If you read my recent post on why we have decided to go vegan then I guess this is the next logical post to follow that. One of the biggest things I have noticed about being a vegan is that everyone has an opinion. As soon as you mention you are vegan (not even in a way that could be construed as preachy, it could be simply saying no thank you to a cream cake) people become determined to a) change your mind and then b) quiz you on what you eat and where you get your nutrients. It is born from curiosity, I get it, but my gosh it is frustrating. Something else they do is try to pull apart everything you are doing like ‘ooh your bag has a bit of leather on it’ or ‘oops that had a tiny piece of chocolate in it you’re a terrible vegan’ or they just start waving bacon or cheese around in your face going ‘mmmmm’ – dick move or what. I just try to do my best to be honest, I’m not throwing away everything leather from my house but I’m making a conscious effort not to buy it moving forwards. I’m also not going to berate myself if I eat a tiny bit of dairy unknowingly, but I try not to. Why pick people apart like that just for trying to make a more conscious choice about their life? It’s so annoying and the bacon and cheese thing is just cruel. I miss bacon and cheese.
Anyway, ranting aside. I did a lot of research into going vegan and how to make sure we were still getting all the vitamins and minerals we needed. Turns out, you don’t need to drink cows milk or eat a shitload of Petit Filous and inhale Godminster Cheddar to get your calcium. In fact, almond milk and most other non dairy milks are fortified with the same amount of calcium as cows milk. Then of course you have your vegetable such as kale, broccoli and spinach (and many more of course) which are very high in calcium. In fact, what we tend to do is add a large handful of chopped spinach into pretty much every meal we have. It doesn’t taste of much, it practically disappears and its just added goodness. Easy peasy.
One thing we do supplement on is vitamin b12, which is hard to come by in food so that is one that is recommended. Then of course you have protein, people freak out about your protein intake when you tell them you don’t eat meat, but protein is actually one of the easier things to come by in a vegan diet. It is everywhere, leafy green veggies, beans and legumes (hummus anyone?), nut butters, grains, lentils. See, it is everywhere. I think Isabelle and I polish off a whole tub of hummus between us every day so I have no worries there about our protein intake.
We have bought a few cookbooks which have also been instrumental in making eating vegan enjoyable. They are called ‘Thug Kitchen’ and they are heavy on the swearing but have the most delicious recipes. It’s kind of like a no bullshit guide to eating vegan and the recipes are all very easy to follow. We did one big shop at Ocado to get all the bits and bobs like herbs, spices, liquid smoke, Braggs and nutritional yeast (sounds gross but don’t fret, it’s good) and now it is simply a case of topping up on fruit and veg each week. We eat a lot of wraps, burritos, tacos, pasta and risottos and I barely ever feel hungry.
I have found that there is a vegan version of almost every food that is just as delicious but doesn’t leave you feeling sluggish afterwards. Pinterest is definitely your friend when you are new to eating a vegan diet and a simple google will find the most delicious recipes. Most people say that they could give up meat no problem but dairy would be tough for them and I have to admit, I find not being able to eat out as much a bit tough as it is one of my favourite things to do. It is hard to find many vegan options in chain restaurants and since we don’t live in a big city there are no vegan restaurants near me. I imagine there are some amazing places in London to eat and one day I will definitely go, but for now we are mostly eating at home. Though, saying that you can have a vegan Nando’s which my husband is enjoying as long as you hold the mayo. You do tend to make healthier, cleaner choices as almost all packaged food has dried milk in it but Holland and Barrett do some great vegan options for ready meals and freezer food. Sainsbury’s again is another great one that has just launched a range of vegan butters and cheeses and they also sell these amazing little chocolate pots which I am obsessed with.
So there you have it. How we eat a vegan diet. I don’t know if I have lost any weight through eating this way, I would be interested to find out but I will have to hunt down a new battery for my scales first.