Saturday, 13 August 2011

Thoughts and reflections on my Vegan year

Last year I downloaded a podcast by Colleen Patrick Goudreau I didn't realise at the time the effect this podcast would have on me. I downloaded this podcast as I was looking for some new Vegetarian recipes, as a keen cook I am always looking for something new.

As a Vegetarian for 37 years I somehow never made to next logical step to becoming a vegan, why? Well I used the usual excuses I could never give up cheese, it would be too difficult,it would be Impossible to eat out, what would I eat yada,yada,yada so the excuses rolled on.

After my first podcast Collen had answered all my questions and there and then I made my decision I was going to become a Vegan I was converted after listening to just one podcast, I immediately downloaded all the rest and spent several weeks absorbing all the info like a sponge, everything just clicked into place.

I decided I needed to arm myself with some Vegan cook books, the first one I ever purchased was Vegan Baking by Collen Patrick Goudreau(yes the same person that does the compassion cooks podcast) this was a strange choice for me as I'm not really a sweet or a cake person, I think it was the need in me once I knew I couldn't Eat cakes,biscuits chocolate etc that I wanted them.

After reading the book I soon realised any recipe could be veganised I could eat apple pie, cheesecakes,carrot cake, chocolate muffins, cookies etc the list was endless. I attacked the cook book and over the weeks produced some really great sweet baked items which my partner and friends soon devoured I told no one at first they were vegan and nobody commented, I soon realised baked goods were not going to be a problem.

My next cook book ( yes I will admit to being a cookbook junkie) was The Vegan Table also from the same author that was it I was totally hooked on my new way of eating, there was basically not much of a difference with being Vegan and being Vegetarian. I could scramble Tofu and it was just like scrambled egg, I could make cheese less pizza and it was more delicious than the old pizzas I made, I could use cheese substitutions if I wanted the list was endless

I had always made Vegetarian curries,Chilis,stirfrys so most of my daily meals stayed the same I just learned new things I discovered a love of Tofu and now plant foods make up most of my diet.

Dairy was another thing I worried about I do like herbal teas but also like an occasional coffee or tea. I needn't have worried the wide range of non dairy milks I. The supermarket really opened my eyes, I liked Soya milk instantly but since experimented with different milk I now prefer Oat milk which I use daily on my cereal and tea, I discovered almond milk which I make a delicious Baileys type drink I just add Whiskey,Kahlula and top up with almond milk it is absoloutly delicious.

I use a soya cream in my coffee and that too is delicious, so once again no problem being a vegan.I recently bought a Soya creamer for when I am out as yet I find most places can't be bothered to offer their customers a non dairy milk option.
Starbucks,Costa Coffee do and it's great to be able to order a soya Late or cappuccino when I am out shopping.

Reflecting my first year as a Vegan I can honestly say I have never eaten better, after the initial worry I could never eat cakes, chocolate etc I am now over that because I know I can and Dairy free chocolate is every bit as good as the old chocolate I sometimes ate, I never really wanted chocolate before I guess initially it was the old case of if you can't have something you want it!

I now feel more in tune with my spiritual side I think that is to do with the fact I now eat knowing I have caused no suffering to animals and you can't help but feel more at peace with yourself.

I have also started doing Yoga and have dropped weight and feel so much stronger and energised I would recommend it to anyone.For anyone who has ever toyed with the idea of going Vegan I urge to download some of Colleens podcasts and read some of the many great online vegan blogs out there I don't think you'll regret it.

For me the transition from Vegetarian has been easy and so worthwhile

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