Let me start by setting the scene. I am very much a fish finger sandwich for dinner kinda girl. I’m a rubbish cook and still, even at 34, can’t name every vegetable in the local green grocers. I thought the prerequisite of becoming vegan would involve some of the following qualities; To be already a vegetarian, to be passionate about animal rights and/or to be a bit of a foodie. I am none of these things. So I guess you are thinking ‘what the hell’ at this point.
Basically I watched a documentary on Netflix called What The Health which really highlighted the negative effects of eating animal products had on your health. It was a very bleak and shocking documentary which obviously had the desired effect on me. As the very next day I went from a cocktail sausage snacker to a full fledged vegan.
One week in and what I would say is that I have tried lots of different diets for weight loss and NEVER have been able to stick to them. However since becoming vegan I haven’t eaten any chocolate, cake or crisps and I am actually snacking on fruit and nuts. I also want to add I haven lost any weight but I am definitely feeling so much healthier. (Si has been sticking to the same diet as me and has lost weight)
A typical days food looks like this.
Breakfast : Porridge made with almond milk, with grated apple, cinnamon and raisins.
Lunch : Pita pizza (pitta topped with vegan pesto, peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes)
Dinner : Spicy bean wraps (Mixed beans, tomato puree, tobacco sauce, avacodo, peppers and onions in a tortilla wrap)
Snacks : Fruit, nuts and dark chocolate.
I have found some fab and easy recipes in 15 Minutes vegan and Vegan Cookbook For Beginners.
What shocked me about the transition was the constant need to buy more fresh fruit and vegetables. I find the I am going to the supermarket everyday. Granted this might be as I am new to this type of eating (the freezer is my best friend). Also I haven’t changed the boys diet yet as I wanted to see how I felt before changing the way they eat.
How am I finding it then? Well I’m not hungry but I am very tired. Im getting much less done (probably because I haven’t factored in the amount of time Im spending on the toilet since I’m consuming ALL THE BEANS) So its not all rosy but the most amazing difference has been that I haven’t been having any low moods this week. I often struggle with some anxiety and just days when I feel really blue. I haven’t had any of those days this week. Coincidence? Maybe but maybe not. Potentially its just due to all the nutrients I’m adding to my diet rather than the ones I have taken away.
We go on holiday in a few days so I feel like I will have to be a little less strict. I won’t be eating meat but I will allow myself the odd ice-cream otherwise WHAT IS LIFE? I do want to continue this new lifestyle change however and look to introduce it to the boys. It hasn’t been anywhere near as hard as I imagined it to be.
If you know any vegan recipes then hook me up!
Deliciously Ella app is great, especially for salads. In the first book there’s a recipe for brownie like snack made from dates and nuts etc. Can’t remember what it’s called. Her recipes are good as they use the same ingredients in different ways so that 2kg tub of chai seeds will get used! 😂
Ooh thank you! I may get her book too! Searching for the app now x
Hello Fresh veggie box was a godsend when I transitioned from veggie to vegan. I just swapped out the dairy for vegan options, or left it out altogether if it wasn’t essential to the recipe or nutrient value of the dish. I’ve stopped the subscription for about now, just to give me time to cook my old favourites: veganised versions of the family recipes my mum taught me, as well as some of the recipes I really loved from the Hello Fresh boxes.
Also if you’re on Facebook I’d really recommend following a few of the vegan / plant-based sites on there for recipes and meal inspo, as well as you tube. The Buddhist Chef is a good one. Carrots & Flowers, and Forks over Knives. There are so many though.
How are you finding the 15 minute vegan book? I saw it in paperchase at a train station and fell in love with its simplicity. Deliciously Ella’s books are good, though some recipes you may want to dial down the tumeric to start with – it’s quite a unique flavour to get used to (says she sipping on a tumeric latte as I speak!), so you do get used to it!!
I haven’t seen the What The Health doc, but would like to as understand it’s more focused on health benefits of a plant-based diet and opening the doors to the greed & hypocrisy of the huge companies using unhealthy animal products whilst marketing the fact it’s all part of a healthy diet. I haven’t seen any of the other animal rights docs like Earthlings, Cowspiracy etc. as feel I don’t need to to traumatise myself in that way, but I did see Carnage which was really good, slight fun-poking at eccentric vegans but with a really powerful underlying message about speciesism.
Anyway, well done once again – I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better health wise and hope that continues. Watch your B12 intake – if you have fortified nut-milks etc you should be fine, but if you continue to feel tired it might be a B12 deficiency so monitor it and take a supplement or multi vitamin and you should be fine!
Good work and thanks for providing a positive voice for plant-based diets 🌱
We have tried hello fresh before but not since removing meat so I might look into again. I love the 15 minute vegan book because like you say it simple and so quick. The boys have eaten a few recipes from there too and enjoyed it. X
There is an app called Happy Cow that tells you where you can find vegetarian and vegan restaurants, food shops are wherever your locality is.
Ah amazing! Thank you x
Bosh on Facebook is amazing! We went vegan a year ago after watching cowspiracy (by the same makers as what the health) and have never looked back. In a week or two you’ll have so much energy you won’t know what to do with it! Best thing I’ve ever done and I can’t imagine ever going back now 🙂
I really hope the energy kicks in! Right now I need an afternoon nap.
Really weird that you’re doing this too as my youngest daughter decided to turn vegan the day she finished her last GCSE. In theory I’m finding it easy to cook for her as there are still lots of ingredients to choose from, however the hardest bit is still having to cook regular dishes for my other half. We’ve also had my mum staying as she’s poorly so I have found myself literally juggling a million pots and oven dishes which has sent me slightly over the edge! If it was just me and my daughter I honestly think I would eat what she eats quite happily and save the odd burger for when she’s away on a sleepover. I’m usually satisfied with a chunk of feta thrown into a veggie dish. My daughter chose to do it because she wanted clearer skin and to lose weight (she absolutely does not need to worry about either but no use me even attempting that battle) but the danger with her is that she can resort to Pringles and Pot Noodles (some flavours of both are vegan) and that kinda defeats the object!
Deliciously Ella has some lovely recipes (and a few dodgy ones), I love her spicy chickpea curry, and I’d second the recommendation for the Buddhist Chef on Facebook.
It has been tricky cooking different meals. However we are only a week in so I can’t complain. I think its just about learning new recipes then it will be as easy as the stuff I’m used to cooking! x
Hiya, I’ve read your blog for a while and you always make me smile. I’d also like to preface this by saying that I’ve been a vegetarian for nearly 20 years because the ethics of eating animals concerns me. I’ve tried to go vegan, but just don’t have the willpower. Cheese is my weakness. On a plus I mostly eat a lot of fruit and veg, and it’s all about balance right? The BBC vegetarian magazine for this summer has a large vegan section of you’re interested.
At any rate, I really wanted to write to say please don’t stress yourself out believing all the health claims in that documentary. The science really doesn’t back them up. I say that as an actual health scientist too (and I know that makes me sound like a w**ker, but thought I should mention that I’ve got a PhD rather than just being a complete random stranger). Humans are designed to be omnivorous, though it’s totally possible to eat a balanced vegan diet. Here’s a good review, which fact checks all the science https://www.dietdoctor.com/health-review-health-claims-backed-no-solid-evidence
So, absolutely go vegan, but don’t feel like you have to because of all the scary unscientific claims being made in that documentary. X
thank you for this. I think the trouble is unless you know the truth you have to believe what you’re told don’t you! I like the idea of not being so strict but I do feel a sense of achievement in all the fruit and veg I’m now eating! Time will tell I guess. xx
Yessss! Keep up the good work Cara 🙂 little bit of ice cream doesn’t count does it?! So pleased you posted about this. More people need to be aware of the effects of eating meat! Xx
Thank you. Ill do a post with an update later on. Im hoping to notice a big health improvement!
Literally feel like I could have written this myself! I too watched what the health and overnight went from a bacon sandwich muncher to buying chickpeas and almond milk! I wouldn’t say I’m 100% vegan – I’m struggling with the milk in tea situation… hopefully I find a good substitute soon or adapt to the change of taste.
I also find since changing I’m noticing an increased sense of popularity in the movement – could it be true in 30 years time we will look back and be horrified by our diets?
I like honestly healthy – it’s not 100% vegan but which ones are have a nifty symbol and a lot of the recipes that aren’t can be adapted slightly.
I look forward to seeing your journey too as I think we’re on the same page x
Ah Im glad im not the only one that went straight from a bacon butties to this vegan diet! Let me know how you’re getting on too!
A while ago we switched from regular milk to almond milk in our house, however the boys aren’t so keen so they still have cows milk. We had to try LOADS before we found one that didn’t taste like a milk version of Gaviscon!!!! Love Rude Health, that’s what we settled with! I’m not a huge meat eater anyway, just the odd piece of chicken, hubby has cut down loads on meat due to these documentaries and social media “opening our eyes” if you will! I need to cut out all the chocolate and crap that I basically live on!!!!!
I am an all or nothing type of girl and I feel bad and very hypocritical to say I’m thinking of going vegan, as I love leather goods. Shoes, handbags etc! And I believe true vegans are no animal byproducts whatsoever.
Someone I know is one of these hardcore vegans and I voiced these concerns (selfish though they were) and she said nothing happens overnight and the biggest mistake you can make is to do nothing because you can’t do everything! So true!
So anyway, go you!!! 😘 xxx
Ah well I’ll never be a true vegan as I need good shoes and handbags. I’m only talking about diet really here. X
Amazing!! Congrats.. this is such a magnificent step. I became vegan a year ago and have not looked back. I also cut out wheat as I have a massive intolerance and it basically hates me, so it was a tricky alteration period but I have honestly never felt better. As with you I suffer much less with mood swings and my skin is much clearer, I bloat a lot less and generally feel so much happier. It was like a mental shift for me.
What I would say is don’t be afraid to take a vegan multivitamin too as b12 is only in some products and it’s always good to boost what you aren’t getting (however I would say the same to meat eaters too) as they ladies mentioned above, deliciously Ella was my saviour when I first started as she is Gf too, but aine Carlin is lovely and also the happy pear on YouTube are amazing for making quick healthy vegan meals. Good luck with your journey Cara, I hope you will continue down this road xxx
Thank you Rachel, I think I will head out and get the B12 vitamin. I hope I continue too as I think its such a positive change!
Nice write up with beautiful pictures, it is so cool. Honestly speaking the pictures have stolen the show 🙂 .
Another reason to go Vegan:
~Vegan to Vegan
My husband & I did exactly the same thing after watching What the Health a few weeks ago- gone straight to *’vegan’ from being meat lovers & we have both been really tired too! From what I have researched, b12 is the main vitamin you need to make sure your having as the only foods you can get it from other than meat or dairy is in fortified foods. We have been having oatily organic oatmilk but I have just found out that only the non-organic version is fortified (as the addition of b12 & calcium don’t allow them to label it as organic) – which is now something I will be checking the labels for!
Keep it Vegan – has a lot of good recipes!
* I say ‘vegan’ as I am not being super strict as still having chocolate and eating what I want on occasional meals out- but figure the scales have massively tipped in the beans/veg ratio in our diets now which has got to be better for our health 🙏🏻
Are you still feeling tired or after a few weeks has it changed for you? I’m off to buy the B12 tomorrow I think! X
I started at the beginning of July and was fine for true first week but the past two weeks is when the tiredness has hit. Taking multivitamins now so hoping to perk up a bit soon! Let us know when the tiredness passes for you x
I saw you’d watched What the Health and related as we’ve become a vegan household since watching it! It was tricky to change at first needing to read every label and making sure you have plenty of staples in! Herbs, spices and natural flavourings are what really helps! I upped my Riverford veg box to weekly and getting a few extra bits organic where I can. Just started using vegan cheeses and impressed! I have noticed changes in how I feel I was suffering crippling anxiety the week before the change and was a struggle to keep it under control but since the switch I’ve not even felt a twinge! Not even croud endured anxiety! I’m hoping to keep going because I feel the benefits will be showing more soon. Hope you keep it up too!
Well done you! My husband went vegan overnight like you but me and the kids are taking it slowly as I feel I need to know more about the nutrition/ vitamin / minerals of veg/ fruit/ beans etc before fully making the jump ( although we are all dairy free due to allergies). I have found the ‘happy pear’ fantastic for quick easy vegan meals – they are Irish twins with a couple of books plus on you tube and Waitrose food (quite easy on the eye too 😁) Would be really great to hear how you’re doing in a few weeks to see how your energy levels are x
The minimalist baker website has some amazing recipes too, the one with roast sweet potato and chickpeas is so tasty! X