The Vegan Diaries- Day Seven: The Debunk

Yes, the end draws nigh. It’s been emotional. That was a lie, but I’ll get to that later, yet looking back on a week it’s not been so bad. It’s not been so great either but there have been many learning points on the way. I don’t know that I have any great insights to offer in reports but here goes.

Vegan Myth: It’s hard to go Vegan
Yeah, it’s not so bad you just have to think about everything you eat and be prepared to be shunned, especially by friends who fancy a pizza. I actually enjoyed my vegan Saturday, pottering around and trying different ways to use up the friendly stuff or fake the contraband substances with sunflower margarines and nut milk. It was interesting, and the results were palatable enough. But that was Saturday morning. Trying to find the time and energy to do all of that as well as go to work, do the washing, get to the gym, sort out the ironing, visit your nearest and dearest, ring your mum, paint your toes and pay your Barclaycard bill, well, ‘challenge’ doesn’t cover it. And that was just one day. There are days when I want to have quality time in my kitchen and days when I need to eat, quickly and efficiently and it was these days that made me hate this challenge. Because an instant vegan snack is fruit or crisps and when you only have a vending machine to provide, well, you get sick of Quavers pretty quickly let me tell you.

Yet another bag of quavers. More yawn than yum now.

Vegan Myth: Being Vegan Makes You Skinny
I weighed in every morning and it was not a happy experience. Maybe it was all the extra fibre moving slowly, but there was more of me every single day until this morning, when I came in a whole 100g lighter than I was a week ago. Net result? Bugger all.

Vegan Myth: Being Vegans Rids You Of Allergies
I have noticed how little I’ve used my asthma inhalers in the last week or so, especially when exercising. But I’ve been incredibly snotty. Some say detox affect, some say pollen. Who knows.

Vegan Myth: It will taste just as good if you substitute the ingredients
It wont. You might make it acceptable, or even tasty, but it’s not as good as the real thing.

Vegan Myth: Being Vegan Will Make You Healthier
Yeah, well, I’ve only done a week so I can’t really answer this definitively however I  felt crap a lot more than I’ve felt good this week and I’ve slept a clear nine hours every night (ten and a bit the last two nights) because I was bone tired. I’ve had some nagging headaches and some moments of intensely short temper. I mean, worse than usual. I certainly don’t smell healthy as my natural gas supply seems to have been escaping at every opportunity, I had no idea there was so much. I will go out on a limb and say that yes, without doubt, being vegan makes you fart. Long term I guess it would also reduce your cholesterol if it’s a problem and maybe the weight loss will come in with more time.

So there you have it, it’s not so bad and I can absolutely confirm one of my founding theories that yes, going vegan has made me a better cook and will go on doing so. Or at least I hope it will as to be perfectly honest, I don’t care so much about cooking or eating at the moment.

Yeah. Me. Not bothered about dinner.

Another chilli dinner.

Or breakfast for that matter. Lunch, tea, elevenses? Yeah, you can keep em. It’s not easy to be passionate about preparing a plate of beans and couscous again. Maybe it’s the cold tofurkey style I have done this in, perhaps by ditching it all at once I am cleansed of my foodstuff addiction. We’ll see. It is generally suggested that you go vegan in little bits, giving up red meat for a week, then chicken the next then so on until two months later you lunch on chickpeas and carrots without even thinking about it. I don’t know. But despite the alarming lack of interest I have in eating like this long term, a bit of me wonders if I could or indeed should because I have to admit that I do feel sort of, clean. I don’t know how else to put it and it’s not just in a puritanical yeah, no animals were harmed in the production of my day kind of way. I also believe, and always have, that an honest to goodness craving means that you are missing out on something nutritionally. I don’t mean that fancying a Mars Bar means you have a  low blood nougat count that needs addressing, but real cravings, by design, are there to make you top up on what you need. I’ve not craved any meat, hardly missed it to be honest. So, do I not really need it? Is it messing me up to be processing so much of it all the time? Questions, questions, too many questions.

I’m not going to go full time, I love omelettes too much and my father would disinherit me. But I’m going to lay off the dairy as much as possible, especially products that deploy stealth milk tactics (I’m looking at you, Tesco Value). I may do another week again one day but I think it’s more likely I’ll do an odd day here and there, maybe to de-bulge a little Christmas or even for Lent. We’ll see, we’ll see.

I need to go now and eat some ratatouille and (more) couscous because yes, I’m seeing this through to the bitter midnight end.  I shall sign off saying try it for yourself, it’s the only way to know, and it’s not that bad really.


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