Okay, let me sit down and be very real with you. This month was far from perfect.
I am going to start off by saying that I’m very proud of myself for sticking to it, I’d say about 90% of the time. In some ways it was very easy to make the switch since I was already veering away from meat in my normal lifestyle even before coming to the UK in September. While I’ve been here, I haven’t been tempted at all to buy meat off the shelves and nearly every restaurant or fast food (when I’m in the mood!) that I’ve been to has a vegetarian or vegan option which I think is amazing and shows that there is an increased awareness of this growing market. There’s this lovely little pizza place near campus and I’ve found my perfect combination of toppings for an amazing cheese less pizza (it includes spinach, roasted aubergines, mushrooms and olives on a garlic base in case you were wondering!). I quite enjoy the taste of almond and soy milk which some people can’t stand so that’s been a huge plus for me. Also, I’ve discovered agave nectar which is a plant based substitute for honey and I’ve taken to having that with some lemon and warm water at night instead of my tea with milk like I used to. But if I do want tea with milk I use coconut milk instead which I think has an amazing flavour.
I haven’t had any cheese products (simply because it’s never been an absolute necessity in my diet anyway) and I think the only time I let myself have something with dairy in it was that time I had… oh that would have to be around the same time I had fried chicken AND red velvet cupcakes BUT it was my 20th birthday and I was reaallllyyy craving something greasy and very bad so I think I could allow myself one cheat day. I fully believe that, like any change in diet or lifestyle, it’s a process and a big adjustment to make to one’s life so for now I think that allowing myself to indulge if I really really really feel like I need to have something, shouldn’t be a bad thing and I shouldn’t beat myself up about it, while I’m still getting used to every aspect of the new diet.
Like I’ve said in my previous posts (November Smoothies and My Fav Vegan Recipes for the month) I’ve had the most fun in the kitchen than I have in a long time after starting this diet simply because it’s been a great experience trying new things and discovering what I can make with such little prep time and such healthy ingredients. Some people have asked me how I’ve been able to stick to it and what am I going to do once the month is over. I don’t think I’ll ever not like the taste of meat from time to time and like I’ve said before, I don’t see anything wrong with eating meat if it was done in a more cruelty free and eco-friendly way.
So, at the end of the 30-day pledge, my answer to your question is this: ‘I’m going home for Christmas, and I can assure you that there’s going to be no way I’ll be able to resist my mum’s Christmas roast and pigs in a blanket. Oh and did I forget to mention minced pies with whipped cream?! But, when I come back in January, one of my new year’s resolutions, is to take up the vegan lifestyle for a few months and see how it goes. Maybe it’ll be for the whole year, who knows. I’m not putting this as a burden on myself and I’m not doing it to place myself into a certain category because I don’t believe that I have to categorise myself as vegan or pescatarian or vegetarian because the truth is, I love food. All food. It’s just that I do think that veganism is an interesting lifestyle to raise awareness of because of all its benefits and to remove all the mist and clouds surrounding the diet. Will I be vegan forever? I highly doubt it. Am I going to do my best to stick to it 90% of the time? I think so. And that’s enough for now.’
On another note, it’s December! Happy Holidays everyone! If you’re in a cold and winter climate, make the most of a hot cup of cocoa, colourful jumpers and all the amazing scented candles. If you’re somewhere warm then make the most of the fun in the sun. Only 13 days till I’m back to baking under the island sun, I can already here the sand crunching under my feet. Can’t wait to be home for a little bit, to see all my loved ones and to share with you all how we do Christmas on the islands!
Sit back, grab some Oreos, and I can’t wait to see what life has to offer us next.