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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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