken some rather unflattering ‘before’ photos of my body, in the hope that my ‘after’ photos will be much better – I’ll put them side by side at the end of the month as a big reveal!

I’m hoping that by adopting a vegan diet, not only will I become healthier, but I’ll also be able to show YOU, that eating healthily doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You won’t get sick and weak from cutting out meat. You won’t automatically become a tree hugging hippie (unless that’s your thing, in which case that’s totally cool).

Get the date in the calendar and join me on my journey

So, join me on my journey of being vegan. I started February 1st, and committing myself to the whole month of February. Will I continue after February? Well, it depends on the results I see! Follow my journey on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #VeganJodetopia and don’t forget to come and say hello!

Jodie x