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My Veganuary Experience So Far… And Will It Last?

If you follow me on social media, you may already know that I’m participating in Veganuary this year. It’s something I’ve been meaning to undertake for several years running but have never quite found myself committing to.

Veganuary is a registered charity that encourages the public to try going vegan for the month of January. Of course, if January doesn’t work for you, you can do it any month of the year but I guess Vegune or Vegtember just don’t have the same ring to them. Plus, January is often the month of new diets, personal goals, or health kicks and Veganuary could fall under any one of those umbrellas.

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Image courtesy of Veganuary

Why was 2018 different? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. I suppose I’ve been gradually leaning more and more towards veganism for the past year or two and eat around 80-90% vegan already, so it seemed more achievable this time.

Plus, my housemate set herself some health challenges for the New Year as well and although they were entirely different to my own (give up alcohol? Yeah, right!), it helps to have someone else undertaking a diet change at the same time so we can cheer each other on.

I also purchased the official Veganuary book How to Go Vegan*. It’s all about the hows and whys of going vegan and it’s a handy little guide, whether you’re an omnivore who doesn’t know where to start, or a vegetarian looking to make that extra step towards a cruelty-free lifestyle.

Veganuary How to go Vegan Book

For me, Veganuary is the latter – it’s about seeing if I could actually commit to a completely vegan diet. As I said, I already eat mostly vegan but I’m not super-strict on milk products if a vegan version is not available and I can’t seem to stay away from cheese for too long.

Now, I know vegans hate it when us vegetarians say “but cheese!” But… CHEESE! It’s not just that I really bloody love cheese, it’s also the convenience of it; it’s often in the only vegetarian option on a menu, in a supermarket’s food-to-go section, or at catered events. It’s the easy go-to snack or lunch on the run. It pairs perfectly with wine…

But to my complete surprise – and with the exception of one particularly strong cheese melt craving during a hangover – I have missed cheese less than I expected.

Maybe it’s because I know my hiatus is only temporary, maybe it’s because I’ve actively avoided the cheese aisle in supermarkets, or maybe it’s because I’ve made some pretty delicious vegan “cheese” dishes (looking at you mac & cheese and vegan nachos!). Whatever the reason, it’s been quite a relief!

Vegan Mac & Cheese

The above mac & cheese was far tastier than it looks! It’s just not a particularly photogenic dish, especially with London’s current miserable non-photo-friendly weather conditions.

I’ve eaten out several times throughout the month and it hasn’t actually been a challenge at all. Some places have actually put more vegan options on their menu this month and others have been happy to adapt dishes for me. Here’s a few of the vegan meals I’ve enjoyed throughout the month so far.

Cauliflower steak from Bill’s restaurant:

Bill's vegan cauliflower steak

Vegan sushi from Planet Organic:

Vegan purple rice sushi from Planet Organic

Pizza by The White Rabbit Pizza Co:

White Rabbit Veg Pizza

Smashed avocado toast from Cafe Plum:

Cafe Plum vegan smashed avocado toast

Roast veg & baba ganoush foccacia from The Temperance pub:

Temperance Vegan Roast Veg & Baba Ganoush Focaccia

Mixed salad plate from Foodilic:

Foodilic mixed vegan salad plate

So will I carry on after January? Honestly, I’m not 100% sure yet. But so far, I am leaning towards yes. These three weeks have been easier than expected, even if it takes a little more thought or research now and again.

I have a few non-vegan items in my pantry and freezer that I plan to use up after January as I don’t want to be wasteful. But then who knows? Stay tuned to find out!

Are you doing Veganuary this year? Do you have any helpful tips for transitioning veggies or omnivores?

PIN IT!My Experience of Veganaury 2018

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38 thoughts on “My Veganuary Experience So Far… And Will It Last?

  1. I’m participating in Veganuary, too, and I’m definitely planning on staying vegan. Looking forward to seeing more posts from you! If you need any vegan meal ideas, I’ve been posting some up on my blog ;)

  2. so cool, I started being a vegetarian when I was 14 and now I am trying to change my lifestyle and become completely vegan :D

  3. I didn’t even know it was Veganuary and was already participating in it. I will have to blog about it next year. Great work finding what looks to be extremely delicious alternatives – they are definitely inspiring!

  4. I had no idea that going vegan for January was a thing, but it’s such a cool challenge. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 10 (19 years now), and recently I started contemplating making the switch to vegan. Cheese is the one thing I am worried about, so I’m glad to hear it’s better than you expected!

    1. Cheese has always been my vice and I’m honestly surprised that I haven’t craved it more. I’ll see how I go when someone puts a plate of brie and crackers in front of me… ;-)

      I think I really needed something to make that final push and a vegan challenge seemed like a good idea as I don’t like to quit things! I never thought I could give up eggs but I did so fingers crossed I can stick to this. :)

  5. It is really interesting to hear about veganuary from another newbie’s perspective – I also decided to take on the challenge this January, and I’ve surprised myself with how much I’ve enjoyed it so far! Like you, I am a huge cheese fiend and I have surprised myself that I haven’t cracked and ordered a big cheese pizza yet, although with delicious alternatives like the White Rabbit Pizza Co. you have pictured here, it sounds like you haven’t been short of tasty things to sink your teeth into!

    Abbey x

    1. So happy to hear from someone else doing the challenge! Cheese is definitely my vice; I think before it was a preference to try to avoid it, whereas now I’m “not allowed” it and that’s made it easier to stay away. But I’m curious to see how I feel after the month is up.

      How have you been finding Veganuary?

  6. I am happy to hear you have done so well, especially with finding vegan food when eating out! Keep up the good work! We gave up cheese over two years ago and the major problem was (and still is) eating out. We had a couple of ‘mistake’ pizzas that turned up with cheese on after ordering specifically without, and we both agreed after making the exception and eating them that we prefer them without cheese now. So there is hope, really! (And nutritious yeast is a definite must on pasta dishes instead of parmesan! ;-) )

    1. Thanks! So far I have been lucky with eating out but I really want to brave an Italian place and see how I go! I know of one pizza chain in London that does vegan pizzas, so will have to investigate more!

      The mac & cheese above had nutritional yeast in it – amazing stuff! :D

  7. This was such an inspiring post! Those dishes look delicious and I really want to try going vegetarian if not vegan sometime soon. I love the ‘Veganuary’ idea, it’s such a great way for people to try out something different and see if they like it or not! 💕

    1. Thanks so much! I love that it doesn’t feel like loads of pressure when doing Veganuary – as it’s only one month, it feels less daunting than saying I’m going to go vegan and then worrying that I may want to change my mind!

      Have you thought about doing Meat-free Mondays or something similar? Could be a great way to test out whether vegetarianism or even veganism work for you. :)

  8. I love that you’re taking part in Veganuary and that it’s going well for you. Something that turned me vegan and helped me stay vegan was watching some videos on YouTube about what happens to animals for us to get these foods. Sometimes I fancy something really cheesy, these videos pop back into my mind and I don’t feel my urge is justified. (Hope this doesn’t sound preachy, I ate meat and dairy for years knowing where it came from before something finally clicked).

    1. Thanks! It doesn’t sound preachy. :) I’ve watched a lot of documentaries and read books and articles etc so I know what goes on; I just haven’t had the conviction to completely switch yet. That said, it was a video from facebook or youtube that was the reason I gave up eggs several years ago. I won’t go into detail but it involved a conveyor belt… Every time I craved eggs after that, I remembered the conveyor belt and the craving went away.

      I already eat mostly vegan but think I needed something to push me one step further; Veganuary seemed to be right for me this year. :)

    1. I’ve been super-lucky! London has really upped its game in meat-free (and now vegan) recent years. It does still take a little research before going out to eat but even as a walk-in it’s getting better. I’m going to a pub on Friday that has an entire Veganuary menu! So excited! :D

      Where are you from? Hope the options start to get better for you soon. :)

  9. I’ve been doing Veganuary too and I was in the same boat – I thought I’d miss cheese a lot, but I don’t miss it quite as much as I expected to. Your meals out all look delicious! xx

  10. I’m participating too, and I’m loving the food photos! Like you, I’ve found it easier than expected. I’ve really enjoyed a range of meals in restaurants and at home! I am definitely going to try that pizza since it looks so good cooked. I’ve also been meaning to try Foodilic myself. Might you be able to share that mac and cheese recipe? Thanks!

  11. I spent most of 2017 helping to make artisanal vegan cheese. Perhaps by the end of 2018 you will see Miyoko’s brand products where you are. In my years poring through vegan cookbooks, I have found many tasty Mac & cheese recipes. Peas and Thank You has one I often return to.

    1. That sounds great! I am definitely keen to try out more vegan cheese so will keep an eye out.

      I had the mac & cheese again last night – SO GOOD! I’d love to try out other recipes, though so will look for the one you mentioned. :)

  12. It’s so great that you participated in Veganuary this year! If you need some recipe inspiration, be sure to come check out my site😊

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