Food

My Vegan Challenge

Anyone who knows me will also know that I love my steak rare, my liver with my onions and I can consume my body weight in party sausages in around 10 minutes flat. So why on earth for the whole month of July have I decided to go VEGAN. I also love cheese. Lots of cheese.

I MUST BE BONKERS.

Despite being such a meat eater, I have always enjoyed chomping down on fresh healthy fruits and vegetables. I am also a good cook (taking the chance to blow my own trumpet here) and I would love to extend my knowledge of what I can create in the kitchen. I also live a very frugal life, Using only cloth nappies, baby wipes and feminine sanitary products, growing my own food (as much as we can with a tiny garden) and reusing many daily disposable items before I discard of any item or turn it into something else. I want to take my health conscious-frugal life to the next level. BUT ultimately the reason I have decided to go Vegan is because, I no longer like the thought of how my meat or diary produce gets to me. I don’t know what it contains, what nasty man-made crap the animals were fed on, how they were killed (am I eating Halal or Kosher meat- just something that I would like to know) or even if my Lasagne really is beef (I’m sure we all remember the horse meat scandal back in 2013). If I could live easily and reliably knowing that all of my meat and diary produce was being locally sourced, animals fed an all natural and non-artificial feed and ethically sourced for the animals and the farmer, I would be happy. But sadly, in this modern day and age we have no idea what we really are eating, and even more worryingly what we are feeding our children and what we are doing to their bodies. How bad is that?

I read recently that cutting out animal proteins can reduce your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancers. I will be stepping up my fibre, antioxidants, mineral and vitamin intakes dramatically, something my body has been lacking for some time because grabbing easy and fast food has quickly satisfied me (blame juggling 3 kids under the age of 4 for this).

Of course, I understand there are die-hard vegans out there who do it for a thousand more reasons than I have listed, but I really did just want to experiment with myself and see if I could actually do it. How many times will I slip up? I am not going to beat myself up if I accidently consume something on my no-no list, that would just take the fun away from the challenge. I’m not sure if I can even last the full 31 days being vegan. How much will it cost? Buying vegan produce can be costly (I want to try and disprove this- another part of the experiment) but when I am not forking out for meats and diary produce, will it actually work out that much more expensive? How will I know if my cleaning products are vegan friendly? Are there websites that just lists the do’s and don’ts? Will I feel different in myself when my body has gotten used to the detox of shite in my system or will I go into some massive crash and feel cold turkey?

I also need to remember that I am a breastfeeding mother, and I need to be careful that I get my daily recommended doses of essential vitamins, minerals and calories to continue to produce high quality milk for my 16 week old infant. My body is still healing from birth too. But surely this is an even better time to teach myself clean living, when my body needs me to be working on top form and no longer sluggish.

I think I could be thinking about this a little too deeply and I am worried that I will fail by 8am on July 1st. I need to have a little faith in myself. And who knows, come August the 1st, I might just carry on… or at least go veggie!

A Few Body Stats: Day 0.

Weight: 11st 1lb

BMI: 28.3 (overweight)

State of mind and how I feel: Normally quite happy these last few weeks, Always hungry at 8pm. Tiring easily and at times irritable (This could be PMS these last few days though). Lots of headaches, but it is hot weather and humid.

Skin: Spotty, not hugely but noticeable.

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Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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