It had been my intention to write this post 7 days ago but time got away with me! In case you haven’t read from the beginning, we (family of 4) decided to try an initial 7 days of veganism.
So what happened in the first 7 days of the vegan experiment?
Grocery shopping was a bit more time consuming (label reading and using the ‘Is it Vegan?’ app) but much easier than expected. There is a huge amount of deliberately and accidentally vegan produce available in my local supermarket (Tesco). My first shopping bill was on the heftier side but I did purchase various store cupboard items that will last me (seeds and nuts and cereal bars).
We tend to cook the majority of our meals from scratch and in batches when possible (leftovers get frozen or repurposed into lunches). Therefore, cooking fresh, plant-based meals was not problematic for us, in fact, it has been great fun. I might even say never have we eaten so well! Good thing I have two fridges too, as we have got through a huge amount of fruit and veg.
Jude & Ollie
The children both ate entirely vegan whilst at home. Jude chooses to eat in the school canteen and vegan options are limited to jacket potato and salad with no protein substitutes available. Thus, she became flexitarian outside of the house. Jude has probably struggled the most and couldn’t tolerate any of the plant-based milk on her cereal (and as a result ate bagels all week for breakfast). She was also not too keen on vegan ‘cheese’ and spread. Ollie on the other hand, takes a packed lunch to school and generally only eats what I feed him, so he remained vegan for the whole week and was entirely happy with this. Both Jude and Ollie particularly enjoyed the pasta dishes and the curry.
Paul tried really hard to eat vegan although didn’t manage it 100%. He has settled on oat milk for his tea and cereal. He is loving the homemade plant-based dinners and has largely eaten vegan lunches I have provided him with. The times he has struggled have been when he needed extra calories after having cycled 250km over 2 days and when he was away kart racing at a track in the middle of nowhere with only burger vans on site. He is currently researching the vegan debate over honey as this is one of his preferred sweeteners. He has excelled at only buying vegan snacks and wine to bring home (thank you). The new tub of recovery shake he has bought is vegan. He is planning to take his lunchtime strolls out of work to Pret a Manger from now on. I think going forward Paul is going to be 90% vegan!
I remained 100% vegan and I can honestly say I did not miss a thing. I enjoyed the shopping and the cooking (and the blogging and the Instagram). I was back down below my target weight within the week (losing 1.4kg over the week!) and feeling great (although went through a period of much more frequent trips to the loo!) I think it helps massively that I do all the shopping and most of the cooking and I always take my own lunch to work (nothing healthy available where I work so this is a long-standing habit).
So what about the next 7 days then?
I bought cow’s milk and cheese, ham and tuna for Jude (although Ollie has enjoyed this too). All main meals continued to be plant-based. Paul continued to try and be vegan as much as possible. I remained 100% vegan. I have been out for lunches to restaurants (Ikea vegan balls with wheat pilaf are actually really tasty) and to friend’s houses (and ate Gosh!
chickpea, courgette and Moroccan spiced bakes) and had a takeaway (Szechuan style tofu), all plant-based. I have bought a vegan supplement for myself called Veg-1 (B12, D, iodine and selenium) to take. I have continued to experiment with food, for example making a rather nice Quorn Thai Green Curry and new family favourite tofu fajitas. I am becoming obsessed with chia pudding. I have ordered a tofu press from Tofuture!
This is how it looks for now: I will eat vegan, the kids will eat flexitarian, Paul is somewhere in between. All the family meals I make will be vegan. There will be a small amount of animal products available in the house as the children wish. I am happy with my choice to eat plant-based. I am happy that my family have tried it, in fact, embraced it.
Post by Liz