If anyone is like us in the Winnettes house than the whole of the Christmas period tends to be a time of over indulgence. From chocolates to alcohol it is hard to avoid the expanding waist bands. Of course I don’t help matters with the Christmas baking including Christmas Tree Brownies and Gingerbread Decorations, but it would be rude not to, would it not. However, with all of this over indulgance it does cause me to attempt to rein things in during January. So this year I thought we would give Veganuary a try.
I should start with a huge disclaimer. I am not going to completely do Vegnauary. The probalem with January as a healthy month is that it is also my birthday month and I don’t believe anyone should have to be super healthy over their birthday if they don’t want to…. Which I don’t. Also, we have a family tradition of going out for a roast on New Years Day. We already have our table booked in our favourite pub and their roast beef is some of the best I have ever had. And I have tried a lot of roast beef over the years. I cannot bare the thought of going there and having their nut roast. So for these two reasons I am not going to completely commit to Veganuary.
It is not unheard of for us to eat vegan food. I accidentally bought a vegan cookbook a couple of years ago and it is one of my favourites. I have looked for something similar ever since. Part of my menu planning method includes planning for 10 days at a time rather than just a week. To ensure the produce I buy doesn’t go off the latter half of the 10 days often includes vegan recipes that can be cooked from my cupboard stores. So to do Veganuary shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.
My over all plan is to eat vegan food 4-5 days a week rather than a couple of times over a 10 day period. I think this is definitely achievable with a little planning.
One thing I have learnt from cooking vegan in the past is that you can’t just decide to be vegan. It takes planning and a greater understanding of what is in your food. Breakfast is an immediate challenge due to it’s traditionally dairy heavy nature. Toast is an easy option with some jam, or perhaps peanut butter. Lunch again is traditionally dairy or meat heavy in our house with cheese or ham as a sandwich filler. I plan on making a few batches of vegan soups and already have a couple of recipes in mind. These take planning in their own right as I need to make time to cook the soups and possibly freeze them for future consumption.
The Rest of the Family
I firmly believe that as it is me that has made the decision to do this challenge I do not expect anyone else to do it with me. Although I am the one who cooks the evening meals so their vegan diet will automatically increase anyway. But during the day I do not expect anyone else to join me in the challenge. Ellie eats a school lunch during the day anyway and other than ‘Vegetarian Mondays’ it always contains meat and dairy. Trixie likes a cheese sandwich at lunch and I am more than happy for that to continue. Hubby takes lunch with him to work as it is cheaper than buying a sandwich each day. If he would like some soup portions to take with some bread, he is more than welcome. However I suspect he will continue to take his usual sandwiches.
I don’t really need to loose to much weight. I keep a close eye on that anyway, so other than a little excess left from Christmas, weight loss is not my main goal.
For me it is more about finding new and healthy recipes that I can incorporate into our everyday lives. It is also about spending a little more time creating in the kitchen. I have been quite exhausted since Ellie started school and this has meant the amount of food I make from scratch has greatly reduced. I want to get back in the kitchen and enjoy cooking again.
As a side note I am also hoping to reduce the overall shopping cost. Meat is very expensive in general so by not buying as much I am hoping the cost of the weekly shop will go down.
Other than a couple of cookbooks with a few vegan recipes I have no real idea where to start. So for me, if in doubt, I check Pinterest. So that is exactly what I have done. To help me along I have created a Veganuary board which I am filling with some of the most exciting Vegan recipes I can find on Pinterest. I have added it below so you can also find some inspiration. With just a quick look on Pinterest it seems that there are so many options when following a vegan diet and vegan doesn’t need to mean bland. The amount of ingredients being added to the recipes indicate that our dinners during January are going to be full of flavour.