The Veganuary Diary

January 2021

New Year’s Resolutions

These are the things I decided I would do this year.

  1. Get dressed and actually leave the house
  2. Cut down on current cheese intake
  3. Try Veganuary

Friday 1 January

Never the best day to start Veganuary.

It definitely makes you think about eating. Sitting on the sofa feeling fragile and sorry for myself, all I wanted to do was stuff my face with Christmas chocolate but realised this was now off the cards. Being vegan means you have to be more prepared than usual.

Today’s hangover cure was a bowl of soup, watching Singin’ in the Rain.

Saturday 2 January

Started the day with porridge and practically a litre of homemade smoothie. Felt very wholesome. Still craving Christmas chocolate.

Went to a vegan shop. Realise how expensive everything is and question the problematic-ness of this.

Had vegan butter on toast and smokey vegan cheese with second-day-in-a-row soup.

Discovered a new love for the simple things in life – tea and digestive biscuits. Not just any…Doves Farm wholemeal digestive biscuits. Apparently McVitie’s also vegan but they weren’t in the vegan shop.

Signed up to Veganuary and already considering the logistics of making this permanent.

Sunday 3 January

My boyfriend and I start delivering TED Talks to each other, every time we see Instagram posts covering all the different facets of veganism. Start to think about death and animals and it feels quite morbid.

Monday 4 January

I look back on the Christmas period and I can’t stop thinking about roast chickens, imagining them as large carcasses of death just sitting on the table. It feels surreal that they’re there. That we bring death into our homes so easily and simply display it on the table. As though there’s nothing weird about that. But I’m also thinking about how lovely succulent chicken and crispy chicken skin is and feeling conflicted.

Finally discovered the way to actually do vegan chocolate, through Instagram. I feel like such an amateur vegan, there’s so much I don’t know. Like when you realise Oreos are vegan – oh. Moo-free chocolate and Malty Bites (basically vegan Maltesers) aren’t satisfying my sweet tooth enough. Giving vegan Galaxy and Doisy & Dam a go. Vego and Nomo = good. Love Raw = very good.

I’ve also given up on vegan cheese at the moment – it’s taking me a while to get used to. Couldn’t finish a margherita pizza but can do a vegan cheese sandwich.

I am looking forward to my green tea and digestive biscuit moments more and more, each day. Specifically green tea as vegan milk in builder’s tea can be hit and miss. Have landed on Alpro My Cuppa as the best option so far.

Leafing through cookbooks and it’s becoming real how limiting recipes can be if you’re vegan. I search desperately through ingredient lists, praying for there not to be an egg and lamenting when I find one. Also, experiencing a weird feeling when looking at pictures of meat recipes. All I see is death. I don’t know if I want to tuck into Beef Bourguignon ever again, not that I can even remember the last time I ate that particular dish. Flesh swimming around in liquid. There’s something that feels like I’ve failed if I complete Veganuary but then return to Beef Bourguignon.

I’m grateful for sourdough. And porridge. And peanut butter. Thank you for being vegan.

Tuesday 5 January

Done a big shop, bought lots and I’m excited. We’ve got vegan sausages and vegan shawarma. Went on autopilot and put it all on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Boyfriend got them out for cooking and was handling them quite casually. I said ‘watch out, that’s raw meat…’ then felt very silly as it still took me a minute or two to realise what I’d just said.

Had a vegan Pukka Pie with veg for lunch and genuinely did not believe it was vegan. Even checked the packaging in the recycling bin. It was very convincing.

Had a lovely ital curry (recipe by Rachel Ama). Loved dipping plantain in it and trying bulgur wheat for the first time.

Thursday 7 January

Pretzels are vegan! Enjoyed a bowl of them after work with a gin and tonic. So happy.

Friday 8 January

Like the seven stages of grief, I’ve moved onto something else now. Salt. Have read some things about vegan alternatives containing half your day’s allowance of salt and now frantically Googling nutritional information for all the items in the fridge. I think it’s ok.

So much reading, all the time. Saw another Instagram post about how, even if there is less protein or lots of salt, what is a good diet? None of us have one. I rarely get my five-a-day, more like 10 Celebrations a minute.

Friday night takeaway:

1x Vegan Burger from Slap & Pickle

1x Chips

(vegan mayo and ketchup for dipping)

Saturday 9 January

More reading, more thinking. A delicious vegan full English with beans, spinach, mushroom, brown sauce, toast, vegan sausages and cauliflower hash browns and then we start talking about animal welfare and conclude that even though farming has done so much for the forward advance of mankind, it’s f***ing up the planet.

Thursday 14 January

I forget I’m vegan. Eating a Quorn pasty and half way through – s*** is this vegan?! You have a panic when you suddenly remember you’ve been a bit relaxed.

Feel the need to tell everyone I’m doing Veganuary. Feel like I have a new lease on life.

Original Flava’s lentil jerk spag bol – delish!

Ben & Jerry’s vegan ice cream – yum.

Constantly saying I can’t believe this is vegan.

Looking at meat differently – can I go back to it? I see dead animals now.

Friday 15 January

Friday night takeaway:

1x Vegetable Katsu Curry from Wagamama

Sunday 17 January

Sidenote to Veganuary: I’ve also started knitting. Currently working on the beginnings of a scarf.

Wednesday 27 January

Miss pizza so much. Seeing people eating it. It’s the first thing I want to eat as a non-vegan. God, I miss cheese.

Getting to final week, it’s almost emotional. We’ve come this far. Are we going to continue? We have so much vegan cheese left in the fridge.

I am fantasizing about all the Tony’s chocolate I’m going to eat next week – and the frozen mince pies left over from Christmas.

Friday 29 January

A box of vegan doughnuts from Dukes to celebrate our achievements – very tasty.

Saturday 30 January

Finding so much comfort in my vegan fry up – a lake of beans, toast, mushrooms, tomatoes, cauliflower hash browns (my new favourite thing) and vegan sausages. Tried vegan bacon for the first time. Interesting.

Comfort for breakfast, comfort for dinner – brussels sprout nasi goreng (recipe by Meera Sodha).

Monday 1 February

Might have just eaten an entire bar of Tony’s Christmas chocolate in one go…

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