Veganuary 2020 has come to an end and what a journey it’s been. I wanted to share my experiences so I opened the space up to receive questions about my experience, here is a little Q&A:
How difficult was it to make the change to become vegan?
Personally I didn’t find it to be too difficult. I made sure I had loads of vegan snacks in the house so if I was craving chocolate I could just raid the cupboard. After maybe a week it because the norm. I had been vegan before so I already knew the majority of what I could and couldn’t eat and there are so many amazing alternatives now that’s its super easy to be vegan in terms of substituting foods. Back when I was vegan in 2014 I was living on nakd bars and bean burgers but now the options are endless. I found that some of my shoes aren’t vegan, however having spoke to some vegans, as I bought them before I went vegan it’s okay to continue wearing them and just don’t buy any additional non vegan items. I’ve always been big on cruelty free make up, so I just had to check it was cruelty free and vegan which I think (?) it is. The main struggle I’ve had is finding a hair conditioner that makes my hair feel silky smooth that’s vegan, so if you have any suggestions I’d love to know!!
Photo | Vegan fry up from Morrison’s.
Cost wise, is it more expensive that being vegetarian or a meat eater?
I can’t speak for how different it is to eating meat as I’ve been veggie for 11 years, however in terms of comparing the prices to vegetarian food it’s pretty much the same. I find that even with buying the vegan meat and dairy substitutes, it’s pretty much equal to vegetarian costs. The only thing that I would say is more expensive is milk, however that’s because I drink alpro instead of store brands. But I’ve been drinking alpro for 6 years now and I love I personally prefer it to store brands of soya milk.
Photo | Tesco food shop that I did at the start of January.
Did you make any mistakes or eat anything that wasn’t vegan?
I did yes. I accidentally ate a salad with dressing thinking that the dressing was vegan when it wasn’t. I also bought an M&S meal that was in the same section as the plant based food so when it said chicken I thought it was vegan chicken, luckily though I realised it was actual meat whilst reading the microwave instructions and gave it to my mum instead!! I did on one occasion binge eat on Krispy Kreme doughnuts which I put down to a bulimia slip up where I just wasn’t thinking straight, however I drew a line and started again and I am pleasantly surprised that this only happened once as when I’ve tried to go vegan in the past it would happen all the time.
What has been your favourite vegan meal?
Hands down has to be the Costa vegan cheese & ham toastie!!!! I loved it so much I bought some vegan ham & cheese so I could make it at home haha.
Photo | Costa‘s vegan ham & cheese toastie.
Do you find that you’re judged for being vegan?
I wouldn’t say I’ve been judged, but some people do make passing comments. Because I’ve been vegan before and I’ve been trying to get back to being vegan since I stopped 6 years ago most people in my life accepted a long time ago so I don’t really get much judgement anymore. However I do get my nan asking ‘well can’t you just have a day off?’ when she’s bought me something that’s veggie not vegan and complains when I say no. She often asks if I want meat products too though which baffles me because I haven’t eaten meat in so long, but that’s just nan being forgetful.
Did you find being vegan affected your eating disorder?
Actually, it affected it positivity. In the past it’s always had a negative impact so I was hesitant to try veganuary in case it resulted in a eating disorder relapse, but it actually did the opposite. I have been able to eat meals and keep them down and I’ve ever found myself getting genuinely excited about food which I never in a million years thought would happen which has been really nice. I have had a few slip ups with purging which is only natural in recovery, but I’ve gone from purged multiple times a day to three times in a whole month which is amazing and I credit going vegan for that!!
Photo | M&S no mozerella sticks
Are you going to carry on being vegan?
I am yes. I’ve enjoyed it so much and it’s helped me find enjoyment in food again and I’m really pleased that it’s worked out as well as it has so I’m definitely going to be sticking to veganism!!
Have you missed anything you’d normally eat?
Honestly I haven’t really. I do miss extra mature cheddar as I am yet to find a vegan cheese that tastes like extra mature but apart from that I haven’t really missed anything. I miss being able to pop into a corner shop and buy any bar of chocolate more than I miss that actual chocolate if that makes sense? But veganism is becoming so much more mainstream now that it’s not a major problem as there are usually other options for you!!
I have had such an amazing time throughout veganuary, trying new and exciting foods and learning what I like and what I don’t like. It’s been a huge trial and error but now that I feel a lot more accustomed to what are to my taste I feel like maybe throughout February I will be able to step out of my comfort zone and start making meals from scratch, which will result in a while new type of trial and error that I’m very much looking forward to!
If you have any further questions feel free to leave them on this post, or ask me on Twitter @libbyxford or Instagram @soyamilkgal.