So last year, I decided to jump straight in head first and become a full blown vegan. Instead of most people, who chooses to be a vegan as they don't want to eat a living thing, use products that test on animals, for environmental issues and so many other personal reasons. I chose to be a vegan, out of pure vanity, I wanted to see if the skin conditions I suffer with would clear up, also in the process lose a few pounds too ( I know, I know what stupid reasons).
Instead of doing it the more slowly, slowly approach, like maybe cut down on meat, stop going to KFC, not use products that use animals for testing, increase my fruit and vegetable intake, try being a vegetarian first. Nope not me, I was all in! I'm going to do this proper, no shortcuts for me. In the process, I began one of those annoying human beings that said "oh I can't eat that I'm a vegan". Looking back now, I would of slapped myself across the face. I also apologise to anyone, especially the lover who tried his hardest to support me, having to listen to me go on and on about my new vegan ways.
There were up and downs when it came to my new found phase. It was pretty annoying, going into restaurants and not being able to eat most of the menu that was on offer. It was also torture, when I had to sit there while people were tucking into their delicious meat dishes (though to be honest nine times of ten I loved what I chose to eat).However, on the other hand when going through this phase, we found an amazing restaurant in Glasgow called Mono (even Dave who is a big meat eater loved eating here, as much as I did). Who knew that the country famous for deep fried pizza and Mars bars, not forgetting amazing haggis, could be the place to go to have an amazing vegan meal! Glasgow is filled with vegan restaurants. I was also told about a lovely vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Northampton called Karamana, where I had an amazing cake and milkshake.
It also turned out to be a pretty expensive time, when it came to food shopping. During this time I was obsessed with going to Sainsbury's. I know you can be a vegan on a budget, but I want to try all these intriguing recipes from Lucy Watson's Feed Me Vegan, which I would recommend. One time before I headed out to Sainsbury's, I decided that I wanted to try out a few recipes. To cut the story short, I ended up spending over 80 quid on ingredients and also products that I saw, that where vegan friendly. Well Dave wasn't too impressed, as 80 quid is more like two to three weeks worth of grocery money, not on one off food shopping spree.
The benefit I gained while being a short term vegan, is that I was more thoughtful with what I put in my mouth (not like that). Also at the same time, I did enjoy snacking on oven chips, Linda McCartney sausage rolls (which are to die for and I still eat them now) and of course vegan chocolate which I still indulge on. My mum was all up for my vegan phase, she even admitted that some of the vegan dishes I made were delicious (she even purchased me BOSH! Simple Recipes Amazing Food cookbook). My dad on the other hand not so much. When I went up to Scotland, (my dad is Hungarian, but his dream was to live on a houseboat and he loves Scotland, hence why he lives there) had a lot of fun winding me up, which is very easy to achieve. When we went on a shopping trip, he said he wanted a KFC, knowing all to well that the only thing I maybe able to eat was the chips and baked beans. We ended up in Pizza Hut, who caters for vegans so I was able to tuck into a pizza and of course the salad bar. Unfortunately during my time up there, a Chinese takeaway was ordered. I thought I was tucking into veggie spring roll, but no it was a mixed meat spring roll. I felt like an utter failure, but when I got back home I went back to being vegan.
That only lasted another month, before frustration kicked in and gave up entirely. I admire people who are vegans. They are making a difference to the environment and I wished had the same passion and drive to live out that lifestyle. Unfortunately, veganism isn't for me. Don't get me wrong I will still happily cook a vegan friendly meal, eat in a vegan restaurant and use vegan friendly products (I do love a bit of Lush). I found out the hard way that it is a process, from my experience I couldn't jump to being vegan off the bat. Personally, I should have started to cut down on meat and eliminating it from my diet, then move towards becoming vegetarian and then worked my way towards veganism. I do try to have meat free meals (Quorn is a great product to use). Another thing I do is check what products I use that don't test on animals. I'm also trying to be a bit more eco friendly, by reusing bags (but I always seem to forget to bring them with me, when I go shopping) and doing some recycling when I am able to, which I have to admit definitely needs some working on. All in all the experience was a good one, and never say never, I just might try it all over again!