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  • Aaliyah Iona

Vegan life is a HARD life, for me anyway...

My first six days of Vegnuary have been interesting to say the least. I thought it'd be an easy transition, but, the fact is veganism really isn't for everyone. 

In early December a friend asked me to join her taking part in Veganuary. As stated in my post, “For You Only”, I have been incorporating eating meat-free meals in my diet for a while now. I brainstormed all my regular meals and found vegan alternatives: Jerk jackfruit, meat-free pies, and beetroot burgers to name a few. 

Now, the contents of my fridge and cupboards during the  Christmas holidays are like no time other time or the year. My mom buys everything: my favourite cakes, cheese and a lot more. With Veganuary around the corner, I thought I’d do the smartest it all.

Overall, I was excited to go Vegan for the month. However, as Christmas drew closer and closer, I began to panic. No chocolate, no cakes and no sweets. I didn't eat them all the time, but, what the am I going to eat when I have a sweet tooth? I couldn't eat gelatine or honey. I also learnt most pesto and Quorn contains milk and egg. I started to realise eating “less” meat and absolutely zero animal products is something else.

The first week:

One word to describe my first Vegan week: hard. The 1st January was a complete write-off. I drunkenly insisted on buying McDonald's chicken selects on my way home early New Year's Day. To top it off, I didn't refuse my Dad's Sunday roast, "I'll start tomorrow". From the 2nd onwards it's been okay, seeing as Tesco, Sainsburys and Asda have various Vegan/Free-from items.  That was until I tried shopping in Lidl. I had intended on making my own vegan pizza, but, I found next to nothing in Lidl.

If like me, you are completely new to Veganism, I would strongly suggest asking around and following a few Instagram pages for inspiration. I have heard people speak of adopting poor vegan diets and I used to think it sounded silly. In hindsight, I get it. If you don’t prepare or drastically go from eating meat and dairy like it’s going out of fashion to suddenly not, you will hate it.

In my mind, I feel great knowing I've reduced my carbon footprint and contributed less to an industry notorious for poor practice. However, the truth is I don't believe a vegan diet is for me. I really really miss Lurpak spread on my bagels and honey drizzled over my porridge.

Meat-free food such as Tofurky and Quorn are complete game-changers if you are looking to eat less meat. Sainsbury's burgers didn't have most flavour but in a bun with plenty of lettuce, red onions and ketchup, I didn't mind. I heard mixed reviews about Linda McCartney's products, however, I really enjoyed her meatballs and they were a God-send considering I can't eat my usual Quorn mince. Personally, being meat-free isn't my biggest issue. It's the foods that contain traces of milk and egg here and there. That said, I will stick Veganuary out. I picked up a great burger last night from Twisted London after my failed shopping trip called KFV. It came in a really cool box, neatly presented and with a really cool texture and breadcrumbs. I've tried Vegan burgers in the past which have tasted grossly rubbery and could put you off going meat-free. The KFV, however, was genuinely tasty and the skin-on fries were a great addition. 

In the meantime, I will continue to try as many cool restaurants and recipes as possible. All of which, of course I'll share. Check out these cool people and their pages I've newly discovered in time for Veganuary as they have made this month a lot less scary:

On Instagram:




On Youtube:

Rachel Ama


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