Veganuary Day 31 – I made it

by | Feb 2, 2021 | Food hub | 2 comments

31 January 2021 – Day 31 and I can’t believe I managed an entire month. Mid December I signed up and took the pledge to participate in a worldwide initiative called Veganuary. This highly successful campaign sees people around the world pledge to adopt a vegan or plant based diet. Veganuary Day 31 – I made it!

Preparation was key

I hit the ground running despite initially thinking that as a meat eater, I would struggle through 31 days. Preparation and research is definitely key, especially when adopting a diet that is the polar opposite of what you are accustomed to. So, I did my research and hit the shops only to realise that I already have a well stocked plant-based pantry. Note, I didn’t say vegan.

Plant-based alternatives

Cheese, milk, eggs, meat, fish and honey all have plant-based alternatives. They are readily available and the selection is bigger than I thought. South African stores are now catering for people who follow a plant-based or vegan diet, but in most cases it comes at a pretty penny. This is especially the case when it comes to vegan products.

Plant-based on a budget

Like all things in life, we always have a choice. Adopting a plant-based lifestyle doesn’t have to be expensive if you choose to skip the alternatives and eat purely fruit and veg. Our cheapest meal during Veganuary was under R50 for a family of 4. The meal included roti’s, sugar beans and potato curry and carrot salad. Proving that a plantbased lifestyle can be done on a budget. If you are anything like me then you love options and variety.

Shocker – I didn’t miss meat!

Biggest shocker of my Veganuary journey was that I didn’t miss meat. Truth be told, I don’t think I would have made the month without the Fry’s range. Fry’s has done exceptionally well to create fantastic alternatives for specific meat products. The Pea Protein, Chicken like burger and Prawn style pieces are our favs.

While I didn’t miss eating meat, I did miss my dairy. I didn’t realise what a huge role dairy played in our meals especially snacking. I love almond milk and even though it is extremely expensive I will continue to drink it. Soy milk was cheaper but horrible. I hated the smell and taste. We also found amazing chocolate alternatives that we will continue to purchase. Soy yoghurt from Woolies is amazing and I can finally eat yoghurt without my sinuses flaring up. Vegan cheese is okay but finding one that melts is a challenge, but I don’t mind Violife and Nature Moi Cheeses.

My guys also did really well. They didn’t take the pledge but ended up eating more plant-based than ever before. 80% of their meals were plant-based and they happily ate the food without any complaints. We have been using Fry’s products over the past two years and not just for Veganuary, so Fry’s will remain on our grocery list.

Lessons Learnt

The Pros

  • Adopting a plant based life is highly doable.
  • We didn’t need to change our grocery list that much.
  • Living a vegan lifestyle doesn’t mean you will be protein-deficient.
  • My weight was the most stable it has ever been my entire life. I didn’t gain or lose weight and I didn’t have daily fluctuations on the scale.
  • I ate all the carbs and I didn’t put on weight. Absolutely mind-blowing.
  • I didn’t get hungry.
  • Plant based diets are low in saturated fat.
  • Rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
  • Lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease and a number of cancers.
  • Eating a more plant based diet has an incredibly positive impact on the environment.
  • 20.6 million animals are saved by eating vegetarian once a week for a decade.

The Cons

  • I’m just going to call a spade, a spade! Eating all that veg turned me into a complete fart factory. Can’t even deny it if I wanted to. Let’s just say this house got rowdy!
  • Specialized vegan food is extremely expensive.
  • I found that food preparation was more time consuming.
  • Eating out was a challenge however more and more plant-based restaurants are opening. Many mainstream restaurants are also adding plant-based meals to their menus.

My views on veganism

Eating vegan food for a month, (minus a few lapses) was actually incredibly easy. However being vegan isn’t just about the food you eat. It is a conscious decision to change your entire lifestyle to live more kindly. In my opinion there are no perfect vegans, just mindful ones. It’s actually about being mindful about your choices.

Vegans come across as a hostile and aggressive bunch. I think that the often aggressive or hostile response or reaction to non-vegans is deeply motivated by frustration and passion. Vegans deeply want all animals to be treated with kindness, but the world we live in, just isn’t ready.

I don’t appreciate waking up to images of dead bunnies and that won’t convince me to become vegan. Forcing the agenda is not going to win this battle. I believe the old adage that you can catch more bees with honey (excuse the pun) is a better approach.

Living kindly means respect and tolerance. It means taking the time to listen to each other and to respect decisions that may not align with those of our own.

My Decision – Veganuary Day 31

Veganuary Day 31 – I made it

During the month of Veganuary I was met with a fair amount of hostility from meat eaters for taking on this campaign. At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice. Veganuary was such an eye opener for us as a family and we really did learn a lot. That being said, we are not ready to become vegan. Prior to Veganuary we only did meat-free Monday, but going forward we are committing to eating more plant-based meals throughout the week.

FLM Natasha

2 Comments

  1. Well done on completing Veganuary 2021 successfully.
    Love the honest post, I agree fully. I’ve done a week of strictly plant based, but decided to change to vegetarian, as my family decided to join as well. We will most definite do more meat-free days from now on.
    Thanks for encouraging us to join and for all the yummy recipes.

    Reply
    • Definitelybwas huge learning curve so us And now I knowy family can survive with meat all the time

      Reply

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Living to inspire has become my life’s purpose, so much so that what started out as just a personal blog has transformed into an inclusive community that supports women and children.  Fit Like Mummy aims to inspire fellow South Africans to find the fit in all areas of their lives.

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