more than your 5 a day…


Hello lovely eaters and readers! How is this first week of reality treating you?

Today I want to talk a little bit more in depth about one of my January goals. This month, I am going entirely vegan. Yup you read that right, the girl who loves tea and cake is giving up dairy. Why? Well, before we get onto that, lets talk about my last 6 months as a vegetarian shall we?

I’m the type of person that goes to a restaurant and looks at the dessert page of the menu before anything else. I was never that into savoury. Cooking wasn’t a big thing in my house growing up (my mum truly hates cooking), that’s not say we ate badly, it was just never particularly exciting. But cake at my nan’s house? That was something else. I’d spend entire school holidays baking in her bungalows kitchen. While I’d never really thought about it before, I think it is probably pretty clear that this juxtaposition in kitchens, is where my sweet tooth, and with it, my blasé attitude to main meals, came from.

But last year I began to take much more interest in food and what I was putting in my body. I’d left Manchester and I was in the worst shape of my life. Something had to change, and while there was no way I couldn’t cut cake out entirely, I could change the other things I put on my plate. For better. Better nutrition. Better prepared. Better tasting.

I started experimenting with salads. Learning that vegetables could taste amazing without much effort. I started drinking green smoothies, which would get me through a twelve hour shift, much better than any amount of coffee ever could. And before long I felt like I was really thriving.

I tried cooking meat, but it just never tasted as good as a sweet potato did, plus the more I read about the less sense it made to me to eat it. And when I moved out into a flat on my own, I cut it out entirely. For a start it always seemed so expensive to buy for just one person, and I had no idea what to do with it. And no desire to find out.

Did I miss it? No, not really. I didn’t open my fridge and think, oh hang on where’s the chicken? And when I went out for dinner, as much as I missed having more choice on a restaurant menu, nine times out of ten, I’d always have been drawn to the veggie option anyway. Unless it was fish, I will admit, that I miss fish, but not enough.

Not enough to ignore that my body doesn’t really need it or want it. I was already getting everything I needed.

Not only was I getting everything I wanted nutritionally but I also fell in love with cooking. I love being able to make a meal that tastes of something, something good, and does good too. Which brings me full circle to Veganuary.

In many ways I’ve eaten much better than ever before since moving, however, there have been times when I’ve completely binge ate. And as the year went on, the more regular these times became, until by the end of it, I’d undone all my good work of the previous 12 months. Cheese, damm you. My weight climbed, and my self confidence plummeted – something that really came to a head in December. So I decided to get back on it. I started reading up again, learning about what my diet was really made up of and what it was really doing to my body.

And the more I read the more going vegan seemed like the only way. So I’m giving it a go for 30 days. Because while I now know what is really in a cake, I’m not entirely conivnced I can give it up forever, or how much I want my diet to dictate other areas of my life. Christmas a veggie was my biggest test yet, am I really prepared to face that as a vegan? But by the end of this month who knows that might change. I’m back in my kitchen again, cooking up a storm, and before the month is out I have vowed to try my hand at vegan baking, and attempting a raw dessert.

For me, going vegetarian wasn’t just about getting my 5 a day, it was about feeling like I was thriving, about learning new things, and finding a new joy in cooking. For a while, towards the end of last year I forgot that, but this first week of being vegan is making me remember those things, and I already feel so much better. Even, dare I say it, better than a slice of cake does?

I’ll let you know if I can keep it up.

Live life & remember you are what you eat x



14 thoughts on “more than your 5 a day…

  1. Firstly, what delicious thing have you cooked up in your picture? It looks amazing! I’m very very interested to know about the sort of meals you’re going to make yourself along this journey – I get a bit bored having the same salad every day!

    I think it’s really good that you’re challenging yourself to do this – I bet you’ll learn so much and feel so good! Can’t wait to see how you get on 🙂

    Holly xx |

    • It is basically a bunch of left overs! Sweet potato, grilled aubergine, some med veg in tomato sauce and then a salad of chickpeas and cucumber squeezed with lemon.

      I’m thinking of doing a set of mini recipes – things that aren’t ground breaking or time consuming, but just give you the base of a delicious simple meal. I’m just having difficulty getting photographs done before it gets dark/I eat it all up!

      I’m on Day 6, and I can definitely feel the difference xx

  2. Will be so interested to read how you get on with this. While I try to be healthy to maintain my weight I definitely don’t apply enough thought to exactly what is in my food. Just cos something is low in calories doesn’t make it good for you!

    I think id struggle to cut meat out of my diet because my other half is a meat fiend, he sulks if we have a meal without meat in whereas I quite often prefer the veggie option in restaurants.

    Best of luck!

    Chloe x

    • One of the things I’ve been thinking alot about with this, is how it would effect the people around me, and how it might actually become a factor for any future relationship I have, so that is definitely something I can understand.

      Although I’ve found the trick is when cooking for meat eaters is to make a curry or a pasta, where the meat or lack of isn’t noticeable because of all the flavours and the fact that even if it did have meat in it, you wouldn’t actually SEE it.

      And that low in calorie thing is so true! Once you start doing the reading though you can never go back, and I will admit part of me misses, not knowing!

  3. I am so interested to see how you get on this month, especially when it comes to baking. I already eliminate a lot of dairy when I bake, instead choosing soy butter and almond milk. I have yet to remove the eggs though. I really recommend Minimalist Baker as a recipe blog as they have a lot of great vegan recipes including cupcakes!

    • Other than my milk in my tea, I had already cut out dairy at home. Porridge is just so much better with Almond Milk! It is mainly cheese and cake, when eating out!

      Definitely going to look into that vegan cupcake recipe, and going to Manchester a lot this month, and they have some amazing vegan/health food stores to stock up in! xx

  4. I turned vegetarian at fourteen and went vegan a year later. I never missed any of the food I cut out, but after seven and a half years dairy free, I eventually returned to being a carnivore. It was for a multitude of reasons, mainly to do with leather and generally losing my conviction in what I was doing, but finally in November 2013, I went back to being a vegan. Here in Berlin, every other person is vegan and there is huge support for the lifestyle, so eating out, or getting cake in the grocery store is really easy, but when I took a visit to England back in October, it just felt a lot more restrictive by comparison. Which is sad. Though I think that the more popular something becomes and therefore the higher the demand becomes, the more companies and businesses will adapt to the needs of the consumer. *fingers crossed* If you ever take a trip to Berlin, I shall take you for vegan cake! Good luck with your veganuary endeavour! xx

    • Alix your instagram pictures give me such vegan-envy!

      I have a friend who is vegan, and she is from Austrailia, so she finds England quite restrictive, so she makes it a rule, that whenever eating out, even though she isn’t really into cake, if somewhere offers a vegan version she buys it just to increase demand. I think veganism is much more popular over here than we think, I just think people are too shy to label themselves as such. One day we will catch up with Europe!

      And be careful I might just take you up on that vegan cake offer, Berlin is on my hit list this year xx

  5. I try to cook vegetarian at least once a week, but I could never give up cheese (or hot chocolate with whipped cream)! Also, after a few days I expect my boyfriend would start complaining about the lack of meat 😉 Good luck to you with your vegan challenge.

    • I’m only a week in but I honestly thought this would be much harder than it is. Maybe I just got to a point over christmas where my body was screaming for veg but like you I also thought ‘I could never give up…’

      Then last night I was going to the cinema, and popped to the supermarket before hand. My friend wanted some treats, and I thought that I’d be tempted left right and centre, but actually there wasn’t a single thing that I “could’t have” that I actually wanted.

      Of course, very aware that in a week I might feel very different, but at the moment I am feeling like it is very straight forward xx

      • Welll, obviously I technically *could* give up cheese – if I suddenly became lactose intolerant or something I would have to! I just don’t want to 😉

        I also have a hard time with vegetarian choices at restaurants. Usually it will just be something like “vegetable bake” and 99% of the time it’s vegetables I don’t like. I’m too fussy to be a vegetraian! Haha.

      • Oh no I hope that last comment didn’t come off as preachy!

        I feel your pain with that one, my first veggie Christmas was definitely the biggest challenge! Christmas party menus with just one option you can eat – and you quickly get bored of mushrooms.

        I’m really interested to see, if my excitement wears off, or if this becomes second nature to me.

        One things for sure, I know that this is a very personal choice to make! xx

  6. I’ve been vegan for about 2.5 years now (although I can’t believe it’s been that long!) and I love it. I absolutely think that everyone should make their own informed dietary choices, and I know it’s not a diet that works well for everyone. But I’ve been eating this way for long enough now to know that it really is what works best for me. I’ve honestly never felt better.

    I’m excited to see where you go from here with it!

    If you still want your vegan desert fix, I would recommend checking out Oh She Glows! The Minimalist Baker is another personal favorite of mine.

    xx Kathryn

    • Thanks Kathryn, I’ve decded I’m going to stick to it, and just keep on learning, experimenting, and trying all the new things I can. I’ve been sent a vegan snack box to review, and downloaded an app called ‘is it vegan’ I want to make sure I’m fully prepared to thrive and live this way!

      And of course fully prepared also means, having a well stocked vegan recipe book for baking, thanks for the recommendations and the encouragement xx

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