When is a vegan not a vegan

Recently I ditched meat, fish and anything from, made by or containing anything that has eyes. Ah, vegan you mean? Well I’m not sure that was my aim and I’m not that comfortable with the activist side of veganism? So you’re following a plant-based diet. Well, again, no. Since discovering dairy-free Swedish Glace and veggie Percy Pigs I’m definitely not eating healthily enough to qualify for this uber-strict way of eating. So what should we call you and why aren’t you eating meat? Ok, now you’re starting to sound like my Mum!

So unfortunately my explanation is about to get anecdotal. Bye for now. No wait. I’ll try to do this without sounding like a clean eating health blogger. I’d been feeling ill for several months. Please refer to your previous promise. Well that’s how it all started. High blood pressure, heartburn, fatigue, migraines, recurring infections – just all round crappy. I started drinking milk, lots of milk to cope with the heartburn. I tried the over the counter medicine but jeez they are liking swallowing a piece of chalk. I’d been eating lots of chocolate, biscuits, cake, anything to make me feel better mentally – comfort eating is my go to therapy. And then one day I woke up and proclaimed, NO MORE MEAT OR DAIRY. As a foie gras and veal loving carnivore this was quite a statement to make. And bizarrely my husband said he would do the same (I think we must have been visited in the night by the ghost of Linda McCartney).

 

A quick bit of reading – BBC Good Food, NHS, etc and we decided to go for it. It was only during my first post-declaration visit to Sainsbury’s that I realised this was not going to be easy! Meat, dairy and fish are in everything! Ok, not quite, but they are in most of the things I loved. My penchant for French baked goods was scuppered by our Gallic neighbours insistence on putting butter in everything. I soon figured out that I could save time by just ignoring three-quarters of the aisles in the supermarket. Then my vegan friend told me about all the things that are accidentally vegan – who’d have thought that Party Rings, Bourbon biscuits and Frazzles were vegan! Um, Frazzles? The bacon flavoured crisps? Yes the very same, as are prawn cocktail crisps and Worcester sauce crisps (but not Worcester sauce, it is a strange world we live in). My husband was also super excited when he found out that Oreos are vegan and has resumed his pre-meat, fish and dairy-free level of Oreo intake.

So far I’m riding high with our new meat, fish and dairy-free life (I will try to work out a shorter name for what we’re doing). It has reawakened my passion for cooking (more about this next time), my shopping bill is on average £30 less a week and I’ve lost 11lbs. Not that this was ever about weight loss, but this was a welcome (and needed) side-effect. My blood pressure is also down, but for the sake of transparency I’ve also been getting outside and walking more – both of which are linked to a lowering of blood pressure.

But I still don’t have a name for what we’re doing. I guess we’d be mostly closely associated with vegans – our diet is essentially that of a vegan. But I still have leather shoes and our car has leather seats. Although I did get bizarrely upset when I swallowed a fly while out walking recently. And I do feel strongly that the dairy industry is one of the worst parts of food manufacturing and completely unnecessary. Perhaps this is a work in progress.

I’ll be sharing more about our new eating habits, lots of recipes, book reviews, restaurant reviews, hints and tips through this site. Please comment and share your experiences and if anything pseudosciencey or any clean eating bunkum ever comes out of my mouth feel free to berate me. Don’t worry, I will!

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