In January of last year a group of us in the office decided to try eating a vegan diet for a week. I’d personally thought about being vegetarian for a few years because I agreed with the philosophy and I love animals, I just also loved steak and burgers and ate animal products in basically every meal.
Cue Monday 22 January 2018 and the start of my first vegan week. I did zero prep and simply omitted the meat, dairy and eggs from my weekly shop. It was tough. Thankfully my colleagues were better prepared and helped me through by sharing ideas (and some of their food).
Since then I have fully embraced it and I’m nearing my 1 year veganniversary (that’s a thing). I’ve learned a lot since that first week and I try to eat a whole-food plant-based diet (WFPB). I’m very happy with my decision and I eat a much wider variety of foods compared to what I used to eat, so here are some tips and options you can use if you want to try eating vegan for a week (or longer) this year, along with a typical day of eating.
1) Make it vegan - Most of the things you are currently eating can be made vegan with some simple changes. Lentils can replace mince in a Bolognese, make a 5-bean chilli or swap chicken with sweet potato and chickpeas in a curry. Instead of making a whole new meal plan simply substitute the animal products out of your current meals.
2) Find alternatives – There are lots out there now. Soya and Oat milk (both nice in tea and coffee). Vegan sausages. Pizza. Burgers. Cakes. Custard. The best cheese I’ve found is Asda’s Garlic and Chive Cheddar alternative.
3) Eat plenty – Veggies tend to be lower in calories but quite filling. The breakfast below is nice and filling but less than 500 calories. If you find yourself hungry it will probably just be a lack of calories.
4) Get inspiration – There are tons of fantastic YouTube channels and Instagram pages dedicated to vegan food. Some of my favourites are Pick Up Limes on YouTube and BOSH on Instagram.
5) Don’t stress – Many people have the idea that being vegan requires lots of time and attention and constant reading of labels. While at the start it might feel like that, you quickly find your favourites and now I barely notice a difference.
A Typical Day of Eating
Oats with fruit – 45g oats with cinnamon, banana, apple, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins and berries (there are hundreds of delicious combinations of this but this is one of my favourite)
Wholemeal wrap with hummus, kidney beans, rocket, avocado, tomato and sweet chilli (I make this at work as there is nothing to prep. Just bring in the ingredients on a Monday and eat throughout the week)
Vegetable and Bean Chilli with rice and salad
Veggies dipped in hummus or guacamole
I have many more tips so if you have any questions feel free to comment on this post on Facebook or follow @Diet_Escape on Instagram or Facebook and send me a message there.