Veganuary: Day 21

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).

Pizza Express vegan pizza

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.

Sadly they’d run out so I cannot review this kebab.  Also I was so drunk I wouldn’t remember it anyway.

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.

Vegan ice cream with raspberries. Some sweet things ARE allowed!

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.

Vegan tartar sauce and Quorn Fishless Fingers

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.

Walthamstow Vegan Market last weekend

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…

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