With every January comes the ‘New Year, New Me’ BS which, if you know me, you know I can’t stand. I was planning on a personal change and before Christmas, I was contacted by the PR company who were helping to promote Veganuary who asked if I was up to the challenge. As a meat-eating, dairy consuming person, I wondered if I was able to convert to a lifestyle where I didn’t eat any products that came from animals. Bearing in mind the job that I do, as well as the time that I spent at home, I had to take quite a lot into consideration before I changed my entire eating habits. Now we are at the end of January, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect back on this month and tell you about the positives that have come out of the Veganuary challenge.
I started New Years Day badly with a cup of tea with milk and a bacon butty, but it was New Year and I was also hungover to death so it can be totally excused. That afternoon, I had a serious think about just what I wanted to get out of Veganuary – whether I could convert to being vegan, or if I could use this lifestyle change to benefit myself. I weighed myself on New Years Day and promised myself that I wouldn’t weigh myself again until the last day of the month. I looked at my body concerns; acne type breakouts, my weight and my actual diet with my B12 deficiency. I decided to take the first steps into cutting both meat and dairy from my diet but not depriving myself if I felt it necessary.
Over the next few days, I realised just how much planning and organisation I needed to be able to keep up with this change. The meat aspect was easy – I’ve always been one to choose the vegetarian option but the dairy was another story. I was dreaming of cheese. I wanted yoghurt. Mmm Brie. Work was difficult. I have limited options to cook things, I’m living out of a suitcase from hotel room to hotel room and sometimes I have no fridge to store prepared food. I found that this was my most difficult option, so from there, I decided that my diet would be primarily vegetarian and with some advice regarding my previous concerns, I took the step to cut out cow’s milk.
The last few weeks have found myself falling into a really good routine. I’m eating so much better at home and the more I’m eating veg, the more I am craving it. Meals have been vegetarian most of the time, with the exception of fish. I’ve eaten chicken just three times this month and only had one bacon butty. Not only that, but the benefits of cutting out cow’s milk have had the most positive effect on me. My skin has cleared up and looks fresher and healthier with my digestive system reaping the rewards. I’m less bloated, my cravings for things have subsided and I actually love black tea. I’ve also been drinking caffeine free teas more frequently so my sleeping pattern has drastically improved. With the eradication of cow’s milk, it brought up the cheese issue so after a quick online search, I have found several cheeses which are made from sheep and goats milk, so I’m not deprived of my true love.
I’ve also been introduced to the Nakd range of fruit and nut based snacks that are vegan and gluten free. They are so handy to keep in my handbag and lunch bag and I’ve been eating these rather than regular chocolate bars. I initially thought that the lack of chocolate would have me craving it more, but in reality I haven’t. I’d much rather snack on fruit or a Nakd bar rather than a family size bar of Galaxy.
Today I weighed in. I wasn’t expecting anything more than a few pounds as I had noticed that my clothes felt looser and I had been wearing pieces that I hadn’t worn in years. What I wasn’t expecting was a 6kg weight loss which equates to 13.2 lbs, just under a stone.
Although I didn’t manage to do Veganuary due to my lifestyle, I have taken away some great changes that I am going to continue with for as long as I can. I will continue with a vegetarian style diet as I am relishing in eating fish and I’m really not too fussed about meat overall. I will have a steak if I fancy one, but my main priority is keep upping my veg intake, as I am feeling so much more sprightly. I have a spring in my step. I wake up and I feel tired but it soon goes and I feel refreshed through the day, rather than hitting that midday slump. I’m avoiding chocolate and snacking on fruit, I’m cutting caffeine right down and the loss of cow’s milk is probably one of the best changes I’ve ever made.
I hope I can update you all in a few months time and that I can share with you further success stories from my diet change. I’m not on an actual diet to lose weight but the diet choices that I’m making are really helping.
If you are considering changing your diet, it is worth taking advice from your doctor before you undertake anything. The Veganuary website has a lot of really good information if you are looking to cut out dairy and meat from your lifestyle. Thank you to Izzy for sending me the Nakd nibbles, they’ve really got me through the month.
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