Monday, 1 January 2018


I've been a vegetarian my whole life. This can be a little weird for people to understand: 'so you've never tried meat?', 'you've never been curious?', 'you've NEVER eaten meat, NEVER?' and the classic 'but BACON'.

I have the same few explanations to hand every time: my parents are vegetarians so I was raised in a vegetarian household, I've never been curious or tempted because, to me, meat and fish just aren't food. I'm alive and well, eat enough protein, I'm not anaemic or sickly and there's still so much food left once you take the meat and fish away. I usually also tell people that it's easy for me - I've never eaten it so I don't crave it, I don't need it. I just eat the foods I want to eat and that happens to be a vegetarian diet. But that's all about to change for a while. In fact, it changed last night as everyone was shouting 'Happy New Year' (I was asleep in front of Father Ted) because I am taking part in Veganuary

I'm a creature of habit and I'm not good at giving things up. I tend to claim that I have an addictive personality but in reality I'm just stubborn and no match for my fluctuating moods so I have the feeling that this is going to be a challenge. I don't eat very much dairy at all. I don't have milk in my tea, I don't eat eggs unless they're in cakes and I genuinely prefer coconut or almond milk in my cereal. But I do like chocolate. The sweet, sugary, milky stuff that melts my emotions into submission. I'm also partial to cheesy pizza and toasties and every kind of cake there is. 

My Mum has been vegan since the summer of last year and hasn't looked back. Ever since then I have considered veganism as a real possibility, previously flippantly stating 'but CHEESE and CHOCOLATE' and convincing myself I do enough by being a vegetarian anyway. But as my brother in law recently stated, 'the dairy industry is troubling' and it's hard to ignore it. So this January it's no meat or fish (duh) but also no dairy, eggs or honey. I'm not sure how this is going to go...

When I mentioned this challenge to my Mum she was excited to share her new vegan finds with me. I've already enjoyed all of the new meals she's been cooking since becoming vegan and have seen her find new ways of satisfying the cravings left behind. Nutritional yeast brings savoury cheesiness to the table and silken tofu makes an amazing chocolate mousse. These things we now know to be true.

So yesterday, after a week of at-home Christmassy indulgence and foody heaven, I was sent back to my Chichester home with a Vegan Care Package to get me started - see above! It includes Oreos (vegan!), Turkish Delight (vegan!), homemade cereal bars, Biona worcester sauce (no anchovies), dark chocolate, Moo Free chocolate, homemade almond butter, homemade chilli-peanut butter, and homemade VEGAN NUTELLA. Finally a fresh from the oven vegan garlic and herb cheese made from cashews. 

I sit here at my desk at 5.50pm having already eaten a quarter of the cheese with crackers and hummus, and started nibbling on the Moo Free chocolate (banana flavour!). So far, so easy. At home me and my partner eat vegan dinners 9 times out of 10 with lots of vegetables, beans, pasta, lentils and rice. At work lunches and snacks may be my downfall... I'll keep you posted up on my Instagram Page and every now and again on here.

Wish me luck.



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