VEGANUARY Q&A

Veganuary is bloody brilliant. It’s been awesome to see so many people taking part; I think there were around 60k signed up at the last estimate!

I wanted to round up a few Veganuary participants so I could ask them a couple of questions, to find out what inspired them to take part, how they’ve been getting on and what they’ve been eating. I am forever nosy! Hope you enjoy!

Click here to learn more about Veganuary!


 (image credit: Jade)

THE ONE WHO’S TAKEN TO IT LIKE A DUCK TO WATER

Name: Jade | Instagram: @JadeyPenrose

My Instagram friend Jade (you might recognise her from her amazing Etsy shop) has been absolutely bossing Veganuary. She has eaten so much wonderful food, she’s been taking Vegenaise with her to restaurants and I have wanted to eat every single one of the dishes she’s rustled up since January 1st! What a hero!

What inspired you to take part in Veganuary?

I already had a couple of friends that were vegan and whenever I was with them I would eat mostly vegan foods and always end up chatting about all the awesome accidentally vegan foods there are. I had also been slowly going off meat this last year and I think the older and more clued up I got the more I associated the food on my plate with the animal it once was. Veganuary was my way of diving head first into a new lifestyle choice and testing whether going vegan is something I could do long term or something I would slowly work my way towards.

How have you found it so far?

So far I’ve found it a hell of a lot easier than I ever imagined, having to read every label when I go shopping can be a real pain in the butt when you’re in a rush, but I’ve been planning all my meals ahead and been using google, Facebook groups, vegan womble and my already vegan friends to help me find alternatives to non vegan foods and snacks. I’m yet to really miss anything I used to eat (even cheese!) and have managed so far to make all our favourite meals vegan.

What have been your favourite Vegan meals?

I’ve yet to make a meal we haven’t enjoyed, although my all time favourites have been our Sunday roasts, pizzas and chilli. Barely had to change an ingredient for any of the meals and have found them to be just as filling and comforting as usual. Plus no meat with a roast means more room for potatoes and stuffing, which we all know are really the best bits. 💁🏻

Any new discoveries that you’re excited about?

VEGO. My god that chocolate is like crack. I think I’ve eaten about 5 large bars in the last week alone! Also sriracha vegenaise is like a dream come true, I suggest anyone buys that even if they’re not vegan, then go and smother it on everything you eat for the rest of your life.

Will you be carrying on with a Vegan diet? If not fully, is there anything you’ll be taking away from the experience?

Once January is over I’m going to try my hardest to stick to a vegan diet, it’s been easier to do than I anticipated, we’ve even managed to eat out somewhere and veganise our meals, which is one thing I was worried about. My next step will be getting alternatives to all my make up and toiletries once they’re used up, I already used a lot of Superdrug items which are cruelty free but it’s the odd few bits and pieces that I’m not 100% aren’t cruelty free.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about taking part in Veganuary 2018?

Just go for it! Just dive straight in, join as many vegan groups that you can find on Facebook and follow all the lovely vegans you can find on instagram, no one will ever get annoyed with you asking for help! Also read every single damn label you can find, multiple times if needed, and if like me you love your junk food the vegan womble and accidentally vegan will be your best friends. Also buy a big bag of chips and a pot of sriracha vegenaise, you can thank me later!


(image credit: Hannah) 

THE ONE WHO ISN’T ENJOYING IT ONE BIT

Name: Yvonne, AKA My Mum

I was very pleasantly surprised to find out a week into the challenge that my own Mum was taking part in Veganuary. And immediately panic stricken…

What inspired you to take part in Veganuary?

The challenge was put to me by my vegan family [note from Jen: I was not one of them!] and I said ok without thinking it through first.

How have you found it so far?

I am finding it a little difficult.

What have been your favourite Vegan meals?

Chilli & sweet potato wedges, roasts, shepherds pie, pancakes.

Any new discoveries that you’re excited about?

No new discoveries.

Will you be carrying on with a Vegan diet? If not fully, is there anything you’ll be taking away from the experience?

Not likely to carry on but am finding I don’t miss meat at all. Don’t miss milk in tea so won’t bother with that again

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about taking part in Veganuary 2018?

Give it a try for the right reasons for you. It’s only a month!


(image credit: Erika Rax)

THE ONE WHO HAS DECLARED THAT VEGAN CHEESE IS BETTER

Name: Will | Instagram: @WillRax

I recently published an interview I did with Will’s wonderful Wife, Erika – read that here – and I was so happy when this fellow Club Mexicana fan agreed to answer my Veganuary Q&A.

What inspired you to take part in Veganuary?

My wife. Erika has been a vegan for about a year now and inspired me to give it a go. Veganuary was the perfect time to start.

How have you found it so far?

It’s incredible how many places don’t have menu items available for vegans (+ I have a nut allergy). Especially on the high street. At the same time I’m really enjoying getting to find new places and try new food combinations.

What have been your favourite Vegan meals?

Tofu has always been a favourite of mine. We’ve recently been cooking tofish and trying to perfect some pumpkin katsu for our stir frys.
The quality of the awesome vegan food vendors at markets is inspiring. If anyone was ever worried about flavour or variation a quick visit to a market clears it up. Ethiopian is quickly becoming a favourite of mine.

Any new discoveries that you’re excited about?

Desserts are in no way comprised by not having animal products in them.
I’ve also found that when you remove the reliance on animal products and add the extra constraint you can find some pretty amazing flavours out there.
Coconut yoghurt etc is much better than cheese. I put coconut yoghurt on most things now.

Will you be carrying on with a Vegan diet? If not fully, is there anything you’ll be taking away from the experience?

I’m not sure I’ll be fully carrying on as a vegan just yet. I’m still trying to decide and sort out my thoughts on it all. I’ll most likely continue as a vegetarian starting in February and relying less and less on foods that contain animal products.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about taking part in Veganuary 2018?

Preparation is key. You have to be prepared for the day and think about where you’ll be and what you’re going to eat. This makes it a lot easier to stay on track on not end up crawling around town looking for food.


(image credit: Jo)

THE SEASONED PRO

Name: Jo | Instagram: @joinwonderland

My work wife has been Vegetarian since she was tiny and she eats a mostly vegan diet anyway.

What inspired you to take part in Veganuary?

I have been phasing dairy out of my vegetarian diet for a while now. I haven’t drunk milk for years, I only use dairy free butter or spread, I gave up eating eggs a few months ago too, so why was I holding on to cheese? Especially when there are so many dairy free cheese alternatives out there.
After watching Cowspiracy a few months ago and hearing Dr Michael Klaper’s explanation on the purpose of dairy, and the affects it has on our bodies. I think that was when I made the connection and decision to commit to a vegan lifestyle. I knew Veganuary was coming up, and it seemed the right time to give a 100% vegan diet a go.

How have you found it so far?

Fairly easy, being vegetarian gives you a bit of a head start. I cook a lot of vegan meals already, and buy Fry’s Family products to have in the freezer for days when I don’t feel like cooking. Where I have struggled is food labelling. I have been caught out and purchased products that I wouldn’t have dreamed would contain dairy, and have been disappointed to find that they do. That has been a learning curve, and I am now consciously checking labels more thoroughly. If I’m not sure what a particular ingredient is, I won’t buy it or will google it first.

What have been your favourite Vegan meals?

At this time of year, I love hearty warming food. So I have been making lots of things like stews, soups, roasted sweet potato chilli, and curries. I love roasting vegetables and serving them with hummus and jacket potatoes, or stirring them through couscous which can be great quick and easy lunch options.

Any new discoveries that you’re excited about?

Yes! I am a big fan of Follow your heart Vegenaise. I purchased a jar just before Christmas from Vegan X, and wow it is so good. I also discovered Green Vie Parmesan cheese which is delicious sprinkled on lentil Bolognese and roasted veg.

Will you be carrying on with a Vegan diet? If not fully, is there anything you’ll be taking away from the experience?

Definitely. I am visiting Iceland at the end of April this year, and I have already been researching vegan food options.
I think for a lot of vegetarians, veganism is a logical and gradual next step. I remember Larry King interviewing Morrissey a few years ago and he said to dive straight into a vegan diet is very hard for most people. Financially you can’t do it and the food is hard to find. I don’t think his statement is relevant now, as I think we are living in a time where it is much easier to be vegan. More and more supermarkets are stocking and producing vegan products and restaurants are offering vegan meal options, it really has never been easier.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about taking part in Veganuary 2018?

Sign up to Veganuary, where there is a lot of support and advice to get you started. Try not to overthink it, it can seem daunting but a good place to start is to think about the things you eat/cook now and how you can ‘veganise’ them. Oh and check the labels!

 

 

2 Comments

  1. January 24, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    Great post… hope mum continues to be dairy-free if not fully vegan. And Will who so enthuses about tofish and other vegan options…but is not sure if he’ll stay vegan. Do you know if he’s seen Cowspiracy or Forks over Knives ? Fab that you know 5 folk who took on the challenge for a month – and were willing to be interviewed about i 🙂

    • February 12, 2017 / 11:50 am

      Thank you! It was really great to talk to them 😀 Veganuary is so great! Maybe soon it will happen a few times per year!

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