Vegan Week: Day One

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New week, new challenge! Starting today, I am going to eat Vegan for a week. This is something that I have wanted to do for months but I haven’t been mentally ready for it. Plus, now that I’ve declared it to the internet, I have to do it!!!! I’ve been a vegetarian for seven months and in that time I’ve done a whole lot of research on the vegan lifestyle. I originally became a vegetarian for moral reasons, but the more I learn about the health benefits, the more open to veganism I have become. While I don’t eat a lot of animal products at home, I work in an environment where delicious food surrounds me daily. There are literally eggs, butter and gelatine in everything scrumptious!! I eat a predominantly vegan diet at home, however I happily let this slide at work… a lot! I know it’s not going to be easy passing up all the buttery sweet & savoury treats, but I am up for the challenge.

So why exactly am I doing this? Well, like I said the reported health benefits of a plant-based lifestyle speak for themselves. Disease prevention, increased energy, clearer skin, healthier hair & nails are just some of the rewards that Vegans receive for their choice of diet. I have definitely noticed a change in my nails over the last few months, and I accredit their insane new-found strength to my vegetarian diet. I’ve heard through the grapevine that nail health is an indicator of overall health, and if that’s the case then I’m certainly on the right track  🙂 Diet aside, I’ve noticed that I’ve been neglecting my poor kitchen lately. I don’t seem to cook anymore. Other than making my green smoothie each morning and copious cups of tea, I seem to have forgotten the reason why this room exists! Experimenting in the kitchen relaxes me, and what could be more experimental than vegan cooking and baking! I’m looking forward to veganizing my favourite dishes and prove that healthy food can be tasty and satisfying!

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Breakfast: I spent the weekend at my parent’s house, so I hadn’t access to my usual food. It probably wasn’t the best time to start my week of being a vegan, but thankfully they share my passion for healthy eating so this morning I whipped up a green smoothie that was slightly different to my usual. I threw the below ingredients into the NutriBullet and poured the mixture into a Blender Bottle and hey presto, a nutritional breakfast in 2 minutes.

Ingredients
A whole lot of kale
2 bananas
2 kiwis
1 tblsp of milled hemp
1 tsp of maca powder
Dash of coconut
Almost 1 pint of water

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Lunch: The only vegetarian ‘pre-made’ product I will eat is Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Sausages. They are a real treat and seeing as there were some in the freezer from my previous visit home, I decided to indulge! I served them with a kale salad (tossed in lemon juice) with apple and raw mushrooms. Many people don’t get my obsession with mushrooms, raw or otherwise, but I absolutely adore them with anything so this didn’t seem like a weird choice to me!

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Dinner: I was back in my own house by 5pm. There were a couple of aubergines in my cupboard that I needed to use so I decided to put them in the oven and let inspiration hit. For tonight’s dinner I made baked aubergine stuffed with quinoa, spinach and roasted vine tomatoes. I cooked the quinoa in garlic, ginger, fresh basil and cayenne pepper for a little bit of a kick. I also made enough to last me for the rest of the week so quinoa will probably be making an appearance in many of my meals this week!

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Dessert: I was craving something sweet after dinner but couldn’t succumb to chocolate cravings and ruin Vegan Week before day one was even over. Never fear, a very clever Char had foreseen this dilemma a few days ago and had frozen several browning bananas. Two frozen bananas + a handful of frozen blueberries + a drop of almond milk = the most amazing dairy free Banana & Blueberry Milkshake! I made enough for two people so knocked on my friend’s bedroom door and handed her a glass to which she responded ‘I’m not drinking any of your weird shit!’  So encouraging!!! But she tried it and was very surprised that she loved it!

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Snack: I don’t always have a snack before bed, but as I had an early dinner I decided to tuck into some of my mum’s delicious homemade beetroot humous with some cucumber sticks. For a little bit of a sweet treat, I had two cups of vanilla chai tea – this is my favourite thing to drink lately when I’m craving a sweet hit. I also had a soya hot chocolate earlier in the day instead of a coffee which I instantly regretted ordering because they burnt the milk and as a result it was not the nicest thing I have ever tasted. Never again!

Day one down. I’m feeling motivated and happy to be back in the kitchen again. My house is filled with the smell of garlic & herbs as I have more aubergine and butternut squash roasting in the oven for my lunch tomorrow! Eating vegan at home is a piece of cake, but I have a feeling that work tomorrow will be a different story.

Have you ever tried to eat vegan for a day/week? What are your favourite vegan recipes that you think I should try out this week?

Until tomorrow,

Charlene

xoxo

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