After having my fill of tea and five American-style pancakes spread with heaps of marmalade (as my nod to the mouthwatering crepes I had in Vienna with apricot jam last year, although tip: marmalade is not the same as apricot jam, especially when served on these thick, stacked babies where maple syrup just begs to drip down them!), I decided what my challenge would be for the next forty days and forty nights of Lent.
I was going to go vegan.
I mean, if Jesus couldn’t eat or drink, then surely I could become vegan again. (Just joking guys, no disrespect here! I could never compare myself with good old Jesus).
Now, if you read this blog regularly you might realise that I’m a vegetarian with a tendency towards a vegan diet and lifestyle anyway. For example, I don’t drink glasses of milk, I won’t ride camels or elephants or horses (and I do miss horse-riding), and I try not to contribute to anything that causes any animal suffering, even going so far as to not buy peanut butter unless it’s made with 100% peanuts and NO palm oil. But going full-time vegan means no more afternoon teas (and yes, I’m aware that places can cater for vegans, but clotted cream! Buttery scones!), no cake (bloody hell I adore cake), and no more easy catering at restaurants (because most places in London have at least one or two vegetarian dishes, but I’d have to research/call in advance about vegan options unless it was a specialised vegetarian/vegan restaurant). But you know, I’ve been vegan before, and I wanted to do it again.
But being the typical selfish person I am, I wasn’t just doing this for the animals (although that is my main reason). Nope. I also wanted better skin and a better body. I suffer from acne and whilst its vastly improved over the past year, I still get pesky breakouts very often which ruin my skin and confidence. I’ve heard that veganism can help acne because you won’t be getting the additional hormones that are pumped into/naturally found in animal products, and anything that can help with my skin is a plus. Additionally, I put on six pounds over the course of Christmas and India in eating copious amounts of nut roast and gulab jamun, so I need to lose that, therefore leading me to eat a lot healthier during this lifestyle to hopefully lose the weight I gained and generally feel better within myself. So after the five minutes I spent pondering this Lent challenge I went back to eating pancakes for Shrove Tuesday and watching episodes of Jeremy Kyle. I mean, come on, I was on holiday from work, watching Jezza Kyle is like, the optimal PJ day for me.
The week started out pretty damn good. I enjoyed bagels with peanut butter, glasses of coconut water, fresh smoothies, salads… but then I realised I have an incredibly tight budget of only £30 a week (thanks to not working for the two months I was in India), which includes travelling to work and buying food. Crap. So after those two days of bliss whilst I was at my family home, able to eat whatever I wanted because essentially, I wasn’t paying for it, I was knocked back into reality when I went back to my own place. After digging up some porridge in my cupboard, scrounging the fruit bowl at work (sorry guys!) and making a huge pot of dal at home that would be my lunch for 5 days, I actually didn’t need to go to the supermarket and buy any food! So instead, I met up for lunch with two of my university friends (I had this great aubergine tamarind sticky sauce vegetable curry thing with rice) and wasted money buying vegan matcha flavoured frozen yogurt for after. But I have very good friends, who buy me pints and desserts because they understand my allowances and want me to be happy 😀 so this week I didn’t limit myself too much to going out with others.
This first week of pure veganism has actually been rather nice. I’m forced to say no to quite a lot of ‘unhealthy’ food (my goodness there were cupcakes the other day at work and I just stared at their beauty), and although I’m on a budget, it’s better because then I’m forced to make most of my food rather than buying meal-deals at lunch or dinner at my favourite Japanese place because I’m too lazy to cook. I’ve also discovered how to make vegan pancakes (although my boyfriend makes the best ones, they are literally like French crepes, whereas mine are more you-had-no-idea-what-you-were-doing, piled HIGH with generous amounts of chocolate sauce and/or maple syrup), and I’ve started drinking a cup of almond-milk chai at least once a day, which has been quite filling but also a nice reminder of India 🙂
Typical. I’ve been due-on this week, so of course I’ve been a spotty mess.
As of yet still no change.
See you next week!