I know, I didn’t realise it was a ‘thing’ either.
How hard could having no meat, fish, dairy or eggs for a month be? In short, very. I didn’t have much willpower at the start, but it seemed to flourish from somewhere and I am so glad I stuck with it.
I definitely felt a difference, what I can only describe as ‘lighter’, healthier and more energised. The complete opposite to what many people warned me of: that I would constantly be hungry and fatigued.
The biggest struggle was trying to make meals interesting and high in protein but not ridiculously expensive. Thanks to the countless mouthwatering vegan and healthy living blogs and Instagram accounts, my inspiration was endless. Veganism is on the rise and seems to be a ‘trendy’ diet to follow. Some of my favourite accounts included @bestofvegan and @nourishnotpunish. If you’re in the mood for a smoothie bowl, @purelykaylie is definitely worth a visit; they are beautiful.
(Photos curtsey of @purelykaylie)
Who said vegans couldn’t eat cake? My indulgences included ‘Avocado and Banana Brownies’, ‘Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups’, ‘Nice Cream’ and ‘Berry Crumble’ (with raw granola topping). All vegan of course, and seriously good! It amazed me how many alternatives there were. I was certainty not restricted. If anything, I’ve had my eyes opened to a whole different world of food. My shelves are now armed with chia seeds, unsweetened almond milk, sweet potatoes (by the tonne) and my new obsession… almond butter, to name but a few of my newly found favourites.
My self control seemed to be at it’s all time highest during this time, I didn’t even crave meat let alone ice-cream, usually my ultimate weakness. However, my commitment to the cause was truly tested when going out for dinner with friends, especially to pizza Express. Cheese overload. Just not for me.
The most important thing I have taken away from this is a huge admiration for those who religiously follow veganism or any other type of special diet; everything is that little bit more complicated and awkward. I definitely now don’t feel the need to eat as much, or any, meat and am more mindful of where my food comes from. For me it is hugely important that the reduced animal products I do eat are sustainably and ethnically farmed, and free range. In the process of discovering new vegan recipes online, you really find out the secret horrors of the animal produce industry.
However, the 1st of March was a glorious, overindulging food-filled extravaganza. I am immensely proud I actually did it; I surprised myself even more than all the doubting onlookers. For now, I am just going to try and stick to clean, healthy eating, with the occasional input of my newly found vegan recipes, especially all the cakes.
This experience has completely revolutionised my outlook on food and changed the way I eat for the better. I would urge you to consider trying a vegan meal or simply to look into vegan baking recipes, you may be surprised what you find.