This January, Gareth and I decided to participate in ‘Veganuary’- i.e. go Vegan for a month. I don’t consume milk or eggs as part of my food intolerances anyway, so for me, it has all been about additionally eliminating meat. Gareth on the other hand, has had to cut out all animal products at once and he has been incredible!
There are a variety of reasons as to why I wanted to try Veganuary –
Firstly, I decided that in the New Year I was going to have at least 1 or 2 days every week that were completely meat free. This is purely a health decision, as I am learning how my body responds to different food. I wanted to challenge myself this January and see how my body responded to the change. It was also in an attempt to get myself to eat a larger variety of vegetables (which has definitely worked!).
During and after Christmas, I suffered with terrible stomach pain and eczema. I put it down to too much Turkey and Chocolate; therefore my body desperately needed to detox. I should also mention that this Christmas I took the plunge and had dairy in the form of a few quality streets. I am pleased to report that the small quantity didn’t have a horrendous effect; however I didn’t feel too brilliant for quite a while after. I wanted to begin testing my reactions to dairy/gluten/egg again and although I doubt I’ll ever put them back in my diet completely, it would be nice to be able to eat out without the worry. It was a positive step for me, in that I was brave enough to try it, but as I said, it definitely didn’t help my health and so I wanted to detox. For me, the best way to heal my body is to follow a plant-based diet. So far this month I have also done A LOT of juicing/smoothie making and tried to restrict my processed foods/sugar intake, whilst also partaking in Veganuary. As you can see, health has played a massive part in my decision.
The website dedicated to ‘Veganuary’ is filled with information which also contributed to my decision. Not only have I been focused on the health benefits, I have also been concerned with the environmental aspects; from saving wildlife, to saving energy, it’s fascinating the impact we can make. If you want to learn more about all of the positives, please check out the website.
We are half way through January and I am definitely surprised at my reactions and results this month. I know that everyone responds differently, however I wanted to share some of my thoughts so far.
- I have only craved meat once, something I thought I might struggle with.
- My diet is not restricted at all, in fact I am probably eating a larger variety of foods than I did prior to trying a Vegan diet. It turns out Kale can actually work its way into every meal if I want it to!
- I am finding it easier to monitor my eczema. I know my eczema flares up when I am stressed or when there are changes in weather. But it has become incredibly clear that sugar (usually in the form of Chocolate) is a major factor for making my skin worse.
- My stomach is thanking me! In comparison to how I felt the week of Christmas whilst living on too much meat and sugar, I feel so much better.
- Vegan meals do not take ages to make! I think there is such a preconception that vegetable based meals take ages to prep – it takes no longer than prepping meat!
- It’s easier to stick to it when you’re not alone. Having Gareth join in has been brilliant, we’ve supported each other the whole way!
So for all of you that have been wondering why I’ve been participating in Veganuary this month, there you have it! It has got to a point where it’s become a natural habit to eat certain foods, rather than just that little voice in my head reminding me to be sensible.
You don’t have to wait for ‘Veganuary’ next year to try this, just go for it! If you’re trying to improve your health and lose weight, correctly following plant-based diets can be such an easy and natural route to follow. I promise you that it’s not just a plate of lettuce and a glass of water – in fact, for a fussy eater, my meals have become more adventurous over this past month!
Let me know if you are also participating and how you are finding it? If you’re looking for some meal and snack inspiration, I’ll be happy to post the things that I am loving this month!
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