Three weeks of veganness! And to be perfectly honest, it has all been a lot easier than I thought it would be. I thought by now there would have been at least one episode where I cracked and raided the cheese cabinet, or accidentally ate a burger and found it to be full of trotters. But none of these things happened. Even yesterday when I got horrendously and catastrophically drunk after the Hackney Half Marathon I ended up staggering round hipster Clapton trying to obtain a vegan doner kebab, then fell asleep on the bus. Waking up this morning, all I wanted to do was order a big cheesy pizza, but then I remembered that Pizza Express do a vegan pizza which Deliveroo will bring to you. Problem solved! It was quite nice – sensible toppings like artichokes and olives, no coriander or courgettes, and the cheese didn’t have that nasty vegan cheese taste to it (though the consistency was a bit strange – like cheese sauce).
The low point was definitely Sunday roast in hipster hell pub the Clapton Hart. Three other vegan/vegetarians and I ordered the “Roast Lava Cake”. None of us knew what it was, but agreed that the name made it sound amazing – surely it must involve chillis and some kind of melting middle? Wrong! It was actually a grey amorphic blob which tasted like an undercooked dumpling with a vague aftertaste of seaweed. My first assessment of it was “edible” but this turned out to be an overstatement as I could not finish it and neither could the other three non meat eaters. I wish I’d remembered to take a photo of it but see above re drunkenness, also I think I just wanted to get away from the thing.
The thing I have missed most has surprised me. It is not cheese or chocolate (and is certainly not bacon) but is actually sugary sweets. Obviously sugar itself is not a problem but nearly every item of confectionery contains gelatine, beeswax, colourings made from crushed up beetles or occasionally milk. This has made me very conscious of the fact that I eat sugary sweets with alarming frequency and really ought to stop doing so as they have fuck all nutritional value and will ruin my teeth and figure. I am therefore making a conscious effort to feed all sugar cravings with fruit from now on.
The new foods that I have enjoyed the most are cashew cheese, vegan meat substitutes such as seitan (which makes excellent fake chorizo) and the Vivera range. I also enjoyed the salted caramel coconut yoghurt a bit too much but I won’t be making a habit of eating them due to their shocking sat fat and calorie content.
I am very surprised at how few avocado sandwiches I have eaten.
When it comes to my health, I am sad to say that I have seen absolutely no change in anything whatsoever. I have been tracking my nutrients and calorie intake with My Fitness Pal and they’re pretty much the same as when I was an omnivore. I do have to make a conscious effort to get enough protein, but then I always did. I’ve replaced chicken breasts and eggs with soya products (milk, tofu, Innocent protein smoothies) and seeds. I hoped a load of weight would miraculously drop off me when I became vegan but sadly this hasn’t happened. I weigh exactly the same as I did 21 days ago, and as I have a bit of marathon weight to lose it looks like I’m actually going to have to make a conscious effort to cut my calorie intake. How tedious.
I’m already starting to draw conclusions about how I’m going to proceed when the month is but and whether Being A Vegan is for me, but I’ll leave those for another ten days…